The #churchtoo Movement Comes to the Free Church of Scotland’s Donald Macleod

There are two kinds of people: those who say to God, ‘Thy will be done,’ and those to whom God says, ‘All right, then, have it your way.’ C. S. Lewis


Donald Macleod

Update: Amy Smith and I have been asked by law enforcement to delay our post tomorrow so they can complete their investigation. We have agreed to comply. I plan to write more about Donald Macleod tomorrow.


Last year, I decided to investigate the suicide and hidden life of Iain D Campbell when I read a newspaper article in which it appeared that locals were blaming his wife for his decades of serial adultery. I know some people were surprised that a woman in Raleigh, North Carolina, would be interested in this story. However, my interest in the situation brought some people into my life who shared more deeply about the actual events.  I wrote about it here. Blindsided: The True Story of the Circumstances Surrounding the Death of Iain Campbell

As time went on, my suspicions and information proved to be accurate which resulted in further posts. There was an attempt by unknown parties to hurt Dee’s reputation and the reputation of her husband with an ill advised letter which backfired on those involved. If anyone is thinking about trying that again, please be sensible. My church, the synod, Duke University, etc. were not amused.

Why I am interested in Donald Macleod

In the midst of gathering information on Iain D Campbell (hereafter referred to as IDC), I became aware of several matters.

  1. An obituary for IDC, written by Donald Macleod, appeared to be vaguely threatening towards IDC’s family, who had endured so much. His gushing account of IDC’s life did not track with reality. Here is a link to the wayback version because the obituary was quietly removed from the Internet. Why? I have no idea, and Donald Macleod isn’t talking. Here is the parting shot from Rev. Macleod. Do him proud? Seriously? You mean the guy with multiple affairs who hurt his marriage and refused to reconcile? Who disregarded his family by spending untold amounts of time with his various mistresses? Who abused his clergy privilege in something we, in the States, refer to as clergy sex abuse. And it is up to his family to *do him proud?* “In the meantime, we have a duty of care to Iain’s wife, Anne; to his mother, Lily; to his sons, Iain and Stephen; to his daughter Emily; and to his sisters, Margaret and Alma.  He was their hero.  May they do him proud.”
  2. Various individuals have been after me to reveal the name(s) of my source. That will NEVER happen. One of my sources for the original story suggested that I look into Donald Macleod. I was told that IDC initially supported the proceedings against Macleod. But, suddenly, with no reason given to others, IDC decided to support Macleod!
  3. One commenter in my original post claims there was no way that IDC could carry out his extensive and decades long extracurricular activities on the small Isle of Lewis without someone finding out about it. Could it be that some fellow pastors in the Free Church of Scotland knew about IDC and kept it secret since IDC was internationally renowned and important to the status of the Free Church? IDC could have gone anywhere but chose to remain in the Isle of Lewis. Why? Did Donald Macleod have knowledge of IDC’s activities? Was there a quid pro quo? I don’t have the answers to these questions, but I think about them.

Main reason for this post: Long overdue support for the victims of Donald Macleod

My main reason for writing this post and subsequent posts is for the women who reported abuse by Donald Macleod and were branded as liars. I believe they were telling the truth, and I want to be an advocate for a group of women with whom I have never met nor spoken with.

There were multiple women who claimed that Donald Macleod behaved inappropriately with them. They were all branded as liars during a 1996 trial by the Sheriff Court. Another possible victim in Australia was also blown off as a liar! I was shocked to read the statements by the Sheriff and to realize that such statements would not be tolerated today.

So, for over 20 years, those brave women who came forward and told their stories have had to live with being called liars. These women have lived with both the pain of the abuse they endured and then the pain of being re-abused, in my opinion, by a callous Free Church and a cold-hearted Sheriff Court.

Ladies, if you are reading this, please know that I believe your stories, and I am sorry for the pain that you have endured these long years. As you will see, I have reason why I believe you, and I will document these reasons for as many posts as it takes.

Who is Donald Macleod and why he is important to those of us in the United States.

Donald Macleod is well-regarded in the United States by those within the Neo-Reformed set.

At this point I need to explain something. I understand that many Reformed theologians do not believe or accept those who claim they are Reformed and Baptist. This would include many members of The Gospel Colaition and men like Mark Dever, Al Mohler, CJ Mahaney and John Piper. This post will involve the theological differences that led to the Free Church of Scotland Continuing. It is essential to understand the difficulties surrounding Macleod. I am going to use the terms Calvinist and Reformed in an inclusive fashion, even though I know there are profound disagreements in this area. That disagreement is not why I am writing this post.

Here are some facts.

  • John Piper and Desiring God admire his writings and have featured them on the website.
  • Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia awarded Macleod an honorary degree, DD, in 2008. Some people refer to him as Dr. Macleod, which is incorrect. Unlike his BFF, IDC, Macleod does not have an earned PhD.
  • Carl Trueman endorsed his book, Christ Crucified: Understanding the Atonement. Challenge question for TWW readers. Who else has Carl Trueman endorsed that was involved in a ministry with serious questions about child sex abuse coverup?. ……...CJ Mahaney! “Those who have heard Donald Macleod preach or who have read his writings will know that the crucified Christ is, of all theological topics, his forte. He has dazzling insight matched by a way with words which together serve to bring out aspects of the person and work of Christ with memorable beauty. Thus it is a pleasure to be able to commend this book. If you are familiar with Donald’s work, you know what to expect and know that you will be challenged and edified. If you have never read him before, you are in for a treat.” (Carl R. Trueman, Paul Woolley Professor of Church History, Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia)
  • Saunter on over to The Gospel Coalition website and enter his name. You will see he is mentioned not infrequently.
  • Tim Keller considers Donald Macleod’s biography on C Stacey Woods as having influenced him. Different Donald Macleod.04/20/18
  • Southern Baptist Theological Seminary also recommended his books. Here is one such endorsement.
  • Ligon Duncan recommends his books for his courses. 
  • RC Sproul’s Ligonier Ministries also recommends one of his books.Different Donald Macleod 4/20/18 However, Sproul recommended this one.
  • None other than CJ Mahaney himself recommends Donald Macleod.

Do you catch my drift? Donald Macleod is important in the Neo-Calvinist movement in the United States. So, it is important that we understand him. Just like Mahaney, his past is no problem for these leaders since his theology is correct. However, I wonder how well they really know him?

Donald Macleod’s biography

This is from Donald Macleod’s website.

As an interesting aside, his first pastorate was in a bi-lingual church in Glasgow. That language was Gaelic, and Macleod often preached his sermons in Gaelic.

Donald Macleod retired as professor of systematic theology at the Free Church of Scotland College in Edinburgh in 2011. He was born on the Isle of Lewis, off the north-west coast of Scotland, in November 1940. Macleod was educated at the University of Glasgow (Master of Arts, 1961) and the Free Church College, Edinburgh (1961-1964). He was ordained on 5 November 1964 to his first charge, Kilmallie Free Church, where he served for six years.

In 1970, Donald Macleod was called to Partick Highland Free Church, a bi-lingual congregation in Glasgow, Scotland, where he preached five times a week, including two services conducted in Scottish Gaelic.

The Free Church General Assembly appointed him to the chair of Systematic Theology at the Free Church College in 1978. In 1999 he was chosen as principal of the College by the General Assembly, and in that role he spearheaded the College”s relationship with the University of Glasgow (where he is a visiting Professor) leading to the validation of the College”s degree of Bachelor of Theology.

In 2008, Donald Macleod was honoured with a Doctorate of Divinity by Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia. He retired from the post of principal of the Free Church College in May 2010.

Donald Macleod is well known as a previous editor of The Monthly Record of the Free Church and as a former columnist in the West Highland Free Press and The Observer newspaper.

Professor Macleod’s main theological interest centres on the link between theology and preaching. Over five decades he has sought to emphasise the primacy of the intellect in religious experience and the primacy of doctrine in preaching. In recent years Donald Macleod has focused on the theme of objective piacular atonement through the cross; and he continues to explore such topics as divine impassibility and Calvinistic libertarianism.

I am hoping our many readers from Scotland can help us out. It appears that Donald Macleod does not hold an academic Masters degree like we have in the US. Macleod received his MA at University of Glasgow in one year before completing his undergraduate work. According to the University:

At Glasgow (and the other three ancient universities in Scotland), an Honours level degree in the Arts is called a Master of Arts (MA) and an Honours level degree in the Social Sciences a Master of Arts (Social Sciences). These should not be confused with the Master of Arts offered by some universities in England, which refers to a postgraduate qualification.

He then attended Free Church College run by the Free Church of Scotland. It is now known as Edinburgh Theological Seminary.

Edinburgh Theological Seminary has a long history.

One of the first things the Free Church of Scotland did after it came into existence in 1843 was to set up a theological college because it saw the value of reformed theological education.

We have been here on The Mound ever since.

In fact, we are now one of the oldest theological colleges in Scotland.

Though we are an old institution, we are very much about training in theology for mission in the contemporary world.

Our well-designed curriculum is designed for training ministers and pastors, and much more.

Since Macleod was ordained the year he graduated, it appears that 4 years of education is all that is needed to be ordained in the Free Church of Scotland. This appears to differ from the US in which it is traditional to complete a 4 year undergraduate curriculum and then a 3 year Masters of Divinity.

Macleod became a Professor of Systematic Theology at Free Church College about 14 years after his graduation. He was instrumental in helping the college obtain validation for its Bachelor of Theology degree.  My guess is that means that degree finally became accredited. He later became a principal at that college. According to this site, a principal is:

The Principal is responsible for the overall operation of the University. As Vice-Chancellor he confers degrees on behalf of the Chancellor.

The Principal is President of the Senatus Academicus and ex-officio, a member of the University Court. He is nominated by the Curators of Patronage and appointed by the University Court.

Now, to the reason why I am writing this blog post.

Understanding US law

In the United States, we are allowed to say/write things that we believe to be true. In other words, we must not knowingly lie. However we are not mandated to conclusively prove that what we are saying or writing is correct. We must also never knowingly lie in order to bring harm to another person. We write this post to tell what we believe is the truth of the women who accused Macleod of sexual harassment. We do this to support them.

We are not required to believe that exoneration of an individual by a court means that a person is truly innocent. For example, ask the average US citizen if they believe OJ Simpson was innocent of the murder of his wife, even though he was declared *not guilty.* Most of the people I know believe he is guilty. We are free to say that in the US.

I say this for one reason. I believe the women who accused Donald Macleod of sexual harassment/abuse were telling the truth, and I am upset for the way they were treated by the church and by the Sheriff’s Court.

A brief overview of this complicated mess.

