Presbyterians adhere to Biblical teaching.
May I take issue with, and correct, some of the statements of your Religion Correspondent (Saturday Review June 9)? “Presbyterian traditionalists appear long on preaching and short on love”.
To identify those who hold Biblical truth as ‘traditionalists’ – is ironic given the fact that the Presbyterian Church holds to the ‘supreme authority of the Word of God’ as opposed to mere tradition.
Alf fails to recognise that the decision not to continue the ceremonial relations with the Church of Scotland was because all our appeals for the Church of Scotland to return to the supreme authority of Scripture has failed.
It was indeed ‘sad’ that the Principal Clerk and the Moderator left, but sadder still was their disobedience to Scripture to be, ’not quick to take offence’.
It is unfortunate that Alf appears to have missed another such act of disobedience to Scripture and rudeness when a protesting minister walked out during worship on Wednesday.
Alf makes reference to a delegate who “urged members to join him in saying, ‘whatever your background, in Christ’s name we love you’”. For the record, this delegate was interrupted by the Moderator who rightly reminded him that it was not the role of anyone at the rostrum to chair the meeting – that was the role of the Moderator!
Alf states: “Then yesterday the Church voted in favour of a new policy”. This is untrue. As an Elder Alf should know that the Presbyterian Church in Ireland has historically sought “a credible profession of faith”, from those seeking church membership or Baptism for their children. If Alf would care to read the Reports (Page 86) he would discover that while this was the settled position of the church it first appears in writing in 1835.
As the church stated:
What was before the General Assembly was the acceptance of a paper that posed a theological question of what represents a ‘credible profession of faith’ . . . and the outworking of that in a person’s life.
Th Presbyterian Church in Ireland is not “a narrow and unwelcoming institution”, but rather stands in the traditional Biblical understanding of sexual relationships, with the majority of Christendom.
Brian Kennaway (Rev)
Retired, County Antrim
This letter appeared in the Belfast Telegraph on Monday 18th June 2018