Saturday , 19 August 2017

Rev David Robertson, my views on LGBTI rights

Rev David Robertson
Rev David Robertson

Rev David Robertson, recently nominated Moderator of the Free Church of Scotland, who for the first time writes to a LGBTI publication,  tells KaleidoScot his views on LGBTI Rights, and says he is not anti-gay.

Robertson is the minister of Dundee St Peter’s Free Church and director of the Solas Centre for Public Christianity, he will take up at the role at next year’s General Assembly in May.

The minister says that he opposes homophobia and welcomes LGBTI people to the Kirk, but objects to marriage equality.

In his essay below he rebuffs critics (including our article) and calls for dialogue between the Free Kirk and Scotland’s LGBTI community.

Rev David Robertson: LGBTI Rights – A Different Perspective

Its always interesting to have, as Rabbi Burns would say, the gift ‘to see ourselves as others see us”.   However I was a little disappointed to read the account in KaleidoScot which described me as ‘one of Scotland’s most outspoken anti-LGBTI rights minister’. I am grateful to the editor for allowing me to tell you what I really think. I don’t expect many readers of KaleidoScot to agree but I hope we will at least be able to hear, understand and respect our different perspectives.

Firstly I do not accept that I am anti-LGBTI rights. Being opposed to redefining marriage does not mean that you are anti-LGBTI. I have spoken to many gay activists who were in the past opposed to SSM and who today are still opposed to it. Was Peter Tatchell anti-LGBTI rights when he wrote an article in The Observer ten years ago condemning same sex marriage?   Can I summarise my position as follows:

  • Homophobia is wrong and abhorrent. To ‘fear’ people because of their sexuality is irrational and immoral. I think I was the first minister in Scotland to speak out publicly against Putin’s persecution of homosexuals.
  • Human beings, without exception, are made in ‘the image of God’ – this means not that God has a physical body but rather that we are spiritual, personal, rational and relational beings.
  • God has revealed himself to us through the book of nature and through his special revelation the Bible. Although the bible is primarily a book about what God has done for us through His son Jesus Christ, not a book of ‘morals’, it does nonetheless give us guidance.   ‘Obey the Makers instructions is’ I think a reasonable perspective – at least for those of us who believe there is a Maker!
  • As regards marriage, the Bible teaches that marriage is a lifelong commitment between one man and one woman, for the purpose of mutual companionship, the good of society and the procreation and upbringing of children. This is the position that Western Society has held and on which our culture has been based on for almost 2000 years. I object to being called homophobic just because I continue to hold to that view.  Advocates of ‘Queer theory’ have long sought the destruction of marriage as an institution that they consider patriarchal and harmful. Ironically I think same sex marriage provides that for them. It is my belief that such a destruction of marriage will be harmful for all people, whatever their sexuality.
  • It was wrong of both Blair Robertson and Peter Tatchell (whom I have debated and who I admire as a principled person – even if I disagree with him) to speculate that my appointment as moderator is an attempt to woo Church of Scotland members. I don’t want people to join the Free Church because they are homophobic. I want them to join us because they believe in Jesus and share our vision to reach all of Scotland with the Gospel. If they come to us expecting continual attacks on homosexuals they will be disappointed.    It was even more ludicrous for Blair and Peter to claim that my appointment represents an attack on LGBTI people within the Free Church. As though it was somehow a lurch to the right! I have always welcomed homosexual people into my church on the same basis I welcome heterosexual people. I believe that all of us, without exception (including myself) are broken, bruised and sinful people who need the new life and forgiveness offered by Jesus Christ. I offer that freely to all – without discrimination, prejudice or prejudgement.

I will always argue against unjust and wrong discrimination against all people, especially those I disagree with. I find it more than a little disappointing that Peter and Blair seem unable to offer me that same courtesy. I don’t accept their philosophy, faith or theology – does that mean I should be mocked, abused and demonised?

