Sunday, March 10, 2013

The Queen's Dilemma

There is a story in London's Daily Mail today that no doubt will cause a lot of concern and even grief for UK Christians—meaning Bible-believing, Bible-preaching churches and not the nominal, cultural variety. Read it here at this link. If the story is accurate, Queen Elizabeth II will soon endorse "gay rights." 

I note with interest that her aides stress that the Queen "takes no personal view" on the issue and is only endorsing the Commonwealth as does a constitutional monarch. And this is what leads me to my pondering this morning—how far can someone who sits as a "constitutional monarch" with limited powers go if said monarch is a professing Christian? There's always been an ongoing debate over what the Queen's powers actually are. On paper, they're considerable, but supposedly under convention, she always acts on the advice of the government in any act. There are a few remaining prerogative powers but she seldom exercises them. Her assent is required before any act of parliament becomes law, but Royal Assent has not been officially refused since Queen Anne in 1707. What goes on behind the scenes is a mystery.

Belgian King Badouin I a few years ago refused to give his to a bill that loosened abortion laws. But rather than have a constitutional crisis, the King allowed himself to be declared unable to act briefly, and the law then was passed without his assent. After the parliament passed the law, the King was allowed to resume his normal duties and authority.

What would I do in such a situation? Hard to say. If I was facing an issue of moral conscience, and was a true, professed believer in Christ (and I am) and if I had the constitutional authority to refuse assent, I think I'd exercise it whether anyone liked it or not, and let the chips fall where they may. I might even abdicate rather than be forced into something that would disobey the Lord or violate His Word. I do have to commend King Badouin for his public courage and refusal to sign a law that he felt violated the law of God.

I honestly don't know how Queen Elizabeth really feels about things like this. I know she is a professed believer. We need to pray for her, and for all who are in authority, as Scripture commands us.

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