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Tain minister to leave Church of Scotland charge

The minister in Tain Parish Church of Scotland has written to his congregation to say that he can no longer continue with them in the context of both local and national issues in relation to Kirk's stance on sexuality.

 




Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honour the one who serves me. John 12:26

Tain Parish Church
Tain parish churchRev. Paul Gibson having been inducted just eight months ago into the pastoral charge of Tain Parish Church is now finding himself having to leave over the stances — both local and national – within the denomination in relation to sexuality.
Inasmuch as a minister is in effect 'self-employed' a demission – without good reasons that the Church would understand and agree with – is a de facto resignation.

This tragic situation is a reflection of the turmoil throughout the denomination since last May's General Assembly when the Church of Scotland effectively set itself upon a 'trajectory' which departs from the Word of God.

At a pastoral level no minister worthy of the name 'cuts the pastoral tie' lightly. Invariably there is much prayer, heart-searching and pain. However ministers can find themselves caught between personal conviction and professional responsibilities. Others can find that they do not have the support of a sufficient number of  those (elders and church members) around them. Still others can find that they are faced with 'legacy issues' – problems in a congregation which have 'carried over'. Very often a combination of these stresses can be at work. And that's without the very serious problem of their denomination 'jumping the tracks' of biblical orthodoxy.

Having come into the pastoral ministry very recently from a background in journalism and the business world, the Tain minister recently gave the following statement to his congregation:

Rev. Paul Gibson
Rev Paul GibsonDear friends,

It is with great sadness that I hereby announce my demission from the charge of Tain Parish Church. I have informed Ross Presbytery of this decision and I will formally leave the Church, God willing, in four weeks’ time.

I want to express my gratitude to the congregation of Tain Parish Church, as well as those within the Free Church and the APC, for the brief time of fellowship that God has allowed us to share with one another and I remain deeply thankful to those who have shared my own conviction and desire to do all things, by God’s Grace, in a manner worthy of the gospel.

However, in recent months it has become evident that, in light of both the local and denominational contexts, it is not possible for me to fully perform the role of ministry within this church with true integrity and in a manner, which I believe, is in line with biblical teaching and therefore honouring to Christ.

As you know we have had some very difficult and painful issues to grapple with in recent months, issues which have been challenging and upsetting for all concerned and which recently raised a matter of church discipline.

Whilst the bible’s teaching on this is very clear, it is sadly the case that, despite the efforts and support of some of the elders, the Kirk Session as a whole is not united in handling this matter in accordance with Scripture. This, coupled with the serious fracture of fellowship caused by the so-called “revisionist“ decisions of this year’s General Assembly, leads me to the conclusion that I no longer have the liberty and support within this context to exercise a biblically faithful ministry.

I never would have dreamt that my tenure within Tain Parish Church would be so relatively short. However, in God’s providence, we can only respond to situations that fall before us as faithfully as we are able to and it seems that the last of these for me in the current context is sadly, to depart.

I thank you for the privilege of being able to serve Christ and His gospel in this place and I pray that each one of you will know the eternal riches of His Grace, through repentance and faith in His Son Jesus Christ, in whose name I came and in whose name I now go

Rev. Paul Gibson

 

It will most likely be the case that there are rock-solid faithful believers in most Church of Scotland congregations; and the congregation in Tain is no exception. Pray for all those who, like Rev. Gibson,  will "having done all things, stand" (Eph 6:13).

 

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General Comment:

 

What is certain in all of this is that God is at work amongst the Church of Scotland (and other denominations beyond) in identifying those individuals and congregations prepared to live in obedience to the declared Word of God which – as everyone who holds the Bible in any regard will agree – is quite clear on what God has ordained marriage to be.

 

What is also clear is that the euphemistically termed 'broad church' – the denomination's proud boast – is seen now to be more of a 'mixed bag' of belief and unbelief; some living in obedience to God's Word with others in outright rebellion.

 

In all the upset no single 'template' has emerged regarding how individuals and/or congregations have responded, are responding and – for some – are yet to respond. The very sad situation in Tain is almost certainly not going to be the last one. However pruning, refining and purifying are all (painful) means to an end; used by God in terms of building a faithful church and preparing a spotless bride.

