Posted by: stpowen | May 13, 2016

Referendum Blues

Psalm 4:6.  ‘There are many who say, “Who will show us any good?”  LORD, lift up the light of Your countenance upon us.’

Psalm 131.  ‘LORD, my heart is not haughty, nor my eyes lofty, nor do I concern myself with great matters, nor with things too profound for me.  Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with his mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me.

 O Israel, hope in the LORD from this time forth and forever.’

 

Once again the whole nation is agog waiting for Martin Marprelate to tell it how to vote in the forthcoming election.  Well, he will keep you in suspense no longer; he believes that Britain should assert her independence by leaving the E.U.  This is not for religious reasons, though some have written to claim that the Nation State is God’s will for mankind.  Possibly so, but what God demands of the nations is godliness, that seems to be in short supply throughout the world.  No, Martin’s view is simply that Britain should be responsible for her own destiny, should set her own laws, control her own borders and make her own trade deals.  Not everything that comes out of the E.U. is evil- some of it has been beneficial- but Britain and Britons should be the ones who decide what we should do.  In short- we want our country back.

 

The idea that all our trade will disappear and our economy crash the moment we leave is a nonsense.  The day after the referendum we shall still be in the E.U. with all the treaties in place.  Withdrawal would take place slowly over the following two years.  Even more ridiculous is the suggestion from the Prime Minister that war in Europe is more likely if Britain leaves the E.U.  Whilst all the nations of the E.U. remain in NATO, war between them is unthinkable.  The real threat to peace and stability in Europe is the Euro and the European Central Bank.  Nations like Greece, Spain and Portugal have the most terrible unemployment, especially among the young, and no hope of any real improvement because they cannot devalue their currencies to stimulate trade.  Martin is amazed that there has not been much more violence on the streets in these countries, but we are seeing a rise in extreme politics in several of them, and who knows what the results of endless years of austerity will be?

 

But Britain’s real need is not freedom from Europe but freedom from enslavement to sin.  As one who goes into schools from time to time, Martin gets the opportunity to speak to teachers, and the portrait they paint of our young people is very worrying.  Depression and self-harming is endemic; a third of children between 11 and 15 have had thoughts of suicide; many young girls (and increasing numbers of boys) are suffering from bulimia and anorexia; the practice of ‘sexting’ is causing even more distress.  So many children have messy home lives, with their parents (often unmarried) changing partners with dizzying regularity, that many of them find their only structured existence in school.  And to cap it all, they are told (implicitly, if not explicitly) that they are nothing more than accidents of nature; that their lives have no ultimate purpose; that they evolved from slime and to slime they will return.  Is it any wonder that our children are bewildered and depressed?

 

Families, if they are not breaking up altogether, are living with colossal quantities of debt.  The open advertising of various forms of gambling along with galloping consumerism have seen to that.  Sexually transmitted diseases are rampant, with some of them becoming resistant to anti-biotics, and finally, the knowledge of Jesus Christ has almost disappeared from the land.  Children are more likely to know the meaning of Eid or Diwali than that of Easter.  They have not the faintest idea that there is a God who loves sinners like them so much that He sent the Lord Jesus to suffer and to die to take away their sin.

 

None of this will change whether the U.K. leaves the E.U. or stays within it.  The pressing need of our nation is revival.  By all means let the reader vote for his choice in the coming referendum, but let us not fool ourselves that the result will give Britain the change she really needs.  Let us make it our priority to attend the church prayer meetings and put the emphasis, not on Uncle Charlie’s sprained wrist or whatever, but on beseeching the Lord to send the Holy Spirit down on this land again.  The next Concert of Prayer meetings are scheduled for thee second Saturday in July.  Would it not be wonderful if hundreds of people came to these meetings up and down the country to spend two hours praying for revival?

‘Thus says the LORD of hosts: “Peoples shall yet come, inhabitants of many cities; the inhabitants of one city shall go to another, ssaying, ‘Let us continue to go and pray to the LORD, and seek the LORD of hosts.  I myself will also go'”‘ (Zechariah 8:20-21).

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