In conclusion I would like to suggest that the Free Church of Scotland is a radical church which seeks to turn the world upside down. We believe that our society is in desperate need of good news and that the best news of all (especially for the poor) is the Good News of Jesus Christ. My aim and mission in life is to proclaim that there is forgiveness, healing, love, wholeness and identity in Christ and his Church. And that is for all, whatever their sexuality. Please lets seek to understand and not demonise one another.

I am always happy to discuss these issues and if anyone wishes to contact me privately then please do so on theweeflea@gmail. com

David Robertson

St Peters Free Church

Dundee.

About Dan Littauer

Dan Littauer is a journalist who specializes in LGBTI current affairs, travel writing, feature writing and investigative journalism. He is a correspondent for LGBTQ Nation, ManAboutWorld, and previously worked for Gay Star News, PinkNews, San Diego Gay and Lesbian News, Gay Middle East, Lonely Planet as well as contributing occasionally to the BBC, Al-Jazeera, CNN and The Guardian. He also had an extensive career outside journalism, which included teaching psychoanalysis and social science, and consultancy work for the travel market. When he is not busy writing, he can be spotted rambling around the stunning Scottish landscape, where he lives, spending time at home with his cat.

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33 comments

  1. No-one really thinks this man's opinion is of any consequence – oh wait – except other bigots. No, the truth is, this is just more grandstanding for a self-important deluded fool.

    He uses his religious text to justify his position…why then does he not use it also to apply to other aspects of his life?

    • You have condemned yourself with your intolerant attitude to David Robertson. You are just another one of those emotionally disturbed individuals who cannot cope with the truth so you have built an existence on the lies put out by the homosexual agenda.

  2. Why on earth should any religious text dictate the rules of a legal institution such as marriage? Marriage has been around a lot longer than Christianity, and will be around long after Christianity is gone. The same goes for homosexuality.

    People are people and should be equal under the eyes of the law, no matter their sexual orientation or whether they please the ideals of any backward religious cult.

    • The problem you have is you are not aware that there is no logical description of sexual orientation in law. Can you describe sexual orientation in law without using gender or sex? Whatever approach you use you will quickly come to the painful realisation that sex or gender, by equality law, excludes the idea or concept of sexuality.

      Natural law has been destroyed and as such humans cannot write meaningful laws anymore.

      In case you are a legal expert or know anyone who is I challenge you to prove me wrong.

      The terms "man" or "woman" legally refer to distinct genders or sexes without an implied distinct sexuality or orientation. In that sense "same sex couples" does not legally imply sexuality even remotely! Can you legally prove that "same sex couple" implies sexuality?

      The western world has made a very poor show of humanity and is already suffering for it. MORE TO FOLLOW UNABATED till they repent.

      • "Can you legally prove that "same sex couple" implies sexuality?"

        I don't see what is your point?

        In ordinary English to say that two people are a couple is normally to imply sexuality. If I tell you that Joe and Mary met in July and became a couple in October, that means that in October they entered into a relationship that is actually or potentially sexual. What more do you want?

    • And why should a minority group dictate the rules of a legal institution, which was created by God for the benefit of mankind? Marriage was created by God long before homosexuality was invented so I don’t think that homosexuals have any mandate to change what for them will be a flight of fancy to satisfy a romantic fantasy.

    • it is very simple Brendan. The last time I looked and before I retired I taught law, our law and the law of most western civilised countries is based on the laws found in the bible. That being the case, it should come as no surprise to find our marriage laws are from their as well.

      You need to get used to the idea that the people who formulated our laws many years ago were not
      God deniers or haters so it was quite natural for them to refer to a higher authority for wisdom and truth

      To base law on the wisdom of the ultimate law giver is the most natural thing in the world.

  3. Nothing more awful, tban on lunchtime news seeing to men marry and kiss each other!

    • What is awful about it?

      You may get in a tizzy, but that is all about *you*.

      Try stepping back from your feelings and asking what is bad about it.

