God and weather
Sir, Colin Bricher (letters, 14 February), is right to take issue with Andrew Carey’s innuendo that God does not use bad weather as an instrument of chastisement (24 January). If I may add to Colin’s examples, did not God stir up ever worsening weather until Jonah accepted his vocation as God’s prophet to Nineveh?
Our canon A3 assures us that “The doctrine contained in the Book of Common Prayer ... is agreeable to the Word of God.” That it “may be used by all members of the Church of England with good conscience” as nothing in it is “repugnant to the Word of God.”
In a thanksgiving “For Fair weather” after bad we admit “O Lord God, who hast justly humbled us by thy late plague of immoderate rain and waters, ... “. While the prayer “For fair weather” admits “for the sin of man [God] didst once drown all the world except eight persons ... we for our iniquities have worthily deserved a plague of rain and waters, yet upon our repentance thou wilt send us such weather, as we may receive the fruits of the earth in due season; and learn both by thy punishment to amend our lives, ...”
Now to Andrew Carey’s sweeping assertion “there is no such depiction in Scripture of a Christian nation.” A good working definition of a nation is a people united by a common history, culture, language and values.
What if its values were predominantly Christian and the people were predominantly Christian? Despite the separation of church and state, it has not stopped Justice Brewer of the US Supreme Court concluding in 1892 that America “is a Christian nation”.
If this can be said of America, why not ourselves from whom they derive much of this Christian heritage? It was our shared Christian values not economics that united the Saxon Heptarchy, and then the other constituent parts of the United Kingdom.
Ludwig von Mises, the founder of the Austrian school of Economics, was amazed that despite Britain and America being rivals if not economic enemies before the First World War, the defence of common values united us as if we were a single people. He suggested we constituted a single nation organised as two separate states destined to unite.
But what says the Scriptures? Taking Israel as a type of a nation separated to God, there seems no reason why other nations should not consecrate themselves to Christ as God and conclude they are Christian nations. Finally, does the Bible not envisage the Kingdoms of this world becoming the Kingdoms of our God and his Christ (Rev. 11:15) and if they are Christ’s then they are Christian.