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Letter from Scotland 1 – The Church of Scotland – the Final Nail?

Letter from Scotland 1 – The Church of Scotland – the Final Nail?

 Dear Brothers and Sisters,

It’s a joy to be back in my native land – the most beautiful country in the world!  But there is also a sadness and sorrow.  Not just because I tested positive for Covid on landing – and now have the most miserable man flu!  The main sorrow I had was reading the following in The Courier on arrival – as the Church of Scotland prepares to hammer the final nail into its own coffin.

“Just this week, the Church of Scotland announced that 29 of its presbyteries were in favour of ministers and deacons conducting the ceremonies of same sex couples should they so wish. The Church is a democratic institution so the final word will go the General Assembly next month. But assuming it’s a Yes, the words “I do” could be said by same sex couples in churches by the summer….” These were part of an article written by Kezia Dugdale, former Labour leader in Scotland.  She went on to exult “That is absolutely phenomenal social progress by any measure.” 

That’s an interesting but not unsurprising perspective from an atheist, who has no love for the Gospel.  However, the truth is precisely the opposite.  This is not progress.  This is the Church of Scotland aiding and abetting Scottish society as it reverts, not just to pre-Reformation days, but to pre-Christian days.  My beloved nation is regressing back into the pagan world.  What used to be the National Church is meekly following whatever path the Regressives lead us – it would be inaccurate to say that they are leading – they have neither the initiative nor courage to lead.

I am not surprised at the Church of Scotland going this route – despite all the lies from leading clergy about how this would not be the case.  I remember when John Chalmers, clerk of the General Assembly stated: “We had a debate which made very clear that we were not interfering with our theological definition of marriage and were not going to the place where ministers or deacons could themselves conducting same sex marriages.”.   He lied.  Plain and simple.  He knew that this was a step on the road to conducting same sex marriages, and that the theological definition of marriage was being changed.   And no one called him out on it.  Although yours truly tried – and was roundly castigated for being ‘unChristian’ – https://theweeflea.com/2016/05/23/a-rubicon-has-been-crossed-the-church-of-scotland-assembly-decision-on-saturday/

I always thought that it was the deceit and misleading the Lord’s people that was unchristian – not pointing out that deceit.  Indeed, Christ himself was not averse to pointing out to some religious leaders that they belonged to their father the devil, when he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8:44)

Kezia’s Perspective

Kezia Dugdale also confirmed what we all, (except some gullible evangelicals), knew – that the purpose of the C of S leadership all along was to recognise same sex marriage – but to fool as many evangelicals as possible into thinking that we were being listened to, so that they could keep us on board. (I use ‘us’ because I identify with evangelicals as my brothers and sisters – whatever the denomination).   Dugdale speaks about how she had conversations with Rev. Lorna Hood moderator of the General Assembly in 2013, who promised her that SSM would come.

 “I just couldn’t understand it, especially as all the Christians I knew supported it. They believed in marriage as a union of two people rooted in love, respect and commitment and wanted it for everyone.”  This shows both the limited understanding of Christianity and of marriage.    If marriage is for everyone why limit it to two people?  And does that include incestuous marriage – if for example two sisters love, respect and commit to one another, why shouldn’t they get married?  It is telling that Lorna Hood was unable to help Kezia with her understanding – except to point out that some people were more ‘traditional’.  No, Lorna – it has nothing to do with tradition – and everything to do with Scripture.   But therein lies the problem for the Church of Scotland – it has rejected the Bible as its authoritative standard.  I recall sitting in the Assembly as the Bible was openly and publicly mocked – to laughter from the commissioners and not a word of rebuke from the leadership.

