UNDERSTANDING OUR CHRISTIAN HERITAGE
AUSTRALIA IS A CHRISTIAN NATION
by Richard Eason BEc (Hons.), jssc.
THE PARABLE OF THE CHRISTIAN LEADER
Hear the parable of the Christian leader.
A leader went out to lead his nation. As he did so, some of the prophets from the churches of that nation showed him God’s principles of Christian leadership and good government.
The leader heeded the Words that God spoke through the prophets insomuch that it became established forever in the nation that a leader should:
Profess faith in Jesus as Saviour and Lord.
Worship regularly with the Church.
Be acclaimed by multitudes, as God’s appointed leader, before taking office.
Promise to govern lawfully, justly and mercifully and to maintain God’s law and the true message of the Gospel to the utmost of his power.
Regard the Bible as the rule for the whole of life and government; as the most valuable thing that this world affords; and as the lively oracles of God.
Acknowledge publicly that only a powerful anointing of the Holy Spirit can equip a leader for government and preservation of the nation in wealth, peace, Godliness, wisdom and justice.
Seek that powerful anointing before accepting any of the trappings of power and authority by humbly participating in a national Christian service of prayer and worship.
Accept the responsibility to do justice, stop the growth of iniquity, protect the church, help and defend widows and orphans, restore and maintain things fallen into decay, punish and reform what is amiss, and confirm what is in good order.
Desire that kind of sincerity and wisdom which attracts God’s protection and unites both leader and people.
Publicly proclaim that the whole world is subject to the power and empire of Christ our Redeemer.
Display the kind of leadership that is rich in faith, blessed in all good works and reigning with the King of kings.
Express the need to rule gently with equity and mercy, protecting and cherishing the just and leading the people in “the way”.
This covenant of Christian leadership and government expressed mighty faith in action and God blessed the leader and the nation exceedingly. Abundance was multiplied in the nation and it prospered in every way. The leader and his successors found great favour with God and with the people.
Nevertheless, on occasions a leader neglected God’s principles of Christian leadership and government. At such times God chastened him with the rod of men and with the stripes of the sons of men, but never removed altogether from the leader His steadfast love.
At each chastening, God hedged in the leader with wise counsellors and judges for the safety and protection of the nation. In time, God’s law became the common law of the land. The Gospel was freely preached, and the cross of Christ was even included in their national flag.
As the Word of God prospered amongst them the people waxed rich and fat. Many learned men and a great many skilled artisans were amongst them and the whole race of them spread throughout the earth and in their fullness became a number of nations. They preached the Gospel to every nation and put the Word of God into every land.
Leadership became very burdensome. But the prophets reminded the leader and the people of the words of Jesus:
“You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you; but whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave; even as the Son of man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:25-28)
Many of them took these words to heart. They reformed their society accordingly and strengthened its foundations. The leader was encouraged in an exemplary life of Godly service to his people and in gracious, inspiring leadership. The people on their part prayed continually for the leader and elected from among their number learned men whose X duty and service was to prayerfully meet, seek good counsel and loyally re-present it to the leader.
But alas, Satan filled the hearts of some of those elected servants with pride, and they said within themselves:
We are the wise counsellors, we will rule. We will set our government on high; we will sit on the mount of the assembly in the far north; we will ascend above the heights of the wisest in the nation and we will make ourselves like the anointed leader.
How corrupt and tyrannical, how contemptible would those elected servants be judged to be if they, having chosen one of their number as a chief servant, began thus to undermine the leader. What seeds of dictatorship would be sown if the media subtly supported their ambitions by continually casting the leader in the role of a figurehead, and suggesting that real power belonged to the chief servant – provided, of course, that chief servant had the support of the media?
Having yielded to God’s principles of leadership through service, having graciously agreed to act on advice, should that leader then be criticised as “a figurehead and unnecessary” by those who lust after his God given authority?
I tell you, the day is coming and is close at hand when God will raise up prophets to declare to the people the deceit of those power hungry servants. Great indignation from the people shall descend upon those wicked servants and great shame shall come upon those churches which, infected by apathy or humanism or worldy cynicism, let it happen.
THE INTERPRETATION OF THE PARABLE
Now this is the interpretation of the parable.
