Praying for Ian Paisley’s Soul

I have prayed for the happy repose of the soul of Ian Paisley. Initially almost to make him turn in his grave, but then with sincerity. The Book of Common Prayer says that Christ died as a “full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation, and satisfaction, for the sins of the whole world”. Note the sins of the whole world – Christ’s death atoned for my sins, for your sins, for Ian Paisley’s sins.

Paisley’s sins? In my book, they were grievous.

Would The Troubles have happened without Paisley? Almost certainly, in some form or other. Would they have been as bad without him? It’s difficult not to believe that many people in their graves would still be alive today if he’d ended up the pastor an independent Baptist Church in North Wales.

As the Northern Ireland of Craigavon and Brookeborough became untenable in the late 1960s, that booming voice with its hypnotically rhythmic, staccato, delivery was everywhere. Denouncing O’Neill and his successors as ‘lundies’, or traitors; weaving grand conspiracy theories about Roman Catholicism and Roman Catholics, and implying that any amelioration of the anti-Catholic bigotry of the old Stormont state would only empower the conspiracy; popping up in Nationalist strongholds to start riots around marches and flags. Later, as The Troubles got worse, so did he.

His main object was always to destroy the Ulster Unionist Party and its old establishment hierarchy, whatever the cost to his country and his own community, so he could become Prime Minister of Northern Ireland. He never had the slightest idea of what he would do if he achieved it. It was a suitably limited aim for a man made big only by the Fisher-Price scale of Northern Ireland.

After 40-odd years of denouncing every possible compromise as betrayal, he achieved his goal, and then turned his back on everything he had ever said and done to have a brief taste of power. That the “Chuckle Brothers” years of the late 2000s appear, in retrospect, as an all too brief golden age is a damning indictment of his political successor. Northern Ireland may have made Paisley look big, but it does not make Peter Robinson look any less petty.

Paisley’s God was an angry and vengeful creature, threatening an eternity of torment to those who disobeyed him, which of course coincided almost exactly with those who disagreed with Ian Paisley. I refuse to reduce God to the angry pastiche that Ian Paisley made of Him. I vehemently disagree that the Bible – read in its totality with one’s brain switched on – remotely supports that pastiche.

Christ warned us that we will be judged by God with the measure that we judge others, and that not everyone who said “Lord, Lord” would enter the Kingdom of Heaven. And it is tempting to use those as proof-texts when dealing with the tainted legacy of a man who spent his life acting as God’s personal hitman. But the Holy Week story calls us out of that pointless game of finger-pointing.

Where were you when they crucified my Lord? It is easy to see Paisley in the role of Caiaphas, thumping his Bible as he watches the God he claims to worship being tortured before his eyes. Where would I have been? I hope I am not deluded enough to think I would have done any better than the apostles, and even the best of them did pretty badly. I think I’d probably have hit the taverns on Good Friday, telling everybody that while I thought that Galilean preacher had some good ideas, we all knew he’d eventually come to a bad end with the Romans . I’d definitely have to be righter and cleverer than that culshie smuck who got himself executed.

For that reason, as well as many others, I can only trust that God will not weigh my merits, but pardon my offences – and Ian Paisley’s too. Our right to damn one another to Hell must always die at the foot of the Cross.

I do not know why God created Ian Paisley or how he loved him; the folksy charm and Sunday-school-teacher humour always seemed an inadequate balance for the fanaticism, and the violent speech that emboldened still more violent men. But I trust that in Christ we will come face to face in heaven, as children of the same heavenly father, and therefore as brothers. So I mutter another prayer for Ian Paisley’s soul, to the God who is so much greater than Ian Paisley’s conception of Him, and so much greater than mine.

  • Turgon

    Mr Lynch you are a highly intelligent man who has a fair grasp of theology. You do not share fundamentalist evangelical theology but you are aware of it
    .
    As such you will know that prayer for the souls of the deceased is an anathema to fundamemntalist evangelicals. This fact can cause distress to many of us that we can no longer pray for our relatives as we believe they are beyond the help of such prayers.

    Your assertion that you will pray for the soul of Dr. Paisley may albeit in a minor way add to the distress of his friends and family at this time.

    the fact that you know something of fundamentalist theology means that you are aware of all this. Hence, your blog is actually a very clever yet unpleasant calculated insult not merely to the memory of Dr. Paisley but also to his family. The former is maybe in poor taste but your right; the latter very poor from one who claims albeit from a different point of view to be a Christian.

