Monday, 10 October 2016

A Plea to British Christians Not to Idolise the Queen

God hates idolatry. He rightly wants our worship to be directed to Him alone. So when people or things are regarded in a way that exalts them more than is proper, that greatly displeases Him.

Idolatry, of course, is something that we are all prone to. Our sinful tendencies being what they are, we fall easily into worshiping all sorts of idols. We should therefore be continually putting everything to the test (1 Thessalonians 5:21), so as to expose and reject as many idols as we can.

An unrecognised idol

As a British citizen who lives in the U.K., I would like to highlight one idol that I believe many Christians here – and some others around the world – have not recognised as such, namely, her majesty the queen.

It is common for British Christians to criticise the population in general or politicians for responsibility for the immorality in our society. But the queen is hardly ever the object of this kind of criticism. Instead, believers often speak very highly of her. You can often hear people, including Christians, say things like, “In over sixty years on the throne, the queen has hardly put a foot wrong.”

I beg to differ. I think the queen has done a poor job of being the British head of state. It seems to me that she has had tremendous opportunities to stand up prominently for what is right, but she has not done much of this. Instead, she has typically gone with the flow, kept her head down, and avoided controversy even when that has meant staying silent about things that are very opposed to the will of God.

I want to stress that I bear her majesty no ill will at all. I honour her as our head of state, as I am instructed to do in Scripture (Romans 13:1-7; 1 Peter 2:13-17). And I also happen to think that she would be a nice person to be around.

Furthermore, I think that at the present time the British monarchy makes our country slightly better than it would be without a monarch as our head of state. So I am not advocating the abolition of the monarchy, although I will reconsider my views when King Charles III comes to the throne.

Nevertheless, I think the queen has done a poor job as the British head of state. And I am certainly not convinced that she is a genuine born-of-the-Spirit Christian.

So-called “gay marriage”

Take the issue of so-called “gay marriage” as an example. In 2013 the British parliament, in line with the clear majority view of the British people, voted decisively to change the definition of marriage to include same-sex couples.

This was an evil act of the highest order. Arrogant human beings dared to try to elbow God aside and rearrange His creation. They tried to take His blueprints for the family, tear them up and make supposedly better ones in their place. A lot of people will be in a lot of trouble on the Day of Judgment for what happened in this matter. God is not mocked.

The queen signed this outrageous law into effect without voicing any opposition to it. In doing this, I find it very difficult to believe that she did the will of God. Instead, I am almost certain that she should have done one of two things.

First, I think she should probably have refused to sign the law into effect. Of course, if she had done this, it would surely have been impossible for her to have remained as queen. The British people would not have tolerated her blocking the will of the majority in this way.

However, the good that would have come from her refusal to consent to this law would surely have been enormous. The forced exit from her role as head of state and the reasons for it would have featured on news programmes around the world, and billions of people would have come to hear about it. What a fantastic example of standing up for what is right that would have been! The influence in support of God’s ways and against evil would have been massive.

But I will admit that I am not sure it was God’s will for the queen to give up her position as head of state over this matter. We live in a complex world where sometimes, in our dealings with other people, there is a place for doing unpleasant things against our will.

So I think there may have been an alternative course of action for the queen that would have enabled her to remain in the will of God. This would have been for her to sign the “gay marriage” law into effect, but to say publicly that she was doing so under protest. She could have made a statement making it clear that she was appalled that her country and government could choose to do something as evil as trying to redefine marriage. She could have said that she completely opposed this, but that she would sign it into law and continue as head of state anyway.

If the queen had done this, it would still have made the news in various parts of the world. She would still have had some influence for good in this matter, although not as much as if she had refused to sign the law into effect.

However, instead of standing up against evil in one of these ways, she signed this terrible law into effect without giving any indication that she was opposed to it. Maybe she approves of the law. Or perhaps she doesn’t think it is very important one way or the other. Or, most probably in my view, she doesn’t like the law but she is just avoiding controversy so as not to rock the boat. Whichever of these options is correct, I find it very difficult to believe that she has done the will of God in this matter. Instead, I think she has acted very poorly.

An absurd aspect of the constitution

Something else opposed to God’s will that the queen has always remained silent on concerns the constitution. She has never spoken out against the role of the British monarch as the official head of the Church of England. This is an absurdity that stems from sinful acts in the 16th century.

For those who don’t know the history, it went something like this. King Henry VIII wanted to end his marriage with Catherine of Aragon, so that he could marry Anne Boleyn. So he came up with a flimsy excuse for having his marriage to Catherine annulled. Then he asked the pope to sanction the annulment, but the pope rightly refused. (I am not implying that in God’s sight the pope had any real authority in the matter.)  So, to cut a long story short, Henry added to his sins by making himself head of the Church of England! And this absurd situation, with the British monarch as the official head of the Anglican/Episcopalian Church, remains to this day.

The joining of church and state is something that is very harmful to the church. So it would be great if the queen would take steps to bring about the separation of these entities without delay. However, there seems to be no prospect of her doing this.

The queen needs to get her priorities right

As I have already said, my criticism of the queen is not because I disrespect her. I honour her majesty with sincere reverence.

However, I really wish that she would get her priorities right. I wish she would see clearly that if she has the choice between doing the will of the people or the will of God, she needs to choose the will of God every time. She needs to bear in mind that God is a consuming fire (Hebrews 12:29). She has to understand that every human being will have to give an account to God for all their actions (Matthew 12:36).

Final words

When we read the Bible, idolatry is one of the sins that we find being condemned constantly, and we therefore need to avoid it at all costs.

For many British Christians, idolising the queen is one form of this sin that they have not yet given up. So I want to urge those in this category to change their attitude.

It is certainly right for us to honour, revere and love her majesty. But we must not idolise her. And we must not be deceived into thinking that she has done a better job of being the British head of state than she really has.

See also:

The United States: A Major Idol among Christians Today