By Joseph Hubbard
With Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral happening later today, many people have asked Creation Research to give their opinion on her majesty, the monarchy in general, and her Christian faith, as well as the future of the monarchy, as it continues with King Charles III. So, what I thought I’d do, is run through a few different issues. Obviously, as a Brit, the death of the Queen is quite significant, as it is for many of our viewers in other members of the Commonwealth, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada, for example. But for our viewers in the States, when they hear that the monarchy’s role is ‘ceremonial’, then often hear ‘redundant’ or ‘useless’. So I’d like to briefly run through the role of the monarchy for the UK and the commonwealth, before moving on to the Queen’s apparent faith and the future.
To begin with, the United Kingdom, as well as the commonwealth countries are not strictly democracies, they are Constitutional Monarchies, which oversee a Parliamentary Democracy. However, it is important to understand the actual role that the monarchy plays when it comes to governing a country. The queen had nothing to do with the theology of the Church of England, and she had nothing to do with the policies of the British government. The monarchy hasn’t functioned this way for over 400 years. Their role is not theological or political, it is ceremonial – but that is not to say they are useless adornments or redundant individuals.
Instead, the monarchy provides a genuine stability in a time of chaos and turmoil, it is the core point of unity during a time of political division, and it holds to a history during an era that has lost its foundations – all of which is essential for the health of a nation, none more so when all these things are under attack. When everything is political, everything is divisive – which you can clearly see in the United States right now. In the UK, we are extremely blessed to have an apolitical, stabilising, and unifying institution at its core. Many Americans are quick to point out that they are also not a democracy, but a constitutional republic. I admire the US political system – to a point. But when it comes down to it, I would far prefer a Constitutional Monarchy, which provides a state of unity between political parties and the common man, something that has proven to be key to the longevity of this nation. And at the end of the day, Monarchy is the most successful and longest lasting form of government.
The following is a very helpful quote from Dr Jenny Taylor, which gives a bigger perspective:
“For the monarchy, EMBODIMENT, not representation, is the point. Members of Parliament may REPRESENT those who elected them. They embody very little. The monarch, on the other hand, represents no one. But he/she, whether saint or sinner, embodies in his/her constitutional presence everything we have: the rights and freedoms conferred on the people by the God under whom he/she serves. There is a higher power to whom the monarch is answerable, and of whose loving impartiality he/she is a sign…The coronation is.. a symbol… of the world’s oldest and only global narrative: God’s story. It goes all the way back to the crowning of Edgar by St. Dunstan in AD 973, drawing, it is said, an on even older Frankish ceremony. It takes place in Westminster Cathedral, the national shrine. The oath is administered by the highest clergyman in the land. His office takes precedence even over the monarch himself…Then, in the even more amazing rite of unction that stretches in one unbroken line from the anointing of Solomon by Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet in the Hebrew Bible, the king is anointed with oil under a gold awning in a ceremony of the utmost holiness. The archbishop hands him the symbols of his rule: “Receive this orb set under the cross and remember that the whole world is subject to the power and empire of Christ our redeemer.” It is THIS that is the radioactive heart of Britain’s monarchy, and the secret of its strength. It is both a protection against tyranny and a remedy for weakness. For, long forgotten by secular pundits, it models itself on the Christian belief that authority is what it is because it has been CRUCIFIED; that only Christ the servant king is truly powerful, and because all are fallen, all can be restored only through him.”
Now, with that in mind, let’s turn to the Queen’s Christian faith. Scripture tells us there are two things that indicate a true faith in Christ: one’s word of testimony, and one’s fruit. To start with her testimony, it is important to note that despite the continuing degression of the Christian Faith over the last 70 years and the increasing secularisation of the nation, the Queen’s message and testimony has remained remarkably consistent. Sometimes even more so than many so-called pastors and church leaders! She claimed throughout her reign that it was Jesus Christ that was her source of strength, wisdom, and faith. She once said: “History teaches us that we need saving from ourselves, from our recklessness and our greed. God sent into the world neither a philosopher nor a general, but a saviour with the power to forgive.” She stated that it was Jesus himself, as well as His teachings that have been the bedrock of her faith. And she certainly appeared to act upon this faith. One of my favourite stories comes from a minister of a church that she attended. He was preaching on the second coming of Christ and reported that after the service the Queen came up to him and declared that she would so love for Christ to return during her time on earth. When he inquired as to why she felt that way, she said with pure joy, “Because I would love to cast my crown at His feet.” From all appearances, it would certainly seem that Elizabeth II, even as Queen, believed, served and bowed to the living God.
Obviously, the subject of her salvation is purely between her and God. It would certainly seem from her life and testimony that she believed, and one thing is for certain, she is in God’s hands now. But what about prayer? Should we pray for the Queen and her salvation, now that she has passed? Scripture is clear that it is appointed once to die, and then face the judgement. Our prayers can do nothing now – there is no purgatory, no second chance after death. The Queen will be judged by a holy and righteous God, and as a sinner she would be found guilty – if it wasn’t for Christ’s redeeming power. As I’ve already stated, my personal conviction is that she knew this power personally, as I do, and I look forward to meeting her one day.
So who or what should we pray for? I have two suggestions. The first is the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby. Now, he is certainly not without criticism (and I would be the first to criticise much of his doctrine and teaching), but I don’t believe that time is now. Very shortly, he will stand in front of the largest audience of all time, open his Bible, and preach a sermon. Such an opportunity is unprecedented and is not to be wasted.
The temptation for him to pander to the ‘woke’ and multi-faith philosophy will be immense, as will be the temptation to sound learned and intelligent. But my prayer is that the Spirit speaks through him, and his message is one of simplicity – that he preaches Christ crucified for the redemption of sins.
My second suggestion for prayer? King Charles III. He is certainly on record saying some questionable things about the Christian faith, but then again he has said some rather brilliant things on the future of faith and freedom. He got a lot of bad rep as Prince of Wales, some of it justified, much of it not. One thing is certain through, he does not have a faith like his mother had. Whether he believes or not, is between him and the Holy Spirit. Despite this, we know that it is God who has appointed him King, as it tells us in Romans 13, and we are called to pray for our leaders. That God would give them wisdom, that He would humble them before Him, and set them on a path that is straight. That is why this afternoon, as I sing the National Anthem, it shall be a genuine prayer to the Lord when I call out the words, “God Save the King!”