Inverness ministers setting the record straight

Inverness CourierLetters to the Inverness Courier

by Rev. Peter Donald and Rev. Alex Muir
(both Inverness)
(published 15/05/09

Last week in a leader entitled 'Kirk tearing itself apart' the Editorial in the Inverness Courier criticised the Church of Scotland for hitting the headlines over the issue of gay marriage rather than focussing on other issues of concern.
The same edition of the city newspaper carried a half-page article last week (see picture above) entitled 'City churchgoers opposed to the choice of a gay minister'.

Footnote: It is of course the media which decide what will be 'headlined' and the 'spin' that will be put on events and how they are reported. There is a wealth of good news that goes unreported and a top-flight Christian TV journalist had his career almost destroyed by his colleagues when he suggested that the media should report more 'good news'.

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From Rev. Peter Donald


It seems a little rich to be lectured on allowing matters sexual to dominate the public eye as far as the church is concerned (Courier Leader 8.5.09).

Having been closely involved in many issues where the church seeks to address public life, I can tell your readers that nothing draws the media's attention more than something sexual, and especially if some in the church can be seen to be mired in some related controversy.

Your own paper, as many others in this last week, have given column inches to the crisis within the Church of Scotland around an active homosexual minister. It would be more than welcome to have similar interest when the church, for example, attacks material greed and excessive lending, or proclaims the need to uphold human dignity across boundaries of race and class — to take the matters you mentioned in your editorial. But the fact is that the Press is not as interested in that. Sex sells — not to mention that many would like to have their own sins excused while the attention is focused on others.

The next sex scandal to sell papers will doubtless be of some other public figure, whether Christian or not.

When Jesus commented, as he did frequently, on relationship issues, in one of the more famous instances he warned against casting the first stone. There we see him respecting black and white lines, but also enacting the rescue of one lost soul. When we all of us struggle to make good relationships, might I suggest that making some new decisive legislation is not the only or best way forward.

The church cares about holiness and our taking on the life of Christ, and Jesus' teaching to "love one another" asks for more than tolerance and votes won by narrow majority. That is where our current crisis truly centres.

Peter Donald, Minister of Crown Church, Inverness.

From Rev. Alex Muir


I feel very saddened when people equate with homophobia the traditional belief that sexual intercourse ought to be confined to heterosexual marriage.

Are they aware that, since Jesus Christ Himself was of this opinion, they are implying that He too was a homophobe, a hater of homosexuals?

In fact, they are using one of the weakest forms of argument: taking another person's sincerely-held belief, then caricaturing and distorting it. But are they prepared openly to do this in the case of our Lord whose love, according to Scripture, passes knowledge?

In his New Testament commentaries, Professor William Barclay points out that chastity was one of the completely new concepts that Christianity brought into the ancient world — and by chastity Barclay meant the sexual mores which, until fairly recent times, most people, wouldn't even have questioned.


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Christians Together, 15/05/2009

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Christians Together in the Highlands and Islands > Archive > Letters to the Editor(s) > Two Inverness ministers setting the record straight