Wednesday, September 17, 2014

17 September 2014

"But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand." [Ezekiel 33:6]

"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."  [Ephesians 6:12] 

Presbyterians Week Headlines

[1] Scottish Independence Vote “Yes” and “No” Leaders Urged to Pray Day Before 18 September 2014 Plebiscite

[2] A Nation and Nations Divided

[3] Scottish Roman Catholics May Swing Independence Vote to “Yes”

[4] Ian Paisley Dead: One-Time Fiery Preacher, Turned Northern Ireland's Former First Minister, Passes Away at 88

[5] YouTube Video: Ian Paisley and the Meaning of Life with Gay Byrne

[6] Remembrance of Ian Paisley


[1] Scottish Independence Vote “Yes” and “No” Leaders Urged to Pray Day Before 18 September 2014 Plebiscite

The Evangelical Alliance and Free Church of Scotland have invited First Minister Alex Salmond and Better Together leader Alistair Darling to join with Christians in praying for the future of Scotland on 17 September 2014, the day before the independence referendum.

The invitation follows a joint call from Scotland's main denominations for churches to have two separate days of prayer before the vote, during Sunday 14 September 2014 services and a national day of prayer and fasting on Wednesday 17 September 2014.

+ Free Church of Scotland, 15 North Bank Street, The Mound, Edinburgh, Scotland EH1 2LS, 0131-226-5286, Fax: 0131-220-0597,

+ Evangelical Alliance, Whitefield House, 186 Kennington Park Road, London, SE11 4BT England, 020 7207 2100, Fax: 020-7207-2150,

+ Better Together, 5 Blythswood Square, Glasgow G2 4AD, Scotland, 0141-332-4634, Contact Page

+ Pray for Scotland, C/O 67 Murray Place, Stirling FK8 1AU, Scotland, 07910-982513,

[2] A Nation and Nations Divided

If at any time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be uprooted, torn down and destroyed, and if that nation I warned repents of its evil, then I will relent and not inflict on it the disaster I had planned.

And if at another time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be built up and planted, and if it does evil in my sight and does not obey me, then I will reconsider the good I had intended to do for it.

'This is what the Lord says: Look! I am preparing a disaster for you and devising a plan against you. So turn from your evil ways, each one of you, and reform your ways and your actions.' But they will reply, 'It's no use. We will continue with our own plans; each of us will follow the stubbornness of his evil heart.'” (

So begins the 15 September 2014 article by the editor of
Christians Together in the Highlands and Islands where he discusses why “Scotland needs to be broken.”

Christians Together in the Highlands and Islands, 05600-932-672,

[3] Scottish Roman Catholics May Swing Independence Vote to “Yes”

A 12 September 2014 Christian Today article by Lucinda Borkett-Jones titled “Scottish Independence: Catholics May Have the Deciding Vote” reports that a study by Professor Sir Tom Devine, the Sir William Fraser Professor Emeritus of Scottish History and Palaeography at the University of Edinburgh, points out that practicing and “cultural” Roman Catholics make up about one-quarter of Scottish voters, and thirty percent of these voters favor independence for Scotland.

Devine additionally cites the fact that Scottish churches in general have seen attendance fall off, while Roman Catholic churches have retained members in their twenties and thirties who are more likely to vote for Scottish independence.

Devine concludes that these factors along with several others described in the article place Scottish Roman Catholics in a strategic position to possibly swing the independence vote to “yes”.

+ Christian Today, 200 Great Dover Street, London SE1 4YB, England, 020-7378-5705

+ The Vatican, Città del Vaticano, Rome, Italy, 39-6-69-88-35-11, Fax: 39-6-69-88-54-47, Contact Page

[4] Ian Paisley Dead: One-Time Fiery Preacher, Turned Northern Ireland's Former First Minister, Passes Away at 88

By Dan Wooding
Founder of ASSIST Ministries

BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND (ANS) -- Dr. Ian Paisley, Northern Ireland’s one-time firebrand preacher, who was famous for his thunder, passed away on Friday, September 12, 2014, at the age of 88, in Belfast.

He was known to his supporters as "the big man" whose most reported words were "no," "never," "no surrender," and "not an inch."

He spent much of his life railing against Roman Catholics, and once attacked Pope John Paul II while the pontiff was about to deliver a speech at the European Parliament in Strasbourg back in October 1988.

Holding up a series of posters reading "Pope John Paul II ANTICHRIST," the then Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) leader shouted: "I refuse you as Christ's enemy and Antichrist with all your false doctrine," before he was bundled out of the chamber by scandalized colleagues.

But later in life, after a career that spanned nearly forty years, he had an extraordinary transformation, and was likened to South Africa's Nelson Mandela and F.W. de Klerk, the Soviet Union's Mikhail Gorbachev, and Sinn Féin's Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness, and after this occurred, he led his people to a better place.

