Christian News from Scotland

News stories from Scotland and beyond

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Ladele case to go to Supreme Court

Lillian Ladele, the Christian registrar who was told to perform same-sex civil partnerships or face dismissal, has lost her case for religious discrimination at the Court of Appeal.

Lawyers acting for Miss Ladele say she intends to appeal to the Supreme Court, the UK’s highest court.

She originally won a religious discrimination case against Islington Council at an employment tribunal in July 2008.

But that success was overturned months later by the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) who said Miss Ladele had been treated badly but it did not amount to religious discrimination.

This morning a ruling handed down in the Court of Appeal by the Master of the Rolls, Lord Neuberger, upheld the EAT’s decision.

The court accepted that Miss Ladele had been treated unfairly by Islington Council. The Council had discussed confidential disciplinary information about Miss Ladele with the Council’s LGBT forum.

The court said this was a breach of her rights and a breach of the Council’s own code of conduct.

The Council had also treated her letter of request for a reasonable accommodation of her religious beliefs as a freestanding act of “gross misconduct.” The court said this was an “unjustifiable characterisation”.

The Court of Appeal said that “Islington did not treat her fairly”. However, the court ruled this did not amount to religious discrimination.

The court said it wasn’t an act of religious discrimination to designate Miss Ladele as a civil partnership registrar.

Lord Neuberger said: “It appears to me that, however much sympathy one may have with someone such as Ms Ladele, who is faced with choosing between giving up a post she plainly appreciates or officiating at events which she considers to be contrary to her religious beliefs, the legislature has decided that the requirements of a modern liberal democracy, such as the United Kingdom, include outlawing discrimination in the provision of goods, facilities and services on grounds of sexual orientation, subject only to very limited exceptions.”

Reacting to the ruling, The Christian Institute’s Mike Judge said: “We are naturally disappointed at this decision and Miss Ladele intends to appeal. It is an important case of religious liberty not just for Lillian but for Christians working throughout the public sector.

“Several local authorities have been able to accommodate the religious beliefs of registrars who have a moral objection to same-sex partnerships. It is a shame Islington didn’t take the same approach.

“It is important to realise that not a single same-sex couple was denied, or would have been denied, access to a civil partnership registration at Islington Council due to Miss Ladele’s stance. There are plenty of registrars at Islington to meet the Council’s obligations.

“Looking at the matter more widely, Government regulations in this area have not done enough to protect religious liberty. Time and again, equality and diversity laws mean Christians are pushed to the back of the queue.”

The ruling was welcomed by Islington Council, the homosexual lobby group Stonewall, civil liberties group Liberty, and the National Secular Society.

see above story on the Christian Institute website

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Uniqueness of Christianiaty - 3 - Atonement

from The Crazy Rev Page

Having looked at love, and briefly mentioned the Trinity (with link), I want to suggest that the most unique aspect of the Christian Faith is the doctrine of the Atonement. And if the doctrine of the Trinity is a follow-on from the concept that God is love, then it could be argued that the doctrine of the Atonement follows on from both of them.

Basically, the Atonement has to do with the sacrificial death of the Lord Jesus, on the cross at Calvary. It is, as Paul states, the most important aspect of the Christian Faith - "I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me - that Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said." (I Cor.15:3). Writing to the believers in the city of Rome, he expands on this idea: "For God sent Jesus to take the punishment for our sins and to satisfy God's anger against us. We are made right with God when we believe that Jesus shed his blood, sacrificing his life for us." (3:25)

Over the centuries, many theologians have produced many theories as to exactly how all of this works. However, this blog is not the place in which to discuss all of them. Suffice it to say that, because Jesus lived a perfectly sinless life, His willing sacrifice of Himself satisfies the demands of the law. When God the Father looks at me, He sees, not my failure to keep His law, but "... the blood of Jesus, His Son, [that] cleanses us from every sin." (I Jn.1:7)

Of course, that sacrificial blood is not effective until I have acknowledged my own sinfulness; confessed it before God; and accepted the offer of full forgiveness and total salvation, that are made available to me. It is in, and through, Him, that I am reconciled to Father God. (cf. Rom.5:10; II Cor. 5:18).

