Malcolm Lowe has written this devastating piece for the Gladstone Institute.
Church of Scotland Shreds Bible
Canonizes Palestinian “Scripture,” Flunks Exams
The Kirk has committed theological suicide in order to promote political inanities. The former Church of Scotland is defunct; the Church of Latter Day Scots has taken over the premises.
At its recent General Assembly (May 18-24, 2013), the Church of Scotland adopted a pro-Palestinian tract entitled The Inheritance of Abraham? Its Preface admits that a previous version “caused worry and concern in parts of the Jewish Community in Israel and beyond” and offers “clarification.” The clarification is mere window-dressing, but that is beside the point. It is rather “parts of the Christian Community in Scotland and beyond” that should be worried and concerned. To judge from the amateurish theological absurdities in this document, which passed through all the relevant levels of the bureaucracy up to the General Assembly, the whole Kirk is adrift. It has abandoned a glorious past for a dubious future.
We shall look at those absurdities in a moment, but first consider the dire situation of the Kirk. Its decline in recent decades parallels that of Christianity elsewhere in the UK. Nearly half the Scottish population still professes allegiance to the Kirk, but actual membership is below 10%. It was noted already in 2008 that “The number of new members joining each year has dropped by nearly 80% since 1981” and that the average age of congregations is “maybe even over 60.”
Thanks in part to immigration, for the first time since John Knox there are more worshipers on a Sunday in Roman Catholic churches than in the Kirk. The Church of Rome, despite its recent travails, retains the advantage that it would never publish a document that had not been vetted by serious theologians.
The State of Israel, on the other hand, is doing very well, thank you, and need not care two hoots what the Church of Scotland thinks about it. Israel’s GDP is higher than Scotland’s. The GDP is still lower per capita, but that is because Scotland has benefited for decades from North Sea oil and gas, whereas Israel’s immense natural gas reserves are a recent discovery only now coming on tap. As it is, Israel’s growth rate is far higher than Scotland’s (2.8% versus 0.5%).
The Jewish Community in Scotland and the UK is another matter. As elsewhere in Europe today, its synagogues and institutions are under intense security surveillance. Any kind of anti-Israel agitation, whose major sources include churches and trades unions in the UK, is likely to encourage anti-Jewish violence.
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