I am going to present documentation on this overview in my next post. Apparently, Donald Macleod was/is looked at as a liberal by some former and present leaders of the Free Church of Scotland. Macleod apparently believed that these individuals were jealous of his success. This sounds like typical infighting that goes on in any church group in the world and should not be considered rare or unusual.

Enter the women. Macleod was accused of an affair with a woman in Australia and was acquitted of that charge. Then other women came forward in Scotland with similar accusations. Sadly, these brave women were accused of being involved in a conspiracy to bring down Macleod. Make sure you understand this. Women decided to subject themselves to embarrassing questions and outright indignities because they were part of some ill-defined conspiracy. I don’t believe it.

Tomorrow, I plan to write more about what happened. In the meantime, I want our reader to know that much of my information comes from When Justice Failed in Church and State by Murdoch Murchison & Iain H Murray.

I wish I could reach out and hug all of the women who came forward. I also know that many pastors were mistreated and needed to leave the Free Church of Scotland to form a new group. More on that tomorrow. I am so, so sorry. Let me leave you with one of my favorite songs. Please know that my prayers are with you.

#metoo #churchtoo #FreeChurchtoo


Comments

The #churchtoo Movement Comes to the Free Church of Scotland’s Donald Macleod — 161 Comments

  1. @ JYJames:
    I needed to get some terms defined so that folks would understand why this story in Scotland is relevant to us in the States. Now, the really tough stuff is going to come.

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  2. dee wrote:

    needed to get some terms defined so that folks would understand why this story in Scotland is relevant to us

    Very well done, Dee. Your explanations are an education regarding culture, due process, and legalities. Also, I always enjoy when you open with a quote, sometimes a nature photo, and then close with inspiring music. Thanks. You have a gift of communication and a very loving heart. God bless.

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  3. The Donald McLeod who wrote the biography of Stacey Woods, recommended by Keller, is not the same person. Please check you haven’t made this error elsewhere.

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  4. “Not all women are under legally binding agreements about what they can say. Some of them just get to talk.” (Colbert comment regarding Nikki Haley today, but also applies to the rest of us, thank God. Fortunately, when Mary saw Jesus in the Garden, she went and told the others, and didn’t seek a “spiritual cover” to tell the news of the Resurrection. Jesus is her – and our – cover, no one else. Jesus died for our direct connection with God. Thanks, JC. So as women, we “just get to talk”.)

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  5. Morning from sunny Old Scotia

    Just for info: Macleod’s university degree will be at least a three year, possibly a four year course. The date given will be the year of graduation, not the entire course. Given that the time in theological training is stated as a period of time, and not simpy the year of graduation, I can see why the confusiion came in.

    Hope thats helpful. Interested to read the upcoming posts. Keep it up!

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  6. Excellent. Have been looking forward to this.

    Regarding Donald Macleod’s education – according to the information on his website, after obtaining his MA at the University of Glasgow in 1961, Donald Macleod spent another three years at the Free Church College (1961-64) before he was ordained. That does seem to make it 4+3=7 years.

    And yes, an MA degree awarded by one of the four ancient universities in Scotland is basically an undergraduate degree, in a way similar to MA (Oxon) or MA (Cantab) awarded by their respective ancient universities in England.

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  7. Rev. David Robertson published his own personal review of When Justice Failed in Church & State (which incorporated as Chapter 2 ‘Professor Donald Macleod and his ‘Opponents’). Mr. Robertson wrote, “But for our friends in other churches who wonder why the split occurred there is a danger that this book which is subtitled ‘An explanation of the Division in the Free Church of Scotland’, may give the wrong impression and indeed the wrong information. It is for that reason that I am making this refutation available. Which is why it is particularly grieving to report that this account is inaccurate, illogical, and misleading. However before I do so I need to make the following caveats:

    I have no intention of acting as the defence counsel for Donald Macleod. It is improper and unjust that having been tried by a civil court he should now be tried by pamphlet I accept fully the decision of the civil court and also that of the Free Church that there was not enough evidence for a trial’..

    This caveat meant that Rev. David Robertson’s review did not address the question of whether or not Donald Macleod had a case to answer, and whether the Free Church’s investigations were fundamentally flawed. These were the most serious claims being made in When Justice Failed in Church & State. A document which, on its own admission, did not address these issues could not honestly be described as a ‘refutation’ of the publication being critiqued. Mr. Robertson continued, “The Free Church has suffered enough from this attack. We could do without Mr Murray continuing to blacken our name.” However, the question remains that if Mr. Murray’s booklet was blackening the name of the Free Church (and, indeed, continues to do so) why hasn’t the Free Church written an official rebuttal of it and circulated it to sister churches?

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  8. ‘Tim Keller considers Donald Macleod’s biography on C Stacey Woods as having influenced him.’

    I am not aware that Donald Macleod wrote a biography of Stacey Woods.

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  9. I have read your introduction with great interest and anticipation. It is excellent. However I would correct your statement
    “Macleod was accused of an affair with a woman in Australia and was acquitted of that charge.” McLeod was never charged and acquitted of allegations of adultery in Australia.
    Men in leadership in the Presbyterian Church of Eastern Australia ignored requests to be put to the woman involved. They instructed all Courts of the PCEA to expunge their minutes relating to accusations of adultery. The Sydney congregation refused to do this and their records are intact. The then young lady confessed her adultery to her Minister and I would suppose that this is included in their minutes
    In your recent blog I highlighted some of the duplicity of the Ministers involved in the wiping out of Minutes. Rev Ward writing to Rev G I Williamson erred in his comments by three years all in the spirit of cover up of Prof McLeods alleged adultery

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  10. Highlander wrote:

    Macleod was accused of an affair with a woman in Australia

    Demos and Rose Shakarian, founders of FGBMFI, hosted traveling Christian speakers at their ranch during Christian conferences. They wrote of discovering that often these traveling theologians had sidechicks in the various cities of their circuit. Tragic. Hypocrisy. It’s legal but pastors who do this are on the wrong career path.

    We had one such who would stay with us when in town. When he missed a flight out of NYC due to his airport porn habit, we retired from hosting. We didn’t want him around our family.

    Slippery slope.

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  11. There is a persistent thread running through all these stories of men reflexively believing women are liars. It’s a thread that runs through society at large as well, I saw it on a twitter thread the other day dealing with data on number of sexual partners. So that should be taken into account at churches who really want to deal with these issues.

    Carl Trueman endorsed his book

    Carl Trueman is one of the people who puzzles me. When I read him, he seems sensible. I don’t expect him to know this guys personal life, but I wonder if he shouldn’t take a step back before he does his next endorsement…

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  12. I have a friend who has a BA (hons) from Oxford. After a certain length of time the BA (hons–apparently has to be honors, not just any old BA) could be upgraded to a MA by filling out a form and then “Bob’s your uncle.” (He had to explain “Bob’s your uncle” to me–it just means “you’re all set.”) He didn’t have to do any additional work for that. The whole thing kind of boggled me. McLeod’s MA sounds similar, but not from a university anywhere near as prestigious as Oxford.

    As for Ian McLeod, has it ever occurred to these patriarchalists and complementarians that when one group holds all the power and the other group is so discredited that their word isn’t believed, that a predator can just move through the population with impunity? If you don’t believe women when they say a man has acted inappropriately, or children when they tell you that an adult has molested them because the women or the children are in groups that are discredited by your dogma, it means you have no checks on abuse of power. Add to that “he’s right on doctrine” and the situation becomes entirely awful. It takes a lot of guts for women to come forward in a community where women hold no power to speak of, but to be ignored and treated like dirt…ugh.

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  13. Muslin fka Deana Holmes wrote:

    If you don’t believe women when they say a man has acted inappropriately, or children when they tell you that an adult has molested them because the women or the children are in groups that are discredited by your dogma, it means you have no checks on abuse of power. Add to that “he’s right on doctrine” and the situation becomes entirely awful. It takes a lot of guts for women to come forward in a community where women hold no power to speak of, but to be ignored and treated like dirt…ugh.

    That’s the point. Free reign. No checks and balances. Whatever the Founders’ intentions, they have set up a haven for predators of every type: power, sex, money. They have created Someone’s (not God’s certainly) Playground, Heaven* (for some* – their ideal) on Earth, a Predator’s Disneyland. Decorate with lots of shiny bubbles, and the seekers can’t wait to venture into the “Spiritual” Theme Park, to their own demise.

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  14. I have a made two corrections. I cannot find a connection (yet) between Tim Keller and Donald Macleod so I have simply drawn a line through that entry. I corrected my entry of RC Sprout to reflect his endorsement of another book by Macleod. Thank you for those who called attention to this important detail.

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  15. Lea wrote:

    When I read him, he seems sensible. I don’t expect him to know this guys personal life, but I wonder if he shouldn’t take a step back before he does his next endorsement…

    He will not walk back his endorsement of CJ Mahaney. I got chewed out by his good friend, Todd Pruitt, for suggesting he do so. Hope springs eternal with me.

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  16. @ dee:
    However, my point in this part of the post was not to draw attention to Donald Macleod’s prolific writings but to make the point that he is endorsed and admired here I the uS by well known Calvinists. That point still stands.

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  17. Highlander wrote:

    “Macleod was accused of an affair with a woman in Australia and was acquitted of that charge.” McLeod was never charged and acquitted of allegations of adultery in Australia.

    Thank you for this correction. So, his alleged indiscretions were never investigated. That, to me, is disturbing. I plan to post a copy of a letter describing which expresses concerns about this indiscretion.

    Perhaps you can help me with something. A few things I read claim that Macleod is supportive of abortion.Is this true?

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  18. Muslin fka Deana Holmes wrote:

    As for Ian McLeod, has it ever occurred to these patriarchalists and complementarians that when one group holds all the power and the other group is so discredited that their word isn’t believed, that a predator can just move through the population with impunity?

    Bug or feature?

    Honestly I think some people know and like it that way, others would never abuse their power and so don’t think about it.

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  19. Muslin fka Deana Holmes wrote:

    Add to that “he’s right on doctrine” and the situation becomes entirely awful.

    This is where they, as Lydia said the other day, ‘lose the plot’ entirely!

    The answer to someone doing bad stuff is never ‘but he was right on doctrine’. The DOCTRINE ITSELF tells you that you can be ‘right’ on everything, and still lacking love and so it doesn’t count. Honestly, this is the dumbest/most heinous thing I hear out of all of this. Stop it, churches!!!

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  20. Pennywell wrote:

    ust for info: Macleod’s university degree will be at least a three year, possibly a four year course.

    Thank you! I need help in understanding the number of years of education required to rise to the level of influence that Macleod obviously has. is it true that high school education in Great Britain includes an extra year meaning 5 years as opposed to 4 years in the US system. Does that 5th year includes courses that would be considered college courses in the US?

