Here are a few of my thoughts on the outcome of the recent election.
We cannot consider such events without seeing the sovereign hand of the Lord at work in our land.
That being so, let us give due and reverent consideration to what has happened in the last few days,
Sincerely in Christ’s name,
Now that the dust has settled!!!
Smiles on the faces of those who plan the demise of all that Ulster’s Bible Protestants hold dear!
“Thus saith the LORD; Deceive not yourselves, saying, The Chaldeans shall surely depart from us: for they shall not depart,” Jeremiah 37:9.
The words of this text are a rebuke from the Lord to a people, who despite their sins and the warnings of the God of judgment falling on them because of their sins, continue in pride, deceiving themselves that somehow or other the Babylonians, sent of God as His instrument of judgment, would never take Jerusalem, but would break off their siege and return home.
There is every evidence that many Protestants look on the recent election results in a similar self-deceived, misguided manner as did the Jews on events surrounding their city. These words are therefore so applicable to us here in Ulster!
For the first time in the history of Northern Ireland, Sinn Fein has won the most seats in Stormont. The combined number of votes of the three main unionist parties over the two main nationalist ones was narrow, at 40.1% to 38.1% — a 2% margin. The DUP, UUP and TUV combined vote was 346,080 votes. Sinn Fein and SDLP combined vote was 328,625. This is not taking into consideration the many voters for the Alliance Party who would in fact have Nationalist sympathies as well as the smaller Nationalist groups.
Unionism can include the votes gained by some independent candidates and that would mean that Unionism gained some 42.1% of the total votes cast while Nationalism has about 40.7% of the poll.
This election result is the harvest of the apostasy from God and His Word of which the Protestant people in general are guilty. To trace the roots of this disaster we must go back some 100 years, though it is likely that even before that date, some green shoots of that which came into full bloom on Thursday past (5th April) could have been detected by the spiritually discerning.
In 1926-1927, there took place the trial and the exoneration of Professor J. E. Davey of the Irish Presbyterian Church on charges of heresy.
Davey made no secret of his heretical views, though the majority in his church, by seven hundred and seven votes to eighty three, refused to condemn him for teaching satanic lies to students training for its ministry. In December 1926 James Hunter, minister of Knock congregation in Belfast and a member of the committee of the Belfast Presbyterian College, formally accused Davey of heresy. In February–March 1927 the professor was tried before the Belfast presbytery on five charges, alleging that he propagated doctrines inconsistent with the standards of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland. Rev Hunter claimed that Davey’s teaching in his lectures and in his first two theological books was heterodox. Davey’s views on St Paul, on the divinity of Jesus, and on the Trinity were called into question. His accusers, who included one of his senior students, W. J. Grier, particularly objected to Davey’s treatment of Scripture.
Davey held with the modernist theologians of the day that it was appropriate to examine the Bible in the light of contemporary linguistic and historical scholarship, in order to discover new facts about God. Fundamentalists strongly disagreed, believing that since scripture was divinely revealed, attempts at reinterpretation by human minds could not possibly add to the vitally important facts codified in the Westminster confession, and they attacked the college as a ‘seed-bed of rationalism’.
I will give just two samples of what he taught.
J. E. Davey’s denial of Christ’s deity.
“There is no omnipotent or omniscient and independent Christ in John (the Gospel of John) any more than in any other gospel.”
“And today we are in a providential reaction against a wrong headed idealisation, of Christ as a kind of God or demigod (not the God-man) stalking through life clothed with all the infinite attributes of the Godhead in eternity and living on a different plane from us”
J, E. Davey’s denial of the blood atonement by Christ.
“Sin could never be transferred.” “Guilt is something that takes place in the consciousness of a man, by which he fulfils the will of God or rejects it . . . . that guilt consciousness that is within a person’s being can never be transferred to anywhere else.”
These two statements, which were repeated in essence in other places in his teachings, indicate that J. E. Davey was a rejector of the message of the Bible. He was a violator of the oath that he had taken at his ordination in which he declared that he believed the teaching of the Bible and the Westminster Confession of faith.
The Westminster Confession of faith is an exposition of what the Bible sets forth and that exposition clearly witnesses to the deity of Christ and His atoning death at the cross as the surety, substitute, of God’s elect.
The Son of God, the second person in the Trinity, being very and eternal God, of one substance and equal with the Father, did, when the fulness of time was come, take upon Him man’s nature, with all the essential properties and common infirmities thereof, yet without sin; being conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost, in the womb of the virgin Mary, of her substance. So that two whole, perfect, and distinct natures, the Godhead and the manhood, were inseparably joined together in one person, without conversion, composition, or confusion. Which person is very God, and very man, yet one Christ, the only Mediator between God and man. (WCF – Chapter 8, paragraph 2.)