The Christian leader appointed and anointed by God is the Royal line, currently represented by our Queen. (Romans 13:1-7).
The ambitious servants are the Ministers of the Crown. Minister means servant. Prime Minister means Chief Servant of the Crown. The Parliament which elects them opens every meeting in Christian prayer.
The Lordship of Jesus Christ in Australia’s governmental system
The amazing standards of Christian leadership and government outlined at the start of the parable should be read again, because many Christians in Australia earnestly express the desire to have that kind of government leader. But we already have exactly that kind of leader, because the standards in the parable are condensed directly from the Queen’s promises and prayers at her Coronation service. Christians can rejoice that the Coronation service so clearly reveals the Lordship of Jesus in our national life.
No other nations on earth install their head of state in a Christian service of praise and worship.
During the service the Queen seeks the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Later, she holds the Sceptre and the Orb, one in each hand. The Sceptre is the symbol of her kingly authority, but the Orb — a golden sphere surmounted by the cross — is held at the same time to remind her “that the whole world is subject to the Power and the Empire of Christ our Redeemer”. Thus, our kings and queens publicly declare to all, including those in positions of delegated authority, that use of the Crown’s authority is only legitimate when under the Lordship of the King of kings.
Christian approach censored
Supremely inspiring, is the best way to describe the tenets of Christian leadership and government set forth in the Coronation service. No Christian home should be without a well read copy.
It is exciting. It reveals God’s blessing on our nation in answer to the faith of many generations. But it is also a chilling reminder of the extent to which the apathy of modern Christians and the intense activity of secular humanists have censored these facts from the pages of our history books and TV programmes.
Timeless principles of God
For over a thousand years the framework of the Coronation service has hardly changed, yet its details and central message are today kept well hidden from popular view, the service used for the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, for example, descends directly from the service used by Archbishop Dunstan at the Coronation of King Edgar at Bath in 973AD.
This means that long before the advent of the Church of England as a denomination, and long before Henry VIII, the church in England had so inspired and elevated politics that the nation adopted this unique, indeed, sublime approach to Christian government and leadership. And its relevance still challenges us in the 20th century.
One of the church’s greatest achievements
Conceiving this enduring approach to Christian leadership and government is one of the most outstanding achievements in the history of the Church anywhere in the world. And it is part of Australia’s heritage. It is as practical as it is spiritual, and is a powerful prophetic statement by the Church to the nation. God is calling Australian Christians, particularly Ministries, to voice that statement to this generation.
Australian government standard is submission to Christ as Lord
Obviously, the Coronation service of itself cannot turn Monarchs or their advisors into perfect people, but it does reveal clearly the standard. And the standard for Australia is shown by the Coronation service to be nothing less than complete submission of our government, its institutions and leaders, to the Lordship of Jesus Christ and His Word.
When the churches stop being apologetic and stop feeling threatened, and when we come out of hiding to proclaim this standard as a settled and accepted part of our national life and heritage, ordinary Australians will at last have some clear simple guidelines against which to judge political actions and proposals.
A rod for the wicked and counsel for the wise
Ungodly kings, corrupt judges, malevolent Ministers of the crown and bad bureaucrats will be seen by the people for what they are and will find themselves afflicted “with the rod of men and with the stripes of the sons of men”.
In the system of government that God has given us, with its strong emphasis on loyalty and servanthood, the wicked have an Achilles heel: they can never fully implement their policies without grabbing for more power than is legitimately available to loyal servants. This point was well made in a TV documentary entitled “The Royal Family”, when one commentator said that what is important is not the power that the Queen exercises personally, but the power that she denies to others.
P.M. not entitled to say “my government”
Demogogues and potential dictators are frustrated and even infuriated by our quaint “old fashioned” loyalty to the Crown. I often smile, for example, as I hear a Prime Minister use the phrase “my Government”. Prime Ministers really do know better than to refer to the government as their own, but it frustrates some of them that Section 61 of our Constitution says “The executive power (i.e. government) of the Commonwealth is vested in the Queen…” and she says it is all subject to the Power and Empire of Christ!
P.M. and Cabinet not even mentioned in our Constitution
Ambitious politicians and most of the power lusting media barons would love us to believe that the Prime Minister is the one who holds authority. But the Constitution of Australia does not even mention either the Prime Minister or the Cabinet.