 

 


Christians Together, 23/11/2011

Feedback:
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George Orr 07/12/2011 11:01
G, thank you for your insight into what has occurred at TPC. Like you I trust and pray that God will uphold the believers and bring conviction where necessary.
Rom 8:18-39
David Boomer - Elder (Guest) 08/12/2011 18:37
Alistair, Alan, George Peter et al, It is great and comforting that you are praying for TPC. Graham's post was absolutely on the button. Read Isaiah 1 but for the remnant we would be treated like Sodom and Gomorrah. When Isaiah met with the living God in Isa 6, he recognised his own sinfulness - "woe is me, I am a man of sinful lips" - he then recognised what God's people were really like, "I live among a people of sinful lips", but after cleansing Isaiah, God had questions for him, "whom will I send and who will go for Us?" God also says "If my people will only...." God wants to bless His people, He wants to cause outsiders to turn to Him. Praise God, He is God and is faithful. His promises are always "Yes and Amen" - truly He is the God of truth. He honours those who honour him, and He is the God who is just and He is not a God who will condone sin among His people. What a privilege and honour we have to worship this wonderful God whose characteristics are never in conflict but whose judgements and decrees are always true and just and we can see them in the Son. "if only my people would...." He gives us the Spirit of Truth who leads us into all truth. Whjen His people choose to listen to a lie they will face the consequences but as Paul said to the Ephesian "stand" apply the full armour of God and what is the first piece? The belt of Truth! If there is no truth the armour is of no effect. I appeal to all at TPC, "Do not stand on unfaithful men but stand on the truth of God". His will be done.
Praise God!
A Christian (Guest) 18/12/2011 12:51
Quoting the initial General Comment to this article:

"What is certain in all of this is that God is at work amongst the Church of Scotland (and other denominations beyond) in identifying those individuals and congregations prepared to live in obedience to the declared Word of God which – as everyone who holds the Bible in any regard will agree – is quite clear on what God has ordained marriage to be.




What is also clear is that the euphemistically termed 'broad church' – the denomination's proud boast – is seen now to be more of a 'mixed bag' of belief and unbelief; some living in obedience to God's Word with others in outright rebellion.



In all the upset no single 'template' has emerged regarding how individuals and/or congregations have responded, are responding and – for some – are yet to respond. The very sad situation in Tain is almost certainly not going to be the last one. However pruning, refining and purifying are all (painful) means to an end; used by God in terms of building a faithful church and preparing a spotless bride."

What is this, "God is at work..."?
Surely the Lord Himself said, "It is finished"?
What is manifest is the fulfilment of prophesy and the Word.

The Lord knows His own and does not need to "identify" anyone.
Also, there is an eternal difference between "those prepared to live in obedience" and those who are the called according to God's purpose in Jesus Christ the Lord, who are IN obedience, the obedience being the only way to live and in that, showing the impossibility of being one with Him without obedience, meaning that obedience is purely the identification of the law at work within a given situation...
take for example any item of matter... there are laws that hold it together, like a stone or water.... and without those laws that we have grown over time to understand to be a bond between particles and the laws even of that bond, the matter would not hold together and in fact would not exist.
Herein is the point worth considering if the reader cares to be joined by the law of liberty which is perfect in Jesus Christ and that is, that the Lord is one Lord with one body, one faith, one baptism, one Spirit and it is 100% impossible to be part of the body outside of the law of His grace and purpose... and we may go even further to say that it is impossible to be a part of the Church if the perfection of God's will is not eveident and manifest.

Holiness.
Would we for a moment consider that the Lord should be less than entire and the obedience spoken of is less than His own perfection and holiness to Himself of Himself and in Himself?
It appears that some would consider this.
Be fully assured that the folly of man's ways is in total disobedience to the governing law of the Lord.
Remember the answer to Moses.... I AM.

