Thoughts for these days
Occasional comments on current events from a Christian perspective
More Significant than Brexit
This article was first published on the Prophecy Today website, 5 April 2019
Wednesday 27 March 2019 was a day which will be remembered in history as the occasion when MPs ‘took control’ of the business of the House of Commons in regard to Brexit. With all the attention on the process of Britain leaving the European Union, it is very easy to forget that there is still a trickle of ‘normal’ business being processed.
Earlier that day MPs had participated in four ‘deferred divisions’, recording their votes on paper. One of the votes was in the name of the Education Secretary, Damian Hinds. It sought approval for the draft Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education and Health Education (England) Regulations 2019. Whilst most people, including Christians, have focussed on Brexit, I have found myself asking if there was an element of divine arrangement in the RSE division being held that same day.
The EU and Scripture
Experience suggests that amongst Christians, individuals’ responses to the EU are influenced by their eschatology. Here, therefore, I look back in time, rather than forwards, through a Scripture passage which provides a historical perspective through which to evaluate the vision behind a united Europe. Acts 17 records Paul’s speech to the people of Athens, in which he declared that the ‘unknown God’ could be known. He reasoned that this God made “from one blood every nation of men”, and ordered “their times and the limits of their lands.” He then explained why The LORD had put men in separate nations - “that they should seek The LORD...and find Him.”
Scripture traces the beginning of nations to the division of mankind at Babel (Gen 11). Their construction of the tower was accompanied by a desire to [unite and make a name or reputation for themselves, thus preventing them from being scattered. Their Creator frustrated their proud plans by confusing their speech and separating them. Paul explained how this was actually for mankind’s benefit - to put our forefathers, and now us, in situations which would motivate us to seek for The LORD and find Him.
The vision behind the European Union - to eliminate wars by removing national identities - has similarities with the union of tower builders from Shinar. The fatal flaw in the present-day project is that mankind is seeking to achieve peace through their own efforts whilst excluding their Creator. Such a scenario, motivated by a desire to throw off The LORD’s ‘fetters’, is described in Psalm 2. This quest turns our attention back to RSE.
RSE and LGBTQ+
The new guidance should have been approved the previous Wednesday, but at the end of the debate[Hansard; Parliament TV] one MP, Philip Davies, refused to approve the proposals. His action necessitated the following Wednesday’s division, when he was joined by 20 others in rejecting the changes, whilst 538 supported them.
What had become clear in the previous week’s debate was that the majority of participating MPs perceived these measures to be promoting LGBTQ+ rights. Essentially, the guidelines distinguish between the ‘relationships’ and the ‘sex education’ aspects of the curriculum. The Government view is that parents’ freedom to withdraw children from the latter should not apply to the former. It is under ‘relationships education’ in primary schools that the Department for Education wants children to learn, in Amanda Spielman’s words, “that sometimes there are families that have two mummies or two daddies” and that is alright.
Others have discussed at length the reasons why this is a dangerous direction of travel and why the new guidance should be rejected (see here & here). That is not my purpose here. Nor do I want to discuss the clash which this approach has already precipitated with Muslim parents at Parkfield School, Birmingham. Jules Gomes has helpfully highlighted where such secular stupidity will lead. My objective is to connect the overwhelming support amongst our political elite for forcing LGBTQ+ norms on young children with the failure of the self-same people to deliver Brexit.
Hopefully most Christians realise that Romans 1 is the passage which prophetically describes the judgment process in which Britain finds itself today. We are reaping what we have sown for centuries - the roots go back to the Enlightenment at least. The steady progression which Paul outlines begins with a refusal to recognise The LORD as God, leading to minds being filled with foolish things and senseless hearts being darkened. Idolatry comes next, followed by sexual immorality, as The LORD gives people over to the desires of their hearts.
The result is a society full of the awful attitudes and actions now bringing death to our streets and emotional and mental distress to many children. The consequences are unavoidable - though they know his law, “that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.”
If the same-sex marriage legislation did not convince Christians that Britain is now reaping the fruit of the unbelief it has sown for centuries, then I am not sure that this most recent decision will either - but it ought to!
The Consequences of Damaging Children
When Justin Welby, despite his evangelical credentials, spoke out in November 2017 in defence of Church of England schools allowing pupils to self-identify their gender, these words of Jesus came to mind; “But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea.” With that in mind, consider the ease with which the majority of our MPs agreed to teach unrighteousness to the nation’s children. What does this say about the foolishness that now grips them?
The evidence is that they have been handed over to delusion, because they refused to receive a love of the truth. Is it any wonder therefore that they are unable to know what to do about Brexit?
Christians should recognise that we share a responsibility for what has happened. Mixture in the churches has meant that over the last two centuries we have collectively squandered multiple opportunities to challenge secularism. We too are reaping what we have sown. There is no room for us to point the figure at politicians when we have failed to stand for righteousness. Within ‘Bible-believing’ circles today there are those who are embracing unrighteousness, whilst the majority of the remainder remain silent.
Could the reason why it is Muslim parents who are rising up to challenge the secularism of the political classes be that Christians have forfeited their responsibility? If so, the outlook is far from good.
If as God’s people we are no longer fit for his purposes, we need to seek him seriously to discover what we should do. When Israel lost its flavour, it was twice thrown out of the land. If the churches have lost their saltiness, then no amount of campaigning will rescue society.
Through Joel, The LORD told his people that it was time to “Return to Me with all your heart,” adding “Return to The LORD your God, For He is gracious and compassionate...Who knows whether He will not turn and relent?” Christians need to do this earnestly, not to save the nation, but to ensure they are anchored firmly in Christ and prepared for what lies ahead.
“Sow with a view to righteousness, Reap in accordance with kindness; Break up your fallow ground, For it is time to seek The LORD Until He comes to rain righteousness on you.” Hosea 10:12
© Randall Hardy - April 2017
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© Randall Hardy 2019
This page last edited April 2019