01 May 2011

The Royal Wedding in the scope of history

 We watched the Royal Wedding Friday morning. I'm not a great fan of the British Monarchy, but it was a historic moment, the anachronistic flavour of the event is fascinating to see, and I've been to Westminster Abbey, Hyde Park, and outside Buckingham Palace and to see them in this manner was almost surreal.

Anyway, watching the wedding I said to my wife, "The Christian Radio folks will be gushing, because they're singing hymns and talking about God."

And I wasn't disappointed. The mistakenly called Family Life Network sure came through and was just exuberant regarding all the talk of God, the hymns being sung and the traditional values being promoted. It was like they had never seen anything so Christian.

This is just another case of Sacralism's watering down of the gospel. Christian is defined in broad cultural terms. It can have a form of godliness but deny the power thereof. And if ever there was a display of that, it was in Friday morning's wedding.

None of the people there believed the words they sang…..Guide me O thou great Jehovah?

Rowan Williams the Archbishop of Canterbury? Prince Charles? Elton John?

None of these people believe these words. I did find it interesting that Katherine's brother read Romans 12 in a more reverent manner than is found in most American Churches….nevertheless, the imperatives of that chapter fell on deaf ears, not to mention the foundation upon which they rest and from which they flow.

Yes, this is Sacralism's definition of 'victory' of 'christian culture'……dead people paying homage to traditions that they neither understand, nor were very good to begin with.

I'm interested in history…overwhelmed by it. Looking at the Queen, I was thinking about her mother (the Queen Mum) who died less than a decade ago. Her parents were born in the middle of the 19th century! That's amazing to me that a woman was walking around in 2001 whose parents would have remembered Queen Victoria, the Boer War, Gordon in Khartoum. And her parents would have spoken with people that would have remembered Napolean!

I was talking about it with my kids and we were watching YouTube video clips of Charles and Diana's wedding, the news clips reporting her death, and the funeral. Looking at the Queen at Diana's wedding just blew me away. I remember that event with great clarity and seeing Elizabeth 30 years ago was shocking! She's always looked great for her age, but it was one of those moments that made me sit down. The years go by …life is so short….100 years ago seems like a long time, but it's really not. History sometimes seems like dates and names, pictures and paintings in books. We forget sometimes how real it is…..how close it is, and yet also sometimes how vast it is.

It always shocks me to think about how the Crusades ended almost 800 years ago. A long time. But then you think about Atilla rampaging across Europe in the 5th century…800 years after Alexander the Great…..and almost 800 years before the Crusades ended and the Mongols raged across Eurasia. History is both vast, distant, and long and yet intimate and in some ways, so quick. Looking at Queen Elizabeth and the clips of her mother reminded me of that.

But there was none of that today, no sober reflection, no wise assessment…no Christian Radio was gushing because a bunch of unbelievers sung some hymns and went through empty forms. These folks on the radio are all Baptists of course, or at least Baptistic…they would be non-conformists in the United Kingdom. They're spiritual forebears would not have been enthused with the Royal Wedding. They thought the Anglican Church apostate back in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, let alone the 21st. Oh, and there's also that little problem…that the cute little old monarch in the yellow hat…she's the Head of the Church of England.

So, in the end, I enjoyed watching the wedding and taking in some historical reflection…but I knew the bad joke we call Christian Radio and News would provide the usual inaccurate reporting, and bad analysis. I've spent quite a bit of time perusing Christian news and commentary the last couple of days. Something is seriously wrong with how these folks are viewing the world. Their favourite word is "Biblical," but there seems to very little of it in how they think.


Anonymous said...

As one of the queens subjects, albeit a less than enthusiastic one, I may have spent some time in the stocks , or even worse , if I had've echoed the comments I have just read, but such is time that these things change. For the record , I refused to watch this hypocritcal chararde, maybe I'm just a little more conservative than the royal establishment, but the fact that William and Kate have already cohabited stole the inocence of the moment.

John A. (Protoprotestant) said...

Yes, my wife commented on her wearing of white...I guess it doesn't mean anything anymore.

She's a pretty lass to be sure, but the whole thing from start to finish was nothing more than a jewel in a pig's snout.