Prince Charles quest for spiritual understanding
ACCORDING to one newspaper report, the Prince of Wales has “growing spiritual concerns”. One indication of this, we are told, was his visit, some weeks ago, to Mount Athos in Greece, the centre of Eastern Orthodox Monasticism. The Prince “spent two days at the seaside Vatopedion Monastery in faithful attendance of prayer sessions and Orthodox religious services”. It seems that he is being influenced increasingly by Greek Orthodoxy.
“The pilgrimage is part of the Princes growing interest in seeking more spiritual depth in his life,” says one commentator on Royal matters. “Increasingly as he grows older, Charles is seeking answers to spiritual and philosophical questions. Last year he built a retreat that he calls the sanctuary in the grounds of Highgrove, his country home. Nourishing the spirit is very important to him these days, conceded an aide.”
Another indication of his interest in spiritual matters was the content of a Reith lecture broadcast he gave on BBC Radio 4 recently. “Although it seems to have become deeply unfashionable to talk about the spiritual dimension of our existence, that is what I propose to do,” he said. He also said that there is a need to become more aware of the relationship between God, man and creation.
However, it does not seem to us that the spirituality of the Prince is the kind that is produced by the saving work of the Holy Spirit in the soul. If it were, he would not be turning to Greek Orthodoxy to obtain “a sense of the sacred” and to find answers to his questions, because that religion, like its near relation Roman Catholicism, is full of the grossest errors. Nor would he be continuing his relationship with Mrs Camilla Parker-Bowles (who accompanied him on his sea trip to Greece but did not go ashore to Mount Athos). It appears that his spirituality is of a mystical, ritualistic kind, based on a blend of various religious elements. One report reiterates the fact that he “meets regularly with local and national leaders of the Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Sikh and other faiths”.
When we are required by God to pray for kings and all in authority, it is our duty to pray that the heir to the throne would be led to humbly submit to the authority of the Word of God, and be blessed with that spirituality of which Scripture says, “To be spiritually minded is life and peace.”
Baptism according to the Church of England
A Church of England vicar, Rev. Donald Allister in Greater Manchester, has caused a furore among some of his parishioners by announcing that he may refuse to baptise the children of unmarried couples because they are “living in sin”. The gross ignorance of basic Christian teaching on the part of many is shown by the response of one of his parishioners, who said, “This will make unmarried couples feel like lepers. Marriage is not an easy step to take and some just dont want to do it anymore. How can the Church shun people because they are not officially man and wife.” Mr Allister would deny that there is shunning of such people, but that he requires that they would first marry before receiving baptism for their children. We doubt if he would also require them to express sorrow for their sin and to have a proper understanding of, and practical commitment to, Christian principles and conduct, but he does say, “All we are doing is trying to stick to Church of England and Bible teachings.”
However, Church of England teaching on baptism is defective. For example, a spokesman for the Chester diocese said that every child living within a Church of England parish had the basic right to be baptised. A spokesman for the Church of England said that although the vicar has the final say, the Church “finds it much better to be welcoming and inclusive rather than exclusive.” The Scriptures give no such right, and show that as certain people are not permitted to receive the sacrament of the Lords supper, so there are those who are to be excluded from the sacrament of baptism whether they be seeking baptism for themselves or on behalf of their children.
A particularly shocking example of abuse of the sacrament was seen recently in Essex when the twin daughters of two homosexual men (who live together and have fathered the babies by an arrangement with a surrogate mother in the United States) were baptised. The Church of England rector who baptised the babies defended his decision with the outrageous statement that he was not talking about baptism in relation to the personal situation of the two men. “Were talking about the babies themselves. Its not fair to punish the children.” What a gross perversion of Christian teaching! Children presented for baptism do not stand for themselves as the rector very well knows. And denying the sacrament to even normal parents on proper grounds is no punishment to the child. On the other hand, it is to the great detriment of the child if the church condones the ignorance and sinful conduct of parents by giving baptism. Instead of tacitly condoning sodomy by giving the sacrament, the rector should have directed the men to those Scriptures which condemn the sin (for example, Romans 1:25-28), and called them to repent of their sin. q
The European Union superstate
YET another call has been made for the EU to be developed into a full-blown federal superstate this time by Germanys foreign minister. He proposed a European government with its own elected president, a written constitution, and far-reaching executive powers. The kind of Europe we would live in then is shown, for example, by Frances agenda when it takes over presidency of the EU. Nations in the euro zone will have to co-ordinate their economic policies, said French premier Lionel Jospin. There will also be the speeding up of the introduction of a European citizens charter, which under the guise of catering for the aspirations of the people will effectively bring them more under the control of the state. Then there is the proposal to remove the right of individual states to veto certain tax proposals. If these measures are agreed to by Britain, as they probably will be eventually, it will mean a further destroying of our nations independence.
In addition, there is the deplorable loss of £3 billion a year in the EU by fraud and incompetence, so that our nations contributions are going “into a bag with holes” (Haggai 1:6). Not least, it is an undeniable fact that the EU is just the Holy Roman Empire of old in a revived form, and is under the very effective influence of the papal antichrist.
Many were the predictions given by sections of the Protestant community (including our Church), as well as by other Euro-sceptics, about the loss of national sovereignty especially, and consequently of certain liberties, by joining Europe. Now we see these predictions being fulfilled. But it is less than we deserve, for nationally we have been, and are, despising and spurning God. But God is not mocked, for whatsoever a nation sows, that shall it also reap.