McCarthyite Secularism – Letter in The Herald

The Scottish Secular Societies campaign to get Christianity out of schools has been exposed and they are not happy. They tried to invent some kind of conspiracy theory whereby myself, Alaister Noble and Ken Cunningham have been colluding together and accused me of preaching several sermons against them at Ken’s church. I preached once and as far as I can recall mentioned SSS only once. My answer to their accusations was published in todays Herald – and of course it resulted in the usual abuse, mockery and paranoia. Having lost the ‘creationist scare’ argument they have now clearly lost the plot. Anyway here is the letter.

SPENCER Fildes of the Scottish Secular Society (SSS) is “aghast at the news that Mr Robertson has publicly targeted our society in sermons at Mr [Ken] Cunningham’s Cartsbridge Church” (“Banning creationism lessons is dangerous, warn headteachers”, The Herald, November 21). Let me calm his gast and reassure him that I have not publicly targeted Secular Scotland in sermons at Cartsbridge Church, nor am I in a conspiracy with Ken Cunningham, General Secretary of School Leaders Scotland, to promote creationism. This would be difficult given that I am not a young earth creationist, I have only spoken once at Cartsbridge Church (amongst the many churches I speak at); the subject was the church in Scotland today and not the tiny SSS, and I do not know Ken Cunningham and don’t think I have ever met him, unless it was to shake his hand at the door.
I’m afraid that the SSS is once again showing its anti-religous paranoia when it promotes this kind of conspiracy theory. SSS’s paranoia was further demonstrated when it posted on its Facebook page the “religious affiliation” of the MSPs on the Parliamentary committee discussing their petition, implying that religious people could not give the petition a fair hearing. This McCarthyite tendency to see “Christians under the bed” everywhere is quite concerning.

David Robertson, Solas CPC, Swan House, 2 Explorer Road, Technology Park, Dundee.

Secularist Maths, Conspiracy Theorists and Paranoia in the Scotsman and Herald

The Scottish Secular Society are tying themselves in knots over my recent article in the Scotsman – yesterday there were four letters in the Scotsman attacking me – today The Scotsman printed the response below.

It was interesting to read four letters published in The Scotsman (20 November) accusing me of false witness and of being an extremist religious theocrat etc.

I stand completely by the comments that the Scottish ­Secular Society (SSS) is an anti-religious organisation that uses the guise of secularism as a cover for its anti-religious programme.

Anyone looking at its Facebook page will note that the vast majority of the threads are attacking and mocking religion (this week, for example you get one of their Scotsman letter writers saying of me: “He won’t be happy until a militant fundi atheist crucifies him outside his beloved Dens Park”).

The fact that a handful of members profess to be religious is of no more significance than the fact that some members of the BNP are non-white. It is interesting that SSS wants to create an “open democratic process” by banning the things it doesn’t agree with. Orwell would have been proud.

In its petition to the Scottish Parliament SSS was unable to provide one example of “creationism” being taught in science classes in Scottish schools.

Ken Cunningham, general secretary of School Leaders ­Scotland, writing to the Scottish Parliament in response to the SSS petition, has also accused the society of using “inflammatory rhetoric”.

They are indeed using this issue as a Trojan Horse to try and exclude Christianity from public education.

Speaking of false accusations, let me point out that I do not seek church control over schools, I do not want religion taught as science, nor do I ask that my church be allowed to indoctrinate all with our beliefs.

I do, however, ask that we be allowed to express those ­beliefs in public, in politics and in ­education; and that we have the right, according to the UN ­charter of human rights, to have our children educated according to those beliefs – a right which SSS seeks to remove. Personal abuse and claims of “misrepresentation” don’t take away from facts.

Just because I refuse to bow before the secularist faith does not mean I should be crucified.

