It seems like the Church of Scotland is a little confused, if you follow, they revealed their latest pastoral support resource, a booklet entitled "Diverse Gender Identities and Pastoral Care", designed to support transgenders and other non-traditional sexual identities, yet they still officially oppose gay marriage.
Currently, it seems as if the Church of Scotland can't decide where they stand on the issues of non-traditional sexuality, including homosexuals and transgenders.
On the one hand, they went as far as to issue an apology in 2017, for what they described as "historical discrimination against lesbian and gay people", and they now published this book, yet on the contrary, their website still defines marriage as being between a man and a woman. It's almost as if they definitely want to virtue signal, only they have their virtues confused - apparently being confused is in vogue these days, and very popular.
While it is possible that they can't seem to decide which virtues to signal - traditional Christian virtues defined by the Seven Ecumenical Councils, or the virtues of these new sects which accept things that The [True] Church long forbade, such as homosexual lifestyles, it's more likely something different - and more sinister - is going on.
It's no secret to anyone familiar with organized religion, that in any group, there are always factions, a divide between the orthodox and the heterodox. Ergo, most typically, you have traditionalists and the opposite, those who break tradition, either out of proud rebellion, or rather the notion to reform" their organization. Those who wish to change the traditions but are unable or unwishing to start an open rebellion often do so slowly, methodically, and strategically, securing their support and partisans piece by piece.
That means in this case, the explanation for this confusion, why they, on the one hand, publish things support non-traditional sexual groups, and on the other hands don't support gay marriage, is that these publications are the first step on the road for gay marriage for them.
It would likely be more difficult to change the definition of marriage overnight, as this is tied to more complex theological things, so those fighting for this cause start by writing books and statements as the ones we discussed.
Currently, their bishops are working on a major "teaching document" to truly delve into the major debate over same-sex marriage, but for now, the Church of Scotland is maintaining that the resource booklet they published is just that, a resource intended to support transgender people. They claim it is not a theological explanation, or justification for them, but that could possibly come in the aforementioned teaching document being developed.
According to The Christian Post, The Rev. Norman Smith, convener of the Mission and Discipleship Council of the Church of Scotland, said:
"We want to help congregations support all in their communities, in the best way we can and this resource helps those who care for others do that to the best of their ability.
"It is aimed at better facilitating pastoral care at a local level by giving people the space to talk about their faith and share the impact of the Church community on their lives," Smith continued.
"It is not intended to make any kind of statement regarding the Church's wider relationship with the transgender community, nor does it provide a theological explanation or understanding of transgender issues."
In any event, this latest news could represent the Church of Scotland is heading down a slippery slope. Some believe the latest corruptions in Christianity in the west is a recent thing, introduced by liberals in the 20th century, but, in many ways, the West has been headed down hill since the days of the Enlightenment.