Over my teaching career, I had to study all of the world's major religious belief-systems. But, while there are a number of ideas that are common to some or all of them, the Christian Faith is the only one that teaches that my eternal salvation depends, not on my own works - however good they may be - but on the completed work of the Lord Jesus. When, on the cross, He shouted out the one word "Tetelestai!" , (which may be translated "Completed!"), that was exactly what He meant. The price had been paid; the law had been satisfied; His work was finished.

All of that (and the so-much-more that I have omitted!) is because of His great love for you and for me. In the Persona of the Son, God did for you and me what we could never have done for ourselves. Such love - totally unique.

find the original post at

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Uniqueness of Christianity - The Trinity

The Uniqueness of Christianity - 2
The Trinity


If these were sermon notes, this would be the second in a very short series on why the Christian faith may be considered to be unique. Last night, I suggested that Love (agape) is one unique aspect of the Faith. This evening, I want to suggest that the doctrine (teaching) of the Trinity, is another unique aspect.

There is, in fact, a sense in which the doctrine of the Trinity is a direct follow-on from the concept that "God is love"! This is because love is a relationship. Therefore, it follows that, if God's essential nature (that which makes Him what He is) is love, then God must be in a relationship. Christians believe that the Bible teaches, very clearly, that that relationship is shown in the one Almighty God, revealing Himself as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Some time ago (July 4th) I recommended - with some reservation - the novel The Shack. It is a book that makes one think through this trinitarian doctrine - this concept of God being One, yet Three! I also have an audio-message on the subject on my other blog-site ( that some might appreciate!

But is this doctrine really unique to Christianity? Most certainly. Judaism and Islam both accept the idea of one almighty God, Who created all that is, and Who is far beyond we mere humans. Hinduism teaches that there are many different 'gods', some of whom reveal themselves in different avatars (I wonder how many people are aware that that word, that seems to be used in some computer games, is of Hindu origin?!). Buddhism has no concept of a divine being of any sort (which is why I have often questioned it being termed a 'religion'!) and Sikhism, while accepting a divine being, concentrates on the Guru Granth Sahib - its holy book. Only Christianity has a Trinitarian (Three-in-One) God - totally unique!

The next post will take this on a little further. Keep checking!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


The following is not new but, as local councils in the UK continue to introduce winter festival activites (which may, or may not, include Christmas), it is perhaps a worthwhile reminder from our Stateside brothers.


Twas the month before Christmas
When all through our land,
Not a Christian was praying
Nor taking a stand.
See the PC Police had taken away,
The reason for Christmas - no one could say.
The children were told by their schools not to sing,
About Shepherds and Wise Men and Angels and things.
It might hurt people's feelings, the teachers would say
December 25th is just a ' Holiday'.
Yet the shoppers were ready with cash, cheques and credit
Pushing folks down to the floor just to get it!
CDs from Madonna, an X BOX, an I-pod
Something was changing, something quite odd!
Retailers promoted Ramadan and Kwanzaa
In hopes to sell books by Franken & Fonda.
As Targets were hanging their trees upside down
At Lowe's the word Christmas - was no where to be found.
At K-Mart and Staples and Penny's and Sears
You won't hear the word Christmas; it won't touch your ears.
Inclusive, sensitive, Di-ver-si-ty
Are words that were used to intimidate me.
Now Daschle, Now Darden, Now Sharpton,
Wolf BlitzenOn Boxer, on Rather, on Kerry, on Clinton !
At the top of the Senate, there arose such a clatter
To eliminate Jesus, in all public matter.
And we spoke not a word, as they took away our faith
Forbidden to speak of salvation and grace
The true Gift of Christmas was exchanged and discarded
The reason for the season, stopped before it started.
So as you celebrate 'Winter Break' under your 'Dream Tree'
Sipping your Starbucks, listen to me.
Choose your words carefully, choose what you say
not Happy Holiday !

The Uniqueness of Christianity - Love

The Uniqueness of Christianity - 1

from The Crazy Rev Page

Yesterday morning, while listening to the BBC Radio 4 programme 'Sunday', I heard a former nun, Karen Armstrong, attribute to the Dalai Lama (the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism) the statement: "Every single religion teaches the same thing." Then, later, at Calderhead Erkine Parish Church, where have been doing most of my preaching over recent months, the minister who was preaching as Sole Nominee to fill the vacancy there, made reference to the uniqueness of Christianity. It's a vitally important subject and so, over the next few posts, I want to share something of why the Christian faith is, indeed, so different from all other religious belief-systems, that it may be considered to be unique.