  • Zeno1
  • Twilight of the Prods

    Turgon’s right. Poor form – comes across as passive aggressive not sincere.

    …sounding a different note McGuinness said he’d lost a friend. Restrained and seemed genuine.

  • Katie-o

    Thank you Gerry for this most honest appraisal tempered with humanity. I don’t know how you can even think of him in any positive way. May God forgive him for his past deeds, and God bless you for saying what so many feel.

  • Gerry Lynch

    Turgon,

    You see offence were none was intended. It isn’t exactly a gentle and positive piece – I mean, I’ve compared him to Caiaphas on Maundy Thursday night, named him in a significant cause in the death of 3000-odd people and said he though he was God’s personal hitman. And then been very cynical about his change of tack towards the end of his life.

    I’m gay and a Northern Nationalist and at the same time an ecumenically-minded liberal Anglican whose home parish was picketed by Paisley in the 60s as a Romish-tainted High Church nest of ecumenism. In a real sense, Paisley was my enemy. But in the Bible that he spent a goodly portion of his life studying, and which both you and I claim is a revelation of God’s truth, Christ (who was God) commands us to love and forgive our enemies.

    I’m not sure that I’m able to love Ian Paisley, in life or in death, but I’m happy to commend him to God whose capacity to love and forgive greatly exceeds mine. It’s the least I can do, and from my different point of view, also the best I can do.

    You aren’t a spokesman for the Paisley family. Please don’t pretend you are.

    In fact, if you want to take someone to task for offence and bile today, I’d suggest you speak to your own party leader. Mr Allister has been in quare form.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Turgon, as an avowed atheist I can assure you that I am neither distressed nor offended when Christian friends tell me that they’re going to say a prayer for me, or even (on rare occasions) when they say that they pray I will come back into the light. I just look at it as their way of saying they are looking out for my interests.

  • Gerry Lynch

    I’d say it’s straight out aggressive (see my reply to Turgon). I’m not sure it’s fair to call it insincere. I haven’t pretended to take anything other than a negative view of his life and work. The prayers are sincere.

    You want me to be sincere? When the news came over the radio, my first thought was “rot in hell, let’s have a party”. Then I thought, “I’ll light a candle for you before Evensong and watch you spin in your grave”. Then I caught myself on and reminded myself what I believe the Christian faith teaches.

    When John XXIII died, Paisley said, “This Romish man of sin is now in hell”. I don’t want to claim the power to damn others implied in that. Ian Paisley is now in the nearer presence of God; believing that God’s justice and mercy are both infinite, all I can do is commend him into His care. Doesn’t mean I can pretend that he was anything other than a baleful influence on the country.

  • Turgon

    Mr. Lynch, your reply was overtly what you initial post was more covertly actually about: yourself and your personal dislike for Dr. Paisley. Again that is fine but it is not really worthy of a slugger blog least of all one in the immediate aftermath of the man’s death. Trying to deflect the issue by lying that I am pretending to be a spokesman for anyone is simply (as twilight has noted) passive aggressive dishonesty as indeed is the irrelevant diversion of bringing Jim Allister into the issue.

    I will leave you to continue to speak ill of the dead: it does him no harm and cheapens you. As someone who has seen Dr. Paisley deal with the recently bereaved I can assure you he was many times the man you will ever be.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Dr Paisley commented in public on numerous occasions when people whom he was politically or religiously opposed to died, Turgon, and he did so in rather more forthright terms than Gerry has used. Accordingly I’m not sure how the last line in your comment can be justified.

  • Micheàl O Teamhneàn

    At times like this I try to think of the words, no matter how difficult :’And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerist not the beam that is in thine own eye?’

  • Bryan Magee

    I didn’t like what he did either, and I am no paisley fan.

  • Phil

    Gerry, you do not need to pray for Ian Paisley`s soul. He settled the matter on 29th May, 1932, when as a child of 6 years old he was born again, by accepting Jesus Christ as his Saviour. In the Gospel of John chapter 3 and verse 7, Jesus tells Nicodemus that unless a man is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God. The apostle Paul tells us that those who are born again, (saved, “in Christ”) when they die are absent from the body and present with the Lord (2nd Corinthians 5:8). That is where Ian Paisley is now.