No compromise or variableness, no division, no discussion, nothing but, I AM.
Therefore, to even think of considering anything to do with the Lord and His own body to be anything less than obedient to Himself and Who He is, is rebellion and a show of complete misunderstanding of Truth. Romans 1:31, "Without understanding" is listed with the selfsame error of this whole debate about going against natural affection as a condition of death, not life. In fact if the reader would find a Bible and read all of Romans chapter 1 they would begin to grasp the fulness of the matter in context of the obedience of God to Himself as One Who is Holy and can not lie.





to finish, as it appears that some responders here like to quote others besides the Scripture, perhaps this a quote from CH Spurgeon is fitting,

“Rend your heart, and not your garments.”
- Joel 2:13
GARMENT-RENDING and other outward signs of religious emotion, are easily manifested and are frequently hypocritical; but to feel true repentance is far more difficult, and consequently far less common. Men will attend to the most multiplied and minute ceremonial regulations-for such things are pleasing to the flesh-but true religion is too humbling, too heart-searching, too thorough for the tastes of the carnal men; they prefer something more ostentatious, flimsy, and worldly. Outward observances are temporarily comfortable; eye and ear are pleased; self-conceit is fed, and self-righteousness is puffed up: but they are ultimately delusive, for in the article of death, and at the day of judgment, the soul needs something more substantial than ceremonies and rituals to lean upon. Apart from vital godliness all religion is utterly vain; offered without a sincere heart, every form of worship is a solemn sham and an impudent mockery of the majesty of heaven.
HEART-RENDING is divinely wrought and solemnly felt. It is a secret grief which is personally experienced, not in mere form, but as a deep, soul-moving work of the Holy Spirit upon the inmost heart of each believer. It is not a matter to be merely talked of and believed in, but keenly and sensitively felt in every living child of the living God. It is powerfully humiliating, and completely sin-purging; but then it is sweetly preparative for those gracious consolations which proud unhumbled spirits are unable to receive; and it is distinctly discriminating, for it belongs to the elect of God, and to them alone.
The text commands us to rend our hearts, but they are naturally hard as marble: how, then, can this be done? We must take them to Calvary: a dying Saviour’s voice rent the rocks once, and it is as powerful now. O blessed Spirit, let us hear the death-cries of Jesus, and our hearts shall be rent even as men rend their vestures in the day of lamentation.

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Revelation 18:4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.


A Christian (Guest) 18/12/2011 14:34
The Word of the Lord is clear on homosexuality.
It is an abomination.

Paul Gibson preached the Word of God.

There are two choices
1)to stand for the true word of our Lord or
2)to continue to support the filth of this world

Why does TPC allow those who support this abomination to sit as elders or members of the church?

Why was Paul Gibson not fully supported by all you 'so called Godly men and women'?

Why weren't those who are in support of the abomination of homosexuality asked to leave/ stand down?

The question is Who is on the Lord's side
Who will serve the King.


John Miller 25/12/2011 13:05
Amen, Christian Guest!
A Christian (Guest) 03/01/2012 09:17
Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.
1 John 4:4

Stand up stand up for Jesus......if you really are soldiers of the cross

Shame the devil......and get rid of those amongst you who are against the word of the Lord
Dont let satan continue to have a foot hold.

You elders who speak so highly of your love for the Lord here.....Do something......dont let the devil sit with you in your decision making meetings

What are you scared of?

Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us...... romans 8:37
Martin Lisemore 03/01/2012 09:34
Christian Guest, a man after God's heart.

Amen to all you say here.
visitor (Guest) 03/01/2012 15:05
We have stood up for Christ ,we have tried to fight the good fight, but when you discover that you are fighting against all levels of the institution then you quickly realise that for your own Spiritual well being you have to give the situation over to God. Cor 5:11
“You elders who speak so highly of your love for the Lord here.....Do something......dont let the devil sit with you in your decision making meetings “

The Devil comes in many guises. Beware the wolf in sheep’s clothing.

A Christian (Guest) 03/01/2012 18:08
I can only think that you refer to the Free Masons among you.....the wolves in sheeps clothing

Another abomination.
John Miller 11/01/2012 13:50
Free Masonry is from beneath. It is uncompatible with Christianity
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