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Evangelicals say 'No' to same-sex marriage

Over 70 of Scotland’s largest evangelical churches, attended by more than 20,000 people, have signed an open letter to First Minister Alex Salmond urging him not to redefine marriage.

Same sex marriageChurch leaders from a wide spectrum of denominations in Scotland have written on open  letter to First Minister Alex Salmond inviting him to desist from any moves to re-define marriage.

Amongst the list of signatories is Rev. Jim Turrent who was formerly the pastor of Culloden Baptist Church and is now the pastor of Central Baptist Church in Dundee.

 Jim TurrentHe said:

"If marriage is redefined once, what is to stop it happening again? Canada has legalised same-sex marriage, and now there is a legal case in a Canadian court trying to legalise polygamy.
“Mexico City legalised same-sex marriage two years ago, now the City is proposing temporary marriages that only last two years. Once you start to unpick marriage, the whole fabric can unravel.”


The text of the letter to Alex Salmond referred to above is copied below.

Open Letter to First Minister:

We write as leaders of some of Scotland’s largest Evangelical churches. Like everyone, we want to help build a better, stronger Scotland. As churches we are actively engaged in our communities for the good of all people.

We join with others to express our support for retaining the current legal definition of marriage, which has served Scotland well for centuries. We are concerned about the implications if marriage is redefined. It stands to reason a redefinition will be promoted as standard by public bodies. This has significant implications across society, not least for what children will be taught in schools.

Marriage – although it has been undermined in recent decades – remains a vital universal institution that has benefited Scottish society for centuries. The marriage of one man to one woman, for life, for the rearing of children in a stable environment, is a cornerstone of society. It is embedded in history and in cultures around the world.

Marriage is also rooted in nature. The opposite sexes of men and women are integral to its character and to its success. Children do best when they are raised by the mother and father who conceived them. Numerous independent studies show this to be true. Of course there will be exceptions, however, in redefining marriage people are being told that a child does not need a mother and a father.

Government did not invent marriage, and it is astonishing that it is seeking to legally redefine it at the behest of a small minority. What is to stop it being redefined further? There is a very real risk of definition-creep. If marriage is redefined who is to say that, for example, polygamy should not be legalised?

In supporting marriage, we are not removing rights from anyone. Redefining marriage is not an issue of equality or fairness, as argued by those calling for this change. Equality does not mean sameness but recognises diversity. In the Scottish Government’s consultation document it is abundantly clear that homosexual couples already have the rights of marriage available through civil partnerships.

Despite the sincere promises to protect those who disagree with redefining marriage, we have well-founded misgivings about the religious liberty implications. However, our chief concern is that Scottish society will be the poorer if the definition of marriage is rewritten. Marriage is foundational and so much else rests upon it. You cannot radically alter the definition of marriage without it having knock-on effects on so much else in our society.

We agree with the Scottish Government that this debate should be conducted with courtesy and respect. We call upon First Minister Alex Salmond to uphold the clear understanding of marriage that has served Scotland well for centuries.

List of Signatories:

