Failing to defend the Faith

I’ve long considered Queen Elizabeth to be representative of class and tradition in an age that has largely rejected both.  But as this article points out, the history of her family — including Saturday’s marriage of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle — shows her descendants have decisively spurned whatever faith and self-discipline the Queen Mother possesses.  Even worse, under her reign, including the title “Defender of the Faith,” the Anglican Church has rejected many Christian doctrines in the name of “tolerance” and “inclusion.”  The result is a Britain in far worse shape than when Elizabeth ascended the throne more than 65 years ago.  She is the longest-reigning monarch in British history.  But despite her personal popularity, it’s not altogether clear her legacy will be on the whole a positive one.

…the courtship and wedding of Meghan and Harry, who is sixth in line for the throne, signaled a sea-change for the royal family in many ways. The bride is American, divorced, biracial, a Catholic, and a commoner, all of which would have been considered scandalous just a generation ago. (Markle was baptized into the Church of England in a private ceremony in March.)…

That the Church blessed the union at all, coming as it did after the couple had been openly cohabitating and in light of Markle’s divorce, signals a radical departure from the traditions of the church headed by Queen Elizabeth, who inherited the title “Defender of the Faith” on the day of her coronation.

While the queen is said to be a very religious woman, her children and grandchildren don’t appear to share her faith. The marriages of the children of the queen and Prince Philip have been replete with scandals and divorces — the most infamous being Prince Charles’s divorce from Princess Diana. Her children and grandchildren, not to mention her husband, openly defied church teachings with pre-marital and extramarital affairs and cohabitation before marriage. Both Prince William and Prince Harry shacked up with their future spouses before marriage, something that would have been unthinkable 20 years ago….

…according to a 2017 British Social Attitudes survey, more than half the population claims they have no religion and only three percent of adults under the age of 24 describe themselves as Anglican. Amongst those ages 18 to 24, three out of four say they have no religion. Among all adults in Britain, only 15 percent now identify as Anglican, 17 percent as Catholics or “other Christian,” and 6 percent say they belong to a non-Christian religion.  (((Spiritually, then, it is no surprise a Muslim is now mayor of London itself.  The influence of that pernicious religion is likely to grow ever stronger there in the vacuum left by the abandonment of Christ.  — Jemison)))

The Church of England’s decline in numbers closely follows the sad trajectory of other mainline Protestant churches. As is almost always the case, declines usually begin with the decision to compromise on longstanding church doctrines. The Church of England began ordaining women in 1994, and ten years later the first female bishops were ordained. Not long after, the church began unofficially blessing same-sex couples. And while the Church of England doesn’t yet officially allow for same-sex marriage, the stage has already been set for approval with the acceptance of clergy in same-sex civil partnerships.

What a long way the Church has come from 1936 when King Edward VIII abdicated his throne so he could wed American divorcee Wallis Simpson.

Indeed.

“…Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more.”  (Luke 12:48)

This is my shocked face (not really)

A survey finds most American Christians are actually heretics in their religious views:

A survey of 3,000 people conducted by LifeWay Research and commissioned by Ligonier Ministries found that although Americans still overwhelmingly identify as “Christian,” startling percentages of the nation embrace ancient errors condemned by all major Christian traditions. These are not minor points of doctrine, but core ideas that define Christianity itself. The really sad part? Even when we’re denying the divinity of Christ, we can’t keep our story straight. Americans talking about theology sound about as competent as country singers rapping.

The article notes that today’s mega-churches are a “Bible-less alternative version of Christianity.”  This should not come as a surprise:

For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions,  and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.

(2 Timothy 4:2-4)

This is not a new development; rather, it’s a rapid acceleration of a long-term trend.  Years ago I had an ongoing discussion with a coworker who claimed to be Christian but also was emphatic that “all people are basically good.”  Pointing out the Scriptural warning that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23) didn’t dissuade her from her position (thus indicating what level of authority she attributed to the Bible).  I pointed out this was easily observable, in that babies are the most self-centered creatures on the planet.  If they’re hungry, they scream to be fed.  If they’ve soiled their diaper, they scream for a change.  They don’t care if you just worked a 12-hour shift, or have the flu, or are worried about something else.  Sometimes it seems they scream just because they can.  The point?  Such self-centeredness is our default setting!  Children have to be taught not to snatch toys from another, or to smack another child who said something they didn’t like.  I’ve even joked you can learn everything you need to know about international relations by watching a kindergarten class.

Sadly, nothing I said had any effect.  The same individual, right after 9/11, expressed amazement that Christian missionaries were in Afghanistan (and that several were held by the Taliban for a short while).  She asked why they would go to a place that clearly didn’t want them.  I simply said “maybe because God believes that’s the kind of place where the Word most needs to be heard.”

America needs to hear the Word again, too.  More importantly, it needs to believe the Word again.  Everything else is merely symptoms of this root problem.