Further drifting away by the APC
THE direction in which the Associated Presbyterian Churches (APC) are going is indicated by the press release of the Organising Executive for “Praise in the Park”, a worship event to be held in the Caledonian Thistle Football Stadium in Inverness on Sabbath 11th June. The vice-chairman of the Executive is the Clerk of the APC General Assembly, Rev. Calum MacInnes. The event is to be recorded by Grampian Television and hosted by a Kate Fraser of Scottish Television. Among the events are “contemporary worship” led by “gospel singer” Ian White, a childrens Gaelic choir, and a testimony by Ross County footballer Brian Irvine.
The APC professes to adhere to the Westminster Confession of Faith and therefore to the regulative principle in worship the principle that “the acceptable way of worshipping the true God is instituted by Himself”, and that He is not to be worshipped in “any other way not prescribed in the holy Scripture”. The fact that a APC minister, who not only vowed to uphold this principle but also once wrote in its defence, can be involved in running such an event, with its worldly and pseudo-religious content, shows that a significant change has taken place in the APC approach to the manner of worshipping God.
We were also shocked to see a piece, entitled Boyzone and Words, in issue No 64 of the APC News, in which a comparison is made between a pop groups hit song and the gospel. Some words and phrases of the song are used as the basis for the article and to emphasise aspects of the gospel. The use of a pop song, which, to say the least, reeks of the world, as a basis for spiritual teaching, condones the pop culture and tends to legitimise a life-style that is the antithesis of biblical Christianity.
Proposed 24-hour drinking laws and the Sabbath
The Government proposes to abandon most of the current licensing restrictions in England and Wales so as to allow public houses to remain open round the clock, according to an unpublished government White Paper, details of which have been obtained by The Times.
Increased drinking hours can only lead to an increase in alcohol problems, including alcohol-related crime. The organisation, Care for the Family, has stated that 25,000 premature drink-related deaths occur each year; 1,000 young people die in drink-related accidents annually; in 20% of child abuse cases, alcohol is identified as a stress factor; 1 in 3 drivers killed on the roads is above the legal limit; the estimated cost to the economy of alcohol abuse is £2 billion; and 24% of assaults occur near places of public entertainment, most being connected with pubs or clubs. (Quoted in a press release from the Lords Day Observance Society, [LDOS]).
The LDOS is concerned at the way the media debate has ignored such facts and how representatives of the tourist and leisure industries, the very groups responsible for the hard lobbying which has led to these proposals, are consistently being interviewed by the media for their views. As many people as possible should write to the Home Office minister responsible for liquor licensing to register their deep concern at the proposals. His address is: Mike OBrien MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Home Office, London, SW1H 9AT; e-mail, email@example.com