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Skye minister to leave Church of Scotland

Last Sunday, Rev. Ivor Macdonald, the parish minister at Staffin Church of Scotland has written to his congregation to indicate that he is leaving the denomination because of the latter's 'path leading further and further away from the Lordship of Christ through His Word.'

Staffin Church of Scotland
StaffinLast Sunday a parish minister in Skye added his name to the list of those who have indicated to the denomination that they no longer wish to be part of the Church of Scotland.

In a letter to his congregation last Sunday, Rev. Ivor MacDonald who has been the minister at Staffin since 2000 said that he is leaving the national church over the Kirk’s revisionist stance regarding human sexuality and same-sex relationships.
He stated that ‘despite significant evangelical ministries over the last 50 years, the institution has rejected the evangelical position that the Word of God in Scripture is the supreme rule of faith and life.’

In resigning his position ‘with great sadness’ the minister who was ordained into the Church of Scotland in 1993 regards the decision of the Kirk’s General Assembly last May as having ‘gone further in adopting a “trajectory” that is contrary to the clear teaching of Scripture. It has set the denomination on a path leading further and further away from the Lordship of Christ through His Word.’

In a further comment relating to his having taken ‘full part in denominational struggles’ to maintain a Biblical position he has ‘decided that it is more profitable to devote my energies exclusively to preaching Christ and building His church rather than continue in a war that is not winnable.’

In his letter the minister concludes: ‘This parting is extremely painful for me and my family. I love my island, its people and culture deeply and it has been a wonderful privilege to be minister here. I thank you for that privilege and pray that however God leads us we shall continue to love and cherish one another.’

Others leaving

Staffin mapAs there is no mechanism for a congregation Church of Scotland to quit the denomination, it is likely that a significant number of elders and members will leave as individuals as a result of this and other demissions; indeed a signficant number already have withdrawn their allegiance.

Rev. MacDonald’s departure follows that of his fellow minister Rev. John Macdonald, the parish minister at Lochalsh. Immediately following the May General Assembly, Rev. Roddy MacRae the parish minister at Glenelg, also stated publicly that he intended to leave the denomination. These three men have served as part of Lochcarron/Skye Presbytery.

In a separate but similar reaction Rev. Peter Dixon and the bulk of his congregation are leaving the Church and moving out of the Hilton High Church building in Aberdeen. It was Aberdeen Presbytery which sanctioned the induction of an openly-homosexual minister in 2009, and in so doing brought the whole issue into sharp and painful focus.

Other departures are being planned and the situation outlines the widely-held belief that the Church of Scotland has set itself on a determined course which is in direct opposition to the Word of God.

Footnote: The full text of Rev. Macdonald's letter can be obtained here.

Christians Together, 04/10/2011

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Guest (Guest) 04/10/2011 21:31
Well join the Free Church they sre still taking the backward stance
Martin Lisemore 04/10/2011 22:05
Where's Jesus in all this denominational hatred?

Or is that question too difficult?

Maybe it's one you should ask yourselves!
(Guest) 04/10/2011 22:11
Martin Lisemore 04/10/2011 22:47
Thank you Guest, a like mind and a like heart I do believe.
mb (Guest) 04/10/2011 23:24
In the end times things that are wrong will appear right and things that are right appear wrong, we are most certainly in this place.

May the great jehovah jireh bless you for nailing your colours to the mast.
Rob (Guest) 05/10/2011 16:56
Not hatred, sorrow.
(Guest) 05/10/2011 17:53
Rev Macdonald has chosen a path which has destroyed his congregation and split the community. He has further divided the protestant church and weakended the message of Christ in doing so. This should be a matter of shame.
Jenny 05/10/2011 18:00
".....Rev Macdonald has chosen a path which has destroyed his congregation and split the community. He has further divided the protestant church and weakended the message of Christ in doing so. This should be a matter of shame...."

That's an understandable stance - as in, I can see why anyone might think so. I don't agree though. ("destroyed his congregation" ? we can at least hope that's premature)
You don't consider that if one part of the church holds to the Word of God, but another doesn't, then there OUGHT to be division between them, sad though it may be.
Jenny 05/10/2011 18:06
It's Rome that prizes visible unity far above truth. The Protestant church was founded on a reversal of that principle. Often it may have been carried too far, and resulted in never-ending splits over secondary matters. I still think the principle is sound. If a man's conscience is telling him to depart from an apostate institution, he's doing well if he heeds it. It's not as if these guys are irresponsibly following their own inclinations
John Taylor (Guest) 05/10/2011 19:19
A letter to the Scotsman (newspaper) from a church minister said -
"My one thought, however, for those who are in the process of re-evaluating their call to (in particular) ministry is this: as far as I read the New Testament Jesus' call is for the shepherd to lay down his/her life for the sheep and not the other way round.

In other words, the sheep are not to be sacrificed on behalf of the shepherd. The flock needs its shepherd now more than ever. To those thinking and praying and seeking guidance I offer these words."

The shepherds job is to nurture the sheep by leading them into good pasture (which can now only be found outside of the national church).

To suggest that good shepherding is to keep the sheep tethered within a pack of wolves is muddle-headed thinking.

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