Queen Elizabeth II: An General Conference Double Standard

On the day of her death, the Trans-European Division news service published an article titled, “In Memory of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.” It was republished by the General Conference’s Adventist News Network. In it, church leaders celebrated her “legacy of faith, commitment, and service.” Concluding the article, Audrey Andersson, a general vice-president of the General Conference, stated that Queen Elizabeth II’s “life of service was grounded in her deep personal faith. Her sense of duty to God, the country, and the Commonwealth was a source of stability and hope in difficult times and an inspiration for many.” However, judging by comments and reactions on social media, while Queen Elizabeth II’s death is regrettable, how her story is told is a contentious issue even among Seventh-day Adventists around the world.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/11986
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While I find the history of the British monarchy interesting and appreciate the demeanor and contributions of Queen Elizabeth, it’s important that the negative effects inflicted by the monarchy are acknowledged and if possible remedied. Great article!

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The Queen literally precided over the decolonisation of empire.

Not sure how the Queen is responsible for acts of God such as drought and famine.

In any case, independent countries are responsible for their own development. The decline in Zimbabwe, for example, is a direct result of its own inept leadership. South Africa is going the same way as Zimbabwe.

Seeing the world through the lens of race accentuates racial conflict and disguises the actual causes of problems; human corruption.

Consider Singapore, a country with no natural resources to speak of and a former colony. How does race explain their success?

Instead of using the Queen as a scapegoat, perhaps focus on those who are actually responsible for the problems in their own countries.

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We have to accept that those of the Southern Hemispheres are questioning the supremacy of Europe, this peninsula of Asia and her offspring USA, that they just remember their own history .

Nil nise bene de mortuo : Nothing but good about one having passed away. But in the very case we should be aware that - especially for us as SDAs - the deceised also was the “Pope” of her countries Church -
and through all the years of her as a princess and as a queen I never could distinguish any clearly Chritian elements in all her performance. Her dedication to duty and her reserved lifestyle allows no final evaluation on the true "Queen Elisabeth II " - but , without fostering any second “Papacy- bashing” I rather would be reluctant, also in an obituary.

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Yes! I suspect that more could be done to feature the plight of our world and its peoples by Adventist news outlets. I also believe that honouring Queen Elizabeth at this time is important for many Adventists the world over, and particularly in the UK, her 14 realms (Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica to name a few) where she is also Queen and Head of State. She is also honoured in the 54 independent countries of the Commonwealth, which is a voluntary association of nations who embrace the freedoms and values of free societies.

Queen Elizabeth came to the throne in 1952. The British Empire had come to an end in 1948. She began the British Commonwealth, later just the Commonwealth. Originally, it had just 7 members but has grown as many former British colonies have gained their independence. King Charles is, as Queen Elizabeth was, the Head of the Commonwealth.

As such Queen Elizabeth is probably the world’s greatest de-colonizer. She was never a Sovereign of an Empire. She and Charles have always encouraged Australia to make their own future with or without the British monarchy as Head of State.

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I think this response seems a little naive to be honest. To blame the problems of Africa on weather and inept leadership ignores the role that the CIA and other agencies played in actively undermining the effectiveness of leaders of those countries. The phrase went like this, in reference to those so called inept leaders you mentioned, ‘He’s a son of a b… but he’s our son of a b…!’ was said with pride by the CIA.

When Saddam Hussein wanted the finances to invade Kuwait he went to USA for the funds. they manipulated him and set him up as part of their geopolitical strategy. I learnt all this and more when I studied International Politics at SOAS. So this information is academically peer reviewed. I can never forget how shocked I was to learn this. But then I should not have been. By the way, that institution (SOAS) was set up precisely to support British Colonialism in its exploitation of other countries

What about the one million and more people who died simply because of the inept manner in which Britain divided up the Indian Empire. I could go on, but I leave it there. I fail to see what Queen Elizabeth accomplishes that was so amazing. I don’t recall her apologising for the harm and evil done to the billions of people, by her ancestors. By the way the royal family didn’t just benefit from Colonialism. They promulgated it. Her ancestor actually set up the Royal Africa company so that the royal family could monopolise the slave trade and therefore be sole beneficiary. What did Queen Elizabeth ever do to redress this? Set up the commonwealth so we could have some neo-colonialism in place because the British Empire was no longer viable. I suggest you do some research. The information is out there. I am not judging you because if you only listen to the ‘news’ you don’t know any better.