    I want to be fair. It appears that Macleod had 4 years of eduction beyond what we call high school. But, in order to compare apples to apples, would I be correct in assuming that he actually had 5 years of education if measured by the US system?

    It appears that a PhD is not required to be a Professor of Systematic Theology or even a principal in a religious institution of higher learning. Is that correct?

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  21. dee wrote:

    He will not walk back his endorsement of CJ Mahaney.

    Oh I know. If he is sensible, the only thing that makes sense there is some sort of NDA.

    I’m just saying he puzzles me.

    There are several men who seem otherwise sensible, but refuse to criticize certain individuals who are popular, men who agree with them on some aspects of doctrine, who share TGC articles on a regular basis, etc. I find it makes me think less of them.

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  22. Migrant wrote:

    according to the information on his website, after obtaining his MA at the University of Glasgow in 1961, Donald Macleod spent another three years at the Free Church College (1961-64) before he was ordained. That does seem to make it 4+3=7 years.

    Now I am confused. Is the MA then a 4 year undergraduate degree, one that is considered an honors degree? Also, wasn’t his education at the Free Church college an undergraduate degree as well or does a bachelor’s degree mean something different than we mean it? Was the school considered accredited at that time?

    I am so sorry for my confusion. I know this has to do with differing meanings for different degrees, etc.

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  23. It’s become quite clear to me that if sexual abuse and harassment are covered up or even ignored by a church, then there’s usually multiple offenders who will seek out that church for the protection it offers them for their crimes.

    As for the degree thing, Mahaney and many Baptist and nondenom pastors have minimal education. This is especially troubling when they assert authority over others, claiming that is what is due them.

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  24. Lowlandseer wrote:

    An account of Prof Macleod’s life and work.
    https://freechurch.org/news/the-peoples-theologian-scotlands-most-prolific-clergyman-reaches-50-years-in-ministry

    In this article, he is referred to was the People’s Theologian. What does that mean? Do average people study his books in discussion groups? He is also called a prophet. Why is that?

    From that articled, he appears to have opinions on political matters. Has that been controversial? is he a supporter of abortion as well as gay marriage?

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  25. ishy wrote:

    As for the degree thing, Mahaney and many Baptist and nondenom pastors have minimal education.

    It seems like the ones who pastor the biggest churches have the least educated pastors. That means something, I think.

    I don’t care how much education you have in regards to asserting authority. I think Dever appears to have an excellent education and I still wouldn’t give him control over my life. Speak sense to me and I will listen and decide. We owe nothing else.

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  26. @ Lowlandseer:
    Sorry for the double link — didn’t refresh my screen first!
    They summarize his political views, “Prof MacLeod appears to want very ‘small government’ on matters of sexual morality, but the opposite when it comes to the state having access to people’s money…”

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  27. Malcolm wrote:

    This caveat meant that Rev. David Robertson’s review did not address the question of whether or not Donald Macleod had a case to answer, and whether the Free Church’s investigations were fundamentally flawed.

    I hope Rev Robertson will take the time to address that question here on this forum.

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  28. a) Carl Trueman was an elder in the Aberdeen Congregation of the Free Church of Scotland.
    b)In ‘ Footnotes’ in the16th March 2007 West Highland Free Press Donald Macleod wrote:’ ‘ This highlights the problem. It is relatively easy to get agreement on the ‘Christian values’ items in the manifesto of a Christian political party: gay adoption, same-sex partnerships, sexual discrimination and divorce. But many Christians would distance themselves from such a manifesto; and if it were able to include revision of the abortion laws ( as Bishop Devine would insist) many more Christians would feel alienated, believing (as I do ) in women’s right to choose.’
    c) Professor Macleod stated that he was not convinced cannabis should be illegal and had called for an enquiry into the issue.On 20th August 1999, The Scotsman newspaper printed a cartoon with someone standing at a door with the inscription ‘Prof. MacLeod Free Church College Edinburgh’ with the caption below, “Come away in – you’ll have had your joint?” The following year, Professor Macleod was publicly advocating the decriminalisation of cannabis
    d) In his autobiographical sketch on his website http://www.donaldmacleod.org.uk/dm/ Donald Macleod makes no reference to the 1996 Court case or to the 2000 division in the Free Church and it is remarkable that in his 35 page account of the life and career of Donald Macleod in The People’s Theologian , his son, John.Macleod, remarkably makes no reference to these matters.

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  29. Dave A A wrote:

    dee wrote:
    is he a supporter of abortion as well as gay marriage?
    This article indicates that he is. http://www.loughbrickland.org/articles/engchurchman.shtml

    Could you please explain this to me? I am aware of the highly conservative views that the Free Church of Scotland has held on what can and should be done during a worship service, the strict views on what can and should be allowed on the Sabbath, what sort of music is allowed during worship (singing of the Psalms), etc.

    My goal is not to pass judgment on these beliefs. I am simply trying to correctly identify them. If one is conservative on views such as those, why would the church endorse someone who supports abortion and gay marriage within the church? Why is that person the *people’s theologian” and why would he be considered a prophet?

    Also given his stands on such issues, why would John Piper, an ardently pro-life individual who was once arrested for protesting abortion also be supportive of his theological views? I am flummoxed.

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  30. Lowlandseer wrote:

    I suppose he is to the Left rather than Right in politics

    is abortion considered a merely *political* point of view? Does that mean that the theologians and pastors Free Church of Scotland broadly support abortion?

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  31. ION: Fitba’

    In a development widely foreseen this season, but nevertheless signalling the end of an era, it has today been announced that Arsène Wenger will be leaving Arsenal at the end of the season.

    Wenger is one of the longest-serving managers ever, having been in charge at Arsenal for over 200 years. However, recent seasons have seen less than stellar results and even his stock of good will eventually ran dry.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  32. In Scotland, the four ancient universities (St Andrews, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Edinburgh) have a four-year undergraduate degree which is an honours degree and takes four years. In Arts faculties this is an MA. The ‘traditional’ route to ministry involved studying such a degree (or an undergraduate science degree, a BSc, or an undergraduate law degree, an LlB,). At the time Donald MacLeod qualified,the BD was a three-year post-graduate degree.

    Unlike Oxford and Cambridge, there is no ‘conversion’ from a BA to an MA; the requirement is to stay on track academically throughout the course.

    Glasgow may not be quite as prestigious as Oxbridge, but established in 1451, it is the fourth oldest university in the English-speaking world. Einstein thought it good enough to deliver his Gibson Lecture on his General Theory of Relativity there in 1933…

    For avoidance of doubt, I am in no way an apologist for Donald MacLeod; but I am familiar with the Scottish education system.

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  33. dee wrote:

    Lowlandseer wrote:
    I suppose he is to the Left rather than Right in politics
    is abortion considered a merely *political* point of view? Does that mean that the theologians and pastors Free Church of Scotland broadly support abortion?

    My reply was to Dave AA regarding “small government” and its opposite, “big government”, not on Free Church policy.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  34. @ Lea:

    “There are several men who seem otherwise sensible, but refuse to criticize certain individuals who are popular, men who agree with them on some aspects of doctrine, who share TGC articles on a regular basis, etc. I find it makes me think less of them.”
    +++++++++++++++++++++

    Well, Carl knows about threats made by Evangelical power brokers. Dangerous people. As he explains below, when the ESS controversy hot, before it was trounced at the ETS meeting in 11/16.

    (Hah, funny how we ever heard any more after that. CBMW simply reinvented themselves as if it had never happened. they just picked a new people group to exploit as a new perceived enemy to stoke a culture war in order stay relevant & save face. [Nashville Statement])

    Carl mentions that he has a tough skin and ignores such things. Maybe that’s not entirely true; maybe the danger level of threats was ramped up. but, yes, a puzzling person.
    ———————–

    The Big Eva world is indeed run as the personal fiefdom of a few, even if many of those decent people involved on the various mastheads are unaware of this. But cross those few, or touch their dogmatic golden calves, and you can expect the fight back to be dirty, relentless, increasingly dangerous, and by and large hidden from the watching world – the world, that is, that funds evangelicalism on the assumption that hard-earned donations go to spreading the gospel, not building personal platforms and nixing the dissidents.

    ……

    When Todd told me of the vicious attacks he was receiving yesterday, I was shocked to know the name of the person involved. But then again I was not shocked at all — such vile attacks are part of the culture. I get them myself all the time, usually cloaked with some throat-clearing token piety at the beginning or the end. It is simply easier to attack the man than address the arguments. For myself, I simply ignore them..”

    http://www.alliancenet.org/mos/postcards-from-palookaville/in-the-end-it-all-comes-down-to-this#.WtocWojwZPY

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  35. dee wrote:

    Could you please explain this to me?

    Don’t think I can. Part of this is that one may be “conservative” in one area and “liberal” in another. “why would he be considered a prophet?” That’s a good question. Why would the Ceej be considered an apostle? Partly, I think other leaders are intimidated by them. I have more thoughts, but they’ll have to wait until tonight.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  36. We were very active in Pro-life work and involved in starting the first Pregnancy Centre in Canada. We endured more opposition from ministers and elders of our own church (the Free Church of Scotland) than we did from those outside the church. We heard theological arguments about Traducianism and Creationism and no one knowing when the soul entered the body. My husband was warned by his elders that he was never to mention abortion from the pulpit or have any books about it in our church library. When he went to Edinburgh to the church General Assembly he was warned not to mention the work we were involved in, because it would be offensive in Scotland.

    We are now part of the Free Church Continuing ( the group who were forced out) and thankfully, they do speak out about the holocaust of abortion

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  37. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    ION: Fitba’

    In a development widely foreseen this season, but nevertheless signalling the end of an era, it has today been announced that Arsène Wenger will be leaving Arsenal at the end of the season.

    Wenger is one of the longest-serving managers ever, having been in charge at Arsenal for over 200 years. However, recent seasons have seen less than stellar results and even his stock of good will eventually ran dry.

    I may not understand fitba’ that much, but one thing I did know is that Arsene Wenger had been with Arsenal since nearly forever. It was a shock to hear he’s leaving.

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  38. dee wrote:

    Is the MA then a 4 year undergraduate degree, one that is considered an honors degree?

    An MA from one of those four universities (St. Andrews, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Edinburgh, in order of foundation) is a standard undergraduate degree. It normally takes four years to complete, while in England an undergraduate degree would normally take three years. The last two years of a Scottish MA is structured roughly in the same way as the last two years of an undergraduate degree in England.

    Most undergraduate students (in England as well as in Scotland) would be awarded honours degrees, which is classified into 1st, 2:1, 2:2 and 3rd class honours. Students who pass their exams but fail to reach the standard of third class honours graduate without honours. This happens rarely. A Scottish MA is awarded directly, i.e., holders of a Scottish MA normally would not have a BA degree, instead, the MA itself is understood to be equivalent to a bachelor’s degree.