If the Monarchy is powerless, why do they want to scrap it?
What a glorious conception of government our forefathers had: a Royal line appointed by God, publicly in submission to Christ the King of kings, serving the people and ably served by loyal advisers who are in turn responsible to a Parliament which faithfully represents the views of the people to the Crown.
No wonder humanists and ambitious unbelievers in the media and in politics have worked so hard to convince our people that our Monarchy is out of date, purely ceremonial and has no real power or authority. If that were true, why would they want to get rid of it?
Racists say if your descent is British you are un-Australian
Lacking more substantial criticism, and in complete contradiction of their otherwise strong advocacy of multi-culturalism, they have recently suggested that because of its British origins, the Monarchy is somehow un-Australian. Taken to its logical conclusion that argument writes off 75% of Australians as un-Australian.
It has even been suggested that because its roots are in Great Britain, the Monarchy could give offence to those from other countries who have now sought refuge under its protection.
We in Australia have the good fortune to remain under an authority clearly appointed, and anointed, by the Lord of Hosts. Far from giving offence to new settlers, the Monarchy is one of the clearest examples of the blessings of Abraham coming upon the gentiles (Gal. 3:14); a blessing to all the families of the earth (Gen. 12:3); and a signal example of Church revealing to the principalities and powers, the manifold wisdom of God (Eph. 3:10).
Tyranny comes when nations reject Romans 13:1-4
Most countries in today’s world, have rejected their God-appointed head and adopted some secular humanistic form of government. Having thus removed themselves from the Godly protection of Romans 13:1-4 they and their descendants have been plunged into humanistic darkness and subjected to succession of ungodly tyrants such as Hitler, Stalin, Mao Tse Tung, Idi Amin, Colonel Gadaffi, etc.. Surely in 20th century Australia we are wise enough to learn from these mistakes of history!
Some may even be tempted to doubt that anti-Christian humanistic forces could grow so powerful in Australia, even in a republican Australia. But consider what Professor Manning Clark is quoted as saying about the late Lionel Murphy:
“it had been one of Murphy’s aims to dismantle the Judeo-Christian ethic of Australian society.” (p8, Sydney Morning Herald, 30/10/86)
Murphy’s protege, Gareth Evans, a former president of the humanist society and architect of the proposed “Bill of Wrongs”, was himself once quoted as saying: “children want a right to sexual freedom and education and ‘protection from the influence of Christianity’.” (pll, Sydney Morning Herald, 7/5/76 )
Benefits when the churches pray for and honour the Queen
If Australia’s churches will obey God’s command to pray for the Queen and give honour and loyalty to her, and if we will teach the nation that vital principles of loving Christian leadership and government are embedded in our Monarchy, the whole humanist programme will be shaken as the light shines on their sinister grab for illicit power in so many areas.
The challenge to accept and affirm our Christian nationhood
With all these fruits of the faith of our forefathers to build on, and with a national leader at the highest level willing to commit herself to the service of God and to our welfare, Australia’s potential in God is immense. What encouragement to believe and to affirm that we are indeed a Christian nation. It’s time to act accordingly.
Obviously we are not yet a nation of Christians. But we should gently and steadfastly resist all who presume upon our Christian tolerance by trying to subvert or deny our Christian heritage. The tolerance, freedom, tranquility, justice and prosperity we enjoy, exists only in that tiny handful of nations that embrace Biblical Christianity, but will diminish if we neglect or depart from that Christian heritage.
The challenge to expose the delusion of “secular” government
One of the most insidious challenges to the Lordship of Christ over our national life, an error that the churches need to expose, is the idea that it is possible to have “secular” government divorced from religious belief. Ironically, this notion itself is based on one of three logically unprovable (and therefore religious) beliefs, namely:
A belief in Platonic dualism; or a belief that there is no God; or a belief that man is sovereign.
Naturally, the so called “non-theistic religion” of humanism, which is the basis of socialism, has produced some of the strongest advocates of “secular” government.
But government divorced from religious belief is a complete impossibility. In his book “The Changing Law”, Sir Alfred Denning (now Lord Denning, Master of the Rolls), perhaps the greatest judge of our time, said: “Without religion there is no morality; without morality there is no law.” To suggest that one can frame a system of law without reference to moral values is nonsense.
