Christian Life 

Scottish Christian Party - Highland Conference 2008


Scottish Christian Party logo




Saturday – 18 October 2008


10 a.m. Registration: tea and coffee

Chairman: Dr Donald Boyd

10.30 a.m. TOM SELFRIDGE
Scottish Christian Party Central Office, Wishaw

11.30 a.m. Refreshment Break

Highland Theological College, Dingwall Graduate Survey of Voter attitudes

Question and Answer Session


1.00 p.m. Lunch: please bring your own packed lunch.
Tea and coffee will be available.



Discussion on improving Party structure

3.00 pm  Refreshment Break

4.00 pm  Discussion: AGENDA for SPRING CONFERENCE

Where does the Highland Region go from here?



Kingsview Christian Centre

Balnafettack Road


Click here to find venue

Adequate car parking; facilities for the disabled.

By kind permission:

Tel: 01463 716843


Everyone is welcome. Come and go as you are able.

We look forward to seeing you there, God willing.


Further information on the Scottish Christian Party is available at:

or email Dr Donald Boyd on

Scottish Christian Party, 06/10/2008

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Peter Carr (Guest) 25/11/2008 12:46
Just as there are different expressions of 'being church', i.e. tarditional, emerging, liquid etc. So there are different ideas of what, or what not, a Christian political party should, or should not be. Therefore we should not be surprised when every Christian does not wholeheartedy sign up to the SCP, or any other Christian parties manifesto, or ideology of 'being' a Christian party.

In which case debate, constructive criticism etc should be encouraged and not avoided or stifled, in what is after all a democracy in which we practice our God given faith!
Graham (Guest) 25/11/2008 23:28
Andrea, you say

I fully understand how, depending on the limitations of choice of where to worship, separating out can be very tempting and I have been in that position before of feeling that no church could only be better than what was presently being provided!

I think you missed my point, we did not seperate out, we are church, as fully as any other, and we are not going it alone. In fact we are all very close friends who share a common bond. I know many people who go to your idea of church and are very alone in the midst of the group.

You also say

I've no problem with 'church' taking place in individual homes and having a different format to the standard church service but we need to guard against lots of little cells operating independently but not connected to the life source.

I really do not understand this language of 'standard church' etc, what is the life source? Is it presbytery, or unions, or it is jesus Christ and we are connected to him because it is him he keeps us.

Put it this way, out little group of followers is as equally valid as church as the Free Church or the C of S
Penny Lee 26/11/2008 00:25
Perhaps I have misunderstood what you meant by how your church group began. You imply you have been a Christian for some time so did you ever attend worship with other christians before you began with your present group and, if you did, what caused you to change? It is a direct command from the Bible that we meet with other christians. Nowhere does it state what form this has to take and house groups would be as valid as any other so long as their focus and aims were true to God's word. I have never disputed this fact.

I didn't say that 'standard' church was my ideal either. All I meant by that was to differentiate between meeting in a recognised building and the service having the form of a traditional service to a more relaxed and informal type of worship in various different places. I didn't suggest one was right and all other ways wrong. Also, what I meant by 'going it alone' was for one group to operate completely separately from other christian groups with no apparent will or ability to share with them at times. The life source of any christian group should, of course, always be Jesus Christ. Many small house groups do have Him at the centre of their worship but many others also do not. The last thing I would look for is more officialdom in church life. Presbyteries, unions and diocese have strangled the life out of our churches and it could only be a good thing if all our established churches were dissembled and rebuilt from the roots up.

Basically, the issue is not whether we worship in a church building or in someone's front room. It is only ever about who we worship and how obedient we are to His call. There seems to be a lot of church-bashing going on just now. The problem is not the building, it is the people within it and the same nonsense can happen in house groups too.

I really look forward to Heaven when we can all worship together without denomination, buildings, style or format. Pure, unadulterated, praise to God free of all petty human ideologies - now that will be Heaven!
Editor 26/11/2008 10:02
Graham and Andrea, you seem to having an interesting discussion which revolves around "how do we do church?" and "what do we understand by the word 'church'?"

