Tag Archive | Church of Scotland

100 days – Day 28

100 days – Day 28: Sexism


I’m not really au fait with what has been happening in English Football, and especially with what Richard Scudamore, the Premier League chief executive, has been up to.

Apparently, he sent sexist emails  from his computer at work.  His “jokes” and remarks about a female colleague were leaked to a downmarket newspaper by his PA, who has gone on to say (after it was decided not to censure nor fire Scudamore) –  “It sends out a very damaging message as to how women are regarded in football and in the workplace in general. It shows we still have to go a very long way before women are treated equally”




Prime Minister, David Cameron, speaking on the BBC,  indicated that his own ministers would not have survived had they written something similar.

The Football Association’s inclusion board is due to meet today(20 May) to consider whether the game’s governing body should reverse its decision not to get involved.




An Australian dictionary has changed its definition of misogyny to reflect the fact that it is now used to mean ‘entrenched prejudice against women’, not just hatred of them

There is something intrinsically wrong about men who belittle women.  It’s not just prejudice; it’s fear born out of weakness.  These aren’t “big men”; they are wimps, no matter how macho they pretend to be.

The classic example is the behaviour of certain fundamentalist Islamic countries towards the female population.  Hard-line Muslims who have adopted Sharia Law seek to subjugate and marginalize woman in their society.

Recently, Brunei adopted Sharia Law.

Rupert Colville, spokesperson for the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, in a press briefing in Geneva last month, said this: “A number of UN studies have revealed that women are more likely to be sentenced to death by stoning, due to deeply entrenched discrimination and stereotyping against them.”


Then we have the case of Dr Mariam Yahya Ibrahim in Sudan.  Mariam’s father was a Muslim, but, after he left his wife, who was a Christian, Mariam was brought up by her mother in that Faith.

Having been born in Sudan, she is considered a Muslim by birth, and has been sentenced to death for  marrying her Christian husband.  The punishment – stoning to death -will be carried out after her second child is born.

Or let’s think about our dear allies in Saudi Arabia:

In Saudi Arabia, women face several restrictions based entirely on gender.Women are not allowed to drive – only men.   A woman, regardless of age or marital status is required to have a male guardian. Her guardian may be her father, her husband, her uncle, her brother, or even her own son.

A woman cannot travel, attend university, work, or marry without her guardian’s permission. In some cases, although the law doesn’t support the practice, a woman cannot receive major medical treatment without the permission of her guardian.


Now, before this becomes a just a catalogue of misogyny in Islam (“the Religion of peace”!!!), let’s pause and think of nearer to home.

Yesterday,at the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, being held in Edinburgh, reference was made to the fact that the immediate past Moderator, the Very Rev Lorna Hood, was told that, because she was a woman, she would not be welcome in certain pulpits in the Isle of Skye.  She “was restricted to three parishes at the top of the island” because of her gender.

A former Moderator, David Lacy, claimed people who thought they could stop the Kirk’s moderator from speaking inside a church because she was a woman were “oddballs” and ” grumbling grunters”, accusing those who discriminated of “antiquated gangsterism”


Well, here are some of the comments made about this – from today’s online Scotsman:

Presbyter Ian

10:44 PM on 19/05/2014

The Headline might also be: “Former Moderator defies My law, says everlasting God”. The C of S leaders are not only defying Scripture but are letting our members and adherents down too. Meanwhile, the true-to-name present-day Disruption Free Kirk are parading the country with pretty PowerPoint presentations, sweeping up the disaffected Ministers and Members who are walking into a denomination which once was spiritually respected in Scotland but which has recently seen Ministers break ordination vows, introduce entertainment to their services and even have a deceptive full page April Fool on their web site – all nice socially attractive material just to pave the way for this very Disruptive scenario. It is somewhat humanly clever on their part and I’m sure not all of their Ministers and members are in on the plot (I don’t think a Holy God will bless such behaviour) but ….. waken up C of S before more ministers and members desert the Kirk and leave behind those who probably need the Gospel preached more than those who leave. It’s the hireling who flees in times of trouble the Scripture says!


6:40 PM on 19/05/2014

Sorry Sir,

The Word of God makes it very clear that women are to keep silent in the churches – they are not to speak or tu usurp the man.

There is no such thing as a true woman elder or minister.



8:04 AM on 20/05/2014

I do wish these so called Ministers in the Kirk would spend time reading, studying and considering the Bible as it’s very obvious what God has ordained. God has ordained that only men are to serve in positions of spiritual teaching authority in the church. This is not because men are necessarily better teachers, or because women are inferior or less intelligent (which is not the case). It is simply the way God designed the church to function. Men are to set the example in spiritual leadership—in their lives and through their words. Women are to take a less authoritative role. Women are encouraged to teach other women (Titus 2:3-5). The Bible also does not restrict women from teaching children. The only activity women are restricted from is teaching or having spiritual authority over men. This logically would preclude women from serving as pastors to men and being Elders in the Church. This does not make women less important, by any means, but rather gives them a ministry focus more in agreement with God’s plan and His gifting of them


Come on, guys – whether you’re in Saudi or Skye – grow a pair, and enter the 21st century

100 days – Day 27

100 days – Day 27


I began my day, as usual, by skimming through the online newspapers.  This especially caught my eye and saddened me very much.

from today’s Scotsman:




HUNDREDS of worshippers from one of the Church of Scotland’s biggest congregations have left the Kirk en masse to join the Free Church.

