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Around the Church

08. July 2008

News, Denominational News,

  —Gordon Keddie

While on a private visit to Scotland, I was able to spend two days at the Assembly of the Free Church (Continuing) in Edinburgh, Scotland. My brother, John W. Keddie, served as moderator this year. My main reason for being present was to visit with the family on the occasion of this honor. Specifically, I was to speak at the moderator’s reception, it being a tradition that Christian relatives and friends regale the company with suitable revelations of the moderator’s life and character, even back to childhood! In the U.S., we might call this a “roast.” I learned a few things myself from the friends of 40 years ago who spoke on that evening. Seeing I was there already, it seemed appropriate to bring a word of greeting to the assembly itself, which I duly did at their invitation on the following day.

The Free Church (Continuing), as its name suggests, claims to be the “continuing” Free Church after a split in A.D. 2000, in which some 30 ministers and a number of elders were suspended sine die from office by a motion in that assembly, without charges or a trial. Their “crime” had been to insist that the cases of sexual harassment brought by a number of members of the church against a prominent seminary professor be heard in the courts of the church. Needless to say, bringing libels against these ministers and elders would have been equivalent to trying the professor, so they were thrown out by a motion and a majority vote. They “continued” to meet ...

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