As the electorate of Northern Ireland go to the polls on May 5th we know that a heady mix of local and international issues will keep our politicians busy in the next Assembly. Brexit and the Northern Ireland Protocol have shaken our institutions and will continue to do so unless there is an arrangement which does not compromise our constitutional status within the United Kingdom. There are doubts over whether a new Executive can be formed, after the collapse of the last Executive in the closing weeks of the last Assembly. If an Executive is formed many pundits and pollsters believe a Sinn Fein First Minister to be a likely outcome. If this happens the prospect of agitation pushing for a border poll appears to be on the horizon, threatening further years of instability. International issues are looming large and dark with the Russia / Ukraine War pushing up costs at rates which many of us have never before witnessed. In a market, which post pandemic was already suffering from inflationary pressures, an increasing number of families are finding it tough to pay bills and put food on the table. Bread and butter issues, therefore weigh heavily on the electorate and as a consequence impose big responsibilities on our elected representatives.

As a Christian, however, I believe that there are deeper issues at stake than the consitution and the economy where this election is concerned. While I am Unionist at heart and will die a British subject, regardless of the outcome of any border poll, constitutional matters pale into insignificance in the light of the determination of a growing number of our politicians to defy God’s moral law as they legislate for our people.

Under the last Assembly Gay Marriage was introduced and recognised under Northern Ireland Law. Secular lawmakers have neither the remit to define sin or redefine marriage – only the Word of God has this right. Where marriage especially is concerned our legislators have tampered with the core building blocks of society, a most dangerous course of action because the Scriptures teach:

If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?

Psalm 11:3

Also during the term of the last Assembly Westminster, using a rather dubious tactic supported by Speaker John Berkow, introduced Abortion, the slaughter of the innocent, to this western fringe of the United Kingdom. While abortion services have not yet been commissioned officially, the evil practice has now begun in surgeries and hospitals across our six counties. Politicians wring their hands condemning Putin’s war, they pontificate about the abuse of children, violence against women, the rights of minorities, animal cruelty and even the lack of trees while they promote the slaughter of babies taken from their mothers’ wombs and deprived of the life that we enjoy. Their hypocrisy not only sickens my stomach but will incur the wrath of a God who loves the little children:

But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.

Matthew 18:6

There are those seeking election to the new Assembly who are determined to further this regressive agenda, obsessed by the trend now known as wokism.

Banning Gay Conversion Therapy is the next target. While counselling services generally should be a regulated environment to prevent damaging practices, the promoters of this proposed legislation want to prevent the Church from defining homosexuality as a sin, they want to prevent preachers from urging repentance from homosexuality, they want to prevent church prayer groups from praying for homosexuals to be converted and they want to prevent parents from teaching their children the dangers of the LGBT lifestyle. This proposed legislation will lead to state interference with the ministry of the Gospel on a scale which has never been seen before. It will also, if unchecked, lead to the greatest challenge to the Gospel by lawmakers since the Reformation. Liberalism is being gradually unmasked as the new Nazism.

Sadly there are even those seeking election who wish to promote euthanasia; if supported this will interfere with the doctor’s responsibility to preserve life and will leave no sick, elderly or disabled person safe – all to serve the selfish aims of a society who wish to use their resources without the burdens of care and responsibility. A human is not an animal to be ‘put down’ but a precious life made in the image of God.

What should we do in the light of these immense challenges?

In the first instance we pray that God would have mercy upon our nation and turn us to God.

We should use our ballot paper to support only politicians who are opposed to these degrading moral steps, and pray that they will be successful.

We should challenge all candidates who are looking our vote, asking tough questions, patricularly of candidates belonging to parties who support this corupt agenda.

The Christian Institute has drawn up a list of questions which the voter may employ when discussing these matters of concern:

1: Should it be a hate crime to disagree with same-sex marriage or say it is impossible to change sex?

2: Would you protect parenting, prayer, preaching and pastoral advice from a ‘conversion therapy’ ban?

3: Will you oppose attempts to legalise assisted suicide?

4: Will you resist moves to allow biological men to women’s toilets and changing rooms?

5: What is your position on the current abortion laws?

6: Should parents be criminalised for occasionally giving their children a mild smack?

May God honour those who honour Him in the new Assembly and frustrate the plans of those who seek to defy Him.

Righteousness exalteth a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people

Proverbs 14:34

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