David Robertson

Meanwhile the following report appears in todays Herald. What is interesting is it shows how Secular Scotland work. Yesterday they could hardly contain their excitement – we have something big breaking tomorrow….can’t tell you its so exciting….we all waited with bated breath and then (drum roll now needed) today it arrived – “Mr Robertson has delivered sermons at the Cartsbridge Evangelical Church, in East Renfrewshire, where Mr Cunningham is a member…..Mr Fildes said: “We are aghast at the news that Mr Robertson has publicly targeted our society in sermons at Mr Cunningham’s Cartsbridge Church and it is equally incredulous to learn that Mr Noble preaches there.” I have spoken once at Cartsbridge Evangelical church – I have not delivered ‘sermons’ at Cartsbridge. And I did not target the Scottish Secular Society. I was speaking about how we proclaim the Gospel in secular Scotland today (meaning the nation – I don’t equate the tiny SSS with Scotland!) – you can hear the sermon here –

I mentioned them once during the sermon as a noisy minority, contrasting their activity with the churches inactivity and suggesting that we should pray for them. But Mr Fildes is ‘aghast’. I speak in many different churches every year. The notion that I have spoken in the same church as Mr Cunningham means nothing. I don’t know Mr Cunningham and as far as I know have never spoken to him. But such is the anti-religious paranoia of SSS that they engage in this kind of McCarthyite witchhunt – its not ‘reds under the bed’ but ‘Christians under the bed’. Its both amusing and pathetic that they somehow think my preaching at a church in which someone who critiqued them attends is somehow evidence of a great conspiracy!

The Herald report is below.

EDUCATION CORRESPONDENT MOVES to ban the study of creationism in Scottish schools have been criticised as “dangerous” by headteachers.
The attack came after the Scottish Secular Society (SSS) lodged a petition with the Scottish Parliament calling for new government guidance on the issue.
The society believes schools should not be allowed to present the belief that the universe originates from acts of divine creation as a viable alternative to established science.
However, Ken Cunningham, general secretary of School Leaders Scotland (SLS), which represents secondary headteachers, said schools were fully aware of the need to protect pupils from “extremist” views.
In a letter to Holyrood’s public petitions committee he said banning the teaching of a particular topic would set a dangerous precedent.
“We do not feel this is a serious issue for schools, despite the inflammatory rhetoric frequently used by the petitioners,” the letter states.
“Speaking on behalf of secondary schools, we feel there are enough checks and balances KEN CUNNINGHAM: Schools aware of ‘extremist’ views already within the system to prevent extremist views being perpetrated.
“It is, we feel, always dangerous to identify particular views, whatever they be, and take the approach that is being suggested here.”
The intervention was welcomed by Rev David Robertson, the next Moderator of the Free Church of Scotland.
He said: “This demonstrates the SSS are simply trying to scaremonger and we hope our MSPs have the sense not to give in.”
However, Spencer Fildes, chairman of the SSS, said creationist organisations were already attempting “with some success” to penetrate schools.
He went on to question whether the views expressed in the SLS submission were those of Mr Cunningham because of connections his church has with the Free Church of Scotland.
Mr Robertson has delivered sermons at the Cartsbridge Evangelical Church, in East Renfrewshire, where Mr Cunningham is a member.
Creationist advocate Alastair Noble, from the Centre for Intelligent Design, has also preached there – and was a former field officer for SLS.
Mr Fildes said: “We are aghast at the news that Mr Robertson has publicly targeted our society in sermons at Mr Cunningham’s Cartsbridge Church and it is equally incredulous to learn that Mr Noble preaches there.
“We believe Mr Cunningham is making a mockery of parliamentary procedure by not disclosing his clear connections with creationists giving sermons at his church.”
Last night, Mr Cunningham dismissed any suggestion the letter to the committee did not represent the views of the teaching union.
He said it reflected the official position of SLS after discussion with the organisation’s presidential team, comprising four serving headteachers.
“The letter was sent as a result of an official request for further information from the Scottish Parliament and reflects the views of the organisation,” he added.
“At no time does it pass judgement on the merits or otherwise of creationism, but raises only the view that professional school staff are best-placed to deal with all such issues.”
The SSS petition was lodged after it emerged members of a US pro-creationist religious sect had been working as classroom assistants at a primary school in East Kilbride.
In England and Wales the teaching of creationism as scientific theories is prohibited in schools.

