What will the new King bring to Britain?
70 years after the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, Britain has changed almost beyond recognition. Or has it?
The Monarchy, the Parliament and the office of Prime Minister persist. Constitutional Monarchy and Parliamentary democracy are still mutually connected. We remain a nation where there is a place for Christianity in public life. We continue to have a State Church in England as well as an environment of tolerance for those of all faiths and none.
The Coronation of King Charles III is a focal point for all the above. As a religious ceremony, it is perhaps the highest national expression of the Anglican faith of the Established Church of England. It is also a public instrument of the State as the Monarch is the Head of State for the United Kingdom.
The challenge for King Charles is to maintain these essential elements of the British Constitution while adapting to contemporary society. Will he successfully do so in the light of unrelenting activism?
In the very recent past the Christian view of marriage has been rejected by our society, largely due to pressure from highly vocal self-interest groups and biases in our Media, Education and Politics. Superficial arguments of equality were never fully debated or stress tested in any considered way.
The very definition of male and female which, up to very recently, was soundly rooted in biological science has now largely given way to the subjective feelings of individuals and groups. All opposing views are disregarded, shunned or cancelled.
Activism is also being brought to bear on the Institution of the Monarchy. It is understandable that the Institution is again being visibly questioned. The Coronation provides Republicans a platform for their right to dissent. The Monarchy is least supported by the younger generation. This too, is not a surprise given the political agendas now being pursued by the educators of our young people.
King Charles’ Christian convictions have been made public. His own faith is deeply rooted in the Church of England of which he is now the Head. His desire to ensure Britain remains tolerant and welcoming of those from other faiths is also, to a large extent understandable. However, if this is done from the point of view of Religious Pluralism, it should be less welcome to thinking people from most, if not all, faiths. Our tolerance should not be based on the idea that all religions are basically the same or that they all lead to the same God. The god of pluralism is neither the God of the Bible nor that of most religions in the world.
As Christians, we pray to the heavenly King of Kings and ask for wisdom, strength and perseverance for our new earthly King. We also pray for compassion, humility and willingness to surrender to the Book presented to him at the Coronation with the words: “…the most valuable thing this world affords.”