The BBC said, "In a political career that spanned nearly 40 years, he went from throwing snowballs at one Irish prime minister to embracing another one; from political 'never man to Northern Ireland's first minister.

"He ended up leading a power-sharing executive at Stormont - although he had supported the strike to bring one down 30 years earlier.

"His biggest turnaround came when, as the leader of hardline unionism, he sat down with Gerry Adams - his former bitter enemy, the leader of militant republicanism - as the Democratic Unionist Party and Sinn Féin decided to work together in an executive.

Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness. The two men got on so well that they were nicknamed the "Chuckle Brothers"

"It seemed unimaginable to supporters who had followed him through years of protests that as Northern Ireland's first minister he would enjoy an easy relationship with his deputy first minister, Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness, so much so that they became known as the 'Chuckle Brothers.'"

Paisley was a powerful preacher before he became involved in politics, and with his thunderous rhetoric and his bull-like voice, Ian Paisley was always the epitome of an American Deep South preacher.

He was born in 1926 in Armagh, the county town of County Armagh. His father was a Baptist minister and his mother a preacher. He grew up in Ballymena, which was to become his political powerbase.

"But before politics, he was a preacher, delivering his first sermon aged 16 in a mission hall in County Tyrone," the BBC went on to say. "He was just 25 years old when he founded the Free Presbyterian Church.

"His early reputation as a Protestant extremist was forged in the 1960s. He once produced a Roman Catholic Eucharist wafer during a televised speech to the Oxford Union mocking it and those who believed it sacred.

"When Irish Prime Minister Sean Lemass was invited to Belfast in 1965 by NI Prime Minister Terence O'Neill, Paisley was furious and led 1,000 loyalists to Stormont to demonstrate. Two years later, he famously threw snowballs at another Irish Prime Minister, Jack Lynch, when he visited Northern Ireland.

"He often took to the streets. He was sent to prison for six weeks for unlawful assembly when he organized a demonstration on November 30, 1968 and forced civil rights marchers to cut short their parade in the city of Armagh."

His critics labelled Paisley as a "bullyboy," but thousands of his supporters protested at his imprisonment, the membership of his church doubled and, on his release, he was greeted as a martyr.

He stood as a Protestant unionist and was elected to the Stormont Parliament in 1970. Two months later he took the North Antrim seat in Westminster, the British Parliament.

"It was said his maiden speech in the House of Commons could be heard in the Lords as well, and was received in almost complete silence. By 1971, he had founded the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and he began a long battle with the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) for the trust of the unionist electorate," added the BBC.

"He opposed the formation of a power-sharing executive at Stormont in 1973 and became involved in the Ulster Workers Council strike that brought Northern Ireland to a standstill and led to the executive's collapse.

"In 1979, in his first European election, he topped the poll. He may have been anti-European but won a reputation as a hardworking Member of the European Parliament (MEP), who lobbied for all his constituents, regardless of their religion."

Those who knew him, said that he was a kindly and amusing figure in private, but to his enemies and critics, Ian Paisley was a sinister figure, a bigot and a dangerous presence.

"They pointed to his involvement in Ulster Resistance. In 1981, he organized a demonstration of 500 men who paraded late at night on a County Antrim hillside, brandishing gun licenses," stated the BBC story.

"The signing of the Anglo-Irish Agreement in 1985 saw him join forces with the then Ulster Unionist leader James Molyneaux. Thousands attended a protest meeting under the banner 'Ulster Says No' in Belfast city center.

"Together the two leaders adopted a policy of non-co-operation, resigned their Westminster seats and forced by-elections which they later contested and won."

Northern Ireland First Minister Ian Paisley and then Irish Prime Minister, Bertie Ahern visited the historic site of the Battle of the Boyne in 2007. Mr. Paisley also presented him with a musket which dates back to 1685, used in both the Battle of the Boyne and the siege of Derry, also known as Londonderry

However, the move was not a universal success from the unionist viewpoint, as they lost the Newry and Armagh seat to the SDLP [Social Democratic and Labour Party].

But then came the Good Friday Agreement, and ultimately the Molyneaux/Paisley relationship turned sour when it became clear the Ulster Unionists were willing to go to Dublin to talk to the Irish government while the DUP was not.

Paisley famously called Molyneaux a "Judas Iscariot," a slight that hurt Molyneaux deeply.

"He was totally opposed to the 1993 Downing Street Declaration between the British and Irish governments, and one meeting with John Major ended abruptly with the DUP being asked to leave," the BBC went on to say.

