Proverbs 24:11-12: “If thou forbear to deliver them that are drawn unto death, and those that are ready to be slain; If thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not; doth not he that pondereth the heart consider it? and he that keepeth thy soul, doth not he know it? and shall not he render to every man according to his works?”
There is an old saying which touches on the theme of the verses above – that of God’s reproof if we fail to warn those headed for destruction of the danger they are in.
It has been attributed to many different characters, but it is simply that “the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”.
And certainly what we are seeing in this day and age is a deepening of the departure from God, coupled by an increasing and perplexing amount of elective mutism – just when a voice is needed to be raised against the apostasy all around us, everyone appears to be silent.
Do we hear fearless and uncompromising voices such as those of Rev Ian Paisley or CH Spurgeon in our day?
Sad to say, there appears to be a dearth of ministers willing to take a voluble public stand against sin.
And it would appear, sadly, that continued God-defiance by Church of Ireland rector Rev Andrew Rawding (pictured, top) has gone totally unnoticed and certainly unrestricted by the hierarchy of his church.
Rev Andrew Rawding, as we highlighted a few weeks ago, took it upon himself to “apologise” on behalf of “the church” for how it has allegedly “mistreated” sodomites and transgender people.
It was certainly a rather presumptuous move to make for someone who has hitherto been a fairly obscure Church of Ireland minister from Coalisland in County Tyrone.
Rev Andrew Rawding made this arrogant “apology” (pictured, above) at the sodomite ‘Pride’ parade in Belfast and he took his clerical compromise show on the road again last weekend by “apologising” to those acting in open rebellion against God at the Foyle ‘Pride’ celebration in Londonderry.
He proudly paraded his rejection of the Biblical prohibition of same-sex relationships on his Facebook page and in the Belfast Telegraph.
It certainly is interesting that the sodomite movement has opted to use the term ‘Pride’ as the slogan for the public expression of their unbiblical lobby, given that pride is comprehensively condemned throughout Scripture.
Here are just a few examples.
Proverbs 16:18: “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.”
1 John 2:16: “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.”
Daniel 4:37: “Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase.”
That closing part of the last of the three verses could be written for the sodomite movement – “those that walk in pride he is able to abase”.
What a great comfort it is to know that the Almighty God of heaven, “whose works are truth, and his ways judgment” (there’s a word the Bible rejecting ‘Christians’ hate), is able to bring down those who exalt themselves against Him.
While spiritual leaders may forsake their responsibilities and fail to speak out against departure from His Word, we can be sure that God, whose ways are judgment, will not allow sin to go unchecked forever.
However, this does not absolve those who fail to take a stand for Him.
Even though a turn of events is all part of God’s plan, the guilt of the guilty is not mitigated by this.
This is a simple God-ordained principle, spoken from the mouth of the Saviour.
Matthew 18:7: “Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!”
So there really is no fig leaf, no excuse for Rev Andrew Rawding to offer on the day of judgment for his betrayal of God’s Word in lining up with His enemies.
And the same can be said for those occupying the highest positions within the Church of Ireland Diocese of Armagh, which Rev Andrew Rawding’s churches, Holy Trinity Church, Brackaville, St Patrick’s Church, Ballyclog and St Patrick’s Church, Donaghendry, fall under.
At the very top of the pile in the Armagh Diocese is the most senior Church of Ireland minister in the country, the Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland, Most Reverend Richard Clarke (pictured, below).
This is an individual whose own open defiance of God’s Word in relation to his shabby ecumenical compromise with the pagan religion of Rome we have previously highlighted.
Such is his rejection of the Biblical call to separation, he has rightly earned the moniker of Most Ecumenical Richard Clarke.
He has achieved this ignoble distinction by actions such as writing a letter to the Pope begging him to visit Northern Ireland, marking St Patrick’s Day last year in his clerical domain of Armagh city by bringing his parishioners into Rome’s clutches and earlier this year he was the guest speaker at the ecumenical Causeway Coast Peace Group’s 17th anniversary service, held in a Romanist chapel in Ballycastle, County Antrim.
Given his Bible rejecting credentials in this matter, his steadfast refusal to “earnestly contend for the faith” (Jude v 3), it is perhaps unsurprising he has allowed such open rebellion to take place under his watch.
