We are faced with yet another referendum, the outcome of which may well have consequences for generations to come. The question of our political relationship with the other nations that comprise the present European Union is one which many of the Lord’s people in Britain have always viewed with great apprehensiveness, given the political, social and religious influence of Romanism in many of these countries. A spirit of prayer is something we ought to seek before the current vote at the end of June, that the Lord would overrule the outcome for His own glory and the good of His cause. “The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water: He turneth it whithersoever He will” (Prov 21.1).
It appears that the power of the Papacy in Europe is not as dominant over the political elites or the general population as it was in previous generations. That, no doubt, is merely an indication of the continued secularisation of Western society more than anything else. This is not to say, however, that Roman Catholic influence in the European Union is something to be discounted in considering which way we should cast our vote. Rome is ever seeking to extend her influence, and the whole project of further European integration is highly congenial to her outlook and aims – the papal claim to political as well as ecclesiastical supremacy can be best furthered through a Europe united around the Roman Catholic social model. The words of the nineteenth-century theologian James Bannerman are worth bearing in mind: “Popery has never failed, where circumstances permitted the assumption, to claim the temporal along with the spiritual authority, and to grasp the double sword of civil and priestly power” (J Bannerman, The Church of Christ, Banner of Truth, Edinburgh, 2014 edn, p.245).
Sadly, we in Britain have degenerated dreadfully, both spiritually and morally, in the period since joining the EEC. The spiritual state of the nation is not considered to be in the least relevant to politics by politicians on either side of the debate or by the vast majority of the population. We are certainly not suggesting that a vote to leave the EU would in itself arrest the fearful spiral of declension in the land. An outpouring of the Spirit of God alone would be sufficient to accomplish such a wonderful turnaround.
Nevertheless, we are sure that every faithful Protestant who has a desire for the advancement of Christ’s cause, and for the spiritual and social welfare of our fellow countrymen, would desire to see Britain free from the limitations on our national sovereignty imposed by the Treaty of Rome – the founding document of the EU – along with the subsequent plethora of treaties and much unnecessary European legislation. Furthermore, we believe, as a matter of biblical principle, that Protestant nations ought not to enter into political union with Romanist nations (Jos 23:3-10). If Britain’s rulers were once more brought to countenance the law of God and the truths of the gospel as the ruling principles of our national life, we would not be depending on our European neighbours for prosperity.
Rev Allan W MacColl