Fear God and Honor the Emperor

Some Thoughts on the Passing of HM Queen Elizabeth, of Blessed Memory

The author, the Very Reverend Archpriest Michael Protopopov, is the parish priest of the Church of Our Lady’s Dormition, Dandendong, Australia. He is also the senior clergyman and Chancellor of the Sydney, Australia and New Zealand Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. His diocese encompasses two of the late Queen Elizabeth II’s realms, where she was the constitutional head of state.

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By me kings reign and rulers make laws that are just; by me princes govern...” [Proverbs 8:15].

St Philaret (Drozdov) 1792–1867, Metropolitan of Moscow, speculated that when mankind forgets its Divine Master then He, the God of All, takes upon Himself the governorship of the world. In the Psalms it is said; “The King of kings and Lord of lords, by Whom all kings rule. The Almighty rules the realm of mankind and those to whom He gives power.” [Psalms 21]

This relationship between the Heavenly and the worldly kingdoms is clearly seen in the appointment of David as king of Israel. “And the Lord said unto Samuel, go, I sent you to Jesse in Bethlehem, for I have seen amongst his sons a King for you.” [1 Samuel 16:1] Samuel anointed David as a visible sign of the power and effectual operation of the Holy Spirit in the Royal Ministry. For it is written, “The Spirit of the Lord was upon David from that day forth.” [1 Kings 16:13] The anointing also indicates that the king was not accidently appointed, nor was he chosen by the people, but elevated to the kingship by God Himself. That this miracle occurred because; “Nothing is impossible with God.” [Luke 1:37]

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Queen Elizabeth was always acutely aware of the fact that she was an Anointed Queen and consequently, promised in her salad years that whether her life be long of short she would always serve her people. Indeed, she commenced her public service during the war of 1939­–1945 in uniform and as queen attended to the Red Boxes and public engagements. She upheld her promise of public service until the very last of her long and illustrious life.

St Philaret did not used the word miracle lightly, he supported its use with the words of St Paul; “Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But, God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are.” In this way, God chose Constantine from amongst the pagan Romans and Vladimir from the barbarian Slavs.

Therefore, it is that God in His Divine Individuality established on earth the king, as a reflection of His own autocracy, to be a monarch from generation to generation—that the king put all in order and so that his subjects may glorify God and preserve the harmony of the realm. Furthermore, those who disturb the harmony of the realm rise up not only against the king, but also against God Himself.

God willed to call Constantine to be the sole ruler of the Roman Empire and thus bring peace and prosperity to all its subjects. In Kievan Rus, St. Vladimir did the same and brought the future Russian state into the communion of civilized nations. There are many examples of such rulers in the histories of other Christian nations. St Philaret concludes: “The wellbeing of the people and the realm, in which the single source of purpose and direction is governed by a Godly monarch, who has the good-fortune of his people as his greatest concern, is akin to the love and concern that the King of Heaven has for all Creation.”

On the topic of inheritance of royal power, St Philaret draws one’s attention to the sacred nature of fidelity to the monarch. In the Book of Psalms it records: An oath of fidelity becomes a bond of eternal union with the king (Ps. 65:12), it is given freely and without reservation, one who refuses to give the oath is seen as by St Philaret as having no worth and a cause of disharmony in the natural order of things. We too must not take an oath lightly. We make oath when we become Australian citizens or when we accept a position of authority or high office within the nation. Our service thus becomes one of public benefit and not one for personal gain.

However, St Philaret also warns that the “spirit of the times” as mentioned in St Paul’s letter to Timothy (4:1-3 and 3:4) grows in strength and if one is not vigilant then the good order and wellbeing of the family and the nation can be undermined. The saint warns; “As the darkness falls outside, we must not sleep but increase the light within so as not to be lost in darkness.” The unseen warfare between the powers of good and evil surround the thrones of kings and seeks to destroy the harmony of kingly realms so that the nation can be divided and individual souls lost.

Certainly, we are all witnesses to the truth of this observation. The First World War became the vehicle for the destruction of the kingdoms of Germany, Austro-Hungary, Russia, and the Ottomans, whilst the Second World War continued this decline into anarchy with the destruction of the kingdoms of Yugoslavia, Albania, Bulgaria, Italy, and Romania. Between the wars, the kingdoms of Afghanistan and Iraq, and after WW2, Egypt and Persia also fell to revolution. The history of many nations during the twentieth century is a litany of death, torture, dysfunction and human misery.

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When the subjects of a king think about the high calling and responsibilities laid upon the monarch, they should also recognize their obligations to the king. The king is bound by divine obligation to care for his subjects; to guard them from harm; to tend to their physical and emotional needs. The king must provide for his subjects, he must curb that which is unlawful or evil, repair that which is damaged and strengthen that which is important to the wellbeing and growth of the kingdom.

