Statements

Public Statements

This is the official site of the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster. 
Views expressed by churches and ministers elsewhere are not necessarily those of the denomination.

 

GENERAL PRESBYTERY OF THE FREE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF ULSTER

Government and Morals Committee

STATEMENT ON HOMOSEXUALITY

June 2021

Rev Gordon Dane: Convenor
Rev David McLaughlin: Secretary

 

The Free Presbyterian Church as a Church that believes and preaches what the Bible has to say without fear or favour wishes to reiterate the Bible’s teaching that homosexuality is sin (Leviticus 18:22, 20:13, Romans 1:18, 26-27,1 Corinthians 6:9-10, Jude: 6-7). We do not do that out of any spite or hatred for anyone. We do it out of love so that people will know the standard by which they will be judged when they stand before God. We do this for all sin and proclaim the Biblical message that “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.’ (Romans 3:23) and we all need to be warned to “flee from wrath to come.’ (Luke 3:7)

 

The contention of many in the LGBT community that they are “born this way” is one that has recently been highlighted in interviews with politicians. If those who claim this are saying that they are born sinners and that they are born with a sinful nature we would agree with them. We are all “born that way”. The claim that is being made however is that homosexuality is in the DNA. That contention is one that does not have any firm scientific basis. The latest scientific literature, does not strongly support the conclusion that there is any genetic causation. The official language from the leading psychiatric or psychological associations will say that we don’t yet know of a definitive causation. So, the reports of a so-called “gay gene” are greatly exaggerated.

 

The Bible’s emphasis is that because there is something wrong with how we are all born we need to be born again. The Lord Jesus said, “Ye must be born again.” (John 3:7). He said that because we all have a nature that is defective and sinful, we need to be converted. We call on people to recognise that we can have a new identity in Christ. We can become new creatures or new creations in Christ by His grace. We would call on all to seek the radical transformation that is found in the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

“…for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.” Revelation 1 verse 9


GENERAL PRESBYTERY OF THE FREE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF ULSTER

Government and Morals Committee

PRESS RELEASE

March 2021

 

Rev Gordon Dane: Convenor
Rev David McLaughlin: Secretary
Phone: 07709117500
email: gbdane@hotmail.co.uk

 

The Government and Morals Committee of the Free Presbyterian Church views with deep concern the reports that Secretary of State Brandon Lewis is set to act, by way of regulation at Westminster, to direct the department of health to commission abortion services.

 

Abortion is the murder of innocent human beings and to hear those who classify this as a health care issue for women is beyond credulity. The Bible on a number of occasions treats children in the womb as fully human. Our conscience is bound by the Word of God that says “Thou shalt not kill”

 

We are shocked that the Secretary of State should contemplate over-ruling the devolution of powers to Stormont to bring in such a regulation. If this is the way things are to be done then devolution and the views of the majority of people in Northern Ireland which are still against abortion mean nothing. Is the Secretary of State really going to continue to undermine democracy in Northern Ireland by imposing things that the people do not want? To simply force unwanted doctrinaire regulations on people is not a way to ensure stability or confidence in democracy in our community. We are concerned that the flouting of God’s law will further increase God’s judgment upon our nation.

 

If you would like more information about the topic please contact the convenor:

Rev Gordon Dane at the email given above.

 

“…for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.” Revelation 1 verse 9

 


GENERAL PRESBYTERY OF THE FREE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF ULSTER

PRESBYTERY STATEMENT

January 2021

The General Presbytery of the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster, at its monthly meeting on Friday, 8th January 2021, discussed a recommendation tabled by the Presbytery’s Executive Committee, with respect to the increasingly serious health situation in Northern Ireland as created by the coronavirus pandemic.

 

The recommendation was that, in order to contribute toward minimising the alarming spread of the virus, worship services in Free Presbyterian Churches in Northern Ireland should be suspended. The Presbytery voted to implement the suspension of public worship in our churches with immediate effect for the following reasons:

 

• The Presbytery noted the reports it received from the Department of Health concerning the rising numbers of positive cases of Covid-19 in recent weeks. The information indicated that the R rate in Northern Ireland currently stands at 1.5 – the highest in any part of the UK, placing the NHS under severe pressure. Therefore, we believe that Christ’s Church has a moral obligation to contribute in a tangible fashion toward curbing the spread of the virus.

 

• The Presbytery believes that it is our Christian duty to uphold the Lord’s clear instruction in Matthew 22:39 that we should love our neighbour as ourselves. Being confronted with a health crisis that has affected our congregations, we must exercise a duty of care toward our own church members and toward society in general.

 

• The Presbytery also focused on the issue of the public testimony of the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster. The Presbytery concluded that due to the increased prevalence of the virus, for testimony’s sake we must do our part as a denomination to curb the spread of the virus.

