For your tomorrow, we gave our today...

"The word of the LORD you have spoken is good,” Hezekiah replied. For he thought, “Will there not be peace and security in my lifetime?” (2 Kings 20:19)

This year Iain and Jean Murray write in their family letter...

"This has been for us a year of light and shadows. We have never experienced twelve months in which so many friends have been called home -- shadows on life for us but not for them." They go on to speak of the homegoing of their close friend, Mrs. Elspeth Raynar; and of her husband:

...the late John Raynar, was one of our first friends at Westminster Chapel, sixty years ago, and when we later lived in Australia (for nine years) their home near Cambridge was almost a second home to us – a place of peace and beauty, and of John’s good library (now going in large part to the London Theological Seminary). John had served with Lord Mountbatten on the Burma border, the area now marked by the monument at Kohima, bearing those poignant words, ‘When you go home, tell them of us and say, For your tomorrow, we gave our today.’ 

This is an epitaph for all soldiers and mothers who give their blood and lives for others still to come.

This is an epitaph for every faithful shepherd.

One day when our Father calls him home, this would be an epitaph for that prince among men, Iain Muray, whose works have been my lifeblood, and also the lifeblood of every Reformed church officer I have ever trusted.

(TB) 

Comments

My claim to fame is to sit in the same pew as him on a Sunday morning. And to hear the man lead the saints in prayer is something special indeed (on the rare occasion the FPC let him!).

Please give him David's and my love.

#1

Just out of interest, where is that? :-)

It is the FP church (Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland). They are a very small denomination in Scotland, that came into existence in 1893 (or 2?) when they seceded from the Free Church. They have a handful of churches scattered over the rest of the world, including one in Texas I believe, but they are mainly in Scotland. The one in Edinburgh is quite small - about 30 or 40 people.

They hold to some very old-fashioned doctrines, some of which are good, other not so, IMO. Here are some of their doctrinal distinctives:

o Exclusive Psalmody
o No musical instruments in worship
o Head-coverings and long hair for women
o Women wear skirts, not trousers
o No earrings
o KJV-only
o Very strict sabbatarians (Puritan style) - no use of public transport on Sabbath, even to church!
o No outside ministers would be asked to preach
o notable luminaries - John Murray
o they would (on paper) hold to the reformers belief that the Pope is the antichrist (I think)

A relatively recent ruling (only narrowly passed) was that baptists are no longer allowed to become members and thus partake of communion there, hence my previous comments about looking for another place to worship (I am baptist).

Mr Murray himself is not a member there as far as I know (and obviously has some doctrinal differences - e.g. he has written against exclusive psalmody in the past) but I think he was drawn by the recently deceased faithful minister Hugh Cartright who made a big impression on the congregation. Usually only male members are called upon to pray, lead the psalm-singing etc.. but Mr Cartright used to make an exception with Mr Murray as he would sometimes be asked to pray in the prayer meetings.

It is a very interesting little church, I really like the people, but I think their isolationism from the rest of the body of Christ is quite suffocating and not healthy. 'The eye cannot say to the hand, "I have no need of you"...' etc.

There are some areas they are especially strong on (it is the only place I have ever heard the doctrine of election freely preached - everyone is born Pelegian except FP's - they are Calvinists from the womb:).

But there are other areas where I think they could really do with some outside input/correction. I think they lose a number of the young people because they do not avail themselves of the outside resources to engage with the questions and struggles people face today, e.g atheism, apologetics, gender roles etc. There tends to be a party line and that's it, not enough explanation. Also, IMO, the preaching does not always bring enough of the practical applications commanded in scripture, and focuses too narrowly on (very clear) Gospel messages rather than proclaiming the whole counsel of God as it applies to our everyday lives. But they are one of the last bastions of conservatism in Scotland and for that I am thankful.

And Mr Bayly if I get another opportunity I will pass on your regards,

When I worshipped with the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland in Portree they prayed for their brethren in Canada who were about to be visited by the anti-christ/pope. So it isn't just on paper, at least as of the 1990s.

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