The symbols of royal authority express these duties in a clear and unambiguous way. The Crown of precious stones, (1 Chronicles 20:2) symbolizes the wisdom needed to rule commendably. The Sceptre reflects the need to hold power effectively and not disperse it amongst those who are not solely interested in the good estate of all, but may have ulterior motives of their own. The orb is the symbol of nationhood, strongly held by the monarch to show his daily concern for the wellbeing of his subjects, and finally, the sword—firstly of justice and secondly symbolizing the king’s duty to be ever ready to defend his kingdom and those who live in it.

In return for the king’s diligence towards his realm and subjects, those same subjects have a duty of loyalty towards their monarch. This expression of fidelity in the words of St. Matthew concludes that we must; Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, (22:21) and becomes the basis of our duty to our Sovereign Lord. St. Peter proclaims: “Fear God and honour the king.” (1 Peter 2:17) Again, we come across the thought that when we render unto one, i.e. God, we also render unto the other, i.e. the King. St Philaret extols his belief in the following terms: If St Peter calls us to honour the king, when the king was a pagan and cruel persecutor of Holy Church and to pray for him; how much more sweet and dutiful it should be for us to now pray for our Anointed Monarch and honour him. A nation worthy of having a God-blessed monarch, must honour him as they would the Lord Himself, for a king is created by God.”

St. Paul writing to Timothy, Bishop of Ephesus, instructs him: First of all, then, I counsel that petitions, prayers, intercessions and thanksgivings be made for all human beings, including kings and all in positions of authority; so that we may lead quiet and peaceful lives, being godly and upright in everything. This is what God, our Deliverer, regards as good; this is what meets his approval (1 Timothy 2:1).

Considering the harsh times that Christians lived in during the early centuries of The Church, one can only wonder at the tolerance and love that abided in them to pray for their persecutors and tormentors, and the inner strength of St Paul to admonish his spiritual children to honour Caesar with their loving prayers. You have heard that our fathers were told, `Love your neighbours - and hate your enemy.' But I tell you, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! Then you will become children of your Father in heaven (Matthew 5:44) St Paul goes one step further, showing that he was not only a teacher but a true spiritual guide, and calls upon his spiritual children to not only pray for Caesar, but also to give thanks for him. “I beg you not only to pray, but also to give thanks for the king and all those in authority.” [Colossians 1:3]. Here we are faced with the challenge to prayer for and give thanks for the monarch we are given—that there is no good or bad king—there is just the king.

Eusebius takes up the theme of prayer for Caesar saying; “The Church was admonished to pray with fear and through their tears for Caesar, who was foreign to their nature and yet given to rule of them.” In our times we are given pious and righteous monarchs, who spread the Faith and defend the Church—for these we are called to pray in peace, with joy in our hearts and thanksgiving to God. I will sing a new song unto thee, O God: upon a psaltery and an instrument of ten strings will I sing praises unto thee. It is he that gives salvation unto kings (Psalm 44:9-10). St Philaret concludes: that in this psalm we feel the triumphant nature of David’s gratitude to God for giving the king salvation and that we too should rejoice in the king; for If we are admonished to rejoice in the king then we are also admonished to other duties of fidelity. St Peter writes; Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well (1 Peter 2:13-14). Consequently, St Philaret emphasises that we should submit ourselves to the rule of the monarch’s God’s Protected One and concludes, He, who obeys for fear of punishment, or out of a desire for personal gain, awards or honours, is unworthy of God, for he only serves himself.”

It is impossible to think that the King of Kings, who gives to each individual person according to his deeds, will not give to whole realms and peoples according to their deeds. Yet, it seems easier to consider individual wrongs and transgressions rather than a corporate sinning of a nation. The truth is that the moral state of a nation will bring down upon itself the blessing of God, or His righteous wrath. This was true of Sodom and Gomorrah in the Old Testament and is true of nations and empires throughout history.

The good and evil of individuals, brings with it the general good or evil of the nation, concludes St Philaret. Let truth and righteousness elevate the nation for this will bring wellbeing to all.”

St Philaret concludes his teachings on royalty and royal power with the words; Oh, if only kings were fully aware of their heavenly merit and of the awesome duties placed upon them, where their thoughts and actions should be governed by piety and a fear of God. If only all the nations could comprehend the heavenly honour of the monarch, where the earthly kingdom is a reflection of the heavenly. Then all which is done would be a blessing. Surely, Queen Elizabeth was one such monarch who understood and cherished the awesome duties placed upon her and whose thoughts and actions were governed by piety and a fear of God”

Take care to hold that which is given to you; That no one will steal the crown given to you (Rev. 3:11) Remember the words of Apostle, Fear God and Honour the Emperor! (1 Peter 2:17).

