Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Knox and MacLeod: two fiery Scots

Many in Scotland were wowed by the prospect of the Pope's visit.

Not pastor Donald MacLeod. His thoughts:
"On the face of things the forthcoming papal visit to Britain should be an unqualified publicity triumph, offering a heady mixture of theatre, religion and politics. It is hard to avoid the conclusion that the event was deliberately timed to clash with the 450th anniversary of the Scottish Reformation. Ironically the spoiling tactic has turned out to be entirely unnecessary. Our SNP Government has no intention whatever of acknowledging Scotland's debt to the Reformation, and even less of honouring John Knox, the greatest of all our nation-builders, but now safely airbrushed out of our history. That he saved us from national economic ruin, laid the foundation of our national system of education and fired us with an aversion to tyranny, now counts for nothing. Our Government is in Knox-denial. Why does secular, humanist Scotland so warmly entertain Catholicism, with all its authoritarianism, and yet register terror at the mere mention of the religion of Knox? Is it just that we're suckers for funny costumes, and love to see old men dressed in ancient Roman togas?"
Oh yeah, I like him.

Meanwhile, John Knox's body lies a-moldering under a parking lot. (Ken Ham offers some good thoughts on two contrasting graves.)

Absurd, offensive, sad. Love Scotland, a lot — but what a sad spiritual course it's taken.


Here's a much more fitting tribute; great pose, at the High Kirk of St Giles, Edinburgh.



UPDATE: my dear wife and DAOD saw and liked this window of Knox preaching at St. Giles:


26 comments:

REM said...

The powers that be could at least show some contemptible honesty toward their Protestant forefathers rather than fawning at the Roman hoity toits. As always and again, Scotland-like everywhere else-needs the gospel. I'd love to call 'em sellouts, but truth is, they never bought in.

JackW said...

John Knox is dressed a wee bit funny himself, but what's that he is pointing to?

I like him.

Becky, slave of Christ said...

Shhh....let's just pretend the Reformation didn't happen. We all believe in the same Jesus, right?

So does the little shiny square atop the number 23 have any words on it? I see nothing. Do people just automatically know that if they want to decorate Knox's grave, they just go to the number 23? I suppose the only way to decorate it would be to draw chalk flowers. I want to go there and do that.

Angus said...

I hate the way Scotland has gone over the years (but as you say, its not all that different over here these days). I love MacLeod...he has the best book on The Person of Christ I have read (helped me hugely in getting to grips with Nicaea, Chalcedon and the early Christological debates).

candy said...

Mary Queen of Scots was greatly troubled by John Knox. A partial interview:

John Knox: "If their princes exceed their bounds, Madam, no doubt they may be resisted, even by power. For there is neither greater honor, nor greater obedience, to be given to kings or princes, than God hath commanded to be given unto father and mother. But the father may be stricken with a frenzy, in which he would slay his children. If the children arise, join themselves together, apprehend the father, take the sword from him, bind his hands, and keep him in prison till his frenzy be overpast: think ye, Madam, that the children do any wrong? It is even so, Madam, with princes that would murder the children of God that are subjects unto them. Their blind zeal is nothing but a very mad frenzy, and therefore, to take the sword from them, to bind their hands, and to cast them into prison, till they be brought to a more sober mind, is no disobedience against princes, but just obedience, because it agreeth with the will of God."

At these words, the Queen stood as it were amazed, more than the quarter of an hour.

Queen Mary: "Yea, but ye are not the Kirk that I will nourish. I will defend the Kirk of Rome, for it is, I think, the true Kirk of God."

John Knox: "Your will, Madam, is no reason; neither doth your thought make that Roman harlot to be the true and immaculate spouse of Jesus Christ. Wonder not, Madam, that I call Rome an harlot; for that Church is altogether polluted with all kind of spiritual fornication, as well in doctrine as in manners. Yea, Madam, I offer myself to prove, that the Church of the Jews which crucified Christ Jesus, was not so far degenerate from the ordinances which God gave by Moses and Aaron unto His people, when they manifestly denied the Son of God, as the Church of Rome is declined, and more than five hundred years hath declined, from the purity of that religion which the Apostles taught and planted."...


...John Knox, his own judgment being by some of his familiars demanded, What he thought of the Queen? "If there be not in her," said he, "a proud mind, a crafty wit, and an indurate heart against God and His truth, my judgment faileth me."

Terry Rayburn said...

All of which reminds me of the semi-famous Boswell line in the following:

Oatmeal has a long history in Scottish society because oats are better suited to the short, wet growing season of Scotland than is wheat. Hence oats became the staple grain of that country.

Samuel Johnson referred to this in his 1755 dictionary definition for oats:

"A grain, which in England is generally given to horses, but in Scotland supports the people."

To which his biographer, James Boswell, added:

"which is why England is known for its horses and Scotland for its men."

RT said...

