Inverness ministers setting the record straight

Inverness CourierLetters to the Inverness Courier

by Rev. Peter Donald and Rev. Alex Muir
(both Inverness)
(published 15/05/09

Last week in a leader entitled 'Kirk tearing itself apart' the Editorial in the Inverness Courier criticised the Church of Scotland for hitting the headlines over the issue of gay marriage rather than focussing on other issues of concern.
The same edition of the city newspaper carried a half-page article last week (see picture above) entitled 'City churchgoers opposed to the choice of a gay minister'.

Footnote: It is of course the media which decide what will be 'headlined' and the 'spin' that will be put on events and how they are reported. There is a wealth of good news that goes unreported and a top-flight Christian TV journalist had his career almost destroyed by his colleagues when he suggested that the media should report more 'good news'.

Click on logo for web page
and link to send a letter
From Rev. Peter Donald


It seems a little rich to be lectured on allowing matters sexual to dominate the public eye as far as the church is concerned (Courier Leader 8.5.09).

Having been closely involved in many issues where the church seeks to address public life, I can tell your readers that nothing draws the media's attention more than something sexual, and especially if some in the church can be seen to be mired in some related controversy.

Your own paper, as many others in this last week, have given column inches to the crisis within the Church of Scotland around an active homosexual minister. It would be more than welcome to have similar interest when the church, for example, attacks material greed and excessive lending, or proclaims the need to uphold human dignity across boundaries of race and class — to take the matters you mentioned in your editorial. But the fact is that the Press is not as interested in that. Sex sells — not to mention that many would like to have their own sins excused while the attention is focused on others.

The next sex scandal to sell papers will doubtless be of some other public figure, whether Christian or not.

When Jesus commented, as he did frequently, on relationship issues, in one of the more famous instances he warned against casting the first stone. There we see him respecting black and white lines, but also enacting the rescue of one lost soul. When we all of us struggle to make good relationships, might I suggest that making some new decisive legislation is not the only or best way forward.

The church cares about holiness and our taking on the life of Christ, and Jesus' teaching to "love one another" asks for more than tolerance and votes won by narrow majority. That is where our current crisis truly centres.

Peter Donald, Minister of Crown Church, Inverness.

From Rev. Alex Muir


I feel very saddened when people equate with homophobia the traditional belief that sexual intercourse ought to be confined to heterosexual marriage.

Are they aware that, since Jesus Christ Himself was of this opinion, they are implying that He too was a homophobe, a hater of homosexuals?

In fact, they are using one of the weakest forms of argument: taking another person's sincerely-held belief, then caricaturing and distorting it. But are they prepared openly to do this in the case of our Lord whose love, according to Scripture, passes knowledge?

In his New Testament commentaries, Professor William Barclay points out that chastity was one of the completely new concepts that Christianity brought into the ancient world — and by chastity Barclay meant the sexual mores which, until fairly recent times, most people, wouldn't even have questioned.


the Herald

Press and Journal

Highland News
 E-mail the Letters Page

Shetland News

E-mail the Letters Page

Stornoway Gazette

 John OGroat Journal

Northern Times
E-mail the Letters Page

Ross-shire Journal

West Highland Free Press
E-mail the Letters Page

North Star

Inverness Courier
E-mail the Letters Page

Nairnshire Telegraph

E-mail the Letters Page

Forres Gazette
Strathspey Herald

Lochaber News

Oban Times
E-mail the Letters Page

Note from Christians Together:

If you don't see your newspaper listed above please be in touch and it will then be included.

Thank you!

Christians Together, 15/05/2009

Leo Rose (Guest) 17/05/2009 15:31
Mr. Donald has quoted John chapter 8, the woman caught in the act of adultery. The law does call for her death, as well as the man who also would have been caught with her [Lev 20:10). Jesus in effect was willing to start the execution when he said, "He who is without sin, cast the first stone." But, knowing that the religious leaders did not desire justice becasue the man would not also been punished for his part, Jesus displayed the infinite wisdom of God. By speaking and writing in the sand Jesus caused all of the woman's accusers to drop their stones and walk away. To look at this event as Jesus tollerating sin is to twist what actually happened. There were witnesses, the woman had been caught in the act, and she could not deny her sin. All those present knew of here sin. Her sin now exposed, Jesus then commanded her, "Go and sin no more." Jesus did not tollerate the woman's sin, He called it what it is "SIN" and then He commanded her to stop sinning. When our sin is exposed and we are confronted with sin, if we confess it and turn from it [repent], we can receive true forgiveness and the grace of God we need to change or lives.

By his own confession, according to the Word of God, Mr. Rennie is openly chosing to live a life of continuing, unrepentant sin by committing the act of sexual immorality. The seventh commandment is "Do not commit adultery". This commandment covers ever type of sexual immorality because if a person is having sexual relations with anyone who is not their own husband or wife [by God's definition one man and one women] then they are committing adultery. If a man has sexual relations with another man he is committing adultery because a man cannot be another man's wife - not biblically. Sexual relations before marriage are prohibitted as well because again this person would not be a husband or wife. An animal cannot be a person's wife/hsuband by the biblical definition, thus beastiality is also adultery. It is a simple but all encompassing commandment, not to mention the Levitical prohibition of same-sex relations. Mr. Rennie has no place in church leadership according to the qualities or bishops, deacons, and elders listed in the pastoral espitles 1 Tim, 2 Tim, and Titus. He is to be the husband [male] of one wife [female].

We as believers need to continue to pray that Scot Rennie will confess and repent of his sins.

By the way, yes Greed and lust are also sin and should be dealt with in love. The pastoral espistles also identify these as undesirable qualities of church leaders. Allowing a greedy person or lustful person to remain in leadership is to ignore sin and not confront it.

Praise the Lord, any and all sin, with the exception of the sin of unbelief can be forgiven. Scot Rennie, other church leaders, it's not too late to confess and repent. God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble [1 Peter 5:5 and James 4:6].
Aberdeenshire Minister (Guest) 17/05/2009 21:06
I congratulate Peter (whom I don't think I know) and Alex (whom I DO know) on their measured and temperate responses.

Graeme Longmuir
Colin Rous 02/04/2011 08:04
As an undiluted Christian living in the hub of the Muslim church in Turkey I totally support the words of Peter Donald. I live amongst some wonderful people who give such love. These people would be crucified by the British press because they follow the Muslim religion. I love them all, but I do not love what they stand for. Even further, I will not allow their religious practices to dilute the words of our living Christ. (and they know that!)
Jesus preached very strongly about loving the man whilst condemning the sin - and that can not be misunderstood. If a man has tendencies that do not concur with our Bible's teachings then he cannot be allowed to exercise these in public ministry. However, it is only by loving the man that we can start to address the sin. Jesus said that he stood at the door and knocked. He then waited to be invited in. That tells me very strongly that Jesus makes His prescence felt, even when our sin gets in the way of inviting Him in.
Stop condemning the man; condemn anything that goes against Our Lord's teaching, but always be available with unconditional love.
I am eternally grateful for the spiritual support that I, and my family get from people like Peter Donald. Unlike the local and National press, Peter's words today will not be tomorrow's 'fish & chip' wrapping.

Colin Rous

NOTICE: - The 'Response' facility on some articles may be restricted to CT site members. In these circumstances comments/questions from non-site members should be sent to the Editor by e-mail: editor<atsign>

Christians Together in the Highlands and Islands > Archive > Letters to the Editor(s) > Two Inverness ministers setting the record straight