Response to referendum from King's Church elders
Here's what we wrote to our church in response to everything that's been going on with the referendum...
To the members of King’s Church Edinburgh,
As elders, we want to help you love and obey God in this time of upheaval and uncertainty. The vote to leave the EU will have delighted some and caused others deep sadness. Its impact on Scotland’s political future will be causing some to look forward with excitement, and others with despair. Events and opinions continue to swirl all around us, with no-one really knowing what is going to happen. Christians may be blown around by these strong winds if they are not careful. We must be rooted in God so that we can provide shelter for others.
1. You are secure in Christ
Whatever is happening and whatever comes to pass, a Christian’s security in Christ is untouchable. No one and nothing can take us out of God’s hand (John 10:28-29). You need to know this if you’re to faithfully process how you’re feeling, and live wisely. This isn’t about denying your emotions or these important events but putting them in their proper place.
The most important thing that could ever happen to you has happened: Jesus has died for you and been raised to new life. This means your sins have been forgiven, you are adopted as a child of God, and you will spend eternity with Him in joy. Hebrews 12:26-29 tells us that God is pleased to give us His Kingdom, “a kingdom that cannot be shaken.” Whether you currently feel desperate or delighted, Jesus is your true security.
If you feel less aware of this and more aware of everything else that is going on, we suggest that you turn off you phone / computer / TV, and get before God. Open His Word and ask Him to show you wonderful things in there about Himself so that your confidence in Him would be strengthened.
2. You need the Holy Spirit
This is always true but when we look at the familiar list of characteristics that the Holy Spirit grows in us, we’ll see freshly how much we need Him in these days:
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23)Ask Him specifically to grow these in you as you co-operate with Him.
3. Because you are secure in Christ and have been given the Holy Spirit, you can bless others
We should think far more about others than we do about ourselves – a message that has been almost entirely absent from the debates and the fallout. With God’s strength, we can do what Jesus commanded us to:
“But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you… If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.” (Luke 6:27-36)
“Know this, my beloved brothers and sisters: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” (James 1:19-20)There are people around us who despise those who voted differently to them, and are expressing this loudly (especially on social media). This would have happened whatever the result. We cannot be like that if we’re following Jesus. When we resist these temptations by the power of God in us, we will be used by Him to bring love and peace to others. This will give us opportunities to talk about Jesus, the source of our peace and the hope that everyone needs to hear about. These principles must be adhered to whether you’re chatting to a friend, posting on Facebook, working through the coming consequences, or getting involved in politics at any level.
4. Let’s believe that God is at work
We believe that God reigns triumphantly over all things, and that He knew this was going to happen, but we are wary of Christians confidently declaring exactly why it has happened, and what it means. What we can know for certain is described by Paul:
“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Saviour, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:1-4)This gives us plenty to pray for and plenty to do! Our focus will continue to be the preaching of the good news of Jesus through building churches that demonstrates His love and resurrection life, and planting others that will do the same. In God’s timing, our new preaching series, “How to Live a Life of Hope” begins this Sunday. It will help us to set our sights on the guaranteed joy we have to come, and share it with others.
We’re living at a time about which much will be written in decades to come. May it be that those accounts will say God’s people trusted Him and blessed those around them, and were used by Him to do glorious things in Edinburgh, Scotland, Britain, and Europe.
Praying for you,
Matthew and Luke