Commenting on the Coronation of King Charles III, TV historian Professor David Olusoga from the University of Manchester said, "I think it's more difficult with a thousand-year-old [religious] ceremony to reflect the fact that we are one of the most secular nations in the world."
How can a service of worship to the Triune God, to whom the monarch professes his allegiance, find an Amen among the hearts of multi-faith and secular subjects?
This question highlights the daily challenge for the Western church amidst the stridency of conflicting voices, the numbed silences of those who are afraid, and the careless indifference of those who do not know if anything is right. And this confusion is not just at the door of the church; it easily spreads inside.
But because Jesus is The Truth and The Head and The Door of the church - the bottom line is that we must listen to Him.
Indeed, the Coronation Service was neccessary to reaffirm in public that our King is appointed by the King of kings, and that the Lord Jesus Christ reigns supreme. That is true, whatever others may think and say.
In order to make the church appear relevent to the secular world, some engage with contemporary agendas in the hope that lost people will feel comfortable in the Christian community.
But seeking the community's respect must always be secondary to honouring the Lord. The Apostles' teaching makes clear that worship must be accompanied by gospel proclamation and that Jesus must be at the centre.
Authentic apostolic doctrine always has two legs: you cannot proclaim the love of God without announcing the wrath of God - otherwise there is no need for the substitutionary sacrifice of Christ. You cannot receive Christ without repenting of all that offends Him. You cannot 'put on' Christ without 'putting off' all that He defines as wickedness. You cannot believe that Jesus is Lord, and also consider other lords as equal or superior to Him.
These are not unique issues. As BeaconLight works with church leaders around the world we see them battle for the uniqueness of Christ where syncretism with other faiths or secularism dictates that the gospel be sidelined or cancelled.
Please pray for our partners, who use and distribute BeaconLight books, to be undistracted from proclaiming Jesus; for readers of Word@Work to be courageously Christ-centred in their lifestyle and witness; for the BeaconLight team to keep their spiritual cutting edge.