  4. Very mature scott.

  5. As a Christian myself, I am in agreement with David Robertson's position, as would many of my Christian friends. What he is stating is that as a Bible-believer and follower of Jesus, there is no room to say that homosexuality is equal to marriage between a man and woman. However, as a Christian, there is no room for bigotry or prejudice or maligning anyone as we are all broken people who need God's forgiveness and help. Thanks.

    • Apart from the fact David C, the homosexual agenda states that marriage is only a stepping stone to even worse. The destruction of all things traditional so that they can indulge in perverted sex legally, including generational sex.

  6. It is notable that he does not tell us what gay rights he *does* believe in.

    I wonder where he stands on:

    (a) civil partnerships;
    (b) blessings for gay couples;
    (c) education for gay young people that points out how to live a happy and fulfilled life as a gay person;
    (d) non-celibate gay people in the ministry of his church;
    (e) gay people having compassionate leave from work to care for a gay partner;
    (f) gay people including their partner in their work pension scheme;
    (g) gay people behaving in public as heterosexuals do;
    etc, etc.

    The stuff about how we are all sinners, broken and in need of Christ, etc, is evasive, because whatever sins heterosexuals commit, in his view homosexual people are liable to one more.

    • In your attempt to rubbish David, you are putting your own spin on what you said Paul to enable you to avoid the truth.

      The stuff about sinners is not evasive. It is central to all discussion about dealing with sin in our lives. I get the impression that homosexuals do not consider they sin. They are picture perfect so require no appropriation of help or forgiveness.

      Fortunately some of you will realise that people like David are your best friend because they won’t sugar coat the truth which you can’t handle if your life is built on lies which is what homosexuality is.

      So, instead of justifying your sin, try opening your head and heart to an alternative view. It may just save you from a lifetime of sorrow and an eternal death.

      • “The stuff about sinners is not evasive. It is central to all discussion about dealing with sin in our lives. I get the impression that homosexuals do not consider they sin. ”

        Don’t be silly. No sensible participant in this discussion supposes that homosexuals do not sin. They can be cruel, avaricious, mean-spirited, etc. But the point is that homosexuals do not sin simply by having homosexual sex. Of course, they do if it involves, say, betrayal or adultery or deception. But we maintain that homosexual sex qua homosexual sex is not sinful. You and David Robertson think otherwise. According to him, there is no way in which two homosexuals can have sex without sin, but there are ways in which heterosexuals can have sex without sin. So homosexuals are liable to one more sin than heterosexuals. So all this “We are all sinners stuff” becomes a way of masking the fact that people like David Robertson think all homosexual sex is wrong. That is the sense in which it is evasive. However many sins heterosexuals are liable to, homosexuals are liable to one more.

  7. "As regards marriage, the Bible teaches that marriage is a lifelong commitment between one man and one woman, for the purpose of mutual companionship, the good of society and the procreation and upbringing of children."

    Does it David? Does it really? Let's see.

    Here is what a (Christian) web-site has to say on marriage as represented in the bible:
    'Question: "Why did God allow polygamy / bigamy in the Bible?"

    Answer:The question of polygamy is an interesting one in that most people today view polygamy as immoral while the Bible nowhere explicitly condemns it. The first instance of polygamy/bigamy in the Bible was that of Lamech inGenesis 4:19: “Lamech married two women.” Several prominent men in the Old Testament were polygamists. Abraham, Jacob, David, Solomon, and others all had multiple wives. In2 Samuel 12:8, God, speaking through the prophet Nathan, said that if David’s wives and concubines were not enough, He would have given David even more. Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines (essentially wives of a lower status), according to1 Kings 11:3. What are we to do with these instances of polygamy in the Old Testament? There are three questions that need to be answered: 1) Why did God allow polygamy in the Old Testament? 2) How does God view polygamy today? 3) Why did it change?

    Read more :http://www.gotquestions.org/polygamy.html#ixzz3GPBDHQDD'

    The bible does not teach what you say it does. The Christian church has historically taught the "one Man, one woman" paradigm. But in adopting it you have already redefined "marriage" away from the biblical concept.