SSS Maths
Finally and somewhat amusingly its a good job that SSS don’t teach maths in Scotlands schools. Both on their FB page and the Scotsman letters comments page they make some very basic errors – ie. “Since they insist on counting, Gordon Bell cant even count. .01% of Scotland’s 5.5 million is 55,000 which is about 5.5 times the Wee Free adherents in Scotland (circa 10,000) So it isnt .01 more like .002%..” And this from a man who called me the Idiot Designate! I love the fact that the following exchange is on their FB page -
I sense he will respond angrily tomorrow to the inacruracy of the letter, where Leslie claimed DAR represents 0.01 % of Scotland’s faith population. Seems Leslie has been over generous, as the figure is actually 0.001%. You missed a ’0′ out there. I can imagine DAR will pounce on that. lol

- What are your workings for that result, Steffy?

5.295 million people who are scotland’s population -vs- 5,400 communicant members of the Free Church of Scotland

- 5,400 divided by 5,295,000. Simples

What is even funnier is that several SSS members ‘like’ these posts although they are obviously mathematically illiterate. Just to help them. 0.01% of 5,250,000 is 525. 0.001% is 52. The Free Church actually now has around 15,000 members and adherents – which is 0.3% of the population. Perhaps I am being unkind – perhaps SSS were referring to their own membership – which is much nearer the 0.001%! Anyway how ironic that SSS in expressing their concern about the possibility of educational dumbing down, demonstrate great evidence of that dumbing down!

Beware the Trojan Horse of Secularism – Solas Article in The Scotsman

Secularist attacks on faith are on the rise, says David Robertson

The term Trojan Horse has suddenly become very popular in the media and the Twittersphere. This is because of the Birmingham schools debacle where extremist Islamists were deemed to have attempted to take control of state schools from within. Sadly the emotive use of the term, combined with the meaningless soundbite of British values, always used by politicians who seem unable to define them, has resulted in a clear and present danger to our liberal society – an increasingly authoritarian government.

Teresa May, the Home Secretary, announced plans last month to establish Extremism Disruption Orders which would allow judges to ban people who are considered extremists from broadcasting, protesting or even using social media. The obvious point, which seems to have escaped the government, is that anyone can be called an extremist. I am apparently an extremist because I think marriage is between a man and a woman, others might be considered extremist because they were opposed to Conservative government policies. Who defines what is extremist? This is a real Trojan Horse – an attempt to get more state control over citizens by using the “lets protect ourselves from extremists” mantra. Little wonder it has brought together such diverse groups as the Christian Institute and the National Secular Society in opposition.

The Birmingham case has also resulted in lots of scare stories about ‘faith schools’. The British government through Ofsted, are so theologically illiterate and so desperate to be considered fair that they seem to be doing their best to hammer all such schools and insist that British values (ie, the values of the governing elite at the time) should be taught in every school. The irony is that the Birmingham schools affected were not faith schools!

We have another Trojan Horse scare in Scotland, this time from the Scottish Secular Society, who are petitioning the Scottish Parliament about the great danger to children from some teachers somewhere in Scotland who might actually believe that God the Creator might have had something to do with creation. SSS want politicians to legislate on what should be taught in science classes. I may be kind of old-fashioned but my view is that science should be taught in science classes – not religious or anti-religious philosophy. If atheists choose to believe that the universe created itself out of nothing that’s up to them – but please don’t seek to impose your faith upon the rest of us. The reality is of course that this is an attempt to introduce something that is alien to Scottish culture – the science/religion culture wars of the US. In that respect we should be aware that atheist fundamentalists are as dangerous as religious fundamentalists. I suspect that people who want to ban “all things bright and beautiful”, fall into the former category.

And what can we make of the Scottish Humanist Society’s spending £40,000 to employ Glasgow University to investigate religious privilege in Scotland? A Humanist (Professor Callum Brown) being employed by the Humanist Society to investigate religious privilege. I wonder what the results could possibly be? And here is where the real Trojan Horse danger is. The humanists and the secularists are both tiny groups who have such faith in their own beliefs that they think the whole of Scotland should be governed by them. In order to push those beliefs, and remove from the public sphere the traditional Christian influence, they hide behind “equality” (which of course they will define according to their faith) and seek to banish all views they do not agree with.

It is right to be concerned about Islamic extremists in Birmingham. But we should be even more concerned about those who, Trojan Horse-like, use fears about religion in the US, and Islam in the Middle East, to further their own anti-religious agenda which will ultimately end up in a weakening of our democracy, a growing secularist intolerance and an increasing concentration of power in those who just know that their views are the only permissible ones. It is to be hoped that MSPs have the sense, intelligence and backbone not to give in to this scaremongering and that they continue to protect our hard-won freedoms.