The Lord Jesus, in His human nature thus united to the divine, was sanctified and anointed with the Holy Spirit, above measure, having in Him all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge; in whom it pleased the Father that all fulness should dwell; to the end that, being holy, harmless, undefiled, and full of grace and truth, He might be thoroughly furnished to execute the office of a Mediator and Surety. Which office He took not unto Himself, but was thereunto called by His Father, who put all power and judgment into His hand, and gave Him commandment to execute the same. (WCF – Chapter 8, paragraph 3.)
Thus Davey was both a heretic and violator of his ordination oath. That he should have been exonerated and later made Moderator by his fellow Irish Presbyterians indicates that they shared in and endorsed his apostasy. They were very few outside the Presbyterian Church who denounced the actions of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland. A relatively small group separated from the PCI and formed the Evangelical Presbyterian Church in obedience to God. Later, in 1951, the Free Presbyterian Church was formed in protest against the outworkings of that same apostasy.
I believe that the 1926-27 heresy trial was the first visible step by Ulster in its rebellion against God. The Presbyterian Church comprised a large section of the Unionist people in Northern Ireland. The rebellion within it increased and was supported. The election of J. E. Davey in 1953 as Moderator, just two years after the protest by the Free Presbyterian Church against the apostasy of Davey, is an indication of the stubborn mindset of the PCI and its utter disregard of what the Bible says.
The PCI became an founding member of the World Council of Churches in 1948. The WCC had set its goal as the ‘reversing of the Reformation’.
As Dr Paisley wrote many years ago in his little booklet, “The World Council of Churches”, “Dr. C. F. Nolde, a delegate of the United Lutheran Church and an important ecumenical figure? Just before Amsterdam this gentleman said : ‘In a popular sense the first meeting of the Church Council could be spoken of as a reversal of the trend which began at the Reformation.’ Such a statement leaves us in no doubt as to the real design of the W. C. C. ” (The World Council of Churches, page 10).
Another example of the camp into which the PCI had moved in 1948 is indicated by this further quotation from Dr Paisley’s booklet. “Dr. Nels Ferre, a popular speaker at ecumenical meetings in the U. S. A, in his book ‘The Sun and the Umbrella, a Parable for To-day,’ has this to say of the Bible: ‘Jesus Himself, then, may have been misled as well as helped by the use of Scripture both outside, in His struggle with Jewish orthodoxy, and within, in His own creative imagination and interpretation,’ (page 40).
“Another panel, says Ferre, in the Umbrella, was ‘the freezing of the thought, forms and facts of the Bible into literal and final truth,’ (page 43).
‘A more insidious panel than literalism, therefore, is the freeing of Biblical thought patterns such as the Second Coming, eternal hell, the Hebrew sacrificial system or some particular interpretation of Jesus into eternal truths,’ (page 44).”
A Council which includes and honours such a man must be rejected by all those who hold to the Reformed view of the Scriptures. There can be no basis for fellowship between the darkness of Ferre and the light of those who cling to the Bible as the Word of God.” (The World Council of Churches, page 8),
In the mid-80s, the PCI left the WCC but such a departure was no mark of true repentance and rejection of the ecumenical apostasy since it maintained its links with Ecumenism by its membership and prominent participation in the Irish Council of Churches, a branch of the WCC.
It includes in its membership “Cherubim and Seraphim Greek Orthodox Church, the Non Subscribing Presbyterian, Syrian Orthodox Church in Ireland, Romanian Orthodox Church in Ireland, Indian Orthodox Church in Ireland.”
Along with these are the apostate Church of Ireland and the Methodist church here.
Although Rome is not listed as a member, she is to the fore in its activities as the caption under the picture from the website of the Irish Council of Churches indicates.
Easter Message from the Church Leaders Group
Thus the head of the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland, Dr Eamon Martin, Archbishop of Armagh, Primate of All Ireland, is given prominence in the photographs mounted! Archbishop Martin is pictured top left.
The departure from God’s truth continued in 2007. The Democratic Unionist Party, under the leadership of Dr Ian Paisley, I am sad to have to say, turned its back on every principle it ever stood for and joined in coalition with Sinn Fein in a power-sharing arrangement whereby Sinn Fein was given equal political and administrative status as the DUP in the governance of Northern Ireland. They, the political wing of the IRA and who but a short time before had encouraged (and still glory in) decades of terrorist war against the Protestant people of Northern Ireland, were thus brought into government by the DUP as it sought to advance its own political standing.
The out-polling of the DUP by Sinn Fein on Thursday past is but just retribution for that act of treachery fifteen years ago.
Alongside the rise of Sinn Fein we have seen the increasing prominence of the Alliance Party. Years ago the Church of England was called the ‘Tory Party at prayer’. We might accurately call the Alliance Party, ‘the Ecumenical Movement at prayer’, though I must confess that whatever they may religiously engage in, it is not ‘true prayer’!
