Have you ever thought of evangelicals in the CofS as hamsters on a wheel? Unfortunately that’s the image in my mind. We seem to keep talking about the same ideas, moaning about the same problems, being ‘alarmed’ by the same issues, endlessly going round and round and round and getting nowhere.
Doesn’t it get just a bit tiresome and frustrating, even just a wee bit?
I have to admit, in all brotherly love, that I’m fed up. Not with the church, and not with my evangelical brethren. But I am tired of the same old dreary, dispiriting evangelical muddle. We have Forward Together, we have Confessing Churches, we have the Crieiff Fellowship, we have numerous smaller groups and fraternals all deeply concerned with the same issue, the state of our church today.
These organisations play a valuable role in encouraging ministers in their daily struggle in parishes and the courts of the church.
But what do we offer the faithful folk in the pews? More reassurances that we are doing something, more hanging on in there?
The one question that somebody has to ask, is this: Why are we operating in this way?
Recently Peter White, whilst listening to my moans, (that man is too gracious for his own good) asked me in what way should we be more active in the present situation.
Let me suggest that one significant step would be if we could talk to each other, actually communicate and co-ordinate. We must make an effort to communicate, and I don’t mean just between ministers. We have to find a united voice which speaks to the generality of the folk in the church.
There is a sincerely committed body determined to push their agenda of the fundamental restructuring of the very nature of the church, many of them in influential positions within the denomination. They will keep coming back until they have triumphed or are defeated completely. They are supported by an all pervasive media which has its own agenda, and it reaches into every home in Scotland.
What does the ordinary church member with no evangelical minister hear? What do we offer?
For once I have no wish to step on anyone’s toes. I have very real respect for men and women who play a far more vital role in the life of the church than I. It’s simply that I worry for the future of the only church of which I have ever been a member.
I ask again: What do we offer?