• David Robertson is director at Solas Centre for Public Christianity

The original of this article is in todays Scotsman and can be found here –

Quantum of Solas 9 – the one with Abortion, The Church in the UK, Hillsong and Homosexuality, and more Leonard Cohen

Here is our latest podcast – why not subscribe? This week we look at Ruth Gledhill’s thoughts on why the church in the UK is declining, Ann Furedi’s extreme views on abortion, Brian Houston and Hillsong on homosexuality, KaleidoScot and LGBTI rights, and a beautiful song from Leonard Cohen!

Biblical Christians are Winning the War – Here’s Why – A Response to Martin Saunders

The wounds of a friend are faithful. I regard Martin Saunders as a ‘friend’ and therefore his article on Christian Today as faithful.

It wounded. And then some. According to Martin my article on Steve Chalke’s latest attack on Evangelical Christianity was rude, discourteous, ungracious, unloving and not nice. Ouch! I accept of course that that sometimes happens at the more ‘conservative’ end. And its something I abhor. Time for sackcloth and ashes?!

But leaving aside the personal, Martin’s article also made me think. About a key issue in the Church in the UK today. What is our future? Martins view is one that many Christians share, ‘Conservative’ Christians are losing the argument because we are just not very nice people. We are the UKIP of Christianity, if not the BNP; backward, bitter and on the wrong side of history. Which is a shame, because according to Martin, we still have a lot to contribute to the diversity of the church, if only we were nicer. I believe that Martin means well and yet I also believe he is profoundly wrong and does not need to be so pessimistic about those us he calls conservatives, and dare I say it, nasty about those of us who are not nice. The trouble is that he gets the wrong picture because he frames the question wrongly.

We are Radicals not Conservatives. I am not a conservative Christian. The terminology is all wrong. Conservative speaks to me of a political, social and staid viewpoint. It is the wrong and unbiblical term to use. We are biblical Christians and therefore the far more appropriate term to use is radical. I don’t want to ‘conserve’ our corrupt society – I want to turn it upside down (Acts 17:6)! The irony is that it is those who call themselves ‘progressives’ who are in fact the conservatives. They go along with the culture and shibboleths of our day. Why do you think the secular media love and laud Steve Chalke, Vicky Beeching, Richard Cole and Bishop Holloway? Because they are basically of the same mind. “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you” (John 15:18-19).

We are not interested in winning arguments – We want to win the war. Martin is concerned that the ‘conservative’ voice is losing the argument because we are marginalised in the house of bishops or shouted down online. I don’t care. The House of Bishops allows people within it who are scarcely theists, never mind biblical Christians. Being marginalised by such would be an honour. Being invited to share at their table, a real danger. The Internet is filled with flaming trolls who use its anonymity to spew out their bile, hates and frustrations. They can try all they want to drown me; I follow the One who walks on water! In addition, even though I confess I am a very argumentative person I am not really interested in winning arguments. My concern is to fight a spiritual battle. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12). I want to win the people and rescue them from the prince of this world, from the forces of darkness, from the deadness of their sins. And I know I can’t. Only the Gospel proclaimed in the power of the Spirit and the love of Christ can. That’s what I care about. I share Pauls passion “For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth’. (2 Corinthians 13:8). It is about time that the Church in the UK realised we are in the midst of a spiritual battle.

Let me give you one personal example of how this works – something I have not shared before – but Martin cut deep – and so out of the depths I tell you this. In 2011 Gordon Wilson (former leader of the SNP) and yours truly prepared a formal response on behalf of Solas ( to the Scottish government on Same Sex Marriage. We knew that once it was published all hell would break loose. And it did. And not just in a political/media storm sense (it was front page news in Scotland). I had expected the vitriolic letters, hate e-mails and twitter rage. What I had not anticipated was the spiritual assault that came. As a result at the end of that week I ended up in hospital and for several weeks my life hung in the balance. I am immensely thankful to the Lord for his amazing answer to the prayers of thousands of his people (my surgeon who was not a believer said that my survival and return to health was a miracle) but let me tell you something just now. That period of severe illness, coma, pain and near death was also a period of great spiritual blackness, darkness and assault. It makes me shudder every time I think about it and I pray I never have to go through it again. I have no time for those who see ‘demons’ everywhere, but since that day I have been acutely conscious that we are engaged in a spiritual battle. It ain’t nice.

