Saturday, 1 November 2014


New Supporter of Gay Marriage

The new minister of St Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh, has been announced with much fanfare by the Church of Scotland. Rev Calum MacLeod moves from Chicago to take over the church of John Knox, whose statue still graces the Cathedral precincts.  The two men could not be further apart.  Knox was a firebrand evangelical, MacLeod is …  Well let his own words speak for him; in a recent sermon in Chicago after hosting a LGBT conference at his church:

“The Covenant Network of Presbyterians, an organization, within our denomination, that was cofounded by Pastor Emeritus John Buchanan. For many years it has fought for full inclusion of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender folks in the life of the church, worked to create ordination standards that are inclusive, and celebrated the movement of the Holy Spirit in lives of lesbian and gay Christians being called to ministry. Covenant Network is continuing that work, and the conference offered the chance to reflect on the question of marriage equality for GLBT people. Marvelous scholars and theologians reflected on the biblical and theological reasons for why marriage equality is important.

Currently in our denomination [PCUSA] the church recognizes marriage only as between a man and a woman and it prohibits clergy from officiating at services that are called same-gendered marriage. So our church is in its present state marginalizing people who are in our churches. Gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered Christians are being treated as other. Not being given the same fully human rights as others in our pews. Covenant Network is working to change that definition of marriage at the next General Assembly, which is in Detroit in 2014. And it is my hope, my prayer that this continued marginalization of a category of people in our midst would end.”

His liberal hopes were realised – the General Assembly of the PCUSA voted both to allow its ministers to officiate at gay marriages and to change its official definition of marriage as between “two people” rather than between a man and a woman. (The PCUSA continues to loose members, with a 5.86% decrease in 2012 and 4.83% in 2013, and a loss of a total of 148 churches and 165 ministers to other more biblical denominations in 2013.)

I am sure he will join other revisionists in pursuing this anti-biblical agenda in the Church of Scotland. Edinburgh Presbytery having “cleansed” itself of solid evangelicals such as David Court, Philip Hair, and Robin Sydserff (and their churches) must be delighted with its new recruit. 

Meanwhile Forward Together desperately try to convince evangelicals that it is their duty to remain within this increasingly apostate body – did any of their members in Edinburgh Presbytery raise an objection concerning Mr MacLeod’s theology or ethics, or did they simply keep silent because they are “ in it to win it” without the danger of confrontation.