Reply to John Hume in The Herald

John R Hume is right in some of his protestations (Evangelicals seeking to take over and destroy the Church of Scotland, Herald, 27 April). However the disenfranchisement of congregations in the Church of Scotland began many years ago with local church, hall and manse title deeds being transferred to 121 George Street. Members were turned into tenants in their own buildings. The money and property agenda was not inflicted on members of the Church by evangelicals. The recent formation of large diocesan presbyteries is also a reversal of the Reformation direction from hierarchy to people. It was created by the same people who caused the second disruption when many conservative evangelicals left the Church of Scotland after the General Assembly of 2009 due to its policy of social liberalism.

We read about 'greenwashing' and 'sports washing'. The Church of Scotland's 'mission washing' is transparently hypocritical. It is like the occasion when former American President Richard Nixon was advised by one of his counsellors, 'Mr President, the people want moral leadership'. To which Nixon is reported to have replied, 'Sure, if the people want moral leadership, we'll give them moral leadership.' There is a disconnection between aspiration and capacity. Mission is the end point of Christian life which is based on personal faith in and personal knowledge of God, has matured this faith in relationship to Jesus Christ, can articulate it and is possessed of a calling to do so. Many members of the Church of Scotland are sincere and gifted people. However many are unconvinced about the basic claims of the Christian Gospel. Their commitment is to ‘their church’ ie., their local congregation. They do need to be born again but the Church of Scotland is not nurturing them towards that end.

Robert Anderson 2017

To contact Robert, please use this email address: