The ignorance of our political leaders

Our local newspapers have been filled with comments for and against the ‘deal’ that the DUP leader, Jeffrey Donaldson. made with the British Government, the result of which he and some of his fellow DUPers claim is the removal of the restrictions that the ‘Brexit’ agreement exerted on trade between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom.

1882 political satire regarding political leaders “unable” to foresee consequences of their actions.

That claim has been denied by a prominent constitutional lawyer, senior members of the DUP, including a former leader, those who shared the campaign with Jeffrey Donaldson to over throw the  trade restrictions placed upon Northern Ireland  which they claimed excluded Northern Ireland as an equal member of the United Kingdom. All those who led that campaign, with the exception of Jeffrey Donaldson, believe that the border restriction and various regulations detrimental to our ability to trade with our fellow UK countries, have not been removed.

Those party members who support Jeffrey Donaldson have given no evidence in support of their claims but merely parrot-like repeat the trite responses of Donaldson and Co.

It has been acknowledged by officials that the building of border posts to accommodate the ‘Brexit’ arrangements is continuing. This would hardly indicate that the ‘Brexit’ border and its restrictions have gone, as the DUP leadership is claiming.

Why does Jeffrey Donaldson and his lackeys seek to deceive the Protestant people of Northern Ireland?

Whatever deals may have been done between them and those engaged in the negotiations I have no idea.

But I can from the Word of God find out why leaders may act in such a self-deluded, deceitful and unscrupulous manner.

It is this I wish to set before the readers of ‘The Burning Bush’.

Sincerely in Christ’s name,

Ivan Foster


 “But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory,” 1 Corinthians 2:7-8.

 These words of Paul are divinely inspired of God and infallibly true! Providence has declared this epistle to be part of that which is referred to as ‘Scripture’ and is declared to be “given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works,” 2 Timothy 3:16-17.

Holy Scripture is endorsed in its proclamations by the manifested truth of all its statements. Our text above is but one example. What it says of the “princes of this world” is abundantly clear world-wide but no place more evidently than here in Northern Ireland!

The word translated ‘princes’ is elsewhere translated by a number of different words, illustrating just who is referred to. ‘Ruler’, Matthew 9:19. ‘Magistrate’, Luke 12:58. We can see that the word refers to those who hold positions of power and authority and leadership amongst the nations. We may quite correctly apply the word to the political representatives within a democracy.

The verses we have as our text speaks of ‘princes of this world’ in a very general fashion. Here is a truth that may be applied to all who have ever held positions of power and authority amongst the nations.

I particularly wish to apply it to those in authority here in Ulster.


1. The mind of God is unknown by men in their natural state. Yes, when a sinner is born again ‘from above’ by the Holy Spirit, they become acquainted with the mind and will of God. There is planted within their new nature an embryo of a knowledge of God and His purpose which they are thereafter urged to become more and more acquainted with. As Peter exhorts us: “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen,” 2 Peter 3:18. As Christians grows in grace they simultaneously grow in the knowledge of “our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ”. They become more instructed in His purpose, His person and His power and providences. That which was a ‘mystery’ to them before their conversion thus becomes ever more clear. It is as the wise man puts it in the book of Proverbs. “But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day,” Proverbs 4:18.

Dear Christian that is how it ought to be with us!

2. At no time was this ignorance more manifested than at the coming of Christ into this world. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. . . . . He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not,” John 1:1, 10-11.

“His own” refers of course to the Jewish people, they unto whom “were committed the oracles (Word) of God,” Romans 3:2.

Yet, despite the multiplicity of witnesses and miracles and mercies shown to that people ever since they became God’s chosen race, when the promised Messiah came amongst them in perfect fulfilment of the prophecies given by way of preparing the Jews for His coming, they knew Him not, and consequently, received Him not.

If a people so privileged as Israel acted in such ignorance then it can easily be seen what darkness is upon the Gentile nations! As Paul says in another section of 1 Corinthians: “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. . . . . But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks (Gentiles) foolishness,” 1 Corinthians 1:18, 23.

3. Everywhere the gospel is introduced this ignorance is manifested. When Paul preached in Athens what he had to say was greeted with jeering and dismissal!

“Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you. God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; and hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; that they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: for in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, for we are also his offspring. Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device. And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead. And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked: and others said, We will hear thee again of this matter,” Acts 17:22-32.

Neither the Jews nor the Athenians are unique in their reactions. Just a few days ago a headline appeared in the UK’s national press.

