The Church in Scotland The Free Church

Banned from Glasgow Churches Together Website – The True Face of Liberal Ecumenicism

At New Year if you had gone  to the Glasgow Churches together website you would have found my  Free Church New Years Message posted there. If you go there now and  click the link  you will find that it has been removed, apparently after a complaint from Kelvin Holdsworth, provost of St Mary’s Cathedral in Glasgow.

He tweeted “take down the anti-gay and islamophobic material you’ve published and do so quickly.”     Others joined in saying there was no place for such material.  And so it was removed.  So much for the dialogue, diversity and equality of the ecumenical movement!

  1. The Ecumenical movement is not ecumenical at all.  It will allow diversity of views on such ‘unimportant’ issues as whether Jesus was born of a virgin, rose from the dead or is the Son of God, but it cannot allow people to deviate from the current social liberal ethos which dominates the established churches.

2. ‘Liberals’ like Kelvin Holdsworth are not liberal at all.  They are close-minded and intolerant to anyone who does not hold their political, social or theological views.  Bear in mind that this is the same man who demanded that churches which did not share his views on homosexuality should have their charitable status removed (this would include the Free Church, evangelical churches and the Catholics – so much for ecumenicism!).

3. Liberals are scared to allow different points of view.  Although they speak about dialogue, they won’t actually allow it.  They are scared that once people see the irrationality and unscripturalness of their views, they might be exposed.  So in the name of love and tolerance, they ban all those who don’t share their views.

True biblical ecumenicism is where Christians who follow Christ, believe his Word and hold to the main doctrines (as expressed in the Apostles Creed) work together for the good of the Kingdom and the advance of the Gospel.  The kind of political ecumenicism espoused by Kelvin Holdsworth, and the establishment of the C of S, is not worthy of the name Christian.  Christ himself warned us about the false prophets who would come in sheeps clothing.  Maybe we should take heed to what Christ said?!  Why do evangelical Christians keep shoring up and supporting these false prophets?

If you want to see the censored message which so threatened and offended Mr Holdsworth- click here

By the way, you will notice that the Glasgow churches together website has as its motto the old Glasgow city motto – Lord, Let Glasgow flourish by the preaching of your word and the praising of your name.  The hypocrisy is breathtaking.  Because the last thing Kelvin Holdsworth and others will allow is the preaching of God’s word.  Indeed he wants those churches who do, punished, censured and excluded!

Footnote:  Glasgow Churches Together have said that my message being put up was a mistake.  That would be credible if they said it should not have been put up because we are not members.  Except they allowed the Free Presbyterian Christmas message (attacking Christmas!).  And the FP’s are certainly not members.  So why ban ours?  Because the one thing they cannot tolerate is anything that goes against the things that really matter to them (not the divinity of Christ, the resurrection or the Bible) but the shibboleths of the culture and the fantasies of the liberal church!



  1. I find this interesting: “True biblical ecumenicism is where Christians who follow Christ, believe his Word and hold to the main doctrines (as expressed in the Apostles Creed) work together for the good of the Kingdom and the advance of the Gospel.”

    My sources are limited pretty much to Wikipedia and the World Council of Churches but I think your definition is a bit tighter than others use. That, and the use of the word “Banned” (as opposed to removed) in your title demonstrates what I was trying to say when it comes to language. You use definitions and terms that are not shared elsewhere.

    1. Hi Douglas….Your problem is your sources! Yes – when something is not allowed on a website it is banned from that website. Don’t be semantic!

      And I said ‘biblical ecumenicism’ which I suspect will be very different from the WCC!

      1. You calling someone out as a semantic is…….perhaps….a little lacking in full self-awareness?

        So whilst others do ecumenicism and you desire biblical ecumenicism, can you see that with the use of single word the focus of a debate changes and shared understandings are confused. You complain that others are doing something that you do not share a desire to do (which is fair enough, not telling you what to do) but I wonder why you continually tell others not to do what they are doing because its not what you want/think they should be doing.

      2. Douglas – not quite sure what your concern as an atheist is here – unless it is to defend your fellow atheists in the church?! Ecumenicism is about the churches working together. On what basis can we work together? On the basis that we are churches of Jesus Christ. He is the head of the Church. How do we know what he wants? Through his word. Therefore for an ecumenicism to work – it has to be based on the Word of God. You may call that semantics. I call it logic and common sense.

  2. Kelvin Holdsworth can’t have it both ways.
    If he is pro-homosexual he MUST be anti Islamic – because those Islamic states which are devoid of humane countering influences tend to publically execute homosexuality

    1. An afterthought:

      If Kelvin Holdsworth is a genuine Christian and therefore extends spiritual fidelity to Christ and His true gospel then, he must naturally oppose Mohammed’s words – he has no choice in this matter, absolutely none:

      Christ claimed Divinity and proved it by His resurrection after His crucifixion at Calvary – while Mohammed denied Christ’s divinity and stated quite categorically in the Quran (Surah 4:156-159) that Christ was not crucified, and that His ‘crucifixion’ was some sort of stage-managed deception. (Should every true believer, on behalf of Christ, not be offended by such a statement???)