    In Oxford and Cambridge, a bachelor’s degree normally takes 3 years to complete. Then, 7 years after matriculation, (or, about 4 years after graduation), students have the option of upgrading their BA degree to MA for a small fee (something like $15 in recent times). Examples of these degrees include John Wesley BA MA, and Charles Wesley BA MA.

    Macleod’s MA was awarded by the University of Glasgow (founded in 1451). The content of his subsequent education at the Free Church College may be comparable to an M.Div., but it seems he left the Free Church College without an additional degree. I do not know if the Free Church College was accredited at that time.

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  39. @ Migrant:
    @ Floppy Ragdoll:
    Thank you. all for your insight. I am trying to. understand the differences between US and Scotland’s degree system. Macleod’s degrees are not particularly. relevant to my planned posts. However, I had a feeling it might crop up in discussions so it is better to get this over with in the beginning.

    So , would you both agree that Macleod’s degrees lines up with the standard 7 year Masters of Divinity process in the US? If so, that is what I will go with.

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  40. Muff Potter wrote:

    @ Nick Bulbeck:

    In Local Fitba’ News:
    Corona High got their arses beat by Glen Avon.

    I’ve nae been to Glen Avon — indeed I’ve never set foot in Riverside County. I have, however, been to Corgarff Castle, a mere 10 miles over the moor from the other Glen Avon. Corona — do they brew that in Alloa? I know they brew the Fraoch (heather) ale there… I have one left unopened still. I’m so confused.

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  41. @ Malcolm:
    I am finding this most helpful. I am not here to debate political stances. As many on this blog know, we do not allow discussion of politics since we get into enough trouble discussing abuse!

    However, the issue of abortion is seen most differently in the US. In fact, I believe that I am safe in saying that most groups, like professors at Westminster, pastors from the entity, allied groups such as The Gospel Coalition, etc. would believe that abortion is a moral and spiritual Christian issue and should not be supported by Christians.

    I think that I might be safe in saying that many theologians in the US who might support Macleod would be startled and upset by his pro-abortons stand. Some, like Carl Truman, link abortion and other death causes to progressive views on sexual behavior. Please see this link and quote

    https://www.firstthings.com/blogs/firstthoughts/2015/04/delighting-in-death

    “Why is it that the people most vocally committed to causes connected to death (abortion, assisted suicide, euthanasia) are often the same who are committed to progressive sexual causes? And why do abortion advocates frequently see it not as a necessary evil but as a positive good?”

    I am not here to debate your belief. I am merely here to understand the theology before I dive into what I believe was gross disregard for and further victimization of sexually misused women.

    I am going to make a statement that might surprise you. I believe if Westminster Theological Seminary and Carl Truman had actually understood Macleod’s thinking in this area, they would not have awarded him a DD. I may be incorrect but I don’t think so.

    Now understanding that the Free Church of Scotland takes a more progressive stand on social issues, could you clarify your position on extramarital relationships? Are such relationships tolerated? Is it considered morally neutral to have such relationships? Does the Free Church of Scotland acknowledge the concerning power dynamic inherent in such relationships: clergy and congregant; professor and student; employer and employee? Would theFfree Church of Scotland condone a fully consensual extramarital relationship?

    As a corollary…if abortion is allowed because the Free Church of Scotland supports a woman’s right to choose, when will the Free Church of Scotland allow female pastors?

    I am dead serious with all of these questions. There is no snark intended.

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  42. If you want to get an idea, a feeling, an understanding of religious life in the Western Isles, I can heartily recommend “No Great Mischief If You Fall” by John Macleod, son of Donald Macleod. It took me over 20 years to get hold of a second hand copy of the book which was published in 1993. Towards the end of the book he makes the following observation:-
    “The dominant church on Lewis, the Free Church of Scotland – to which some eighty five per cent of islanders adhere – threatens to become an intolerant gerontocracy, where aging and ill educated elders hold the whip-hand, and a tightening process of fixed calls and Presbyterial bossism has brought them ministers of ever-diminishing independence and guts. Hence all too many preachers in Lewis find themselves attacking, again and again., ‘worldliness’ – always defined as the pleasures of youth:dancing, concert-going, record-buying, sex, and never as the true vices of this world – materialism, bigotry, slander and gossip….Politically unable to address the realities of modern life in a fallen world, ministers and kirk-sessions repeatedly oppose the granting of liquor-licences….Even Word, Free Church leaders have a lamentable track record on encouraging healthy leisure pursuits in the local township. In days past every alternative entertainment to formal religion…was denounced from the pulpit and blocked from the community. In Wester Ross and Skye, where such conflicts burst vehemently forth after the Second World War, short-sighted clergymen must carry much of the blame for alienating the young, depopulating villages and emptying their own churches. The cause of Christ must legitimately question the opening of alcohol outlets, and teach young people of the dangers of irresponsible partying and casual sex. It has no authority to pronounce anathema on harmless and enjoyable leisure activities, far less to make the name of the Saviour one of mocking amongst the ungodly for His followers’ folly and harshness. But it has: and so the Free Church in Lewis is a body of believers unjustly – but increasingly – rejected by the island’s underclass….The day will come when islanders will wake up and see the Free Church is done, and almost overnight the Church will be stripped of civil and political authority”.

    All this said about Lewis, once proclaimed as “The Last Stronghold of the Pure Gospel.”

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  43. dee wrote:

    Could you please explain this to me? I

    I can explain it but I cannot ensure that anybody understands it much less agrees with it. I am part of a denom and in a parish which is very strict about some things. For example, if somebody tries to change anything in the BCP that will not fly. However on other things like social issues of divorce, remarriage, ordination of women, ordination of practicing gays and same sex marriage the general populace of the church experiences differences of opinion. A review of the denom’s history in the last century or more will show how this plays out.

    Personally, I have no intention of letting the political words ‘conservative’ or ‘liberal’ spill over into my religious life precisely because (a) they are basically political ideas, (b) the ‘world’ should not be permitted to define or label church decisions by using those words, and (c) nobody be it world or church is going to push me personally into any box named either conservative or liberal-each issue stands on its own.

    Maybe something like that thinking is going on with the Free Scots people? Just a guess, but something like this thinking is certainly going on here and in practice it occurs on a continuum.

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  44. One more issue while I am at it. May father, now deceased, died with two degrees from the local university when in fact he had never been a student at the local university, or any other university. The law degree is understandable and resulted from the merger of the private law school where he went with the university law school and they simply were absorbed and he was overnight an alum of the U.

    The other degree was because he had gone to a public high school which was traditionally a classical school (ancient language, rhetoric, that sort of thing) and which the U later decided was comparable to undergrad work then being required at the U so they issued the grads of the old high school during the years of whatever to whichever an undergrad bachelor’s degree from the U.

    So-degrees are sometimes not what they appear to be on the surface, even here in the US.

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  45. @ Lowlandseer:
    A broad swath of the US church dealt with these types of behaviors long ago. Today, most churches, including some very conservative ones, do not condemn poplar musical forms, the judicious use of alcohol, movies, dancing, etc.

    However, abortion, euthanasia, etc. are still issues of importance and are seen very differently than
    dress codes for church attendance.

    At the same time, I believe in a free marketplace of ideas. If some churches hold onto old ways, then new churches should be able to provide alternatives. The would be a win/win in such competition.

    But you should also beware that even in the US with its board range of churches, some with attendance numbers in the 30,000-40,000 range, church attendance is in decline. I wonder if the real problem is the inmate hypocrisy of those who lead all manner of churches. Maybe it is time the church live out the Gospel, freely admitting its sin and openly repenting on issues like sex abuse, etc.

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  46. dee wrote:

    Pennywell wrote:

    ust for info: Macleod’s university degree will be at least a three year, possibly a four year course.

    Thank you! I need help in understanding the number of years of education required to rise to the level of influence that Macleod obviously has. is it true that high school education in Great Britain includes an extra year meaning 5 years as opposed to 4 years in the US system. Does that 5th year includes courses that would be considered college courses in the US?

    I want to be fair. It appears that Macleod had 4 years of eduction beyond what we call high school. But, in order to compare apples to apples, would I be correct in assuming that he actually had 5 years of education if measured by the US system?

    It appears that a PhD is not required to be a Professor of Systematic Theology or even a principal in a religious institution of higher learning. Is that correct?

    An undegraduate honours degree is typically 4 years with a further 1 year (full time) for a masters.

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  47. @ dee:
    In addition to what you’ve said, I think another factor is the “downgrading” of beliefs in that denomination. They have gone from a high view of Scripture to more liberal interpretations, resulting in a split at the turn of the last century. More recently they’ve moved from acapella Psalm singing to hymns and songs with musical instruments and worship bands. Indeed, they currently have a Texan wearing cowboy boots rewriting the Pslams to make them more modern. And in at least one of the prominent churches in the denomination, they accommodate a variety of forms of worship which led Prof Macleod to accuse some of trying to attract members from other denominations rather than seeking the lost. In following the New Calvinists of the USA they are sowing the seeds of their own destruction, in my opinion.

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  48. @ Lowlandseer:
    Having spent the majority of my years in the broader evangelical church and then, most recently, in a conservative Lutheran church, I have a different point of view. It is not the format Psalms versus hymns versus CCM. It is the conveyance of the essentials of the faith that is not happening for many. Do you really think that worship as found today in Stornoway is just like the worship found in the early church? Back then they wore robes and sandals and lived in a society that wouldn’t understand Sabbatarianism if they fell over it? Yet the faith survived and flourished.

    As for cowboy hats, we lived for 10 years in Texas. Think of them as Texas kilts. Same idea!

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  49. If the Free Scots are trying to be totally scripture then one has to consider that the scripture does state a total prohibition to abortion. Just does not. Kind of like slavery-utter prohibition is not there. The definition of what is adultery has been explained as different from the modern understanding of adultery. There is no prohibition of what we call euthanasia. There are sabbath laws and sabbath observance, which the early church redefined more liberally especially for gentiles, and there is the apparent prohibition of women in the role of what we call pastor-sort of. Meanwhile there are statements about dress and hair length and comportment in the assembly and marital interactions relative to ‘head’. Have we even yet decided just what constitutes ‘or any likeness of’ when it comes to images? And for that matter Paul wished that everybody spoke in tongues and the church had those recognized as prophets. I could go on, like about music, but enough is enough.

    On the surface, and not being any authority on the subject, I am thinking that the Free Scots may be trying to be ‘scriptural’ in ways of understanding scripture and its application to us today that perhaps a lot of people just don’t agree with any more.

