Far from it – it is time to reclaim our Christian heritage.
One unexpected fallout of the General Election has been the question about how Christians can, without compromise, serve in Parliament.
With the conservative, Protestant DUP party potentially entering Government with an influence far beyond their small number of ten MPs and the leader of the Liberal Democratic Party, Tim Farron, resigning so as not to compromise his faith, much is being said. But can we not also discern the voice of God in all this?
Actually, there is a clear answer to this question that is easily lost in our peer-pressured, politically correct, compromising society. In a nutshell, true Christianity should be at the heart of the government of the UK, with no divide between politics and Christianity.
We do not have a written constitution, such as in the USA. If we did, the clear role of Government would be to interpret and defend the constitution. What we have, however, is potentially better.
Over many centuries, since the days of Alfred the Great, our four-nation Union has developed a balance of laws and customs that define our constitutional framework of Monarchy, Church and Government. This framework is intended to be reflected in our laws, education, finance and business structures.
When MPs enter Parliament they are required to take an oath or affirmation of allegiance, known as ‘swearing in’. The exact wording can be found here.
The oath or affirmation is either in the name of Almighty God (the oath) or a statement of honour (the affirmation) to “be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, her heirs and successors, according to law.”
True Christianity should be at the heart of the government of the UK.
When we consider the constitutional position that is defined by the Monarch’s own Coronation Oath, surely the allegiance declared by MPs is to uphold what the Monarch stands for. If she had not taken the Oath she would not, by law, have been crowned Queen – that is how important this is.
As we have said in other articles in Prophecy Today, central to the Coronation Oath is the commitment “to the utmost of power to maintain the Laws of God and the true profession of the Gospel” (for the wording of the entire Oath click here).
In short, the duty of every member of the Lords and Commons is to test every aspect of UK governance against the Queen’s commitment before God “to the utmost of power to maintain the Laws of God and the true profession of the Gospel!”
Every successive Government must interpret our constitutional position and every MP must measure what he or she is promising when standing for and taking office, against this one benchmark: that by law Britain is a Christian nation and the MPs’ vow is to uphold this position!
Far from Christian MPs struggling over conscience issues to serve in Parliament, the entire conscience of the nation should be measured by the biblical interpretation of all that is done in both Houses. This is especially so since the Monarch’s power has been restricted to a largely advisory capacity and, at the strongest (apart from the power she has over her own hand to sign in new laws!), to warning the Prime Minister during their regular meetings.
Tim Farron: A Case in Point
Obviously, however, for the past 50 years the UK has been subjected to a powerful process of secularization which has undermined our biblical heritage.
Look at the issue of Tim Farron. When he was asked whether or not homosexual sex acts were sinful he should have said “yes they are sinful” – and so should all MPs, not based on their own views or party lines, but based on clear interpretation of biblical principles into all matters of governance. This is the responsibility MPs have taken under oath – not a matter of personal opinion.
The allegiance sworn by MPs is to uphold what the Monarch stands for – that which she promised in her Coronation Oath.
It is up to the individual who performs such acts of sexuality to face up to Almighty God, who has declared his principles clearly through his word, but is also full of grace for any repentant sinner.
It is for politicians to ensure that laws are in place which protect the vulnerable in society and to bring in educational strategies that help our children to have a conscience framed on biblical principles.
Anything less is a breaking of our constitutional position made before Almighty God. Is it any wonder, with successive governments failing in their oaths and commitments to God, that we are facing the situation in our nation where God’s hand of protection is being withdrawn, with horrendous and escalating consequences?
Defining Our National Character
In the House of Lords there are 26 bishops, including the Archbishops of Canterbury and York. They are termed the ‘Lords Spiritual’. It is their right to serve and their role to bring biblical insight to bear on every issue before them.
This is where we must hear a clear declaration and reminder of the laws of God and the true profession of the Gospel, to help all other Members of Parliament be clear on direction.
Many non-conformists in the UK may have long since ceased to think that the Christian faith can be central to the political workings of the nation, but until the Coronation Oath itself is liberalised, this is not so.
Until that time, by law and custom, politics and the Christian faith (albeit expressed chiefly through the Established Church) should be seamlessly connected in the governance of our nation. Christianity should define the character of the United Kingdom.
God knows this and that is what he expects – no less. Every Government bill, every debate in the parliamentary chambers, every discussion between Prime Minister and Monarch, every prayer meeting in Parliament, should be centred on interpreting biblical principles accurately into the life of the nation.
This is why we have 26 bishops in the House of Lords. They are there to declare the word of the Lord and to give biblical advice to MPs as they make the laws of the land. But do we ever hear the word of the Lord declared by any of the bishops? It is so rare that it would no doubt be headline news in the media!
Until the Coronation Oath itself is liberalised, the Christian faith should be central to the political workings of the nation.
If the Church is silent on the great issues of the day, how can we expect MPs to know the standards of righteousness required to conform to biblical teaching? In ancient Israel the Lord held the religious leaders responsible for the state of the nation. “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against the shepherds and will hold them accountable for my flock” (Ezek 34:10).
We all have a responsibility to pray for those in authority and in a democracy we have the right and the ability to make our views known to our representatives in Parliament.
The whole Church, therefore, not just the bishops, shares the responsibility for the state of the nation. This is a sobering thought! Are we,individually, doing all we can to make the word of the Lord heard in the United Kingdom?
This is not a call for some dry religiosity to descend on our nation, but for us to return to God so that he will protect us in all our ways, restoring a tangible peace and security to the UK.
Herein is our prosperity and our commission to serve one another. Herein is the protection of our borders, our care for the elderly and vulnerable, the future and hope for our children – and principles whereby we can avert the tragedies that are currently besetting us.P
© Copyright 2017, Dr. Clifford Denton, Prophecy Today UK– All rights reserved.