Letters to the Editor

Argument lost by deviating from scripture's absolute authority

Although the Rev McIntyre (May 7) quoted scriptural truths, he sadly loses the argument by deviating from its absolute authority: Firstly by taking to himself a name which belongs to God, ‘Holy and Reverend is His Name’ Psalms 111:9. And secondly by affiliating to the Orange Order, an organisation which usurps the authority of the Church (those who are born again), the only institution given by Our Lord for the defence and proclamation of the gospel. 

Fr Patrick McCafferty (May 10) does likewise when he takes the name father to himself – “call no man your father upon the earth, for one is your Father which is in heaven”. Mt 23:9. These names turn to names of blasphemy when taken by a created being, Revelation 13:1, 17:3.

Patrick again sets aside the absolute authority of scripture, on the subject of the bread and wine, when he adds man’s imagination. Rev 22:18: “if any man shall add…” V19 “if any man shall take away from the words… God shall take away his part out of the book of life”.

God had to reveal all spiritual matters to us and we allow scripture to interpret scripture when we seek to understand His teaching on any subject – “they searched the scriptures daily to see if these things were so”, Acts 17:11. 

When we wish to understand the teaching of the bread and the wine, which represents ‘Christ our Passover’ Lamb, 1Cor 5:7. We can turn to the Ex 12:11 “…the
Lord’s Passover”.
We will search in vain to find any scripture where the Passover or anything else ever literally became the Messiah [which would be
an idol] – neither did the Hebrews obtain eternal life by the eating of the lamb.
So, from this we learn that the bread and the wine is also a picture, which helps us understand how sinful sin must be and how Holy God must be, that such a bloody sacrifice as Calvary is necessary to save us.

On the cross “He hath made Him to be sin for us, Who knew no sin: that we might be made the righteousness of God in him”, 2Cor 5:21.
Both scripture and reason are set aside by those who teach that by eating something we will be made right with God.  I am afraid for those who will not submit entirely to the Word of God for salvation and I have total confidence for those who do, that God will save them.

Cushendall, Co Antrim


Republicans pursue moral liberality for political gain

If Manus McDaid – ‘Unequal state of affairs’ (May 8) – checked the historicity of the quote he inaccurately attributed to Sir James Craig, his views might be enlightened.

A ‘wiki’ source on James Craig refers to the Northern Ireland House of Commons Official Report of April 24 1934, Vol 34 col 1095, Sir James Craig was discussing events in Eire and the Eire politician De Valera’s bias in particular. De Valera was said to have opposed a librarian position in Co Mayo for a Protestant woman and James Craig had raised such matters in the NI parliamentary debate. A serious writer should read the parliamentary record or secondary sources that accurately reproduce the primary source.

In 1932 to 1934, many Eire politicians of the day were urged by the bishops of the Church, such as John Charles McQuaid, to support the Church’s position on a range of matters arising from the Dublin Eucharistic Congress of 1932 – discussed in the press 50 years after as to how it made the free state a confessional one and as De Valera said “A Catholic country for Catholic people”.

The political actions of leaders around the time of the Irish Civil War often ignored the Christian ethic, but after the 1932 Eucharistic Congress in Dublin, the government leaders there were keen to promote the moral views of the Catholic Church using the prevailing moral dominance to their advantage. In doing so, they marginalised other denominations.

The republicans of today in Northern Ireland pursue moral liberality to their political advantage and in so doing are marginalising the whole Christian Church. I stand with the whole Christian Church.

Holywood, Co Down


Kernal of truth in elder statesman’s remarks

There’s a popular term in Northern Ireland, my mother always uses it to describe me – being ‘hot in the house’. That is to say, I always have to be out and about doing something.

One such evening was May 16 when I dandered up the Ormeau Road in Belfast to hear the Truth and Reconciliation Platform speak at a local venue.
For more than two hours I listened to various victims speak of their heartbreak, anger and pure emotion about how the Troubles had marred and altered their lives.

The first speaker was Mr Eugene Reavey who lost three brothers in Whitecross in the 1970s. The sincerity and conviction that he spoke with moved me to my very core. Being a south Armagh man too I had often heard of the Reavey brothers, Gaelic footballers, much like my own uncles and brothers – it always struck a chord. But it was not until I heard Eugene speak that I could even begin to imagine the brevity of his words, that this wasn’t just something I’d read about in the papers, this was part of this man’s life. 

The event was chaired by the formidable Seamus Mallon who, even in his role as elder statesman, never ceases to amaze me. I looked at these two proud Armagh men, sitting side by side, just as they had done for decades before and my heart swelled. This is what real leadership looks like and I challenge anyone in this province to look them in the eye and say: ‘Can we just not move on and leave the past in  the past?’
As Mr Mallon quoted in his opening remarks: ‘If we are not aware of the past we are forever a child.’
There’s a kernel of truth in that somewhere...

Armagh City, Co Armagh


Not a great example of defending human rights

President Roosevelt in 1941 once declared “a date that will live in infamy” when he condemned the attack on Pearl Harbor. Fast forward to May 14 2018 Israel/Palestine and the tale of two events separated only by 45 miles.
“We both believe in freedom and we both believe in human rights” declared Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner to a buoyant audience including Israeli prime minister Netanyahu at the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem. Getting in on the celebrations Netanyahu declared: “It’s a great day for peace”.
Only 45 miles away the contrast could not have been more stark... IDF snipers perched on their mounds of earth at Gaza had killed 60 Palestinian protesters and wounded more than 2,700 men, women and children, and even an eighth-month-old baby succumbed to the tear gas. 
A great day for peace? We believe in freedom and human rights, seriously?

It was all Hamas’s fault has already been trotted out predictably as an excuse. “Israel acted with great restraint”stated Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN, and then marched out the door as the Palestinian ambassador rose to speak. This was no great day or an example of defending freedom and human rights.

May 14 2018 will forever be remembered as a day that will live in infamy.

Belfast BT8

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