This piece expresses the passion and vision of EBC
Affectionately known around the world – at least at one time – as ‘The Land of the Book’, Scotland, the land of the Covenanters, of Knox, of the saintly Bonar brothers, Samuel Rutherford, and so many more, is, today, in a dark place spiritually.
As of old, “The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates are destroyed by fire.” (Nehemiah 1:3)
As in much of the UK as a whole, the Church in Scotland is in steep decline and most of the mainline denominations are confused and compromised. In Scotland, it is estimated that the Church of Scotland itself will be extinct in the next decade if things continue on the current trajectory.
Much of the blame for all of this is put on the world around us and its influence on the church, but the truth is that the churches are emptying and closing at an alarming rate, not because of opposition or persecution or even secularism; not because of external influences, but due to internal decay, because of biblical illiteracy in the pew and biblical error and unbelief in the pulpit.
As John MacArthur has rightly said, “Satan is most effective in the church, when he comes, not as an open enemy, but as a false friend; not when he persecutes the church, but when he joins it; not when he attacks the pulpit, but when he stands in it.”
Or as Sinclair Ferguson expresses it, “The decay of the church is never the fault of the world. Inward spiritual decline always precedes outward collapse.”
Not everything is bleak. There has been a rediscovery of biblical expository preaching in some quarters, the forging of gospel partnerships, and a passion for the planting of new churches.
EBC was born out of a vision and a burden to not just weep and lament, as did Nehemiah, but, like him, to do something to help rebuild the walls, to restore the glory of what once was.
The Church in Scotland needs strengthening – not just by truly regenerate preachers in the pulpit but by biblically literate men and women in the pews.
We exist to meet both pressing needs – serve the churches and equip the saints, and the more the saints are equipped the more effectively they can serve their churches.