The challenge to teach that God’s Word must govern Australia
Hence, separation of religion and government is a dangerous deception. It disguises the real issue which is this: whose beliefs, will prevail as the basis of our law and government – man made guesses, or the Word of Almighty God?
So strong is the delusion of “secular” government, even in some of our churches, that it is commonly used to dupe Christian nations into replacing Christian beliefs with humanist or other anti-Christian beliefs.
The challenge to understand Section 116 of the Constitution
In view of this widespread deception, it is important for Christians to understand Section 116 of the Australian Constitution which says:
“The Commonwealth shall not make any law for establishing any religion, or for imposing any religious observance, or for prohibiting the free exercise of any religion, and no religious test shall be required as a qualification for any office or public trust under the Commonwealth.”
To eyes infected by twentieth century humanism, this clause may seem to suggest that Australia cannot use Christian (or for that matter any other religious) beliefs as the basis of law or administration. Not only is such a thing impossible, not only was our law manifestly Christian at the time when the Constitution was written, but from a careful reading of the context, it seems that those who framed our Constitution never intended or even envisaged such an interpretation.
That those who framed our Constitution took it for granted that we are a Christian nation is evidenced by three major inclusions in the Constitution: firstly their expressed humble reliance on Almighty God; secondly their expressed acceptance of their Christian Monarch as the governing authority of Australia, (and they chose to have our Constitution “enacted by the Queen’s Most Excellent Majesty” rather than by revolution and rebellion); and thirdly the requirement of Section 42 that politicians of whatever variety give a clear guarantee of allegiance to our Christian Monarch – an oath for believers and an affirmation for unbelievers.
While Section 42 is in harmony with Section 116 by not imposing an oath on unbelievers, it clearly requires unbelievers to give allegiance, not to some vague notion of “my country”, but to that person who becomes our Monarch by publicly accepting that “the whole world is subject to the Power and Empire of Christ our Redeemer”.
These requirements of our Constitution could not have been framed by men who saw Section 116 as a tool for turning Australia into a Godless “secular” state based on humanist or other non-Christian beliefs. No, in my opinion, the purpose of Section 116 was purely to prevent one Christian denomination being established at the expense of the others.
Any interpretation which ignored these factors would be a travesty of the whole Christian context of our Constitution and national heritage. Moreover, if such an interpretation prohibited an explicitly Christian basis for our system of law and administration, it should equally prohibit all other beliefs, theistic or otherwise, and that would be impossible.
The challenge to oppose UN and “social engineering” legislation
Nevertheless, day by day more and more non-Christian and outright anti-Christian law is being imposed on Australians. Much of it is smuggled in through Australia’s innumerable and complex treaties with that modern day tower of Babel, the United Nations. More blatant adulteration of our law is attempted through “social engineering” legislation on issues such as homosexuality and abortion.
Various challenges in summary
Australian churches, and particularly the Ministries, face some urgent challenges. We must teach clearly and fearlessly against these trends in a way that leads people to put the Word of God before party politics. Our advocacy for “the Way” must be cogent. We must proclaim the Kingdom of God so that Christians do not assume that Christianity is only about personal salvation. We need to help all Australians to see that there can be no such thing as “secular” government – someone’s beliefs must be adopted. And we must encourage loyalty by showing that right believing has brought us blessings that are unsurpassed by other systems.
The challenge of putting our faith into action
For too long, Christians have kept a polite and sometimes timid silence as “the heathen have raged and the people imagined a vain thing” (Ps 2:1).
Since there is only one Lord; Jesus is the King of kings; the whole world is subject to the Power and Empire of Christ our Redeemer; and we really do “seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness”; our words and actions should demonstrate that faith.
Of course, I do not mean that we should set about forcing Australia to return to God’s Word as the basis for government. Our task is to lead, not force.
But I do mean that we should not shrink from either our duty of involvement in government, or our task of proclaiming to Australians the Kingdom of God.
