Have you ever looked closely at the coins in your purse or pocket? If so, have you noticed that on every single coin is written: Elizabeth II D.G. Reg F.D.? D.G. refers to Dei Gratia; ‘By the grace of God.’ New coins will have Charles III. F.D. refers to a title given to Henry VIII in 1521 by Pope Leo 10th after the King working with his secretary, Thomas More, wrote a defence of Catholic dogma regarding the seven sacraments, which was critical of the Reformers, particularly Martin Luther. F.D. stands for the Latin phrase ‘Fidei Defensatrix’ in English: ‘Defender of the Faith.’ Originally meaning the Catholic faith, but in 1530 after his break from Rome because of the Pope’s refusal to allow him to divorce Catherine of Aragon the title was revoked. Subsequently, in 1544 the English Parliament reinstated the title but, referring to the Anglican faith. The letter’s F.D. appears on every coin in British currency apart from one. In 1849 it was omitted from the new two-shilling coin; it was nicknamed the ‘godless florin’, and withdrawn very quickly. End of the history lesson; if you spot a mistake, please accept my apologies.
It has been suggested that King Charles wants his coronation to change the historical role of the Monarchy; rather than being the defender of ‘The Faith’ he wants to be ‘Defender of Faith.’ This would include all religious faiths, losing that uniquely Christian emphasis. For many, this would be of little significance as the majority see all religions as the same; different ways to the One God.
I once listened to a church leader who balanced a beret on his finger as a visual aid. He described how people sitting around him saw a different image as they looked at the same beret; one group would see the cap badge, others the ribbon on the reverse, some a side view of the badge and the ribbon, others the same ribbon and badge but reversed.
His point was simple; everyone was looking at the same beret but all saw a different view; everyone looks at the One God but see him in different ways: he then stated, all are valid. This is the prevalent view of liberal religion in Britain today: sadly, it is an increasingly popular view held by some who profess to be Christians in the 21stC church.
Seeing all religions as the same, of equal validity is to deny any being true. The late Queen spoke openly and clearly about her faith in Jesus Christ. God has revealed Himself uniquely through his Son; Jesus of Nazareth. If there was any other way of salvation would God have chosen crucifixion for His Son? Christ will not accept any compromise of his teaching: he spoke the truth, even the slightest change becomes untruth. For that reason, we must be faithful to our Lord….
But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honour Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defence to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behaviour in Christ may be put to shame. 1 Peter 3:14-16
And for King Charles
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. 1 Timothy 2:1-2