We don’t want to be ‘nice’. And that is why being nice is not really a priority. I am looking at my concordance just now and amazingly, for something so apparently essential to the Christian faith, I just can’t find the word ‘nice’ in it. It does seem to me to be tied up with that ‘conservative’ image. You know the nice old lady who lives in the nice pretty village of Little Woking on The Hill, who gives a nice cup of tea to the nice vicar, before they all have a nice service. To me its Brigadoon fantasy Churchianity. Nothing to do with the real world and the real battle we are supposed to be fighting. You don’t defeat the Nazis by niceness.

Speaking of that real world – I was confused by Martin’s assertion that progressive used to be interchangeable with reformed. Not in any history/theology book that I have ever read. But that is a minor detail compared with the astonishing assertion that the reason we need to be nice is “‘people have access to far more information and a greater array of voices than any other generation in history”. People are now broader and shallower and therefore are more susceptible to the compelling voice and the soundbite. So we need to be nice! If the Church thinks like that we have already lost. Firstly it fails to recognise that the greater array of voices is not providing more information, it is actually only creating more confusion. The Church needs to speak not with the myriad tongues of Babylon, but rather with the clear and certain voice of Christ speaking through his Word. And we must not become broad and shallow in order to appeal to a broad and shallow world! People need depth. “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14). I’m not prepared to encourage people to walk on the broad road just to be popular and win an argument.

Martin however gives us a much better definition of ‘nice’. Nice means kind and compassionate, coming from a place of love. And who could argue with that? But the problem here is that Martin seems only concerned with the tone (which apparently does not appeal to our superficial, shallow, soundbite culture). At a minor level he is being self-contradictory – how is accusing someone of being rude, discourteous and not nice, ‘nice?! Also complaining that division in the church causes unbelief and then setting up such a division, based on perceived tone, is not helpful. In the blue corner we have the nice if somewhat mistaken Mr Chalke, and in the red, the nasty Piper/Robertson serious grumpy, unlistening, joyless, old men. Having said that I accept that being unpleasant, rude, unloving etc is a horrendous way to behave, and not the way of Christ. But the trouble with ‘niceness’ is that it is not about fact. It is about perception. Doubtless for many who read my article now it will be through the ‘nasty- narrative’ spectacles provided by Martin, who read a tone into the article which I do not believe was there.

Martin thinks that liberals are so much better at doing ‘nice’. I agree. Some have the smooth voice, the silky tones, the fine words. So what? The devil is also brilliant at doing nice. He comes as the angel of light, not the nasty horned demon. I have been involved in the UK church scene and the wider politics thereof for long enough to know that liberals are as vicious (behind the scenes), if not more so, than conservatives, when it comes to church politics and power games. I have sat in a meeting where people expressed their ‘love’ for one another, prayed for each other and were very nice; before they went off to an official church meeting where they voted to get rid of the very people they had just been praying with! If someone stabs me in the back it doesn’t make any difference if they do it with a kiss, a smiling face, a prayer and a gentle voice!

The major issue though is that niceness seems to be defining what love, kindness and compassion are, rather than the other way round. I believe it was love, kindness and compassion that compelled Jesus to drive the money changers out of the temple, to tell the Pharisees that they were liars like their father the devil, and to move Paul to write the Galatians that he wished the circumcising false teachers would go the whole way and castrate themselves (Galatians 5:12)! It was because Jesus, and his apostles, were so compassionate, so loving and so kind that they could not bear that people would be deceived by false teaching. That was my motivation in writing about Steve Chalke’s teaching. It was not about him. I don’t know him personally. I have nothing against him personally. It was about his teaching that so harmful to the good news of Jesus and therefore harmful to all who are taken in by it. The trouble is that Martin’s article turns the narrative into a personal one, ‘Chalke is nice, Robertson is nasty.’’’ That may be true but it’s an irrelevant smokescreen. To me nicely beating about the bush is about as useful as inserting emoticons into a Facebook message in order to try and convey tone. Steve Chalke may rarely lash out at this detractors in public – (although accusing us of denying the very nature of God is far fiercer than anything I had said!) but I wish he would actually engage in dialogue with us, (my offer of speaking at his ‘dialogue’ conference still stands – unanswered!), instead of portraying us as backward heartless right wing rednecks, and himself as some kind of latter day compassionate, progressive prophet leading the church into the promised land.