    “He that believes on the Son has everlasting life: and he that believes not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abides on him.” (John 3:36)

    “Neither is there salvation in any other : for there is none other name [Jesus Christ] under heaven given among men, whereby we MUST be saved.” (Acts 4:12)

    “Jesus answered and said unto him, Truly, Truly, I say to you, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3)

    “Do not wonder that I said to you You MUST be born again.” (John 3:7)

  • Phil

    Here is an edited version of Ian Paisley`s personal testimony given a number of years ago.
    ===========================================================
    “Well, it is with deep emotions and also with a heart filled with gratitude to my Saviour, that I can stand here tonight and look back upon the way His Hand has guided and the way His Heart has planned.

    First of all, I remember my early conversion to Christ. I will never, ever forget that. And when I have been a billion or ten billion years in Heaven, I’ll still be remembering the day that I first met up with the Blessed Saviour.

    On the 29th day of May, 1932, I was born into the Family of God. I will never ever forget that glorious hour. I have in my hand tonight a very treasured Bible. It’s the Bible of my mother. And after she passed on, I was looking through some of her things, I discovered this Bible. I also discovered the notes of the message that she preached the day that I was saved. It’s about the little lost sheep being found by the Good Shepherd of the sheep. And the text is the one that I read in my reading towards the end – of the man with a hundred sheep, but one was lost, but he went forth and found the lost sheep. And she linked it with that great text in the 10th chapter of John’s Gospel, “I am the Good Shepherd, the Good Shepherd giveth His Life for the sheep.“ I was six years of age and when the other boys and girls went out of the meeting house, I remained. And I went forward and I said to my mother, “I want to come to Jesus.” We went down into the Church building, the second seat from the back on the right hand side, and she knelt down with me and pointed me to Christ.

    You say to me, “How much does a child know ?” A child knows as much as anyone else born into God’s Family, because when you’re born into God’s Family, you become a partaker of Divine Wisdom. And I thank God for that wonderful experience – to come to Jesus Christ.

    The second thing I remember about my childhood – it’s a picture of the first General of the Salvation Army – General William Booth. And that picture hung up over my head. And when I got down on my knees at night and prayed, I used to look up, and I used to say, “When I become a preacher, I’ll have that word on my pulpit, “Salvation to the Uttermost.” And if you ever visit the Martyrs Memorial Church you will see that message hanging there, because it burned it’s way into my soul. My business is to preach “Salvation to the Uttermost.” And I will never forget the inspiration I got as I thought of William Booth in the early days of the Salvation Army, the opposition he endured as he preached the Gospel.

    I travelled over to South Wales, and enlisted during the war years in the South Wales Bible College, which was a College that came into existence in the 1904 Welsh Revival. I returned home. I entered the theological hall of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of Ireland. I studied a further three years, and then I was called to the congregation that I still pastor on the Ravenhill Road. It was a challenge. I had just turned 20 years of age.

    The ordination service will always stand out in my memory. Rev W.J Greer preached the ordination sermon, and he said this : He said, “Young man, let me leave with you the words of Samuel Rutherford, the great Covenanting preacher. ‘Give not one hair’s breadth of God’s Truth away, for it is not yours to give. It is God’s. That has been my guiding star all through my ministry. I’m not in the pulpit to barter away God’s Truth, I’m in the pulpit to defend God’s Truth. To proclaim it ! To battle for it ! And to challenge every enemy to the Truth of the Gospel. And that day, God visited my soul with blessing, and did a Work of Grace in my heart.

    There’s a Word in the Bible that says, Seekest thou great things for thyself? Seek them not.” So I decided that my business was not to seek great things for myself, but was to seek God.

