Out and About in Scotland
I have been travelling about a bit over the last couple of weeks, and usually without access to emails, so I haven't been able to comment on the online petition about the General Assembly of the CofS. I never sign online petitions, but I made an exception in this case. I think it is important for us to let our evangelical brethren in the CofS know that they are being remembered around the world, not least in the smaller Presbyterian denominations. The debate (I believe) is to be held on the evening of Saturday 23 May, so we ought to make that a matter of prayer.
However, let's put it all in perspective. Recently I preached at Musselburgh Baptist Church near Edinburgh, a vibrant gathering of believers who are looking to church plant in the Scottish borders where there is little Gospel witness. I then spoke at a Conference on Psalm-Singing and Precenting at Smithton Free Church; it was an in-house Free Church conference, although others attended, where we were reminded of the importance of the psalms and of good quality psalm-singing. The following day I preached at Inverness Free North Church (their website has some terrific examples of unaccompanied psalm singing at http://www.freenorthchurch.org/psalms.htm). God was with us in the services, and it was a privilege to occupy that strategic and famous Highland pulpit. Please remember them in the vacancy.
Yes, there are big things happening that are causing us concern at a national level. Yes, we need national leaders who will guide and lead the church in the ways of truth. Yes, we need a return to biblical authority. We need a genuine revival of the Spirit of God, not an importing of the Toronto blessing through CLAN (Christians Linked Across the Nation) at St Andrews.
The Lord is often not in the earthquake or in the fire, and there is a lot of good work being done across the denominational spectrum in local congregations, where real-life pastors are confronting real-life sitations through real-time proclamation of the Word of God. And for that I am profoundly thankful.