Alf McCreary ‘cross’ with Presbyterian Moderator

Alf McCreary, the Belfast Telegraph ‘religion’ correspondent in his weekly article on Saturday 22 April 2006, gave it the title ‘An Unholy Mess’ and in it he publicly expressed his dismay at and disapproval of the decision taken by the current Presbyterian Moderator, Dr Harry Uprichard not to take part in an ecumenical service linked to the anniversary of the awarding of the George Cross to the Royal Ulster Constabulary.

The following letter was sent to the Belfast Telegraph but to date has not been published by them.

Cecil Andrews – ‘Take Heed’ Ministries – 29 April 2006


Dear Editor,

So, Alf McCreary, according to his ‘Unholy Mess’ article [Church News 22 April] is “cross” with the current Moderator, Harry Uprichard. This Christian man of integrity has had the audacity to exercise his liberty of conscience and has decided to honour his God by not joining in worship with Roman Catholics. The alternative, which Mr McCreary would clearly have favoured, would have been for him to disobey his God and so sin by betraying his biblical convictions in order to please ‘liberals’ like Mr McCreary who incidentally are just as ‘hard-line’ when it comes to seeking to universally impose their ‘tunnel-vision’ views upon those he disparagingly labels as ‘mullahs’ and ‘blinkered conservatives’.

Mr McCreary feels that those who hold the office of Moderator should be ‘mature enough to accept that high office…carries responsibilities which transcend narrow theological…interests’ and he earlier stated that ‘many Presbyterians are embarrassed that their Moderator will not worship with Roman Catholics’. Has it ever entered into Mr McCreary’s thinking that the converse is also true in that many Presbyterians are not only embarrassed but indeed deeply offended when a Moderator takes part in such unscriptural joint worship. In Mr McCreary’s mind it is apparently ok for ‘liberal’ Moderators to act according to their ‘theological’ convictions [or lack of them] but not ok for ‘conservative’ Moderators to do so.

Mr McCreary’s problem is that he fails totally to see that worship, according to the Bible, is meant to be God-honouring and not man-pleasing. His theologically myopic article bears testimony to the truth of the saying ‘there is none so blind as he who cannot see’.

Cecil Andrews – ‘Take Heed’ Ministries – Ballynahinch