Scotland, the church and homosexuality

Two quite different posts here but dealing with different aspects of the same issue. In this post Carl Trueman shares a speech by a minister who has left the Church of Scotland over its changing position on homosexuality.

“It is, of course, not a question of whether the Church of Scotland is morally perfect in her membership or behaviour; no church ever has been and that is not the point at issue here.  It is rather a matter of whether, as an institution, she will not merely tolerate but actively encourage, promote and defend the true preaching of the word of God, of the whole counsel of God, and oppose – and depose by due and decent process – those who do not do so yet who claim to minister in Christ’s name.”

Steve Holmes, who works in Scotland, writes on the various responses from churches to the state extending marriage to same-sex couples. At the end he offers an intriguing path that I think carries some weight.

“Time was in England, Baptists and others would go to the local parish priest to sort the legal bit out, and then have (what they regarded as) a proper Christian marriage ceremony afterwards. To return to such a practice, substituting civil registrar for Anglican cleric, might be our best witness to our faith – and I suspect that this might be true regardless of the outcome of the current debate.”

Question: does a marriage need to be sanctioned by the state for it to be a real marriage in the eyes of God?

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