And this is where Martin makes his biggest mistake. “While division in the church is unhelpful, diversity within it is wonderful. Different views, voices and perspectives are like the many component parts of an orchestra, strengthening and complementing one another.” To which I would cry a hearty amen. Except for the one major flaw. The argument with Steve Chalke is not about ‘diversity’ within the church – it is about what the church actually is. This is where the language of ‘conservative’ and ‘liberal’ is so unhelpful. Lets call it what it is – biblical and unbiblical. When the conservative Christian says that Jesus is the Son of God who literally rose from the dead, and the ‘liberal’ Christian says ‘no that is not literally true’ then it is a madness from the pit of hell to say that they are just component parts of the same orchestra. They are from completely different bands, playing different tunes and putting them together creates a discordant clash.

Diversity is what I experience in the church all the time. People of different age, background, race, social class, gifts, experience, temperaments and personalities working and worshipping together in the church. The only thing that unites them together is Christ and his Word. Once people start undermining the Bible they start teaching different Christs. Nothing causes greater division and disharmony. That is why I speak out against a teaching which makes a mockery of the atonement, calls Christ uncompassionate because he does not accept our societies redefinition of marriage and announces that the church has got it all wrong until Steve came along and discovered the ‘lost message of Jesus’. Ironically Martin chastises me for the tone of what I am playing, whilst neglecting to point out that Steve Chalke is the discordant one refusing to go along with The Conductor, and ignoring His score!

Biblical Christianity is winning the war because as Jesus says “heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away” (Matthew 24:35). “So is my word that goes out from my mouth: it will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it”.(Isaiah 55:11). That is why all over the UK there are churches that are growing and developing as the Word of God is proclaimed in the love, joy, power and assurance of the Spirit. Not ‘conservative’ churches. But radical, bible believing, contemporary, Spirit filled churches of whatever denomination. The battle belongs to the Lord and so victory is his. I’m sticking with Christ and his Word, whatever the world says – I have no intention of being a loser! My call is not to compromise with Christ’s enemies, but to win them for Him.

I believe by far the biggest danger we face today in the church in the West, is not the militant secularists, Islamic jihadists or antagonistic atheists. The greatest danger is the enemy within. Hence my ‘not nice’ passion. There is nothing I am more passionate about than Jesus. He is my ‘Magnificent Obsession’. If Peter could be accused of doing the work of Satan because he sought to prevent Christ going to the cross, then I’m sure it’s not wrong to accuse those who deny that work, of the same wrongdoing. Paul warned with tears the Ephesian elders for three years “ “I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them” (Acts 20:31) It wasn’t nice. But it was Christlike compassionate passion!

The War is on. We will lose some battles (and arguments). But the Victory is already assured. D-Day happened at Calvary. The rest of Time is a mopping up operation as Christ gathers his Bride, and beautifies her for Eternity. I have no worries about defeat at all. I just want to love and serve him. He doesn’t need me. I need him. If we are serious about reaching our broad, shallow, superficial world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, then lets not mimic that world, but rather let us follow the teaching of Paul to the Romans who themselves were seeking to reach their great and sinful society; Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2).

An edited version of this appeared on the Christian Today website –

David Robertson
Solas CPC
10th November 2014

Has the Free Church gone Mad? Personal Abuse in The Scotsman

Has the Free Church of Scotland completely lost its remaining marbles? What made them think for one fraction of a second that making Reverend David Robertson their next Moderator was a remotely good idea?

Here is a Christian church that once upon a time had in Professor Donald Macleod the best leader any church never had, let alone the Wee Frees, who buttonholed with charm so even his most vociferous opponents would grudgingly smirk that all too often he had a point.

One decade later, and they think appointing someone with the didactic and diplomatic skills of a pub bouncer is somehow A Good Idea.

The main result of this madness will be a year-long disaster as the church’s dwindling resources are squandered on Rev Robertson’s self-publicity ego trips.

Mark Boyle (Letter published in Scotsman 10th November).

