Posted by: stpowen | October 31, 2011

Put Not Your Trust in Princes

Put Not Your Trust in Princes

Psalm 146:3.  ‘Do not put your trust in princes, nor in a son of man, in whom there is no help.’

Get down on your knees and pray…..you won’t get fooled again.’  The Who

Martin Marprelate’s regular readers will recall that at the last British General Election, he announced that he had no confidence in David Cameron as Prime Minister (1).  His distrust was not in economic matters, where Martin thinks that it can normally be assumed that the Conservatives will be more sensible than the other parties, or at least, no more feckless.  His distrust was in matters of morality.  Despite the ghastly economic mess that Britain is in at present, there is no doubt in Martin’s mind that our most serious problems are not economic nor political, but moral.

Anyone who questions this should look back to the summer and the riots that took place in several of our cities.  It seems to have taken only a few texts or ‘tweets’ for a horde of human locusts to descend upon our streets and carry off anything they could find.  The draconian sentences imposed upon offenders seem to have quietened down the situation and no doubt some of those involved will have second thoughts about doing the same again, but has that really solved the problem?  Who can doubt that there is an increasing disregard for property rights in the country?  Other aspects of Britain’s moral life are equally worrying.  Just about half of all children born today are illegitimate.  Drunkenness is endemic, drug-taking is rife, and sexually-transmitted diseases are apparently ubiquitous.  Worst of all, no one seems to be the least bit ashamed of all this.  ‘They do not know how to blush’

In Jeremiah 5:1, God invites the prophet to wander about Jerusalem to see if he can find even one person who acts righteously.  Allowing for a bit of poetic licence, are things any better today?  How many doors would you have to knock upon in most British cities before you could find an evangelical Christian?  Though up to 70% of the population declares itself to be Christian in some way, according to recent surveys, you would be hard-pressed to find any indication of their faith in their actions.  ‘Though they say, “As the LORD lives,” surely they swear falsely’ (Jer 5:2).

In verses 4-5, God decides to speak to the leaders and elders of Jerusalem.  Surely they will know something of God’s righteous standards?  But no, they ‘Have altogether broken the yoke and burst the bonds.’  They are, if anything, worse than the ordinary people in their flagrant disregard of God’s righteous laws.  Is this not exactly what we have seen here in recent days?  The banks, the politicians, the Press and the police have all been accused of being involved in financial or ethical shenanigans of one sort and another.  Add in the scandal of the paedophile Roman Catholic priests and it seems as if every pillar of society has been found suffering from moral concrete cancer.  So if the Good and the Great are seen to be filling their beaks at every opportunity, is it so surprising if ordinary people take the opportunity to indulge in a spot of looting and pillage when the chance presents itself, since they have no opportunity to indulge in the more ‘genteel’ activities of embezzlement, bribery and financial irregularity?  As the poet Chaucer wrote seven hundred years ago, “If gold shall rust, what shall iron do?”  If the very people who are entrusted with the nation’s financial, political, legal and moral care are found to be stuffing themselves full at the people’s expense, why should anyone be shocked if ordinary folk seize their chance to do likewise?

The same principle arises in the moral sphere as in the financial- indeed, the two run together to some degree.  It is the banker or politician who is running a mistress or two who finds that he cannot live on his salary but must fiddle his expenses or bonus to keep his lifestyle going.   It is known perfectly well that stable marriage is the bedrock of society for a variety of reasons.  Children, especially boys, need to be brought up by a mother and a father.  If a young man is brought before the law for crimes of violence or vandalism, the odds are about six to one that he comes from a broken home or has been brought up without the presence of his natural father.  Cohabiting couples stay together on average less than half as long as married couples.  Family headed by single mothers are far more likely to be in poverty than those where the father is present.  Children are far more likely to be abused by step-fathers than by their natural fathers.  These facts are too well-documented to brook any argument.  

Yet we see no real effort from the Government to address these troubling statistics.   Sex education has been placed to a large degree in the hands of the F.P.A. and the Brook organization who provide many of the materials used in the lessons.  These businesses, along with Marie Stopes International, have charitable status, but you are most unlikely to have seen anyone rattling a tin outside a supermarket on their behalf.  They do not appear to raise money from the public; rather,  they get their money mostly from the State, either by advising on the killing of unborn children in huge numbers or by providing material for sex education lessons.  They have a policy in their lessons of never mentioning the word ‘marriage.’  Apparently this is so as not to upset children whose parents are unmarried.  This is a strange policy.  Do we not encourage obese children to diet because their parents might be fat?  Do we not warn youngsters about the perils of drug abuse in case Mummy and Daddy might be smack-heads?  The fact of the matter is that sex education lessons are pretty much value-free.  Children are told in these lessons to start having sex ‘when you are ready.’  In other words they are left to make up their own minds about when and with whom to have sex and this approach has left us with the most appalling legacy of teenage pregnancy, venereal disease and of course, abortion, providing the F.P.A., Brooke and Marie Stopes with plenty of customers for its other service.

Of course, homosexuality is promoted in these lessons as absolutely normal (2), despite the fact that  homosexual intercourse remains by far the primary cause of AIDS infection.  It is also a leading cause of hepatitis and various other distressing  conditions. A recent article in Pink News has even linked it to dysentery.  Until 1997, homosexuality could not be promoted in schools, and the doubling of AIDS infection rates since then shows the effect of the change.