    Sent from my iPad

    • Except janus, you don’t build a doctrine out of one or two verses. First you have to take all verses that deal with the topic. Then you take into consideration the context. So, let’s just look at the first reference to marriage on the Bible……

      Genesis 2:21 And Jehovah God caused a deep sleep to fall on the man, and he slept. And He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh underneath. And Jehovah God formed the rib which He had taken from the man into a woman, and brought her to the man. And the man said, This now at last is bone from my bones, and flesh from my flesh. For this shall be called Woman, because this has been taken out of man. Therefore, a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife and they shall become one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and they were not ashamed.

      Now do tell me, where is the word polygamy in these verses? Until you can find it, you will have to explain it in the light of the passages that speak of polygamy. Until you do that, your interpretation is eisegeis, not exegesis and as we all know interpretation is not based on eisegeis.

  8. Robertson denies he is anti-LGBTI rights, but doesn't mention a single right for gay people that he upholds.

    He says he is against "unjust and wrong discrimination", but note the weasel words "unjust and wrong": there is nothing in his article to suggest he regards it as "unjust and wrong discrimination" to, for instance, deny accommodation to a gay couple, sack a gay person for their sexuality, deny inheritance to the survivor of a gay couple, refuse pensions to the partners of gay people, etc, etc, etc.

    He talks about everyone being broken and sinful and needing Christ, etc, but masks the fact that he regards gay people as liable to one more sin than heterosexuals since, for all he says here, it is not possible for same-sex sex to be sinless, whereas there is at least one context in which heterosex is sinless, namely, marriage.

    As for his facile talk of following the maker's instructions, etc, he should recognise that the maker he believes in has a mentality rather similar to that of the gaybasher.

    As for his citing radical gay theorists as his allies in being opposed to same-sex marriage, it does not seem to occur to his totalitarian mind that a position that showed real respect for other human beings would be to allow each person the choice whether to enter into a same-sex marriage or not.

    • More intolerant truth bashing Robert if I may say so. His letter was not a comprehensive treatise of his views on homosexuality. Therefore to demand that he sets out every single aspect of his beliefs to be considered credible is intolerant to say the least.

      I have never seen any homosexual set out their views in depth as to why they oppose the truth and when one speaks it they become totally intolerant of that person. If you won’t do it, why should we?

      In case you did not know, sin is not judged in numbers. It is judged as fact. The number is not relevant. One sin will carry as much weight on judgment day as 100 sins. The biggest sin is rejecting God’s offer of salvation through Jesus Christ.

      Your comment about people choosing marriage or not shows your self centred mentality. No man is an island and what I do or you do reflects on society in general, so no one should want to do what I want to do.

      I like driving cars very fast but I cannot do that when and where I want to. I am not an island so I can only do that when it doesn’t endanger others and in an appropriate location. So no, you cannot marry your boyfriend if it is detrimental to society which it is.

      • “So no, you cannot marry your boyfriend if it is detrimental to society which it is.”

        Don’t be silly. Of course it isn’t.

        And your comparison of the imaginary harm, it causes with causing destruction to others by dangerous driving is bizarre.

        Since I married my boyfriend, there has been no bread in the shops, a total breakdown of trust and order, blood in the gutters? I think not. Don’t be daft.

        • “Of course it isn’t”

          So all homosexuyal relationships are perfect?

          Some heterosexuaol relationships are not perfect. They divorce and that can be very detrimental to children in particular.

          So, the fact that the average homosexual relationship is two years, how can you say they are not detrimental to society?

          If it is legalised, that would mean the divorce lawyers are going to reap a dividend in fees.

