N. Ireland's Paisley to Relinquish Leadership Roles
LONDON, March 4 -- Ian Paisley, the Protestant clergyman who has towered over Northern Ireland politics for 40 years, announced Tuesday that he will resign as head of his political party and step down as the leader of a power-sharing government he helped shape.
Paisley, 81, has appeared increasingly frail and has lost support among Protestants who oppose joint government with Catholics, but his sudden, low-key announcement took many people by surprise.
His exit, scheduled for May, also appears hastened by allegations of ethical misconduct by his son, Ian Paisley Jr., who resigned as a junior minister in the Northern Ireland government last month following criticism of his lobbying activities and links to a property developer....
Hey Ehud, you sound like the perfect Christian. Such grace and love in your comments about other believers. Please share with us how you managed to cultivate such a godly manner. It is so obvious why God appointed you to be the judge of the Free Presbyterian denomination. It is an honour to have my comment beside yours. What a wonderful insight you have into the Scriptures. Tell me, did your mummy give you that name or did you pick it yourself?
to His Will be done A true analysis it has been a long time coming,the rot started about 16yrs ago and oh how fast has been the decline.The fpc ministry is finished no longer accounted worthy of God`s Presence,they sought to worship a self centered demagogue -and so the harvest.There will a church faithful and true well acquainted with scriptural truth to be accounted worthy in these days of deceit and man worship,and it will never be the fpc or should it be called Ichabod.
God has put up with arrogance and worldly leadership in Free P Church for decades, it has cost them their young people commitment to Christ and future death of church,Christ has taken charge on usual terms,repent or get chastisement FPC leadership.
I think you will find the FPs are still condemning ecumenism and Rome on their web-site and in sermons on this very site. Why should they not? Just because one octagenarian (former moderator)was NI First Minister for about a year? What has that got to do with condemning Rome & ecumenical-types? Your crazy political/religious mix makes no sense. Ministers should not be politicians anyhow.
Thanks Sam. I will look into these sermons. As for emailing FPC ministers I may not get any replies or the usual doublespeak. As a non-FPC member I would suspect they'll tell me to MMOB. Its an issue that you and your fellow members will have to solve in your own time. I just hope reason will rule over passion and that FPC members will openly debate and consider their options. Church schisms can produce even greater movements than those that preceded them e.g. the reformation created the many examples of great Protestants we have known in recent renaissance and modern history. I hope a split will be avoided in the FPC but God will determine that. Nevertheless, there will be considerable navel gazing, unease and confusion for some time with, I trust, a hopeful resolution. At this point it doesn't look good but that is only my humble opinion. In my experience, if the shepherds don't lead, the sheep will scatter. It all works out for the best in the end we hope. As Dickens opened his novel The Tale of Two Cities, the FPC at this time is in the midst of the best of times and the worst of times. May the best win out.
RobertWilliams; 3 ministers taking a public stand are, IF, Ralph Hall and Ian Kenny. I am informed David Linton preached against it but am not aware of any recording of his sermon being available.
Just checked sermonaudio, a sermon entitled "Power-sharing with Sinn Fein" preached by Ian Kenny is available. Another sermon by Ralph Hall is also available the title is "FP`S view-terrorists in power." You can listen to the audios and draw your own conclusions.
Your question "who in the FPC declared to be unethical etc." is most amusing. In 1998 all the ministers signed a public declaration comdemning putting terrorists into government, as "Unethical, Unbiblical and Immoral." This declaration was then published in the main newspapers of N.Ireland for all to read.
The reason I suggested you email them individually is simple. It`s pointless asking someone else what a ministers views are, you must go directly to them, get the word from the horses mouth so to speak. You must bear in mind they have the right not to reply to your emails if they deem it not appropriate. This response would tend to makes one`s suspicions grow about what exactly is going on???
As for condeming Ecumenical or Romanist Churches, the FPC is now in a position where they cannot condemn anyone!!!!
The FPC in No. Ireland has been too closely identified with party politics for years because of who their Moderator was. Now that has changed hopefully the Church will go about its job unhindered by DUP party links. Why should a church feel compelled to comment publicly on political matters anyway? If churches commented on everything in US politics they would get nothing else done! I am told the Good Friday pact was condemned as "immoral" etc by the FP church because their Moderator said they should condemn it - just as the ministers apparently read a statement years ago, from their church platforms, about withdrawing "consent" from Mrs Thatcher and her government, because Mr Paisley wrote the wording for them! And a question for Sam: why should ministers answer e-mails from folks on here about politics? Are they not sick of it and glad they are not linked directly with the DUP anymore?
