Unfortunately, arrogance has often been a word that comes to people’s minds when they think of some of the British, along with snobbery. God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.
Perhaps this arrogance developed in previous centuries when it seemed the British ruled the waves and invented most everything it seemed. It’s quite hard if you are British to shake this sense of arrogance really. Some people seem to be steeped in it. What have we to be proud about and what do we have that we didn’t receive from God? 1 Corinthians 4:7
As Britain became stronger in Reason and Science and the diabolical works of Charles Darwin, our pride and arrogance became stronger.
I remember how I grew up in a very snobby town in Surrey. Not much has changed there. It still seems an epitome of the system we have in the UK. One Nigerian Senior Pastor called the British ‘having a form of Godliness, without the power thereof.’ 2 Timothy 3:5
Sometimes I feel God almost gives up on a nation, or He just leaves it to its own devices. Although with Britain it’s not quite like that, yet.
Britain is or was a very important place to God, as we have seen in part one of this book. Here is a land hovering off the coast of Europe like an Angel. God separated it by a stretch of water only 22 miles wide at its nearest point of contact with Europe. That tiny stretch of water God placed there ensured that this land would never be thoroughly invaded by evil forces but only by those God allowed for its future benefit in some way. Anyone who has spent any time in the British countryside, sat in a garden or breathed in the views and air of this land or ‘’sod’ as it has been called*, must know in their soul that this is indeed a special place. And so it has been. God has used it greatly.
Today we live in the time of those who feel guilty and wish to apologise for the British Empire. The white privilege or the white man. It is undoubtedly true that a great deal of evil was inflicted by the British on other nations. This damage and evil was done by the ‘merchant man’ primarily, and the rich, using the military to help them. There was blood and a lot of it, but not nearly as much as the French and Belgians for example. This is not an excuse for the British, but had they not been steeped in Christianity to some large degree, the bloodbath I believe, could have been much worse.
*No one describes ‘England’ as well as William Shakespeare of course!
1 This royal throne of kings, this sceptred isle,
2 This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
3 This other Eden, demi-paradise,
4 This fortress built by Nature for her self
5 Against infection and the hand of war,
6 This happy breed of men, this little world,
7 This precious stone set in a silver sea
8 Which serves it in the office of a wall
9 Or as a moat defensive to a house,
10 Against the envy of less happier lands,
11 This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England,
12 This nurse, this teeming womb of royal kings,
13 Feared by their breed and famous for their birth,
14 Renowned for their deeds as far from home
15 For Christian service and true chivalry
16 As is the sepulchre in stubborn Jewry
17 Of the world’s ransom, blessèd Mary’s son.
18 This land of such dear souls, this dear, dear land,
19 Dear for her reputation through the world,
20 Is now leased out – I die pronouncing it –
21 Like to a tenement or pelting farm.
22 England, bound in with the triumphant sea,
23 Whose rocky shore beats back the envious siege
24 Of watery Neptune, is now bound in with shame,
25 With inky blots and rotten parchment bonds.
26 That England that was wont to conquer others
27 Hath made a shameful conquest of itself.
(TAKEN FROM ‘RICHARD II’)
But what no one remembers or doesn’t speak about is that the British also gave the world a lot of great and marvellous things. Primarily they gave them JESUS CHRIST through its thousands of missionaries. They also established schools, national educational systems, hospitals, charitable institutions, railroads, all other forms of infrastructures, the legal system and the rule of law, communication systems and a civil form of government. Nearly all these things were lacking or virtually non-existent in the countries to which the British and the White British Christian came.
Well I’m not here to be a colonial apologist, I just find it interesting that the great good of the past is often buried in the
(Here is one very comprehensive book written by a Chinese academic concerning such positive effects about British missions in China in the early 20th century. Enjoy all 308 pages of it! http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/2413/1/U615362.pdf )
But back to the Britain of today and the recent past, well removed in many ways from those colonial times: I well remember in 1987 I was visiting the UK briefly when ‘The Great Storm of 1987’ hit in October that year.