‘Moment Met Police threaten to arrest ANOTHER Christian in London: Officer is seen in stand-off with gospel preachers who were accused of hate crime after complaint from a member of the public over ‘homophobic comments.’

There are many places in this “world . . . . made by him” where it is contrary to the law to preach the gospel, an offence which for many of God’s people have been and are being punished most severely. This land, which once rejoiced in the blessings and benefits of the gospel, is fast sliding toward a spirit of animosity akin to that found in China, Iran and many other Moslem lands.

Extreme gospel ignorance is shown by the Alliance Party’s deputy leader, as this headline demonstrates. “Alliance deputy Dr Stephen Farry plans on adding clause to government protest bill which would fully decriminalise abortion up to birth for any reason”. ​​The Alliance Party’s deputy leader is pushing for the law to be changed so that women can terminate foetuses up to the point of birth for any reason without risking punishment. Stephen Farry has attached his name to an amendment to the government’s Criminal Justice Bill which is currently working its way through parliament.

What such an amendment would permit would be the murder of a child, though the term ‘foetus’ is used in an exercise in ‘obfuscation’, an effort to hide the fact that what would be done to death in a most cruel way is a fully developed child, which if it were delivered from the womb, would live!

This would be the legalising of the most horrendous murder known to man! It is the spirit and barbarity of the Christ-rejecting Herod (Matthew 2:16) manifested again! The Alliance Party portrays itself as a ‘liberal’ party, ever pursuing the rights and freedoms of all within society. What a sham! What hypocrisy! There is no seeking of the ‘rights and freedoms’ of the unwanted, full-term unborn child!

Reverting To Nature

Just as fields that are neglected and uncared for revert back to a wilderness, so that is what is taking place, spiritually and morally in our land. There was a time when in the pulpits of the United Kingdom there were many men upon whom the power of God rested and they preached the Word of God to the ‘cultivating’ of the nation in the ways of God. That ‘cultivation’ impacted upon magistrates and politicians so that their influence was of a godly sort. By their witness the truth of God was brought to bear upon the life of the nation and the natural ignorance of men was greatly reduced and many walked in the light of God.


Sadly, the stripping of the pulpits of the unadulterated Word of God and the substituting of it with the modernistic and liberal notions of men have resulted in the natural ignorance and darkness of unconverted man reclaiming the territory which once enjoyed the benefits of God’s truth.

As it was with Israel of old, so we see it happening again in our land. “For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water,” Jeremiah 2:13. The result of that is set forth in another place. “But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it. How is the faithful city become an harlot! it was full of judgment; righteousness lodged in it; but now murderers. Thy silver is become dross, thy wine mixed with water: thy princes are rebellious, and companions of thieves: every one loveth gifts, and followeth after rewards: they judge not the fatherless, neither doth the cause of the widow come unto them. Therefore saith the Lord, the LORD of hosts, the mighty One of Israel, Ah, I will ease me of mine adversaries, and avenge me of mine enemies: and I will turn my hand upon thee, and purely purge away thy dross, and take away all thy tin,” Isaiah 1:20-25.

There you have a picture of our nation in recent times!!!


1. Here is the underlying reason for the honouring of Christ amongst the nations when He returns. There is a day when the prevailing attitude amongst the nations will be very different from that of today. Today, “the whole world lieth in wickedness,” 1 John 5:19. It is deceived by the devil and will be until Christ returns.

“And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.  His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS. . . . . . And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season,” Revelation 19:11-16; 20:1-3.

Until that day dawns, the deception of the devil will prevail. Indeed, in the closing days of this age, it will, by the providence of God, be allowed to increase as a judgment against men for their embracing of the Antichrist.

“And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness,” 2 Thessalonians 2:8-12.

But as I say, that will change when the Saviour returns in glory. We are told that “They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea,” Isaiah 11:9.

The universal knowledge of God is what will bring this change.

2. At present, at best, there is but a few streams of gospel truth seeping amongst the nations. In my lifetime, I have seen the rapid decline in the number of gospel witnesses in Ulster. More than that, I have seen the purity of those witnesses deteriorate. Few and far between are those places where the Authorised Version of the Scriptures is adhered to. That Bible was born in the 16th century Protestant Reformation. It has been owned of God time and again as the instrument of revival blessing. Today it is largely abandoned by so-called Protestant places of worship.