And here is what the Rev. Knox says about women -

"Nature, I say, does paint them forth to be weak, frail, impatient, feeble, and foolish; and experience has declared them to be inconstant, variable, cruel, lacking the spirit of counsel and regiment."

He goes on and on in this highly commendable vein in "First Blast of the Trumpet" (1558). I am frankly mystified that he is not more highly regarded in Scotland today.

DJP said...

Could be Mary biased his opinion about women.

RT said...

Could be, although the fundamental perspicacity of his observation remains.

Ken Abbott said...

Queen of Scots, her mother Mary of Guise (of the notoriously extreme Romanist Guise family that tried to co-opt the throne of France), and Mary Tudor--that vexed Knox so. He suffered the unhappy circumstance that "First Blast" was published in England just as Elizabeth succeeded to the throne and that likely cost him a very important fan...

Ken Abbott said...

I might add regarding "First Blast" that John Calvin had a look at it first and suggested to Knox that he reconsider publishing it.

The essay did not do much to enhance Knox's cause, but ultimately he got past it.

Sir Aaron said...

I wonder how many Scots appreciate how the Reformation affected the monarchy. The Jacobite rebellion, the battle of Culloden, not to mention other events. Or maybe they do.

Lynda O said...

How sad, though I guess not surprising -- this world is simply not worthy of the many great saints, this world that hates the truth. And it shows the growing apostasy of the visible "church," as also to be expected as we approach the last days.

This reminds me of what happened to the early church in Asia Minor and Ephesus. They had their day of great Christianity, but later God removed their lampstand (Revelation 2:5).

Al said...

Presbyterians... standing against the Pope and getting a raw deal since 1547.

I think Knox would be pleased as punch to see his grave paved over.

al sends

Robert said...

Sadly, I think if you asked many professing Christians what the REformation was, they'd probably talk about "Extreme Makeover", "What Not To Wear", or "Clean House". Before anybody yells, I have nothing against those shows and there is nothing wrong with watching them. There are two thoughts that come to mind, though: 1) there are too many nominal Christians today, and 2) there are also way too many immature Christians who have no appreciation for the history of the church or the work that God has done through the lives of these men.

Becky, slave of Christ said...

Candy - My uncle did some research into our genealogy and discovered that Mary Q of S is my great, great, ..., great, great, great grandsomething. It makes me happy to think that she would be rolling in her grave if she knew my doctrinal beliefs.

donsands said...

I heard this way back when, and found it on Dr. Peter Hammond's article http://www.reformationsa.org/articles/John%20Knox.htm:

"On one occasion, while mass was being celebrated on the galley, and the Salve Regina (O, Holy Queen) was sung, a statue of the Virgin Mary (Nostre Dame) was handed around for all on board to kiss. He refused: “Trouble me not; such an idol is accursed!” When this statue was again thrust before Knox’s face to kiss, he grasped it and threw the idol overboard declaring: “Now, let our lady save herself. She is light enough, let her learn to swim!”"

This brother was BOLD. And he was a man, like us all in the sense we are depraved.

That's was a nice post. Nice to take some time to read about Knox.

"Give me Catonsville of I die!"
(I wish that was my heart of hearts. I pray that it will be.)

error shock said...

Becky: very nice. As a descendant of Henry VII you have some claim to the throne, if you can figure out a way around that pesky 1701 Act of Settlement thingy.

Thinking of changing much when you come into your own?

Becky, slave of Christ said...

Error Shock (interesting handle): i hope to change a lot when I come into "my own," which should happen in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye and, of course, the royalty I am referring to is described in 1 Peter 2:9.

candy said...

Becky...I have done geneology research this past year and found I was related to the Tudors. We should exchange notes. But, like someone told me not long ago, probably most of us are related to royalty since they...um...got around.

error shock said...

Becky: me too!!!

Barbara said...

Waaaait a minute here - Mine is traced back to King Macbeth....

That Scottish royalty was really something, huh?

Barbara said...

Not Macbeth, Malcolm. Pardon the brain drain.

Still.

Sir Aaron said...

My Grandmother's maiden name is "Bruce" so apparently I have ties to said clan.

It just occured to me that I walked the entire royal mile and never took any photos of St. Giles Cathedral. But then again, I didn't get any pictures of my favorite place to eat of all time, "The Ivanhoe" (named of course, after Sir Walter Scott's novel).

Becky, slave of Christ said...

Barbara, I was pretty impressed to think you came straight from the pages of Shakespeare. :)

Candy, it was my uncle who did the research. He passed away a few years ago and I don't have access to his material. I am basing this on family hearsay. I am also related to Mario Andretti through my aunt, who married a guy, who was related. That makes me almost famous, doesn't it?

threegirldad said...

What a sad, yet intriguing story. Thanks for passing it on.

My mom has been doing genealogy research for at least 25 years. Don't recall any mention of nobility, unless you count the Cherokee Nation. ;-)

Most of my ancestors who stand out in anyway were cattle rustlers and horse thieves.