Presbyterian Church minister Ian Carton steps down over same-sex marriage policy
So read the headlines in a ‘Belfast Telegraph’ article of June 1st, 2021. A link to the article was sent to me by a friend. I read its contents with no sense of surprise but with a true sense of disgust and shame that the Presbyterian Church in Ireland had come to this.
The Presbyterian Church in Ireland is a church of great preachers of God’s Word stretching back to Patrick for his writings clearly suggest that the church he planted was formed along Presbyterian lines. In its pulpits have ministered great men such as Dr henry Cooke, and Rev Hugh Hanna and more recently, the revivalist, W P Nicolson. His preaching in the 1920s in Belfast did much to quell the sectarian riots prompted by the opposition of Irish Republicans to the formation of Northern Ireland.
The Free Presbyterian Church arose as a result of the faithfulness of a number of elders in Crossgar Presbyterian Church, back in 1951. They declared themselves for the Bible and obeyed God and stood up for His truth against the ecumenism and the anti-gospel spirit that had come to dominate the ranks of their denomination. They were led by a youthful Ian Paisley.
The wisdom and the rectitude of their decision has been evidenced many times over the last 70 years. The article we have reproduced below is but yet another proof of the propriety of that decision.
Let me highlights some points for your consideration. This article highlights just how abominable things are in the Presbyterian Church of Ireland.
I. IT HAS WITHIN ITS RANKS SUCH A LOVER OF ERROR AND WICKEDNESS AS IAN CARTON.
What a ‘box of error and wickedness’ this man Ian Carton is!
He is to leave his church “over the church’s exclusion of allowing same-sex couples full membership.”
He told his congregation that “Many of you will know June (his wife) and I have been far from comfortable with the current direction that the Presbyterian Church seems to be going in.”
I would like to ask this man a simple question. “What direction was the ‘the Presbyterian Church’ going in when he joined it and swore an oath to uphold its teaching?”
I don’t know how long this man has been an a minister but I do know that he has been in the Whitehead congregation for fourteen years. Back then, the same-sex policy of the church, far short of what the Bible teaches I have to say, was basically what it is today. As the article states: “The Presbyterian Church in Ireland (PCI) voted on the policy in 2018, meaning anyone in a same-sex relationship cannot be a full member of the church and their children cannot be baptised.” That is rather a weak rendition of the Bible’s opposition to the evil that has become so prevalent in the world and which many Churches, like the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, responded to inadequately and compromisingly.
What the man Ian Carton mourns over his church not fully embracing, is what God declares an ‘abomination’! That declaration has been stated in written form in Leviticus 18:22. “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it [is] abomination.” But it has also been declared in the language of ‘eternal fire’ when God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrha, as stated by Peter and Jude in their epistles!
“And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned [them] with an overthrow, making [them] an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly; and delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: (for that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed [his] righteous soul from day to day with [their] unlawful deeds;),” 2 Peter 2:6-8.
“Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire,” Jude 1:7.
While the position of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland is not all it ought to be and that has been the case for many years, its position on sodomite marriage has certainly not become stronger. At best, in 2018, it stated none too robustly and anything but extensively, something of what is the position of the Bible on the matter. His denomination has not adopted a new ‘direction’ as this man Carton is suggesting. If he knew anything of his Bible, and it is all too obvious that he does not, then he would know that from time immemorial the position of the people of God has been utterly opposed to sodomy is all its forms and practices!
That has been their position and view because it is what is taught in the Bible!
II. THOSE IAN CARTON LAMENTS THAT HE IS UNABLE TO WELCOME TO HIS CHURCH WILL RECEIVE NO WELCOME IN HEAVEN!
What spiritual ignoramuses men like Carton are! How far removed from the thinking of God their thoughts are! Truly, Isaiah 55:8-9 applies to Carton and his ilk! “For my thoughts [are] not your thoughts, neither [are] your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For [as] the heavensare higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
Nowhere in the Bible is there a welcome offered to those who reject God’s Word, turn from the laws of nature and live in total disregard of everything that is decent and proper!
Rather, we find God’s anger and wrath directed toward them that persist in such wickedness.
“Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: and likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in [their] knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient . . . . Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them,” Romans 1:24-28, 32.