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  50. okrapod wrote:

    the scripture does state a total prohibition to abortion. Just does not.</blockquote

    Oooooppps! 'the scripture does not state a total prohibition of abortion"

    It is Friday; I need more sleep; other excuse as needed.

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  51. @ dee:
    I suppose I just love singing Psalms. Best memory is of standing on a hillside in the pouring rain (is there any other kind of weather in Scotland?) with a small group of men singing our hearts out at a memorial service for the Covenanters. Then I saw the BBC documentary “The Last Stronghold of the Pure Gospel” and the haunting “waterfall music” of Gaelic Psalm-singing and that was me gone…. 🙂

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  52. okrapod wrote:

    The definition of what is adultery has been explained as different from the modern understanding of adultery.

    It is interesting how people feel free to interpret in some places, but are completely unwilling to budge in others.

    It’s all interpretation.

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  53. dee wrote:

    Lowlandseer wrote:

    I suppose he is to the Left rather than Right in politics

    is abortion considered a merely *political* point of view? Does that mean that the theologians and pastors Free Church of Scotland broadly support abortion?

    There appear to be different views in abortion within the Free Church. Here are David Robertson’s pro life views:

    https://freechurch.org/news/moderator-calls-for-msps-to-debate-abortion-time-limit-in-scotland

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  54. Lea wrote:

    There is a persistent thread running through all these stories of men reflexively believing women are liars. It’s a thread that runs through society at large as well, I saw it on a twitter thread the other day dealing with data on number of sexual partners. So that should be taken into account at churches who really want to deal with these issues.
    Carl Trueman endorsed his book
    Carl Trueman is one of the people who puzzles me. When I read him, he seems sensible. I don’t expect him to know this guys personal life, but I wonder if he shouldn’t take a step back before he does his next endorsement…

    Yes. He exonerated Mahaney as fit for ministry back When there was tons of evidence online from victims that he was very wrong to do so. He did not even make an attempt to talk to any victims. Then later wrote about Christian celebs with derision but never named names. But he became very popular with certain groups and I could never understand it. I could never get past the arrogant hypocrisy.

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  55. Lea wrote:

    okrapod wrote:
    The definition of what is adultery has been explained as different from the modern understanding of adultery.
    It is interesting how people feel free to interpret in some places, but are completely unwilling to budge in others.
    It’s all interpretation.

    As in which wife was cheated on or all 4? (Just kidding) I think that is most likely the interpretation of “husband of one wife” in historical context.

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  56. <Tangent>

    This is indeed a slight tangent, but there is a persistent packaging together of a kind of Big Three issues:
     Birth control
     Abortion
     Gay marriage
    and, more recently, they’ve been joined by
     Assisted suicide

    And there’s an assumption that these are really only one Stance For Christian Values; you either agree with them all, because you’re a non-Christian sin-lover, or you oppose them all, because you’re a Christian. Other Wartburgers may care to add other #ChristianValues to the list.

    One noteworthy thing about these #ChristianValues is that they’re just about the only thing that can really unite Christians from different denominations here in the UK.

    </Tangent>

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  57. @ Lydia:

    Technically the husband of one wife rules out polygamy and is limited in scripture to a particular church role. And it does not preclude a former polygamist from ordination apparently. But who wants to get technical anyhow. Just saying.

    And when Jesus talked about adultery in the light of divorce/remarriage whose rules did he reference, the Jewish law or whose? If Jesus was referencing the Jewish law of the time, then we need to reference it to see what he actually was saying because I am thinking that doing that would clear up a lot of difficulty with that specific statement which he made.

    None the less, there is an ongoing matter of the current civil laws which are to be obeyed when possible, and that is a different but important issue-biblically.

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  58. You’ve hit the nail on the head! Same as what has happened in our beloved National Church of Scotland and just look at its ongoing demise today! Lowlandseer wrote:

    In addition to what you’ve said, I think another factor is the “downgrading” of beliefs in that denomination. They have gone from a high view of Scripture to more liberal interpretations, resulting in a split at the turn of the last century.

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  59. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    Birth control

    This is the ‘one of these things is not like the other’ for me. I never heard birth control run down growing up, much less included with the rest.

    I think it’s more abortion/assisted suicide in the ‘life’ category, with
    gay marriage/women’s role included in the ? category.

    ? because I would say ‘sexual ethics’ but it really makes no sense to me to conflate the two at all, and it seems to say that being a woman itself is someone a violation or sinful.

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  60. Lea wrote:

    ? because I would say ‘sexual ethics’ but it really makes no sense to me to conflate the two at all

    Another of those linkages that’s an Unsolved Mystery of the Universe…

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  61. Dave A A wrote:

    I’ve nae been to Glen Avon — indeed I’ve never set foot in Riverside County. I have, however, been to Corgarff Castle, a mere 10 miles over the moor from the other Glen Avon. Corona — do they brew that in Alloa? I know they brew the Fraoch (heather) ale there… I have one left unopened still. I’m so confused.

    They dinnae brew a fat lot in Alloa since Alloa Ales closed down. They do, however, brew several excellent beers at the Harviestoun Brewery in nearby Alva.

    Interesting you should mention Corgarff Castle. I thought I was the only person who’d ever heard of it, never mind been there. I parked there, specifically, very early one morning prior to climbing the magnificent Ben Avon from the east. A spectacularly good day’s Top Bagging * in a beautiful, and under-rated, corner of Scotland.

    * A “Top” is a 3000-foot Scottish summit that isn’t quite separate enough from its parent peak to be considered a separate mountain, or Munro. Beyond that, do NOT get me started on the Munros. I could go on about them all day, quite literally.

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  62. Lydia wrote:

    Yes. He exonerated Mahaney as fit for ministry back When there was tons of evidence online from victims that he was very wrong to do so.

    Didn’t The HUMBLE One once hold up a five-figure check and say “THIS is how you get invited back!”?
    Maybe that wasn’t the only (or biggest) check he passed around. MONEY TALKS.

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  63. Lea wrote:

    Nick Bulbeck wrote:
    Birth control
    This is the ‘one of these things is not like the other’ for me. I never heard birth control run down growing up, much less included with the rest.
    I think it’s more abortion/assisted suicide in the ‘life’ category, with
    gay marriage/women’s role included in the ? category.
    ? because I would say ‘sexual ethics’ but it really makes no sense to me to conflate the two at all, and it seems to say that being a woman itself is someone a violation or sinful.

    You’re lucky. Some of the more wackadoodle conservatives are dead set against birth control. Kevin Swanson was famous in homeschooling circles for his discussion of “womb tombs.” You can still find it on Google. Kevin Swanson was invited to be a featured speaker at homeschool conferences back when we were homeschooling. Looking back, I can’t believe that we bought the craziness that we did.

    The RCC used to be against contraception, as I recall, except for NFP?

    But it’s also in some Protestant churches, and to a more virulent degree. We’ve heard young people in the hyper-calvinist crowd spout what they’ve been taught: sex is only for procreation. The corollary is that birth control is evil because it promotes recreation instead of procreation.

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  64. Dave A A wrote:

    That’s a good question. Why would the Ceej be considered an apostle?

    Because he proclaimed himself one (not only Apostle but Head Apostle of the People of Destiny)?
    Just like Caligula proclaimed himself a god and Idi Amin proclaimed himself a doctor?

    “If you run across a pastor who has given himself the title “Apostle” or “Prophet”, RUN!”
    — my burned-out preacher writing partner

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  65. In an the interview with Rev. Ian M. MacKenzie, B B C Radio Scotland on 30th June 1998 Donald Macleod said:
    ‘One of the platforms of my theology, in fact, is the doctrine of divine passibility derived from the experience of pain that God has gone through in Jesus.’ However the Westminster Confession of Faith states:
    ‘There is but one only living and true God, who is infinite in being and perfection, a most pure spirit, invisible, without body, parts or passions. ( our bold).’ Chapter 11
    The article on the Free Church website dated 6th November 2014 stated,
    . “He ( Donald Macleod ) has moulded the minds of hundreds, if not thousands, of ministers and Christian students who have gone on to serve around the world.”.

    ’In ‘ Footnotes’ in the May 11 2007 West Highland Free Press Donald Macleod wrote
    : No one can deny that the Free Church needs change, and among the things we need to review are such historic elements of our tradition as congregational boundaries, exclusive psalmody and the ordination of women.

    To date it seems to me that the silence from the Free Church on this site is deafening

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  66. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    This is indeed a slight tangent, but there is a persistent packaging together of a kind of Big Three issues:
     Birth control
     Abortion
     Gay marriage
    and, more recently, they’ve been joined by
     Assisted suicide
    And there’s an assumption that these are really only one Stance For Christian Values; you either agree with them all, because you’re a non-Christian sin-lover, or you oppose them all, because you’re a Christian. Other Wartburgers may care to add other #ChristianValues to the list.
    One noteworthy thing about these #ChristianValues is that they’re just about the only thing that can really unite Christians from different denominations here in the UK.

    Add to that amidst the super-conservative US “righteous” crowd:

    NO gun control. Any control on guns is evil.
    Yes to the death penalty. (Somehow that’s connected to being Pro-Life, oddly enough.)

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  67. Lea wrote:

    ? because I would say ‘sexual ethics’ but it really makes no sense to me to conflate the two at all, and it seems to say that being a woman itself is someone a violation or sinful.

    It sounds like that to me also. Then there is the issue in Revelation about those ‘who have not defiled themselves with women’ which also sounds like meaning that being a woman itself is sinful and which sin attribute of femaleness is apparently a contagious condition when a male gets too close to it in sexual contact. Or basically too close to it in being born, such that the concept of the immaculate conception of Mary would be necessary in order to think that Jesus was free from all sin. So apparently the condition is both a genetic defect and also a contagious STD all of it in the category of sin.

    The reasoning behind that escapes me lacking actual evidence and relying only on theological conjecture. But it does have its uses when it comes to certain social issues like inheritance and voting and autonomy and voices which need heard and economics and nasty stuff like that.

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  68. refugee wrote:

    You’re lucky. Some of the more wackadoodle conservatives are dead set against birth control.

    I’ve heard of it now, but it wasn’t normal SBC teaching 20 years ago that I ever heard. I did hear a few methods of birth control linked to abortion, but I never took it very seriously…

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  69. okrapod wrote:

    But it does have its uses when it comes to certain social issues like inheritance and voting and autonomy and voices which need heard and economics and nasty stuff like that.

    Yes. It’s a useful conflation, but still nonsensical.

    I did see a guy at the Christian post of all places saying that Eve deceived Adam somehow about that fruit business, despite being shown much evidence to the commentary (things like ‘adam was not deceived’). I’ll bet he’d call himself an inerrancy person as well!

