These posts from David Robertson almost defy belief:
– Et Tu Kirka? Reflections on the Church of Scotland’s new alliance with the Humanist Society:
The only answer I can think of, apart from sheer stupidity, is politics and self-interest. The clergy and bureaucrats who make these kind of decisions, know full well that their congregations are declining, that they are losing 20,000 plus members per year, that their finances are in severe trouble (with the pension scheme being tens of millions in debt and a significant number of the larger evangelical congregations leaving). But they don’t really care. There is enough silver to be sold off to keep them in jobs for a few years. What they really do care about is the fact that with the rapid secularisation of society, the nice cosy arrangement they have had with the secular state is under threat. What will they do if they are not allowed to be schools chaplains or other religious functionaries of the state? How can they maintain the illusion of importance and significance? When Secular Scotland began their campaign I thought it had no chance of succeeding just now, but I had reckoned without the spineless Machiavellian leadership of the C of S. In order to preserve their positions they have done a deal with the humanists (who in turn of course are aspiring to be humanist chaplains).
– Journeying Together? Further Reflections on the unequal marriage of the Church of Scotland and the Humanist Society.
– An Open Letter to C of S Evangelicals in the light of the C of S/Humanist Debacle
On Monday there was a change. The Church of Scotland realising that it was going to get a backlash from its own members began to retract and in an attempt at news management, issued a press release which in effect accused me of lying…
Update: It’s now on iplayer.
BBC Alba are addressing the topic tonight at 9pm (repeated tomorrow at 10pm). It should be on iplayer after so I’ll update this post with the link.
“With church attendance in Scotland spiralling downwards, some churches are taking some bold steps to address this crisis, with a new breed of evangelical preacher coming to the fore. This programme follows three of these intrepid new style church leaders.
Derek Morrison is a retired policeman, who works tirelessly to evangelise to the people of Raigmore Housing Estate Inverness, and is getting a purpose built community space up and running to use as a local base.
Mez McConnel is a preacher working in Niddrie, Edinburgh. He’s doing highly practical work to better the community surrounding him and his church, and is seeing many folks regaining an interest in church.
Finally, there is Chris ‘Kiki’ Macrae from Harris, who now ministers in Kilmallie, near Fort William and is involved with weekly church outreach programmes, in order to reach people in the throes of post-industrialism. Is this a new breed of church, or just the evangelicals getting back to basics?”
“Held prayer meeting last night in Kilmaluag in view of the communion. The attendance was most encouraging, 70 being out, but long prayers are ruining prayer meetings in the Highlands today. They are a weariness to the flesh and they tire the people by their unfitness and selfishness.”
– Kenneth MacRae, in 1924 (Diary p.190)
“On Thursday we had a Day of Humiliation and Prayer appointed by the Presbytery at the instance of the Commission of Assembly on account of the deplorable state of the world. At the morning meeting 76 were present. Conducted it purely as a prayer meeting and gave no address. Felt dreary and heavy. One of the prayers was inordinately long, inarticulately uttered, and, so far as I could understand, had not bearing upon the matter which brought us together. A simple, direct little prayer would be far more to the point than a volume of divinity. These long, wordy, wandering prayers one hears so often in these quarters nowadays are squeezing the life out of our prayer meetings”
– MacRae in 1948 (Diary p. 386)
“And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words” – Jesus in Matthew 6:7.
“In all my travels I don’t know that I have ever seen opportunity quite like I see here in Scotland. There are whole neighborhoods here without a church. Buildings are sitting unused and waiting. In many places work has already begun. I can’t help but wonder who the Lord is calling to come and to bring in this harvest. Will you pray with me that the Lord will send out his laborers?” – Tim Challies
A scheme in Wishaw
Recent RPCS news
2 men taken under care of Presbytery
Church plant to start in Stirling