  9. I found the Gay Christian Network (GCN) site in the USA helpful in respect of this ongoing debate – that GCN itself is divided ('A-siders' and 'B-siders'), depending on whether practising homosexuality is viewed/understood as part of God's plan or not.
    If it's an issue that even divides the homosexual community on GCN then the issue is not a matter of homophobia, it's a theological one.
    A wider debate on human sexuality and a Christian theology of the human body, which included het & homo dimensions, might be helpful – rather than the zeitgeist's focus on homosexuality.

    fjanusz2: There is a difference between God's 'permissive will' and his 'sovereign will'. The question "Why did God allow polygamy / bigamy in the Bible?" reflects that frissance between the two. However, if one takes Jesus to be authoritative then one man-one woman is the divine paradigm … and we fail at that too.

    Paul Brownsey: The stuff about how we are all sinners, broken and in need of Christ, etc, is evasive, because whatever sins heterosexuals commit, in his view homosexual people are liable to one more … 'One more' ??
    I would think only bisexuals are open to that observation since homosexual people will not have have some of the het 'errors'. Open to correction on that one though.

    • According to the sort of evangelicals we are talking about, there is a permissible way of having heterosexual sex, namely, within marriage, etc. But they think there is NO permissible way to have homosexual sex. So while a practising heterosexual can avoid sexual sin, a practising homosexual cannot. So whatever sins a practising heterosexual is liable to, a practising homosexual is liable to one more because there is no way in which she can have legitimate sex. A heterosexual who has sex may be free from sin in that respect; a homosexual can never be.

      • Let me correct your theology Paul. The reason that there is no such thing as permissible same sex is simple. In scripture, ALL sex outside of a married man and women is sin.

        A homosexual can avoid sexual sin by not having sex the same as a heterosexual can avoid sexual sin by not having sex unless they are married. So both are free from sin if they follow the teachings of scripture which are comprehensive on this subject.

        A heterosexual is as much confronted by sexual sin as the homosexual is. They have to make a decision to forgo sex if they are not married. The homosexual too has to make a decision to forgo sex if they are not married.

        Because ALL sex outside of marriage God’s way (man and woman) is sin, two men getting married will not legitimise their sex in the eyes of God. And quite frankly he is the only one that counts in regards to marriage.

        • “Let me correct your theology Paul.”

          Don’t be patronising. My theology is in no need of correction. And what you say here merely confirms what I said. According to you, there is no way in which two homosexuals can have sex; according to you there is a way in which a mixed-sex couple can have sex, namely, by getting married. So homosexuals are liable to one more sin than heterosexuals.

          “Two men getting married will not legitimise their sex in the eyes of God.”

          Horrible homophobic God, then. You don’t evade the charge of homophobia just by projecting it on God. God’s finding gay sex an “abomination” is no more than an upmarket phrasing of the street thug’s “I hate the p**fs.”

          • “According to you”

            No Paul, it is not according to me. It is according to God n his Word. As I said I have done a study on the subject and discovered that ALL sex outside of male/female marriage is sin.

            I know you don’t want to accept what the word of God says but that is your loss not mine.

            And as I said, no one can have sex in Gods eyes and not sin unless they are married to a member of the opposite sex.

            If you can’t handle that truth, take it up with God.

            As for calling God homophobic, that is stupidity personified.

  10. Harry Reegis-Browne

    At last someone speaking for the normal people out there. We don't hate you we just don't want you doing what you are doing and not in front of our faces.

  11. Love the capability of internet today. I bring the voice to the higher authority.

  12. He refers to LGBTI people and then proceeds to target just one group (which many find easier to criticise as they know little about trans people and even less about intersex). The now overdone sentence "between a man and a woman ….." begs the question "how do YOU define a 'man' and a 'woman'?

    • Why is that sentence overused? It is natural and representative of most of humanity, no matter how much gay activists might want to change that.

    • How do you define a man or woman? Simple. Why did God create Adam first? So that he could talk uninterrupted.

  13. Его как вы прочитал мой ум

    мысли! Вы появляются понять так примерно это

    как вы писал е книга в ней или что-то.

    Я считаю, что вы просто может делать с нескольких шт до форс сообщение дом немного,

    но кроме, что это отличное блог.

    Фантастический далее.

    Я , конечно, вернусь.

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