Removing the Candlestick
“We now know better than the Bible.” Not the remark, as we might have expected, of some unbelieving scientist or godless politician but of a commissioner to the Church of Scotland General Assembly at its meeting in May. We do not know who the person was – but the Lord certainly does.
The statement was made during a debate on the suitableness for church office of those who are in same-sex relationships. The Assembly voted for an ‘inclusive’ trajectory which allows those in same-sex relationships who were ordained before 2009 to be inducted into pastoral charges and which is likely to lead in two years’ time to the general acceptance of such people for ministerial training, ordination and induction: a wicked decision indeed.
In plain terms the finding gives the green light to practising sodomites to preach the Word of God, administer the sacraments and pastor Christ’s flock within the Church of Scotland. It was a significant departure from the church’s traditional beliefs and from the clear teaching of Scripture.
Consider these Old Testament texts: “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind; it is abomination” (Lev.18:22); “There shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite of the sons of Israel” (Deut.23:17).
Consider too these New Testament passages: “For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the women, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet” (Rom.1:26,27); “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God” (1Cor. 6:9,10) .
Often those who advocate change in the church’s moral outlook make out that the Bible does not have much to say about homosexuality. They obviously have a problem in their approach to the Bible: just how often does God have to say something before we are meant to take note of it?
No church has any business in approving what God has forbidden or blessing what God has cursed. Such action incurs His wrath and invites His judgment. Churches which become liberal in this way, refusing to heed the warnings in God’s Word, die spiritually – however long they may endure organisationally. They are ecclesiastical corpses: their life has gone.
Christ said to the church at Ephesus, which had left her first love: “Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent” (Rev.2:5). The church gave no heed: her gospel light was extinguished and her apostasy became complete.
The moral confusion which the national church has plunged itself into is not what Christianity stands for. Neither does her action help those who are ensnared in such sin or struggling with temptation. God’s people must say loud and clear that what has been done is wrong and act accordingly. May the Lord help us all to make a stand and to honour His Holy Name.