The more time I spend with family and friends in Texas, the more I realise that the Scots and the Texans have a lot in common. We think alike in matters of faith, and of national pride and identity. Each was born in independence, but are now integrated into a greater national identity, with those who hanker for a greater level of autonomy once again. Texas as the cradle of the US Bible Belt, and Bible loving Scotland. What a combination. Some of these things can be treated as good, but some with caution. Let me explain.
It is a blessing to be able to worship with like minded people of faith, and to be able to express that same faith without fear or favour of man. God has blessed us greatly, because we are all part of the family of God. The Scots have a saying that is sometimes misused. “We are all Jock Tamson’s bairns” meaning that we are all children of God, and that is true, but we must be cautious that we don’t start to believe that we are ‘special’ and all bound for heaven, no matter what!
There is another Scottish saying about themselves, which goes something like this (I have used slightly different language): “Wha’s like us? Very few, an’ they’re a’ deid”. Now there is a similarity which has nothing to do with matters of faith, but both the Texans and the Scots have the notion that they are a cut above the rest of the USA and the UK respectively. Why? Simply because we believe it, so it must be true. The US Declaration of Independence uses these words in part…”We hold these truths to be self evident….” There are some things that are just true, and need no proof!
DANGER DANGER!! Texans and Scots are on dangerous ground and we both have to be careful. Yes, we are both children of God, and we are special in His sight, but that does not mean whatever we think, is truth! That includes our churches. We are one, but different, and not the only ones who proclaim Christ crucified in the world. Our governments are not the best, or the only bastions of freedom and democracy in the world. There are others. Our militaries are not the best or the only ones fighting to protect freedom and democracy, or serving as peacekeepers in the world, no matter how patriotic we feel. There are others.
We are right to enjoy the freedoms and protection of our nation states, but these are God given, and I feel this status can easily to taken away. The State of Texas and the nation of Scotland have cultures founded on, and steeped in, Christian heritage and value, but we should not take these gifts for granted. We are alike in so many ways, but we are also prone to the same spread of secular humanism and the atheism they profess as their own ‘religion’. We are in danger of losing our ‘first love’ as Christians, and the witness of the church suffers as a result. Sometimes breakage happens from within. Let us be mindful of those internal changes within the heart, the church, or the nation, which can cause us to fragment and break. Our greatest dangers do not lie from the enemy outside, but within. I am concerned for the moral integrity of my own Scottish nation, but I cannot comment on the moral health of Texas, but as I have said, we already have a lot in common. All the more reason to continue to stand together for the truth of the Good News of the Gospel, and pray for revival. It comes down to this: God will do His Sovereign Will, and we can be a part of it, or apart from it. We get to choose.
Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Philippians 2:1,2 NIV and... Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you. 2 Corinthians 13:11 NIV