My response published today:

I am disappointed that The Scotsman saw fit to publish a 
letter from Mark Boyle (Letters, 10 November) which was nothing more than a personal attack on myself.

Just because I stand up for the Christian faith against the militant secularist agenda does not make me a self-publicist nor a pub bouncer.

Believe me, the level of hate mail and abuse that happens every time I dare to question the fundamentals of the secular elites, is reason enough to avoid this kind of publicity.

Alistair McBay of the National Secular Society (Letters, same issue) makes a more serious point, although it is confused, as is this whole issue, by the inability to define what creationism 
actually is.

The fact is that in Scotland’s schools the only attempt to introduce the American-style creation/culture wars is from the secularists. If by creationism Mr McBay means young earth six-day creationism, then that is not being taught in any science class in Scotland’s schools.

If, however, by creationism he means anyone who believes that there is a Creator, then I am right to be concerned that the Secular Society are using the bogeyman of “creationism” to further their campaign to remove Christianity from Scotland’s education 

David Robertson

St Peters Free Church

A Short Reflection for Remembrance Sunday

On Remembrance Sunday its good to remember not only those who died, but the society which they died for. On Sunday 26th May 1940 King George VI called a National Day of Prayer for the nation. The country heeded the call. When the Lewis soldiers left Stornoway on their troop ship, the crowds gathered at the pier and sang Ps 46 in Gaelic to send them off.

In the film version of A Bridge Too Far, at the end, as the paratroopers waited to be captured and imprisoned they spontaneously started singing “Abide with Me’. This is a version sung in remembrance a few years ago -

It was a nation where prayer, hymns and general recognition of the Christian faith (even if many were not practicing Christians) was at the heart. Fast forward to today – and what do we have? The Secularists are demanding that religion be removed from Remembrance services, that crosses be removed from Remembrance memorials and saddest of all they exult in every removal of Christian faith from public life – take this very sad post – “Really pleased to say that after feedback from parents, my son’s high school has changed its proposed plans to work with Operation Christmas Child. They also referred to the Scottish Secular Society when formatting their Time for Reflection schedule in 2 out of 3 points and have just informed parents that Armistice Day will not be observed through a religious lens. “ – Thus the removal of humanitarian aid for children (just because it is Christian), the removal of Christianity from armistice day, and the removal of any explicit Christianity from religious observance, by a few militants demanding their way, is considered a cause for celebration. In the next few days you are going to hear a lot of squealing and shouting about how secularists are not atheists, and ‘we just want a level playing field for all’. They may not all technically be atheists, but they are vehemently anti-religion in general and anti-Christian in particular.

AS for a level playing field. This is what they mean – the removal of all religion, especially Christianity, from all areas of public life – so that only their godless philosophy holds sway. It is as great an enemy to this country as any we faced in 1940. Such intolerance, stupidity and bigotry will result in disaster for the UK and all its constituent nations. Don’t be fooled by the meaningless language of tolerance, equality and so on. They don’t mean it and they don’t understand what it is (because they have no intelligent rational framework within which to frame meaning for such morals). They just simply assume that their way is the only way and that anyone with any intelligence and morality will support what for them is self-evidently right. They want to eradicate Christianity from public life and they will stop at nothing until they get it. Does anyone seriously imagine that a secular humanist atheistic Britain would have been able to stand up to Hitler?

Thankfully, whatever the danger, Ps 46 still applies!

Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging. Selah

4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
5 God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.
6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

7 The LORD Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah

8 Come and see the works of the LORD,
the desolations he has brought on the earth.
9 He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth;
he breaks the bow and shatters the spear,
he burns the shields with fire.
10 “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”

11 The LORD Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.

The Holy Bible: New International Version. (1984). (Ps 46:2–11). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

The Battle Rages – Article and Letter in The Herald, article on CT and in P and J

The Herald today carries the following piece and also a letter by yours truly. It is important that we get the message out that this is not about American style creation/culture wars but more about the attempt by atheists to use secularism and the bogeyman of creationism to achieve their goal of getting Christianity out of the education system. The Press and Journal also have an article headlined ‘Minister in row with atheists’…The Scotsman have a letter attacking our position, and just for good measure Christian Today have an article attacking me for being ‘unkind’ and not nice to Steve Chalke from Martin Saunders (the thought crosses my mind whether he thinks he is being kind and nice in accusing me of being unkind and not nice – but more of that later!)…

