Statement concerning Decisions taken by the Church of Scotland

Date: Saturday, 09 July 2022
Author: Rev Murdo A N Macleod

(The General Assembly received an Overture from Members of the House concerning decisions taken by the Church of Scotland at their Assembly. The General Assembly adopted the following statement and directed that it be sent to the Church of Scotland, and that is also be issued to the Press.)

The General Assembly of the Free Church of Scotland (Continuing) met this 25th day of May 2022 express their grave concern at decisions taken by the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.

1. The General Assembly deplore the decision of the Church of Scotland to approve the ‘Solemnisation of Same Sex Marriage Overture’, thus allowing ministers to conduct same-sex ‘marriages’. They respectfully remind the Church of Scotland of the following Biblical truths:

(i) Marriage is a divine institution established at creation and is to be between one man and one woman (Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:5,6).

(ii) Sexual relations belong only within the marriage union of one man and one woman and any sexual relations outside of this union are sinful and not to be approved (Galatians 5:19; 1 Timothy 1:9,10).

(iii) Sexual relations between persons of the same sex are condemned by God as “abomination”, “vile affections”, “against nature” and “unseemly” (Leviticus 18:22; Romans 1:26,27).

(iv) A church which solemnises unions between two people of the same sex is overturning God’s order, seeking to bless what He has cursed, and is deceiving men and women, in affirming them in their sin rather than calling them to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ for salvation (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).

The Westminster Confession of Faith, the historic subordinate standard of the reformed Church in Scotland, teaches the following on the doctrine of marriage, which we assert to be true to God’s Word and affirm as our belief:
Marriage is to be between one man and one woman....Marriage was ordained for the mutual help of husband and wife; for the increase of mankind with a legitimate issue, and of the church with an holy seed; and for preventing of uncleanness (ch. 24:1,2).

2. The General Assembly deplore the decision of the Church of Scotland to approve the ‘Saint Margaret Declaration’, a further step in the pursuit of closer relations with the Church of Rome. They respectfully point out to the Church of Scotland the following Biblical truths:

(i) There can be no unity or common witness and endeavour between Protestant churches, which look to Scripture alone as their authority, and the Roman Catholic Church, which looks to Scripture and Tradition for its authority (Isaiah 8:20; 2 Timothy 3:16,17).

(ii) The Roman Catholic Church emphatically rejects the doctrine that lies at the heart of the gospel and which makes it to be good news for sinners, namely justification by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone (Romans 3:24; Galatians 3:11; Romans 10:4).

(iii) The papacy is revealed in Scripture to be the great enemy of our Lord Jesus Christ, ever seeking to usurp His place as the sole King of the church and her only lawgiver (Daniel 7:25; 2 Thessalonians 2:3,4).

The Westminster Confession of Faith teaches the following on the doctrine of the church, which we assert to be true to God’s Word and affirm as our belief:
There is no other head of the church but the Lord Jesus Christ; nor can the Pope of Rome in any sense be head thereof; but is that antichrist, that man of sin, and son of perdition, that exalteth himself in the church against Christ, and all that is called God (ch. 25:6).

We pray that the Lord in His mercy will bring the professing church in our land back to His Word, and grant our nation to enjoy once again the liberating heritage of the glorious Reformation.