Aberdeen APCs – Postscript
In 1989, the Aberdeen APCs were in the vanguard of those who claimed that they were going to maintain the standards and principles of the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland, the body which they then claimed to represent, only under another name. Their continued occupation of church and manse was justified on that ground, and there was perhaps no congregation of APCs, at home or abroad, more zealous than them in defending their position. The first issue of The APC News, dated August 1989, contains all the proof we need of that being the case. In the defence of themselves and in condemnation of the body they separated from, more ink flowed from the Aberdeen minister’s pen than that of any other. “How many texts and passages of Scripture did we think of,” the Editor wrote, “during these past months? Daniel put to the test in Babylon, Psalm 46, the disciples in the storm on the lake. Was there not one factor uniting them all? God reigns.”
Their subsequent history shows that God does indeed reign. In the Lord’s providence the manse and church are now back in our possession and where is the Aberdeen APC congregation now? Non-existent! The remnant which was left, after their minister departed for the Church of Scotland, have now taken over what was previously the Gordon Mission, renaming it The Mission. And with the good wishes of the APC Presbytery ringing in their ears, they have set themselves up as Independents. In this new body, one of the principal office-bearers is designated “Music and worship co-ordinator” and is described as being “the first point of contact in arranging responsibility for playing instruments, precentors, and so on, and the development of our worship”. Presbyterianism and its associated ordination vows are obviously bobbing in the wake of this newly-launched ship.
The previous APC interim-moderator conveyed to The Mission the Presbytery’s sorrow over the severing of the “official and technical link” but, at the same time, “their desire to maintain the spiritual link”. He assured them that he had not removed their name from his “daily prayer list” – “something”, he wrote, “I reluctantly find I must do every now and again to make prayer manageable”. We do not wish to comment on that.