The Herald Article

Free Kirk Leader attacks ‘Militant Atheists’ over Creationism Ban

CAMPAIGNERS bidding to ban schools from teaching creationism in science lessons are “militant atheists” who want to impose their own views on youngsters and discourage questioning, a church leader has claimed.
Reverend David Robertson, who will become the next Moderator of the Free Church of Scotland in May, accused the Scottish Secular Society (SSS) of using the issue of creationism in schools to “undermine and attack Christianity in pursuit of their sectarian and bigoted antireligious beliefs”.
The SSS has put forward a petition calling on Education Secretary Mike Russell to issue guidance to publicly funded schools and colleges to “prevent the teaching of creationism and related doctrines as viable alternatives to established science”.

Creationism is the belief that the universe and living beings originate “from specific acts of divine creation”, with the SSS saying last year that teaching of this “and the denial of evolution has been found in three separate Scottish schools in a very short period of time”. This, it argued, raises concerns that “such views and excesses may be endemic in the system”. The SSS – whose proposal would allow creationism to be discussed in religious education classes – will make its case to MSPs at the Scottish Parliament’s Public Petitions Committee next week.

Ahead of that, Rev Robertson claimed the group was seeking to “impose an atheistic philosophy on children”.
The Dundee-based preacher said: “Since when was science determined by MSPs? Once we have politicians telling science teachers what to teach, on the advice of one particular faith belief, then we are in real trouble.
“Could we not have a more tolerant and Christian view of science? And could we not encourage children to think about the issues for themselves, rather than just tell them what to think?”
The St Peter’s Free Church minister continued: “The secularist faith tells them that there can be no intelligent design, because of course they do not want to believe even in the possibility of a designer.
“However in this they are not being scientific – they are just seeking to impose their religious view upon the whole of society.”
“It is desperately disappointing that secularists believe the key danger in 21st-century Scotland is apparently creationism, not the 20 per cent of Scottish children who live in poverty, nor the many thousands who have faced the ravages of sexual abuse and drug addiction.”

Both SSS chairman Spencer Fildes and Professor Paul Braterman, the group’s scientific adviser, are due to appear before the committee on Tuesday.
In a submission to MSPs, Mr Fildes argued that nothing in the petition would prevent the discussion of creationism in its “proper place as part of the study of ideas”. He also claimed that it did not “infringe on individual freedom of belief”.
The SSS said at the moment, the Scottish curriculum does not specifically make clear that “teaching creationism as an alternative to the overwhelming scientific consensus on the origins of the universe, or in any context as a viable alternative to accepted science, is unacceptable”.
But it stated: “This is not the case in England and Wales, where the Department for Education has stated that ‘We do not expect creationism, intelligent design and similar ideas to be taught as valid scientific theories in any statefunded school’.”

And the Letter:

The Privilege of the Humanists

HOW ironic that the letter from Iain Stuart, asserting that Humanists do not think their principles should be the only ones allowed in Scotland, is accompanied by one from his fellow Humanist Prof Norman Bonney, asking that the study of theology be removed from Scotland’s universities (Letters, November 7). This is the secular humanist idea of tolerance.
Of course I challenge the integrity and purpose of “research” which is paid for by the Humanist Society and is conducted by one of its members who states that his methodology will be to scour documents for evidence of religious privilege. We all know what the results of this research will be – a result which has already been purchased and pre-determined.
My primary concern, however, is with the privilege that the tiny minority of secular humanists have in Scottish society. In a pluralistic society their views should be one of many. But it appears as though they regard their beliefs as so selfevidently right, that the whole of society should be governed by them, whether we want it or not.

David Robertson, St Peters Free Church,

Bid to Ban Creationism is Militant Atheism – The Scotsman

I’ve had enough…its time to call out the self-styled secularists for what they are – militant atheists who want to use the guise of secularism in order to impose their belief system and squash Christianity. I am glad that the Scotsman and the Herald have picked up on this – it is a message we will keep repeating until it sinks in. Christianity is not opposed to science – indeed the very opposite. But those who are militant atheists seek to use science to squash Christianity…they confuse their philosophy of scientism with empirical science…and they have no idea about creation or what creationism actually is….anyway here is the Scotsman article.