Prayer Before Council Meetings - So What?

By | 19:42:00 Leave a Comment
So a few people (quite a lot actually) are going nutts over the banning of prayer at UK council meetings etc. but is it really 'that' big a deal?
It is one more tradition ongoing from when Church & State were one. Don't get me wrong, i think it would be great if most or all politicians & council members were believers and prayer naturally flowed from them as they made decisions. But alas this is not the case.

Problem of Church & State Union
One major drawback that came from the Church & State union that we 'enjoyed' in our UK history is moralism & tradition. The Church/State passed laws - good laws by any standard, but laws that after a generation or two directed people to morality & tradition, yet failed to point their hearts toward Christ. People obeyed for fear of punishment by the government rather than devotion to Christ. Moral obedience to Biblical standards is not the end goal of the Gospel. Christ is where the Gospel points again and again.

Am i saying the government should stop passing moral laws? No way! They need to and should, in my mind be a lot stricter about punishments etc. But as a Christian i have to think about Gospel implications in all of this, and while i rejoice over legal laws i also see a problem with the Christianized approach we often bring to the table over such matters.

What of the Christian politician? 
I'm sure Christian politicians will find time to pray in private for God's hand of sovereignty upon all things - after all we do see a trend in the Biblical NT teachings that private, secret prayer accomplishes more than the public prayer. Especially public prayers that are said for the sake of being the done thing - this i have no doubt, has been the case at many such meetings (not all, but many).

It's not the end of Christianity when things like this happen. It's not something to die over. And it's not something to lose face over by opening our mouths and pointing to disasters in other countries as wrath of God because they went a similar direction. (i saw one acquaintance of mine saying 911 was due to this - silly thing to say).
Sure it is a sign of declined principles steeped in the Bible, but as Christ said His Kingdom is not of this world.

A Little Clearer
Unfortunately, as i have said, when a countries laws are Christianized there is a tendency over time for things to go legalistic, traditional and simply moralistic rather than Christ saturated. We see this even played out with the O.T. Law and how Israel became about moral obedience & tradition rather than worship of the great deliverer.
As our government, and indeed society moves away from christian morals and traditions we may also gain an opportunity to make the Gospel of faith, apart from works a little clearer to those around us, who up to now have seen the Church as something which merely gives a list of laws, traditions and regulations to be obeyed.

Let's use the opportunity to preach about Christ, rather than jumping into a fight that, even if we won, may not change hearts - i mean so what if a council meeting begins with prayer if most people (perhaps even the prayer) do not know Christ as Lord & Saviour?