King Charles’s Coronation: What a Missed Opportunity

King Charles iii at his coronation in Westminster Abbey on May 6 in London, England
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King Charles’s Coronation: What a Missed Opportunity

The English-speaking world is thoroughly ignorant of the Bible and anything religious. The vast majority rarely, if ever, set foot in a church service, and society is embracing extremes, like transgenderism, that are far removed from what the Bible teaches.

Yet on Saturday, 20 million Britons and millions more around the world tuned in to a service rooted in the Bible.

The coronation of King Charles iii, with its roots in the Bible, contained an inspiring message for the world.

“God originally ordained the coronation ceremony—the blowing of trumpets, the music, the anointing and the crowning. Yet He has allowed men to pervert it,” wrote the 1953 Plain Truth. Despite many aspects that are not biblical, “the basis for the entire ceremony is still as it was in days of old for the kings of Israel.”

Consider the message beamed around the world. The King was handed the Bible as he was told, “Sir, to keep you ever mindful of the law and the gospel of God as the rule for the whole life and government of Christian princes, receive this book, the most valuable thing that this world affords. Here is wisdom; this is the royal law; these are the lively oracles of God.”

This “royal law” was central to the ceremony. But most Christian denominations teach that the law is done away with. Yet King Charles was asked as part of his coronation oath, “Will you, to your power, cause law and justice, in mercy, to be executed in all your judgments?” and “Will you to the utmost of your power maintain the laws of God and the true profession of the gospel?”

After he was crowned and acclaimed by all present, the choir sang, “Be strong and of a good courage. Keep the commandments of the Lord thy God, and walk in His ways.”

As Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry explained on Friday, so much of this ceremony comes from Solomon’s coronation in 1 Kings 1. Why sing about the long-dead Zadok the priest while a British king is crowned? Why shout “God save the king! Long live the king!” just as they did 3,000 years ago?

Herbert W. Armstrong proved in his free book The United States and Britain in Prophecy that the royal family in Great Britain descends from Israel’s King David—as part of God’s promise of an eternal line to the righteous ruler (2 Samuel 7:12-13).

Why make such a remarkable promise? “[T]o give a light to him and to his sons for ever” (2 Chronicles 21:7). David’s throne is a light to the world. Think what a light that coronation could have been—the world tuning in to this message from God!

There may have been some wonderful words in that coronation. But no light is really shining from that throne in Britain because the deeds of those sitting on the throne do not match.

The coronation told the world that the Bible is “the most valuable thing” in the world. The royal family is not sending that message by the way they live their lives. Camilla was crowned Queen during the ceremony—a divorcee with whom King Charles had an adulterous affair. They’re not using the Bible to regulate their lives.

Even the Church of England is increasingly departing from the Bible. This was the first time women bishops were involved in the coronation of a king. The Church of England is moving toward accepting homosexual “marriage”—asking God’s blessing on same-sex couples in church. The church could split as African members of the Anglican Communion are more faithful to what is in the Bible.

The next day, King Charles celebrated his coronation with Windsor Castle’s first pop concert. Celebrities from Kermit the Frog to Tom Cruise sent their congratulations. Katy Perry, a pop star-turned-lgbt advocate, was one of their most famous performers. During her performance, Windsor Castle lit up with the rainbow. Perry has closer ties to the King than most. In 2020, she was appointed by then Prince Charles to be the new ambassador of the British-Asian Trust—despite being neither British nor Asian.

This is not simply about maintaining decorum or avoiding being too trendy. The pop music industry has pushed a huge amount of immorality on the world. And the newly crowned King is inviting pop stars into Windsor Castle and broadcasting them around the world.

The royal family is embracing the sins of the world rather than being an example of God’s law.

Another innovation in this coronation was the inclusion of other religions. At the end of the ceremony, representatives from Britain’s “faith communities” came forward to greet the King, proclaiming, “We unite with people of all faiths and beliefs in thanksgiving and in service with you for the common good.”

The ceremony was peppered with changes to emphasize the role of other religions. Before asking the King to take his oath, the archbishop of Canterbury issued a bit of a disclaimer: “Your Majesty, the church established by law, whose settlement you will swear to maintain, is committed to the true profession of the gospel, and in so doing, will seek to foster an environment in which people of all faiths and beliefs may live freely” (emphasis added throughout).

