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Friday, 10 June 2016

Scottish Episcopal Church votes to consider accepting SSM

College of Bishops
The bishops of the Scottish Episcopal Church (SEC).                                                                                                                                          Source: SEC

"Today the Scottish Episcopal Church, meeting in its General Synod in Edinburgh, takes the first step in a process which may lead to same sex couples being able to marry in our churches and to our clergy being able to enter into same sex marriages [SSM]. It is a two-year process. In 2016, the voting needs to produce a simple majority in each of the three 'houses' – laity, clergy and bishops. The second and final stage in the process will be reached in 2017 when two-thirds majorities will be needed in each house". - The Most Rev David Chillingworth, Bishop of St Andrews,Dunkled & Dunblane and Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church. Full report here.

Bishop Chillingworth writes: "Within churches, human sexuality issues have the capacity to expose deep fault lines in our understanding of faith. Some see the full inclusion of LGBT people as a matter of justice. Jesus was a person always open to those excluded by others – the lepers, the adulterous woman, tax collector and sinners. Would he not have been also open to LGBT people? Others point to the authority of scripture which in some places warns against same sex relationships. They call us to an understanding of God's law and life as it has been understood from the creation. So this is an important moment for our church. "

The problem with the 'full inclusion' argument is that Christ healed the sick and told the sinner to sin no more. In what category does LGBT fall? LGBT people can hardly claim to be excluded when they are driving the agenda. The legal effects of a civil partnership are almost identical to marriage. To agitate for SSM is counterproductive.

The bishop concludes: "It is not just about whether we can find agreement, it is about whether what we do is within our understanding of our faith."

Unfortunately for Anglicanism, faith has become too malleable. Ultimately will there be anything left if SSM in church is adopted?

Postscript [11.06.2016]

GAFCON offers alternative oversight to Scottish Anglicans


  1. seven bishops? now that's overmanning

  2. Firstly that which we might call marriage took place long before the time of Christ. Thus I suggest that the Church does not own the institution of marriage.
    Secondly marriage was not regarded as a sacrament until the 16 Century ,by the Council of Trent.
    Thirdly it is recorded that some 15,000 'marriages' of the same sex have happened since the secular law was changed.
    However, I have never understood how 'A Church' or 'The Church' may be organised and rules changed by a democratic vote. But ,of course, thus is how the Scottish Episcopal Church ,and indeed the Anglican Commnion does things ,as we know to our peril by anomalous Governing Body votes. So the Church of Scotland run things democratically as we do in the Church in Wales,and there is no true authority .By the nature of the GB ,authority in the C in W is a dynamic process and depends very much on who puts themselves forward for election or indeed the manoeuvrings of the Bench. There has been only minor revolts from the laity ,which are dismissed in a clever political way. The comments one hears are ,for example, "well I don't agree with it ,but it has been voted thus, so I shall have to accept it".
    The answer ? One needs to recognise that decisions are made as for a parish council because there is no learned authority ; same goes for the Church of Scotland.
    One must acknowledge that in the Roman Catholic Church any change occurs very slowly and are extremely carefully explored over a long period by expert theologians and other academics. I therefore suggest that the muddle and mess in the Scottish and others of the Anglican Communion is of our own fault.

    1. Marriage was a divine ordinance from the beginning of the human race, and is not subject to change by democratic vote, however many bishops can be mustered. It is all there in the BCP rite of Holy Matrimony.

  3. This move by the Scottish Episcopal Church is not just about changing the definition of marriage it also about indicating in public their alignment with a "liberal progressive" ideology. This is the new political correctness that is replacing Christianity in polite circles. The statement in April by the bishops of the Church in Wales does the same. I have written this up as part of "evidence of conversion to the diversity ideology" - you may find this of interest See:

    1. Thank you John. I read your article with interest when it first appeared (RH Col) and have posted a new entry on the subject.