"The party was convinced a secret deal had been done to secure the 1994 IRA ceasefire. Paisley opposed the peace process from the beginning. He agreed to attend talks at Stormont in 1996, but when Sinn Féin was allowed in the following year, he walked out.

"He came back on the night before Good Friday 1998 to register his disgust. The Good Friday Agreement brought Dr. Paisley into a battle for votes with Molyneaux's successor as Ulster Unionist leader, David Trimble.

"Three years earlier they had staged a triumphal march at Drumcree, leading Orangemen down the Garvaghy Road. Now they were facing up to each other.

"The Yes camp won and, in a new assembly, the DUP was in the same political arena as Sinn Féin, even if they did not sit around a cabinet table together. Ian Paisley never hid his hatred of republicanism, but he did nominate two DUP ministers to a new executive.

When it was suspended and a new election loomed, the DUP overtook the Ulster Unionists at the polls."

Paisley's hardline stance of "no surrender" and "not an inch" seemed gradually less sure in his final years as other parties inched towards accommodation, and he decided not to stand again for the European Parliament in 2004.

The election in the following year saw the DUP become the largest unionist party in Northern Ireland, displacing the Ul ster Unionists who had dominated the unionist vote since partition.

Despite his strong anti-Catholic stance, later astounded his critics by meeting the Irish Catholic Primate Sean Brady at Stormont [the Northern Ireland Parliament] in 2006.

Then came the shock of his lifetime, when in May 2007, Ian Paisley became first minister of Northern Ireland with Sinn Féin's Martin McGuinness as the deputy first minister.

A year later, he stepped down from that role, handing over the reins to Peter Robinson, who also succeeded him as leader of the DUP. Paisley would subsequently claim that he was forced out by the party, blaming Mr. Robinson and DUP MP Nigel Dodds for ousting him. Both men denied this.

He leaves a wife, Eileen, who is a baroness, and five children. Eileen was never far from his side and his favorite slogan at election time was: "Vote for my wife's husband."

In a statement announcing his death, she said, "My beloved husband, Ian, entered his eternal rest this morning. Although ours is the grand hope of reunion, naturally as a family we are heartbroken.

"We loved him and he adored us, and our earthly lives are forever changed. According to Ian's wishes his funeral will be private and attended only by the immediate family, as will be his burial.

"As a family we appreciate that there will be an expectation by those who admired him to express their gratitude for his life and their sorrow at his passing.

"To that end we will in due course publish details of a public memorial service which, will be scheduled later in the year."

The BBC concluded by saying that "Despite poor health and advancing years, he never lost his thunder," adding that, while speaking about death during one of his sermons, he said: "If you hear in the press that Ian Paisley is dead, don't believe a word of it. I'll be more alive than ever. I'll be singing as I sang never before."

+ Assist USA, Post Office Box 609, Lake Forest, California 92609, 949-380-1558,

+ Free Presbyterian Church in Ulster,

+ BBC, 201 Wood Lane, London W12 7TS, England, Fax: 020-8008-2398

[5] YouTube Video: Ian Paisley and the Meaning of Life with Gay Byrne

+ YouTube, LLC, 901 Cherry Avenue, San Bruno, California 94066, 650-253-0000, Fax: 650-253-0001,

+ Free Presbyterian Church in Ulster,

[6] Remembrance of Ian Paisley

"I stayed in Dr. Paisley's home for two nights in September of 1987, and traveled with him wherever he went for three days. He was an open book. But what I remember most was his spontaneous prayer throughout the day. He would break into prayer in mid-sentence. The first morning, Mrs. Paisley introduced me to a breakfast dish called an "Ulster Fry," essentially a heart attack on a plate. Dr. Paisley walked in and without pause read a Psalm, and then broke into prayer for Mrs. Paisley, his family and most of the ministers of the Free Presbyterian Presbytery. After a hearty breakfast, he went out and Mrs. Paisley said, "He was up all night in prayer -- I'm not sure why." She mentioned that that happened frequently. He gave no sign of fatigue throughout the day. When we got in his car, there were two British versions of the Secret Service in the front seat. As Dr. Paisley climbed into the back seat, they automatically bowed their heads. “Lord, we thank thee for this new day!" he boomed. [He gave their names] "are doing a good job -- please keep them safe and alert throughout the day and watch over their families. If anything happens to me, I know where I'm going, but please give them the same assurance through the finished work of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen and Amen!" And off we went, and so it went, all day long. He would burst into a hymn in pure joy, and he never spoke an unkind or angry word in three days of meetings and worship services. I have never had such a sense of the Lord's presence!"

Glenn Rogers

Glenn Rogers is a Missions Council Member of the Presbyterian Missionary Union.

+ Presbyterian Missionary Union, 1650 Love Road, Grand Island, New York 14072, 716-775-0442,

+ Bible Presbyterian Church,