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Chamber and committees

Meeting date: Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Meeting of the Parliament 06 February 2018

Agenda: Time for Reflection, Business Motion, Topical Question Time, Draft Budget 2018-19 (Equalities and Human Rights Levers), Women’s Right to Vote (Centenary), Decision Time, Cyber-resilience (Young People)


Contents


Time for Reflection

The Presiding Officer (Ken Macintosh)

Good afternoon. The first item of business today is time for reflection. Our time for reflection leader is Pastor David Fraser, from Alva Baptist church in Clackmannanshire.

Pastor David Fraser (Alva Baptist Church, Clackmannanshire)

Thank you, Presiding Officer and members of Parliament, for your invitation. It is an honour to lead you today to reflect on our roles as leaders—as fellow human beings who have been entrusted with leadership. Your willingness to bear the weight of responsibility for decisions that are taken in this chamber is appreciated by any person who has honestly considered the role of leadership with any understanding of what that entails. I thank you for that.

I stand before you not as a foreigner but rather as an immigrant who has been welcomed by the people of Scotland and as a person who contributes to society and, indeed, civic life, as you do. And I stand today as a messenger of the gospel of Jesus Christ, may his name be praised. The bible represents him to be the only son of God, and his message is this: God loves the whole world. The father sent his only son on a mission for the good of all nations and all people.

It is difficult to find fault with the teachings of Jesus. His sermon on the mount is appreciated by people of all faiths and no faith. I ask you to reflect on the core message of Jesus to the people of earth: repent of sin and follow God, who loves people.

I have not come to declare my judgment of what sin is or to prescribe my estimation of its cure. I am not here to lobby for my understanding of what it means to follow God. I have come as a messenger, a modern-day prophet, if you will. I have come merely to read words that are historically attributed to Jesus—words that have stood the test of time and which, if they are true, will be a standard of measure for all the people of the earth, whom God loves.

This is Jesus’ message as recorded in the holy bible:

“God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.

There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son. And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.”

I know, of course, that not everyone agrees with that. It is the prerogative of every person to determine their course through this life. I respect that. However, our tolerance of people’s ideas requires that we consider those words, as well. For, if they are true, the consequences for each one of us here today is serious. Further, the consequences for the nation as a whole and, in fact, for the entire world are serious.

You lead and people follow. In light of the words that I have read out today, spoken by Jesus, about light and dark, evil and right and judgment and salvation, please consider well where you are leading the nation and how you are doing it.

Thank you for your time. I hope that you will agree that we have spent it well.