A Lost Battle

I have been involved with this issue for many years.  And I have to say that I now feel completely vindicated.   But it is a battle that has left many wounds.  I think of Dominic Smart – a Church of Scotland minister who paid a massive price for his faithfulness.  He was truly a prophet without honour in his own land.  I miss him.     I recall an amazing anonymous letter from 15 Glasgow presbytery ‘evangelicals’, who attacked me – and Willie Phillip – another faithful minister who paid the price.     I think of Jeremy Middleton who gave the best speech I have ever heard at any Assembly and gave me a faint hope that things might be turned around – only to have that hope dashed by a couple of evangelicals running round, persuading others to play the political game and go along with the establishment.    I think of Albert Bogle’s ‘compromise’ motion, which was not a compromise at all – and which gave the progressives everything they wanted.    I think of John McPake promising me that the evangelicals had a plan – and that if I just kept quiet, I would see them work it out.  Part of that plan was for Angus Morrison to become an evangelical moderator.  That worked – in that he became moderator.   But he ended up being honoured by the University of Glasgow for ‘changing attitudes to same sex relationships in the Church of Scotland”.

https://theweeflea.com/2018/06/29/evangelical-moderator-honoured-for-changing-attitudes-within-the-church-to-same-sex-relationships/

David Randall, a former Church of Scotland minister explained it well in his book ‘A Sad Departure.  He, like many faithful ministers have paid the price.  There are those who I believe are faithful ministers, in that they love Christ and his Word, and want the best for their flocks, who have remained in the C of S.  But their hopes of renewal and reformation are long gone.  Instead of evangelicals taking over a declining church, the declining bureaucrats have largely taken control of the evangelicals. The latest ‘super parishes’ are just another example of technocrats replacing theologians.

And sadly, it’s not just the progressives but also some evangelical leaders – who have sold their inheritance for a mess of potage.  I find Ezekiel 34 a particularly appropriate and challenging word. The leaders clothe themselves with the legacies of the past – and let the sheep perish in the present.    The people are scattered because there is no shepherd.    We can only look to the Lord to shepherd his people – because many of his undershepherds have failed.

Tribalism

One of the weaknesses in the Scottish Church is tribalism (although that is a weakness not confined to Scotland – I’ve seen plenty of it in Australia, England and the US).  That tribalism results in people getting very defensive about their tribe – even when what is being said is true.  I remember visiting one church where we sought to do a joint venture with the local evangelical Church of Scotland – but I was warned that many wouldn’t come because they hated me for my debate with Scott Rennie (see link below) – which they attributed to my desiring to embarrass the Church of Scotland, rather than seeking to expose fundamental error!  I’m afraid that the old adage about evangelicals – that their loyalty was primarily to the Gospel, not the denomination – is, in many cases, no longer true.

That tribalism also causes people to suspect that you are only saying something about another denomination out of a desire to promote your own.  I can honestly say that that has never been my aim.  I don’t believe that the Free Church, or indeed any other denomination in Scotland has the answer.  In the Lord’s mercy we may be part of it – but in his judgement we might be left out.  To some extent it depends on us realising our own weaknesses, sins and faults – and whether we repent and seek renewal.  And none of this is to say that everything is hopeless – it is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed.  There are churches and Christians who are faithful and flourishing in today’s Scotland.  But we need many more.  And we need to be realistic about the desperation of our situation – nothing else will cause us to fall on our knees and cry for the Lord to have mercy.

Incidentally I feel I should share something with you. I was so serious about the Church of Scotland that  I was once part of an official group which was looking at how the Free Church could re-join the Church of Scotland.  The aim was for us to be our own Presbytery within the denomination, with our own finances, theological college and discipline.  It was a long shot but for anyone who is serious about Christian unity it was worth trying.  I remember the discussions, enabled by a professional facilitator.   Although they eventually came to nothing (the C of S were never going to let an evangelical Presbytery become the biggest in the Church – they loved their own power, and hated the Gospel, too much for that), one interesting aspect was the facilitator at one point saying to me that the Free Church delegates were all united in their theology – and two of the C of S were the same – the others seemed to believe in a different religion.  Indeed.

