Presbyterians – a tradition of dissent


Sir, – To be a Presbyterian is to be a dissenter. To be a dissenter is not necessarily to be a Presbyterian; how uninteresting other churches would be without their own dissenters.

There is no Presbyterian doctrine, per se, on any topic; there is the will of the majority as expressed at its General Assembly every June following extensive study by a committee charged with the examination in Scripture of any given topic.

The Presbyterian Church in Ireland was one of the first churches to legislate for women in ministry: so will it be with same-sex marriage and ministry.

The will of the majority will change, modify and ameliorate, given time, as it always does, and Scriptural doctrines of love and respect will overshadow the narrow condemnation of male homosexuality in the Bible. I dare say we will see a lot of the phrase “of or for its time” being quoted as the debate intensifies.

Conservatism, like its sister liberalism, is an ever-updating concept, and a short examination of any history book will support that contention. – Yours, etc,