Skye minister to leave Church of Scotland
Last Sunday, Rev. Ivor Macdonald, the parish minister at Staffin Church of Scotland has written to his congregation to indicate that he is leaving the denomination because of the latter's 'path leading further and further away from the Lordship of Christ through His Word.'
Staffin Church of Scotland
Last Sunday a parish minister in Skye added his name to the list of those who have indicated to the denomination that they no longer wish to be part of the Church of Scotland.
In a letter to his congregation last Sunday, Rev. Ivor MacDonald who has been the minister at Staffin since 2000 said that he is leaving the national church over the Kirk’s revisionist stance regarding human sexuality and same-sex relationships.
He stated that ‘despite significant evangelical ministries over the last 50 years, the institution has rejected the evangelical position that the Word of God in Scripture is the supreme rule of faith and life.’
In resigning his position ‘with great sadness’ the minister who was ordained into the Church of Scotland in 1993 regards the decision of the Kirk’s General Assembly last May as having ‘gone further in adopting a “trajectory” that is contrary to the clear teaching of Scripture. It has set the denomination on a path leading further and further away from the Lordship of Christ through His Word.’
In a further comment relating to his having taken ‘full part in denominational struggles’ to maintain a Biblical position he has ‘decided that it is more profitable to devote my energies exclusively to preaching Christ and building His church rather than continue in a war that is not winnable.’
In his letter the minister concludes: ‘This parting is extremely painful for me and my family. I love my island, its people and culture deeply and it has been a wonderful privilege to be minister here. I thank you for that privilege and pray that however God leads us we shall continue to love and cherish one another.’
As there is no mechanism for a congregation Church of Scotland to quit the denomination, it is likely that a significant number of elders and members will leave as individuals as a result of this and other demissions; indeed a signficant number already have withdrawn their allegiance.
Rev. MacDonald’s departure follows that of his fellow minister Rev. John Macdonald, the parish minister at Lochalsh. Immediately following the May General Assembly, Rev. Roddy MacRae the parish minister at Glenelg, also stated publicly that he intended to leave the denomination. These three men have served as part of Lochcarron/Skye Presbytery.
In a separate but similar reaction Rev. Peter Dixon and the bulk of his congregation are leaving the Church and moving out of the Hilton High Church building in Aberdeen. It was Aberdeen Presbytery which sanctioned the induction of an openly-homosexual minister in 2009, and in so doing brought the whole issue into sharp and painful focus.
Other departures are being planned and the situation outlines the widely-held belief that the Church of Scotland has set itself on a determined course which is in direct opposition to the Word of God.
Footnote: The full text of Rev. Macdonald's letter can be obtained here.