Here two of TCW’s regular theological contributors dissect Justin Welby’s attack on government policy over the Channel people-smuggling industry. First, PETER SIMPSON, Minister of Penn Free Methodist Church in Buckinghamshire.
ON Wednesday in the House of Lords Justin Welby attacked the Government’s attempts to deal with the ever-continuing problem of small boats bringing asylum seekers into southern England from the coast of France. The Archbishop of Canterbury appears to have no regard for the clearly stated Biblical principle that all people are under an obligation to keep the laws of the land (Romans 13:1-4, 1 Peter 2:13-14), and that those laws include respecting a nation’s borders. In other words, to attempt to bypass Britain’s immigration laws is sinful in God’s sight.
As a Bible-believing Christian minister, I must denounce the virtue-signalling and tedious playing of the compassion card by the liberal establishment, including church leaders, concerning the crisis which is the premeditated criminal activity, taking place almost every day, across the English Channel.
Are illegal migrants who have already found the financial resources, and exercised the planning and diligence to travel enormous distances across various countries, really those whom it is our absolute moral duty to help? It is an obvious and oft-repeated fact, but France is a safe country from which there is no necessity to flee. The migrants choose to come to Britain, because they know that we are a soft touch.
Concerning the argument that asylum-seeking is all about fleeing persecution, if someone is trying to escape a rampaging bull in a field, he runs to the next field. He does not carry on running across four or five extra fields. Having reached the fifth field, to claim that he was still running for his life would simply not be truthful.
One cannot help but notice that politicians, the media and church leaders are happy to condemn the people smugglers, but few appear willing to acknowledge the fact that the people smugglers operate because they have willing customers. In terms of the sinfulness of actions before God, there is actually no difference between running a people-smuggling service and choosing to employ and pay those who run the service in order to benefit from it.
Furthermore, I would like to ask if the church leaders who speak much about the need for compassion are willing to condemn the criminal act of asylum seekers destroying their identity papers before they reach the shores of southern England? As the Migration Watch website informs us, ‘Deliberate destruction of documentation by tens of thousands crossing the Channel in boats without prior permission must be treated as prima facie evidence of asylum abuse.’
The Home Office is saying that illegal migration across the Channel this year could reach 85,000. There is a backlog of more than 100,000 in processing asylum claims. The destruction of their papers by asylum seekers (along with the disposal of their mobile phones) obviously exacerbates this problem, but the Crown Prosecution Service ‘seems increasingly unwilling to prosecute (such) offences’.
The migrants of course know that even if their claim is finally rejected, the chances of being expelled from the country are very low indeed. Out of 20,605 migrants who have had their claims rejected, only 21 have actually been deported.
This problem of ongoing illegal entry into Britain is taking place against a background of enormous and continuing levels of legal immigration. In the year to June 2022, net migration reached 504,000, and for the year to December 2022 the figures are likely to be well in excess of this.
Just where are all the arrivals expected to go in this small and already densely populated island? What about the pressures on our housing stock? We live in age when many people are concerned environmentalists and eco-activists. May we ask how many more of Britain’s green fields must be concreted over to accommodate the hundreds of thousands of new arrivals each year? What about the strains upon the NHS and our infrastructure? What about the ever-growing bill for the British taxpayer? Do not these concerns come under the scope of Christian compassion?
In the Lords the Archbishop stated: ‘In Matthew chapter 25 Jesus calls us to welcome the stranger.’ This statement sadly represents an abuse of Scripture in order to conform to the fashionable agenda of Britain’s new religion of cultural Marxism. Our Lord was not remotely referring to a situation whereby thousands of illegal migrants were arriving every year. Nor was He arguing that the stranger has a special exemption to ignore the laws of the land, which is exactly what the unauthorised entrants into this country are seeking to achieve. In Matthew 25 the Lord is actually referring to those who were ostracised in society precisely because they were Christians, not to those who were seeking a better life by moving to a different country.
Sadly, Justin Welby’s comments about the Channel migrant crisis come fast upon his sermon at King Charles’s coronation, which was a promotion of what is known as ‘the social gospel’. This movement has been prominent since the late 19th century and seeks to merge socialism and Christianity as having essentially the same message. The focus of the social gospel is on equality and people’s material circumstances in this world, and this focus is always to the exclusion of telling people that they need to be personally saved from their sins through faith in Christ, that they might then receive the gift of everlasting life.
The Archbishop said in his coronation sermon, ‘Jesus Christ announced a kingdom in which the poor and oppressed are freed from the chains of injustice. The blind see. The bruised and broken-hearted are healed.’
