So ran the main headline in yesterday’s (25/6/21) ‘Belfast Telegraph. It offers from former DUP leader, Peter Robinson, a solution which within the realm of politics will appear exceedingly wise. In truth however, it is an old well-used sticking plaster that has lost its ‘stickiness’ and is useless in avoiding the future of which he warns – the political wilderness.
As an organisation, the DUP once owed allegiance to God and His Word. Its early rules required all branch meetings to be opened by the reading of the Bible and by prayer! Then, chiefly under the ‘modernising’ influence of Peter Robinson, it steadily though surreptitiously, abandoned its ties to God and His truth in order to become more attractive to those voters who had no desire to see children’s swings locked up and ice-rinks closed on the Sabbath!
His leadership has been repeatedly credited with bringing the DUP to the position of being the largest Unionist party but it was a success built on the sinking sand of worldly wisdom, prudence and political shrewdness.
As such we are witnessing the great fall that was always inevitable!
The modernising trend saw the DUP turn from protesting against the ‘Sunningdale Agreement’ of 1973, ‘The Anglo-Irish Agreement’ of 1985 and the ‘Good Friday Agreement’ of 1998 to embracing in a political coalition, in 2007, those who had openly supported the IRA terrorism, including some who actually took part in the murder campaign. That led on to the funding of sodomite organisations and the abandoning of such practices as refusing news interviews on the Sabbath Day.
Eventually, its endorsement of moral perversion descended to the point of fraternising with sodomite organisations and entertaining them in Stormont buildings and then, ultimately, approving and recommending to the electorate, an openly practising sodomite as a local council candidate who succeeded in winning a council seat in Newtownabbey.
I will not rehearse the more recent betrayals of God’s truth, the most notorious of which was Mr Edwin Poots’ declaration that ‘sodomites are born that way’ and its implication that therefore they cannot help their actions and lifestyle. This is a clear denial of God’s truth. (See – Can a Sodomite be ‘Cured’??)
Now Mr Robinson, with a note of desperation, offers the advice headlined by the ‘Belfast Telegraph’. It will not work for the simple reason that it is but a continuance of the strategy of defiance of God and a rejecting of His counsel.
The situation in Israel in the days of Jeremiah foreshadowed the days which were to precede the return of Christ – the very days we are living in. The judgments that fell on Jerusalem were the direct result of an abandoning of God and His truth.
“Hath a nation changed [their] gods, which [are] yet no gods? but my people have changed their glory for [that which] doth not profit. Be astonished, O ye heavens, at this, and be horribly afraid, be ye very desolate, saith the LORD. 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 2:11-13.
The DUP once unashamedly proclaimed its faith in God as the only hope of Ulster but now His name is never even mentioned! Instead, you have the wife of one of its leading MPs (another Mr Robinson) employing a wicked blasphemy in an article in which she shows sympathy with if not open support for the sodomite community. (See – Mrs Lindsay Robinson’s blasphemy)
The consequences of such abandoning of former allegiances to God are most serious indeed.
Jeremiah warned: “Hast thou not procured this unto thyself, in that thou hast forsaken the LORD thy God, when he led thee by the way? And now what hast thou to do in the way of Egypt, to drink the waters of Sihor? or what hast thou to do in the way of Assyria, to drink the waters of the river? Thine own wickedness shall correct thee, and thy backslidings shall reprove thee: know therefore and see that [it is] an evil [thing] and bitter, that thou hast forsaken the LORD thy God, and that my fear [is] not in thee, saith the Lord GOD of hosts . . . For though thou wash thee with nitre, and take thee much soap, [yet] thine iniquity is marked before me, saith the Lord GOD,” Jeremiah 2:17-19, 22.
The outcome of their sin and rebellion was for Jerusalem and its temple to be destroyed and the people exiled in Babylon for 70 years.
There is a price to be paid for betraying the Lord and no clever schemes or political ‘getting together’ will alter that. The wilderness does indeed face the DUP, which will have consequences for all Unionist people. Jeremiah himself suffered as a result of the judgment that fell on his people even as Elijah suffered as a fugitive and an exile, 1 Kings 17:2-9.
The only answer was offered to the people of Judah by the prophet.
“Thus saith the LORD; Stand in the court of the LORD’S house, and speak unto all the cities of Judah, which come to worship in the LORD’S house, all the words that I command thee to speak unto them; diminish not a word: if so be they will hearken, and turn every man from his evil way, that I may repent me of the evil, which I purpose to do unto them because of the evil of their doings. And thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the LORD; If ye will not hearken to me, to walk in my law, which I have set before you, to hearken to the words of my servants the prophets, whom I sent unto you, both rising up early, and sending [them], but ye have not hearkened; then will I make this house like Shiloh, and will make this city a curse to all the nations of the earth,” Jeremiah 26:2-6.
The response to these gracious words of warning and mercy, is reminiscent of the folly and stubbornness we see today in the ranks of the DUP.
“So the priests and the prophets and all the people heard Jeremiah speaking these words in the house of the LORD. Now it came to pass, when Jeremiah had made an end of speaking all that the LORD had commanded [him] to speak unto all the people, that the priests and the prophets and all the people took him, saying, Thou shalt surely die,” Jeremiah 26:7-8.
Do not these words from God’s book offer a fresh offer of mercy and way of escape to the wayward today? But will they be heeded?
Not if the ‘wisdom’ offered by Peter Robinson is listened to and regarded!
The sad words of Psalm 81:10-16 may be sounded as a likely epitaph for the DUP.
“I [am] the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt: open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it. But my people would not hearken to my voice; and Israel would none of me. So I gave them up unto their own hearts’ lust: [and] they walked in their own counsels. Oh that my people had hearkened unto me, [and] Israel had walked in my ways! I should soon have subdued their enemies, and turned my hand against their adversaries. The haters of the LORD should have submitted themselves unto him: but their time should have endured for ever. He should have fed them also with the finest of the wheat: and with honey out of the rock should I have satisfied thee.”
Rev Ivan Foster (Rtd)
26th June 2021.