Min­is­ter says church has ‘aban­doned Bi­ble’

Rev­erend’s at­tack on same-sex mar­riage de­ci­sion

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Mur­ray Spooner

The min­is­ter of Ruther­glen Free Pres­by­te­rian Church has launched an as­ton­ish­ing at­tack on the Church of Scot­land’s de­ci­sion to ac­cept min­is­ters and dea­cons in same-sex mar­riages.

Rev­erend Wesley Ir­win be­lieves the ‘ma­jor­ity’ within the or­gan­i­sa­tion do not be­lieve in the word of God.

Last month the Gen­eral Assem­bly of the Church of Scot­land voted to al­low con­gre­ga­tions to ap­point min­is­ters and dea­cons in same sex mar­riages.

But Rev Ir­win has spo­ken of his dis­ap­point­ment with the de­ci­sion.

When asked why he felt so strongly about the is­sue, the min­is­ter, who has been Rev­erend at the Ruther­glen Free Pres­by­te­rian Church for 17 years, told the Re­former: “It is be­cause I be­lieve the Bi­ble teaches that that is the course of ac­tion that is re­quired of a Bi­ble be­liever as re­gards to the is­sue of ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity.

“It is the case that the Church of Scot­land has demon­strated that it has aban­doned the Bi­ble as the only rule of faith and prac­tice. I be­lieve that scrip­ture teach­ers should sep­a­rate from the Church since it has failed to fol­low the word of God.

“Those within the Church of Scot­land, the ma­jor­ity of them have gone con­trary to the Bi­ble’s teach­ing and there­fore that puts them into the cat­e­gory of be­ing non be­liev­ers and they don’t be­lieve the word of God, they don’t ac­cept the author­ity of the word of God.

“The teach­ing of Christ and the mes­sage of the gospel does not change in time, it re­mains time­less.”

In a let­ter he had writ­ten to the pa­per, Rev­erend Ir­win stated: “The re­cent de­ci­sion of the Gen­eral Assem­bly of the Church of Scot­land to ac­cept min­is­ters and dea­cons in same-sex mar­riages is an­other in­di­ca­tor of just how far they have de­parted from Bi­b­li­cal prin­ci­ples and prac­tices.

“The Church of Scot­land web­site states that they made this de­ci­sion ‘to up­date church law to keep pace with Scots Law.’ Surely the duty of the church is to up­hold the Law of God above any im­moral law of the land.”

The Church of Scot­land have de­fended the de­ci­sion.

At the time, the or­gan­i­sa­tion said: “The de­ci­sion does not com­pro­mise the Church’s tra­di­tional view of mar­riage as a union be­tween one man and one woman.

“And it does not mean church min­is­ters will be able to reg­is­ter same-sex civil part­ner­ships or solem­nise same- sex mar­riages them­selves.

“Since 2008, 25 min­is­ters have left be­cause of dis­cus­sions over min­is­ters in same sex re­la­tion­ships. This rep­re­sents three per cent of the to­tal num­ber of min­is­ters.”

Ruther­glen coun­cil­lor, Ger­ard Killen, who cam­paigns for LGBTI rights, said: ““Un­for­tu­nately Rev­erend Ir­win finds him­self not only on the wrong side of the Church of Scot­land, but on the wrong side of his­tory.

“We don’t have to look very far into the past to see that at­ti­tudes in churches across the world have changed on a whole range of is­sues such as di­vorce and the or­di­na­tion of women. These changes, how­ever slow, should be wel­comed not crit­i­cised or cherry picked ac­cord­ing to an in­di­vid­ual’s view of the world.

“The right to prac­tice your reli­gion is per­sonal and should be pro­tected but the bi­ble is no jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for dis­crim­i­nat­ing against peo­ple who only want to get on with their lives free from prej­u­dice.”

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