It is a very important question - especially in a time of fragmentation, but also in the context of small communities and villages (typical of the Highands of Islands).

As Andrea righly says, the discussion has moved far away from the starting point (SCP) - but that's the nature of these things sometimes.

You may however wish to have a look at an article about some folks in the Lochaber area - and indeed that (article thread) might be a better place to continue the discussion (for the benefit of those in that situation). You can find the article which was commissioned by Christians Together at -

However if you would prefer to continue on this (SCP) thread, please do; I'm sure that those who are interested in the SCP discussion will be interested in your discussion one as well.
Peter Carr (Guest) 26/11/2008 10:31
Good point Ed. Maybe it could be a starter in terms of what shape a Christian political party should take in what is in reality a post-Christian country;

1. Is there scope for consultation to discover how better to proclaim Christ's Lordship in such an environment?

2. Has the UK gone so far from its original Christian roots, that it has to experience a Paul moment (cf. Acts 17)?
Graham (Guest) 26/11/2008 21:08
Thanks Andrea and others,

It is interesting that you say 'house groups would be as valid as any other'

It is actually building based churches that are alien to the NT, the default meeting place was the house.
I must say though that I am not pro house church or building church, I am pro church wherever it meets.

Can I ask where in the bible we are commanded to meet, this is interesting.

PS I am happy to let you move the discussion if required, I realise we may have gone away from SCP matters
Penny Lee 26/11/2008 21:44
Hebrews 10v25 'Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another - and all the more as you see the Day approaching.'

You may also want to read Acts 2, verses 42-47.

While I was trying to find at least one reference to encourage communal worship, I found this which very simply explains why it is so important to meet with other believers:

A member of a certain church, who previously had been attending services regularly, stopped going.  After a few weeks, the minister decided to visit him.  It was a chilly day.  That evening, the minister found the man at home all alone sitting by a blazing fire. Guessing the reason for his minister's visit, the man welcomed him, and led him to a comfortable chair near the fireplace and waited. 

The minister made himself at home but said nothing.  In the grave silence, he contemplated the dance of the flames around the burning logs.  After some minutes, he took the fire tongs, carefully picked up a brightly burning ember and placed it to one side of the hearth all alone.  Then he sat back in his chair, still silent.

The host watched all this in quiet contemplation.  As the one lone ember's flame flickered and diminished, there was a momentary glow and then its fire was no more. Soon it was cold and dead.
Not a word had been spoken since the initial greeting. The minister glanced at his watch and chose this time to leave. He slowly stood up, picked up the cold, dead ember and placed it back in the middle of the fire.  Immediately it began to glow once more, with the light and warmth of the burning coals around it.

As the minister reached the door to leave, his host said, with a tear running down his cheek, "Thank you so much for your fiery sermon.  I shall be back in church next Sunday".

??~Author Unknown~
Graham (Guest) 26/11/2008 22:22
Thanks Andrea,

The story is okay, but i think as human beings we need relationship, I think God says it is not good for man to be alone, so relationship is a creational ordinance for all mankind.

I would have to say that acts is descriptive and not indicative, it is a historical account of the first church and is not a command for us to meet, though as I have just said, meeting is what we should do full stop.

The Hebrews verse is often used, but is not a command for all churches, read Heb 10 as a complete unit and you will see that it is not talking about church routines, but is telling us something much deeper I suspect (not got time to fully expand on it right now)

Penny Lee 26/11/2008 23:11
I agree with your comments and absolutely agree that establishing rigid and often pointless routines are a human obsession.

'meeting is what we should do full stop.'

There we are -we all got there eventually! :-D
Peter Carr (Guest) 27/11/2008 08:35
Sorry to jump in if it is not welcome, but surely a good enough reason for meeting is because Jesus says that we are to love one another, and that where 2 or 3 are gathered He will be with us!
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Christians Together in the Highlands and Islands > Christian Life > Christians and Politics > SCP Highland Annual Conference 2008