Free Presbyterian ministers from the district of Mid-Ulster have written a letter in which they vehemently oppose the launch of a rural pride parade in Northern Ireland.
The district covers parts of counties Derry, Tyrone, Armagh and County Monaghan and it was announced last week that first ‘Rural Pride’ parade in Northern Ireland is to be hosted in the Mid Ulster area this summer.
The parade is being organised by Coalisland Church of Ireland rector Rev Andrew Rawding, the Church of Ireland minister joined the 2019 UK & Ireland Pride parade with placards apologising for “how the church mistreated LGBT+ people”.
In response, the clerics have written to the News Letter, saying that “a sad, stark and significant choice has been forced upon the people of Mid-Ulster – will they accept and perhaps even support the reported forthcoming ‘Rural Pride’ event, or will they follow the teachings of Jesus Christ?”
The letter was signed by six reverends from across Mid-Ulster.
“For almost two millennia”, they said, “the entirety of Christendom accepted that Jesus Christ – and all the Scriptures – taught that homosexuality was sinful” and despite “much misinformation… the truth of God’s Word remains unchanged”.
They went on to say that the “very last thing” the area needs is more Pride, saying Christ commands “true humility” and repentance from sins including homosexuality.
Prompted by “concern and love for our Saviour, our society and the souls of others” they say the parade will “be burned into the memories of the young and impressionable” but that future generation “deserve the same traditional family upbringing that most of us have enjoyed”.
They closed urging Christians to oppose the parade “first by prayer, and then by all other lawful and peaceful methods”.
Rev Andrew Rawding responded to the letter saying “We all want to be loving, but with humility we need to accept that even with our best intentions, LGBT+ people have felt hated by the language of sin, and some are filled with such self-hatred and rejection that they have taken their lives.”
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