However, as we have said, this is not an excuse or justification for his inaction.
It is not just Most Ecumenical Richard Clarke who has apparently failed to address this outrageous conduct of Rev Andrew Rawding, there are others in high ranking positions who have been silent in the face of such rebellion against God.
The Archdeacon of Armagh, according to the Armagh Diocese’s website, is the Venerable Rev Terry Scott (pictured, below), minister of St Swithin’s Parish Church in Magherafelt, County Londonderry.
What has Venerable Rev Terry Scott got to say on the matter?
Archdeacons hold a fair deal of sway, yet it would seem he, too, has opted to employ elective mutism in the face of Rev Andrew Rawding’s rejection of God’s Word.
According to the clergy list in the diocese on their own website, there is one other minister who has risen to the rank of ‘Venerable’.
That is the Venerable Rev Andrew Forster. He apparently holds the title of Archdeacon of Ardboe, a small village on the shores of Lough Neagh.
What roles or responsibilities come with this title we have no idea, but it would appear he holds rank within the Diocese of Armagh.
Rev Andrew Forster is also the minister of St Anne’s Parish Church in Dungannon, County Tyrone.
Another high ranking clergyman within the diocese is the Dean of Armagh, Very Rev Gregory Dunstan (pictured, below).
He has previously featured on ‘Protestant Revival’ due to his ecumenical compromise, which included his salivating at the prospect of a Romanist monk being appointed as an ecumenical canon at St Patrick’s Church of Ireland cathedral in Armagh and his preaching at a dreadful week of meetings in St Anne’s Cathedral in Belfast which was also addressed by a Jesuit priest.
It is hard to imagine a determined ecumenist speaking out against a different form of Bible rejection, and it would appear he, too, has remained silent in the face of Rev Andrew Rawding’s conduct.
Two further clergymen who are members of the Chapter of Armagh Cathedral are worthy of mention here, as they hold the roles of Precentor and Chancellor respectively.
They are Canon Norman Porteus and Canon Andrew Dawson (although the Armagh Diocese website’s clergy list calls him Canon Drew Dawson), both of Derryloran Parish Church in Cookstown, County Tyrone.
All of these men occupy positions where they could apply pressure for action to be taken or take the action directly themselves, but instead Rev Andrew Rawding carries on unchecked in his defiance against God.
What a sad situation this is.
Of course, there could be discussions going on behind the scenes, perhaps some disagree with Rev Andrew Rawding’s actions, but who among them has spoken out against it publicly? None, as far as we can see.
Every member of the clergy in the diocese has a responsibility as well to speak out, not just these individuals in lofty positions.
After all, what use is a watchman that does not sound the alarm or a dog that does not bark to warn of danger?
God takes a very low view of such.
Isaiah 56:10-11: “His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber. Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter.”
What a fierce condemnation there is for those who fail to take their stand for him.
Will you remain silent as well, dear reader?
We can take action even by contacting any of these individuals we have detailed above, whether it be Rev Andrew Rawding himself, Venerable Rev Terry Scott, Venerable Rev Andrew Forster, Very Rev Gregory Dunstan, Canon Norman Porteus, Canon Andrew (Drew) Dawson or anyone else.
Perhaps, if you live in the Diocese of Armagh, you would like to contact the Church of Ireland minister in your area to ask them what they think of Rev Andrew Rawding’s conduct and implore them to speak out publicly against it.
Any of those names mentioned above, or other ministers in your locality should you live within or even near the Diocese of Armagh, can be contacted by clicking this link and then clicking on the name of the relevant minister. Their email address and, in some cases, contact number, are detailed.
You can also contact the Archbishop of Armagh himself, Most Ecumenical Richard Clarke, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Let us not sit back while ministers, claiming to act in the name of Christ and on behalf of His church, devote themselves to denying and rejecting God and His inspired, inerrant Word.
Let us not sit back while ministers, claiming to act in the name of Christ and on behalf of His church, refuse to speak out against error in the ranks of the clergy and allow great damage to be done to the cause of Christ.
Acts 20:26-30: “Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.”