    In 1949, I had learned through hard experience in the ministry, the need for the Anointing of God. And I spoke with John Douglas, (who is now the principal of our Whitefield College of the Bible), and I said to John (he was the first convert that God gave me in my ministry on the Ravenhill Road), I said, “John I want you to come to the Church and I want you to pray.” He says, “ How long are we going to pray ? “ Says I, “Only God knows that .” And then there was another young brother, Robert Scott, and there was another young brother called Walsh. So at 10 o’clock, the four of us met. We didn’t know what we were meeting for. We didn’t know how strange that meeting would be. We didn’t know how many tears we were going to shed. We didn’t know how rich the blessing of God would be. But we prayed. We went on praying. Two, three, four, five six, seven, eight, nine, right on the whole day, the next day. We started on a Friday night, Saturday passed, we dare not leave that House of God, for God was speaking to our inmost soul. And we went on, and then suddenly the Heavens opened, and God did something in our souls. God did something in our souls that made us different. A move of God commenced. On the Sunday morning I didn’t enter the pulpit, I preached at the Communion Table on the subject, “What altar do you bow at ? “ “Do you bow at the altar of “normal” Christian experience ? Do you bow and worship at the altar of worldliness ? Or do you bow at the altar of complete dedication to Christ ? “ And I declared that my ministry was going to change.

    And God started to move. And that very Sunday night, Bob Scott’s dear mother, whom Bob had long prayed for, got gloriously saved. As Bob and I stood at the front of the Church, at the Communion Table with his mother, and we shed our tears together, we knew that God had come amongst us.

    And from that day, things changed. A desire to preach the Gospel and reach the lost burned in our hearts, and we commenced a great series of missions right across this province, and God blessed us with many souls. These souls were not saved in the scores, they were saved in the hundreds. I remember campaigning in Rathfriland, and at the end of that Rathfriland campaign, almost 200 souls had come to Christ. I had two campaigns at Ballymena, and at both those campaigns, nearly 500 souls, 1,000 in total, had come to Christ. There was a great movement of the Spirit of God.

    And then I was invited to go to a place called Crossgar. The elders of the Church there had given me permission to use their Church Hall for the Gospel campaign. But the Presbytery of Down decided that campaign must not take place. And so they shut us out. It was the greatest thing they ever did. For when you persecute people, God vindicates those whom the world persecutes. And so we started in the little mission hall in that town, and God met with us and blessed us, and the fire burned in our souls. And so the Free Presbyterian Church was born. And God has blessed it. We are in five continents of the world, preaching the Gospel tonight. It is the Lord’s doing and it is marvellous in our eyes.

    Let me tell you this friend, God blesses His people, and if ever a man was blessed of God, you’re looking at that man.

    As the sun goes down on my life, and I am on the “Homeward Run“ tonight, I’m going Home to the Gloryland, I can bear testimony to the fact that Jesus Christ is well worth trusting. I’m glad as a boy of six, I gave my life to Jesus Christ. I bless Him for the way He has led me, and the path by which He has brought me. And I would say to you tonight, “Only trust Him, Only trust Him, Only trust Him Now ! He will save you, HALLELUJAH ! He will save you now !”

    I want you to go from this meeting remembering this testimony, that Christ satisfies the longing of every human soul. He can meet your need tonight. If it’s a need of cleansing, you can be cleansed tonight. If it’s a need of personal Salvation, you can be personally saved tonight. If you need Him for a touch on your body, He can touch your body. He made the body and He can mend it, and His Touch has lost none of it’s Power. What a wonderful Saviour is Jesus, my Jesus !

    Oh dear sinner friend, come to Christ tonight and be saved. Oh dear backslider, return unto the Lord and He will have Mercy upon you, and to our God, for He will abundantly Pardon. Dear Christian friend, renew your vows ! Ask God to send upon our beloved province an old fashioned, Heaven sent revival, so that men in their thousands will turn to Christ, and light will shine again in this dark place.

    “I’m going Home to Glory soon, to see the City bright.
    To walk the golden streets of Heaven and bask in God’s Own Light.
    But some of you are out of Christ, and held by many a snare,
    I cannot leave you lost and lone. I want you over there ! “

    Join me tonight on the road to Heaven ! Spend the remaining days of your life with Heaven’s Peace and Power and Blessing in your soul. And then one day we’ll meet in the great Family of the Father’s House. Don’t miss Heaven. Don’t miss the Way to Heaven. Don’t miss the open door of opportunity tonight.

    Pray that great prayer, from the depths of your soul as you sit in this meeting

    “Then oh my Lord prepare, my soul for that Great Day,
    Oh wash me in the Precious Blood, and take my sins away. “

    May it be so, for Jesus’ sake. ”

    Dr Ian Richard Kyle Paisley
    Born: 26th April 1926
    Born again into the Kingdom of God: 29th May, 1932
    Called Home to Glory: 12th September 2014

  • Morpheus

    So what you are saying is that he came out with comments like:

    Catholics ‘breed like rabbits and multiply like vermin’.

