Monday, 5 May 2014


Who is Truly Glaswegian - A Tale

Two families who are distantly related both claim that they are true Glaswegians, (natives of Glasgow, Scotland's finest city.)

Both families had great grandparents born in Glasgow.  The first family have continued throughout to live in Glasgow.  Yes, they have moved a little to different districts within the city, but have always stayed within its boundaries.  Their language is Glaswegian in its various forms.  Some branches of the family have improved their grammar and syntax, but basically they are easily identified by their talk as coming from Glasgow, and they can follow and understand even the broadest of Glaswegian accents.

The other family, having roots in Glasgow, have aspired to greater things.  At first they moved "up" in the city - first to Giffnock and then to Newton Mearns.  Eventually the draw of the east was too great and they now reside in Morningside, Edinburgh.  Their speech is now the refined dialect of Morningside. When they occasionally visit Glasgow they have great difficulty understanding the patois of the masses; "Do these people even speak English?"  Nevertheless, despite their disdain for the culture, language and natives of Glasgow for some unknown reason they still wish to refer to themselves as Glaswegians. (Perhaps there is money in it - a trust fund or property that they wish to claim...)

Which is the truly Glaswegian family?

Two families claim that they are "Reformed".  One family have stayed within the orbit of the theology of the Reformation, and without embarrassment hold to the Scots and Westminster confessions.  They still maintain Reformed piety and practice.  Their worship still has the dignity and solemnity of traditional Reformed worship.  Their ethic is still rooted in Christian obedience to the Word and Law of God.

The other family have long since moved away from their roots.  They disdain the theology of the Reformation and are contemptuous regarding the Scots and Westminster confessions, especially their soteriology.  Worship is now an eclectic mix of traditional and modern, lacking in reverence and godly fear.  In the ethical realm they have rejected biblical marriage and embraced homosexual practices. 

Nevertheless, despite their disdain for the culture, language and practices of the historic Reformed confessions, practices and piety, for some unknown reason they still wish to refer to themselves as Reformed. (Perhaps there is money in it - a trust fund or property that they wish to claim...)

Which family is truly Reformed?

In Scotland today there are two families that claim to be "Reformed".  There is the national established denomination, the Church of Scotland, that rejects the theology, worship, piety and ethics of the Reformation. Then there is the split family of those who adhere more or less to these things.  The tragedy is that the truly Reformed rarely speak to each other or co-operate with each other, or pray with and for each other.  We may have differences, but we do belong to the same family.

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For foreign friends: Edinburgh and Glasgow are traditional rivals.  I have a son who lives in Edinburgh, (near Morningside), but we still speak.