House of Commons witness : National repentance, not EU membership, is the way to secure a prosperous future
(Photo : Pastor Simpson handing out leaflets about the Bible and nationhood)
Pastors Peter Simpson and John Sherwood were preaching the gospel and upholding the Biblical ordinance of nationhood outside of Parliament on September 4th, the day on which MPs blocked the Government’s ability to leave the European Union without a deal, even though any deal will only be under conditions which are acceptable to the EU.
This move by a majority in the House of Commons ignores the fact that the 2016 Referendum result was never about a negotiated strings-attached departure on the EU’s terms, but simply about leaving pure and simple.
The preaching laid strong emphasis on the providence of God determining the well-being or otherwise of nations. One of the texts preached upon was Isaiah 31:1, “Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help … but they look not unto the Holy One of Israel, neither seek the LORD!”
Judah at the time of its being invaded by Assyria turned to the Egyptians for help, rather than trusting in the Lord. The nation sought security in the horses and chariots of a foreign power, and their action provides a telling parallel to what Britain did by its original entry into the Common Market in the midst of the economic turmoil of the early 1970s. Recession, high inflation, and many debilitating strikes were sapping the confidence of the country, which was also at the same time giving itself over to the crude immorality of the ‘permissive society’. So it was, therefore, that a desperate Britain resorted to Europe in the hope of finding a guaranteed future prosperity.
God’s word tells us, however, that He is the Governor of the nations and determines their security and prosperity, e.g. in Deuteronomy 28:1-14.
Enormous interest was taken by passers-by in the posters on display outside of Parliament, which included one which read, “Only God’s providence makes a nation prosperous, not its leagues and alliances. Therefore Britain needs a total break with the EU, along with repentance from sin and a return to faith in Christ”. Another poster asserted, “Our British nationhood is God-given over many centuries. It is not for politicians to do ‘a deal’ with”.
The two pastors received much opposition to their stance. Remain supporters were out in force, and many people laughed and expressed utter incredulity that the Bible should have anything at all to say on the issue of Brexit. The argument was also employed that independent nationhood causes wars, and open borders were endorsed as representing a moral necessity. An assumption appeared to be made by some that for Britain to reassert its sovereignty somehow implied inevitable hostility towards other nations, but of course nothing could be further from the truth.
Interestingly, one passer-by said that to preach outside of Parliament in support of God-ordained independent nationhood, as the two ministers were doing, was to be as obnoxious as those awful homophobic preachers who speak at Pride parades. (Strange how the LGBT issue keeps on arising in all kinds of contexts!) Pastor Simpson replied that he did indeed preach at Pride parades, but that homophobia was an artificial word simply designed to be pejorative, rather than having any constructive meaning. He explained that he does not hate gay people, as the opposer accused him of doing, but rather seeks to help them by pointing out to them what the Bible clearly teaches about the sinfulness of homosexuality, and then by drawing them to seek mercy and forgiveness in Jesus Christ.
This witness was not a foolish dabbling in politics, but an attempt to uphold God’s own ordinance of nationhood, which goes right back to the time of the Tower of Babel, as recorded in Genesis 11. The witness was also a wonderful opportunity to preach the gospel and to exhort many to do their own part in promoting national righteousness by repenting of sin and trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation.