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Army chaplain fears 'God' will offend atheists


Rev. Jonathan Gouch
Jonathan GoughSandhurst military academy has dropped the Church of England Creed from services over fears that it may offend religious minorities.

The move has outraged worshippers who say centuries of religious tradition have been sacrificed for the sake of political correctness.

Senior chaplain Reverend Jonathan Gough dropped the Christian declaration of faith in God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, when he took office earlier this month.

Mr Gough – nicknamed the ‘Right On Rev’ by some of his flock – says he wants avoid offending non-believers.

Read on in The Mail....

The Mail/Christians Together, 01/02/2009

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Peter Carr (Guest) 02/02/2009 12:16
I think that we are wise not to assume too much about anyone in a pulpit, but rather to test everything that comes out of their (and my) mouth (s), to see how it squares with God's word as God by His Spirit continues to lead us in to all truth.
Crawford Harvey 02/02/2009 14:00
Peter, I agree that we should test the spirits (1 Jn 4:1; 1 Cor14:29; 1 Thes 5:21; Rev 2:2). That doesn't mean that when we find error we are to say nothing.

And I know you don't mean that being in a pulpit places a person beyond correction.
Peter Howson (Guest) 03/02/2009 09:26
How many churches in Inverness say the Apostles Creed on a regular basis at every service? I imagine the report refers to the services at which all cadets attend. These can be a great opportunity to preach the Gospel even without going through the set form of words that most attending would not believe.
a h 03/02/2009 09:41
I remember some time ago when a woman was on TV; she was teaching theology at Glasgow Uni (in some principal role too.) and was an unrepentant lesbian.

Also, one of the most famous of Glasgow Uni's lecturers was William Barclay, who did not believe in the virgin birth.

Now what chance do we have of having this 'holy nation' pastored correctly if those teaching 'the pastors' at the grassroots are lesbians and heretics?
John Parker (Guest) 03/02/2009 09:57
Chaplains (military and medical) are in a difficult position. They are appointed to meet the spiritual needs of those they serve. It is no easy job to maintain one's personal integrity (faith) whilst 'ministering' in a multi-faith context. Great sensitivity is needed.

However, we may be approaching a point where these tensions should be discussed in public debate - rather than decided upon solely by policy makers behind closed doors.
Peter Carr (Guest) 03/02/2009 10:20
"Now what chance do we have of having this 'holy nation' pastored correctly if those teaching 'the pastors' at the grassroots are lesbians and heretics?"

Alan, I don't want to be controversial but I do find your statement rather sweeping. Wm Barclay is now with the Lord and the other individual doesn't represent the evangelical church in this land.

Irrespective of William Barclays position regarding the virgin birth, baptism on any other secondary issues, he was in my opinion saved and kept by God's grace and used by Him during his life on this earth,
a h 03/02/2009 16:44
So Peter, bringing Jesus' divinity into question is cool with God then?

My statement wasn't meant to be sweeping, just two examples at one university - that teaches C of S ministers and others besides.
Peter Carr (Guest) 03/02/2009 17:43
"So Peter, bringing Jesus' divinity into question is cool with God then?"

No, but people can waver from time to time, ask John Stott, who has wavered regarding eternal punishment in favour of total annihilation. Does that wipe out, or discredit the rest of his theology or work for the Lord? I think that if all of our theology was checked in detail, we would all be deemed heretics in somebodies eyes on some aspect or other!

The only one with perfect theology is the Lord.
Brian Ross 06/02/2009 22:25
Perhaps Mr Gough should apply for a Chaplaincy post with the Chinese, or North Korean Armies! No need to mention God there, I suspect.
May I also say that I sat under the teaching of Prof Barclay for three years. I made no secret of my evangelical stance and he accepted that there were certain ares in which we were going to disagree, but always respected my position. I would certainly not wish to be the one who judged him!
Indeed, I recall my own minister at the time - no less an evangelical than the late Rev George B. Duncan - making an interesting (and slightly mischievous!) comment at the time that a local Glasgow newspaper took Prof Barclay to task over his stance on some of the miracles that are recorded in Scripture. Leaning over the front of the pulpit, he solemnly announced that some would be surprised, when they reached glory, at some of the people who would be there (a ref., I am certain, to Prof Barclay). He went on to state that some would be surprised to discover that certain people, whom they had expected to be there, were not. Finally, and with a glint in his eyes, he said that some would be surprised to discover that they weren't there themselves!!
As Peter Carr implies, Matthew 7:1ff should be compulsory reading for us all. The Lord, alone, is the righteous Judge (II Tim.4:8, inter al) - and I am grateful that He, alone, is my Judge! Of course, having a perfect Advocate is a great help as well (I Jn.2:1).
Penny Lee 06/02/2009 23:34
'Finally, and with a glint in his eyes, he said that some would be surprised to discover that they weren't there themselves!!'

A sobering thought, isn't it?! I suspect when the time comes for these people they won't actually be surprised as they will have complete clarity of thought and knowledge and will know exactly why they aren't there.
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