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  70. refugee wrote:

    But it’s also in some Protestant churches, and to a more virulent degree. We’ve heard young people in the hyper-calvinist crowd spout what they’ve been taught: sex is only for procreation. The corollary is that birth control is evil because it promotes recreation instead of procreation.

    I haven’t heard that one from them. That’s interesting. Most of them have indicated to me that the main purpose of women is to be at the man’s pleasure whenever they want. Thank Piper for that one. :/

    A lot of fundamentalist Baptists and charismatics also do not believe in birth control. That’s another product of patriarchy, I’m pretty sure. Keep women pregnant and uneducated, and that makes them dependent.

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  71. I should clarify that Piper hasn’t said so quite directly, but many of his followers interpret his Christian hedonism philosophy plus the New Cal patriarchy of male supremacy and absolute submission of wives to the extreme. And he doesn’t work real hard to contradict that, though he has backtracked on the idea that wives should submit to even abuse.

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  72. @ okrapod:
    ‘Technically the husband of one wife rules out polygamy and is limited in scripture to a particular church role. ”

    Agree. I just did not clarify and was being a bit tongue in cheek. Polygamy was not exactly rare in Jewish circles in the first century, either. It’s not like they were going to tell polygamous men they had to divorce all wives but the first. 🙂 But I can see where it would cause trouble in a specific function in the Body.

    I made the comment tongue-in-cheek because that particular passage is used to try and prove it’s only speaking about males in that function.

    From what I can gather by studying Hebrew scholar David Instone Brewers work on Jewish law and divorce, the Jewish leaders in Jesus’s day were trying to trick him by using the “any cause” divorce argument — which wasn’t the Law. There are all sorts of rules for divorce in the Old Testament but the one that I find most interesting and that he makes a big deal about when it comes to abuse is “neglect” which is pretty far reaching. Neglect and death is one reason why God allowed polygamy, imo. And in that Barbarian culture women needed protection.

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  73. okrapod wrote:

    Then there is the issue in Revelation about those ‘who have not defiled themselves with women’ which also sounds like meaning that being a woman itself is sinful and which sin attribute of femaleness is apparently a contagious condition when a male gets too close to it in sexual contact. Or basically too close to it in being born, such that the concept of the immaculate conception of Mary would be necessary in order to think that Jesus was free from all sin. So apparently the condition is both a genetic defect and also a contagious STD all of it in the category of sin.

    So in some branches of Theology, Girls really DO have Cooties?

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  74. refugee wrote:

    But it’s also in some Protestant churches, and to a more virulent degree. We’ve heard young people in the hyper-calvinist crowd spout what they’ve been taught: sex is only for procreation. The corollary is that birth control is evil because it promotes recreation instead of procreation.

    And Puritan Reformers (like Iranian Ayatollahs) lie awake all night terrified that someone, somewhere, might actually be enjoying themselves…

    “There can be no laughter in Islam” — attr to Ayatollah Khomeini

    Like Gnostics everywhere, this makes you less human. Let’s skip the fancy word “procreation”, sex is only for BREEDING with NO emotional or personal connection. Just like in Pornography, it becomes purely biological/mechanical Meat in Meat. May as well go with test-tubes and artificial-womb mat-tanks like in I>Brave New World…

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  75. Lea wrote:

    refugee wrote:
    You’re lucky. Some of the more wackadoodle conservatives are dead set against birth control.

    I’ve heard of it now, but it wasn’t normal SBC teaching 20 years ago that I ever heard.

    Back then, that hard ar line re birth control was considered Too ROMISH. “NO POPERY!”

    Now, Womb Tomb Swanson and the Quiverfulls take “against birth control” to can-you-top-this levels not even dreamed of by Ultra-Trad Catholics.

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  76. ishy wrote:

    I should clarify that Piper hasn’t said so quite directly, but many of his followers interpret his Christian hedonism philosophy plus the New Cal patriarchy of male supremacy and absolute submission of wives to the extreme.

    That combination sounds like it could only have been dreamed up by a horndog Porn addict.

    Because the combination of Male Supremacy and Absolute Submission of the Female to the Urrges in the man’s Arreas is also characteristic of a LOT of pornography. Top and Bottom, Penetrator and Penetrated, just as it was in the days before ha-Torah.

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  77. ishy wrote:

    I should clarify that Piper hasn’t said so quite directly, but many of his followers interpret his Christian hedonism philosophy plus the New Cal patriarchy of male supremacy and absolute submission of wives to the extreme.

    That is either fanboys acting More Piperish than Piper or Plausible Deniability by indirection on Piper’s part.

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  78. Another view of Lewis.
    “Your Bible
    sits by your chair
    and your radio is silent.
    More real to you than Lewis
    Are the stories of Israel
    Colourful,eloquent.
    You are a sinner
    Holding at night in your bed
    A dialogue with God.
    May he have mercy on me,
    You say to the mirror
    In which only your face appears
    Ravaged and sparse.
    Let me enter
    Your kingdom of fresh water
    Where the insomniac angels
    Constantly hover.
    I have built with my own hands
    This house without substance.
    Everything is ashes and trash.

    (Lewis, by the poet (atheist) Iain Crichton Smith OBE)

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  79. @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    Nonsense again HUG. This is how Calvinists/Puritans/Reformed folk view the matter

    “The Puritans viewed sex within marriage as a gift of God and as an essential, enjoyable part of marriage. Gouge says that husbands and wives should cohabit “with good will and delight, willingly, readily, and cheerfully.” “They do err,” adds Perkins, “who hold that the secret coming together of man and wife cannot be without sin unless it be done for the procreation of children.”

    Perkins goes on to say that marital sex is a “due debt” or “due benevolence” (1 Cor. 7:3) that a couple owes to one another. That must be shown, he says, “with a singular and entire affection one towards another” in three ways: “First, by the right and lawful use of their bodies or of the marriage bed.” Such physical intimacy by “holy usage” should be “a holy and undefiled action (Heb. 13:4)… sanctified by the word and prayer (1 Tim. 4:3–4).” The fruits of God-honoring, enjoyable sex in marriage are the blessing of children, “the preservation of the body in cleanness,” and the reflection of marriage as a type of the Christ-church relationship. Second, married couples must “cherish one another” intimately (Eph. 5:29) rather than having sex in an impersonal way as an adulterer with a prostitute. Third, a couple should be intimate “by an holy kind of rejoicing and solacing themselves each with [the] other in a mutual declaration of the signs and tokens of love and kindness (Prov. 5:18–19; Songs 1:1; Gen. 26:8; Isa. 62:7).” In this context, Perkins particularly mentions kissing.

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  80. Q. If Reverend Macleod’s proverbial multi-term pastoral sexcapades were consensual how can there be victims? Consensual implies the willing engagement of both parties.

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  81. dee wrote:

    the issue of abortion

    Yes, Christians are by and large against abortion. Patriarchy takes it one step further with a woman not having the right to even decide if she can or cannot have sex with her husband within marriage including what that looks and feels like when she has no say and her feelings are not allowed. There are conservative patriarchal single guys in church that will tell a young single woman, “God has spoken to me and He is giving you to be my wife.” That system is stacked against a woman being able to make decisions with regard to marriage, her body, and intimacy.

    Contrast, women who will enter marriage only of their own free will, share intimacy with their partner that is limited to consensual, use birth control, and then for some, make the decision to complete or terminate a pregnancy. It can be a package deal where some women celebrate that they are “allowed” to make these decisions for themselves.

    Enter God, IMHO, where men and women are both invited to responsibly make decisions under the umbrella of God’s love and do the right thing for themselves and others and Eternity.

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  82. Lea wrote:

    There is a persistent thread running through all these stories of men reflexively believing women are liars. It’s a thread that runs through society at large as well, I saw it on a twitter thread the other day dealing with data on number of sexual partners. So that should be taken into account at churches who really want to deal with these issues.

    Yes, accepted church trends need unmasking, because, “… evil has an [accepted] ordinary face.”

    “We ate homemade pasta prepared for us by this professional killer. …Evil has an ordinary face. It laughs, it cries, it deflects, it rationalizes, it makes great pasta.” – Comey on dealing with bad guys in camouflage.

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  83. ishy wrote:

    Most of them have indicated to me that the main purpose of women is to be at the man’s pleasure whenever they want. Thank Piper for that one. :/

    Calvin and Puritans (and plenty of others) were teaching this well before Piper.

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  84. Dave A A wrote:

    Part of this is that one may be “conservative” in one area and “liberal” in another.

    Very true Dave A A. And it answers in large part dee’s original query. People who share certain ideological leanings with others may or may not be in lockstep with everything else. We can disagree with each other on some points and still have common ground in other areas. It’s good social politics when we realize this and chalk it up to the cost of doing business with each other as a mature humanity. It also helps to stop the rise of aggression and all its horrors dead in its tracks.

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  85. @ Lowlandseer:
    Yikes. Now that’s a marriage bef checklist. Heard way too many sermons like that over my adult years as church became so invasive and people more eager to tolerate it. It’s quite amazing, really. I never realized that adults needed such specific instruction in this area from a “pastor”. It’s especially interesting when they are 28. Sigh.

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  86. Lydia wrote:

    @ Lowlandseer:
    Yikes. Now that’s a marriage bef checklist. Heard way too many sermons like that over my adult years as church became so invasive and people more eager to tolerate it. It’s quite amazing, really. I never realized that adults needed such specific instruction in this area from a “pastor”. It’s especially interesting when they are 28. Sigh.

    You’re just not plugged into the right shepherd on the subject. There are so many resources available:

    https://andysavage2015.sitewrench.com/the-marriage-dashboard

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  87. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    this gem by Doug Wilson

    Reads like codependency: a type of dysfunctional helping relationship of dependency where one person [wife] supports or enables another person’s [husband’s] poor self-esteem, immaturity, need for affirmation, irresponsibility, or under-achievement.

    As she enables him, he doesn’t grow up but may descend into self-loathing or worse. In other words, enabling doesn’t help anyone be a better person or reach God’s potential.

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  88. JYJames wrote:

    JDV wrote:
    https://andysavage2015.sitewrench.com/the-marriage-dashboard
    Looking at your link: The “expert” ???:
    1 – as a youth pastor he assaulted a minor while doing purity workshops to teach others,
    2 – later, as a pastor he was unresponsive and railroaded his female victim, yet espouses to be an expert on having a great marriage (treating one’s wife with dignity and respect).