 

The Presbytery recognises the importance of the public worship of God and therefore the decision to suspend public worship temporarily has been taken with a heavy heart. However, as with the previous suspensions of public worship during the pandemic, this decision does not mean that as a denomination we cease to minister God’s Word, either to our own congregations or to the wider public. Drive-in services can still be employed. God in His providence has also given us electronic means of communicating His Word, and we can use these means diligently in days ahead.

 

The Presbytery also voted to set aside Saturday 16th January as a day of prayer. Details of the prayer times will be forwarded to our congregations. We encourage earnest and protracted prayer for a move of God both among His people and among the lost around us. God in His sovereignty has sent this virus and has not seen fit as yet to remove it. Undoubtedly He is speaking through this pandemic to the world. Clearly there is great opportunity to evangelise intensely so that sinners will come to know peace with God through Christ.

 

Finally, the Northern Ireland Executive has not legislated this suspension but has stated that churches themselves should manage this matter. Therefore, Presbytery has made this conscious decision to suspend public worship gatherings in our churches. This being so, this suspension will be kept under constant review by the Presbytery, and it will be the Presbytery’s decision as to when we return to public worship.

 

 


GENERAL PRESBYTERY OF THE FREE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF ULSTER

PRESS STATEMENT AGREED BY PRESBYTERY

November 2020

Moderator of Presbytery: Rev. John Armstrong

Clerk of Presbytery: Rev. John Greer

The General Presbytery of the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster, at its monthly meeting held on 13th November 2020, agreed on and passed the following statement:

 

“We, the Ministers and Ruling Elders of the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster – in recognising that by means of Covid19 the Lord’s hand of chastening for our sins has been placed upon our own nation and other nations also; and in the face of the spiralling ‘second wave’ of the virus; and discerning that man does not have the answer to it; and lamenting that our government has not humbled itself to call on Almighty God for His merciful intervention; and believing that all who profess to be God’s people should now turn to Him in contrition over our own sins and the sins of our nation; and rejoicing that there is pardon for sin through the finished work of Christ the one Mediator between God and men – hereby issue this call to seek Him in repentance from sin that He might forgive us for our transgressions of His Holy Law and remove this virus from our midst to the healing of our land.”

 

2 Chronicles 7:14 – “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

 


GENERAL PRESBYTERY OF THE FREE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF ULSTER

Statement on Behalf of the Presbytery

November 2020

Dr Alan Cairns, one of the stalwarts of the Free Presbyterian Church, passed into the presence of his Saviour on Thursday 5th November 2020 after a short illness.

His passing will be felt deeply throughout the Free Presbyterian church family.

In 2 Samuel 3:38, David said after the death of Abner, “Know ye not that there is a prince and a great man fallen this day in Israel”. Those sentiments express our feelings at this time in relation to Dr Cairns. As a preacher of the Word of God, he had few equals. A man with a brilliant mind, with such a grasp of the deep things of God and the ability to portray them in language that any of us could understand. Engaging, interesting, thought-provoking, yet always with a spiritual shepherd’s  heart. Adults respected him; children loved him.  Death takes the most precious, the most godly, the most devoted.

We thank God that He called him into the Lord’s work in the Free Presbyterian Church.  Many of us count it a joy and honour to be able to call him a friend, a colleague, a Pastor, a confidant, a man of God.  We mourn his passing.

However, our sorrow is tempered by Gospel hope. In John 17:24 the Lord Jesus prayed, “Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given Me’.  Dr Cairns closed his eyes in death upon earth. In heaven he now beholds Christ in the full orbed light of His glory. Remembering one of his publications, he has already viewed Christ, ‘Throned in Highest Bliss’.

As a denomination we want to express our deepest  sympathy to Mrs Cairns, Frank, Whitney  and their family on their deep loss and assure them of our support and prayers at this time of sorrow.

Rev John Armstrong
Moderator of the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster.

 


GENERAL PRESBYTERY OF THE FREE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF ULSTER

Statement on Behalf of the Presbytery’s Executive Committee

January 2020

The Presbytery’s Executive Committee, meeting on Thursday afternoon, 19th March 2020, to discuss the increasingly serious situation in the UK created by the coronavirus pandemic, decided that all worship services in all Free Presbyterian Churches are to be postponed with immediate effect. This solemn decision was taken with heavy hearts and with great reluctance. However, this decision was necessary for the following reasons.

 

  • It is our Christian duty as a Church to uphold the Lord’s clear instruction in Matthew 22:39 that we should love our neighbour as ourselves. Among other issues this injunction means that, in the midst of this deepening health crisis, we must exercise a duty of care toward our own church families, members and adherents. In addition we are to exercise the same duty of care toward society in general. To proclaim the message of God’s love for sinners in both common and saving grace and then fail to act responsibly in taking all necessary measures to protect them in the face of this virus would be sheer hypocrisy. Consequently, the Executive Committee felt that they had no option but to postpone all gatherings for worship on the Lord’s Day and throughout the week.

