God on Our Side?
Updated: Jan 27
It is always dangerous to presume that we have an open channel to God and that God is on our side. In 1857, during the Indian rebellion against the British Raj more than a hundred sermons were preached from the pulpits of London after the nation observed a day of humiliation and prayer. Many of those sermons articulated British national identity in terms of God’s people waging war against God’s adversaries. Such sermons brought together Christian piety and messianic vocation, while at one, and the same time revealing racial prejudices and a skewed understanding of the Bible and Christianity. The focus was on defending Britain’s colonial adventure in India, yet the sermons failed to recognise the gross injustices done to the people of India in the name of colonialism and, the fact that the reprisals, for the uprising, far outweighed the original excesses. Hundreds of sepoys were bayoneted or fired from cannons in a frenzy of British vengeance (though some British officers did protest the bloodshed). The aligning of Christianity to any colonial or imperial domination and power is a very dangerous assumption for the Cross and the Flag do not easily come together without the gospel of Jesus Christ losing its power and it being defaced and distorted in the process. The reality is that the cross is against all forms of imperialism and injustice. So let us beware of assuming that we have God on our side!