Portrait by David Bailey
It's EIIR Sapphire Jubilee - 65 years on the throne!
Yesterday I was pointed in the direction of these verses:-
"Let everyone be suject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves." Romans 13:1-2 (NIV)
And I thought about all the protests and marches there have been in the past couple of weeks about, and mostly against, President Trump and his policies. Are all these people (and I include myself. Although I haven't actually been out on protest, Readers will know my opinions as expressed in this blog.) Are all of us acting in direct contravention of God's will? Cos this is not a good place to be.
Then I remembered the question which would sometimes arise thirty and more years ago, back when the Communist Bloc existed behind the Iron Curtain. How were Christians in Communist countries supposed to act in the face of God-appointed authorities who denied His very existence and came down very hard on anyone trying to live a godly life?
The answer? Obey the authorities in as far as what they said agreed with what God says - basic obedience to law, good order etc, and where they put in place ungodly laws, there you obey God rather than the government, and take the consequences - which were often terrible.
And pray for those in authority, that they would govern fairly, justly and in accordance with God's laws. So they did.
You know, Dear Reader, it's thought that the faithful prayers of Christians worldwide were at least partly responsible for the speed at which the Communist bloc disintergrated and the Iron Curtain fell.
So there we are - obey the Authorities insofar as what they decree is in accordance with God's laws.
Which means that we have to know what God's laws actually are - the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20) being a good place to start. We have to be able to differentiate between God's Laws, directions for a particular people at a particular time, traditions of any kind and what is currently 'popular culture' - which can be harder than we might think.
We also need to remember that God's Laws were given by a loving God, for our good and our protection. Much in the same way that we put a guard around a fire when we have small children and hold their hands and make them walk on the pavement while walking by busy roads. We can give our children the 'freedom' to run into a busy road; but it's better, and more loving, parenting to teach them to be careful, sensible and to cross roads safely!
So, pray for those in positions of Authority.
"I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people - for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Saviour, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowleder of the truth." I Timothy 2:1-4
Pray first for those in Authority, pray second, keep on praying. Then write to whomever is in authority, and protest as it appears necessary. But keep praying for them.
Maybe God will get through to them and they will change their thinking and law-making. Maybe they won't, and God will bring them down.
So I'll be praying for President Trump - goodness only knows it seems as if he needs it. And I'll be praying for our Queen - now marking the 65th year of her reign, and Theresa May as she and her government sort out the details of Brexit. And I'll be blogging, writing letters/emails to MPs and protesting in other ways when it seems that they're getting it seriously wrong.
And I'll be voting, when the opportunity is given. I sometimes wonder how much of what has happened did happen because so many of us 'slept' our way through previous years and didn't either pray for those in authority then, or vote when we had the opportunity?
Meanwhile we need to keep a careful eye on what is happening, both here in the UK and in the USA. Too many of Those in Charge seem to be set on revoking so many changes which were for the betterment of everyone. Thus making life generally Much Worse for those at or near the bottom of the pile. We may not be at the bottom of the pile, yet, but if we do nothing . . .
Billy Bragg puts it so much better in one of his songs, The Times They Are a-Changing . . . Back
(With apologies to Bob Dylan)
Y'all have a good (and prayerful?) day now!