Reviewing Chapter 1 of ‘A Sad Departure: Why We could not stay in the Church of Scotland’

Chapter One: ‘What’s the Problem?’

Randall gets to the heart of the issue in this chapter. He makes it clear that the division in the Church of Scotland is not “pro-gay” groups versus “anti-gay” groups – the dividing issue is over the Word of God. The book is a record of “the withdrawal of many from the Church of Scotland because of its refusal to uphold the teaching of God’s Word.”

Consequently, Randall is careful to demonstrate that the book is not an attack on gay people, nor is it an attack on the Church of Scotland.

“In seeking to record what has happened, we do not intend to be disrespectful to anyone – homosexual people, people who experience same-sex attraction, the Church of Scotland, the General Assembly, or evangelicals who believe it is right to stay in the Church of Scotland. . . We will seek to be clear on the issues, but hopefully it is possible to be straightforward without being disrespectful and to disagree without being disagreeable.”

As well as dealing with CofS specifics, Randall outlines the pressing issues of secularism and its impact on public and religious life. In this he has done a great service to the wider church. It is not only the CofS who needs to grapple with the secular and liberal-sexual agenda – it is all churches who need to determine where they will pitch their tent on these issues. The CofS is not alone in its biblical compromise, all around us we see evangelical Christians, churches and leaders who are exchanging biblical beliefs for humanistic values. All around us we see a church which is becoming increasingly conformed to the world. Consequently, Randall’s book is a challenge to evangelicals everywhere to re-evaluate their commitments.

See the first part of this review here.