ABERDEEN, Scotland, March 26, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com
) – A small breakaway church group has been banned from using a meeting room at a hotel in Aberdeen over their opposition to same-sex “marriage” and homosexual activity. The Gilcomston church were turned away from the Copthorne Hotel, where they were to hold their first communion service on March 10th , the Christian Institute reports.
The hotel said they banned the group after they received complaints from clients and members of the public that their views on marriage were “offensive”. The group has been temporarily allowed to move back into their church building, owned by the Church of Scotland.
The group’s minister said, “We were just going to have a church service. So much for the tolerant society. It made us feel hounded.”
The group, about 300-strong, formally left the Church of Scotland, called the Kirk, after the Presbyterian denomination started ordaining active and unrepentant homosexual ministers. In 2009, the Kirk allowed the ordination
of an active homosexual minister, Scott Rennie.
The Gilcomston congregation’s minister, the Rev. Dominic Smart, resigned as a clergyman of the Kirk in February this year, taking most of his congregation with him, saying he believes that God would “not be happy” with the decision.
“The decision by the Church of Scotland represented a clear and deliberate move away from the authority of scripture as the word of God and our supreme rule of faith and life,” Rev. Smart said in February.
“We’ve experienced a great deal of unity and strength from within the congregation and we’re looking forward to moving ahead and doing something new.”
After Rennie’s ordination, the General Assembly of the Kirk agreed to a two-year moratorium on the question, until May this year, and appointed a theological commission to examine the question. At the same time, biblically orthodox members of the denomination formed the Fellowship of Confession Churches, to “declare their clear commitment to historic Christian orthodoxy”.
The Scotsman quoted the Rev. George Cowie, convener of the Special Committee which was considering the Gilcomston situation, who said, “It is deeply sad when people choose to leave the Church of Scotland. We believe that the Church of Scotland is a broad church and that it can accommodate people who hold differing views. In this case, however, the situation has not involved conflict, scandal or litigation.
“All parties have shown respect for one another and it has been a good Christian witness for us to engage with one another in this manner.”
Rev. Smart said, “We are very happy about the decision the Presbytery have made and I am impressed that they have found a creative solution to the problem.”