I read with interest your report on the widening gap between the Church of Scotland and the Presbyterian Church in Ireland concerning the ordination to the Christian ministry of ‘gay clergy,’ itself a most bizarre concept.
Whilst one must applaud those conviction-driven and now former ministers and congregations of the CoS for their stand for truth, one wonders why it took them so long to come to this decision.
As in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, the problem being faced cannot be tackled properly so long as ministers and other elders merely treat the symptoms - and gay ‘marriage’ right across the board is but a symptom of a spiritually deadly disease. Even within the eldership of PCI are to be found men who are prepared to legislate for abortion and gay ‘marriage,’ and nothing is done about them. They still hold that Scriptural church office, despite their not being in active service.
What is the disease behind these depraved symptoms? Theological liberalism. This evil system has been accepted, tolerated and protected by both these Presbyterian denominations for more than a century, and we now see where that has taken the CoS.
As Mr Stothers said, and which I warmly welcome, this issue is “not on his church’s agenda now or in the foreseeable future”. But with greatest respect, that means nothing. Liberalism has invaded and determines much of what PCI does. It is the dominant theological understanding within the church, and that includes the strange notion of ‘liberal evangelicals.’ The real problem facing the church today is the acceptance by these liberal evangelicals of theological liberalism which manifests itself, amongst other ways, in the removal of Gospel preaching ministers from their charges and the protection of liberal ones (male and female).
Unless and until conviction evangelicals stand squarely and actively and vocally against theological liberalism in all its forms, the future is bleak. But its bleakness will be seen all the more clearly in the way the church treats Gospel preaching ministers - to the cost of minister, family, congregation and denomination.
No denomination can expect to prosper spiritually when it destroys the very men of God who under God can secure the church for years to come.
JE Hazlett Lynch (Dr)
Minister of the Gospel