On Biblical grounds we are thankful as a church that Britain formally left the European Union on 31st January 2020. However, continuing vigilance is needed to ensure that a real independence ensues and that no de facto regulatory alignment is kept in place.
Since 1973 the European Union (EU) has been a secularist insurance policy for a God-rejecting nation. The issue of Britain’s membership always did transcend mere politics, being rather about God’s purposes for a fallen world and His ordaining that human societies being arranged into nations.
The primary issue behind Brexit should always have been, What are we trusting as a nation in for our security and well-being?
When Britain joined the Common Market in the early seventies, it was a nation afflicted by economic crises and industrial turmoil. Edward Heath had to declare no less than 5 states of emergency during his premiership. The God-rejecting ‘permissive society’, much promoted by TV and the media generally, was also transforming the culture and destroying the nation’s Christian identity. The doctrines of cultural Marxism (i.e. political correctness) were being so widely propagated that most people would soon simply lose the will to resist.
So as Britain voted to remain in the EEC in 1975, it was in the context of a society deliberately abandoning the decency and wholesomeness of a Bible-imbued culture. The UK had become a nation despising itself and its history, and believing that the problems of the world were primarily a legacy of a nasty imperialist past.
Labour disputes and numerous strikes were also crippling British industry at this time. The Protestant work ethic had become no more than a piece of historical quaintness. In short, Britain was in such a dejected and degenerate condition that it was ripe for a retreat into the arms of a foreign alliance, in the vain hope that there would be safety in numbers.
Therefore we resorted to Europe for survival, precisely because the concept of trusting in the Almighty who governs the nations had become beyond a God-rejecting people’s comprehension. Our country no longer understood the Biblical teaching that national prosperity is a function of obedience to the Trinitarian God, not a function of skilfully crafted alliances.
It is fascinating to note how the Lord frequently rebuked Old Testament Israel for resorting to seemingly attractive foreign alliances, instead of trusting in Him. For example, God says to the nation in 2 Chronicles 16, “Thou hast relied on the king of Syria, and not relied on the LORD thy God … Herein thou hast done foolishly” (verses 7 and 9).
So, as a church, we are pleased on theological grounds that Britain has left the secular alliance which is the EU. This political union purposefully refused to make any distinct reference to Christianity when it drew up its formal constitution. The preamble to the Lisbon Treaty merely states that the Union “draws inspiration from the cultural, religious and humanist inheritance of Europe”.
What a stark contrast to the British constitutional position whereby, through the 1688 Coronation Oath Act, the Queen receives a Bible in her hand and promises to govern according to its precepts.
What Britain today desperately needs for national rejuvenation is not the stultifying membership of a grand supranational alliance. What it needs is to hear and embrace the Christian gospel of salvation from sin, because it is righteousness before God which alone can exalt a nation (Proverbs 14:34).
In leaving the EU we are on the right track in respect of restoring the God-ordained institutions of nationhood and controlled borders (Deuteronomy 19:14, Deuteronomy 32:8, Acts 17:26), but this in and of itself will be to no avail, unless as a nation we return to the fear of the one true Trinitarian God, trusting in Him alone for our national security and prosperity.
The priority must therefore be that many in our land turn as individuals in repentance and faith to the only Saviour of sinners, the Lord Jesus Christ, and that corporately as nation we restore to their rightful place as the foundation of our laws and culture the teachings of God’s word, the Bible.
(PS. Please be assured of our respect for, and courtesy towards, those of a differing persuasion on this issue)
Pastor Peter Simpson, Penn Free Methodist Church, www.realchristianity.org