Appreciate your thoughtful answers Free P. I am glad they did what they did in that prayer meeting. I think Dr. P deserves prayerful consideration and not condemnation from his most faithful supporters. Doesn't mean they can't be critical though free p. constructive criticism is always good. What specific ecumenical compromise has been evident in the FPC that you refer to in #2? I am in full agreement to your answer to #3. I think this could only happen again and could cause FPC problems in the future. Do you believe any of these problems in the Ulster FPC could affect the FPCNA? Thank you free p for your most informative answer.
Mr. Robert Williams: 1.I was recently in the pre-service prayer time of a Free P church (sunday evening) - the minister of which has taken a strong stand against compromising trends in recent days! i'll leave it to your imagination as to where i was and who this preacher is. anyway, for nearly the full 1/2 hour the people in the prayermeeting prayed for Dr. Paisley that he would be filled with the Spirit of God once again and that he would return to his first love(preaching and the church of Christ). Having heard much negative comments about this minister and his church (esp. from 'pro-paisley' supporters on the ravenhill road) i can categorically say that in no other prayertime has more love been expressed in the prayers of God's people for our former moderator. I came away with a changed view of the minister and the congregation! 2.Our church must go back to the old paths that we trod in the past and we must stop the compromise with other ecumenical denominations. We need revival in the FPC of Ulster! 3.Personally i feel it would be better for a complete split between FPC and DUP - even in membership! the DUP is now very wordly - not a 'christian' only party anymore. 4.I fully support Rev. Ron Johnson in his new role 5. Peter Robinson is a career politician...
That is a great idea Sam. I thought this might be a more efficient way to solicit their positions and let bloggers, FPC members prominent among them, to debate here. After all, this is an FPC sponsored site? However, I may take you up on that and I'll publish their responses here. I'd like to ask you Sam who are the three ministers who took a stand? I believe one of them is Ivan Foster but I am unsure of the others. Perhaps if they are reading this they might want to come out. Are there sermons here that might articulate their position. Also Sam who in the FPC declared this to be unethical etc. (your quote - was it the Presbytery, John Douglas, Alan Cairns, Ron Johnson who? Was there an official declaration made?). I find it odd that many of them would condemn an ecumenical church or a Romanist Church but fail to come out when it involves those who compromise within their own denomination. Seems to smack of hypocrisy to me. Sam? I certainly hope you don't find my questions offensive Sam. I wouldn't want Sermonaudio to confiscate my comment.
Robert Williams; The FPC have had from October 2006 to condemn the recent political chicanery as, "Unethical, Unbiblical and Immoral." They have failed to do so apart from a few ministers who sought to take a stand. As a denomination they have failed to stand in the gap. Why do you not email ministers individually and ask them where they stand on this issue?
It appears that my previous comment was red flagged for reasons only known to Mr. Lee and sermonaudio. I can only say that there was nothing overly hostile or untowards in the entry, so I will rephrase my comments which will hopefully pass censorship. I think that this thread has raised important questions about many aspects concerning Dr. Paisley and the many speculative comments as to why he entered the powersharing agreement that he did. I would like to ask those who are in the FPC along with their ministers to please kindly fill us in on why things have gone the way they have. It would be really nice to have some official wisdom from those who would know what is really going on. A few proposed questions to those who may wish to reply: Which of you agree or disagree with Dr. Paisley's departure as DUP leader and moderator and why? Where will the FPC go from here in Ulster and what is its future? Do FPC members have a political future in the DUP? What political alternative do you feel should be put in place vs. the current gov't now in place in NI? What are your current feelings towards your new moderator and the possibility of Peter Robinson leading the DUP? Clearly, many are following this blog including Sermonaudio and it would be nice for more debate to go on.
