Reading sermons by "fiery" minister Jonathan Edwards
for my American Literature (if it can really be called that...)
course reminded me very much of Ian Paisley's sectarian and brimstone-y spoutings from the pulpit.
Old Ian says:
'Be not deceived, God is not mocked, whatsoever a man soweth that he shall also reap.'
Sir, you will reap what you are sowing. Madam, you will reap what you are sowing. The harvest will certainly come, and you will reap whatsoever you sow.
Oh, there is an unmasking day coming for the hypocrite... Passing yourself off as a Christian will not help you then. All that will be torn from you and you will be portrayed in the nakedness of your sin, in the shame of your hypocrisy before the God Whose eyes will search you through and through.
(From Gospel Power, a sermon given at Ballymena, 1976)
Whereas Jonny Edwards says:
The use of this awful subject may be for awakening unconverted persons in this congregation. This that you have heard is the case of every one of you that are out of Christ. -- That world of misery, that take of burning brimstone, is extended abroad under you. There is the dreadful pit of the glowing flames of the wrath of God; there is hell's wide gaping mouth open; and you have nothing to stand upon, nor any thing to take hold of; there is nothing between you and hell but the air; it is only the power and mere pleasure of God that holds you up.
-Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God
Seems as if Ian has ignored the last quarter millenium of human self-realisation and took a page straight from Edwards mid-18th century doctrine. What else is to be expected from the man who deemed line-dancing to be sinful
For Edwards, the sectarianism is against the Jews:
"Jewish infidelity shall be overthrown...the Jews in all their dispersions shall cast away their old infidelity, and shall have their hearts wonderfully changed, and abhor themselves for their past unbelief and obstinacy."
For Paisley its the Catholics:
"You cannot talk peace until the enemy surrenders and the enemy is the Roman Catholic Church. "