C D C Armstrong (Write Back, October 8) suggests that, in reflecting on some of the language contained in the 1912 Covenant, the Belfast District Synod of the Methodist Church is repudiating the establishment of Northern Ireland. One has only to read what the Synod actually said to see clearly that this is not the case.
Synod recognised that our forefathers and mothers who signed the Covenant and Declaration in 1912 were people of their time, who acted in good faith.
It is, however, the responsibility of the people of God to reflect Biblically and prayerfully on the past. That reflection does not mean that we disrespect the past.
The Synod sought to make two simple but essential points. First, the assumption contained within the Covenant that God was on ‘our side’ is untrue to the nature of God. Second, that the language of using ‘any means necessary’ implied the approval of the use of violence, as was clearly understood by some at the time. Surely we can find a better way for the future
REV DR H M E MORRIS
District Superintendent of the Belfast District of the Methodist Church in Ireland
REV D JOHNSTON
Secretary of the Belfast Synod of the Methodist Church in Ireland