Anti-gay minister named Free Church of Scotland Moderator

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A minister who warned that same-sex marriage will lead to “sexual confusion” has been named the next Moderator of Scotland’s Free Church.

Reverend David Robertson, minister of St Peter’s Free Church in Dundee, is also director of the Solas Centre for Public Christianity. He unsuccessfully tried to persuade the Scottish Parliament against legalising same-sex marriage.

The minister said last year: “As the social and economic consequences of this fundamental change to the way our society is structured become increasingly clear, the debate about what marriage is and how society should be governed will continue.”

Ahead of the vote by the Scottish Parliament, Rev Roberston warned: “There will be more pressure for social ‘re-education’ through popular media, the education system and the social welfare and political systems.

“The attack on the traditional understanding of marriage will not be the end of this assault on Christian morality and values.”

Upon appointment as the next Free Church’s moderator in Scotland, Rev Robertson said: “It is an honour and a privilege to be able to serve in this way, especially at such an exciting time for both the Free Church and Scotland. We are a growing and developing church, reversing the trend in a society which is becoming increasingly secularised and in a nation which is seeing significant changes.”

The former moderator Rev David Meredith said that Rev Robertson was, “committed to Bible-centred Christianity, obsessively Christ-focused, politically radical and outward looking.

“He has been one of the chief architects and visionaries behind the energy and growth which seems to have characterised the Free Church in the last few years.”

The Church of Scotland has seen a number of congregations depart to the Free Church due to its more outspoken stance against gay clergy.

Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell told KaleidoScot: “Rev Robertson’s appointment comes at a time when the Church of Scotland is finalising its decision on the ordination of gay ministers. It seems like an attempt by the Free Kirk to send a message to Christians in Scotland: if you don’t like what is happening in the Church of Scotland, leave and join us. It smacks of a de facto appeal to homophobic churchgoers.

“Given David Robertson’s opposition of LGBTI rights, it is worrying that his appointment may impact adversely on LGBTI people within the Free Kirk. They may find their inclusion increasingly questioned and uncomfortable.”

Rev Robertson will take up his 12-month appointment in May 2015.