The challenge against condoning humanism by inaction
Christians who worry that we might be “imposing” our view on others are accepting by default such and-Christian humanistic impositions as abortion on demand, and recent further moves to resurrect the defeated “Bill of Wrongs” to incorporate it into the Constitution. The truth is that where Christianity prevails, the freedom of all is assured. But where humanism prevails freedom, particularly for Christians, is lost. As Proverbs 29:2 says:
“when the righteous are in authority; the people rejoice; but when the wicked rule, the people groan.”
God has the answers to the problems confronting our nations. In fact there are no workable answers outside of Christ, the living Word. But “how shall they hear without a preacher” (Romans 10:14).
Australia has now tried the “answers” of humanists, socialists, trendy liberals and the like. They have failed.
The challenge to believe Romans 13:1-4 and live it
It’s time to return to the God of our fathers. Our fathers got practical answers by believing the Word of God. For example, only a handful of Christian nations have been willing to believe Romans 13:1-4 as written and leave the choice of their national leader to God by retaining their hereditary Monarchy. But that practical faith in action has produced a Godly system of government that is the highest pinnacle of achievement in the ordering of human affairs.
The challenge to understand national and world affairs
R.J. Rushdoony, an American theologian, has said: “By the 1980’s, the major political battle in this country (U.S.A.) will be between not conservatives and liberals, socialists and anti-socialists; but between Christianity and Humanism. Everything will be done to disguise from the Christians the reality of the battle, so that they will continue to halt between two opinions”.
The bottom line – Christ as Lord, or some other government
Howard Carter, speaking prophetically to Austraia, has used 2 Kings 2:19-22 to show that although our heritage is good, we are being subjected to a poisoned river of humanistic propaganda. He has warned that we seem to be moving to a point where one single issue will emerge which will present Australians with a choice between the sovereignty of the Lord Christ and the sovereignty of godless humanism.
Retention or abolition of the Monarchy will be the battle ground
The warning is timely. And in faith, I will venture further to say this: that emerging pivotal issue is the retention or abolition of our Monarchy.
While we retain the Queen of Australia, the wicked are blocked from ultimate power in Australia, because our Monarchy has given the Lordship of our national affairs to King Jesus. Only abolition of our Monarchy system can change that.
The challenge to the churches to prepare the nation now
So retention of the Monarchy is the key issue. It is the issue on which the churches in Australia should now prepare the nation to choose wisely.
The momentous nature of this choice, for which Australians will be quite unprepared if the churches do not act, reminds me of Sir Winston Churchill’s response to the awful prospect of nuclear war: “A thousand years scarce serve to form a state; an hour can lay it in the dust”.
Whatever you may have thought or been taught about the Monarchy in the past, do not make the mistake of thinking that this is some kind of sentimental appeal by an old fashioned conservative for an outmoded institution. The future of the Crown is absolutely secure. It is the security of future generations of Australians that is at issue.
Powerful forces would be delighted to use our bi-centennial celebrations to promote a new “more Australian” identity and usher in an Australian republic. Christian preparations for the bi-centenary should start immediately and culminate in widespread expressions of loyalty to the Queen of Australia, our God-appointed, God-anointed leader.
In Canberra’s New Testament House Churches we have already started. We pray regularly for the Queen, frequently express loyalty to her, and we teach the value of our Christian system of Constitutional Monarchy and Common Law. We intend distributing copies of the Queen’s Coronation service and we have started to sing all three verses of Australia’s original National Anthem which appear at the end of this article.
We have also become involved in organisations like the National Alliance for Christian Leadership to make a wider contribution to the body of Christ and are looking to extend our teaching ministries more widely as required.
The challenge to you personally
Are you willing that our National Christian birthright be sold for a mere bowl of red soup? Or are you prepared to stand fast on God’s truth?
“How long will you go’ limping with two different opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him”. (1 Kings 18:21).
God save our gracious Queen,
Long live our noble Queen,
God save the Queen.
Send her victorious,
Happy and glorious,
Long to reign over us;
God save the Queen.
O Lord our God, arise,
Scatter our enemies,
And make them fall;
Confound their politics,
Frustrate their knavish tricks;
On Thee our hopes we fix;
God save us all.
Thy choicest gifts in store
On her be pleased to pour,
Long may she reign.
May she defend our laws,
And ever give us cause
To sing with heart and voice
God save the Queen.