In today’s climate of secularism, many of the propositions made by St Philaret appear fanciful and outdated. However, that is the result of our living in a society that prizes the rights of the individual over and above the common good. Democracy is the by-word of living a free and self-willed existence. Consequently, all those issues which are alien and abhorrent to the Christian psyche; abortions, euthanasia, same sex relationships, suicide and genetic manipulation are accepted as the free expression of the individual, and as long as it does no harm to others—is “perfectly acceptable”.

St Philaret reminds us that his teachings are based upon having a relationship with God, rather than with self, which lead us into a spiritual existence where the common good is prized; where we all move towards salvation together, for it is God’s desire that we all come to salvation. For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16).

Our beloved Queen of blessed memory, understood that royal power is a gift of God and that her subjects need to be educated before they can understand the deep implications of a government instituted by God and which is a reflection of the Divine Kingdom of God.

The Queen was a perfect sovereign reigning within the bounds of Christian principles and not on the desire for personal power and authority; and she had the understanding that a true monarchical structure is a divine partnership in which God, the sovereign and the people all have an important role to play.

Today’s secular world is diametrically opposed to the concept of royal power because of its need to have freedom and individuality, which looks to the desires of the individual and not the common good. Today’s democracy is only in name; and in fact, real democracy, i.e., the rule of the people, is usurped by the rule of interested factions and power groups. Queen Elizabeth was for seventy years, a bulwark against political opportunism and social disunity.

May the Queen rest in peace and her memory be eternal.