Signed by (in alphabetical order of church name):
Pastor Stephen Ritchie, of Assemblies of God, Fraserburgh
Revd Calum Iain Macleod, of Back Free Church, Isle of Lewis
Pastor Stuart Keir, of Banchory Christian Fellowship Church
Revd David MacPherson, of Bon Accord Free Church, Aberdeen
Pastor Bernie McLaughlin, of Bridge Church, Irvine
Revd Alex MacDonald, of Buccleuch & Greyfriars Free Church, Edinburgh
Pastor Wayne Sutton, of Carrubbers Christian Fellowship, Edinburgh
Mr Alasdair H B Fyfe, of Cartsbridge Evangelical Church, Glasgow
Revd Jim Turrent, of Central Baptist Church, Dundee
Revd Paul Rees, of Charlotte Chapel, Edinburgh
Revd Mark Malcolm, of Chryston Parish Church, Glasgow
Mr Chuck Freeland, of City Church, Aberdeen
Revd Thomas S Sinclair, of St Columba’s Church of Scotland, Stornoway
Revd Jim Robertson, of Culloden: The Barn Church of Scotland
Revd Jeremy Middleton, of Davidson Mains Parish Church
Pastor Jeremy McQuoid, of Deeside Christian Fellowship Church, Aberdeen
Pastor Brian Taylor, of Destiny Church, Aberdeen
Pastor Peter Anderson, of Destiny Church, Edinburgh
Pastor Andrew Owen, of Destiny Church, Glasgow
Revd Alex Cowie, of Dowanvale Free Church, Glasgow
Revd Alistair Purss, of Dumfries Baptist Church
Revd Graham Swanson, of Elgin Baptist Church
Pastor Tom Paton, of Elim Christian Fellowship, Paisley
Revd Derrick Thames, of Erskine Church of the Nazarene
Revd Michael R Healy, of Findlay Memorial Baptist Church, Glasgow
Revd Peter Park, of Fraserburgh Old Church of Scotland
Revd Kenneth Gray, of Freeland Church of Scotland, Bridge of Weir
Revd Matthew Henderson, of Gerrard Street Baptist Church, Aberdeen
Revd Dominic Smart, of Gilcomston South Church of Scotland, Aberdeen
Revd Iain Sutherland, of Gillespie Memorial Church, Dumfermline
Revd Dr Colin Dow, of Glasgow City Free Church
Pastor James Glass, of Glasgow Elim Church, Govanhill
Mr Andrew Hunter, of Greenview Evangelical Church, Glasgow
Revd Derek Hutchinson/Revd Graham Shearer, of Hamilton Baptist Church
Pastor Martin Clarke, of Hillview Community Church, Aberdeen
Revd Kenny Borthwick, of Holy Trinity Church, Wester Hailes
Revd Phil Hair, of Holyrood Abbey Church of Scotland, Edinburgh
Revd Murdo Maclean, of Kenmuir Mount Vernon and Carmyle Church of Scotland
The Leadership of Kings Church, Edinburgh
Dr Iain Duthie, of Kings Community Church, Aberdeen
Revd John C A Ferguson, of Kingsview Christian Centre, Inverness
Revd Ian Watson, of Kirkmuirhill Church of Scotland, Lanarkshire
Revd David Scott, of Logie and St John’s (Cross) Church of Scotland, Dundee
Revd Calum Stark, of Macduff Church of Scotland
Revd Tommy MacNeil, of Martin’s Memorial Church of Scotland, Stornoway
Revd Karl Martin, of Morningside Baptist Church, Edinburgh
Revd Francis Murphy, of Mount Kirk Church of Scotland, Greenock
Mr Steve Crosthwaite, of Newcraigs Evangelical Church, Kirkcaldy
Pastor Brian More, of Newton Mearns Baptist Church, Glasgow
Revd Calum Jack, of North Parish Church, Stirling
Pastor Iain Macaulay, of Queens Park Baptist Church, Glasgow
Pastor Joseph Ewen, of Riverside Church Network, Banff
Pastor Alastair Simmons, of Riverside Evangelical Church, Ayr
Revd David Meredith, of Smithton-Culloden Free Church, Inverness
Pastor Colin Mutch, of Southside Christian Fellowship, Ayr
Revd Derek Lamont, of St Columba’s Free Church, Edinburgh
Revd Dr William Philip, of St George’s Tron Church, Glasgow
Revd Alberto de Paula, of St James’ Church of Scotland, Broughty Ferry
Revd Canon Malcolm Round, of St Mungo’s Church, Balerno, Edinburgh
Revd Fergus Buchanan, of St Paul’s Parish Church, Milngavie
Mr Bryan Kee, of St Peter’s Free Church of Scotland, Dundee
Revd David McCarthy, of St Silas Episcopal Church, Glasgow
Revd Jonathan de Groot, of St Stephen’s Comely Bank, Edinburgh
Revd Iver Martin, of Stornoway Free Church
Revd Graeme Craig, of Stornoway Free Church Continuing
Revd Paul Amed, of Stornoway High Church of Scotland and Barvas Church of Scotland
Revd David M Clark, of Dundee: The Steeple Church
Pastor Jimmy Dowds, of The Vine, Dunfermline
Revd Peter Dickson, of Trinity Church, Aberdeen
Pastor Jamie Watters, of West End Vineyard Church, Glasgow
Revd Alan McWilliam, of Whiteinch Church of Scotland
The Leadership of Woodhill Evangelical Church, Bishopbriggs

Footnote: It should be stressed that not every minister was aware of this letter and others would have signed it if they had had the opportunity.

Christians Together, 23/11/2011

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Christians Together in the Highlands and Islands > Various Items > Evangelicals say 'No' to same-sex marriage