      Furthermore while Christ claimed Son ship with God – Mohammed relegated Christ to a mere slave and messenger/prophet of Allah – and stated, again categorically and again in the Quran(Surah19:035) that God never had a Son. (Again, should every true believer, on behalf of Christ, not be offended??)

      Truly, if Kelvin is a true believer (which I doubt) – he should be unable to offer any credibility to Mohammed, Allah and Islam – absolutely none………………..

      1. Well said, brother! Where is the “Like” button in WordPress? (Mind you, I don’t have one on my ‘Blogspot’ Blog!!).

        Blessings, and shalom.

  3. “Happy” New Year David,
    I find it difficult to know quite what to say in response, or in addition to your helpfully honest New Year message and comments. Thank you for being an instrument of Truth – especially when so many more who could speak up and speak out, fail to do so. Is it that the power of ‘social media’ has now become our very own “Ministry of Fear” among fellow conservatives and evangelicals?
    I feel the need to recite a few Imprecatory Psalms! Perhaps they would provide necessary encouragement and the means to be both reminded and renewed.

  4. Is there and indication of what specifically Holdsworth is judging as ant-gay and Islamophobic? By “shoring up” of evangelicals do you mean continuing to be members of the CofS, openly speaking in support of Holdsworh or something else?

  5. Thanks David. It’s called the intolerance of liberalism! The only thing that liberalism tolerates is liberalism. In that, it is no better than many of the ‘isms’ that it criticises.

  6. A happy, and blessèd, new year! As I read the above, I found myself thinking that the old Brethren may have had a point with their watchword (if my memory serves me well!) of “… come out from them, and be separate from them, …” (II Cor 6:17).

    We live in days of great apostasy. However, we may take heed to the word given to Joshua: “Be strong and of good courage; be not frightened, neither be dismayed; for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Josh 1:9).

  7. If someone wants to know what the “good News” of Christianity is, what would Holdsworth say it is?
    Probably summed up in, morals and ethics. Works , in short, the basis of virtually all belief systems. But perhaps he could answer in person, as someone accountable to his flock. Or is there power without accountability.

    Good news of God is something that is unique to Christianity, something that no other religion, belief system, worldview has. It is exclusive, but exclusively inclusive. And it can not be good news without the incarnation, death, resurrection and ascension of God the Son. A true triune enterprise. Supernatural. Of God giving Himself to us, for us,

    Mr McLellan:
    1 Thank you for seeking to enter into a debate, revealing your sources. I’m not sure if you’ve really heard the gospel message, but I don’t wish to be disrespectful. Certainly the WCC could be seen as a parody of evangelical (good news) Christiany,

    Christians do not worship the same God as Muslims and it would be anathema/ offence to Muslims to say they do. At least they are clear, where many in the christianish world are confused.

    A profound problem in the West (and sad to say in swathes of the church) is that, generally, we don’t know what Islam teaches with their doctrine of abrogation and the difference between Mecca and Medina periods.

    The Quran teaches that: god begets not – (so he is not a Father)
    neither is he begotten – (so he is not a Son)
    A stark contrast to the triune God of Christianity.

    I think I’m right in saying that Islam does not really have a word for grace, that the nearest is “striving” but I stand to be corrected. Nor is salvation in their vocabulary, though again I stand to be corrected

    If anyone wants to know what God is like, who He is, look to Jesus.
    If someone say they don’t believe in god, I’d ask which god they don’t believe in, because I probably don’t either.

    To coin a phrase from Dr Michael Reeves- what does a Jesus -less God look like? You can talk about an abstract, contentless god till the cows come home but the name and person of Jesus is a conversation stopper, an offence to some, foolishness to others, but the wisdom of God.

    2 Validity of faith
    I was an atheist and humanist until 47 years old, before I was converted to Christ. I was also a lawyer, south of the border. Intellectually satisfying. Live and let live. I wasn’t interested about god, why bother.
    Do you have faith in humanity? The superiority of your world view.?
    I did. But it flew in the face of the evidence and I was part of the problem. And if there is no god, you are only with humans.
    So why do atheist today bother. Are they trying to convert believers?
    Who are they advocating for? Themselves? Humanity? The common good? Minorities ? (does that include Christians?)
    What are they advocating for? Justice in the abstract, in practice? Human rights? Human responsibilities? Equality (perhaps the spread or mutation of marxist ideas to most area’s of life) Equity? Is there bias? A hierarchy of rights? Truth? Morality, ethics?
    Who or what are they advocating against? Against god they say doesn’t exist Is there a bias, or an equality in the opposition. Can beliefs be separated from the person?
    And on and on. Huge subjects to be denuded by torrents of tweets.
    You are likely to be aware that well known British atheist philosopher Anthony Flew came to the conclusion that belief in god was intellectually valid and defensible
    So a faith position is not intellectual nonsense. In fact I would say that since becoming a Christian I have greater intellectual rigor than as an atheist
    Equal before the law
    In a previous post you said we are all equal before the law.
    As a former lawyer I could n’t agree more.
    But it is not as simple as it seems.
    There is no justice without the law, but not all law is just
    As part of my law degree I studied for a year as separate subjects, constitutional law, history of the English legal, Equity and trust and Jurisprudence.
    Where does law come from, its purpose, how is it made, the rule of law, law and morality, law verses equity various schools of thought, including some of the giants of philosophy.
    One school thought is that law comes from God. I wonder if that has been removed from the present day jurisprudence curriculum. As an atheist at the time I enjoyed studying this and certainly wasn’t offended. It was all part of the intellectual rigour of a law degree.
    Yes we are all equal before the law – the law of God. And under that law we are all criminals, and under His judgement, guilty.
    And the English criminal system could not operate without the application of the maxim “ignorance of the law is no excuse”. So it is with God’s law.
    But this is part of the wonderful good news of Jesus Christ, his propitiation, God taking the punishment I deserve instead of me.

