Monday 22nd May 2017 was a day of murderous infamy in Manchester as a Jihadi suicide bomber blew himself up as a pop concert audience was beginning to leave the Manchester Arena.
ALF McCREARY, the Religious Affairs correspondent of the Belfast Telegraph addressed this atrocity in his column on Saturday 27th May 2017 and in it made a totally ludicrous claim that Jihadi violence is not sanctioned by The Koran.
Having read his article I was moved to post the following on Facebook which demonstrates clearly that Mr McCreary does not know what he is talking (writing) about. This was my post –
In his Belfast Telegraph article of 14th April 2007 entitled ‘The ultimate guidebook to the meaning of life’, the ‘Religion Correspondent’, Alf McCreary reflected on a Channel 4 TV documentary called ‘The Bible Revolution’.
There was a particular passage in the article that impacted forcibly upon me. What ‘impacted’ upon me was not what Mr McCreary actually wrote but rather what he did not write. Let me first quote what the passage as he wrote it said –
‘The Bible was available in England during the Middle Ages, but only in a Latin translation which the vast majority of worshippers did not understand. Indeed, the Church was so worried that people might read the Bible for themselves that anyone who campaigned for an English version was regarded as a dangerous heretic.
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Correspondent, Alf McCreary, being “cross” with the current Presbyterian Moderator, Dr Harry Uprichard, and that unpublished letter can be viewed on our website through this link
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.
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.
Dear praying friends,
By the time this newsletter arrives with you that ‘landmark’ birthday that I mentioned in my December 2005 newsletter will be part of history. As I contemplated the passing of yet another decade of my life, a phrase that will be familiar to those who have travelled by air came to mind – it’s the one that is said to the cabin crew by the captain as an aeroplane nears the runway at the start of its journey – the intercom will sound and the captain will inform the stewards and stewardesses to ‘prepare for take-off’ and this instruction will usually be followed by feverish last-minute activity. Those of us who have tasted God’s ‘so great salvation’ should always be ‘prepared for take-off’ for truly none of us know ‘what a day may bring forth’ [Proverbs 27:1]. Is there any purging, pleading, ploughing, praying or even reparation that needs to be attended to? Well, do it now, for how close to or even how far down the runway that leads to ‘take-off’ we are, none of us know. Enclosed with this newsletter are several enclosures and on one are copies of faxes sent to Tony Blair. ‘The family’ as established by God is under attack as never before due to recently implemented legislation and it has also been recommended that God’s guidelines for raising children should be ignored and indeed outlawed. I have available [on audio cassette – price £2.50 – includes p&p] 2 sermons by a good ministerial friend entitled ‘Children obey your parents’ and ‘Parents discipline your children’. Although not quoting the AV the teaching is consonant with the AV translation and I heartily commend these sermons.
When Tony Blair became British Prime Minister his popularity and reputation grew rapidly thanks to the efforts of one man – Alister Campbell – who became known as his ‘spin doctor’. Mr Campbell made sure that the press and media were kept fully informed about all that would enhance the standing of Mr Blair with the citizens of the United Kingdom and even further afield.
Well, if the Dalai Lama ever needs his own ‘spin doctor’ then he should seriously consider Alf McCreary, ‘Religion Correspondent’ with the Belfast Telegraph. In November 2005 the Dalai Lama paid a return visit to Northern Ireland and any reader of the Belfast Telegraph would be entirely without excuse if they claimed to be unaware of his visit.
Each Saturday in the Belfast Telegraph Mr McCreary authors a page entitled ‘This Life’ and it is usually made up of a lead article and perhaps one or two smaller items. On consecutive Saturdays [19th and 26th November] the lead article for each ‘This Life’ page was devoted to the Dalai Lama. One article was called ‘A welcome visitor’ and the other ‘The Dalai Lama and an Ulster “Blackman”’ [the term ‘Blackman’ refers to a member of a particular fraternal organisation and has nothing to do with race or colour].
On a number of occasions I have challenged the publicly expressed views of ALF McCREARY who is the religious affairs correspondent of the Belfast Telegraph. By his own public admission he is an ordained Elder within the Irish Presbyterian Church although how in conscience he can maintain that in view of the regular conflict between the views expressed in his writings and the truths contained in his Supreme and Subordinate Standards of faith, namely The Bible and The Westminster Confession of Faith is to say the least ‘baffling’.
At this time of the year the 21 Presbyteries of the Irish Presbyterian Church vote to elect a new Moderator who then takes up his year of office in June each year. Last year was a very close vote with 11 Presbyteries voting for Rev Ivan McKay and 10 Presbyteries voting for Rev Ken Newell. Rev McKay would be identified with the ‘evangelical and non-ecumenical’ strand within Irish Presbyterianism whereas Rev Newell would be in the forefront of the ‘liberal and ecumenical’ strand.