With that decline of purity and faithfulness to God’s Word we see an accompanying increase in an ever more bold defiance of God.

As the sun sets, the owls and the bats of hell come boldly out! Neither the name, the day, the Word or the people of God, are given the slightest regard in these days. Popery is daily exposed as a haven of paedophiles, perverts and priestly deviants. Amongst its senior clerics there have been those shown up to be molesters of children, liars and thieves. And yet, it is lauded amongst the nations and its deceitful doctrines copied and embraced by churches which once claimed to be Protestant.

Amidst all this barren wilderness of unbelief, there are but few who seek to uphold the ‘blood-stained banner of the cross’ and bear reproach for the name and honour of King Jesus.

But a day is coming when that will change!

3. When Christ returns in glory it will be to bring the nations under the rod of His rule. Lawlessness prevails today but that will end when the Saviour returns. Look at these scriptures.

“And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever,” Revelation 11:15.

* The ‘seventh angel’ will sound the seventh and last trumpet. That will end this age and announce the beginning of a new age, the Millennial Reign of Christ.

“And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. O house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of the LORD,” Isaiah 2:2-5.

“And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. Forasmuch as thou (Nebuchadnezzar) sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure,” Daniel 2:44-45.

“And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him,” Daniel 7:27.

“And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years,” Revelation 20:4-6.

* It is to be noted that amongst those who will reign with Christ are those who suffered under Antichrist. Consequently, the setting up of Christ’s kingdom at His return is subsequent to the days of theAntichrist!

“And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles. And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain. And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith the LORD will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles. This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles. In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD; and the pots in the LORD’S house shall be like the bowls before the altar. Yea, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the LORD of hosts: and all they that sacrifice shall come and take of them, and seethe therein: and in that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the LORD of hosts,” Zechariah 14:16-21.

* Not only will the earth witness spiritual and moral change, but it will see geological change also.

“For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now,” Romans 8:18-22.

* The animal kingdom as well will experience the easing of the curse that followed Adam’s sin.

“The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent’s meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD,” Isaiah 65:25.

* Obedient mankind will also experience physical enjoyments.

“And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying. There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed. And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands,” Isaiah 65:19-22.


1. Despite this, the largest unionist party, the Democratic Unionist Party, has turned its back on that which it once upheld. Professing Christians within that party have silently or even actively acquiesced in decisions whereby those found guilty by courts of sodomy, were posthumously pardoned. On that occasion the only one who objected to the motion, supported by the DUP, was Mr Jim Allister of the TUV party. Not one Christian came to support him or even second his motion rejecting the posthumous pardoning of those legally deemed perverts!

The DUP has supported a lesbian being elected on two occasions as a councillor and full cooperation with her is undertaken by her fellow DUP councillors. Members of the party have openly spoken out in support of the organisation representing those whose lifestyles can only be called perverted and unnatural and who term themselves ‘lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender’ and have even organised a gathering in Stormont buildings in its support!

Back in 2007 and the time when the DUP held the office of First Minister, tragically, despite repeated denials, funds were administered by that office on a number of occasions. This was finally acknowledged by the DUP’s Peter Robinson, when he succeeded Dr Ian Paisley as First Minister.


Letter from OFMDFM re: funding of homosexual entities

A little more honesty from the First Minister but . . . . !!

2. Does anyone think that such actions will go unnoticed, or unjudged by the God of Heaven? I am sure that no Christian walking with God will think so.

I dare suggest that the mounting confusion within Ulster and the reducing of the Protestant people to mere vassals under Irish Republican rule, the very rule against which our forefathers were prepared to die in order to resist, is a direct consequence of the backsliding evident within the DUP camp.

3. Paul says that the outcome of the ignorance amongst leaders of the will of God is the ‘crucifixion of the Lord of glory’. That is what is taking place in our land. The very same spirit that was active back some 2000 years ago when the Word and claims of Christ were rejected, when disciples ran away and forsook the Lord Jesus in the hour of His betrayal and murder, is what we see working today.

Sadly, there has been a stedfast refusing to see anything of this by many in the Free Presbyterian Church. In repeating these truths I may even be in danger of arousing the wrath of some.

However that may be, the duty of any who claim to be a man of God is plain.

“Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins,” Isaiah 58:1.

Sadly, God’s people may be told and shown their sin BUT the preacher cannot make them see it!

Rev Ivan Foster (Rtd)
16th February 2024