Now, of course, we have the present Government ‘consulting’ (3) on bringing in homosexual ‘marriage’ as being fully equal with that between a man and a woman.  I have placed the word marriage in inverted commas in the last sentence because I do not accept that people of the same sex can be married.  I think it was Tweedle-Dum who said (4) “When I say a word it means exactly what I want it to mean,” and this seems to be the view of the Prime Minister.  But since the beginning of time, in just about every society on earth, there has been some form of marriage, and that marriage has been the union between a man and a woman.  So it is signified in the very first book of both Old and New Testaments;  (Gen 2:24; Matt 19:4-5).  According to the 1662 Anglican Prayer Book, the primary reason for the institution of marriage is, ‘For the procreation of children, to be brought up in the fear and nurture of the Lord,’ and this understanding is supported by the Bible (Mal 2:15).   Whatever may be said about homosexual relationships, the fact is that they are inevitably sterile.  What breath-taking arrogance for politicians to imagine that they are wiser than God!

Before proceeding, I feel I must warn readers against becoming obsessed with the issue of homosexuality.  It is true that God describes it as an ‘abomination’ (Lev 18:22), but so He speaks of pride, lying, violence against the innocent, wicked scheming, the sowing of discord  (Prov 6:16ff), dishonest dealing (Prov 11:1) and scoffing about the things of God (Prov 24:9) and several other things which men regard as being praiseworthy (Luke 16:15).  To make homosexuality into a uniquely wicked sin is not supportable from Scripture.  

So what can we Christians do about it all?  Well, we live in a democracy, unlike the First-Century Christians; we have rights and we ought to make use of them.  I would certainly encourage my readers to lobby their M.P.s on these topics.  Make an appointment to see yours personally.  It will at least impress him with your earnestness.  There are also various Christian organizations that lobby and comment on behalf of Christians as well as keeping them informed:  The Christian Institute, Christian Concern, Christian Watch and Christian Voice. They are all evangelical (5) to some degree, and each one has a different approach.   Let the reader take his pick and support one of them.  Write to the newspapers and quote the Bible at them.  I say this not because I have any faith whatsoever in either politicians or the press, but because we should be witnessing to the nation and to its leaders that its deeds are evil.   Let the truth of God’s word be proclaimed in the newspapers, local and national..  Isaiah was sent to witness to the evil king Ahaz (Isaiah 7:3ff) and Jeremiah had a message for the wicked sons of Josiah (Jer 22:11ff).  We therefore should not be afraid to proclaim God’s word to rulers as well as to the common people.

I would also like to encourage my readers to pray for our nation.  It must be right to confess the sins of ourselves and the people, and to beseech the Lord to spare our land from judgement.   In this respect, see Ezra’s prayer for Israel in Ezra 9.  Yet my mind is increasingly being taken to the book of Jeremiah (6).  There the time for national repentance has passed, and all that remains is judgement.  God told the prophet,  ‘Therefore do not pray for this people, nor lift a cry or prayer for them, nor make intercession to Me, for I will not hear you’ (Jer 7:16).  Could it be that Britain has finally sinned itself out of God’s love and care and that God has given us over to retribution  (Rom 1:18ff)?  I do not know, but if there had been ten righteous men in Sodom, it would have been spared destruction.   It must surely be right therefore, until such time as God clearly shows that He has given the country over, to continue to pray fervently for this poor benighted land.   I have written previously about my longing for the Bible-believing churches in the land to come together for times of prayer and repentance (7).  Maybe it is still not too late for us to beseech God to turn from His anger against Britain and come again to bless the land.  Joel 2 is the chapter to read about this.  Who knows if the Lord will not even now come down in power on Britain, to turn us away from the lies of humanism back towards the truth;  to restore to us the years that the locusts have eaten- the years of secularism and immorality- and leave a blessing behind Him?

Finally, we need to be busy with our evangelism.  There are people in this land who are growing weary of their worldliness, and they can be encouraged to come to church to hear the Gospel.  This is what we are finding in my church; it must be equally true in others.  If every Bible-believing church reached out to just two couples or families each year, and by God’s grace they were converted, that would be thousands saved each year.  We are bidden not to despise the day of small things (Zech 4:10), and God has promised to ‘Take one from a city and two from a family and bring them to Zion’ (Jer 3:14).   When Paul was discouraged by the opposition that he faced in Corinth, the Lord encouraged him, saying, “Do not be afraid, but speak and do not keep silent; for I am with you, and no one will attack you or hurt you; for I have many people in this city” (Acts 18:9-10).  Is it not possible that God has many people in your city, town or village, and that God in His mercy is going to use you and me to reach them?

Notes.

(1) https://marprelate.wordpress.com/2010/04/29/why-martin-marprelate-wont-be-voting-conservative/

(2)  The question of what is ‘normal’ and what isn’t is an interesting one.  My definition is that a normal activity is one in which it would make no difference if everybody did it.  Obviously, if everyone in the world was homosexual, the human race would die out within a hundred years.

(3)  David Cameron has made it clear that he is not consulting on whether homosexual marriage should be introduced, but how it should be done.  

(4) In Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland.

(5) The Christian Institute seems to me to be the closest to having a Reformed understanding of Scripture.

(6) See my article on Jeremiah 13.  https://marprelate.wordpress.com/2010/05/22/the-wine-of-gods-wrath

(7) See my articles on 2Chron 7:13-14, starting with https://marprelate.wordpress.com/2010/02/10/looking-to-god-for-revival-1/

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Responses

  1. Very interesting article, makes me think about what I am doing to warn MPs and the nation as a whole of their wickedness and wrongdoings.
    Michael Buckingham


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