And Now the End is Nigh…

The adoption by the C of S Assembly later this month of same sex marriage is inevitable.  I also think the demise of the Church of Scotland is now inevitable.  We hope and pray that something will arise out of the ashes.  My own view is that the Lord will have to do a completely new work or works – if my beloved Scotland is not to regress into its pagan past.

My heart aches…

Yours in Christ

David

As I look back over my writings in the past couple of decades, here are a few which seem to me to be as relevant now as they were when they were written.  At the time I did not know if they would prove to be accurate – but they have.    Just put ‘Church of Scotland’ into the search and you will get lots – but these ones stand out for me.

2013 – In 2013 I wrote this response to Eric Alexander’s letter saying why he was staying in the C of S (a pastoral letter which unbeknown to him was being used all over the C of S seeking to persuade evangelicals to stay in) It seems that the hopes of Mr Alexander have been cruelly dashed.   https://theweeflea.com/2013/08/27/alexander-leaving-eric-alexander-on-leaving-the-church-of-scotland/

In 2014 we looked at the challenges facing the Church of Scotland – https://theweeflea.com/2014/10/10/the-church-in-post-referendum-scotland/

IN 2015 – Ten reasons why the Church of Scotland is in decline.

https://theweeflea.com/2015/03/20/ten-reasons-why-the-church-of-scotland-is-in-decline/

And this was for me the most revealing – https://theweeflea.com/2015/10/06/the-scottgate-tapes-a-revealing-insight-into-the-current-state-of-the-church-of-scotland/

2017 – Or this article on a report in The Times  July 2017 – https://theweeflea.com/2017/07/03/the-decline-of-the-church-in-scotland-the-times-report-and-response/  Once again the world offered the church its advice….“If the kirk is able to push through liberalising measures such as allowing ministers to oversee same-sex marriages ceremonies, it is possible that its appeal may broaden to younger, more socially liberal Scots”.  And once again the church listened – and accelerated its own demise.

2018 – https://theweeflea.com/2018/09/07/faith-no-more-the-continuing-decline-of-the-church-of-scotland-the-herald/

Iain Montague of the Scottish Centre for Social Research suggested that by becoming more liberal in social attitudes the Church could arrest its decline.  “It will be interesting to see what impact liberalising measures, such as the Church of Scotland’s efforts to allow ministers to conduct same-sex marriages, have upon these numbers in the future.”

Peter Kearney of the Catholic church had a good reply.  His line “Decline is most catastrophic amongst Christian denominations who have embraced secular liberalism”.  He was spot on.  The Church of Scotland is in freefall…it’s recent vote will only accelerate its demise.

 

 

I used to pass this statue of John Knox in the courtyard of New College – en route to the Assembly Hall.  It’s now in St Giles – I guess Ichabod – the glory has departed!

 

 

 

 

36 comments

  1. So sad. And yet as an Englishman I can only see England going the same way as Scotland. How urgently we must pray for a revival on this island! Lord, have mercy upon us!

    1. Hi Robert, I hope not. It’s in the balance in England. In the General Synod elections last year a large group were elected who are opposed to changing our doctrine of marriage. Please pray for us…

  2. So very sad, but it comes as no surprise, as it has been on the agenda for a long time. Equally sad is the C of S attitude to Israel.

  3. I am not a Presbyterian but as far as I’m concerned the Free Church is now the National Church. They’ve picked up the mantle and God is blessing them while the Church of Scotland is being left behind.

  4. This is a culture war that Christians cannot win, but God will win the war in the end. Meanwhile, we need to continue to stand for morality and God’s definition of marriage.

  5. Galatians 2:11 (Paul confronts Peter) -or-Acts 15 (Paul and Barnabas part)? My instinct might be to favour a parting of company from the CoS if a member. There are a number of faithful Christian people, heterosexual and homosexual, who avoid sex to focus on evangelism and prayer or study. As well as defiling the Christian understanding of sex within biblical marriage, does this latest CoS drift dishonour celibate Christian men and women? There may be far more of these quiet people than is ever imagined, many living a simple life devoted to the visible or invisible Church.

