The Word on the Week


This coming week the UK will decide by referendum whether or not to remain in the EC. Always a reluctant member, reflecting perhaps its long history of wars fought on European soil and a general mistrust of the “foreigner” this debate has degenerated into violence with the killing of Jo Cox the Pro Europe Labour MP.
Apparently the older people in the UK want out and the younger want in. The old see the problems and the youth see more opportunities in a united Europe.
The debate is being fought on immigration, swollen by refugees and economics based on selfish national interests.
But how well has the vision of a united Europe been realised? Its founders knew that European integration would fail if the political ends of the project ever came to be dominated by the economic means. Its priority had to be people organised in democracies relatively free from corruption with participation in central decision making designed for the common good.

This ideal has been tested by the flood of refugees from war-torn countries coupled with a reluctance to accommodate the free flow of economic migrants from Eastern Europe. When a small number of militant Islamists are added the mix gets toxic and democratic freedoms are in danger of being swept away. The social cohesion will be severely tested if Brexit takes place.

Monetary union, which served Ireland well initially, put us into a straightjacket when, through reckless banking, we went broke. Having landed in hoc to our European Bondholders we could not devalue our currency to reflect our bankrupt state and had to climb out of recession using the Euro, a hard currency. This illustrates the difficulty we had with the Euro.
Conversely the Euro, weaker relative to the old Deutschmark, enabled Germany to trade abroad at a massive advantage which has been calculated at being worth €1,500 billion to that country. By contrast the absence of wealth in Spain, Portugal and Greece, who are in financial difficulties similar to Ireland, portrays a Europe with great financial inequalities.
The only solution would appear to dismantle the Euro returning control of their currencies to the individual countries. This would enable the Southern European countries to deal with their high levels of youth unemployment by stimulating foreign trade.

Scripture shows the nation state of Israel separate in order, amongst other things, to reflect God’s laws to the Nations. They were identified by a distinctive language (to restrain evil Genesis Chapter 11 verse 6) and throughout the Bible people are differentiated by their culture and national identity.
It is in the Kingdom of God that we come to see the fulfilment of the Gospel in individual lives and corporately regardless of colour or creed. It is a Kingdom where God rules in the lives of its subjects who have entered, not by crossing a physical boundary but by answering Christ’s call to repent and believe the Gospel (St Mark Chapter 1 verse 15).
It encompasses all of us who have grieved over their sins enough to bring them to Christ in prayer that He might graciously give you the grace to repent by turning from them and trusting Him.
It is a Kingdom that will outlast the EU or a Brexit!