The Rev. Donald Macdonald has departed from the Free Church of Scotland because of the denomination’s recent decision to allow uninspired hymns and musical instruments in worship.
“Rev Donald Macdonald, who preached for decades at Carloway and is a past moderator of the denomination, said he is thoroughly convinced that contentious policy to drop the 100-year-old tradition of instrument-free, psalm-only singing “is unscriptural, does not have the positive sanction of Scripture and is, therefore, sinful.”
The Lewis man who has been a minister for 47 years is severing ecclesiastical connections with the Free and is joining the Reformed Presbyterian Church of Scotland (RPCS) which now holds Sunday services at the Coulnagrein prayer house in Stornoway.” (from the Hebrides article, link below)
The BBC story is here.
The following is reported from the Hebrides News website found here:
Rev. Macdonald’s resignation letter is here:
Rev Donald Macdonald resignation letter in PDF:
From Hebrides: “Mr Macdonald slammed the Western Isles Presbytery for “changing course” and “progressing the agenda for change.”
He stressed: I feel that the Church, and especially my own Presbytery, now leave me no option but to resign from its ministry, notice of which I now, with great sadness and regret, submit, and do so without any sense of ‘violating any duty or committing any sin.’
In his resignation letter, Mr Macdonald said: “This has been the hardest decision I have ever had to make and one that I never thought I would have to make – especially at this late stage in my life after 47 years in the ministry of the Free Church and all of them as a member of this Presbytery.
“I have not come to my decision lightly or in haste. Neither am I motivated by a petulant and defiant spirit that cannot accept defeat: this matter is far too serious for such superficial and infantile reactions.
“I have come to this painful decision after much soul-searching, reading, consultation, meditation and prayer. I can see no other honest and honourable course of action.
Mr Macdonald said the worship changes was “unscriptural.”
He said: “No new compelling biblical arguments have been produced in any of the debates.”
He believes the decision was “unconfessional and unconstitutional.”
Mr Macdonald criticises the new “sham” optional vows which is “supposed provision for the relief of the conscience of any office-bearer who is not in agreement with the new mode of worship now allowed is either a delusion or a deception.”
He said: “That the Free Church for which our Fathers fought and suffered in the 1900s should come to such a sorry pass grieves me beyond words.
“I had hoped, along with many others, that this Presbytery would have taken a stand and hold the line but, sadly and unbelievably, this has proved to have been a vain hope.
“Not only has the Presbytery not withstood the onslaught, it has now headed the van in progressing the agenda for change since it was the Overture from this Presbytery that secured the approval of the Assembly for the supposed conscience-relieving clause.
“A wind of change has most certainly blown through this Presbytery in the past two years to such an extent that I can scarcely believe that it is the same Presbytery. ”
UPDATE: Here is an interview with Rev. Macdonald…