Thursday, July 02, 2009

Peter's Gospel Mission

Has revival broken out at the heart of the Northern Ireland Assembly? This evening the BBC were reporting that First Minister Peter Robinson MP MLA had unveiled his new Executive Ministers following a DUP cabinet reshuffle. They also reported that Robinson has called for his colleagues to spread the gospel. Great stuff, you say, but the quote didn't end there. The First Minister, a parishioner of the Whitewell Metropolitan Tabernacle, isn't sending out apostles to preach the Kingdom of God, but rather the Kingdom of Peter and Martin. The new DUP ministers are being sent out to preach the gospel of devolution.

Following the major disappointment of the European Election, where Jim Allister of the TUV took a substantial number of votes from Diane Dodds, the fear is that many unionists are turning their back on the DUP and therefore on the Assembly. Peter is sending out his heralds to declare the good news of the kingdom of devolution, so as to defeat the "wreckers" who are trying to destroy the power-sharing Assembly.

Archbishop Cranmer, when not battling Facebook, is always interested in politico-religious matters and religio-political matters and so my ears pricked up immediately with this news. Indeed, it would be easy to see the religious elements of the First Minister's crusade. At one time this Peter was opposed to any elements of powersharing. It is hard to know when he was converted, but in a Damascus Road moment, Peter and his fellow apostle Ian led their party into the newly formed Executive. Having been converted, in a complete turn around, Peter now wants other unionists to share his vision of political ecumenism and has sent out his devolution evangelists to the ends of the province. The question is, will this word of Peter be as sure and as successful as the Gospel of our Lord Jesus?

One thinks not. But it's interesting to see the use of religious language in the political sphere.

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