Vision Logo Circle
Vision Logo Circle

Christian Concerns Over King’s Coronation

by | Sat, May 20 2023

Text size: A- A+

Evangelist and Christian commentator David Robertson doubts whether Britain will ever see another coronation like the recent ceremony for King Charles III.

While he was impressed by many elements of the service such as the pageantry, the music, the liturgy and the reading of Scriptures, he told Vision Radio he was perturbed by the “hypocrisy” and found some of the theological aspects “profoundly disturbing” and tuned out after the crowning of Queen Camilla.

The director of the Ask Project with Sydney Anglicans suspects that unless William and Kate take over the throne fairly soon, it will be the end of the monarchy as we know it. Mr. Robertson believes the death of Queen Elizabeth II was the ending of the glue that kept Britain together. He said he’d be surprised if Australia doesn’t become a republic in his lifetime.

“Promising to be faithful to God’s Word and to uphold the Protestant Reform religion as King Charles did are very serious vows before God. Yet I can’t help but think that previously Prince Charles took vows in terms of his marriage and more or less broke them immediately. King Edward VIII abdicated his throne because he wanted to marry a divorcee. And now we have a situation where the Church of England changed its rules so that Prince Charles could marry basically somebody whose marriage he had helped break up as well. It’s a bit more complicated than that, but at the end of the day, I just found that really, really sad. That was one aspect of it that really bothered me,” he lamented.

“A degree of repentance was missing. It was almost as if there was nothing to repent of. We were told that what brings the world together is saving the planet, all faiths being the same and serving in the military or hospitals or whatever. These may be all very good civic duties, but that’s not the Gospel and it’s not the religion King Charles was promising to defend.”

“Then there was the question of whether the Archbishop of Canterbury and the moderator of the Church of Scotland actually believed what they said about the Bible and what was in the Bible, because in their actions, they have denied it. To give you just one example, the Archbishop’s Commission has just put out a report saying that celibacy is not necessary if you’re single. Now you cannot imagine something that goes more clearly against the teaching of Scripture. So for me, it was the hypocrisy that really got to me.”

Mr. Robertson rejected the view that the coronation could have been a statement of truth with an aspiration for wherever the Church of England might be right now in a deterioration of its values, that these are the things that they are actually rising to.

“I don’t believe any of it. It’s what I call ‘royal wedding syndrome’ that evangelical Christians get, because at the time of the wedding of Meghan and Harry, I lost count of how many Christians were really excited at what they thought was a great Gospel sermon, which I didn’t think it was. And they thought it would have this enormous impact. I don’t think it had any impact whatsoever.”

“The more significant factor is that just weeks ago, 85% of the world’s Anglicans meeting, or their representatives meeting, together in Rwanda decided to break from the Archbishop of Canterbury because of the way that he and the Church of England just moved away from Scripture. That’s the bigger story in terms of the Gospel. Having somebody stand up [during the coronation] and read these wonderful words and then negate them by their actions. I think that’s profoundly disturbing.”

There were other issues that bothered the Scottish evangelist:

“There was a caveat put in at the beginning of the coronation saying respect all faiths and so on. Respecting faiths is one thing. Having freedom of religion is one thing, but treating all faiths as equal is another. And it’s the precise opposite of the faith he [King Charles] is vowing to uphold, which is the Protestant Reform faith. If you want to argue for Biblical Christianity, then I just don’t think that that’s what was being done and that’s what was happening. And if anything, I think the pomp and ceremony may have put people off.”

“Rishi Sunak, the Hindu prime minister, is reading Colossians 1 about Jesus being the only God and Jesus being the Supreme Creator and Jesus being old. And he’s a Hindu who believes there’s millions of gods. He has a statue of the God Ganesh on his table. Now either he didn’t know what he was reading or he didn’t understand what he was reading or he was being completely hypocritical. I don’t think he was being completely hypocritical. He just read a scripture which said Hinduism is completely wrong.”

Mr. Robertson also cautioned that Christians only have one King who counts:

“The one thing I will never allow is that King Charles III is the Governor of the Church. He’s not the Head of the Church. He never will be. Jesus is the only one who’s the Governor and Head of the Church. That office I don’t accept. The office of King, I accept in the sense of it’s a constitutional thing, both in Australia and in the United Kingdom. As long as it remains so, it is my responsibility as a Christian to honour the King, and I will do so.”

“I think Charles is absolutely genuine in wanting to serve people. I just don’t think that we are going to have the freedom that Christianity brought about in the United Kingdom. It was strange to have a king taking these vows in a country where people can now be arrested for expressing Christian viewpoints. If King Charles is going to defend the faith he needs to defend the freedom. The Magna Carta is precisely about that.”

The Magna Carta signed in 1215 brought the monarch under the rule of law and therefore under the rule of God.

David Robertson concluded by saying: “So I think there are key issues here, not personally with King Charles, but there are issues with how we’re governed. There are issues with the role of Christianity. The danger is we end up with a Christianity that’s just state symbolism where one of the wealthiest people in the world talks about following the poor Christ. And people don’t see there’s any contradiction there.”

“Please don’t despair if you’re a Christian because there is One who sits on The Throne. Perhaps one of the great symbols of the coronation is the orb which is mean to be the globe under the Cross. And for us everything is under the Cross. I just felt it was an end of an era and I don’t know what is going to come. But I do know that Christ is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.”

Click below to listen to the full interview with David Robertson.