Statement regarding Mr. Paul Givan’s attendance at Armagh service

Statement from Rev Ivan Foster (Rtd), former minister of Kilskeery Free Presbyterian Church, on the attendance of Mr Paul Givan, a Free Presbyterian, at the centenary service in Armagh, held under the auspices of the combined apostate denominations here in Ulster.

Poor, foolish Paul Givan had little to smile about as he enters the apostate Armagh service and thus betrays the gospel and turns his back upon the truth of God that has been the foundation of the separatist stand of the Free Presbyterian Church since it beginnings in 1951!

By attending this service Mr Givan has put personal and political considerations before his professed allegiance to the Lord.

Rev John Armstrong, the Moderator of the Free Presbyterian Church, of which Mr Givan is a member, is on record as saying on behalf of the Church officers: “…as a denomination, the Free Presbyterian Church is grieved that the Centenary Service scheduled to be held in St Patrick’s Church of Ireland Cathedral, Armagh, on 21st October 2021, was deliberately planned to promote the unbiblical ethos of religious ecumenism…. The event was jointly arranged by the leaders of the four main churches – the Roman Catholic, Episcopal, Presbyterian and Methodist churches. Such ecumenical union does not represent the views of thousands of Ulster Protestants who do not accept the Roman Catholic Church as a Christian Church. Our opposition to fellowship with Roman Catholicism is theological. Its dogmas concerning, among other things, the Mass and Mariolatry, are unscriptural and therefore heretical. Participation in this ecumenical service by the leaders of Episcopalianism, Presbyterianism, and Methodism is a betrayal of the Protestant and Reformed Creeds and Confessions that these church leaders subscribe to and claim to believe. These Creeds and Confessions we hold dear, for they are the basis of true liberty of conscience and are the foundation of the religious freedom with which Northern Ireland has been blessed over this past century. We would call on members of these churches to repudiate and withstand the efforts of their ecumenical leaders, in their continued betrayal of true Biblical Protestantism.’

The utter hypocrisy underlying this service may be seen in the words of Eamon Martin, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Armagh, who was a central participant in the service. “All three of my predecessors, with their brother bishops in Ireland, opposed partition, stating that it ‘could never be anything but a perennial source of discord and fraternal strife’. Standing by their graves a century later, I couldn’t agree more.” (Irish Times, 19.10.21)

From the Free Presbyterian statement, it is clear that Mr Givan, in the opinion of his Presbytery officers, has partaken in that which is ‘unbiblical’ and is a ‘betrayal’ of all that is of God.

He has partaken in a display of the utter apostasy that is mainline ‘Christianity’ in Ulster today, but which is in truth the prophesied apostasy of the last days (1 Timothy 4:1-3).

Such betrayal of the Lord and His truth will not go unnoticed by heaven. I am neither a prophet nor the son of a prophet (Amos 7:14) but Mr. Givan’s shameful actions will be followed by that which will be seen as an evident indication of the Lord’s displeasure if he persists in his dark folly!

Mr Givan, in recent days, was heard to urge upon the public to cover their faces. No one has a greater need to cover his face than he, not so much as a protection against Covid-19 but out of shame for his gross betrayal of Christ and His gospel!

I call upon Mr Givan to follow in the footsteps of David and Peter, both of whom acted to their shame and the shaming of the Lord, but turning in repentance, were forgiven and restored. (Psalm 51, Matthew 26:75, Mark 16:7).

The question remains, will there be any disciplinary measures taken by the Free Presbyterian Church on the attendance by Mr GivAn at a service which the Presbytery statement deemed ‘grieving, unbiblical, unscriptural and heretical’?

Failure to act against this blatant breach of Christian behaviour will but make a mockery of the Presbytery’s statement and expose it as mere window-dressing and cause the Free Presbyterian Church as a whole to be a partaker in this betrayal of God’s truth.

May the Lord have mercy on His people in Ulster who have been given such poor spiritual and political leadership in these evil times.