‘Kirk can’t stop tide of disbelief’

‘Kirk can’t stop tide of disbelief’

The new Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland recently issued an urgent rallying call for the Church to connect with the next generation or risk faith fading from society.

Rt Rev John Chalmers told the General Assembly:

A tide has to be turned because a generation of people out there are being invited to live a life of disbelief – if not unbelief. And there is no justification for that.

This Church of ours has to stop its navel gazing, get out under subjects that no one is actually talking about and get out there and capitalise on the fact that people still want purpose and faith in their lives, they just need it to be: accessible, relevant, generous and forgiving.

So, what about the gays, then?

Chalmers commented on the General Assembly’s vote in favour of a proposal which could eventually lead to the ordination of ministers in civil partnerships.

We have dealt with our own internal struggles and we have sent to our Presbyteries an Overture which may pave the way for a period of Church life when we will set the issue of human sexuality to one side and focus on the urgent business of mission, ministry and service to the people of Scotland.

If anyone knows what this actually means, please enlighten me.

Meanwhile, Scotland on Sunday today published this letter from Freethinker contributor Steuart Campbell, author and a member of the Edinburgh Secular Society:

Despite the title of his article (‘Relight the fire of faith in Church’s spiritual refugees’, 13 July), the Moderator of the Church of Scotland is calling on Kirk members to encourage lapsed members to rejoin ‘the community of faith’, but, surprisingly, without having to believe anything, perhaps not even having to believe in the Resurrection, the key belief of Christianity (1 Corinthians 15:14)!

I suspect that many Kirk members are already sceptical of the magical events reported in the Gospels and that they attend for social reasons and/or, perhaps, out of habit. Religious belief is declining (now only half the population believe), no doubt to the consternation of the Kirk and other religious organisations. But increasing rejection of superstition is encouraging and it will not be stemmed by the Kirk calling on people to come to it for a sense of belonging, leaving their beliefs behind.

We would all be better of for seeing Christianity for what it is: a delusion.

Alas, no link to that letter, but Steuart Campbell messaged me today to say he was “amazed” that the paper had published his letter under the title “Kirk can’t stop tide of disbelief”

10 responses to “‘Kirk can’t stop tide of disbelief’”

  1. Canada Dave says:

    “people out there are being invited to live a life of disbelief – if not unbelief. And there is no justification for that.”

    These people are so caught up in there need to believe in a higher power that they simply cannot see the simple logical reasons behind why others do not follow them.
    They seem unable to fathom that gods, Santa Clause, and the tooth fairy are all of the same genre.

  2. Canada Dave says:

    “focus on the urgent business of mission, ministry and service to the people of Scotland.”

    He considers “mission and ministry” (the need to have other people follow your mistakes) as urgent business.

  3. Adam Tjaavk says:

    “…connect with the next generation…”

    How many varieties of Judaism are there?
    – hmm, maybe a dozen, maybe a fewer

    and Buddhism? – about 20

    and Islam? – about 70, maybe a few more

    Christianity? – oh, about 38,000

    Hinduism? – all sorts, let’s call it Hinduism

    Why this one and not that one?

    How did you get this one?
    – and not all the other different ones?

    My view: sectarian brainwashing degenerate culture


  4. Ivan says:

    ‘Kirk can’t stop tide of disbelief’

    Get us out of here Mr Sulu….

  5. Broga says:

    First, congratulations to Steuart Campbell for getting published a letter which makes a cogent case in a way that encourages readers to appreciate the kind of opinions which are increasingly being voiced.

    John Chalmers says about his religion “they just need it to be: accessible, relevant, generous and forgiving.” The word that is missing is true.

    As for, “we will set the issue of human sexuality to one side and focus on the urgent business of mission, ministry and service to the people of Scotland” I think I can help Barry in his query about what this means. It means that on human sexuality they realise that they have nothing to say on this that does not provoke criticism. So they prefer to dodge the issue.

    The rest is the usual babble of words which encourage people to think that there is some meaning behind them when there is none. As soon as you try to attach a meaning to them in any practical way they crumble before you. They want to suggest profundity when they are meaningless.

    I was christened in the Kirk and enjoyed picnics and Christmas parties. It was austere, the services long and incomprehensible, and so boring. I learned a lot of bible stories and hymns which I can still recall. The indoctrination didn’t take. Atheism in my teens was new, exciting and I couldn’t get enough of it. It also freed me to think what I chose and not what some minister told me.

  6. Trevor Blake says:

    Purpose – sounds nice, but what does it mean? Made for use. We make a cart to haul the soul, God made us to (suffer, praise Him, whatever you like). Where there is purpose there is no free will. But we are told we must choose to do good, to worship this deity and not that deity. Either God made us as robots or the demands of religion are impossible nonsense. I know what I think the answer is.

  7. K9P says:

    Time for the pious to admit the game is up and that power once wielded over the common man is as sand running though their fingers. And good riddance. I have been to many funerals and am forced to conclude after close scrutiny that the godly conduct them to maximise the grief, to diminish the individual and to glorify the godly myth. The clergy have exerted their influence over sex, birth and death for centuries solely to increase their power and wealth. They treat people as god fodder. Well it’s all over now. And no doubt they will seek every disingenuous , sly, underhand, political, stealthy method to reverse the trend. But as the foolish Canute failed to hold back the incoming tide then the clergy will be swept aside by the ever increasing strength of the rational scientific secular forces. That just leaves the evils of islam ……….

  8. Broga says:

    K9P: Well said. The last funeral I went to they thought the dead man, whose ashes had just been buried, was watching and listening. One ancient sister also said, “He is in a far, far better place.” The location or nature of the place was unspecified.

    The availability of virgins, I’m sure, would not have met with his sister’s approval. It would certainly have met with his although his memory was sanctified by the Vicar who scarcely knew him. Sanctimony and hypocrisy and fantasy throughout.

  9. JohnMWhite says:

    If anyone knows what this actually means, please enlighten me.

    It means “Look, I know we all hate the gays, but we’ll never succeed in ruining their lives if we don’t have a bit more leverage in the political realm so let’s shut up about it for a year or two and get people back into the pews so we can slowly fill them with hate again”.

    And the idea that there is ‘no justification’ for people not believing, coupled with the hair-splitting over disbelief and unbelief, are hallmarks of an intellectually empty chamber pot. “I don’t like it” is not the same as there being no justification. It is infantile and insulting. People do not believe for reasons they can articulate, among them often simply “that makes no bloody sense”. Unfortunately the shoe tends not to be on the other foot, and Super Nintendo Chalmers seems to be quite happy with the idea of people turning up at church for no reason. All that matters is the pews are full, along with the collection plate.

  10. Robster says:

    Jeesus! The sheep are waking up, Can’t stop it.