By the time this blog is read the United Kingdom will have decided whether it remains within the European Union, the blood-letting within the British Conservative Party will have commenced and both the British Parliament and the European Union will be ‘picking up the pieces’ and making the best of it. In the United Kingdom and the rest of Europe the result of in-fighting and personal ambition within The British 'Right' will have spread its influence over the entire continent; for better or for worse.
Much discussion has surrounded ‘sovereignty’. The Bible, of course, recognises national and ethnic distinctions. It is also aware that empires can become oppressive. But there is only one who is truly sovereign, all earthly powers are subject to him and nationality can quickly descend into nationalism which is idolatry since it is self-serving.
Yet the earth is the Lord’s (Deuteronomy 10:14), he does not discriminate between one community and another (10:17) and is especially concerned for the disadvantaged: the orphan, the widow, the refugee (10:18) and expects of us the same loving and compassionate attitude (10:19). But much of what I hear is of ‘us’ making sure we are not disadvantaged by ‘them’ despite the fact ‘they’ come from communities far less well-off than ‘us’ and some of ‘them’ are viewed as a ‘problem’ to be solved rather than a humanitarian 'crisis' which demand individuals be loved and helped in their desperate need, whatever the cost to 'us'.
Might this all be depressing evidence that post-Christian Europe (certainly Britain) is descending again into idolatrous tribalism?
Dr Stephen P. Dray