      1. Name calling is classic bullying. I often find it carried out by those who claim they are all about ‘love, acceptance and inclusion.’

      2. He’s a troll David. Look at the pseudonym.

        As for me, thanks for standing for truth David. Don’t be discouraged but keep on speaking out, your voice is needed.

        Since the time of your illness I have always believed God has called you to be a prophetic voice to the nation. One that the enemy wanted to silence, but the Lord healed you.

        A prophet is not without honour except ….

    1. Ben Dover by name, Bend Over by nature as you have capitulated to the modern political correct mantra rather than surrender to Christ and the word of God. Shame on you, one day you will give an account.

  6. “The Church is a democratic institution”? Jesus called people to enter a Kingdom, in which He is Lord.

  7. You have been faithfully trying to tell everyone about the ‘Emperors new clothes’ for many years. Are you back in Scotland for good ?

  8. Alistair Begg highlights that until we tackle the issue of God as creator/designer, none of the issue such as relationships, roles, purpose are ones in which we will find fulfilment.

    https://youtu.be/Q1nZDfQjSQM

    He must be a fellow countryman you find on the right track David.

  9. This will put pressure on those Churches which stay true to the traditional Christian definition of marriage as being the union of one man and one woman. However, we have been here before as the Church of Scotland long ago abandoned the traditional Christian teaching on divorce and artificial contraception.
    Luther on contraception:
    This is a most disgraceful sin. It is far more atrocious than incest and adultery. We call it unchastity, yes, a Sodomitic sin. For Onan goes in to her; that is, he lies with her and copulates, and when it comes to the point of insemination, spills the semen, lest the woman conceive. Surely at such a time the order of nature established by God in procreation should be followed. Accordingly, it was a most disgraceful crime to produce semen and excite the woman, and to frustrate her at that very moment. (LW 7.20-21).
    All Churches held to that interpretation of Scripture until 1930. Then the Anglican Communion dissented and many others followed soon after.

  10. You may have missed it, but in the Reports to the General Assembly this month there is also strong support for the SNP plan to ban “conversion therapy”. A legal minefield as this could involve prayer, counselling and even preaching that homosexual conduct is wrong.

  11. Calling all Christians on Planet Earth to stand up for JESUS .
    CHRISTIANS who have REPENTED and ACCEPTED ,JESUS as their personal SAVIOUR .
    Would Paul the Apostle join in to make everyone happy in their sexual bliss .
    You hyprocites,heathens ,idolaters …You worship yourselves not God.
    If you are feeling better David ?Maybe whilst you are in Scotland we could all meet up with you and Pray ?

  12. I also had a conversation with Rev. Lorna Hood, moderator of the General Assembly in 2013. Except my conversation was in 1978 or 79, when she had her maiden name. That conversation followed her lead in a Bible study on John 3. I asked about her variations with the Bible I said that it is God’s Word. She replied by saying that it only “contained” God’s word. She added that she shared my view of the Bible when she was brought up in Mr Jarvie’s church in Kilmarnock, but that since attending Glasgow Univ. her Theology changed. So called ‘Higher Criticism’ is humanism in religious clothing. It places man over God and His Word. Religious man cherry picks parts of the Bible and discards others. Over the past 40 years, many ‘evangelical’ leaders in the CoS thought that they could change the direction, stop the rot – but they have not. The direction has not changed. As you have experienced, David, some CoS leaders have been duplicitous. The writing has been on the wall for a long time. The CoS continues to be “found wanting” and their/its holdings are being “divided and given to others”, as the General Trustees sell off chunks each year, and as the denomination’s financial position becomes more precarious. After ‘Ichabod’, they kept their institution going for centuries until the day that they did not recognise the advent of the King.