Our Protestant friends in Northern Ireland have seemed to ignored one thing, from the 1913 Webster dictionary yet! "Demography /De¬∑mog¬īra¬∑phy/ (dē̇¬∑mŏg¬īrȧfy̆, n. [Gr. δη̆μος the people + - graphy.] The study of races, as to births, marriages, mortality, health, etc. -- Dem`o*graph"ic, " Changing distribution of Protestants in Ireland, 1861 - 1991. It still appears that Protestants better spend more time in their bedrooms, and not watching t.v. It would also help if you didn't get any more P.M.s like Tony Blair, and of course one of the best ways is to spread the true Word, by word and deed.
realitycheck wrote: For "step down" read "pushed down" - anybody who doubts he was pushed is out of touch with reality. The week before his wife was publicly backing him to stay on to finish the job. Even IRA Chieftain Adams condemned the "Paisley must go" brigade. So did Paisley tell the IRA he was thinking of going or had Adams heard the rumors (like all the others) at Stormont? The Emperor was ousted by Brutus Robinson and the other Roman senators!
Clearly, Peter Robinson played a role but I'm sure Paisley's age, the outcry of some or many of his church also had significance, however, I believe Dr. Paisley's silence is strategic in remaining mum. Many commentators believe the majority of unionists feel its time to make political accommodations to the Nationalist community. Coupled with this is the tremendous resurgence of the Irish republic's economy and NI's need to get in on some of the action (the Victoria Mall in Belfast one example of the growing confidence). Many citizens have commented on the palpable feel of relief in the atmosphere everywhere in NI because of this agreement. People have finally found some peace. I think many in NI feel the Rubicon has been crossed and hope that the peace will last both nationalists and unionists alike.
For "step down" read "pushed down" - anybody who doubts he was pushed is out of touch with reality. The week before his wife was publicly backing him to stay on to finish the job. Even IRA Chieftain Adams condemned the "Paisley must go" brigade. So did Paisley tell the IRA he was thinking of going or had Adams heard the rumors (like all the others) at Stormont? The Emperor was ousted by Brutus Robinson and the other Roman senators!
The mixture of religion and politics seems to be an interesting aspect of this debate. Dr. Paisley is one of a very unique breed of political parsons. I don't even think that Rev. Ivan Foster can argue that Dr. P has managed to balance this over decades. Should any minister enter the political arena? Canada has had many. One,Tommy Douglas, originally a Baptist minister, entered politics and subsequently introduced public medicare in Saskatchewan which later became one of the best medicare systems in the world. I would imagine in hindsight that in a generation or two hence, Paisley will be remembered for his great turnaround, sellout, or contribution in forging the peace in NI should it hold. While Paisley may be condemned by many here for selling out in a Faustian pact with Sein Fein, his legacy will include this deal as a major watershed in Irish politics and history. I have no doubt about this. His entire legacy will be judged much more negatively by the world esp. his 40 yrs prior to this time. Conversely, his spiritual detractors should have much more to be positive about concerning his legacy in the FPC and as a minister devoted to fundamentalist truth. This to me is a much fairer approach to judging him by FP's. We should observe Paisley from a wide rather than narrow lens.
Wayne wrote: Also one blogg says:"Interestingly Dr Paisley talked of how not one ‚Ä¶ NOT ONE of his critics within the church (some so called friends) who preached aainst him or wrote on websites against him had the decency to telephone or come and meet him about any issues. So much for followng the Bible‚Äôs rules for issues within the church! No lie is of the truth and when believers print lies about a fellow believers they are doing the devil‚Äôs work."
I have been blessed by Ivan Foster's writings in the past. I do not know if he contacted Ian paisley personally as a friend-I hope so.
I made comment on a recent Rev Paisley sermon: http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=12008938490
What is your comment out of interest? Is Rev Paisley a liar or is he telling the truth on that sermon? I believe he is telling the truth and many annoymous folk are guilty of believeing lies and repeating such and they need to repent.
If you hear the sermon please explain is Rev Paisley lying? I am amazed that Rev Paisley can provide all contact from the scouts and yet those most vocal in their attack have made no effort to check such themselves and call him a liar!!!
Also one blogg says:"Interestingly Dr Paisley talked of how not one ‚Ä¶ NOT ONE of his critics within the church (some so called friends) who preached aainst him or wrote on websites against him had the decency to telephone or come and meet him about any issues. So much for followng the Bible‚Äôs rules for issues within the church! No lie is of the truth and when believers print lies about a fellow believers they are doing the devil‚Äôs work."
I trust you have your facts right and are one who did contact Rev Paisley with your concerns?
I have been blessed by Ivan Foster's writings in the past. I do not know if he contacted Ian paisley personally as a friend-I hope so.