The Magna Carta, Salisbury, the Rule of Law, and Christianity

In what may be one of my last theological travelogues as part of my European and English travels, I have another odd title, filled with seemingly eclectic and mismatched items. But these items do in fact cohere in various ways. Let me explain.

uk 1We went to the magnificent Salisbury Cathedral yesterday in southern England. Built in the 1200s, it is a remarkable structure, originally built for the glory of God. Today however English Christians are quite concerned about the theological direction its leadership is headed in.

The district itself is a politically conservative part of England, but the Bishop of Salisbury, Nicholas Holtam, appears to be a raging leftie, and a champion of all things unbiblical, such as homosexual marriage rights. Like so many other church leaders in the UK, he seems to have totally sold out the gospel and embraced fully the values and ideology of the world.

The new Archbishop of the Canterbury, Justin Welby, has already capitulated big time to the homosexual agenda, saying the fight for marriage is over, and actually jumping in bed with the homosexual militant group Stonewall to target “homophobia” in schools.

The church in the UK is just about on its deathbed, and the nation looks to have been abandoned by God – Romans 1 style. But again, I have been encouraged to meet brave resistance fighters scattered throughout the land, who have not bowed the knee to Baal.

But back to Salisbury Cathedral. In it you can see one of the four original copies of the Magna Carta, or the Great Charter. It dates back to June 1215, and next year we will celebrate its 800th anniversary. This of course was a vitally important document, enshrining the rule of law over against human tyranny, including the rule of kings.

Australian law professor Augusto Zimmermann explains the Christian roots:

Common law means a legal system based upon the English legal system; a mixture of customary law, judge-made law and parliamentary law. At least until the early 19th century, the common law was heavily influenced by Christian philosophy. This philosophy argues that there is a divine reason for the existence of fundamental laws, and that such laws are superior to human-made legislation, thus reflecting universal and unchangeable principles by which everyone should live. This assumption was expressed, among other things, in the Magna Carta of 1215, a charter which guaranteed the basic rights and privileges to the English barons against the king. Professor Aroney explains Christianity’s ideological influence upon the Magna Carta:
From [the time of Alfred] the kings of England have traditionally recognised their submission to God. At their coronations they take an oath before the Archbishop acknowledging the Law of God as the standard of justice, and the rights of the church. They are also urged to do justice under God and to govern God’s people fairly. Magna Carta was a development of these themes.

In the display at the Cathedral, I noticed how its modern interpreters had certainly eliminated any notion of the law above the law being God’s law, and how they were seeking to turn this into an instrument of trendy social justice policies. It had a display about women’s rights, and I told my host that they would likely soon have a homosexual rights bit added to the display.

I told him that I can almost guarantee the homosexual activists will seek to hijack this anniversary for their own radical purposes. They will claim the Magna Carta really had homosexual rights in mind, and that all who oppose their agenda must be targeted by the full force of the law.

And given that the current leadership of this historic Cathedral are already playing fast and loose with this great document, I have no doubt that they will fully promote the homosexual agenda next year. The English church is so in line with the homosexual agenda anyway, that nothing would surprise me here.

Indeed, the entire longstanding common law tradition, based on biblical Christianity, is now being wiped out, both by rampant secular leftism in the UK, and by the EU which is riding roughshod over the English law system. The number of horror stories I have heard about Christians especially being targeted by the law, including homeschoolers and those seeking to resist the homosexual agenda, or expose the various paedophile rings, and so on, have been utterly horrific.

England is now an incredibly darkened and demonic place, with so much intense hatred of all things Christian. It is very difficult indeed for biblical believers to stand strong at the moment. Nonetheless, I have met many of these champions of the faith, pinpoints of light in a very black place, who are fighting the good fight.

But one after another they are being sued, harassed, bullied, pursued by the police, or taken to task legally by the secular lefties. This is really leading to full-scale persecution of true Christians. I thought things in Australia were bad, but they are even worse in the UK.