    1. ,
      . We had a lovely prayer time in church tonight where the reading and study was from Hebrews 10,. It is a chapter not so much to be read , as to drink .! Then I come home to this . Wow !, Thank you Geoff..

  8. I just read your offending message again.

    I struggle to read “3) A re-formation of the family” as anti-gay. It is clearly critical of gender theory, but does not really deal with same-sex attraction as such. Unless “family” has now become a trigger word?

    “4) A re-formation of Islam” is, as far as I can see, pretty much factual. It displays no particular fear of Islam, other than the reservations one would reasonably have about any belief system that tens of thousands of adherents interpret as sanctioning mass shooting, beheading, and rape. To call this “Islamophobic” perhaps has more to do with the desire to remain in politically correct cloud-cuckoo land?

    The complaint should have been summarily dismissed rather than actioned.

  9. I was gob-smacked when I read of this matter.

    As a doctor who spent much of his career dealing with urology may I say, David, that you have clearly caused a major urological issue for some in the Church of Scotland; big time! (Well this is a Christian blog so I need to be moderate with my language).

    With regard to your New Year Message there is nothing that is remotely homophobic or Islamophobic. Indeed I have heard moderate Muslims on Radio4 stating similar views, and a robust defence of Christian family values will strike a chord with many, whether Christian or not.

    The reason for the censoring of the posting is, I am sure, because of your challenge to the apostasy of the C of S, especially with regard to the Scott McKenna debate.

    What especially concerns me is the governance of the Glasgow Churches Together organisation. Who holds the responsibility for this group? The website lists all the various church groups represented. I note one listed is the “United Free Church”, but (and I admit to being ignorant of Scottish church politics) I presume this is not the same as the “Free Church”.
    That one individual can so dominate the group to the extent of banning a posting with which he disagrees says much for the robustness of the organisation.

    Those who gave way to such pressure should (IMHO) hang their heads in shame. I will be interested to know whether any of them have the “male genital organs” (I am a doctor so am allowed to use such phrases) to stand up to this blatant corrupt, unbiblical and deeply unprofessional behaviour.

    But I will not hold my breath.

  10. This is an appalling and sinister turn of events and is surely related to your recent debate with “Reverend” Scott McKenna. As he and other liberals are prepared to espouse the doctrines of anti Christian cults such as the Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses and Theosophists congregations and ministers cannot hide any more from the dreadful damage that the liberal distortion of the truth is doing to our faith. The issue of the true nature of the communion of believers and excommunication has moved from the pending to the in-tray for all men and womenof faith.

  11. I find it ironic that while David is defining ecumenism so narrowly, his own denomination is apparently forming an alliance with the Roman Catholic Church:

    “Church leaders, faith groups and pro-life organisations have formed a coalition to oppose the potential extension of the abortion time limit in Scotland.

    The group, organised by the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) Scotland, is supported by number of different faith groups, including the Muslim Council of Scotland, the Free Church of Scotland and the Catholic Church in Scotland.”


    Of course, this is probably justified as “co-belligerence” rather than ecumenism, but I can’t help feeling that there its close to being “do as I say, not as I do”.

    1. David considers that the ex Pope is his brother in Christ – and you can’t get any more broadly ecumenical than that.!!!!
      Well, actually you can – you can publicly declare Roman Catholic apologists to be fellow Christians……………….which David has also done…..

  12. Entering into a coalition in pursuit of common purpose is not entering into ecumenism. It is not an embrace of, or a commonality of belief, of creeds. Please define ecumenism.
    By the way Jack, what do you need to believe, to become a Christian. The full Westminster confession of faith? What about those who died in Christ , before the reformation, who did not have a fully rounded systematic theology, nor even an English translation of the bible and who were largely illiterate?

  13. gordonhudsonnu

    What do you actually believe? Where are you “coming from.”? David seems to know.. But I don’t. Please make it plain. Granted, I may be dull about this . But you seem to be majoring in irony (which is sometimes lost on me) and possibly hijacking this particular. post.. Is this all because of his stance on abortion? If so, it is more appropriate to to put your comments under the newspaper article postings and expose you views there, rather than at what appears to be the end of this particular post. What do you believe about abortion? Or is that really not the point(s) you are wanting to make. Because truly, it is lost on me

    Please educate me.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: