While as a Christian I voted in the referendum through a Christian worldview, other Christians who hold to that same worldview may have voted the opposite to me because they prioritised and weighed things differently to me. May we be generous towards other Christians who voted differently assuming that they worked through the issues in a Christ honouring way because love believes the best of others (1 Cor 13:7). For Christians and non-Christians alike the referendum results proved to be disheartening for some and a cause for rejoicing for others. Regardless the task of exiting the EU and building a non-EU United Kingdom will prove a task that requires great care and diligence and the utmost attention to detail and hard work. We can also be thankful that the decision was made peaceably and not through a violent uprising or coup d’etat. In the midst of all of this what should a Christian response be post-June 23? I offer 6 suggestions and a closing thought:
- Remember that we serve a sovereign God. Many Christians have sought the face of a ruler for salvation but we need to remember that justice comes from the Lord (Prov 29:26). Despite what happens we can be confident that in the Lord’s wise providence He works “all things for good” for those who love Him (Ro 8:28). That is good news for us and it can be good news for others. May our uncertainties cause us and the UK to be driven to seek the Lord, lest we in our pride boast in our own accomplishments as Nebuchadnezzar did and end up eating grass (Dan 4:28–33).
- Remember that if you are in Christ your citizenship is in heaven: But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ (Phil 3:20). As much as it is good and right to be patriotic towards our earthly nation, nationalism has no place in the Christian’s heart as our first priority and allegiance is to Christ and His Church.
- Remember to pray for our nation, not only for its salvation, but for its leaders:
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, 2 for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. 3 This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Saviour, 4 who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus (1 Tim 2:1-5).
- The closeness of the vote, being 52% to 48%, shows that our country is divided even if the majority voted to leave. Here we need to hear and apply Jesus words from Matthew 5:9, Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. If we have been reconciled to Christ then we can have a ministry of reconciliation reconciling countrymen and women to one another and ultimately to God through Jesus Christ.
- We can busy ourselves with lots of things as believers but may we busy ourselves with the Great Commission (Matt 28:18–20), that is if our desire and prayer to God for our country is truly that they may be saved (c.f. Ro 10:1). What Good News we have that is alone capable of ministering to the needs, concerns and anxieties of our nation at such a time as this! The greatest decision of our lifetime was not the in or out vote but whether our nation will choose Christ. May we seize hold of this opportunity to make Christ known!
- Fast for our nation. As fasting is unfamiliar to many Christians these days I’ll likely write a blog post on this subject alone. On national prayer and fasting Joel 2:12 says, “Yet even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.” We can pray and that is nice, but fasting reveals the inner desire that Paul spoke of above. Throughout history, in our greatest times of need, our leaders used to call the nation to fast and pray. During the Napoleonic Wars there were national fast days and churches held prayer services on these days. Similar things happened during WWI and WWII when our nation’s very survival hung in the balance. Leaving the EU may not be at the same level as this, but for this generation we should not underestimate its perceived and real importance. Even more is the reality that only 1% of the nation is Christian. We ought to pray and fast for the other 99% if our nation is to truly thrive. We cannot expect such a call to be offered by our leaders anymore, and so this means then that we as Christians need to take this upon ourselves for the spiritual welfare of our country.
Never in recent history has the Church in the UK been afforded such an awesome opportunity to share the Gospel with a nation that needs it. In our time of uncertainty it is my personal belief that the nation will become ripe for a Gospel harvest. Will we be ready for what the Lord might do? Will you join me in seeking the Lord to renew us as Christians, our chapel and bring a revival throughout the land?
The Lord’s Sweetest Blessings,