An open letter to the Belfast Telegraph

In recent weeks several letters that I have sent to the Belfast Telegraph have failed to be published. One of them related to their Religion Correspondent, Alf McCreary, being “cross” with the current Presbyterian Moderator, Dr Harry Uprichard, and that unpublished letter can be viewed on our website through this link

http://www.takeheed.info/alf-mccreary-cross-with-presbyterian-moderator/

The most recent letter was sent to the Belfast Telegraph on Monday 15 May but once more it has failed to be published by them. I have discovered that ‘oversight’ for the ‘Letters’ section of the paper has in recent times changed and any honest observer of the letters now being published will note the obvious change in tenor and tone of those that make it for publication.

This failure by the Belfast Telegraph to ‘give voice’ to the views of Biblical Christians like myself is a very worrying development and so I have today sent the following letter by email to the Belfast Telegraph and any response from them will subsequently be added to this article.

Dear Editor,

On Monday 15 May I sent the following letter to you –

Dear Editor,

True worship of God will according to the Lord Jesus Christ be “in spirit and in truth” [John 4:23]. As a result of the Reformation, a direct work of the Holy Spirit, the “truth” of the Gospel, that had been overwhelmingly obscured by man-made tradition and pagan trappings, was rediscovered. In the Reformed churches that emerged, their distinctive understanding of Scripture was encapsulated in various subordinate standards such as ‘The Thirty-nine Articles’ and the ‘Westminster Confession of Faith’.

Christians who organise worship have a Biblical duty not to afford leadership in services to any whose declared understanding of Scripture does not reflect being “in spirit and in truth”. For that reason, Presbyterian Moderator, Harry Uprichard, quite rightly declined to participate in a Police-related service where Roman Catholic clergy would have been given a leadership role in the service.

When Christians organise a service they welcome both believer and unbeliever alike to form the congregation. For the believer they hope that it will strengthen their faith and for the unbeliever they hope that it may bring them to faith. Dr Uprichard’s presence in the congregation in Armagh along with Sean Brady gave visible testimony to those aspirations. Having a ‘mixed’ congregation is not unscriptural, having a ‘mixed’ leadership in services of worship most certainly is.

Alf McCreary’s ‘Jesuitical slur’ [Church News: 13 May] on Dr Uprichard says more about himself than the Moderator. A dictionary definition of a Jesuit reads ‘a person given to subtle and equivocating arguments’ ie someone who expresses ingenious, yet indirect or less than honest opinions. Bearing in mind that Alf McCreary is an ordained Presbyterian elder, in the light of his regular column and comments, I would say to him – if the [Jesuitical] cap fits, wear it. One final thought for Mr McCreary to ponder is the fact that Paul Symonds of Ballymena, whose praises he has been singing in recent weeks, is a Jesuit.

Cecil Andrews – ‘Take Heed’ Ministries – Ballynahinch

I subsequently received an ‘address confirmation’ request from you and supplied the requested details – I have to say that as someone who has had many letters published by you over the past at least 12+ years I found this a rather strange request to be put to me now.

That aside, my latest letter, like another one sent to you on 24th April [dealing with a similar subject] has not been published.

Can you perhaps explain to me why neither of these letters have been published by you as I would want to honestly pass on your reasons/explanation to the many supporters of our ministry who would be sympathetic to the views expressed by myself and who do not ‘have a voice’ within regular columns and so rely upon my letters to make their viewpoint known.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Cecil Andrews – ‘Take Heed’ Ministries

If you are likewise concerned about this failure by the Belfast Telegraph to publish my recent letters submitted to them perhaps you might want to email the ‘Writeback’ department on writeback@belfasttelegraph.co.uk and let them know.

Cecil Andrews – ‘Take Heed’ Ministries – 20 May 2006

Dear ‘writeback’

On 20 May I wrote to you on the subject of 2 unpublished letters [actually quoting one of them] and said the following in my email – ‘my latest letter, like another one sent to you on 24th April [dealing with a similar subject] has not been published.

Can you perhaps explain to me why neither of these letters have been published by you as I would want to honestly pass on your reasons/explanation to the many supporters of our ministry who would be sympathetic to the views expressed by myself and who do not ‘have a voice’ within regular columns and so rely upon my letters to make their viewpoint known.

I look forward to hearing from you’.

Having received no response from you I spoke to deputy editor, Brian Hunter on the phone on Friday 26 May concerning this matter and he told me he would look into it and come back to me. As yet I have heard nothing from him despite his assurance.

Since I wrote to you, the subject matter addressed in my unpublished letters has again been highlighted by yet further uncharitable attacks published in your paper by your religion correspondent, Alf McCreary upon the outgoing Presbyterian Moderator, Dr Harry Uprichard.

It appears to be that your paper is now a total ‘no-go’ area for conservative biblical Christianity [except of course for a small number who pay to advertise] as none of your regular columnists would be representative of that viewpoint and any voice to the contrary is not welcome.

I look forward to some response from you.

Cecil Andrews – ‘Take Heed’ Ministries – Ballynahinch

Thus far no reply has been received from the Belfast Telegraph and Mr Hunter has not contacted me as he promised he would do.

Cecil Andrews – ‘Take Heed’ Ministries – 7 June 2006

 

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