The Shame of Appeasement

Taking the Bible at its word is the only way to find the peace for which most of us long

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Alarming reports are circulating that the British Foreign Office is behind a plot to ‘re-educate’ the church with teaching that suits the LGBTI+ agenda.

And most significantly, this coincides with a shocking rise of sexual assaults by children on other children as encouragement of promiscuity, aided and abetted by an Education Secretary determined to push the LGBT agenda, robs a new generation of its youth.

‘Re-education’, a policy apparently adopted both by the Foreign Office and Education Department, was the sinister tactic used for the promotion of Communism by the notorious Khmer Rouge as they went about their killing spree in Cambodia in the 1970s. It also bears the hallmark of China’s so-called Cultural Revolution of that period.

But in both cases, far from carrying out the Marxist aim of destroying the church, they only succeeded in making it stronger.

Today’s China boasts an estimated 100 million Christians, underpinning that vast country’s new prosperity, while Cambodian believers are also flourishing despite the brutal massacres of a generation ago.

Now a Foreign Office ‘think tank’, made up of specially selected advisors, is suggesting that sacred texts be ‘reinterpreted’ in order to conform to the sexual revolution, the ‘re-definition’ of marriage and the celebration of homosexual lifestyles.

A report produced by FO agency Wilton Park argues that this ‘theology’ should be required teaching in all churches (just as sexual promiscuity is becoming required teaching in schools). Wilton Park’s Advisory Council is chosen by the Foreign Secretary himself (currently Boris Johnson) from leading experts and academics. And its findings help determine Foreign Office policy around the globe.

Calling for an inquiry, Christian charity Barnabas Fund has expressed serious concern at the implications for the future freedom of religion of the Foreign Office’s involvement in pushing this ideological agenda.

Entitled Opportunities and challenges: the intersection of faith and human rights of LGBTI+ persons, the report is clearly about promoting LGBT while at the same time isolating those holding to traditional biblical teaching.

According to Heart newspaper, which circulates widely among churches in the South of England, mystery remains over what Mr Johnson knows of the report and how far he intends to implement its findings.

Over 26,000 have signed a petition launched by Christian campaigners Voice for Justice UK which was delivered to the Foreign Office on 21 September. But Rev Lynda Rose of VFJUK is quoted as saying there has been a ‘resounding silence’ from Mr Johnson’s office.

In a desperate bid to appease the strident gay sex lobby, these so-called thinkers are willing to pervert the truths of the word of God, hitherto unchanged for millennia. Prime Minister Theresa May, a vicar’s daughter, doesn’t need persuading, however, proclaiming same-sex marriage as one of her party’s proudest achievements while attacking traditional marriage supporters as ‘lacking compassion’.

Appeasing the gay sex lobby by all major parties has led to the appointment of lesbians to leading positions in Government, most notably Education Secretary Justine Greening, which has serious implications for the welfare of our children.

Tragically, appeasement has marked a succession of British Government initiatives over the years which has in turn led to disaster and brought great shame on our nation.

Neville Chamberlain tried it with Hitler in an effort to win ‘peace in our time’ but instead helped spark off a war in which 50 million people perished including six million Jews, many of whom could have been saved if we had acted sooner to rescue them from the death camps.

But the modern State of Israel rose from the ashes of the Holocaust even without our help – despite having promised to do all we could to facilitate their return to the Holy Land through the Balfour Declaration issued 100 years ago next month. We reneged on our pledge in order to appease the Arabs who had no claim to the land and were not even looking after it until the Jews began returning in significant numbers.

Riots and massacres followed as Arabs determined to prevent the re-establishment of a Jewish national presence in their midst. Firm leadership from Britain in backing Jewish aspirations was needed (they ruled the region at the time), but appeasement signalled weakness on our part which has been constantly exploited ever since by those who wish to stir up trouble in the Middle East.

The current crisis is, in part, a legacy of our lack of godly leadership in failing to do the right thing. We even sat on the fence when the United Nations voted to recognise the re-born Jewish state 70 years ago next month shortly after the disagraceful act of turning back Holocaust survivors seeking refuge there.

This was followed, soon afterwards, by the shameful episode involving the British protectorate of Bechuanaland (now Botswana) in southern Africa. When the Tswana people’s heir-apparent Seretse Khama fell in love with Ruth Williams, a white Englishwoman, the Foreign Office did all they could to derail the marriage.

Why? Because they wanted to appease the South African government of D F Malan, which was in the process of building the apartheid structure separating the races by law. Inter-marriage involving the leader of a neighbouring state was hugely embarrassing, and our government – both Labour and Conservative – were more interested in the maintenance of economic and other ties with apartheid South Africa than with doing the right thing.

It all worked out in the end, but not before Seretse was forcibly exiled and thus separated from his young wife and new baby in a most undignifying manner for the son of a king. It was under (Sir) Seretse’s leadership, however, that Botswana emerged as a newly independent nation in 1966. And it has flourished ever since as a beacon of light among African nations, with the discovery of diamonds certainly adding a sparkle to the scene.

The story of Seretse and Ruth is beautifully told in the movie United Kingdom, starring David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike and filmed on location in Botswana. An absorbing, sensitive and wonderfully romantic tale set against an intriguing political background, it is described as “the true story of a love that shook an empire”.

It’s time our Foreign Office (and Government as a whole) re-tuned its spiritual antennae to the voice of reason and wisdom through which God has spoken down the ages. Otherwise we will only repeat embarrassing mistakes of the past.

The Bible says: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” (Proverbs 1.7) And the New Testament adds: “For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom…” (1 Corinthians 1.25a)

In the context of current Tory infighting, Proverbs 28.2 puts it well: “When a country is rebellious, it has many rulers, but a man of understanding and knowledge maintains order.”

One hundred years ago David Lloyd George’s War Cabinet was mostly made up of evangelical Christians who believed the Bible. That’s why they agreed to the Balfour Declaration – because they saw clearly that the Word of God spoke of the Jews being restored to their ancient land from the far corners of the earth, and that as far as Gentile believers were concerned, the right thing to do was to help them get there.

Now it seems that the Cabinet is mostly made up of those who seek to tamper with the Scriptures – and this is a very dangerous exercise. For the Bible ends with dire warnings of judgment from Jesus against anyone who either adds or takes away from his words – specifically in the Book of Revelation pertaining to the period leading up to his return. (Rev 22.18f)

But I conclude on a more positive note from a prominent member of today’s Cabinet, who has stood up foursquare for the Jews just as his forebears did 100 years ago.

Speaking at a Conservative Friends of Israel event in Manchester, Environment Secretary Michael Gove said there was no difference between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism.

And referring to the Balfour Declaration centenary, he said: “At a time when people are casual, cruel and callous towards the fate of the Jewish people, it is time for all of us to say that over the last 100 years, if we have learned anything, it is that when there is prejudice and hatred directed towards the Jewish people, darker times will follow. And it is our moral duty to say that what begins with the Jews never ends with the Jews. We stand with Israel. We stand with the Jewish community.

Taking the Bible at its word is the only way to find that elusive peace, prosperity and social cohesion for which most of us long.

PHOTO: British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson meets with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank city of Ramallah. (Flash90)

Charles Gardner is author of Israel the Chosen, available from Amazon, and Peace in Jerusalem, available from


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