The Reformed Presbyterian Church of Ireland (RPCI) is thankful to God for the influence of Christianity in this land for over 1500 years. Amongst other things we are thankful that laws were frequently made with respect to an absolute standard – the Bible. These are not arbitrary commands but are also for the well-being of individuals and society.

This being the case, the RPCI is greatly saddened that laws are now being made that merely reflect popular opinion and not the objective standard of the Bible.

As a denomination we deplore the passing of the amendments to the NI Executive Formation Bill redefining marriage and legalising abortion in Northern Ireland. These amendments directly contradict the Word of God, which makes clear that marriage is between one man and one woman for life, and that human life and personhood begin at the moment of conception.

As a church, whilst we proclaim that these laws are wrong, we also proclaim that Jesus Christ offers mercy, forgiveness and transforming grace to all who seek him.

A special meeting of the Synod of RPCI took place on Tuesday 17th September 2019. A ten-man Commission was tasked with contacting local political party leaders to discuss these issues, to bring them God’s Word and to pray with them.

We are grateful that the leaders of the DUP, UUP, TUV and SDLP met us in person and that two MLAs from the Alliance Party met with us.

We emphasised to each party that as elected representatives, they have been placed in their positions by the will of God, and that they have a duty to honour God in the decisions they make. Each party was urged to make every effort to come back to Stormont on or before Monday 21st October 2019, so that changes to abortion and marriage laws in Northern Ireland would not take effect. As the largest parties, Sinn Féin and the DUP bear particular responsibility to act immediately to save innocent lives.

We are deeply disappointed that Sinn Féin failed to meet with us, despite numerous, repeated requests over a four-week period, and despite their stated principles of inclusion, equality and representation for all.

We have requested a meeting with the Secretary of State, Julian Smith, and we call on him to do all in his power to halt these wicked amendments being foisted on the people of Northern Ireland.

We are thankful to God for pro-life public representatives who have courageously spoken out at every level of government, from Council to the House of Lords. We recognise that they have done so at considerable personal cost. However, we are deeply concerned that public representatives have not spoken out against the redefinition of marriage.

We have reminded all political parties that to put unionism, nationalism or popular opinion before the Biblical definition of marriage or the protection of the unborn would make them guilty of idolatry. Jesus Christ must come first in everything.

We call on all our political representatives to lead us in the fear of God and in ways that honour Him. We remind them that like us all, they will stand before the judgment seat of Christ to give account. We also encourage all Christians to continue to pray, to contact their MLAs again before Monday 21st, and to do all that is morally right to oppose the imposition of these laws.

We plead with all our political leaders and fellow citizens to recognise the claims of King Jesus in every part of life.

“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honour and glory and blessing!” – Revelation 5:12

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