Come on fellow Catholics – rally to defence of Free Presbyterians

Christians of all denominations, and others of good will, owe a debt of gratitude to Rev John Greer, a Free Presbyterian minister.

By Ciarán Ó Coigligh
Wednesday, 22nd May 2019, 10:00 am
Ciaran OCoigligh, pictured in west Belfast
Ciaran OCoigligh, pictured in west Belfast

He has courageously stated that people in Northern Ireland, as elsewhere, “are being conditioned into thinking that things that were once reprobated are now acceptable. That’s what the world can do, it can influence a child of God into thinking and into believing that these things are no longer wrong, such as sodomy” (‘Concern at all levels of DUP’ at party’s backing of gay candidate, News Letter, May 10).

Contrary to what Alex Kane claims, it is patently obvious that Christians in Northern Ireland are being conditioned. They are being conditioned to condone homosexuality.

They are being conditioned into believing that these things are no longer wrong. They are being conditioned into thinking that certain things are now acceptable. Their individual beliefs, based on their reading of the Bible, are

being ridiculed and curtailed (in draconian fashion in some parts of Great Britain).

“They can keep on believing what they have always believed”, Alex Kane says (DUP seems to be preparing to face down the Free Presbyterians, News Letter, May 13), but he neglects to acknowledge that they do this at great personal cost, in the case of those who, like the Rev Greer, publicly challenge the political, education, business, media, and entertainment elites’ increasingly virulent campaign against Christian belief and practice.

Rev Greer is not trying to impose his Christian beliefs on other people, though Mr Kane pretends he is. The mere expression of Christian belief is not an imposition. It is an invitation to consider Christian beliefs, which Our Lord mandated Rev Greer and every other Christian to proclaim.

The Free Presbyterian Church is not imposing its beliefs on other people, nor is it its wish to “decide that people who love and live their lives in a non-Biblical-based way are inferior to them”, as Mr Kane brazenly suggests.

Alex Kane is also incorrect to suggest that “the decision to legislate in favour of a whole raft of issues across the UK which Free Presbyterians find objectionable is a decision taken by Parliament and by a majority of those elected. It is called democracy”.

Rather was and is it an abuse of democracy to seek a mandate for a range of policies and then to legislate for something for which one has not sought a mandate – for instance, the British abortion legislation, in 1967, which has involved the state-sanctioned murder of eight million girls and boys.

The fact Mr Kane may celebrate such regression to barbarism does not make it democratic. Similarly, there was no mandate for the introduction of same-sex “marriage” in Britain in 2013. Marriage can only be consummated by a man and a woman engaging in sexual intercourse which is unitive and procreative.

“At some point... either a majority of MLAs or a majority of MPs is going to vote in favour of same-sex-marriage and abortion law reform. And many, many other things, which the Free Presbyterian Church will be very uncomfortable with. It’s called democracy.” Again, it is not democracy but rather an abuse of democracy.

The transformation of democracy into oligarchy is at an advanced stage in the Republic of Ireland, for example. Northern Ireland has nothing to gain and everything to lose from emulating this failed entity in which the ruling elites have utterly corrupted a large percentage of the population.

“Now, as it happens, even as an atheist I have no objection to the Rev Greer deciding to live his life by the teachings of the Bible”, Mr Kane states.

However, he qualifies this patronising remark by claiming that Christians “are not free to... hold up a Bible and call a halt to either... change or... legislation”

Obviously Mr Kane is unaware that Christians are duty bound to halt change and / or legislation which contravene(s) the law of God.

“How does he [Revd Greer] respond to the logic that the same God who made him heterosexual made fellow human beings homosexual,” Mr Kane asks.

Whose “logic” is this? God created man and woman to complement each other sexually, and he endowed them with free will.

“Why pick on the ‘sin’ of homosexuality when it comes to political representation, while ignoring other examples of behaviour which the Bible might interpret as sin,” Mr Kane asks.

A cursory listening to Rev Greer’s homilies on the Ballymena Free Presbyterian Church website or a visit on any Sunday will re-assure Mr Kane that Rev Greer preaches on all sin.

Mr Kane’s question is better directed at his own media colleagues worldwide.

When Israel Folau, an Australian sportsman, called on “drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolators” to repent, he was met by fury from the media, internationally, who ignored his call to drunks, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolators – and berated him for referencing those who succumb to temptations to act on feelings of same-sex attraction.

Mr Kane would better serve his readers by presenting facts in relation to same-sex attraction rather than promoting it and seeking to ridicule and belittle those who take seriously their Christian responsibility to proclaim the truth. I hope laity, clergy, and hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church in Northern Ireland will show solidarity with Rev Greer, the Free Presbyterian Church, and all who humbly and courageously proclaim the word of God.

Dr Ciarán Ó Coigligh is a Roman Catholic retired Irish language academic, based in Dublin