 

  • The Executive Committee were convinced that the necessity for this decision was further underlined by the startling reports being issued by the Department of Health with respect to the advancement of the virus through social contact in public gatherings. On the same day as the Executive Committee met Mr. Robin Swann, Health Minister for Northern Ireland said that “…in the case of an 80% infection rate, the NI death toll could be in the region of 14,000.”

 

  • In Romans 13 we are taught by the Spirit of God to obey the civil government He has placed over us. The UK Government in seeking to prevent the spread of the virus has issued a call to various groupings, including churches, to cease public gatherings. The Executive Committee concluded that we have no option but to obey the directive of the powers that be.

 

  • The Executive Committee also focused much on the issue of the public testimony of the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster. The Committee concluded that due to the pandemic nature of the virus it would be totally irresponsible to run the risk of endangering life by the high probability of spreading the virus through church gatherings. If this were to be the result great shame would be brought upon our testimony as part of the body of Christ.

 

It must be noted that this decision does not mean that we cease to minister as a church, either to our own congregations or to the wider public. The Committee would encourage brethren to pursue every available avenue of ministry. The Lord has given us modern means in terms of the electronic methods that are available to us today – many of which have already been employed by our churches such as Sermon Audio and Facebook. In recognising the direction of matters some brethren are seriously considering the option of drive-in services.

 

The Executive Committee would also encourage earnest and protracted prayer for a move of God both among His people and among the lost around us. Undoubtedly the Lord is speaking through this pandemic. Many are deeply fearful. We need to pray that their fear of the virus will be translated into a fear of God and eternal ruin. Clearly there is great opportunity evangelise intensely so that sinners will come to know peace with God through Christ.

 

This decision pertains only to public gatherings of Christ’s Church. It obviously does not preclude family events such as funerals and weddings.

 

As you will understand this decision includes the cancellation of the Easter Convention meetings.

 

By way of notice, the Presbytery’s Charity Commission has informed the NICC that, as a denomination, we will not be taking up the matter of registration of our congregations until 3 months after the restrictions relating to the coronavirus are lifted.

 

This postponement of church gatherings will continue to until the Lord in His sovereign mercy removes the threat of the virus from our land. Let us seek Him earnestly for this also.

 

 


 

GENERAL PRESBYTERY OF THE FREE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF ULSTER

PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

January 2020

 

Rev Gordon Dane: Moderator
Rev John Greer: Clerk of Presbytery
Phone: 07709117500
email: gbdane@btinternet.com

 

FREE PRESBYTERIANS STILL REJECT SAME SEX MARRIAGE

The Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster views the introduction of same sex marriage in Northern Ireland on January 13th with deep concern. In keeping with the teaching of Scripture and consistent with our position as a Christian denomination we will only recognise marriages between biological male and female. Therefore, in exercising their freedom of thought, conscience and religion we wish to make it absolutely plain that we anticipate that ministers in our denomination will not be conducting same sex marriages in any of our churches.
Marriage is a holy institution given by God for the monogamous, lifelong, marital union of men and women.
As apostasy from God and His Word deepens in our nation, all kinds of immorality abound throughout society. The consequence of this increasing immorality is that God’s institution of marriage is constantly treated with scorn as a sinful people give vent to their corrupt lusts. Sadly, in a relatively short period of time, there has been an alarming abandonment of the teaching of Scripture on marriage as ordained by God. This contempt for Biblical marriage includes, not only the abandonment of it as a divine institution, but also direct attack upon it in the promotion and acceptance of so-called same-sex marriage. The legislation of same sex marriage violates the law of God as Creator and offends God as the Judge of all. We would remind the powers that be of the Scriptural warning that God is not mocked and that legislators of evil will be called to give account at the Great Judgment Day.

 

If you would like more information about the topic please contact the Moderator Rev Gordon Dane at the email given above.

 

“…for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.”  Revelation 1 verse 9

 

 


GENERAL PRESBYTERY OF THE FREE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF ULSTER

PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

January 2020

 

Rev Gordon Dane: Moderator
Rev John Greer: Clerk of Presbytery
Phone: 07709117500
email: gbdane@btinternet.com

 

FREE PRESBYTERIANS URGE POLITICIANS TO STOP ABORTION AND SAME SEX MARRIAGE

The Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster views the introduction of same sex marriage and abortion into Northern Ireland with deep concern. At the start of the talks process which is taking place at Stormont these were some of the central issues. We are concerned that those Members of Parliament from outside the Province who proposed that these measures be introduced to Northern Ireland have been able to contaminate the talks process by giving in to the demands of some. We would urge all politicians who oppose the current “liberal” social agenda that wants to attack the traditional family structure of society and kill the unborn to stand fast and raise these issues as part of the talks process.

We are concerned at the refusal of the Secretary of State to meet us on these matters.

 

If you would like more information about the topic please contact the Moderator Rev Gordon Dane at the email given above.

 

“…for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.”  Revelation 1 verse 9

 

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