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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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Alan Keely 12/01/2012 15:54
I agree John, freemasonry is a cancer within any Christian Church. To start with, it does not recognise Christ Jesus, and refers to the Holy Bible as "the volume of the sacred law", and refers to our God as "the great architect of the universe", it boasts many politicians and policemen in it's ranks, along with barristers, judges...the list goes on. What probably started as some kind of fraternity many years ago, in fact, it's history goes back to the building of King Solomon's temple, has been used and ruined by the greed of man, I would warn all Christians to stay well clear of this organisation and it's members, there is no place for them in the Kingdom of God.
Peter Carr 12/01/2012 16:18
" I would warn all Christians to stay well clear of this organisation and it's members, there is no place for them in the Kingdom of God."

It is hard to conceive that someone who is really born again of God's Spirit would want to join or continue in such a society!!

Alan Keely 12/01/2012 18:33
Yes Peter - "who is really born again of God's Spirit" is exactly the problem!! If there are Freemasons in this Church claiming to be Christians then I would say this to them, if you think you are a Christian because you go to Church regularly, you are on the road to Hell, only giving your life over to the Lord Jesus and accepting Him as your personal saviour, the one who died for your sins, can you be saved, and if you know all this and mock the Lord by going along to this Church with no intention of repenting of your sins, BEWARE HE WILL NOT BE MOCKED!!
Alan Keely 12/01/2012 22:49
Actually, I think the Tain Parish Church website describes salvation better than I ever could here is the quote
"Salvation
We believe that salvation is the gift of God brought to people by grace and received by personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ alone, whose precious blood was shed on Calvary for the forgiveness of our sins (Ephesians 2:8–10; John 1:12; Ephesians 1:7; 1 Peter 1:18–19)."
Let me guess the author...hmmm...Paul Gibson?
With the issues that have come out in this thread from the good Christians in this Parish Church....
Homosexuality, freemasonry....Goodness, no wonder some folk would want to avoid a God fearing Christian man at the helm Ministering to them.
Tell me Christian men of Tain Parish Church, what was the last Minister teaching? was he faced with the same issues and left, or did he just put up with it all?
John Miller 24/01/2012 15:58
A friend of mine who had been a Freemason before conversion gave me good reason to agree with Peter Carr's comments. He came under great pressure and was threatened in various ways when he left the Masons. He was told that he couldn't leave, but had so fully and joyfully embraced Christianity he was able to powerfully refute all their claims. He gave me an insight into the corrupt practises and unrighteousness which goes on under the cloak of good works. Freemasonry is incompatible with the doctrine and practise Christianity, yet it appears that it has a huge foothold in the C. of S.
John Miller 25/01/2012 14:54
I came upon this quotation from C.H. Spurgeon today:

"Numbers of our good brethren remain in fellowship with those who are undermining the Gospel, and they talk of their conduct as if it were a loving course which the Lord will approve in the day of His appearing. We cannot understand them.

The duty of a true believer towards men who profess to be Christians, and yet deny the Word of God and reject the Fundamentals of the Gospel, is to come out from among them. Complicity with error will take from the best of men the power to enter any successful protest against it. When will Christians learn that separation from evil is not only our privilege, but our bounden duty?"

Remarkable in its clarity and unanswerable in its theology I think.


John Miller 27/02/2012 17:36
Paul Gibson preached morning and evening at Logie St John's C of S, Dundee yesterday (26/02/2012). The sermons are truly outstanding and can be listened to on the church website. If anyone has difficulty accessing them I can forward them by email.
Rosemary Cameron 27/02/2012 22:24
Good quote from Spurgeon.
adnaim (Guest) 27/02/2012 22:44
It's good to hear that Paul's ministry lives on even in the church of scotland. I'm sure people who hear him preach will understand why many of us at TPC were so disappointed and and sad to see him go. He is a very gifted preacher and also a very caring pastor. We miss him very sorely. However, God in His infinite wisdom is working out His purposes and we have faith that His will shall prevail. As we heard yesterday His grace is sufficient for us and He will supply all our needs. Praise God that despite all our problems His word is being preached faithfully week by week.
John Miller 08/03/2012 09:46
We continue to pray for TPC and other congregations where believers struggle in combat with evil practises and teaching. Paul's decision to leave was based on sound biblical doctrine. If evil is defiantly unjudged separation from it is the only course a believer must take.
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