People often ask about the new Northern Ireland politics. How can it be that the old enemies seem suddenly to be able to live and work with one another? I too find it extraordinary – and if now why not five, ten or fifteen years ago? So those of you who don’t read the Northern Ireland news may have missed the information that Ian Paisley is stepping down as Moderator of the Free Presbyterian Church. Going before he is pushed, it seems. Read about it at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/09/08/npaisley108.xml
While the Democratic Unionist Party seems to have been able to make the political movement towards power-sharing, the Free Presbyterian Church has found it more difficult. Not surprising really. Politicians can choose to change direction for the most pragmatic of reasons. Conviction-driven churches can’t and don’t do pragmatism.