So please pray for the remnant of believers who are seeking to stand strong here. They are few and far between, but they are some of the boldest and bravest believers I have found. They know how dire things are, and they are still holding firm.

There is a real separation of the sheep from the goats here. There is the apostate church, and there are the handful of true disciples scattered here and there. The secularisation of England means it is now a decrepit and moribund nation. As one of the great champions of the faith, and a close friend here has just recently said:

Great Britain is only a name on old maps. Though it might still wear the outer garments that identify it from other nations, these are now old, threadbare and peeling, barely distinguishable. What now lies within is a monstrous politically correct parasite that feeds off its host body. It is feeding time! Come all the homosexuals of the world and Islamists, engorge yourself whilst there is still something to devour, before moving to feed off another once great nation – perhaps Australia and the USA?
Deuteronomy chapter 28, speaks powerfully across the millennia to the British.

[1038 words]

9 Replies to “The Magna Carta, Salisbury, the Rule of Law, and Christianity”

  1. Even weak lights shine brightly in the darkness. And there are signs that patience is being lost with the cultural and Church ‘elite’ both in the UK and on mainland Europe. Let us hope that all is not lost even in these the darkest of days. The sun still shines at midnight.

  2. Hi Bill,

    Specific examples of the Christian influence on the Common Law can be fascinating and illustrative. Cross on Evidence (9th ed, 2012), which is by far the leading evidence law text in Australia, says:

    “Until the end of the seventeenth century, the law was that evidence had to be given on oath and that oath had to be taken on the Gospel. A proposed witness who did not accept the authority of the Gospel was incompotent to give evidence.”

    Contrast this with the current position in Victoria (s 24 of the Evidence Act 2008):

    (1) It is not necessary that a religious text be used in taking an oath.

    (2) An oath is effective for the purposes of this Division even if the person who took it—

    (a) did not have a religious belief or did not have a religious belief of a particular kind; or

    (b) did not understand the nature and consequences of the oath.

    No doubt people have committing perjury for as long as we have had courts, but I cannot help but think that the reason our courts are now so tolerant of liars is because the judges ignore the Christian heritage of the Common Law.

    Nick Davies

  3. Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury has placed the doctrine of Stonewall above that of Christianity. He has made the ideology of Stonewall an objective reality whilst reducing Christian morality and values to either the status of a myth or some eccentricity that has passed its sell- by- date.

    He supports the statement made by Ben Summerskill the former chief executive of Stonewall and an erstwhile member of the The Joint Council for Equality and Human Rights (JCEHR) who said in 2006-7, regarding sex education in schools:

    “In our view there is an important difference between this factual information [about sexual morality] being imparted in a descriptive way as part of a wide-ranging syllabus about different religions, and a curriculum which teaches a particular religion’s doctrinal beliefs [that of the Christianity ] as if they were objectively true. The latter is likely to lead to unjustifiable discrimination” [against homosexuals]
    (paragraph 67)

    Having just claimed that there are no absolutes objective truths and that they are against discrimination of any kind, they claim it as an objective absolute human right to practice every sexual perversion under the sun whilst discriminating against anyone who dissents against the absolute human rights of queers.

    This chimes with Peter Tatchell’s statement, “ There are no borders or boundaries when it comes to LGBT human rights. No nationality, no culture, no belief system can stand in the way of the historic quest for LGBT freedom. (slide to 4 minutes)

    But Lord Waddington, in 2009 managed to get a free speech amendment inserted into new legislation outlawing homophobic hatred that now forms section 29JA in the Public Order Act 1986:

    “In this Part, for the avoidance of doubt, the discussion or criticism of sexual conduct or practices or the urging of persons to refrain from or modify such conduct or practices shall not be taken of itself to be threatening or intended to stir up hatred.”

    By Justin Welby saying that even questioning the validity or homosexuality is homophobic hatred, this will give the moral stamp of approval for the Labour party if they get back into power, at the next election, to restore the crime of homophobic speech crime which potentially carries a seven year prison sentence.

