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CFS Trustees

Covenant Fellowship Scotland is registered with OSCR as
Scottish Charity SC043628.

Trustees of the charity are:

Rev Professor Andrew McGowan 
(Chairman)
Mr Kenneth Mackenzie
Rev Mark Malcolm
Rev Ann McCool
Rev Hector Morrison
Rev Colin Strong

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In this blog we are publishing short articles on various topics, submitted by different people in our supporters' network. These will aim to inform us and encourage us to think more deeply about our faith. For further information please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

In a previous blog article, we indicated that our Church’s recent booklet Diverse Gender Identities and Pastoral Care should certainly help many of our elders (and members) to become aware of some of the basic issues experienced by the small percentage of the population who suffer from gender dysphoria, or who self-identify as gender-non-conforming people.

However, we also highlighted the fact that the booklet is insufficient on its own. This is the case, not least because a significant number of statements are made – some of them by those who have studied theology formally – that need to be challenged in terms of what the Bible itself teaches and what orthodox theology has taught across denominations and across the world for the past two millennia. In a further series of articles, we would hope to highlight some of our concerns. We start today ‘in the beginning’ with some of the teaching of Genesis 1 that is challenged in this booklet.

What Genesis 1:27 teaches.

One of the more significant concerns that CFS has with the recent booklet, Diverse Gender Identities and Pastoral Care, produced by the Mission & Discipleship Council of the Church of Scotland, is that, in three of the stories related there, specific, positive reference is made to queer theology without any definition or analysis of that term being given, or any alternative assessment being made of it, and, in particular, how it relates to orthodox Christian teaching.

It is clear that if this booklet is to be discussed by Kirk Sessions they will need to be informed as to what queer theology is, where it came from and what its intentions are. Queer theology takes its name from queer theory which was first developed in the early 1990s.

In a brief (2-minute) video clip which can be found on the Forum of Christian Leaders (FOCL) European Leadership Forum website, Dr Peter Saunders, CEO of Christian Medical Fellowship, helps us to understand in lay language what lies at the very heart of queer theory. The website contains other helpful material on this and related issues:

We hope that these resources will help inform Christians of the background to the subject of transgender and bring some helpful clarity to a complex area as we move on to give further responses.

Some of you may be aware of a recently published booklet from the Church of Scotland, entitled Diverse Gender Identities and Pastoral Care. For information on how to obtain copies and how to download the booklet free of charge see https://www.resourcingmission.org.uk/shop/diverse-gender-identities-and-pastoral-care

As the booklet explains in its opening page, it is the official response of the Mission and Discipleship Council of the Church of Scotland, ‘working with the Church and Society Council and others where appropriate,’ to a deliverance proposed from the floor of the General Assembly of 2016 and approved by that Assembly. The deliverance instructed the above Councils to ‘promote congregational learning and awareness of the issues that transgender and gender-non-conforming people experience in order to better facilitate pastoral care to and the inclusion of transgender and gender non-conforming people at a local level.’ 

A Guest Blog at the start of 2018 from Rev. Dr. Bryson Arthur

As someone who has been teaching theology for the past twenty years in different cultures: East Africa, Israel, Jordan and now South Africa, I look at the present Western social development with a mixture of bemusement and sadness. Scientists and politicians are the ruling bodies and between them appear to have no sense of danger with respect to the rapid moral slide of what is termed secularism. Governments, apparently acting on behalf of, and in respect of, the secularists are slowly but surely arising as the unsuspected enemy and persecutor of Evangelical Christians; whom, it appears, they will not tolerate.

Major social changes concerning the very definition of what constitutes a human being itself, such as the redefinition of marriage and gender are championed by politicians, who many people believe don’t ever tell the truth. Theologians, philosophers and Church leaders are bypassed, in the rush to install the latest wave of postmodern devaluation of previously solid historical traditions. The Bible, long set aside by progressive enlightened, intellectuals and emotionally mature and free Western societies, (including some liberal churches) as the fount of truth and ethics, is now to be considered as an ancient mythical document to be discarded by the Church as a matter of obedience to the most recent laws of the state.  In the UK there have been court cases, and still are, which seek to prosecute Christians whose conscience will not allow them to disobey a normally accepted interpretation of Biblical teaching.  

LevinsonDaniel J Levinson describes ‘Eras in the Male Lifecycle’ with the illustration seen here.

This writer is in the ‘Late Adulthood’ phase and feeling thankful and looking forward...

Our generation has seen a massive change in life expectancy. 50 to 100 years ago, a typical male could hope for a couple of years of life after retiring before going to meet his Maker. Today a further 15/20 years is not unusual, and for most of the earlier part of that he will have significant energy and some wisdom hopefully accumulated, so should have much to look forward to. Indeed, the expectation is that in the next 20 years the numbers of over 85’s will DOUBLE, across the UK. No wonder pensions liabilities, originally designed to be paid out for 2-5 years, result in large pension deficits, as we all expect to draw for longer, and we did not save appropriately in our younger years for our old (and longer) age. Perhaps because our parents expected retiral at 65, we can be in danger of having the same expectation.

Faith in Later Life, http://www.faithinlaterlife.org/ is a new movement widely supported by church groups across the UK, and launched in the House of Lords on Tuesday 10 October at an event hosted by Lord MacKay of Clashfern that speaks to the potential growing usefulness of the ‘retirees’ in the gospel mission, and makes available resources for the church in the UK.

At all stages of life, this writer has had to be clear on what God’s calling was on his life.

A Guest Blog from Rev Andrew Barrie

I’ve been asked by Covenant Fellowship Scotland to give some reflections during a time of change. I’m currently in the process of moving from being the minister of Inverness Kinmylies Church to Wick Pulteneytown and Thrumster Church.

In terms of our lives, this means quite an upheaval for Susan and me. We don’t really know anyone in Caithness and really have little experience of the area. It means leaving Inverness which is a place that we love, with people and a church we love. It means losing many of the familiarities of life.