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Post Info TOPIC: Protestants told not to use ‘RIP’ as it is Catholic superstition


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Protestants told not to use ‘RIP’ as it is Catholic superstition
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Orange Order: Protestants told not to use ‘RIP’ as it is Catholic superstition

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jul/29/orange-order-protestants-told-not-to-use-rip-as-it-is-catholic-superstition

Five hundred years after reformation, Northern Ireland’s Orange Order says RIP is un-Protestant and un-biblical

 
 
Orangemen take part in the annual 12 July parade in Belfast. The Orange Order says faith alone can get a person to heaven.
 Orangemen take part in the annual 12 July parade in Belfast. The Orange Order says faith alone can get a person to heaven. Photograph: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images
 

The Orange Order has advised its members and all those who consider themselves Protestant to stop using the phrase RIP to offer sympathy after a person has died because it is un-Protestant, un-biblical and a superstition connected to Catholicism.

An article in The Orange Standard, the Northern Ireland-centred Protestant organisation’s newspaper, said the phrase was an “illustration of spiritual confusion within Protestant circles”.

Noting the increased use of RIP – an abbreviation of the Latin phrase requiescat in pace, or rest in peace – on social media, Wallace Thompson, secretary of Evangelical Protestants Northern Ireland, said: “I’m conscious that this sort of issue is a sensitive one because when we use those letters we are doing so at the time of a death.

“Just observing social media, we have noticed that the letters RIP are used a lot by Protestants, and some by evangelical Protestants.

“I understand the Roman Catholic position on this, it’s more a concern that I would have and that the evangelical Protestant society would have just for a better understanding among evangelical Protestants of the issues,” Thompson said on BBC Radio Ulster’s Talkback program.

Thompson, who also wrote a Facebook post on the issue, said he considered RIP to be a prayer for the dead, which he did not encourage.

“From a Protestant point of view, we believe that ... when death comes a person either goes to be with Christ for all eternity, or into hell ... that’s what we believe the gospel to be. In this 500th year of the reformation I think [Martin] Luther, when the scales fell off his eyes, I think he realised it was all by faith alone, in Christ alone, that ... when death comes that decision [on whether you go to heaven or hell] has been made and no decisions are made after death,” said Thompson.

When death comes a person either goes to be with Christ for all eternity, or into hell.

Speaking on the same program, former Presbyterian church moderator Dr Ken Newell said he did not often use RIP. “I think when people use [RIP] in social media, there’s a remembrance and a good wish in it, almost a blessing,” he said.

He did not think people were praying for the dead when using the phrase. “If folk in the Orange Order want to take this line that’s perfectly up to them, they are making a good point.

“I think ordinary people have not worked out the issues. This comes out of the human heart,” Newell said.

The Orange Order’s origins date from the 17th century battle for supremacy between Catholicism and Protestantism. It regards itself as upholding the ascendancy of a Protestant monarch in the UK.



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