by Paul Bawden
You may have watched the coronation of Charles III to become the King of the United Kingdom – an incredible ceremony of pomp and circumstance.
What caught my attention, as the actual coronation took place, was its likeness to how a king was coronated in the nation of Israel in the Old Testament. Charles was anointed king of the United Kingdom as David and Solomon were in the Old Testament, consecrated and set apart in the manner of a priestly ordination. In fact, the entire coronation ceremony was very religious, even with the taking of communion, as the crowned King Charles III, who through the church of England, was given the authority to rule by Almighty God.
Here’s what the Proclamation of Accession, said as read out at St James’s Palace, London, in Edinburgh, Cardiff and Hillsborough and in cities and towns across the nation began: “Whereas it has pleased Almighty God to call to His Mercy our late Sovereign Lady Queen Elizabeth the Second” and went on to note that Charles III rules ‘by the Grace of God’ and to by “God, by whom kings and queens do reign, to bless His Majesty with long and happy Years to reign over us”.
The coronation oaths bound the new king to “maintain the Laws of God and the true profession of the Gospel” and more explicitly to “maintain in the United Kingdom the Protestant Reformed Religion” and to preserve inviolably “the settlement of the Church of England, and the doctrine, worship, discipline and government thereof.”
There is no doubt that biblical consecration was used in the coronation of King Charles III, and the biblical God was acknowledged in this amazing service.
As one commentator said, “For a country which is so secular and where so few go to church, you sure mention God a lot.” What was he saying? Could it be that he was saying that as the biblical God was given His rightful place in the coronation of King Charles III, the practice of the biblical God in the lives of many of the people in the United Kingdom was not evident? Put more succinctly, there’s a lot of form but little substance.
Only the biblical God knows what’s going on in the lives of King Charles and Queen Camilla, and each one part of the United Kingdom, yes, in the lives of all of us (I Samuel 16:7). What does He see when He looks into our lives? Perhaps there is an acknowledgment of God, maybe no acknowledgment at all, or some may even go to church, the synagogue, the mosque, or the temple, but it’s only a form. That’s why Jesus said that they acknowledge me with their lips, but their heart is far from me (Mark 7:6-8).
Only a life change by Jesus Christ through faith in Him will cause one’s behavior to be Christlike (II Corinthians 5:17; I John 2:6) – To turn from hatred to love, from unforgiveness to forgiveness, from partiality to accepting each one made in the image of God, from meanness to kindness, from timidity to courage, from weakness to strength, from bitterness to gladness, from no purpose to eternal purpose, from no hope to eternal hope, and the list could go on (cf. I Corinthians 13:4-8a; Galatians 5:22-23).
May your life be one of substance not form. Let’s pray for King Charles and Queen Camilla – that they will not live in form but in substance through faith in Christ, living out His life in them to the glory of God. Long live the King!!
Paul Bawden is married and served in the full-time pastoral ministry for 45 years, retiring in 2011, after which he and his wife served in four interims, three in Wisconsin and one in Iowa. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a B.A. in Speech and attended Dallas Theological Seminary, receiving a Master of Theology. He has taken counseling courses at Trinity Evangelical Seminary in Deerfield, Illinois. Paul is a lifetime member of the Evangelical Free Church of America, as well as being a member of Interim Pastor Ministries (IPM), which serves churches during their time of transition in searching for a new pastor. He is also a volunteer writer for GotQuestions.org. Paul likes to write, read, and work in the yard. The Bawdens have had the privilege to travel to Mexico and Romania on mission trips and visited various countries in Europe. They have three daughters and five grandchildren.
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