  13. The Church of Scotland seems to be morphing into the agnostic arm of the SNP.

  14. I guess the main question is what is God going to do (or has done) about it?

  15. So sad to see Church of Scotland like so many other denominations conforming to the world instead of the world conforming to church
    “ And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
    I suppose that verse will have to disappear out of their bible along with many others !
    Teach me your ways o lord !
    If I forget your ways may my tongue stick to the roof of my mouth!

  16. The writing has been on the wall for the Church of Scotland for a long time but many evangelicals for whatever reasons are unable or unwilling to see it. Evangelicals in the CofS have tended to accommodate false doctrines for the sake of a false unity i.e. a compromise or other reasons. There are some bible believing ministers, members and faithful congregations, but the institution as a whole is riddled with Liberal theology (that is heresy), sexual immoral ideologies, Freemasonry, mockery, deception and unbelief. This is not unique to the CofS with false teachers and apostate congregations in most denominations. As Christians we need to read and know our bibles and test everything against the bible whatever denomination or fellowship we are in.
    As far as political parties go we are to pray for those in authority and frankly all of them need prayer as it isn’t just the SNP who have some evil policies or dubious individuals i.e. Ruth Davidson and Boris Johnson for their lifestyles and Keir Starmer’s transcended views.

  17. Adopting a doctrine of marriage, and of sexual immorality, that is clearly at loggerheads with the teaching of the Torah, the prophets, the wisdom books, of Christ and His apostles, recognised doctors of the church east and west and common to both, and all Christian tradition is obviously another nail in the coffin (so-to-speak) of any church that drives straight past that clear no-entry sign. However, it isn’t necessarily the *final* nail. The worst could yet be to come.

    An important question to ask is what if any of the earlier nails in our own coffins have already been hammered in. For this latest nail didn’t appear out of the blue, and its position on the coffin was likely planned in advance, before even the first nail was hammered home.

    In my opinion, a vital nail in the coffin was the kirk’s acceptance of the non-Christian doctrine of so-called “sexual orientation”, the doctrine implicit in the slogan, “some people are gay”, with all that that implies. I would suggest that once THAT doctrine is believed and taught by a church’s clergy, the doctrine of either-sex marriage becomes the inevitable logical conclusion of the first error.

    So, the question becomes where does one stand on the doctrine that “some people are gay”, as this is taught with the LGBT heresy? I reject that doctrine. I fear that David Robertson, if asked, “Do you believe that some people are gay, yes or no?”, would answer “yes”. Am I right about that, David?

    The teaching that some people are gay, the strong version of this doctrine taught by the church of LGBT rather than any weak version of it that David or others might have thought they were assenting to decades ago, is a vital earlier nail in the sequence in which, in the case of the kirk, has led, logically, to the hammering home of the latest, but by no means final, nail in the kirk’s coffin.

  18. David, sadly this really seems to be the unstoppable ‘Runaway Train’ that Rev. David Hull wrote about when the Methodist Church in Gt. Britain was about to vote in favour of same sex marriage in their churches. On the BBC website, I read that The new Archbishop of Wales, the Most Rev. Andrew John is hopeful that same sex church weddings could be held in Wales in five years time. He believes the church should be inclusive and ‘welcome people, where they are, who they are’. Where has the message of repentance, grace and forgiveness gone? The message of the cross? That we can change and be a ‘new creation’ in Christ?

    Most of the churches where I live seem to be in agreement with the Methodist’s view on same sex marriage. One small non-denominational church declares that they believe ‘God’s word is the final authority in all things’, yet they have close ties with the Methodist church that has rejected that belief! It seems that ‘unity’ is more important than the truth which they seem to be rejecting. Surely, only standing fast on the truth in God’s word can truly unite people in Christ.

