Thursday, September 18, 2014

What about Scotland?

As I write this, many around the Western world are watching what is going down in the United Kingdom. Will Scotland leave the UK after 300 something years? What are the likely consequences of such a move? Not just in the immediate term, but down the road in years? The political rhetoric has been heated, and usually when there is that much heat, you have to move away from the fire and smoke to get a clearer picture.

Although I bring it up rarely, I am a confirmed Anglophile (and we can argue about what "Angle" means technically). I mean that I have a fondness for all things British, and in my book, that means England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. As an aside, I love the Republic of Ireland also. My own heritage is Welsh.

In one sense, we Americans have to be careful about waxing eloquent on independence movements. Remember 1776. We wanted independence as well. Double standards always tick people off. Having said that, both sides have a case to make. I can understand the aspirations of a people group to have their own nation, but I also understand the benefits of union. After a 300-year union, undoing those ties will not be easy. It has broader ramifications on Western political and military alliances, including the placement of the UK's nuclear deterrent. It impacts NATO. It impacts economics. It is a decision I hope is being decided thoughtfully rather than fanned by firebrands.

My own hope is that the UK remains together, but if that will not happen, my hope and PRAYER is that they will be able to handle the breakup peacefully, and will be able to work out economic and security benefits amenable to all. I suspect it may be a lot more complicated than people imagine.

Another thing to consider globally. There have been separatist wars going on for years all over the place. I am glad this particular matter is being decided by the ballot box instead of bullets. Other places like Nagorno-Karabach, Georgia and Ossetia, Chechnya, Bosnia, Kosovo, and the like have had bloody wars fought in recent years. And those conflicts are still not settled. There's a cold, watchful peace. Do we really mean it when we say every people has the right to their own aspirations?

Here in the United States, are we going to give back the West to Mexico (or Spain?) The Raza movement would like that. Are we going to return the American Indian/Native American lands back to the tribes and disband the reservations? Will we give the Louisiana Purchase back to France? Impractical and unlikely? Yes. But not totally impossible. Civilizations besides ours have imploded. Why are we exempt? And unrestrained immigration and lack of assimilation into American culture means we are increasingly becoming Balkanized in our own country. Demographics have changed, and the American "ideal" that has bound us all together is unravelling.

Scripture has much to say about the last days of this current world system and how the nations will be pulled into conflict. Wars will erupt. Those of us who are citizens of Heaven and children of the King have Him as our first loyalty. We are his Ambassadors no matter where we're planted. That doesn't mean we shouldn't voice and vote our views if we are able. But politics should never take the place of the Gospel, or override the love of Christ—the love we show for one another in His name.

Pray for Scotland and the UK regardless of the outcome. My personal prayer is that the UK—and the rest of Western Europe—will rediscover its need for God. And that doesn't mean a theocracy as is often mistakenly depicted. It means foundational values. Love. Peace. Mercy. Grace. Forebearance. Long-suffering. Faith. Hope. All good things worth seeking. May it be.


Cindy Swanson said...

Good words, Joel! I have a couple of online friends who are of them is a Christian...and both voted Yes for Scottish independence. My Christian friend is also praying for a peaceful response, whatever the outcome.

Solameanie said...

Amen, Cindy. I doubt that the advocates of independence will stop their efforts, but the ballot results seem to be a resounding NO.