Talk:Free Church of Scotland (Continuing)

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Disputed Statistics 1[edit]

The Free Church of Scotland endured a major division in 1900 and and a minor division in 2000.

In fact, the proportion of ministers adhering to the minority was much GREATER in 2000 than in 1900.

Fair point.
Perhaps the word "major" is at fault here. The impact of the division of 1900 was major and the impact of the division of 2000 was minor. Or is it too early to tell? -- 41.177.9.118 (talk) 12:42, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
I've removed the "Disputed" tag because this phrase no longer occurs in the article. -- leuce (talk) 13:30, 28 November 2008 (UTC)

Editorial Bias 1[edit]

Free Church of Scotland (Continuing) represents a body which was involved on the minority side in this second schism.

The term "schism" is, when used in an ecclesiastical sense, emotive, as "schism" is deemed a sin while "division" is neutral.

Reference to dicitonary.com makes no reference to sin being a part of a schism. Schism is a descriptive word. It is defined as follows:
1. division or disunion, esp. into mutually opposed parties.
2. the parties so formed.
3. Ecclesiastical. a. a formal division within, or separation from, a church or religious body over some doctrinal difference.
b. the state of a sect or body formed by such division.
c. the offense of causing or seeking to cause such a division.
The point is that schism in an ecclesiastical sense is a sin. Division is not necessarily. So the use of the term "schism" displays a lack of objectivity when used in relation to matters ecclesiastical.
The Wikipedia is not an ecclesiastical text. But I agree with the word choise of "schism" because "division" implies that the separation was peaceful or mutually agreed and approved. The word "schism" carries the connotation of something that was unfortunate. -- 41.177.9.118 (talk) 12:49, 28 November 2008 (UTC)

Over a period from the late 1980s to 2000 there was a small number...

The number was considerable.

The ultimate percentage who left the Free Church of Scotland was 8%. 8% is bigger than 7%, but notwithstanding 92% remained loyal to the Free Church cause. In this context 8% is a small number.
The source of the statistics is not quoted and its impartiality is suspect.
Surely statistics is always impartial :-) if quoted correctly? -- 41.177.9.118 (talk) 12:49, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
Statistics are not impartial unless they are true! Accurate! Statistics should always have a source quoted in order that impartiality can be assessed. And in this instance it's not clear that the source was impartial. In particular there's no evidence that the "8%" figure has any solid statistical basis. The number of ministers belonging to the two bodies can be counted precisely. The number of active ministers in congregations and other fully-supported workers can give a reasonable indication of relative strength. Independently-audited income figures for the bodies can give some useful statistical information with a solid basis. It would be astonishing if, with absolutely no investment income, the Free Church of Scotland (Continuing) holding almost no property, could sustain over thirty congregations and mission work in Scotland and overseas if their total support were limited to 8% of the pre-2000 Free Church of Scotland. The explanation probably lies in the fact that statistics come from the the larger body who are probably claiming that all those who are not communicant members and for whom no hard statistics exist are to be reckoned as having continued to support the larger body.Appin (talk) 12:25, 26 December 2008 (UTC)

both within and outwith the Free Church of Scotland had regard to gossip

"gossip" is emotive. The term "reports" would be neutral.

Again dictionary.com provides a number of definitions of Gossip, which includes the verb - to talk idly, esp. about the affairs of others; go about tattling. This acturately summarises the position.
Sadly, there were solid allegations with documentary evidence.

to the manner in which allegations, both moral and spiritual, against a Minister of the Gospel.

Misleading -- the principal function of the individual concerned was a theological professor in the Free Church College.

No explanation is given of why this statement is misleading. Professors of the Free Church college are ordained ministers of Free Church of Scotland. They present what they understand to be the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The explanation is that the spiritual character of a minister is required in order to be a professor in the Free Church College. It is not MERELY an academic post, but a spiritual one.

In January 2000 more than twenty ministers (many of whom were retired)

It is true that many of the ministers were retired, but here it is not germane to the issue. There is no indication that the retired men made up a greater proportion of those in the minority than those among the majority. It appears to be used here to denigrate the minority.

The statement is accurate, as confirmed by the objector.

who had expressed disquiet, refused to adhere to their ordination vows to accept a decision of the General Assembly

Biased point of view -- their ordination vows bound them only to accept decisions of General Assembly made in accordance with the constitution of the Church which the decisions in question were not.

Ordination vows are taken by all office bearers in the Free Church of Scotland to adhere to the decisions of the Church courts, though through conscience they may dissent. Reference: Free Church Practice aka The blue book
The vows extend only to requirements which are themselves constitutional. One minister was suspended for being contumacious on the ground that he had refused to withdraw comments he had not actually made and could prove he had not made, but by trying him for contumacy he was deprived of the right to defend himself. The use of contumacy rather than a substantive charge is not constitutional.

