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Letter of the day: Hardline Presbyterians would do well to remember that Jesus taught compassion, love and humility

 

In response to Dr Billy and Jean Boyd, of Newtownabbey (Write Back, June 25), let me say that to pick quotes from Timothy, Paul and Joshua is disingenuous if we consider what Jesus - who was often seen in the company of "publicans and sinners" - might say about the current state of a small part of his universal Church, the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, if he were here today.

But we don't need to second-guess his response, as we have if first-hand from his own mouth. "Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector (a deeply reviled person in Roman Judea).

"The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other people - robbers, evil-doers, adulterers - or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.'

"But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, 'God, have mercy on me, a sinner'.

"I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled and those who humble themselves will be exalted.'" (Luke 18:9-14).

And, in truth, with whom do you identify?

BRENDAN SANDS

Ballyclare, Co Antrim

Belfast Telegraph

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