The king added a new prayer to the ceremony where he asked, “Grant that I may be a blessing to all thy children, of every faith and conviction, that together we may discover the ways of gentleness.”

In a world deceived and cut off from God, there is a lot to be said for religious freedom. It allows God’s Church to operate. But this was clearly a dose of multiculturalism injected into the coronation.

Multiculturalism has watered down Britain’s tradition. Its emphasis on what divides rather than what unites has left the nation weaker.

Most notable was the role the Catholic Church played. This was arguably the most Catholic coronation for nearly 500 years.

The procession was led into Westminster Abbey by what are claimed to be fragments of the “True Cross,” gifted by the pope. “Given that the relationship between the British crown and the Catholic Church has been rocky in ages past, Charles’s decision to place the papal gift at the forefront of his coronation ceremonies is significant,” wrote the Catholic News Agency.

The “Gloria” sung in the coronation was performed in Latin, in what may have been the first time Latin has been sung in a coronation since that of Elizabeth i in 1559, outside of the traditional Latin greeting of the King.

Cardinal Vincent Nichols blessed King Charles, the first time a Catholic archbishop has taken part in a coronation in over 400 years. The Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin also attended, representing Pope Francis. The last coronation attended by a cardinal was probably that of Mary i, in 1553.

The Archdiocese in Westminster noted that at Queen Elizabeth ii’s coronation in 1953, “it would not have been permitted for any Catholic to enter a Protestant church, let alone to take part in a coronation service.” The Queen herself had a lot to do with that change as she drew closer to the Catholic Church.

But the inclusion of these Catholics contrasted with other parts of the coronation ceremony specifically designed to prevent Catholics from sitting on the throne. Most regard these parts of the ceremony, such as the coronation oath, as outdated prejudice.

Once again, there’s a lot that may look good about this kind of reconciliation of old divisions. But the Catholic Church has a long history of opposition to England’s throne. In 1570, Pope Pius v declared that he had “deprived” Queen Elizabeth “of her pretended title” and “of all lordship, dignity and privilege.” Catholic terrorists tried to assassinate her successor, James i, along with all of Britain’s leadership. On Friday, Mr. Flurry wrote:

Queen Elizabeth also swore to maintain Britain’s religion. This she did not do. That’s not to say that the Protestant Reformed religion is the one true religion. But to the extent that it followed the Bible, Britain was blessed for maintaining it. Today, however, Britain is a morass of secularism, dangerous multicultural religious confusion, and submission to the religion of Europe that it once strongly opposed. The Queen has made unprecedented moves to reconcile with the Vatican: visiting Pope John Paul ii in Rome, hosting his visit to Britain in 1982—the first pope to do so since the Reformation, allowing him to hold joint services with the archbishop of Canterbury, and appointing a Roman Catholic as her chaplain.

There is a spiritual reason for the ancient enmity from Rome. The vast majority of Catholics are sincere people, and God has a plan to save them and bring them into His Family. But the throne in the Vatican is in direct opposition to the throne of David. God established His throne to be a light, and He promised that His Son would return and sit on that throne (Luke 1:31-32). But the Vatican claims it has God’s throne on Earth. When the archbishop of Canterbury kissed the pope’s ring, Mr. Flurry wrote that “he was putting the pope’s throne ahead of God’s throne!”

Bible prophecy says that a Catholic-led power is rising in Europe. Britain’s royal family is going to soon regret drawing close to such a power.

God says He is allowing this power to rise up in Europe to correct a “hypocritical nation” (Isaiah 10:6). This is what we really saw on display this weekend. A nation that puts the Bible on display, tells the world that it is “the most valuable thing that this world affords,” and then entirely ignores it.

Few in Britain take the Bible seriously. Yet it contains the only answers to mankind’s big questions and instruction to live a happy life—something man has searched for in vain. Yet obviously it will take some pretty dramatic events before most will listen.

God is raising up this European power to correct Britain and the U.S.—and ultimately to bring the whole world to know God.

In the meantime, the world still needs a light now that the throne in Britain no longer provides one.

To allow a light to continue to shine, God has made a change in the way He is working with that throne. As the result of that change, Mr. Flurry wrote that “we would see a rapid decline in Britain’s royal family.”

That decline has been on display for several years. Yet God still has a plan to return the world to Him and to have that light go out. To learn more about it, read Mr. Flurry’s free book The New Throne of David.