As 2014 draws to a close, a sad chapter in the history of the United Kingdom begins. One of the disadvantages of having such a blessed spiritual past, such as this nation has had, one that at one time was so committed to Christianity and the sending of gospel missionaries around the world, is that the dismantling of the Ten Commandments for everyday life seems all the more worse. Who could have imagined that in 2014 that we could expect better moral guidance from Russia than from the government of the UK? I know that the UK government take the moral high ground, but it is baseless, it is post-modern humanism based upon subjective assumptions, all in the name of democracy. Who knows what democracy means in such a time of flux? Democracy in the UK now enforces its new moralism upon all and it discriminates against all who disagree with her.
Let me give two examples of the sad spiritual condition of the United Kingdom.
1. The passing of the same sex couples legislation.
In the summer of 2014, the UK government to their great delight, passed this landmark bill. All major parties united together to move Britain into a new era. The Bible teaches that marriage is between a man and a woman, to the exclusion of all others, till death they do part. This biblical truth has not changed, but the UK government now openly contradicts biblical law at its most basic point.
It will take wisdom and courage for true Christians and true churches to make their stand against secular anti-Christian and humanistic forces. We can and must positively promote the biblical view of marriage, even though when we do so, the world will wrongly charge us with being bigoted. This is a dictionary definition of bigoted: "Having or revealing an obstinate belief in the superiority of one's own opinions and a prejudiced intolerance of the opinions of others". We must therefore, in humility, defend the biblical position on marriage and with courage against a bigoted opposition.
However, we must realise that this UK government is not happy to simply protect vulnerable individuals and I certainly do not advocate homophobia or the bullying of people with contrary opinions. But the UK government now want to positively discriminate and actively promote its new definition of same-sex marriage in all levels of education, civil services, the NHS, Universities, and of course the government's vehicle for change, the BBC. This is where the challenge really lies as Christians consider how best to respond to the ever-widening net of secularism on the frontline of life and their vocations.
2. The unveiling of the first woman bishop by the Church of England
Liberalism is Christian religion that places its own opinions above the plain and express teaching of the Bible. The Scripture is clear in its teaching that: "If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife ..." (1 Timothy 3:1-2). How then can the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby announce that he is delighted that the first woman bishop will soon be in post? It is because the senior hierarchy place their opinions higher than those of the written Scriptures. It is impossible to be a woman bishop, or to submit to the authority of a woman bishop and to be faithful to Jesus Christ the head of the church at the same time. Another crisis continues in the State Church.
Three ways to pray for the United Kingdom
People from around the world read this blog and I would urge you to cry out to the Lord for mercy for the United Kingdom. This nation is truly in a moral mess and it is a mission field today: we need the Lord's intervention. Here are three ways to pray.
1. To pray for the UK government as the apostolic command requires in 1 Timothy 2:1-3.
This is so that the church may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. We are not looking for an easy life, but let us pray that MP's and those in high positions of authority, that they would be converted to the One, true and living God. The sober warning of Jesus drives us to our knees in prayer for them. John 8:24 "For unless you believe that I am he [the promised Christ and only Saviour] you will die in your sins".
2. For the recovery of the authority of Scripture in the congregations of all kinds of denominations
According to 2 Timothy 3:16-17 there is no other safe guide for the church than the written Scriptures. Nothing short of a grass-root's return to the sufficiency and authority of the written Scriptures, ones which are to be obeyed, loved and kept will be satisfactory. Anything less than this means the church will live in rebellion to the Lord and the Lord does not bless rebellion.
3. For the Lord to raise up labourers for the harvest (Matthew 9:36-38).
Pray that the Lord would raise up men who are called to be faithful pastors in God's church. Men who know the gospel and men who know how to preach the gospel and care for the flock of God. With that note, let us be sober minded in prayer regarding the sad spiritual state of the United kingdom, but let those who heed this warning seriously respond, and respond in faith and with much prayer. May the Lord restore the fortunes of Zion in the United kingdom again (Psalms 14:7, 53:6, 126)!!
John Calvin said in his own day: "“nothing is more ruinous to the Church than for God to take away faithful pastors”. Do you agree with Calvin on this point because this is vital for the health of the church? In the midst of spiritual decay in his own generation, Calvin never seemed to lose sight of the sovereign hand of God, something we must not lose sight of also. He also wrote that: God “preserves the Church by unknown methods and without the assistance of men” ... “the Church will always rise again, and be restored to her former and prosperous condition, though all conclude that she is ruined”. Let us be encouraged with this, but let us apply this truth as well by praying to our Sovereign Lord.