Around 250 people from Stornoway High Church have moved in protest over differences with the Church of Scotland, particularly the contentious issue of the ordination of gay ministers.

The departure of around 80 per cent of the church’s congregation, previously the Kirk’s biggest congregation in the Western Isles, to the Free Church follows others by several congregations and ministers throughout Scotland over the issue.

Christopher Martin, former Stornoway High Church session clerk said members of the congregation had grown unhappy about decisions taken by the Church of Scotland.

“Sadly our congregation could simply not identify with the general direction of the Church of Scotland is headed in, and the sensible option was to leave.”

The Rev Iver Martin, minister of Stornoway Free Church on the Isle of Lewis, said he was delighted to welcome the newcomers. “No one is pleased with the current situation in the Scottish churches but I am glad that the High fellowship has joined our denomination.

“But I feel a sadness at the whole situation and that decisions at the General Assembly which ought to bring people together and maintain harmony have had the opposite effect.”

At a Gaelic service yesterday attended by the new Moderator the Rt Rev John Chalmers, in Greyfriars Kirk in Edinburgh, the Rev Roddy MacLeod referred to congregations leaving the Kirk in his sermon.

“It is sad to see divisions in our day in the family of the Church in our own country. Since General Assembly met last year ministers, congregations and individual members have felt they must part company with the Church of Scotland. But this is not a new situation for even in Paul’s time there were divisions in the church in Corinth.”

(The Free Church of Scotland’s General Assembly begins today in Edinburgh)



This comes after what has been hailed as a most moving and encouraging service yesterday evening.  One, which, sadly, I was unable to attend for logistical reasons:





After my quick glance at today’s papers, I checked my emails and then, as usual, the latest postings on Facebook.

I hadn’t heard of this singer before – but many thanks to my FB friend Dr Derek Coyle from Carlow, Eire, for posting it


HOZIER:  “Take Me To Church”

My lover’s got humour 
She’s the giggle at a funeral
Knows everybody’s disapproval
I should’ve worshiped her sooner
If the Heavens ever did speak
She is the last true mouthpiece
Every Sunday’s getting more bleak
A fresh poison each week
‘We were born sick,’ you heard them say it
My church offers no absolutes
She tells me ‘worship in the bedroom’
The only heaven I’ll be sent to
Is when I’m alone with you
I was born sick, but I love it
Command me to be well
Amen. Amen. Amen

[Chorus x2]
Take me to church
I’ll worship like a dog at the shrine of your lies
I’ll tell you my sins and you can sharpen your knife
Offer me that deathless death
Good God, let me give you my life

If I’m a pagan of the good times
My lover’s the sunlight
To keep the Goddess on my side
She demands a sacrifice
To drain the whole sea
Get something shiny
Something meaty for the main course
That’s a fine looking high horse
What you got in the stable?
We’ve a lot of starving faithful
That looks tasty
That looks plenty
This is hungry work

[Chorus x2]

No masters or kings when the ritual begins
There is no sweeter innocence than our gentle sin
In the madness and soil of that sad earthly scene
Only then I am human
Only then I am clean
Amen. Amen. Amen

[Chorus x2]

100 days – Day 25: Anent The General Assembly of the Church of Scotland


100 days – Day 25: anent The General Assembly of the Church of Scotland




Today sees the start of the Church of Scotland’s annual gathering in Edinburgh, The General Assembly.

One small – but, in the view of many of us dinosaurs, important – word in all the proceedings will be missing, lost, abandoned, discarded:   the Kirk  has dropped that wonderful archaic word “ANENT” (meaning “about” or “concerning”) from its legislation.  e.g.  there could be an “Act anent the Prevention of Admission of Bampots into the Ministry”  (I made that up, but it would have saved a lot of congregations a lot of grief over the years)

The reason for dropping it:  While the old Scottish word “anent” has served the Church well for many years it is a term which has dropped out of common usage. Many people find it difficult to understand our continued use of this term in the title of contemporary legislation.” (the Church’s Legal Questions Committee).



And Michael Hance, director of the Scots Language Centre, added: “It’s a bit odd that the Kirk, a centuries-old institution, impervious to change, should have selected this Scots word and decided to remove it.”


In this regard, I’m reminded of this old story:

There once was a modernising minister who moved to a congregation that worshipped in a rather dark and gloomy sanctuary.

He felt that it should be brightened up and came up with the idea of installing a chandelier. Not only would it literally brighten up the church but would be bright in an aesthetic way.

He took the idea to his Kirk Session. “I think that we should consider getting a chandelier”, he said.

Before he went on to describe his plans, he was interrupted by an old Elder (why are they always “old” in these stories?) who said “Moderator, I object!…..

….. firstly, none of us can spell “chandelier”…..

….. secondly, where can we can we get someone who knows how to play it….

…..and, lastly and most importantly, what the church really needs is more light!”


What the Church needs is more light.  How true…… may the General Assembly 2014 make a start in finding it:  generating light not heat in this coming week!


But, fear not!  The word still lives! Even although it’s now crafted in Taiwan…….



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