Harris Golf Club: open on Sunday or else....

Harris Golf Club

Current newspaper reports carry news of the increasing, subtle and not-so-subtle pressures on organisations from secular grant-funding agencies.

Sportscotland which is the national agency for sport in Sotland are threatening to withhold financial assistance to Harris Golf Club unless the course is open on Sundays. This policy contrasts with that of other funding agencies which have attached no such stipulations or conditions regarding financial support.

Of the setting one writer has said: "The course, sloping to the Atlantic is one of the most spectacular on earth  (Ian Wooldridge/Daily Mail), whilst another afficionada spoke of it as: "... the course, clinging to the side of a hill which runs down to the Atlantic Ocean and Scarista Beach, whose sands make Malibu look like a playschool sandpit."

As an irony in the affair, it has been reported that the land on which the course stands was originally donated by local crofters and the church. However a claim has been made that under equality legislation which covers accessibility to all, regardless of religion, belief gender, race, disability or age the funding could be denied.

Western Isles MP, Angus MacNeil is involved in the issue and is assisting the Club, which has 700 life members throughout the world.

Christians Together, 06/02/2009

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Susan MacKenzie 11/02/2009 09:36
Everyone in the world it seems.
Peter Carr 11/02/2009 10:27
Yes, but my point is amongst God's own. It is tragic when His word is taken out of context and misapplied for our own end!
Penny Lee 11/02/2009 10:52
When we honestly believe we are right in something then we will also be convinced that we have correctly interpreted God's word on it. Others feel exactly the same way yet often come to a different conclusion on the same passage of scripture. At times like this, we have to be able to agree to differ. When it comes to major truths in the Bible, like creation and Christ's birth and resurrection, there can only be one interpretation and God Himself will judge those who deny them.

It is not up to us to try and convince another Christian of our interpretation of any particular passage, although there is no harm in debate, but ultimately we will always have to face this situation and would be better trying to find a way to deal with it in the kindest and gracious way Jesus would deal with it.

A major challenge but one we should all strive for nonetheless.
John Parker (Guest) 11/02/2009 11:58
On matters of liberty of conscience, I feel that there is a (general) lack of teaching on the need for "forebearance" of one another.

If faced with the situation Peter describes I would definately be teaching/preaching on the Romans 14/15 passages which stress we each (in our actions) give consideration to how these actions are viewed by others; and "defer" to one another. (But of course that's the Sunday morning that one or both of the parties concerned are not in church to hear it.... ).

I often wonder, when two Japanese of equal status meet, who decides who stops bowing to the other first... but it is this dynamic which we need to see.
Peter Carr 11/02/2009 15:19
Andrea said, "It is not up to us to try and convince another Christian of our interpretation of any particular passage..."

What about the minister, or preaching/teaching Elder?
Penny Lee 11/02/2009 16:39

Of course it is the minister/preacher's task to explain passages in the Bible but that does not necessarily mean that he alone has made the correct evaluation of that passage. Someone sitting in the congregation may be as spiritually mature and well learned but have a completely different understanding of the same passage. Who is right?

We can only say what we personally believe it to mean but we have to accept that others may have a different take on it. In this respect, we should graciously agree to differ. This all too common obsession with ramming home your opinion at all costs is not helpful and, hopefully, as one progresses through their Christian life, should become unnecessary as we mature and become more aware that it is not about what we say but about how we live which has the biggest impact on others.

While groups of Christians are nit-picking and splitting hairs about matters which, in the grand scheme of things, are trivial, spiritually starving people are not being offered basic help. There has, for too long, been too much emphasis on triviality and not enough attention given to helping others grasp the basic truths of the gospel.

In my earlier years, I was equally guilty of trying too hard to put my point of view over. I have no evidence that I ever influenced anyone and may even have unintentionally put some off the gospel. I've finally learned just to let God direct and if I don't know what to say in a situation, then I say nothing. I no longer wrestle with the regret of not speaking up unless I was prompted to but didn't.

We all need to try and resist the need to 'be right'. It might come as a shock to us one day to discover just how many occasions we were wrong!
Peter Carr 11/02/2009 17:49
"We all need to try and resist the need to 'be right'. It might come as a shock to us one day to discover just how many occasions we were wrong!"

Jesus says that we will know the truth, and that the truth will set us free! In a world of lies it is necessary for Christians to speak the truth in love, even when that makes us unpopular.

As for the minister, yes we all have a responsibility to examine the scriptures, but we also have a responsibility of hearing God through those that He has appointed for that task, particularly when what we are hearing is not very palatable!
Penny Lee 11/02/2009 20:19
Yes, but those with different ideas feel that they too have received the truth from God! All I'm saying is that we can only believe what seems right to us, led by our searching of the Bible and a right relationship with God. When theses beliefs conflict with those of others, and you have calmly explained what you believe and why you believe it, then it is better to leave it at that. Nothing is gained, and much can be lost, by hammering away at it.
Penny Lee 11/02/2009 20:20
Forgot to say, of course we should speak the truth in love and with courage. But it is only necessary to say it once to each individual!
Peter Carr 11/02/2009 20:45
"Yes, but those with different ideas feel that they too have received the truth from God!"

And are in danger of ignoring the risen Lord's gifts to the church (Eph 4).
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Christians Together in the Highlands and Islands > Archive > Around the Region > Western Isles > Harris Golf Club: open on Sunday or else....