As a born again Christian, but not a card carrying member of any denomination, I never cease to be saddened, angered and just plain amazed by the latest nonsense from the Church of Scotland. Reading the comments on the Scotsman and the Herald’s websites yesterday, it would seem that I am not alone. A large number of ordinary people, some believers and others obviously non-believers have been raising their voices.
There are a number of recurring threads in the letters and posts in these newspapers. Some people want the national church to take a clear Bible based stance on the issues of the day, while others want the church to reflect ‘modern values’ and be politically correct.
With membership in freefall, a crisis in the recruitment and retention of ministers, continued concerns over finance and buildings, the General Assembly, in its latest suicidal act has allowed local congregations to recruit practising homosexual ministers...all in the name of equality and political correctness.
Writing in the Scotsman this week, Richard Lucas made a powerful observation when he said:
“The Church of Scotland’s latest affirmation that it rejects biblical Christianity should remind us all that a group of nice people singing hymns in a building with a pointy bit at one end, led by a person in ecclesiastical garb, does not necessarily constitute a church.
There are still many local Kirks where the message of Christianity is faithfully preached, but it has been substituted by a bland and worldly moralism in many others.
The Christian answer to sin is forgiveness and transformation, not redefinition and accommodation. In the words of Jesus: “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness… it is no longer good for anything”.
Amid the despair, there was also cynicism in the correspondence. One writer complained: “there was a time, not so long ago, when reports of debates and decisions of the General Assembly were top news in the newspapers and other media. Now it is just a talking shop and few would care if it failed to meet next year”.
Adding a little acerbic humour to the tragedy, Dr Euan Dodds wrote, “Groucho Marx famously said: ‘These are my principles. If you don’t like them I have others.’ It seems the Church of Scotland is now saying the same thing.
While holding a “traditionalist” position, congregations can opt out as and when they please. The only difference, however, is that Groucho was joking.”
I am in wholehearted agreement with Richard Lucas when he asserts that quasi-ecclesiastical activity ‘does not constitute a church’. That being the case, the Bible believing, born again Christians......the real church, should immediately leave the Church of Scotland. They would be warmly welcomed by brothers and sisters in the Free Churches and the in the growing independent evangelical sector. The remaining rump would then be free to rebrand itself as a modern politically correct, non-spiritual organisation. It could even rename itself as the Scottish Welfare Philosophical and Debating Society for which oblivion would be guaranteed. Unlike Groucho Marx....I'm not joking!!!!