In response to George McNally’s letter about sexuality and the authority of Scripture (‘Should gays face a life of celibacy?’ May 10), he commends acceptance of the Bible “as a crucial yet not infallible document of Christian faith”.
Within the Presbyterian Church in Ireland every minister and elder publicly states that they believe “the Word of God as set forth in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the only infallible rule of faith and practice”.
Let me give a couple of reasons as to why we can gladly and whole-heartedly make such an assertion.
Firstly, we believe that the Bible is God’s Word through inspired human words.
Essentially we believe that God has spoken in the Scriptures and in the process of this revelation God has not contradicted Himself. What He has spoken is a reliable and divinely inspired guide.
Secondly, we look to Christ in all matters. If submission to Scripture as a reliable and authoritative guide was right for Jesus Christ, then it is surely right for His followers.
The Reformer Martin Luther reputably once said to the Renaissance scholar Erasmus, “The difference between you and me, Erasmus, is that you sit above Scripture and judge it, while I sit under Scripture and let it judge me!”
While of course unacceptable to a cynical unbelieving world, when the professing People of God sit under the infallible Word of God, then the Spirit of God brings divine instruction, guidance, comfort, blessing and renewal.
Rev Stephen Johnston, Kilkeel