I wish to make a comment on the fact that our Presbytery Officers have decided that there will be no protest at the above ungodly ecumenical gathering, which has ostentatiously expropriated the centenary of the stand taken by our Protestant forefathers against the political sell-out of our heritage attempted by the British government, and that into the hands of a Roman Catholic dominated ‘United “Ireland’.
All that this ecumenical ‘celebration’ entails would have been anathema to our forbears of 1912 and 1921.
In 1951, the Free Presbyterian Church was brought into existence by the Lord in order to PROTEST against the wickedness of the ecumenical movement. Most certainly for the first 50+ years it was faithful and fervent in that calling. However, its opposition to the modernism and the liberalism and the pro-popish direction taken by the Church of Ireland, Presbyterian and Methodist churches in Ireland since the late 1940s, has most decidedly waned over the last couple of decades. (see Questions for the Free Presbyterian Church)
Much has been made of the security measures that undoubtedly will be in place for this ecumenical service and the difficulties they would present to any who wish to get into Armagh and anywhere near the cathedral to protest.
However, I believe that a most effective open-air service of protest could have been mounted from the grounds of Armagh Free Presbyterian Church, which overlooks the whole city. Such a protest would have been heard over most of the city and made known that not all in Ulster had surrendered to the ecumenical and political sell-out to popery and modernistic theology.
However, that is not to be.
Sadly, the statement offers no warning to any Free Presbyterian politicians who might be tempted to share in this ecumenical blasphemy. Should any be so foolish and blind as to join in this defiance of God’s truth, it would appear by the statement’s silence on this matter, that it is unlikely that any action will be taken against them!
My mind goes back to 1968 to a Presbytery meeting at the end of November in Kilkeel, to which word came that the civil rights march planned for the next day in Armagh was going to result in a riot and a wrecking of the city. That information came from the police and from members of the Stormont government of that day.
The presbytery was swiftly ended and everyone exhorted to go to Armagh right away. Furthermore, we were asked to contact all from our home area and urge them to come to Armagh as soon as possible. Many members of the presbytery spent the night in Armagh centre as a means of stopping the city being taken over by subversive members and supporters of the Civil Rights Association. It was often mockingly stated that the CRA was merely the IRA with a slight twist!
About 4000 + protestants turned up that Saturday, November 30th, and occupied the city centre and blocked the CRA march and undoubtedly frustrated the planned riot and destruction of the city centre.
Proof that the actions which we feared were planned for that march were indeed in the minds of some CRA supporters was seen in the serious rioting that took place in a march in Newry just four months later. The Dublin broadcaster, RTE, reported of the Newry march: “Violence in Newry – The Newry civil rights march ends in violent riots and condemnation from civil rights campaigners.” The CRA was indeed a ‘Trojan Horse’ for the IRA as later terrorist events proved.
The Free Presbyterian Church, under the leadership of Dr Ian Paisley was then to the fore in the battle against ecumenical supported subversion. We are living in very different days.
Of course, it must be remembered that some did jail time for partaking in the opposition to the CRA march and the planned destruction of Armagh. That was deemed an acceptable price to pay for the preserving of our land back then.
It would not appear to be so today.
Rev Ivan Foster. (Rtd)
Monday 19th October 2021