Recently I was given the text of a feature article carried in The Times back in 1998.
Entitled ‘Britain gives up on the Reformation’, it was penned by Conservative MP Michael Gove, who is, I understand, of Scots Presbyterian stock. Mr Gove included “the open Bible” and “the preaching of the Word” among “the foundation stones of those liberties that defined our nation at its birth and through its greatness.”
Identifying Protestantism as “the nation’s glue”, he observed that “now the glue is gone, we are all unstuck.”
It is a perceptive analysis, and one can only wish that it was shared by many others in the political class.
The old adage reminds us that ‘the Bible, and the Bible only, is the religion of Protestants’. And the Reformation cry ‘sola scriptura’ affirms the authority, inerrancy and sufficiency of God’s Word. It remains the duty of Protestants to stand for, and sound forth, the timeless truths of the Word – even if, as Gove anticipates, we are accused of “tribalism” or “bigotry”.
In this ever more godless age, Christian politicians may have little hope that their voices will be heard; but they must not consider that reason enough to keep silent. The quest for popular support must not trump principle.
Today we have need of those who will heed God’s command to the prophet: “Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show my people their transgression” (Isaiah 58:1) – whatever the cost. The trumpet must be heard, and it must not give an uncertain sound.