God is not a ‘cuddly’ deity and Christians cannot pick and choose their beliefs, David Robertson has said.
The minister of St Peter’s Free Church in Dundee, Scotland, and director of the Solas Centre for Public Christianity, warned that the church was not there to be a mere comfort blanket.
Mr Robertson’s comments came in response to an interview with John Chalmers, Moderator of the Church of Scotland, which appeared in the Church of Scotland’s Life and work magazine.
In the interview, Mr Chalmers was quoted as saying that people seeking church membership should not have to ‘tick certain boxes of belief’.
Responding, Mr Robertson said, if this were the case, then thousands of Scots would be better off going to the pub than following this version of the Christian faith.
He said, ‘If the Moderator means that non-Christians are welcome in church, then he is saying nothing new. But, if he is saying that they can be part of the church without believing, then it is a statement of incredible desperation, to believe that the church will flourish without encouraging non-believers to believe in Jesus’.
Mr Robertson added: ‘For too long, people have been brought up in churches with the notion of the “Sunday school God” and the vague, lukewarm, fuzzy, sacred space, cuddly-toy God, the Moderator seems to be advocating.
‘There are many people who consider themselves “Christian” who do not know Christ and sadly there are many ministers who do not teach Christ. “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved” is the message that Scotland needs to hear, not “Come and get a nice warm feeling with us”.
‘For that they would be better going to the pub/club or football stadium. The Christian faith is much more radical and life-changing’.