    …AFTER he born again? There was once a definite hatred in his heart for fellow human beings and people he didn’t even know so with this in mind I would argue that it wasn’t until his later days that he was truly born again.

  • Phil

    Morpheus, just because one is born again, does not mean they are perfect. No-one is perfected until in Glory, as Dr Paisley is now.

    The real question to ask oneself is am I born again? Neither you nor I will give account for Dr Paisley, we will give account for ourselves. It is important to know that we ourselves are born again, or as the Lord Jesus said, we can never enter Heaven.

    God bless

    “So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.”
    (Romans 14:12)

  • Washington Irvine

    “Dr” ? A ten dollar title from a Kentucky Fried Bible and Catering college. Rancid bigotry and ignorance are his only legacy

  • Morpheus

    I am good thanks. The big man upstairs needs to evaluate for himself if Paisleys llatter day actions cancel his earlty day actions. We will all find out some day but there is no doubt he loved his family so that might help

  • Phil

    Morpheus, with the greatest respect I wouldn’t refer to God flippantly as “the big man upstairs.”

    God bless!

    REVELATION 20:11-15

    11 And I saw a great white throne, and Him that sat on it, from Whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

    ISAIAH 6: 1-5

    1 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of His robe filled the temple. 2 Above Hm were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. 3 And they were calling to one another:

    “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty;
    the whole earth is full of His glory.”

    At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.

    5 “Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.”

  • Phil

    As for latter day actions cancelling out earlier actions, its got nothing to do with that. As Revelation 20:15 (see above) says, it depends on whether or not your name is in the Lamb`s Book of Life. How do you get your name there? By repentance and faith in what the Lord Jesus Christ did on the cross for you. He paid the penalty for your sin on the cross. He was your substitute. One can either accept or reject the offer of salvation. To receive Jesus Christ as your Saviour is to be born again (John 3:3, 7), to reject Him, is to be eternally lost (Revelation 20:15, John 3:36).

    A path before us lies,
    And each a choice must make.
    One leads upwards to the skies,
    The other to the fiery lake.
    Will any choose the path of woe?
    Each must answer, yes or no.

  • carl marks

    Phil so even if a person is full of hatred and spreads hatred and division to those around him, as long as he is born again he still gets into heaven but a person can lead a good life and go to hell if not born again!

    Its all nonsense isn’t it mate! In many cases it is good living for a living.

    one would expect those going to be rewarded with eternal life to be somehow more moral people than the rest of us (after all they are being rewarded for goodness and the rest of us will burn in hell for our sins) however the small minded hate filled bible thumper is so common here that they are a stereotype in this country.
    like a great many people here when i hear something telling me i must be born again, i put my hand over my wallet and try to get away from them as quickly as possible.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Thank you Gerry, for an honest and thoughtful piece. I think Turgon’s difficulty comes from a basic cultural misunderstanding of the meaning of prayer. I think he thinks that you are asking God to let the man into heaven, rather than examining the meaning of the man through prayer. It is an act of recognition and “believing that God’s justice and mercy are both infinite, all I can do is commend him into His care.” But without sentimentalising his actions, so I entirely agree that such a commendation “Doesn’t mean I can pretend that he was anything other than a baleful influence on the country.”

    Anyone raised in the Catholic or Anglo-Catholic tradition thinks of prayer in an entirely different manner to an evangelical. Prayer is more of a conversation with God (or with one’s inner conscience) about the significance of things. It is a time to examine motives, and the wants or demands they engender rather than a simple wish list presented to the Big adult to carry out for us. From childhood, the requirement of self examination and confession develops an intense analytic sense. What is understood in this process is then placed before the infinite in a meditative state of prayer and greater understanding sought. Christianity is a lifelong engagement with the examination and correcting of an imperfect self guided by God, with continual numinous epiphanies marking this unending process. Its not simply a matter of making personal demands.

