The Stornoway Relief Free Church
The latest issue of “Free Church Foundations”, the official magazine of the Free Church Defence Association, draws attention to the formation of yet another Church which professes to adhere to the standards of the Disruption Free Church of Scotland. As this new body, known as the Stornoway Relief Free Church, declares “that they do not see themselves as forming a new denomination”, it is difficult for us to know what exactly their standing is. The Free Church Defence Association, in all that it has hitherto published, has, more or less, ignored the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland and the stand that was taken in 1893 to conserve inviolate the Constitution of the Disruption Free Church. We humbly believe that the Master did then commit that testimony to us as a branch of His Church and in humble dependence upon Him we shall continue to uphold it.
Defections from the APCs
It would appear that the APCs are in the process of disintegrating. The Aberdeen congregation had well-nigh disappeared by the time its minister decided that it was time for him also to depart. He is now the Church of Scotland minister in Cromarty having made the transition surprisingly quickly and without much difficulty, it would seem. It gives us no pleasure but a great deal of pain to draw attention to what we regard as backsliding on the part of a former colleague but candour compels us to do so. It will be remembered that the Rev John Tallach was one of the chief spokesmen for the APCs in 1989 and an apologist for those who saw no harm in attending requiem masses. Extremism was what he was against and he wrote a booklet entitled “A Plea against Extremism” in which, among other things, he endorsed the Church of Rome as a Church of Christ. He has now placed himself in an extreme position far removed from what he preached and practised as a young Free Presbyterian minister. When he preached in the Cromarty Parish Church on Sabbath, 1st August (after which the congregation was to determine his election as their minister), worshippers were informed in the “Order of Service” leaflet that their minister-elect was seeking “a broader outlook & greater flexibility and understanding in his Ministry and believes that he will achieve this within the Church of Scotland.” We thought that the APCs were set up for this purpose! The Church of Scotland is broad enough with its women ministers and elders (the Cromarty Session Clerk is a woman); its use of organs, hymns and paraphrases in public worship and its toleration within its ministry of men who deny the virgin birth and even the uniqueness of Christ as the alone Saviour of the lost. We ask ourselves: how can it be possible for anyone brought up within the bosom of the Free Presbyterian Church to feel at home in that environment?
Blasphemous productions at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival
How sad that the capital city of Scotland, the city of John Knox, and where the dust of so many martyrs lies, should be the venue for the production of a stage play which goes so far in blaspheming the name and ministry of the Saviour that one is reluctant even to mention its title far less its content. It takes the Lord Jesus Christ completely out of the context of the Bible and truth and portrays Him in a way that is blasphemous in the extreme. What depths of wickedness must there be in the hearts of those responsible and how evident it is that they are motivated by Satan the arch enemy of Christ! “Are we, as a nation,” a newspaper correspondent writes, “becoming so inured to sacrilege, blasphemy, obscenities and perversion that they are now acceptable?” It would seem that we are when the Edinburgh powers that be permit such productions to be staged and audiences in sufficient numbers to make them viable are prepared to patronise them. Not only was this blasphemous play staged with the connivance of Edinburgh councillors, three controversial, pornographic films were also screened notwithstanding the protests of Conservative councillors and others who were aware of what was taking place. Mr Phil Gallie, the Scottish Conservative Party condemned the Councils action. “Edinburgh City Council”, he said, “obviously feel that the only way they can interest people to come along to the film festival is to stoop to the depths of the lowest element.” It all goes under the name of culture! “Shall I not visit for these things? saith the Lord: and shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this?”