The Church of Scotland is discussing ordaining gay people as ministers during its annual General Assembly. The conversation will extend through Friday reports Christianity Today.
In last year’s meeting, church leaders decided that the Church of Scotland would not support same-sex marriages, but it would permit gay men and woman to be ordained. The decision sparked some congregations to break off and form the anti-gay Free Church.
This week, most of the large Stornoway High congregation left the Church of Scotland in favor of the Free Church.
“Sadly our congregation could simply not identify with the general direction the Church of Scotland is headed in, and the sensible option was to leave,” said former session clerk Christopher Martin.
So far, eight former Church of Scotland ministers have converted to the Free Church.
“The Church of Scotland will say only one percent of congregations have left but its a drip, drip, drip effect. The Church is losing 20,000 people a year and there’s no sign of that trend being reversed; it will only accelerate,” said Free Church minister David Robertson.
In the coming days, the General Assembly will reassess the Church’s endorsement of homosexuality in the church. Reverend Jeremy Middleton will propose that the Church take the stance that “marriage between one man and one woman is the only right and proper context for sexual relations.” It is believed that the Church leaders will not approve of the stance.
Publication date: May 21, 2014