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Looking Back

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Looking Back: What Keeps Me Going

From October 1982

By Kenneth Fyfe

Kenneth Fyfe, an elder at Wellington Church, Glasgow, is a shipbuilder and general manager in charge of production at Yarrows.

(This is an extract from a longer article written by Mr Fyfe.)

I know the problems and difficulties which many elders are facing. I think that the Church in terms of number of members, buildings and organisation may well decline further yet. What keeps me going is the conviction that the reality at the heart of the life of the Church is the purpose, power and love of God revealed in the risen Lord. I believe that the Spirit cannot be defeated: whatever happens to the Church as we know it, this reality will endure. This is the source of hope, even in these difficult times, and it is the most important reason why I choose to stay with the Church.

To me the four Gospels are central to and all that is required for one to have faith. Each is distinctive in its own way but all confirming the essential truths, all four accounts are in substantial agreement and only view the same history from different standpoints.

I turn to them more than any other part of the bible and I would say to any elder who is feeling discouraged, keep in touch through the four Gospels, listen to Jesus’ words and open your mind and heart to his influence. I myself receive a sense of purpose, knowledge in how to live my life, help in living it, and the assurance of the life to come. This has meant much to me in my personal life, especially in times of trouble and sorrow and it is another reason why I stay with the Church. Attendance at worship on Sunday keeps the battery charged up, which can be heavily drawn upon in times of trouble. A car won’t start in the cold winter mornings if the battery has been allowed to discharge through neglect.

My faith influences my work in the sense that I strive to do it to the best of my ability and I try to maintain high standards of workmanship and good personal relationships. My work is in the building of warships but I see this as maintaining peace and resisting tyranny and I do not find my work inconsistent with my Christian belief. As a Christian I would stand against any unworthy practice in business. I believe that the Church, through the services of its members in their daily work is making a valuable contribution to the life of our nation.

I also think that the Church is a force for good in our nation in other ways, insofar as the Church helps men and women to make and keep vows of Christian marriage. It is helping to strengthen love and faithfulness in marriages and in supporting family life. There is a great need for this in our society when the press and TV daily put so much emphasis on examples of violence, infidelity and immorality.

At the same time, although I want to see the Church uphold high standards in personal and public life, I know that if we are truly following our faith we should also be showing concern for others, compassion and practical help for people in need or in trouble and less fortunate than ourselves.

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