This decision, which has been in the works for years, did not change the wording of the church’s statement of faith. That will be discussed by the General Assembly next year. But the way has already been paved for a further departure from biblical Christian teaching. Given the current cultural acceptance of same-sex marriage, it does not seems unreasonable to think the Church of Scotland will readily endorse same-sex marriages for members and further accept an increasingly liberal agenda.
On May 21, in a historic and unnerving decision, the Church of Scotland voted to allow ministers and deacons in practicing same-sex marriages. This is a move from their earlier recognition for ministers and deacons in same-sex civil partnerships.
According to their website this decision “does not compromise the Church’s traditional view of marriage as a union between one man and one woman.” The vote provides an “opt-out” option for local congregations and boards of elders to choose not to believe or abide by the church’s biblical view on marriage but to call clergy who are in same-sex marriages. Evidently the church forgot the wisdom of Mark 3:25, “And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.”
In a vote of 339 (for) to 215 (against), the General Assembly – the highest court in the Church of Scotland composed of commissioners sent by local presbyteries – decided to “update Church law to keep pace with Scots Law.” This move effectively demonstrates that the church has decided to follow the morality of the world, not the truth of scripture. It seems as if the Church of Scotland has chosen whom they will serve.
Although the vote does allow for clergy to be in same-sex marriages, it does not permit clergy to facilitate same-sex weddings. The Very Rev. John Chalmers, Principle Clerk to the General Assembly, was quoted as saying that “we’re not going to the place where ministers or deacons could themselves conduct same-sex marriages…for many people what today was about was simply tidying up and making the law of the church consistent with Scots law.”