Letters Politics Scotland Solas The Church in Scotland

Christian Roots of Modern Scotland

The following letter was published in the Scotsman today – it was predictably greeted with the usual abuse from the secularists (some so bad that their comments were blocked from the Scotsman website) – moron, numpty, stupid, extremist etc being the standard of rational and intellectual comment!   Even more interesting was the complaint from one secular leader that The Scotsman were biased in publishing my letter with the implication that I should be banned.  The writer clearly missed the irony of him claiming that Christianity restricted freedom and secularism allows it, whilst in the same breath complaining that I am allowed to express Christian views!  Here is the letter.

“Dr Mary Brown (Letters, 6 June) needs to avoid taking “slight glances” back into history which tend only to reinforce one’s particular prejudices.

A more detailed look would clearly demonstrate that Scotland’s history, heritage and values are founded largely upon Christianity and that overall this has been to our benefit.

A more detailed examination would also struggle to find one single example of a nation ­influenced by Christianity turning into a theocracy.

This is not to deny that there have been those who have abused Christianity and used it for their own political and ­economic ends. But abuse does not negate the main point of my article which was to show that the supposed “secular” values of equality, freedom and diversity are not secular at all, but rather stem from Christian theology.

If we lose the roots, we will lose the fruits.

David Robertson

Solas CPC”

The original link (with some very sad comments afterwards can be found here –





  1. HI David,
    Firstly, I have to confess to being somewhat humbled by a “chance” link after an article i was reading on the website “The Aquila Report” the other day (what original article it was now escapes me). The link in question was to an older article detailing your sudden onset of serious illness, and was a progress report by your son in a time of great uncertainty (and I remember a similar time when my own mother was seriously ill, and i could barely keep it together in front of people). Then i recalled how my own CofS congregation’s prayer meeting had cried out to God regularly for your restoration. And here you are, ready and able and capable to minister – so I just wanted to give thanks to God for that miraculous healing. I was humbled because I had so soon forgotten the seriousness of your situation, and that I needed to praise God for your recovery and gracious answers to all these prayers.

    When I became a professing church member at 18 years of age, the visiting Communion minister who counseled me was the ever gracious, Christ-like and personable Rev Willie John MacDonald (then of Gairloch). He said that although I was professing faith in that particular congregation (within the Church of Scotland), I was actually publicly aligning myself with Christ’s Church the world over, which transcended labels and traditions, and that wherever the gospel was preached, that i should have an interest and concern therein for my wider Church family. I’ve never forgotten these words, although I cannot say that I have always lived up to them as i ought, but when my mind and soul are more fixed on Christ, then I am more inclined and conformed to Christ’s revealed will on this issue!

    My new minister Rev Alasdair Duncan of St George’s Tron Church of Scotland made an illustration from the film Sophie’s Choice (which I have yet to see). The film reverses back in time – starting from the end point of a woman obviously broken and disturbed who drinks to ease some yet undiscovered (to us) pain, to eventually focusing on the event which was the turning point of her life. As a well-to-do Polish Jewish woman who has been man-handled with thousands of other Jews by SS and Nazi functionaries, she (Sophie, who by the way has two children) approaches one of the SS soldiers who seems to be in authority, to protest about how callously she is being treated considering her social status, which was above the “Hoi polloi”.
    She asks him for “a favour”. “Yes”, he said, “I’ll do you a favour”. “You can choose which of your children that you want to live, and the other one I will shoot in front of you right now”!

    Of course, it is the impossible choice, but she must chose one if any are to survive. This is what eventually breaks her.

    Alasdair Duncan suggested that this can give an insight into how God views His Church, those who have been washed in the blood of the Lamb. Perhaps some are more “correct” or orthodox than others, some more loving, some more holy, some more giving, some more faithful in prayer, some refined in the fire of trial or persecution …..

    But how would God, in the completely hypothetical analogy of that poor mother Sophie, how could God ever choose between His redeemed?
    And if God could not do so, then how can (or dare) we?!

  2. David,

    You talked of “abuse” being indicated by comments in SSS calling you “moron, numpty, stupid, extremist”.

    Dear brother, at various times you have called me a “woolly liberal” come to the “conclusion” that i am drunk when my writing have shown spelling and grammatical errors consistent with dyslexia, made the claim that I attempt to “denigrate” those of us who come against false teachers, have implied that what I have done has been with the intention of distracting from the centrality of Christ and that I don’t know Christ and that I have attacked you personally.

    I too have been on the receiving end of such “abuse” from SSS with it being implied that I am a troll, untrustworthy, confused, petulant and have been associated with you when you have been called a “fanny” and therefore likened to such.

    We know that this is the nature of how online communications can become. Now, I am grateful for having experienced such for the strengthening in the Lord that has happened as a result. Before such comments would have distressed me. Now, I’ll know I’ll be fine and that others are wasting their time with “abuse”and only making themselves frustrated if they attempt it. I have experienced the peace of the Lord and joy in him with an empowerment, and lifting of burdens.

    Now whether an attack comes from a fellow Christian or a secularist I have confidence in Christ to do what id good for all. Often I find there are things I have in common with others and all they are doing is expressing what they believe passionately where underneath all of that is a longing for connection belonging and love which can ultimately only be found in the love of God and in his power.

    The good thing that all Christians know is that there is a privilege in sharing in that although there is cost that goes with it. Yet, anyone that has read the beattitudes knows that Christ give the reassurance that blessed are you when people insult you because of him for great is your reward in heaven.

    I’m praying for you brother in your interaction with secularists. May you know the peace of the Lord and may you follow him in being at peace with others wherever possible.

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