As I woke the next day and saw personally the devastation in Sussex, where I was, and on the news, I thought very clearly at the time, ‘surely this is a great chastisement from the Lord on this nation, I am sure this is the beginning of a change in the country, a lot of people will surely turn to The Lord due to this.’ Maybe they did, but there didn’t seem to be any immediate nor later evidence of a so-called spiritual revival in the land. I was later reminded of the verse:
‘In vain have I smitten your children: they received no correction. Your own sword hath devoured your prophets, like a destroying lion.’
I think from that time onwards, my opinion of Britain changed. I began to believe there was no immediate hope for the British because too many other spiritual forces and physical forces were at play there. So, it was ‘vain’ or a waste of time, as the Lord points out to ‘strike’ them. Until somehow and somewhere the people of this country get to grips with their arrogance and take a stand against it in significant numbers it is highly unlikely much will change for the better. I see almost no evidence of this happening at the time of writing, rather the opposite.
Even in small things you see this arrogance rear its ubiquitous head: each time there is an Olympics or a world cup of football for example, hopes of ‘Glory’ for the athletes are high or for the soccer players even higher. So much speculation goes on as to how many gold medals will be won or whether this time the English football team for example can win the World cup, since obviously they are the best, and invented the game. Time after time they fail and fall down and go out in disgrace, almost. In the early 21st century, the team lost 2-1 to minnows Iceland, in the European rounds, the worst humiliation in their history. What lessons can be gleaned? Not many until people look square in the face of ‘Attitude’.
The following soccer world cup in 2018 was not that different in the end. It looked like a new start, quite a lot of fresh young players, most of whom were not flash or from the ‘golden generation’ of a decade before, and many of its squad (over 50% or 13/23 came from within 50 miles of Manchester), some from seemingly insignificant towns like Bury, Sunderland, Warrington, Doncaster (apologies) and other larger cities of the north like Sheffield and Bradford. Hope indeed. But as England extricated themselves into the group stage, that insane thought of we are the best and we will win, and its attending arrogance grew. The nation started focusing on the final when they were only in the last 16. The nation’s minds had drifted ahead in their arrogance. They mentally swept aside seemingly ‘weak or tired’ opponents, like Croatia and began seriously discussing how they would beat whoever they thought could face them in the final. Not that the English manager had this problem, but rather the nation and some of the media! It’s fascinating to note that Croatia (a nation of just four million) specifically said they took great strength from the arrogance of the British press who beforehand had said Croatia were ‘weak’ and ‘would tire toward the end of the game’! The exact opposite happened.
England crashed out. Football didn’t ‘come home’!
I know these are funny or quirky examples, but I feel they illustrate some very erroneous concepts the British have, almost like a disease in their minds! We try to pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps and expect to succeed, while Jesus said: ‘without me you can do nothing’. John 15:5 ‘God resists the proud but exalts him of low degree’, applies to everything I think.
What was so tremendous, by contrast when Brazil won the football world cup in 2002, was that great thanks to God and Jesus they all displayed immediately after the game. These links below are highlights of the whole final, but the praise to Jesus begins at 6.14 minutes! What a global testimony to the billion plus audience viewing! Praise God. And check the second link to see how they give God all the glory.
The great British man with the great British oak tree. 1987 storm.
Growing up myself in Britain and surrounded by this ‘Spirit’ of arrogance and snobbery, manifested in some people, I see how it has perversely infected my life as a Christian; I have presumed so much, expected so much in my own strength and wisdom and training and education and even history. It’s taken years of breakings and lessons to learn that God truly ‘resists the proud but He gives grace to the humble’. 1 Peter 5:5. Until I become humble or seek Humility and Wisdom as I would Silver or Gold, then my Birthright of being ‘English’ counts for nothing with God! In fact, it’s a serious handicap! Proverbs 2:1-9.
1 My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee;
2 So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding;
3 Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding;
4 If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures;
5 Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God.
6 For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.
7 He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous: he is a buckler to them that walk uprightly.
8 He keepeth the paths of judgment, and preserveth the way of his saints.
9 Then shalt thou understand righteousness, and judgment, and equity; yea, every good path.
This article is taken from the 240 page book ‘British Christians and the Coming Civil War! By Jerry Finch. To buy a copy go to