A West Fife pastor has hit back after accusations that a sermon he delivered was "misogynistic" and "discriminatory against women".

Rev Chris Demetriou, who is pastor at Rosyth Baptist Church, and his wife Julie were featured in national newspapers after the National Secular Society raised concerns over a sermon on marriage which they said claimed a wife should "submit" to her husband.

However, the couple have opened up to the Press expressing their bewilderment at the claims which they say is portraying them and their church in the wrong way.

"It doesn't bother me for myself but, especially locally, this is our people and our congregation," said Rev Chris. "They are being treated unfairly. We have got some wonderful women at our church who have done great work.

"As a pastor, I feel it is fair that our people are not misrepresented. We are looking to reach the community with different events and I just want them not to listen to things that are not quite true."

The NSS picked up a sermon online delivered by Rev Chris from Paul's letter to the Ephesians which said that "wives should submit to their husbands in everything" while husbands should "love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her".

Rev Chris said the word "submission", picked up by the NSS, is part of a "general pattern of creation" where you submit to one another.

"Paul says there comes a point where the husband is expected to take some responsibility for leadership. It is not a matter of whatever a husband says goes, that is quite clear," he said.

"No husband who loves his wife like that and is prepared to die for her is going to not listen to his wife. It is saying, if push comes to the shove and you really can not agree, the husband should make that final decision.

"There should be a responsibility because someone needs to. The biblical pattern is the husband should decide.

"We know examples where husbands don't step up and it is down to the women to do everything. Paul is saying it should not be like that, you need to step up to the plate.

"There is no place for a husband to behave badly. He (Paul) says your prayers will be hindered."

Julie said the sermon comes from "mainstream" Christian teaching and the recent press coverage does not portray the sermon – or their relationship – in an accurate manner.

"It puts me down. What do people think our marriage is or what my husband is like or what our church is like?" she said. "Some of the things in here say the sermon is putting women down.

"We were on the end of the book of Ephesians on Christian marriage. Before it, we had been talking about children and parents and the implications as to how to live a Christian life.

"We have been married 10 years and I cannot think of one incident in 10 years where we have not agreed.

"How does it work out practically? If there's something that comes up, we will pray about it and share my thoughts and he will share what he thinks."

Chris stressed he was reading Bible scriptures to deliver a message.

"Any minister worth their salt should never be preaching at the front of themselves," he added.

"It is either they are preaching from the Bible or they should not be there. If anyone listening to a sermon that has been preached in a church, they should expect to hear from the Bible, if that offends, people should not listen.

"The NSS say they don't seek to challenge but that is exactly what they have done. It is like having a conversation in the house and someone eavesdrops and takes offence with it. I would be quite right to say I was not talking to you. We are not saying don't listen in but, if you are, bear in mind the audience was not you.

"We are a Congregational church but we have responsibility to tackle the Gospel. Not everyone is going to agree.

"We are just an ordinary little church. We represent many thousands of churches up and down the country. If you don't like what the Bible says, then that is fine, you live your life and please let us live ours."

The NSS has expressed concerns to charity regulator OSCR as it said it validated behaviour that could be considered "coercive and controlling" under the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018.

It said non-religious charities would not be permitted by the regulator to spread this message and charities registered under 'the advancement of religion' should be "held to the same standard".

A spokesperson for OSCR confirmed: "We have received concerns about Rosyth Baptist Church which are currently being assessed in line with our usual policies and procedures."