Developments in the Church of Scotland
The thoroughly unsatisfactory remarks (reported in the August issue) of the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, the Rt Rev Iain Torrance, on the subject of homosexuals in the ministry have caused waves in the Presbytery of Skye and Lochcarron. Four ministers attempted to withdraw an invitation to the Moderator to visit the Presbytery. However, in what was described as “a strongly-worded letter”, the Principal Clerk of the Assembly stated that not to invite Professor Torrance would be seen as “a great discourtesy to the Moderator and to the General Assembly”. Clearly faithfulness to Scripture teaching on morals does not feature highly at the centre of the Church.
It is now clear that the next Moderator of the Church of Scotland General Assembly will be a woman; a shortlist has been announced just as this issue goes to press, and both nominees are female. To some extent, this decision is of little consequence; the important step was taken some years ago, when the Church decided to accept women ministers, in direct contradiction of the teaching of God’s Word.
Those, within and without the Church, who have been clamouring for the appointment of a female Moderator will now no doubt find another target. But what hope can there be for a Church which willfully refuses to conform to the directions contained in God’s Word? When will there be a return to submission to the claims of the Head of the Church?
Petition Against the European Constitution
In the September issue (p 281) we warned of the grave danger threatening our nation from the European constitution which, if God do not prevent it in mercy, our government will agree to by December. Can anything be done yet, apart from praying? We believe so. We have received a printed postcard, published by the Campaign for a Referendum on the European Constitution (CREC) for sending to the Queen. It is in the form of a Petition, and is ready to be signed and posted to her. More than 100 000 have already been distributed.
The petition requests the Queen to withhold Royal Assent to any Bill to enact the European Constitution, until the British people have voted for it in a fair referendum. It begins, “Your Majesty, I write to exercise my right of petition permitted under our British Constitution, but which I shall lose under the proposed European Constitution. Under the principle of acquis communautaire, the EU has gained powers to govern this country which it is entitled to keep for ever. The EU Constitution will deprive British citizens of their long-held rights to the presumption of innocence, trial by jury, and habeas corpus, together with the ability to decide our own foreign and defence policy.”
Mr Bennett of CREC says that Sir Robin Janvrin, the Queen’s Chief Personal Secretary, has said that the Palace cannot reply to petitioners but “the Queen has personally asked to be regularly briefed on the numbers of postcards being received”. The postcards (at £1.50 for 10) may be obtained from Mr Tony Bennett, 66 Chippingfield, Harlow, CM17 ODJ.