Whilst endeavouring to expound Luke 4:18-19, the Archbishop completely ignored the spiritual import of the terms poor, oppressed, blind, bruised and broken-hearted. Instead, he made the Lord’s words conform to the ‘social justice’ message of the liberal, secular establishment. This is what J C Ryle, the Bible-believing Anglican Bishop of Liverpool from 1880-1900, rightly says of those verses in Luke 4: ‘If we hope to be saved, we must know Jesus as the Friend of the poor in spirit, the Physician of the diseased heart, the Deliverer of the soul in bondage. These are the principal offices He came on earth to fulfil. It is in this light we must learn to know Him . . . Without such knowledge we shall die in our sins.’
What the good Bishop Ryle was asserting, in accordance with true Biblical teaching, is that society will improve only if individuals are first changed in their hearts by means of repentance from sin and trusting in Christ alone for salvation. It is those who are spiritually blind and bruised by their captivity to sin whom the Lord came to set free. It is the Archbishop’s task to tell the world these truths, not to promote the social gospel heresy.
If I met the Archbishop of Canterbury, I would endeavour to be courteous and respectful. This article is an attack not upon his person, but upon his theology, and upon the abuse of Biblical concepts such as ‘compassion’ to condone the deliberate breaking of our law, and the rewarding of that law-breaking with generous taxpayer-funded benefits, such as hotel accommodation amounting to £6million a day. To defend the integrity of the Christian gospel, Mr Welby’s woke ‘social justice’ message must be rejected, for it represents a mere conformity to the spirit of the age, and such conformity is explicitly condemned in God’s word, in Romans 12:2, 1 Corinthians 3:19 and Colossians 2:8.
Our second article is by Julian Mann, an evangelical journalist.
IF a billionaire globalist such as Bill Gates, George Soros or Klaus Schwab had been Archbishop of Canterbury, how would his speech have differed from Justin Welby’s when he denounced the government’s Illegal Migration Bill in the House of Lords on Wednesday?
‘This Bill fails utterly to take a long-term and strategic view of the challenges of migration and undermines international cooperation rather than taking an opportunity for the UK to show leadership,’ Welby declared. ‘Even if this bill succeeded in temporarily stopping the boats, and I don’t think it will, it won’t stop conflict or climate migration . . . It is isolationist, it is morally unacceptable and politically impractical to let the poorest countries deal with the crisis alone, and cut our international aid.’
His unshakable faith in globalist solutions to national or regional problems is surely evident from the passive voice in this extract from his speech: ‘There must be safe legal routes put in place as soon as illegal, unsafe routes begin to be attacked. Of course, we cannot take everyone, and nor should we, but this Bill has no sense at all of the long-term and of the global nature of the challenge that the world faces.’
Who is going to ‘put in place’ the ‘safe legal routes’ for migrants? Who is going to begin to attack the ‘illegal, unsafe routes’? Who is going to co-ordinate the long-term, global solution to the challenge the world faces?
It would seem Welby believes in the existence somewhere out there of a benevolent version of Spectre from the James Bond books. But according to the Christian Bible the globalist elite’s quest for a collectivist world order, whether through the United Nations, the World Economic Forum or the World Health Organisation, does not have God’s blessing.
The first book of the Bible, Genesis, describes a fallen world that the Lord God Almighty has deliberately divided to prevent sinful mankind from becoming too powerful and arrogant. Witness the Tower of Babel story in Genesis 11. How well would this play at an encrypted cyberspace meeting of billionaire globalists?
‘And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there. And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for mortar. And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.
‘And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.
‘So the Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city. Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the Lord scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth’ (Genesis 11v1-9 – King James Version).
In a fallen world awaiting its redemption at the Second Coming of God’s eternal Son Jesus Christ, the leaders of the scattered nations of the earth surely have to do the best of a bad job. Welby slammed the UK government for failing to ‘draw in conflict management and prevention, which drives migration’ and ‘climate impacts, which drive migration and conflict’. Is he expecting the government to wait until these global problems are sorted out before it acts to deter illegal migration across the English Channel in dangerous boats with evil profiteers acting as travel agents?
Welby professed to believe that ‘we need a Bill to reform migration . . . to stop the boats . . . to destroy the evil tribe of traffickers’. But his globalist outlook seemingly refuses the elected government permission to combat these evils. Ministers have to wait until ‘the Indoctrinators’ of Karen Harradine’s TCW series have set up their carbon net-zero kingdom (or rather utopian republic) on earth as it is in Davos, the Swiss ski resort where woke capitalists gather for worship at Schwab’s World Economic Forum.
It would seem Welby thought he was being prophetic in opposing the Bill and that he had a word from the Lord. But was he not actually speaking the word of man, Davos Man, in his gospel according to the globalist elite?