  • carl marks

    in all the calculated insults in all the blogs in all the world you picked this one. (bit of Casablanca there) but sure when fundamentalist evangelicals loudly on street corners or in blogs tell us that those who don’t believe in what they believe in are abominations (lovely born again word love it).
    we certainly cant offend the fundies after all they are good enough to call leaders of other church s the “anti Christ” and try to stop others from doing what they want on a Sunday.
    Oh Yeah whats the other (there are several other ones but this will do for starters) despite what there book tell them Judge not lest you be Judged” fundies can tell by looking at a person wither they are going to heaven or hell and don’t mind telling you in a offensive and patronizing manner.
    so if you don’t mind if I take the insult thing with a bit of salt!

  • Morpheus

    I will refer to him who I see fit, my relationship with him does not require titles and it sure as hell doesn’t require me to feel like I will be cast into a lake of fire for not using them.

    I raise my family, help others when I can and live in peace, that’s how I will be judged by God and that’s how I will be written into the book of life. I will not be judged on how effectively I can copy and paste selected passages from The Bible in a vain attempt to scare others into believing that they will be tortured for all eternity for not subscribing exactly how others interpret their selected bits the Bible. If God only allows those who are ‘born again’ into heaven then it will be a very, very empty place.

    In my eyes God is not someone to be feared

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Bravo Morph! “Christian” behaviour and moral sincerity is all that really matters. I’ve sickened long ago at these people who spout verses to damn others and forget that the central image of the religion they claim is that of someone disempowered, tortured and killed by powerful assured men.

  • Morpheus

    Right, so I can be ‘born again’ according to your narrow definition (at say, 6 years old for example) and afterwards it gives me free reign to show complete contempt for fellow human beings, it allows me to get in the way of equality for all and it allows me to encourage violence because my name is in the Book – is that you are saying?

    Hardly

  • SeaanUiNeill

    May I recommend you read “De Imitatione Christi” by Thomas à Kempis? I tend to think that Christ is an example of how life should be lived constantly, and is not simply a “get out of jail free” card that can be used again and again after a one time epiphany.

  • Tacapall

    Thats a nice arrangement of words Phil but the reality is we will all subconsciously act out the below –

    In my last moments my last act of breathing let me converse with myself, delude myself into believing, that I will cheat fate and steal another moment of life.

  • Howling Wolfe Tone

    Hopefully he will be welcomed into Heaven by the Glorious VIrgin Mary and all the Popes and Saints to the accompaniment of a High Mass Latin Rite concelebrated by Lady Gaga and Cliff Richard.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Hi Tacapall! Yeah, “a nice arrangement of words.” I remember when the first Trots were at a NICRA meeting in what was then (pre-Mandela) simply the basement of QUB Student Union, and after a singularly long piece of ideology that had nothing to do with what we were trying to discuss from one of them, Cyril Toman asked the Chair, “Mr Chairman, is it absolutely necessary for all Trotskyists to continually think in jargon…” to the sound of falling chairs as the previous speaker tried to climb across rows and rows to lambscutter him.

    For me there’s always been a universe of difference between “religious ideology” and decent, kindly moral behaviour towards everyone around us (what used to be known as “Christian behaviour” before the “Gospel of Prosperity” swept all before it and lots of the evangelicals realised that God owed them a hell of a lot of money for finding his son, and, like, they were special). I remember my frustrated indignation in the early ’60’s, trying to find out if there was anything behind an adult evangelical’s contention that Socrates was in Hell other than simple mind-lock ideology (“because he had never known Jesus Christ” I was told). “So he’s having tea and a bun with Moses and Jeremiah?” I innocently asked. More chairs falling over…….

  • SeaanUiNeill

    I really liked the version in “Old Harry’s Game” where Andy Hamilton was going to greet Paisley at the gates of HIS kingdom with all his minions dressed as angels, throwing their disguises off with a shout of “Surprise!!!!!”

  • Maureen O’Brien

    Why pray for him? He did not believe in prayer after death. Personally, I am not convinced that he was in any way truly spiritual or religious. To him religion was essentially a tool. His writing reveals to me that he thought in sound bytes. Common belief was a means he used to connect to his power base — voters and supporters. Pray for his family or better yet pray for his many victims.

  • babyface finlayson

    Phil
    Morpheus is quite right.
    By their fruits ye shall know them. Did you see the love of Jesus in the daily life of Ian Paisley? In his bitter intemperate words, his continuous provocation of hatred towards his fellow man, his vanity in needing to be the ‘big man’?
    How did being born again manifest itself in Paisley?
    Would he actually have been a worse creature had he not been filled with the love of Christ? The mind boggles.