Marriage and the family
Marriage is a creation ordinance and therefore God’s teaching on marriage and sex is relevant to the world as well as the church. The Institute is concerned about any legislation, benefits or tax requirements that undermine Christian marriage and Christian family patterns. The Institute believes that the family is a fundamental carrier of values and is at present being undermined. Not least is this evident in the area of divorce.
The Institute believes that the legal framework should be reformed so that divorce is discouraged and reconciliation encouraged.
Divorce law should not acquit the guilty and condemn the innocent.
The status of the embryo
The Institute affirms that Jesus Christ reveals not only the nature of deity but also the nature of what is human and affirms that the incarnation of the divine Son of God began with the conception and not the manger in Bethlehem – “he was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary.” It therefore affirms that human personhood begins at conception and that the human embryo is precisely that – a human embryo.
The rule of law
The rule of law is the basis of order and civilisation. Authorities are established by God and the Bible plainly teaches that it is the duty of every Christian to submit to authority.
“Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God as established” (Rom 13:1)
“Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every authority instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and commend those who do right” (1 Pet 2:13-14)
It is the duty of those in authority to punish those who do wrong. The punishment envisaged in the Bible clearly includes physical force. The Apostle Paul notes that a ruler “does not bear the sword for nothing. He is an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer” (Rom 13: 4)
It is right and proper for the state when deciding on appropriate punishments to consider deterrence and reformation. But desirable though these aims may be, punishment cannot be separated from the concept of just desert or retribution. It is the demands of justice that the guilty are punished as their deeds deserve.
For this reason it is detestable in God’s sight for the guilty to be acquitted or the innocent condemned. (Prov 17:15) The New Testament teaching on submission to authorities was given to the Church in the context of corrupt authorities. There may be circumstances where the Christian cannot obey the state: if the state should command what God forbids or forbid what God commands then the duty of the Christian must be to obey God rather than man. (Acts 4:19; 5:29). The supreme example of Jesus Christ teaches that Christians will experience persecution and injustice in this life.
All judgment dispensed on earth is provisional. One day God will dispense perfect justice “so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God” (Rom 3:19). The Bible teaches that “man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment” (Heb 9:27).
Judgment will be on the basis of works in this life, but justification is solely obtained through the merits of Jesus Christ’s atoning death on the cross.
Christianity and the State
Christians are to pray for those in authority, and the state is to provide freedom for the gospel to be preached and for men to live “quiet lives in all godliness and holiness”. (1 Tim 2:1-3) A ruler in authority is “God’s servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer”. (Rom 3:4)
Christ’s kingdom can never be identified with any particular nation or political party. While it is not the role of a state to coerce individual citizens to adhere to particular beliefs, the state can never be neutral as regards values. Christians are to work for the state to adopt Christian values and to implement godly laws.
Jesus Christ is the KING of Kings and LORD of Lords “far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age, but also in the age to come”. (Eph 1:21)
Scripture clearly teaches that God’s present judgment is a reality for Nations which defy Jesus Christ:-
“Therefore, you kings, be wise; be warned, you rulers of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry and you be destroyed in your way, for his wrath can flare up in a moment, Blessed are all who take refuge in him” (Ps 2:10-12)
As an important matter of fact the Coronation Oath is an explicit denial of the secularity of the United Kingdom.
With all its imperfections and ambiguities, the establishment of the [Protestant Reformed] Christian religion in general and of the Church of England and the Church of Scotland defines the UK as constitutionally a Christian country. These constitutional arrangements will remain in force until there is intentional constitutional change to the contrary.
The Christian Institute exists to promote the Christian faith in the UK. We seek to affirm the universal Lordship of Christ. This means challenging secular humanism, religious pluralism and other ideologies.
The Institute challenges religious pluralism by:
- affirming salvation solely through the atoning work of Jesus Christ and
- affirming that biblical Christianity maintains the true basis for tolerance, democracy and human dignity and
- affirming its commitment to the ideals behind the current Coronation Oath whatever future form of constitution the UK may have.
This section of our web site, attempts to answer many of the most common questions put to us, so that you may gain more of an understanding of what The Christian Institute is, and what we stand for.
To find your way around the questions, simply click on the relevant one below, and you will be taken to the correct place. If you have any further comments or questions, simply click ‘Contact us’ on the footer menu.
What is The Christian Institute?
The Christian Institute is a registered charity which seeks to promote the Christian faith in the UK. We campaign for Christian truth and help Christians influence the world they live in. We do this through:
- Strategic briefings based on careful research;
- Conferences, recordings and books;
- Comment in the media;
- Influencing public policy;
- Assisting individuals facing discrimination because of their faith.
What subjects does The Christian Institute campaign on?
- Marriage and the family
- Child protection
- Pro-life issues
- Religious liberty
- Christianity and the constitution
When was The Christian Institute set up?
The Christian Institute was set up in 1990 by a group of church leaders and Christian professionals. They were concerned about the lack of a Christian voice to respond to major ethical debates.
Where are you coming from?
The Christian Institute holds to historic Biblical Christianity. We have a mainstream evangelical basis of faith. We are non-denominational. We are committed to defending the institution of marriage, and believe in the sanctity of human life from conception. We believe that the rule of law is the basis of order and civilisation, but our national life needs Christian underpinning. We recognise that there are many who are not Christians who share our concerns on moral and ethical issues.
What about Christian political involvement?
Christians should participate fully in our democracy. Whilst individual Christians should join political parties, the Church can never be identified with any one political party.
What makes The Christian Institute unique?
We believe in speaking out publicly and we have a reputation for doing so robustly and accurately. All our publications are rigorously researched. Because we have low overheads we are able to devote more resources to our research and campaigning work.
Is there duplication amongst Christian organisations working in public policy?
No. The reality is that there are very few Christians able to work full time in the area of public policy. There are many opportunities and challenges which are currently not being tackled. There are organisations with a special focus which we do not seek to duplicate. For example on the issue of Sunday Trading, Keep Sunday Special and the Lord’s Day Observance Society are such specialist organisations.
How do you decide what issues to tackle?
We focus on moral and ethical issues where we believe the Bible’s teaching is plain. Whilst the Bible’s basic moral teaching is clear, on other matters, for example transport or taxation policy, we recognise that Christians seeking to apply Biblical principles can legitimately come to different conclusions.
How does the work of the Institute tie in with the work of the local church?
The Christian Institute seeks to help individual Christians and local churches to take a stand for biblical truth. We provide key information on strategic Christian issues to enable Church Leaders and individuals to speak out more effectively.
How is the Institute funded?
We entirely depend on donations to fund our work. We do not receive any Government funding. Since we object to the National Lottery we cannot apply for funding from the Lotteries Board.