    Yep, I’m sure the absence of those items there is a mere oversight. After all, it was over 20 years ago…

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  89. ishy wrote:

    refugee wrote:
    But it’s also in some Protestant churches, and to a more virulent degree. We’ve heard young people in the hyper-calvinist crowd spout what they’ve been taught: sex is only for procreation. The corollary is that birth control is evil because it promotes recreation instead of procreation.
    I haven’t heard that one from them. That’s interesting. Most of them have indicated to me that the main purpose of women is to be at the man’s pleasure whenever they want. Thank Piper for that one. :/
    A lot of fundamentalist Baptists and charismatics also do not believe in birth control. That’s another product of patriarchy, I’m pretty sure. Keep women pregnant and uneducated, and that makes them dependent.

    Making them dependent. This is what we find over and over again. A dependent woman rarely leaves. That allows her husband to do whatever he wants whenever he wants and with whom he wants. And the more dependent she is the more she will “forgive” whatever hurts, offences, and crimes occur. When that happens he’s just won.

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  90. Sòpwith wrote:

    Q. If Reverend Macleod’s proverbial multi-term pastoral sexcapades were consensual how can there be victims? Consensual implies the willing engagement of both parties.

    The court case concerned sexual abuse of women, not consensual affairs.

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  91. Highlander wrote:

    Rev Ward writing to Rev G I Williamson erred in his comments by three years all in the spirit of cover up of Prof McLeods alleged adultery

    I suppose you mean Rev Roland Ward? He is a key figure in the Presybyterian Church of Eastern Australia. He lives in Victoria Australia. He promised to publish a review my book but never did.

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  92. @ JYJames:

    Ha. That’s the gentlest way of putting it. Reminds of this little gem which (even though he was a -shhh- country Baptist!) was forced down my throat repeatedly with instructions that I should be the abuser’s cheerleader (see Woman the Completer). Apologies if I posted this already and am repeating myself

    http://www.jackhyles.com/woman.htm

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  93. Once again, Dee, you’ve provided excellent background & narrative on a story about which I did not expect to be interested. But it’s all very interesting and upsetting. My heart goes out to all the women of the Free Church who’ve been abused and called liars. Thank you, TWW for caring and all the effort to present clear, factual information. It’s a huge task and I am grateful for it.

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  94. ___

    “New Evidence To Support Your Claim, Perhaps?”

    hmmm…

    Q, If Macleod’s alleged multi-term pastoral sexcapades were dismissed in court for tainted evidence and last minute testimony. how can there be credible evidence/victims?

    Clergy sex abuse?
    Decades long extracurricular activities?
    women who reported abuse
    for over 20 years?
    Those brave women who came forward and told their stories have had to live with being called liars?

    WikiP:

    “Professor Donald Macleod, 55, of Craiglea Drive, Edinburgh, professor of systematic theology at the Free Church College, was charged with sexually assaulting four women in five separate incidents said to have taken place between 1985 and 1991.”

    “The allegations surfaced after the church cleared him of claims that he had committed adultery in Australia in the mid 1980s.”

    “They came (the four acusers) out at the 11th hour and I thought that, looking at the various complainers as a whole there was sufficient nexus between each one of them and those who were supporting the campaign against Professor Macleod for their evidence to be tainted by that.” -Sheriff Horsburgh’

    In 1996, Macleod was cleared of allegations that he had sexually assaulted four women. The Sheriff court found that “the women had all lied in the witness box to further the ends of Professor Macleod’s enemies in the Free Church of Scotland.”[3]

    A number of people who believed Macleod should be put on trial by the General Assembly then formed the Free Church Defence Association and ultimately a new denomination, the Free Church of Scotland (Continuing).

    Johnston McKay notes that although on the surface the church split that later occurred was about Donald Macleod, he believes it was about theology, since Macleod belonged to the more “modernising” wing of the Free Church.

    Q. Wartburg Watch, what new evidence exists to support your new
    blog post damaging statements?

    ATB

    Sòpy

    ;~)

    – –

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  95. Lydia wrote:

    Yikes. Now that’s a marriage bef checklist. Heard way too many sermons like that over my adult years as church became so invasive and people more eager to tolerate it. It’s quite amazing, really. I never realized that adults needed such specific instruction in this area from a “pastor”. It’s especially interesting when they are 28. Sigh.

    Yikes is right.
    Billie Holiday put it this way in 1949:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0AIdxGPVYs

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  96. Lydia wrote:

    @ Lowlandseer:
    Yikes. Now that’s a marriage bef checklist. Heard way too many sermons like that over my adult years as church became so invasive and people more eager to tolerate it. It’s quite amazing, really. I never realized that adults needed such specific instruction in this area from a “pastor”. It’s especially interesting when they are 28. Sigh.

    It is nothing of the sort. If man’s chief aim is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever, then it is to be enjoyed in all of life, in good times and bad, and even in the marital bed.

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  97. The #churchtoo Movement Comes to the Free Church of Scotland’s Donald Macleod

    Translation:
    “I THANK THEE, LOOOOOOOOOORD, THAT I AM NOTHING LIKE THOSE FILTHY FALSE PASTORS OVER THERE — WAIT! NO!! STOP!!!! STOP!!!!!!”

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  98. Lydia wrote:

    @ Lowlandseer:
    Yikes. Now that’s a marriage bed checklist. Heard way too many sermons like that over my adult years… I never realized that adults needed such specific instruction in this area from a “pastor”.

    All they had were sermons before Smartphone Social Media Apps…

    I never realized that adults needed such specific instruction in this area from a “pastor”. It’s especially interesting when they are 28.

    Another peek into 28-year-old Pastor’s own Sexual Fantasies?

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  99. ishy wrote:

    A lot of fundamentalist Baptists and charismatics also do not believe in birth control. That’s another product of patriarchy, I’m pretty sure. Keep women pregnant and uneducated, and that makes them dependent.

    The actual term (before the Seventies) was “Barefoot and Pregnant”.

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  100. at least I’m sort of out wrote:

    @ JYJames:

    Ha. That’s the gentlest way of putting it. Reminds of this little gem which (even though he was a -shhh- country Baptist!) was forced down my throat repeatedly with instructions that I should be the abuser’s cheerleader (see Woman the Completer). Apologies if I posted this already and am repeating myself

    http://www.jackhyles.com/woman.htm

    LEAD PASTOR Jack Hyles who had his mistress divorce her husband so as not to interfere with accessibility?
    LEAD PASTOR Jack Hyles who had his mistress in the adjacent office to his with an open archway (curtain not door) between the two in case of Urrrges in his Anointed Arrreas?
    LEAD PASTOR Jack Hyles who put his mistress up in the house behind his with a gate cut in the fence between? (Again, the convenience of Urrrges in his Anointed Arrreas…)
    LEAD PASTOR Jack Hyles all of whose Heirs to the Throne of House Hyles (including one Shaft-Polishing Son-in-Law) went down in child abuse and/or sex scandals?
    LEAD PASTOR Jack Hyles who insisted the girls at his church’s Private Christian School call him “Boopsie Woopsie” and sing hymns to Boopsie Woopsie as they sat on his Anointed lap? “Just like getting a lap dance, Except CHRISTIAN(TM)”?

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  101. Lowlandseer wrote:

    Lydia wrote:
    @ Lowlandseer:
    Yikes. Now that’s a marriage bef checklist. Heard way too many sermons like that over my adult years as church became so invasive and people more eager to tolerate it. It’s quite amazing, really. I never realized that adults needed such specific instruction in this area from a “pastor”. It’s especially interesting when they are 28. Sigh.
    It is nothing of the sort. If man’s chief aim is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever, then it is to be enjoyed in all of life, in good times and bad, and even in the marital bed.

    Well, excuse me, but if any pastor gave me instructions or warnings about what goes on in our bedroom I would immediately leave his church! Immediate boundary would be in place.

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  102. Sòpwith wrote “They came (the four accusers) out at the 11th hour and I thought that, looking at the various complainers as a whole there was sufficient nexus between each one of them and those who were supporting the campaign against Professor Macleod for their evidence to be tainted by that.” -Sheriff Horsburgh’
    When Complainant A spoke to a friend about the alleged assault in 1988 Rev Ian Murray and Rev. John Murray knew nothing about her allegation. It was therefore impossible for the two ministers to have persuaded her ‘ tailor’ her statements to the Church and to the Police. Her evidence therefore could not have been’ tainted’ by the two ministers. What she said to James Fraser in 1988 was consistent what she wrote in 1993 and stated in court in 1996.
    When Complainant B spoke to a friend about the alleged assault in 1991 Rev. John Murray and Rev Ian Murray knew nothing about her allegation. It was therefore impossible for the two ministers to have persuaded Complainant B to ‘ tailor’ her statements to the Church and to the Police.. Her evidence therefore could not have been’ tainted’ by the two ministers.
    Complainant C, who had no de recenti witness, heard in the summer of 1994 of other women to whom the same thing had happened who had complained to the Church. She, “Thought that it was really awful if [I] did not speak out”.( She repeated this in court). It was at this point that she told Rev John Murray.. This answer was consistent with the ninth Commandment which forbids concealing the truth, undue silence in a just cause, and holding our peace when iniquity calleth for either a reproof from ourselves, or complaint to others.
    When Complainant D spoke to a friend about the alleged assault in 1992 Rev. John Murray knew nothing about her allegation. It was therefore impossible for him to have persuaded Complainant D to tailor her statement to the Church and to the Police. Her evidence could not have been’ tainted’ by Mr Murray .
    When Complainant E spoke to a friend about the alleged assault in 1985 Rev.Angus Smith knew nothing about her allegation.( It wasn’t until 1993 that he heard about the allegation.) It was therefore impossible for him to have ‘ put words into her mouth’and to persuade her to tailor her statement to the Church and to the Police. Once again her evidence could not have been tainted by Rev Angus Smith.
    Complainants B, D, E had spoken to friends on the very day of the alleged assaults or within days. The friends povided statements to the Church which supported the accounts of the women to the Church and to the Police i.e they supported credibility of the women. These statements were never produced in court.
    ‘They came (the four accusers) out at the 11th hour’
    Statements of Complainants C, D and E were submitted to the Training of the Ministry Committee in October 1994
    All of the above, and much more besides, has already been posted on the site. Perhaps Sòpwith has not read it.
    Sòpwith refers to ‘damaging statements’ If the statements are damaging to individuals then surely it is incumbent on these individuals to rebut them on the site? Similarly if the statements are damaging e.g. to the Free Church , surely the same applies?

