God Save the King!


It seems that there are practical limits to even the most deeply held belief. Take Male Headship, for example. As far as I know, nobody ever protested against our late Queen’s rule on the grounds that women should not have authority over men. If they did, they can relax again now. But back in the sixteenth century, as followers may remember from my blog in 2016, John Knox, the revered pioneer of the Scottish Reformation, had precisely such reservations about Queen Elizabeth I. For Knox, the clear teaching of Scripture said that women should not rule, and he advocated that all classes of society had a duty to overthrow female rulers. It’s interesting how the clear teaching of Scripture can mellow over time!

For me the passing of our great Queen was a relief. I felt relieved that she had run her race, finished the course, and was ready to receive her real crown; I felt happy for her that she no longer had to watch the nation she loved being trashed and the Christian principles she upheld being traduced by her own ministers. I think a lot of people’s mourning is connected to their sense that an era of relative goodness and peace has passed away: she was, as it were, the last symbol of that era to disappear, after so many others had gone. I did my mourning six years ago, when the Darkness first began to gather. In this blog, at that time, I wrote about the Darkness that was about to descend upon us. I was thought to be over-political. But I can’t see how anyone can fail to see the reality of that Darkness now. 

Image © Amazon.co.uk

So for me, it’s the arrival of our new King that generates the greater emotion. It would be good to recall that he is a Christian writer. I’ve never read his 1980 fairy story, The Old Man of Lochnagar, but I’ve read the plot, and from that it’s evident that his concern for the environment, and for those adversely affected by human interference with it, was already well developed by then. (It’s also rather touching that he originally told the story to his little brothers.)

Like his mother, and despite his past mistakes, King Charles stands for certain immutable values: decency, fairness, compassion for the weak, care for our world. It’s unclear how much influence the Monarch can exert nowadays (no Bill has had Royal assent refused since Queen Anne’s time), but there is such a thing as moral pressure. For example, it will take a lot of guts in a politician to chat with the King, knowing that he is an environmental champion, about fracking or the release of sewage.

Am I again straying into being ‘political’ here? No, I am saying that all Christians should pray earnestly for His Majesty Charles III, that he will follow his mother in upholding Christian standards of decency and goodness. If we can lend our writing to the cause of bolstering his stand against the prevailing Darkness, so much the better.

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