This evening, I want to mention Love. Now it is true that most religions have some concept of love - although the emphasis placed on it may vary considerably. However, when we come to the Christian faith, we find that love is absolutely central. Indeed, it is given as the simplest description of Almighty God. Writing in his First Letter, John makes the (repeated) claim that "God is love". (I Jn.4:8).

Two things need to be emphasised. First of all, the love of which John writes is not the erotic, sensual, love of the cheap novel, or the suggestive film, that may be more accurately referred to as 'lust'! Nor is it the soppy, sentimentalised, love of the Mills & Boon type of story. It isn't even the perfectly respectable love of a husband for his wife (and vice/versa), or of parents for their children. John uses a specific word from the Greek language, that is written (in this Roman script) as 'agape'. I well recall my former minister, spiritual mentor, and friend, the late Rev. George B. Duncan, define agape as "the minimum of emotion, and the maximum of evaluation." By this he meant that agape love is more concerned with the value of its object, than with mere 'feelings' - although feelings.emotions are not to be totally discounted. Agape is, indeed, the very love of God Himself.

But it's a love that is to be practised by disciples of Jesus. Indeed, He says to His disciples (now as well as then!) "A new commandment I give to you,, that you love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also may love one another. By this all men will know that that you are my disciples, if you have love one for another." (Jn.13:34-35)

The second thing to emphasise is that God is not simply the highest, and best, form of love. It is not as if love is a ladder with us on the bottom rung, and God on the top rung. Rather, John is saying that God is, in this illustration, the ladder. He is, essentially, love. Without Him, love would not exist and, if I may state it with all reverence, without love, He would not exist!
Over the years, I have studied a fair number of belief-systems of one sort and another. But I have not come across any that have that sort of picture of the One Who is the Creator, and Sustainer, of all that is. Love, alone, would be sufficient to show the uniqueness of Christianity. However, there is more - so do return to this site to discover some of its other unique aspects!

Read this blog posting on The CrazyRev Page


Monday, June 08, 2009

"homosexuaility is a sin" - that's a crime say the police

Police officers told an open-air preacher in Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, it is a criminal offence to identify homosexuality as a sin. They said this to Andy Robertson, even though he had not mentioned homosexuality in his preaching.

He was recording his preaching because the local council had been making allegations about the content of his message. The conversation with police officers was caught on tape.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Churches Burnt & Christians Martyred in Karachi

Date: Wednesday, April 22, 2009, 6:27 PM

Dear Friends

Three Churches are attacked in Karachi, and Christians killed and wounded by Pakistani Talibans.

The details of this news can be found through the web.links below:
Altaf Hussain of MQM is the only national level leader who is raising voice against the suffering of Christians in Karachi, whereas PPP & PML-N & ANP are totally dumb founded. Please see the link below:

An emergency meeting of Pakistani Christians has been called in Luton by Yaqub Masih Athwal (Chairman Pakistan Christian Concern), in which various options will be considered.

There is a strong possibility of a protest March in London by the UK based Pakistani Christians, and similar protests are expected in other Western countries. I personally would like to encourage our Pakistani Christians brethren in USA, Canada, Europe and Australia to stage protests in front of Pakistan Embassies in these countries.

I would also request you to write letters to your elected representatives, and even arrange to meet them in delegations for sharing your concern for the Talibanization of Pakistan and the inability of the Pakistani Government to protect the religious minorities.

Let us work together for the sake of our suffering brothers and sisters in Pakistan.


Asif Mall
Secretary General
Pakistan Christian Ideology Council-UK


Thursday, April 16, 2009

Watchman Reports - "Curfews in the Highlands"

Watchman Reports
from Christians Together

'Curfews' in the Highlands
view the original article here

Watchman reports on the rising levels of public disorder in the Highand capital which is invoking serious responses from the authorities

I HAVE never (before or since) been so close to calling on the police for personal protection. The occasion was an early evening visit to a corner store in Hamilton in the summer of 1997 (and before mobile phones had arrived).

I should say that the personal safety that I was concerned about was not my own, but rather that of the local shopkeeper who was been faced up with a group of the most aggressive youngsters demanding alcohol from him. The situation was explosive, and the sense of imminent violence most palpable. In the event, the highly-nervous shopkeeper managed to diffuse the situation – but only just.