The rise of this ‘Ecumenical ‘Party’ is but another inevitable result from the direction taken by Ulster within the last 50-odd years. The Ulster Unionist Party, now decimated in the recent election, was also ‘ecumenically inclined’ since the days of Terence O’Neill in the 1960s. However, it has been ‘out-ecumenicalised’ by the Alliance Party of late. We must give due ‘credit’ to the recently appointed leader of the UUP, Doug Beattie. He, with determination, sought to bring the UUP into the modern world in which support for abortion, sodomy, LGBT, transgenderism, etc abounds. Naturally, the repudiation of the once Protestant stance of the UUP, the old party of Sir James Craig and our covenanting forefathers back in the days of the ‘Ulster Covenant of 1912’, brought about its downfall on Thursday past.
There is nothing that bodes well for the future of Unionism in Ulster. Unionists such as DUPers, Donaldson, Wilson and Storey have indicated that they see the way forward as a turning round and going back!
Just yesterday, in my daily reading I came upon the verse: “And they said one to another, Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt,” Numbers 14:4. Those are the words of the leaders of those who rejected the council of Caleb and Joshua and accepted the deceitful and dispiriting report of the ten spies. Going back to Egypt with its slavery, cruelty and misery was deemed by them a wise decision.
When they had first left Egypt they had sung: “I will sing unto the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea. The LORD is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father’s God, and I will exalt him. The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name. Pharaoh’s chariots and his host hath he cast into the sea: his chosen captains also are drowned in the Red sea. The depths have covered them: they sank into the bottom as a stone. Thy right hand, O LORD, is become glorious in power: thy right hand, O LORD, hath dashed in pieces the enemy,” Exodus 15:1-6.
Donaldson, Wilson and Storey (who has just lost his Assembly seat), like these stupid, unbelieving Israelites, are singing a very different tune from that sung back in the days of the beginnings of their party in 1971. Then its founders rejoiced to have left the wrong policies and the ecumenical domination of the Ulster Unionist Party. Now the DUP repudiates those former principles and are planning to reunite with all that it formerly deemed destructive and wicked.
Of course, the DUP have gradually been drifting toward the position of Doug Beattie, on the evils of this day. Beattie is a bumptious being who suffered a blow to his self-inflated status in the election when he just about scraped home on the transfers of a TUV candidate. He was not the only Unionist who owes their election to TUV transfers! I believe that there some 10 DUP candidates and 2 UUP candidates who gained their seats in that fashion! (Belfast Telegraph has an article headlined: “How did Alliance get 17 MLAs with 116,000 votes and TUV get just one with 66,000?”)
The DUP has weakened its position on abortion. It has embraced sodomy. Mervyn Storey, who just lost his seat, is a professing Christian and Free Presbyterian elder. He saw fit when in office in the Stormont power-sharing executive, to sanction the funding of sodomite organisations, something the DUP had been doing from the beginning of the Stormont power-sharing executive under Dr Paisley. The DUP has a councillor in Newtownabbey, elected in May 2019 (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-politics-47969822) who openly acknowledges her perverted life-style. She is endorsed, supported and indeed lauded quite openly by many in the DUP and utterly unopposed, apart from a small number that left the DUP and a few who engaged in a little ‘huffing and puffing’ at the time but remained in membership. The rest, to date, have been very silent!
With reference to the cry ‘to return to Egypt’, those who desired to return to Egypt, refused the appeal by Moses and the warnings of the danger they placed themselves in.
“And they rose up early in the morning, and gat them up into the top of the mountain, saying, Lo, we be here, and will go up unto the place which the LORD hath promised: for we have sinned. And Moses said, Wherefore now do ye transgress the commandment of the LORD? but it shall not prosper. Go not up, for the LORD is not among you; that ye be not smitten before your enemies. For the Amalekites and the Canaanites are there before you, and ye shall fall by the sword: because ye are turned away from the LORD, therefore the LORD will not be with you. But they presumed to go up unto the hill top: nevertheless the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and Moses, departed not out of the camp. Then the Amalekites came down, and the Canaanites which dwelt in that hill, and smote them, and discomfited them, even unto Hormah,” Numbers 14:40-45.
That is the fate of the ‘defiers of God’!
What does the future hold?
If the advice of Donaldson, Wilson and Storey and others like them, is taken, then the above verses give us a preview of what lies ahead!
There is still only one way to turn, that of the Prodigal son.
“And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son,” Luke 15:20-21.
I fear that the spirit that is so obviously abroad will respond defiantly as did those exhorted in Jeremiah 6:16.
“Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.”
Those words increasingly fill the air today!!
Rev Ivan Foster (Rtd)
9th May 2022