Report on 2017 Spring Conference
(We are grateful to Mr Stuart Mackay of the Ayr congregation for providing this report. The photos are courtesy of Mr Paul Keating. It is hoped that audio files of the addresses given by Rev. Graeme Craig will be available on the website shortly.)
The picturesque view overlooking the Beauly Firth towards the Black Isle once again delighted those who attended the annual Spring Conference of the Free Church of Scotland (Continuing).
Held at the Kingsview Christian Centre, situated in the Kinmylies area of Inverness, about 100 souls attended to worship God and receive instruction from His Word.
This year’s vitally-important subject was Reclaiming Marriage. Both addresses were given by Rev. Graeme Craig, Minister of our Stornoway congregation.
Mr Craig began by reminding us that history shows us that our situation today is no different from the time of the Apostles. Immorality was as prevalent in their day as it is in ours; the Scriptures spoke clearly about the issues then and they still do so now.
The first address took as its title ‘The Pattern for Marriage’. Mr Craig read from two chapters, Genesis 2 and Ephesians 5, to show us firstly that marriage is biblical; indeed it is a creation ordinance and a God-ordained bond. We were also reminded that jokes that undermine marriage were from Satan’s workshop. Secondly we were shown from Ephesians that marriage should be Christ-centred. Further to this we were shown that sin causes us to want to break free from supposed control; however the biblical way is that the husband should show his headship and, just as importantly, his selfless love for his wife, whilst the wife should show her submission to her husband.
After an excellent lunch and fellowship Rev. Bill Scott, in a session given over to Psalmody, once again reminded us of the delights and privileges we have in singing the Psalms, whilst giving direction as to how we should sing them. We also had opportunity to purchase excellent literature at discount prices through the great work of Glenn and Myra Fraser.
Lunch having ended, the afternoon address had as its title ‘The Practice of Marriage’. It came under two main heads, these being ‘The Beginning of Friendship and Courtship’ and ‘Marriage’ itself.
Under the first head we were firstly reminded that casual romances should be avoided as they only lead to brokenness; they are characterised by a lack of commitment, as opposed to the wonderful picture of Christ as the Bridegroom and the very serious commitment He gave when purchasing His Bride. We then heard that the basis of love is not lust, wealth or beauty, but God’s ordinances and commandments. Equally important, we heard that not all will marry.
Under the second head we had several points, which showed us, amongst other things, that marriage was a gift from God, that husband and wife needed to love one another, learn to compromise, spend time with one another and also pray together.
Both addresses were marked by clarity and are worthy of listening to more than once by single people considering marriage, newly-wed couples or even seasoned married couples.
A final Psalmody session from Mr Scott concluded a great day with our thanks to the Kingsview Christian Centre and all those who contributed to make the day as good as it was.