The Hamilton Curfew
Following that most worrying incident I tracked a ‘teen curfew’ initiative by the Hamilton police through reports in the national press. As far as I can remember the scheme was set up to monitor young people out on the streets after dark, and – beyond a certain hour – for police officers to return them to their homes.

In the progress of the scheme and subsequent evaluation it transpired that when the police turned up at the respective homes with their charges, they found one of three situation pertaining: these being –
  • the parents were at home but having a drinking party themselves and didn’t want the children there
  • the parents were out of the house(s) themselves
  • the parents received their children from the police at the front door and then, immediately the patrol car was out of sight, let them out of the back door onto the street again

So it seemed that alongside the behaviour of the youngsters on the streets – and some were very young indeed – a large part of the problem was they way that they were being looked after and controlled (or not) by their parents.

And now in the Highlands and Islands
After a year or so I lost track of the scheme. But it has now – in April 2009 – reappeared in both national and local media: only this time it is not Hamilton but Inverness. It is being currently reported that in the Highland capital youth referrals have risen by 15% since 2006, and have prompted Northern Constabulary to ask for powers to take a slightly different approach.

It wants to be able to impose a curfew on individual young people under 16 who repeatedly commit crime or cause a nuisance. One piece of national coverage observes: ‘In a traditionally law-abiding part of Scotland, a steep rise in juvenile crime is a symptom of something going awry that must be taken seriously. When the crimes include violence and sexual offences, they cannot be dismissed as bad behaviour that has got out of hand.’

Highland GP needs police protection
The problem of violence and crime are now escalating nationally and behaviour which was previously and mainly confined to the toughest of inner-city areas is now manifest in Highland communities. A local (male) GP in a fairly small – and previously peaceful – Highland town will not now attend out-of-hours call outs without police protection.

The problem is now 2 – 3 generations old. Lack of respect and disciple flows directly from the rampant liberalism that has pervaded all areas of public life and resulted in even grand-parents (many of whom are in their 30s due to the increase in teenage pregnancies) lacking the personal experience and skills to operate a healthy parenting regime.

The problem will not go away; and indeed is set to get worse as – and this is the other side of the liberal coin – some parents, including the wife of one health professional in a Highland community, are frightened to discipline their children lest the latter report their parents to the police and social services.

A two-way approach
The remedy is two-fold and it doesn’t involve stigmatising and/or criminalising parents and youngsters – indeed groups both are ‘victims’.

But the cycle of socially unacceptable – including criminal and violent – behaviour will not be cured without structured intervention and changes to public policy.

The environment in which young people are growing up today is that of an ‘anything goes’ culture. Pornography and extreme and graphic violence is the very stuff of much of the film, TV, magazine and internet scene. Alcohol is often cheaper than bottled water and – despite checks at retail outlets – easily available. As far as drugs are concerned, illicit and dangerous ‘substances’ are also freely available and affordable. Not only that, but the social acceptability of drug use has continued to rise due to the ‘So what?’ throw away comments by high-profile personalities and public figures.

As far as parenting is concerned, it is the most difficult and responsible job that anyone will ever be called to do. And yet it is the task which the vast majority of parents receive no training whatsoever. So the only thing that any new parent has to draw from is their own experience of being parented themselves. Very sadly, in many cases, this is not an example that can be commended – as the results of the Hamilton curfew illustrated.

The Missing Dimension
Meanwhile, the welfare benefit system in the UK encourages the youngest of children to become parents themselves, and through public health policies which oblige schools to teach ‘sex education’ which is devoid of any moral input is fostering the exorbitant rise in teenage (even now primary school) pregnancies, abortion, single-parenting, absent fathers, sexually-transmitted infections and related health problems like cervical cancer.

Poor parenting has been identified time and time again as a major factor in anti-social behaviour, young offending, teenage pregnancies, non-attending, poor education and employment prospects.

The health, social services and police cannot cope with all of this; and neither in fact can the country as a whole. Until there is an acknowledgement that present policies have failed to stem the tide, the UK is set to continue on a spiral of rapidly-rising public disorder and crippling human and economic cost.Whether we like it or not, today’s young people are a product of a social environment which those of who have gone before have created. The problems can only be tackled at a level which transcends local and national party politics; and will continue to defy resolution until there is an overt and accepted need for a moral framework in all areas of public and private life.