    I left the Methodist church last year because of all this and sadly it’s left many people like me with nowhere to go. Still, my mind goes back four years ago when my dear Dad was dying of cancer in St. Ann’s Hospice and the Pastor had a little chat with him about God and told him to ‘keep believing’. As sad as we might feel, lets do that and God bless you.

  19. Lot fell out with Abraham and pitched his tent towards Soddom. He found himself ensnared in Soddom’s conflict and was saved by Abraham’s gracious intervention. Undeterred he persisted in his attachment to the Soddomites and was made a judge, with a seat at Soddom’s gate. His catastrophic fall from the privilege of fellowship with the “friend of God” to the ignominy of being dragged out of Soddom, the loss of everything he owned, his wife, sons in law and the debasement of his daughters is a stark warning to those who have a desire to remain in an apostate organisation.
    It’s all explained in the second chapter of Peter’s second letter.

  20. David. Don’t you now have three grandchildren? An update needed on the blog?

  21. Another Scot, Adam Smith, remarked that “there is a deal of ruin in a nation” or words to that effect. In similar vein Hemingway wrote about how a man (or a business) goes broke, first slowly then quickly. As others here have commented, this was a long time coming. But the speed of the final descent is breathtaking. Also incidentally it underlines the importance of what you might call sound teaching. At the end of the day if the apostolic teaching of the Gospel goes out the window then everything else will follow sooner or later.

  22. David,

    I saw your post via a Reformed aggregator site here in the US. In many respects, I understand. Over here, it seemed that the theological liberals and progressives within the mainline PC(USA) played nice until the passage of the 2014 amendments to the Book of Order on marriage with the amendments on ordination having passed in 2010. Since then, the institutional PC(USA) – national organization, seminaries, and mid-tier levels (presbyteries and synods) – have generally decided that they no longer want to even attempt to seek common ground with those remaining members who hold to confessional Reformed and Evangelical views on matters social and political matters. Following the mass exodus after the 2014 amendments, it seems that starting in 2016 with the election of the current Stated Clerk, the leadership is bent on forcing out anyone who does not hold to what I call the Progressive Christian Heresy, or the child of theological liberalism. Any language which ordinarily would demonstrate respect for the “diversity of thought” provisions (which have replaced the historic understanding of the doctrine of Christian liberty as espoused in the Westminster Standards) by acknowledging dissent and areas that should be of common agreement, no longer occurs. As PCA pastor Tim Keller recently indicated (with my added thoughts), the PC(USA) has become nothing more than a religious arm of one of the two major political parties, consistently espousing that party’s talking points without reservation or qualification, while criticizing the other without reservation or qualification.

    Given the recently leaked, expected Supreme Court decision regarding abortion, using that issue as an example, prior Stated Clerks, Moderators, and committees would acknowledge dissent from the denomination’s official pro-choice stance by recognizing areas in which common agreement should be sought – reducing the number of abortions, addressing causes leading women to seek an abortion, etc. Following Mr. Nelson’s election, that language has disappeared, ignoring actions of past leaders, and basically castigating anyone who does not hold to a proabortion stance while still using the “prochoice” euphemism and refusing to criticize leftists who push the bounds towards infanticide. (And yes, I recognize that abortion is particularly politicized matter in the US as compared to elsewhere, because of how it was legalized without restraint in the US.)

    Fast forward to 2022 with the whole transgender and medicalization of children debates, and Mr. Nelson, Presbyterian Women, and the Women’s committee recently decided to issue a statement in support of the medicalization of children without reservation, including the attachment of a single JAMA article in support of puberty blockers. The statements ignored the fact that in the UK, the Tavistock controversy has resulted in a reassessment of UK policy as well as the recent reassessment of policies in five other countries as well, all of which known to have fairly stringent medical review systems. The statement by citing a single JAMA article also ignored contradictory studies on the effects of puberty blockers by reputable sources. The statement also ignored the increasing vocalization by a range of individuals, including those who have had and later regretted medical procedures made in hast and without a mature understanding of the ramifications, despite the admonition on any host of issues that we should listen to women, LGB individuals, racial and ethnic minorities, etc. There was no acknowledgment or expression of concern over the effects of any irrevocable procedures, or the long-term risks associated with others. And if one disagrees, then you know there is only one reason why you are disagreeing with the denomination’s now unofficial, official position (if one assumes that an official policy statement by the GA makes it official) on this issue. You are simply an ignorant, bigoted rube. (My words, but that is the clear message.)