    In addition he has given his blessing to the persecution of anyone who even attempts to escape from the bondage and slavery of homosexuality.

    May God deal with him ever so severely, either in this world or the next.

    David Skinner UK

  4. “Now when these things begin to happen,look up and lift up your heads, for your redemption draws near.” Luke 21:28
    For me that is my hope in these depressing circumstances, especially as we witness the total collapse of Europe, Britain, the U.S., and the West generally. However, I suspect that for some on this board that (i.e. Second Coming expectation) is defeatism.
    But here I stand.

  5. Hi David,

    The censorship has already started, the telegraph news article has already stopped comments, so that the other side has no ability to be heard.

    Hi Murray,

    It is not defeatist in any sense of the word, I would put is as a simple observation. As I tell people, to be forewarned is to be forearmed.
    It reminds me of a lovely scripture in the NT, which talks about the rich man who tries to build himself a new storage shed, but runs out of money and gets mocked, Christ told us that we must calculate the cost, before we begin. So therefore I would suggest that we need to know the bad stuff that is coming, so we can calculate if the price is worth Heavenly Glory, as for me, it is more than worth it, or as the Apostle Paul said (paraphrase) the pain of this life is nothing compared to the Glory to come.

    This is why blogs like this one are so vital, it lets us know what is happening, so we can pray for those caught in the middle of it, it also lets us know what is coming so we can share strategies to combat satans army.

    Anyway all, stand ye in Holy places so when the winds blow and the waves crash you will be unmoved. Build upon the Rock that is Jesus Christ.

    Neil Waldron.

  6. Faith in secular humanism replacing faith in God is cheered on by all and sundry as progressive but its fruits are already ugly indeed, contaminating friendships and families. The dismissal of objective truth and the imposition of subjective truth/ propaganda, with cool, smiling confidence is as alarming as it is tragic. Pride comes before a fall. We need to be humble and seek the truth. Which man or woman will ultimately attempt to replace God? Where is the solace in the diktats of humankind?

  7. The Church of England entity is already a dead duck, as is any other denomination that has swallowed the gay bait. I’ve been watching Archbishop Welby’s antics and my eyes have been out on organ-stops at his unbelievable treachery. Some elderly folk I see now and then are horrified at what has become of the churches here in England….they just can’t believe how easily the gay agenda has been swallowed.

    The church hierarchy needs a total cleansing….get rid of the lot of em. Do we actually need bishops and archbishops and other rankings in charge, in order to worship God? There’s a massive turmoil about to happen and, like Murray, I believe it’s all part of the run-up to the Second Coming. The wheat and the tares are now both being pulled up for the harvesting…that’s the turmoil….and soon The Lord will do the separating. Hold on to your hats!

  8. Isaiah 1:9 jumped out at me the other day with its incredible message of hope. These people you had the privilege to encourage in England have the opportunity-responsibility to stand strong not only for themselves but for the well-being of the whole nation, both spiritual and material. I was wondering if Cameron’s call to evangelism is more a response to the visible decline of christian values which diminution many bemoan not for the eternal ramification but rather for the corresponding decline of tangible community cohesion and material prosperity.
    Many blessings
    Ursula Bennett

  9. Dear Bill,
    I had no idea you were here in the UK until you were. That aside, There may be more of us out here who are standing up for the truth than you realise in denominations other than the C of E and still some in it who ‘refuse to bow the knee to Baal’. Many in Baptist and Pentecostal churches would shudder to give allegiance to the homosexual lobby who punch well above their weight in true numbers. We would rather be doorkeepers in the House of the Lord than dwell in the tents of the wicked. We do need the prayers of the faithful around the world that we will continue to stand up and be counted – but also to remember that other brothers and sisters are subjected to far worse persecution – torture, death, deprivation of property, jobs, status etc. However, even these things may come here. Good news is that ‘soul by soul and silently’ people are still entering the Kingdom of God and when things look at their darkest revival may yet break out. God is amazingly wonderful at bringing good out of evil.
    Keep up the good work!

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