Statement of Principles and Aims


Background

Many Free Church people have been deeply disturbed by recent trends within the Church. Decisions of recent General Assemblies and Commissions have paid scant attention to constitutional procedure and proper disciplinary process. Through statements to the media, and other public utterances, prominent Church figures have cast doubt on the Church's confessional standards and practice, and so have called in question their fidelity to their ordination vows. The Church is becoming increasingly alienated from the most loyal of its people.

We acknowledge that the present state of the Church is a result of Divine chastisement, and we believe that it is incumbent on us prayerfully to establish what may be the causes of the Divine displeasure, and to seek its removal by confessing and forsaking those sins which we believe are grieving God's Holy Spirit.

Principles

The Free Church Defence Association believe that the times call for a strong re-affirmation of the principles of the Disruption Free Church as these were carried forward by the Constitutionalists in the years prior to 1900, at a time of similar difficulty and trial for the Church. Accordingly, the Free Church Defence Association re-affirm their adherence to the first three Articles of the Constitution of the Free Church Defence Association as adopted on 24 January 1870 as follows:

1. This Association, steadfastly believing and holding that the principles of the Free Church of Scotland are in accordance with the Word of God, as revealed in the Sacred Scriptures, and founded thereon, are therefore of unchangeable obligation on the Church and the world, for the promotion of the glory of God, the interests of the Redeemer's kingdom, and the welfare of immortal souls, as well as of churches and nations.

2. These are the principles held by the Reformed Church of Scotland, both at the first and second Reformation, and solemnly re-affirmed at the Disruption in May 1843, as they are contained in the Westminster Confession, and other subordinate standards of the Free Church of Scotland - principles which all her ministers, elders, deacons and probationers solemnly profess to receive and to hold, without any reserve or compromise, and to which they are bound by public vow and by subscription with the hand.

3. The Free Church of Scotland holds, and all her office-bearers, as aforesaid, solemnly receive and subscribe, the Claim of Right of 1842, and the Protest and Deed of Demission of 1843, according to the relative formula of 1846.



Aims

The Free Church Defence Association hereby declare that their aims in the situation which confronts the Free Church of Scotland at the present time are:
1. To defend, maintain and promote the Biblical and Confessional doctrines and practice of the historic Free Church of Scotland.

2. To defend and promote the regulative principle in Divine worship and to resist innovations in worship not sanctioned by the Word of God.

3. To uphold and defend the Presbyterian church government and discipline of the Free Church.

4. To press for consistency in adherence to ordination vows on the part of ministers, professors and office-bearers of the Free Church.

5. To promote, through publications, meetings and otherwise, the historic principles of the Free Church, and to inform the people of the Church of matters bearing on these principles.

6. To promote and encourage godliness in conduct.

7. To promote peace, unity and brotherly love on the basis of Biblical truth and righteousness.

The Free Church Defence Association welcome support from all who share the above principles and aims.
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