    Dr..Johnston Mackay, minister of the Church of Scotland in a report on BBC news Scotland on 21st January 2000 stated inter alia:

    Geographical split
    There is a geographical split within the Free Church between Free Church ministers and congregations on the island of Lewis and those on Skye.
    And there is also the issue of obedience to the General Assembly.
    The majority of the Free Church believes that the issue of Professor Macleod was dropped by the Free Church Assembly and the decision of the majority must be accepted.
    The Free Church Defence Association believes that it was wrong not to put Professor Macleod on trial in the General Assembly and that the majority has therefore departed from the principle that allegations of misconduct must be investigated not by a Committee of the General Assembly but by the whole General Assembly.
    At no time did the the Free Church Defence Association say that allegations of misconduct must be investigated not by a Committee of the General Assembly but by the whole General Assembly

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  103. Lowlandseer wrote:

    It is nothing of the sort. If man’s chief aim is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever, then it is to be enjoyed in all of life, in good times and bad, and even in the marital bed.

    I don’t believe man’s chief aim is to glorify god (small ‘g’ intended) any more than I believe that my kids and grand-kids chief aim is to glorify me.
    When they do what’s right and enjoy life to its fullest with all it has to offer, they are their own glories.

    From what I read in Psalm 8, I’m convinced that the Almighty feels the same about me.

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  104. Lowlandseer wrote:

    If man’s chief aim is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever,

    Is this an actual scripture that I have missed somewhere? I know we are to love God and to love our neighbor as ourself, but I’m not about the quoted command.

    Lowlandseer wrote:

    If man’s chief aim is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever, then it is to be enjoyed in all of life, in good times and bad, and even in the marital bed.

    I’m confused about what the “it” is in your statement. It appears that you are referring to He not an it. Are we to enjoy God in the marital bed? That seems a bit odd. One usually enjoys their spouse in the marital bed, but God?

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  105. Sòpwith wrote:

    Malcolm, Thank you for your clarification. If these thing be so, as you say above, why did Sheriff Horsburgh declare Professor Macleod not guilty?

    A very good question!

    Normally, if witnesses are accused by a Sheriff of lying in court they would face perjury charges. However, in this case, no such charges were brought due to insufficient evidence (no surprises there).

    This is the story that ran in the Glasgow Herald at the time..
    http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/12115108.Four_women_witnesses_accused_of_lying_by_sheriff_will_not_face_perjury_charges_Crown_closes_Macleod_case/

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  106. This was posted on 19th March.
    The 1996 Sheriff Court Trial of Donald Macleod
    According to reports in the media, statements were made in the Sheriff Court regarding named individuals, who, it was alleged, had been involved in the conspiracy against Donald Macleod. This was, in fact, the basis of the Defence. Some of these statements were untrue and others were mere half-truths. However, the Prosecution was unable to rebut most of the untruths and counter the half-truths largely because inter alia:
    1) It was severely handicapped because it had not obtained the Training of the Ministry Committee documents relating to the investigations into the allegations against Professor Macleod, whereas Donald Macleod’s defence team had obtained the documents by court order in January 1996. Only a few of the Training of the Ministry documents obtained by Donald Macleod’s Defence were produced in court. This meant, for example, that the Prosecution was not in possession of inter alia;
    a)the interviews of the complainants by the Church;
    b)the interviews of Donald Macleod by the Church;
    c).the statements of the de recenti witnesses.
    ‘If the prosecution had reviewed all of these papers they would have found plenty of evidence to contradict what was presented in court’ W J F C S p.3
    2)It failed to bring before the court any de recenti witnesses themselves to support the testimony of the complainants;
    3)It failed to call any of the alleged conspirators.

    Sheriff Horsburgh did not hear all the relevant evidence and this site has shown that some of the statements made by the Defence were untrue and others were mere half-truths

    If the Prosecution had addressed the above failures we question whether the defence in the Donald Macleod case would have been one of conspiracy.t

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  107. Forrest, Thank you for your topic expansion. From what I have now learned here, future women perhaps have been silenced; if so, simply a clumsy and stupid travesty in the making.

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  108. Bridget wrote:

    Lowlandseer wrote:

    If man’s chief aim is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever,

    Is this an actual scripture that I have missed somewhere? I know we are to love God and to love our neighbor as ourself, but I’m not about the quoted command.

    No you didn’t miss it. It’s the first question every Reformed learns from the Westminster Shorter Catechism.

    http://www.shortercatechism.com

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  109. @ Malcolm:

    Wow. Those women must have had to work hard to collude – maybe via mental telepathy?

    Seriously, that is just horrible.

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  110. dee wrote:

    Now understanding that the Free Church of Scotland takes a more progressive stand on social issues, could you clarify your position on extramarital relationships? Would theFfree Church of Scotland condone a fully consensual extramarital relationship?

    As a corollary…if abortion is allowed because the Free Church of Scotland supports a woman’s right to choose, when will the Free Church of Scotland allow female pastors?

    I can’t comment on Flora’s personal experience but to be clear, both the Free Church and the Free Church (continuing) take a traditional conservative position on social issues. They are most definitely against abortion, euthanasia, same sex relationships, extra marital relationships etc
    And they are both quite active in speaking out against them in the media, in politics, and from the pulpit. ( https://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/free-church-of-scotland-compares-abortion-to-slavery-1-3930574 )

    The FC is broadly very similar to the PCA.

    So why were Macleod’s comments tolerated? Well he is deliberately obscure, like a good politician it’s hard to pin down his positions, and he was held in such esteem that folks interpreted his comments as generously as possible. He got the Rob Bell defence ‘He’s just asking questions!’

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  111. Q. Wartburg, Could you please explain why you see the need to present this deceased theologian’s alleged mis-dead’s, to the exclusion of say, the product(s) of his life’s work, perhaps?

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  112. Lydia wrote:

    @ Ken F (aka Tweed):
    I continually have to remind these silly boys that it is most likely the author of Proverbs had somewhere around 600 wives.

    Ever notice a lot of Proverbs has to do with troubles with women?

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  113. at least I’m sort of out wrote:

    ishy wrote:

    Most of them have indicated to me that the main purpose of women is to be at the man’s pleasure whenever they want. Thank Piper for that one. :/

    Calvin and Puritans (and plenty of others) were teaching this well before Piper.

    And PORNOGRAPHY teaches it to this day.

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  114. The REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON ECUMENICAL RELATIONS to the General Assembly of the Free Church ( Continuing) stated inter alia:

    Rev James Gracie and Rev. Murdo A.N. Macleod attended the third meeting of the ‘Reformed Churches Forum’ which met in Inverness in November 2013 and which included brethren from the Free Church(residual), the Associated Presbyterian Churches, and the International Presbyterian Church. The Forum was chaired by the Rev Ian Hamilton.
    It was also noted that the Free Church of Scotland (Continuing) brethren had continuing concerns about unresolved issues with the Free Church (residual), leaving them with reservations about the Statement.
    At the meeting in November, little headway was achieved. While we should always be ready to meet with brethren, it was the opinion of our two representatives that there was little likelihood of progress being made as there was no sign of repentance on the part of the Free Church (residual).
    It is recommended that the Statement be noted by the General Assembly.
    WILLIAM MACLEOD, Convener ALLAN MURRAY, Vice-convener

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  115. Samuel wrote:

    can’t comment on Flora’s personal experience but to be clear, both the Free Church and the Free Church (continuing) take a traditional conservative position on social issues. They are most definitely against abortion, euthanasia, same sex relationships, extra marital relationships etc
    And they are both quite active in speaking out against them in the media, in politics, and from the pulpit. ( https://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/free-church-of-scotland-compares-abortion-to-slavery-1-3930574 )

    The FC is broadly very similar to the PCA.

    So why were Macleod’s comments tolerated? Well he is deliberately obscure, like a good politician it’s hard to pin down his positions, and he was held in such esteem that folks interpreted his comments as generously as possible. He got the Rob Bell defence ‘He’s just asking questions!’

    I am glad to hear that the Free Church is now actively speaking out against abortion. They certainly were not doing so in the eighties and were in denial. I had ministers argue with me that there was no abortion in Scotland although I knew that saline abortions were taking place in Aberdeen in the late sixties and seventies. When Donald MacLeod made the shocking statements quoted above, many outside the Free Church were appalled and did not find them ‘deliberately obscure’!

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  116. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    While we are on the topic, you have to see this gem by Doug Wilson posted on Piper’s site yesterday: https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/superior-women. Piper continues to prop him up for some reason.

    This alone would be enough to make me dismiss everything Piper ever says.

    “Godly marriage is designed in such a way as to make it impossible for a man to out-give his wife. This is not because he gets to be the selfish one, but rather this is for the same reason an industrious farmer cannot possibly out-give his field. ”

    ? He has made women into fields and crowns in this article. People? Never.

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  117. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Lydia wrote:
    @ Ken F (aka Tweed):
    I continually have to remind these silly boys that it is most likely the author of Proverbs had somewhere around 600 wives.

    Ever notice a lot of Proverbs has to do with troubles with women?

    Why can’t wife number 456 just shut up and do what I want when I call her in every few years?

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  118. Lydia wrote:

    @ Ken F (aka Tweed):
    I continually have to remind these silly boys that it is most likely the author of Proverbs had somewhere around 600 wives.

    Don’t forget the concubines!

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  119. Lea wrote:

    “Godly marriage is designed in such a way as to make it impossible for a man to out-give his wife. This is not because he gets to be the selfish one, but rather this is for the same reason an industrious farmer cannot possibly out-give his field. ”
    ? He has made women into fields and crowns in this article.

    And the Farmer gets to Plow his Field.
    “PENETRATE! COLONIZE! CONQUER! PLANT!”

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  120. Samuel wrote:

    @ Sòpwith:
    He’s not dead

    Ok. That would explain a few things. 🙂 So many broken peeders, this one must have simply gotten lost in the shuffle…Ops!

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  121. Lea wrote:

    This alone would be enough to make me dismiss everything Piper ever says.

    Exactly. But fortunately (or unfortunately), Piper gives us many reasons to dismiss everything he says.

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  122. dee wrote:

    dee on Fri Apr 20, 2018 at 10:47 AM said:

    Highlander wrote:
    “Macleod was accused of an affair with a woman in Australia and was acquitted of that charge.” McLeod was never charged and acquitted of allegations of adultery in Australia.
    Thank you for this correction. So, his alleged indiscretions were never investigated. That, to me, is disturbing. I plan to post a copy of a letter describing which expresses concerns about this indiscretion.
    Perhaps you can help me with something. A few things I read claim that Macleod is supportive of abortion.Is this true?

    Dee I can confirm that “Highlander” is correct. The matter was covered up by the PCEA.

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  123. JYJames wrote:

    Reads like codependency: a type of dysfunctional helping relationship of dependency where one person [wife] supports or enables another person’s [husband’s] poor self-esteem, immaturity, need for affirmation, irresponsibility, or under-achievement.

    Just like the relationship between Cartman and his mother on South Park.

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  124. Lea wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
    And the Farmer gets to Plow his Field.

    So gross to even think about it.

    That’s the whole idea.
    And the Attitude.

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