Disregarding Scriptural principles, they sought to sue brothers in Christ in the Scottish Courts.

The majority had first taken action against one of the minority ministers in Inverness Sheriff Court. The majority have since taken action against Free Church Continuing office-bearers in the Court of Session (8th March 2007).

The objector accepts that the statement is correct, and offers no criticism of the accuracy.
If it was Scriptural for the Free Church minority in 1900 to use the courts of the land, it must be deemed in accordance with Scriptural principle. It displays a lack of impartiality to describe the actions of the minority in 2000 as "disregarding Scriptural principles" when the Free Church followed the same line in 1900 and the present majority have twice taken the same action against the minority since 2000.
I've removed the "Neutrality" tag because none of the issues mentioned in this section occur in the article any longer. -- leuce (talk) 13:34, 28 November 2008 (UTC)

Disputed Statistics 2[edit]

They are less than 20% of the ministerial strength of the pre-2000 Free Church of Scotland...

This is out of accordance with the figures in the Yearbook of the Free Church of Scotland and the Yearbook of the Free Church of Scotland (Continuing), both of which list the ministers of each denomination for independent verification. They show the minority to be OVER 20% of the pre-2000 Free Church of Scotland.

The objection is meaningless, and fails to compare like with like.
The objection does compare like with like. The books may be directly compared.
And here is an example of what I talk about below please sign-in and sign your contribs with four "~" signs. I had to read the above several times to work itg out. Wilmot1
And don't forget to indent replies :-) -- 41.177.9.118 (talk) 12:50, 28 November 2008 (UTC)

Missing Information[edit]

The denomination has been refused full membership of the International Conference of Reformed Churches due to their court action.

This is correct. But the ICRC have still to consider their response to legal action by the larger body against the smaller. -- Appin 20:14, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

The objector accepts that the statement is correct.
The statement is correct but not impartial. The representatives of the Free Church of Scotland (Residual) gave an undertaking to the ICRC that if the FCC Court case were dropped there would be no legal action taken against the FCC either nationally or locally. See [[1]]. That undertaking has been broken by the Broadford action and the ICRC have still to pronounce on that matter. To include the reference to the ICRC finding of October 2005 with no detailed reference to the basis on which they reached it and without reference to the subsequent action by the FCS (R) is at best misleading and displays a lack of impartiality.
How can a statement be correct in fact but not impartial? It may be correct but incomplete but facts don't carry partiality. -- Wilmot1 11:29, 15 May 2007 (UTC)
Oh and can everyone please login and sign their contributions to this page with four "~", it puts in the username and (more usefully) a date/time stamp. Wilmot1 11:29, 15 May 2007 (UTC)
It is easy for a statement to be correct but not impartial. While facts are not partial in and of themselves, how they are presented matters a lot. For example, say someone put the statement "He has repeatedly denied molesting children and beating his wife" on the Wikipedia page about a famous person who has not been publicly accused of either. While the statement may or may not be correct in fact, it is certainly not impartial.
The issue here is that the order of facts presented carries as much information as the facts themselves: advertisers who pay for their messages (which are usually technically factual) on hard-to-ignore billboards certainly think so. -- MrNerdHair (talk) 15:15, 27 October 2008 (UTC)
Besides, what the heck is the Free Church of Scotland (Residual)? I haven't seen any references to them, I'm pretty sure they don't have a Wikipedia page... unless you're referring to the Free Church of Scotland. Like, with no (Residual) at the end. As far as I know, they haven't changed their name, and the FCC doesn't contest the name, they added a (Continuing) to the end. Unless the body's actual name has a (Residual) at the end, it shouldn't be used per Wikipedia:Naming conflict: the applicable objective criteria from section 3.1.1 is whether it is the official current name of the group or used by the group to identify itself. I don't believe that "Free Church of Scotland (Residual)" satisfies either criteria. Furthermore, see section 4.1.1 which deals with self-identifying groups. -- MrNerdHair (talk) 15:53, 27 October 2008 (UTC)

Header references to pre-1900 Free Church[edit]

It professes to continue the work of the Free Church of Scotland (post 1900), which claims to continue the work of the Free Church of Scotland (1843-1900).

This is not accurate: the post-1900 Free Church does not claim to "continue the work of" the 1843-1900 body. It claims to be the same as the earlier body, with no distinction between the two. This was upheld by the Scottish courts, and Wikipedia uses the term "Free Church of Scotland" to link to the post-1900 page in the ReligionScotland template. In fact, there isn't another group to dispute the title of "Free Church of Scotland"... the other group merged with the United Presbyterian Church of Scotland and now calls itself the United Free Church of Scotland. Per this stuff, I've removed the reference to the pre-1900 group, and linked "Free Church of Scotland" directly to the post-1900 page. -- MrNerdHair (talk) 15:03, 27 October 2008 (UTC)