    Of course, the rot happened long ago and continues with the rejection of the authority of Scripture and soundness of essential doctrines, such as the nature and deity of Christ (as evidenced by again Mr. Nelson and the current Mission Agency Executive Director framing my objections to a public facing employee publicly adopting the heretical position that Jesus sinned in Matthew 15 in an official denominational publication as nothing more than a difference of theological opinion covered under the diversity of thought provisions). This latter issue was the principal issue leading me to deciding to remove my name from membership at my local congregation and being only a regular attender. And I am not the only person in the US to take that approach. If the decision were solely mine to make, there is a very solid PCA congregation nearby as well as a potentially solid OPC congregation to which I would attend and probably join, but alas due to family it is not solely my decision to make. But, I can at least make my objections known in the best way possible, to be reflected in the denomination’s statistics and I can at least provide restrictions on my giving to the local congregation.

    Anyway, I say all that, and I apologize for the length, to say expect continued decline in COS. Will it follow the same trajectory over the same issues as PC(USA), probably not, since there are inherent cultural and political differences between respective countries of the mother and daughter church. But mark my words, the lampstand of the PC(USA) has been removed as evidenced by its continued decline and the same will and may have already happened with COS. As you rightfully imply, there may be faithful individual congregations and presbyteries which burn bright in the darkness, which remain for whatever reason, which in the PC(USA) tends to deal with the denomination’s trust clauses and the financial settlement penalty to leave. Those individuals need prayer and support more than ever, if one can tolerate the apostacy of the national leadership. And as I have come to usually say, we should still pray for the genuine repentance and conversion of the false prophets, teachers and preachers, the wolves and hirelings, and those masquerading as angels of light in denominations which we may have loved or come to love, if not for our sake, but for those individuals’ sake and the sake of those who may be exposed to their current false teaching.

  23. One wonders whether many of those in offices of leadership in the Church of Scotland have ‘dropped the ball’, so to speak. Perhaps, it has been a gradual thing: truth being eroded by an increasing desire to please men, rather than to reflect the glory of the great ‘I AM’ who inhabits eternity (Isa.57:15)? Or, perhaps it is possible that many do/did not have the ‘root of the matter’ in them at the beginning?

    During a meeting of the NSW General Assembly of the PCA, years ago, one commissioner (an Elder) stated that it was ‘about time’ that we cut the ‘umbilical cord’ to our (once) ‘mother’ church. It is a sad day, to read of even more aberrations and declines over the intervening years between then and now. Thankfully some have stood firm, in order ‘.. to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints’ (Jude 1:3).

    Scotland trained Rev. Dr Sinclair Ferguson has discerningly written: “No one ever came to fear God without first feeling UNMASKED. Penitent faith involves seeing the truth staring me in the face: my sins are not out-of-character actions. They are not aberrations; they are revelations of the truth about my twisted, God-less heart. Sinner is what I am, by nature, thought, choice and deed. ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner’ is what I need to learn to pray.” (pg. 84, ‘The Pundit’s Folly’, the Banner of Truth Trust, 1995).

    Thank God for the work of The Banner of Truth Trust, for its faithful and helpful ministry of providing trustworthy books and resources.

  24. You are unfair to pagans. For example, in ‘Germania’ (98AD) Tacitus praises German marriages for being monogamous – except for political reasons – and eschewing adultery . He also seems to say that they were anti-homosexuality (though some these days some contest that, of course).

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