Church of Scotland General Assembly

JamesSuth

Well-Known Member
I read with interest the other detailed thread on the Southern Baptist Convention. I suspect the SBC has more faithful churches than our Church of Scotland (CofS) and it was sad to read how far down a road of compromise they have gone. So I thought it might be of interest to review some of the themes from this year's Church of Scotland General Assembly taken from the 298 page papers to accompany the debates. The CofS is Scotland's largest church mostly present in the north of Great Britain with some churches in the rest of UK and around the world. It has at times in the past been a really good church (generally speaking) with many faithful congregations, although as the established church has always struggled with nominalism and shallow faith. More recently it has become very liberal, worldly and generally lacking true faith. Many of the strongest individual churches and members left over recent years with the move towards accepting homosexual clergy. These are some of the things that stood out to me from this year:

the good
- The front cover had a quote from the Bible "Follow me and I will make you fish for people. And immediately they left their nets and followed him". It seems increasingly rare that the CofS references the Bible so that was a surprise.
- Attendances have increased since online access to services were introduced. It stood at over 94,000 this year, in contrast to 88,000 for the year before. However, while that suggests a small increase, there is a lot more within the detail. Only 85% of churches offered online worship - so large numbers of the normal attendees are not included. Add to that that many normal attendees didn't take part in the online versions, and that there were nearly 95,000 households connecting - some with multiple people. So it would appear that attendance significantly increased. The good news is that it tended to be the better churches that held online worship so many of these people will have heard the Gospel and that is something for us to give thanks for :):pray.

The bad, which is pretty much everything else:
- It is a worldly document written in business terms. It is almost entirely consumed with money, finances and stopping the increasing decline using their own efforts.
- It shows continued decline with the church still loosing around 12,000 members a year, and is now below 300,000 total, the vast majority of whom don't ever attend church.
- The church is committed to the agenda of the world - climate change, equality, diversity, racism etc. There is little difference between the church and the world. Taking away religious references it could have been a meeting of a student union or political party.
- The homosexual agenda continues to be advanced.
- It is striking that a document for the assembly of ministers needs reminded what a church is, and what it's function is (as part of a justification for continued existence and reform).
- A focus on reducing the size of the church in terms of assets, personnel etc. Incidentally the CofS still has a significant church estate which is being sold off to the highest bidder. Rarely do other (non-CofS churches) growing churches get a chance to take over a property.
- Cost reduction is the order of the day. The new Presbytery of Aberdeen closing two thirds of its Shetland churches in an experiment that will be rolled out across the country. Interestingly it is a Presbytery which is led by the first openly homosexual minister who led the campaign to be allowed to be in a civil partnership with his partner.
- The cost reductions, as usual, continue to pull pension benefits from a range of staff while preserving those for ministers (the Assembly is made up of ministers).

Overall the 'church' is in a terrible condition as it rushes towards the world. The membership is mostly elderly with very few new people joining each year. In it's rush to become relevant and modern it has ceased to have any relevant to the people who make up the church; Christians.


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Batman

Well-Known Member
Your part of the world used to have some of the great NT church preachers so knowing how bad things have slipped is definitely hard. Compromise had already set in decades and decades and decades ago but I fear the things you list in the bad section are now every day occurrences and targets of churches all over the globe. Laodicea is in Scotland...........Laodicea is in Ireland.............Laodicea is in England...............Laodicea is in Europe............Laodicea is in America..............Laodicea is everywhere. Men stopped leading (homes/families/children as well as churches), doctrine fell to the side for feelings and peer pressure desires and PC movements, women and LGTBQ+ walked into the church leadership and membership voids, and there are no watchdogs to fight it back or return to the fight and kick them out.
 

Ghoti Ichthus

Pray so they do not serve alone. Ephesians 6:10-20
Blogs and various websites exposing various apostate churches and organizations are a dime a dozen.

But when was the last time anyone nailed a list of *issues* with a church on a church door? :biggrin

Funny . . . I happen to be wearing my Martin Luther's hammer T shirt right now :lol
 
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