CoS Minister: ‘Bible must give way to modern ideas on same-sex marriage’

An openly homosexual Church of Scotland Minister has claimed Scripture does not have the final word on sexual ethics.

On BBC Radio 4’s Sunday programme, Revd Scott Rennie said that scriptural teaching against same-sex acts should be reinterpreted in the light of contemporary thinking.

Rennie was being challenged by fellow minister Revd Professor Andrew McGowan over the Kirk’s recent decision to allow ministers to conduct same-sex weddings in its churches.


Professor of Theology in the University of the Highlands and Islands Revd McGowan said: “I don’t think we’re at liberty to make up our morality as we go along, because God has spoken by his Spirit through the Scriptures”.

He continued: “the Scriptures are very clear, that same-sex sexual acts are contrary to God’s will and sinful and therefore the church should not be promoting such”.

But Rennie responded: “It’s a disagreement about Scripture and its place and its connection with reason and the modern world”.

Reinterpreting Scripture

Dismissing the Professor’s argument that “the Holy Spirit cannot contradict what he’s already spoken through prophets and apostles”, Rennie claimed: “we learn things through psychology, through science, and we’ve got to read Scripture in that light”.

He protested: “I’m not suggesting we should just throw away the Scriptures and just conform to anything”.

But he added: “people’s understanding of human sexuality has developed, we’ve grown better, we know more, and so we read the Scriptures in that light”.

God’s clear Word

Revd McGowan is a Trustee of Covenant Fellowship Scotland which publicly described the General Assembly decision to allow Ministers to conduct same-sex weddings in its churches as both “unbiblical and sinful”.

“This decision contradicts everything the Bible has to say about the complementary nature of men and women, and of the character and purposes of marriage.

“Instead of following the clear and unambiguous teaching of God’s written word, the Bible, the Church of Scotland continues to follow popular opinion.”