How did you become a Christian?
I was about five or six years of age and had been at a gospel service in my father’s church. I suppose I knew from an early age about the bible stories and the gospel message that the Lord Jesus Christ came into the world to save it from sin. I came home from church and realised that I needed to personally ask Christ into my heart, to forgive my sins and to help me live a Christian life and I did that. It was a childlike faith and I believe it has stayed with me unaltered over the past forty plus years. Jesus is able to save and able to change lives and gives me an inner peace and foundation and certainty that frankly is indescribable. Whilst my future is unknown to me I know it’s safe in the hands of an all knowing God. Whilst I can't brag about my love for God, because I fail him daily, I can boast about his unfailing love for me.
Why did you get involved in politics?
I suppose I was born into politics and in a large way it chose me. I say that in all sincerity. It’s an understatement to say that my family was politically active and so political affairs were part of my daily exposure. Frankly it rubbed off on me, I got the bug and from student days at university got stuck in with zeal. I believe in the theory that actions change things and as politicians we should be prepared to work for change for the better for our community. I see challenges facing my community every day and believe we have a political duty to create the changes necessary to improve society, what's more I love engaging with people and I believe that politics should be principally about people.
How does your Christian faith make a difference in your work in Parliament?
Faith amongst Members of Parliament informs debate, and helps maintain a solid Christian ethos in the world around us. Many people talk about a moral responsibility to do this or take that action in politics. I believe Christians in Parliament have the power to help make the correct moral choices for our country.
Ian Paisley MP is the DUP Member of Parliament for Antrim North.