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I find it fascinating when the church is expected to judge monarchs and pray for things happening in certain regions of the globe. The church is the body of Christ and should be led by the Holy Spirit, not human feelings. We become Christlike when our human senses are obedient to the Spirit of God. The moment we expect the church to be world like we are misleading the would be converted.
Now if i come to the level of my fellow Advent, the Southern part of our globe should not complain about the Queen or the North. The past is unfortunate with regards to slavery but take note, especially Africa, she does not even have the capacity to explore the raw materials underground, she is still relying on Europe and China. The challenges of the past lead me to the scripture where its reads "My people will perish because of lack of knowledge ". The word “perish” can be replaced with words like suffer, lack, enslaved etc.
What the church needs to do is go out there and harvest for God’s kingdom. The harvest is plent but labourers are few.
The Queen loved Jesus, there is good governance in UK, it’s all about Jesus in all parades and ceremonies. In Africa it’s about ancestors and that is the lack of knowledge the bible talks about. Ancestors dont bring salvation, only Jesus, the only mediator between God and men.
The Queen’s reign is a product of God’s grace for it is He who appointed her. Be careful not to curse what God blessed.
Lastly, focus on the harvest, it pleases God, focus on charity, that pleases God, focus on your faith, that pleases God the most. Bring the flock to Jesus, these are the last minutes. Heal the sick, cast out demons, set captives free in Jesus’s name. Pray against corruption, misrule, misjudge and all manner of affliction against the poor. God will give you good leaders. Asante, thank you!!

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Hi Dee

Would you allow me the courtesy of refraining from using a “straw man” argument and misrepresenting what I have said? This seems to be the thrust of this paragraph.

I am sure SOAS is a great institution but I am also sure you would concede there was no Indian Empire… or perhaps you meant the British Raj.

How would an apology from someone (The Queen) for the iniquities of someone else, let alone a dead someone else, have any validity?

The Commonwealth, by the way, is a completely voluntary organisation. This organisation seems to me to be a remarkable triumph in moving away from Empire in a way that allows for healing and reconciliation. It is easy to criticise, but how would you have proposed doing it? Why are countries even in the past year still joining it?

It is unfortunate you didn’t take the opportunity to address the substantive argument of the disparity of outcomes in former colonies. I think you may have added some intelligent insight to this.

I would suggest countries like Singapore believe in their own agency and embraced independence as an opportunity in self determination.

Such a mindset, seems to me, to be lacking in less developed former colonies.

And the author using “Race” as a tool to describe this failure of the so called global south, whatever that is, is truly diabolical. It perpetuates the myth of people of colour being inferior… why else would Zimbabwe and South Africa be less successful today than they were under white rule?

Those who blame their failure on past colonialism have failed to take responsibility for their own actions.

What alternative is there? Blame the past and continue failing or grow up and realise no one owes you a living?

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The Queen was a wonderful example to us all of a Christian life, dedicated to her country and her people. In no way was she responsible for the sins of the past. If we all harked back to dreadful past events, we would still be at odds with the Norwegians and the Danes, who sent the Vikings to rape and pillage our country. Also don’t forget the holocaust. No good holding on to past horrific events. The Queen vowed to dedicate her life to Great Britain and did so as a committed Christian. Rest in peace Your Majesty.

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i don’t think we can overlook the fact that key to Elizabeth II’s impact was her very good looks at every stage of her life…physical beauty is just a gift…nothing can really take its place…and when it’s combined with evident character and self-control, as in the case of Elizabeth II throughout her reign, it’s an irresistible power…

it’s a bit sad that neither Charles nor Camilla are good-looking, even though i think they are both genuine, especially Camilla…this is really where Princes Di would have taken up the baton of royalty, at least the kind established by Elizabeth II, completely effortlessly and naturally…there would never have been the possibility of doubt over whether British royalty would survive with Princess Di on the throne…

fortunately William and Kate are good-looking…but i think the jury is still out on whether they have the character and persona Elizabeth II had…

today we adventists in Uk shared our grief with the whole nation in Britain .the blacks ,the Indians the whites ,the Chinese stood side by side and shared their testimonies how their lives were affected by the Queen s long reign.Their positive reflections does not mean they did not know other aspects of history,but they chose to focus on the positives.

I responded to this article and wrote 8 pages on philosophy of history on how the hand of providence shapes history and why nations rise and fall ,then I thought, not today and I thought again, i will not publish it.We could have just waited and held back this article .but no Spectrum could not!

Your pain is not more important than the pain of her victims.
Queen Elizabeth II became a queen, while she was on tour in Kenya. Just like Hitler she had concentration camps in Kenya where people were raped, castrated, tortured and killed. Some of the survivors are still alive. On the day Queen Elizabeth II was buried, a family in Kenya was reminded of the fact that they only buried part of his body, his head is still in some drawer/museum in the UK.

