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Paisley's wealth doesn't sit well with his evangelical ministry in a age when people are stuck in poverty

letter of the day: rich christians

In the 1970s, my father, an evangelical Christian, had among his books one entitled Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger by RJ Sider.

Reading about Ian Paisley's £650,000 estate (News, March 27), including an apartment by the sea, I was reminded of this title.

When we hear of those who have left a hefty monetary legacy, we often think of television celebrities and the like, but rarely, if ever, do we think of ministers of religion.

It is obvious that Ian Paisley enjoyed his public persona and his foray into politics paid much better that the stipend of other ministers of the gospel, who sought their reward labouring in Christ's service.

The trappings of power and authority, some engineered, clearly appealed to his ego - head of his own political party, head of his own Church, First Minister and peer of the Realm.

A man who, in his own eyes, could do no wrong.

In his enjoyment of celebrity, title and money, Ian Paisley betrayed an egocentric pride which jars with the selflessness of the evangelical ministry he sought to espouse.

St Matthew's entreaty - "Do not store up for yourself treasures on earth" - it seems, had little meaning for him.

It is a reminder, if one were needed, that behind their piety, rich Christians still prosper, while poverty and want sit at their doorstep.


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