I must emphasise that a welcome is offered to those who repent and turn from such wickedness. The Bible makes that clear.
However, Ian Carton is not speaking of such a welcome as this. He wishes to have welcomed into God’s house and around the Lord’s Table those who still openly defy God and His law and the laws of nature and decency. He would turn the house of God into a temple of profanity and degeneracy!
That is as far removed from the purpose of God as heaven is from hell!
Listen to God’s Word on the change that must take place in the degenerate sinner before they may attain to heaven and its welcome.
“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God,” 1 Corinthians 6:9-11.
There is a welcome for such as come to Christ in repentance, responding to the call of the gospel and utterly forsaking their former lifestyle. So coming they experience being ‘washed’, being ‘sanctified’ and being ‘justified’ “in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.”
There has been a thorough purging of the sinner from his iniquities and THEN a welcome into fellowship and communion with God and His people.
One more point.
III. THE RESPONSE OF THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH TO IAN CARTON’S DECISION ILLUSTRATES THE DRIFT WITHIN ITS RANKS.
It is reported that the Presbyterian Church in Ireland said they “want to wish Ian well for the future and thank him for the service he has given”.
How different the response of the Bible to those of the spirit of Ian Carton who turned their back upon the truth of God.
“Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would [no doubt] have continued with us: but [they went out], that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us,” 1 John 2:18-19. John the ‘Apostle of love’, sheds no tears over those who departed the ranks of believers but rather indicates that “they were not of us.” The ‘departers’ were repudiated and rejected and declared to be mere shams and false professors.
Furthermore, there was no wishing of them ‘well for the future’! The future of such is anything but well! What awaits the rejecter of God’s Word and those who desire the company of the wicked is not something to be wished on any!
“For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries,” Hebrews 10:26-27.
What blindness there is in the mind and heart of this world’s ‘Ian Cartons’ and those like the spokesman of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland that wishes him and his like ‘Well for the future’!
Christian, have you heard the voice of God calling you out of the apostasy of the liberal churches in the words of Revelation 18:4-5. “And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of herplagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.” If you have and you have obeyed God’s call then rejoice at His mercy toward you and seek every day to keep yourself “unspotted fromthe world,” James 1:27.
The Lord bless you.
Presbyterian Church minister Ian Carton steps down over same-sex marriage policy
Belfast Telegraph, June 01 2021 07:55 AM
Presbyterian minister Rev Ian Carton is to step down over the church’s exclusion of allowing same-sex couples full membership.
The Presbyterian Church in Ireland (PCI) voted on the policy in 2018, meaning anyone in a same-sex relationship cannot be a full member of the church and their children cannot be baptised.
At the time the PCI also decided to loosen ties with the Church of Scotland as a result of the latter approving same-sex marriage.
Rev Ian Carton has been a minister the Whitehead Presbyterian Church for around 14 years. In a message to his congregation entitled “A time to leave”, he said the church was “excluding people we’d like to welcome”.
“The decisions taken by our denomination mean that they can never belong,” he said.
“I am informing you that I intend to request the Presbytery of Carrickfergus to release me from my charge as minister of Whitehead on the 30 September this year.
“I wanted you to hear from me first and not after I have made the request.
“I just have found it incredibly difficult.”
Referring to his wife June, Rev Carton said she decided in October she “didn’t feel comfortable coming to a Presbyterian Church anymore” over their policy.
“Many of you will know June and I have been far from comfortable with the current direction that the Presbyterian Church seems to be going in” he added.
“We have found it painful and hard. It seems to be in our view and to our mind, it seems to be excluding people that we would like to welcome.
“Over the last couple of years, we have tried to the best of our ability to continue to minister.
“But the time has come when we are going to have to leave.
“You’ve seen how I have been, you know how June has been. June took the decision last October that she didn’t feel comfortable coming to a Presbyterian Church anymore.
“She felt if it was a church that was saying to anybody that ‘you are not welcome, you are not invited’ on the basis of gender on the basis of your sexual orientation, that that wasn’t a place she could be.
“I have tried to keep going I really have. It has become a bit like trying to ride two horses at the same time when they are going in two different directions.”
The Presbyterian Church in Ireland said they “want to wish Ian well for the future and thank him for the service he has given”, according to a spokesperson.