Ivan Foster: Countless thousands of persecuted believers through the centuries would have been glad of a gathering outside in the cold

A letter from Rev Ivan Foster:

By Rev Ivan Foster
Wednesday, 16th December 2020, 11:59 pm
Updated Monday, 21st December 2020, 12:34 pm
Letter to the editor
Letter to the editor

I really should not be amazed at the failure of people to read what one writes before taking up their pen to ‘profoundly disagree’ with what they imagine your views to be.

Mr Stephen Richards of Ballymena says in a letter (‘Video link church services are not an adequate substitute for physical gatherings,’ December 11)

“Mr Foster is entitled to believe that video link church services are an adequate substitute for physical gatherings, but most of us know that he’s wrong about this. As for meeting in the open air, I don’t think that would have been such a good idea on that freezing day.”

I don’t think that is what I said but I would certainly believe that video links or standing in the freezing cold may well be a ’substitute’ for gathering in a building when the medical guides to whose directives we submit for our general health from day to day, inform us that such a gathering is likely to spread infections that could very well kill many, and indeed, have.

I can well imagine that countless thousands of persecuted believers throughout the past centuries or even those today in many lands would be glad if they were able to gather so and count such a gathering as adequate.

How welcome would have been a video link to our Covenanting forefathers in Scotland! They would have welcomed such ‘inadequacies’ at times!

My reason for replying to Pastor Patterson’s article was that I and the majority of Bible-believing Christians in Northern Ireland, including the majority of Baptists it would appear, were being accused of cowardly submission to an ungodly decree issued by the Stormont executive.

Pastor Patterson said in his defence of his actions: “Church leaders were quick to close the doors of the meeting house, without any Scriptural warrant, and thereby preventing God’s people from gathering to worship Him as He has commanded.”

Such an accusation had to be replied to, especially in the light that it would appear Tandragee Baptists readily and to my knowledge, uncomplainingly, complied with the restrictions placed upon church building opening earlier this year!

I would direct readers to my webpage ( ivanfoster.org ) where they will see all that I have said on the issue as I do not intend replying to any more misrepresentations of my views.

Rev Ivan Foster (Rtd), Kilskeery, Co Tyrone

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