Good Christians should not be offended when the victims of rape and murder speak the truth about their pain.




If SOAS was set up precisely to support colonisation why did you go to that university? Should you now apologise for using this university for your degree? You used a university that you know was set up to exploit and yet you studied there? So now you have a degree in international politics, what are you doing to combat the situation?u

We are though as per the Bible to respect and pray for our kings, queens and leaders. It is God who appoints them all.

Like as has been pointed out the commonwealth is voluntary, so any country which is part of it can leave at anytime.

One thing I will say is, that she did believe in Jesus Christ and through her funeral millions if not billions heard the truth of the Bible and I hope that people turn to Jesus because of this, remember Isaiah 55:11 My word does not return to me empty.

What touched me with both her and her husbands funerals is the emphasis on the bible, there was no one giving long speeches about how good she was because she did such and such. Like how I have seen Adventist funerals.

We also need to define race, Acts 17:26 tells us there is one race (the human race) “And He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and boundaries of their habitation.

It was God who appointed Queen Elizabeth to be where she was at the time appointed. God has you born as you are and in this appointed time. Our roles as human beings is to glorify God, we each do it differently and the Queen had her own role in it.

As you seems to like history, then look at the type of society the queen was born into. It was patriarchal, women a rights were very few etc etc.

No one can take accountability for someone else’s actions.

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While not diminishing the atrocities of colonialism under UK rule to many nations around the world, pinning it to Queen Elizabeth and the monarchy in general is a bit of a stretch.

The British Monarchy is a constitutional monarchy meaning it has very little political clout. Since the 1800’s British power had shifted to parliament and the prime minister along with his cabinet made all the decisions. You can read more about the Reform Act of 1832 and its transition to democratic rule if you wish to gain a better understanding of the power dynamics, suffice to say placing the Kenyan Mau Mau uprising on a 25 year old princess (at the time) is unreasonable.

Over the centuries, the British Monarchy probably has a lot to answer for but as an individual, Queen Elizabeth has overseen the decolonisation efforts over the last 70 years of her reign and on balance has represented Christianity better than most of us can ever dream off. May she rest in peace.

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Are you sure you really believe this? Do you think that it is Gods will that Putin rules in Russia at the moment?

My feeling is that a lot of people in the UK are currently lacking a healthy critical distance to their rulers.

Would you agree with the statement that God does not change?

Then please explain the following.

Daniel 2:20-22
Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever, for wisdom and power belong to Him.
It is He who changes the times and epochs, He removes kings and establishes kings
He gives wisdom to wise men, and knowledge to men of understanding.
It is He who reveals the profound and hidden things. He knows what is in the darkness and the light dwells with Him.
Romans 13:1
Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.
1 Peter 2:13
Submit yourselves for the Lords sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority.

“Are you sure you really believe this? Do you think that it is Gods will that Putin rules in Russia at the moment?”

I believe the Bible says what the Bible says. What I do know is that God is sovereign over everything and if He says He raises up kings then that’s what He does. God does what God wants to do, who am I to question it Romans 9:20 Job 41:10.

I have to respect that now I have a king here in the UK. I respect and pray for him just like I do for my prime minister and just like I do for members of my family. It was God who established all things and I have to submit to God.

We cannot box God into our human ways and thoughts, we do not think like God our ways are not Gods ways.

The views that you are expressing sound very similar to what the German Adventist church was teaching about 80 years ago to young men who had to serve in the Wehrmacht. My grandfather, who was a very faithful Adventist, was actually conscripted for military service under the Führer Adolf Hitler. All leaders are God given authorities that you have to respect and obey? Come on, this can’t be right.

My experience is that this saying regularly comes up when someone presents an illogical opinion and wants to make others still to accept it.

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What I don’t do is argue what the Bible says.

I answered your question you added a question to make out my answer was illogical.

Is there a time when we would disobey? Yes, if what is being asked breaks Gods Law. It’s not about a law you dislike but one that would break Gods standards.

So do you know Gods ways?

True, I didn’t explain that very well. Let me give examples of what I find illogical:

You say that God appointed Putin as the leader of Russia so I must respect his rule. However, Putin forged the last election to stay in power. So I should not stand up to this forgery but just accept his snatched power?

Aristocracy as such is a centuries old tall tale that pretends that you have to be born to certain families in order to be a legitimate ruler. I shall not stand up for the truth and tell the world that aristocracy perpetuates a big lie?

I am not sure how I shall read that question. It wasn’t me who claimed to know whom God wants to have as rulers, I think that was you.