Stornoway Gazette Letters 4/10/12

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ONE CHURCH?

One can’t imagine this glittering diamond with its many facets representing all the churches in the world, Peter George’s letter September 27.

There is no such diamond in this natural world equal to it, therefore biblically fictitious. In Young’s Analytical Concordance the Greek word ‘ekklesia’ translated ‘church’, means that which is called out for service to God. This refers to the whole community of redeemed individuals wherever they lived or assembled under assumed titles, ie Free Church, Baptist, etc.

The first group to be commissioned was the original church in Jerusalem, the one church. No such church like it exists since, only sects and denominations of it. Keith Fernie rightly said it is the individual before God, ie one Mediator between God and man – Christ Jesus – not the church or a church. I read of one Lord one faith, which nothing can be substituted for.

Mr George mentions one of the facets as being the Catholic Church whose headquarters are in Rome, whereas this supposed one Christian church is not seen anywhere, and no headquarters. It doesn’t exist. It is well known that when a Catholic uses the term church, the church he is referring to is the Roman Catholic Church – this one church. This to him is ‘The Church’ and no-one is part of it unless he is identified with it.

But this is not the church to me, and probably not the church to you, and so on...

What can we say for ourselves other than we are joined to a people spiritually through the Gospel (the Israel of God) and a promise in Christ Jesus that pre-existed us.

Through Jesus’ death on the cross we reap spiritual blessings that wouldn’t be ours otherwise. That is my view, and as Mr George says never claim to be right takes away the possibility of there being absolutes when there are a modern day distraction. A serious issue.

Donald Murray, Inverness

EDITORIAL

The new Nicolson Institute was officially opened this week with a ceremony at the school and a line up of speakers marvelling at the new building and of its benefits to the education for the islands’ young people.

Six state of the art schools have now been delivered to the Islands - a much needed salve for those parents and children who had to abandon fondly-remembered old schools.

The question of which is better for local education will soon be asked in North Uist. Should the area have one brand new school with great design and modern technology which will mean the merging of other school populations, or retain the old schools at the heart of the communities they serve?

Part funding for a new school in North Uist has already been obtained, however public consultation on the matter is delayed until the ‘Commission on the Delivery of Rural Education’ delivers its findings, this in turn has been delayed until an Appeal in the Court of Session following legal action by the Comhairle against the Government is considered next month.

As the process plays out there is plenty of time for parents to deliberate the question which will be put before them: a brand new school your children may need to travel to, or keep the old school in the community you live and miss out on modern facilities for your child’s education?