Coronavirus : The Queen’s speech examined in the light of Scripture
We respect and honour Her Majesty the Queen, but we feel that her broadcast to the nation given on April 5th 2020 involved some unhelpful elements and regrettable omissions.
Her Majesty said, “The pride in who we are is not a part of our past”. We courteously refute this statement. Every generation only builds upon the ones which have gone before. We cannot just ignore what we used to be. In particular, we cannot cast aside as belonging to the past the enormous benefit which Biblical Christianity has brought to our history, culture and civilisation. In this context it is pertinent to remember Deuteronomy 32:7,
“Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations: ask thy father, and he will shew thee; thy elders, and they will tell thee” (Deuteronomy 32:7).
The Queen stated, “If we remain united and resolute, then we will overcome (the crisis)”. This is an appeal to human solidarity as the ultimate solution to the pandemic. This is theologically erroneous.
The Bible makes it plain that human solidarity usually results in a rejection of the one true God, and nowhere is this more explicit than in the Tower of Babel account as recorded in Genesis 11. That project represented multi-faith humanity joining arm-in-arm with each other for what they deemed to be the common good, but it was in fact a direct repudiation of what God had instructed them to do.
This statement by her Majesty that human unity and resolution are the key to dealing with the pandemic is also, in effect, a call to put our trust in men, or in what the Bible calls “an arm of flesh”. Human togetherness, however, will not remove this virus; only the sovereign power of God can accomplish that.
As King Hezekiah once said to Judah when the nation was about to fall to Assyria, “Be strong and courageous, be not afraid nor dismayed for the king of Assyria, nor for all the multitude that is with him … With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the LORD our God to help us, and to fight our battles” (2 Chronicles 32:7–8).
This appeal by the Queen to human togetherness and a common resolve further excludes from the equation the vital issue of the providence of God. Even viruses occur within His providence, and that is precisely what our secularised society does not understand. Yes, we use all the appropriate medical means available to us, but it is to the Lord that the nation must turn at a time like this, humbly seeking His aid and deliverance.
We read in Leviticus 26, “If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments … ye shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land safely” (Leviticus 26:3, 5). That this promise includes protection from plague and disease is seen further on in the same passage, in verse 16, which speaks of various medical afflictions, which occur in God’s providence and which can be removed in His providence.
And just as man shall not live by bread alone (Matthew 4:4), so he shall not live by medical precautions alone. Yes, the precautions are vital, and we support them, but above all else the nation must humble itself before the Trinitarian God, who has the ultimate power over all disease.
The Queen stated that “many people of all faiths and none are discovering that (the pandemic) presents an opportunity to slow down, pause and reflect in prayer or meditation”.
Here her Majesty, despite the distinct place of Biblical Christianity within our constitution, is putting non-Christian meditation techniques, prayer to other gods, and atheistic reflections on suffering on a par with prayer to the one true God.
Yes, the Queen is monarch over many in society who indeed practice meditation, or who are atheists, or who are of other faiths, but it is the Christian’s duty of love to his neighbour to declare that the ultimate solution to the current malaise can only be a resort to the God who manifests Himself in Jesus Christ, He who proved by His earthly ministry that He has control over all sickness.
Yes of course, we love and respect our neighbour, whether he be of other faiths or of none, but we must also reject the notion that Britain, in the interests of multiculturalism and liberal secularism, must abandon its public and national adherence to the faith of Christ, which historically has been the source of all its national blessings.
It is very disappointing that in this broadcast the Queen did not emulate the actions of her father, who on various occasions during World War 2, called the nation to earnest and heartfelt prayer to the Trinitarian God.
For example, on D-Day on June 5th 1944, the King addressed our country saying,
“I desire solemnly to call my people to prayer and dedication. We are not unmindful of our shortcomings, past and present. We shall not ask that God may do our will, but that we may be enabled to do the will of God; and we dare to believe that God has used our nation and empire as an instrument for fulfilling His high purpose”.
The King then proceeded to quote from Psalm 29 :
“The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace” (Psalm 29:11).
The promises of this psalm still stand, even in the midst of a frightening epidemic, if we today do not put our trust in men, but as a nation humble ourselves in repentance and faith before the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and cry out to Him in prayer.
Pastor Peter Simpson is Minister of Penn Free Methodist Church, which upholds the historic Christian faith according to the Scriptures and the Reformation principle that the Bible, God’s inspired and inerrant word, is the Church’s only authority.