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Max10/8/2022 11:56 pm
Bongiwe, I take it you mean 2020. We both acknowledge the basic and correct stance: governments and the governed are made of of inherently imperfectable people. Once does not undo a sanctioned, accepted rule of law that God himself has allowed to put in place (in this I mean a monarchy) by attacking something that isn't a monarchy. I agree with your assertion that the election was stolen. This is part of the reason I would almost totally do away with voting and those that could (on rare occasions) vote would be those with skin in the game. I believe we can also agree that there is ALMWAYS an aristocracy of some variety in any system of governance. Would I prefer that it be landowners and the like or would I prefer it be a nihlist technological corporatists (this is fascism as of course the government and the aristocracy mingle)? I think the answer is pretty clear. My case was not that voting is useless, it's that having the average person have an equal vote with those who are predisposed to care about topics that will ultimately be THE standard for all...either system can and will get warped in time, but I argue that instability is ingrained in the system when the system not only has to answer to each and every perosn's desires (again, desires that do not necessarily benefit the nation) but also has elections every few years. Talk about instability! It's no small wonder politics is itself now a religion in the West! Again, my assertion is that to have a stable and generally contented nation, with a necessarily distinct culture of it's own, you need at the very least a figurehead, preferably one with some meat to their governing ability. This figurehead must have a future vision for the nation (or empire) and must trust in an purvey more than just power for power's sake. This has been, up until recently, the entire history of man. Origin stories, God(s), divine laws...this has been the norm until the 1800s and it took only 150 years of that vacuum to completely destroy the most "free" society the world has ever known. I would say this is almost totally due to "stupid freedom".
Luke10/8/2022 6:43 pm
Father Thomas, perhaps a priest should not refer to *himself* as Father but as Priest, as "Father" is an honorific not a title. A bishop is titled Bishop and deacon is titled Deacon, while they are called Father by their spiritual children and others. That seems right to me. Forgive me. -- Luke
Bongiwe Uthande Mahloto10/8/2022 2:57 pm
Dearly beloved Max, you say:''Now realize half of ALL people are dumber than that. Yet their vote counts every bit as much as someone like myself who is very engaged and for all of the right reasons. The people vote for what is in THEIR interests, not what is the best for most.'' You've just shot yourself in the foot in your assertions that voting matters. As the saying goes ''if voting altered anything, they wouldn't let you do it''. Look at US vote in 2019. Trump won. Biden lost and stole the vote. End of. Not that the one is better than the other. And no, having emperors is not really any better given that these are humans who are fallible.
Jean-Claude10/8/2022 10:37 am
Το μέλλον είναι απρόβλεπτο.
Max10/8/2022 1:22 am
While I believe monarchy (having an Emperor) is the preferred outcome for governance, QE2 was barely what one could consider such, having virtually no power whatsoever. When the noted character issues within that family come to light (both personal and political) as they have, I have to say that this was not a good take. That being said, if we detach the portions about the Queen herself and merely onto systems of governance there is a LOT here. Westernism sees things as the need to explain everything and then using those same explanations to put others under their boot. Such travesties as the Enlightenment (which gave us Communism, Libertariansism and everything in between) saw Reason and Rationality to be the only way to find answers. The West gave us cringeworth "democracy". The West gave us technology. The West has us fat, lazy, depressed, engaged in perpetual wars, exporting the worst degredations from our society to everywhere else, and most of all Godless. The West has failed. I am glad the American Experiment happened, it was worth a try but it is time to move on to something that works best for most. Outright authoritarianism is far from the only outcome of a Monarchy. Extreme liberty is not intelligent, it's emotional. It feels better, but with terrible outcomes. A famous movie posited the problem perfectly "Tell me...why would I trade one tyrant 3000 miles away for 3000 tyrants one mile away? An elected legislature can trample a man's rights as easily as a king can." This is the position the West finds itself in now. The problem with Western egalitarian liberalism is that it takes the people out of the equation. We often hear that communism cannot work because "it just hasn't been done right yet" and we laugh...we laugh because that is preposterous. But the people are the problem. Most people (especially these days) are woefully underequipped to deal with complex ideas that would be demanded of an engaged, thoughtful populace. That's part of the reason voter turn out (at least in America) is so low...people don't understand the issues, so they ignore them. Those that don't ignore them make it about the ego instead of the "why" and the outcome. I want you to think about everyone you know and average their intelligence out. Now realize half of ALL people are dumber than that. Yet their vote counts every bit as much as someone like myself who is very engaged and for all of the right reasons. The people vote for what is in THEIR interests, not what is the best for most. I call this dumb liberty. Another example of dumb liberty is allowing your nation to fall due to inaction or unrighteous action, which the West has also done in spades. Why do we allow this as a system of governance? It doesn't work, and it doesn't work for the same reason communism doesn't work: humans are and will remain highly flawed. The century of Westernism was at the very least one of the top three most bloody centuries in human history per capita and what did we (the West) do? Turned away from God...the very God the American Founders said was necessary to fall under if the Constitution was going to work. Meanwhile in their Western Protestant moral preening decided to not integrate the church into the state in any capacity. In fact they did the opposite. Consequently we have gone fully demonic here and the fact that we export all matter of depravity to the rest of the world, and the world rightly hates us for this. Meanwhile at home we are drug addicted, sex addicted, demoralized, and literally at each other's throats. Let us as the real question here, Who do we think led a more fulfilled life: the serf, merchant, or shop owner of circa 1100A.D. or the corporate slave addict of today? We all know that answer, now let us find a better way, a way that works best for most. With so many Orthodox in this comment section, would you disavow the great Byzantine Empire? After all, it was a monarchy. Think folks.
jeanluc10/7/2022 12:49 pm
My dear friends, don´t you see who this "queen" realy is??? Please wake up. Pray for her soul. May the Lord save her from hell.
Dimitri10/7/2022 8:20 am
I agree with the poster Herman 100%.
Andrew10/6/2022 11:30 am
She ratified the British governments legalisation of abortion in 1967.
Augustine10/6/2022 5:36 am
Queen Elizabeth II, like her namesake, personally signed the execution of political dissidents of her crumbling empire. May God have mercy on her soul.
Herman 10/6/2022 4:53 am
I agree with everything St Philaret says, but as for all this about Queen Elizabeth? She was not anointed by the Church, but by the Anglican sect. She was not a true monarch - but a mere figurehead, a symbol, with no power whatsoever. A true monarch does not rule in a so-called constitutional monarchy - but in an autocracy. How did Queen Elizabeth rule in any way? What did she do? She could not do anything, she was beholden to the decisions of the parliament. She sat and watched Churchill, Thatcher, Tony Blair, Boris Johnson, etc. and was powerless to influence anyone. She wasn't a bulwark against anything, but rather simply watched the UK slip into degeneracy and become the sad nation it is today, join the EU, and so on. I suggest highly all Orthodox Christians to read the following article, a comparison between the Russian autocracy and the English monarchy, for a proper Orthodox understanding of monarchy - https://www.orthodoxchristianbooks.com/articles/440/russian-autocracy-english-monarchy-a-comparison/
Fr. Thomas10/6/2022 1:45 am
Correct and thank you Diana. It is Jimmy Saville not Jeffry (my correction), and I am an Orthodox priest not a friar.
Helen10/5/2022 11:01 pm
I’m glad not to have to be the one to bring it up, but I’ll go a bit further. I am disappointed to see this article on this website. Kowtowing to royalty is a bad look already, but the evil of this particular royal family is not really a secret anymore and no tribute to any of them belongs on a site which glorifies truly holy people and exists to do so. Please take it down.
Diana Barahona10/5/2022 7:01 pm
I agree with Friar Thomas; the true nature of the British royal family cannot be ignored. There are people alive today who witnessed their Luciferian child-sacrifice rituals. Jesse Czebotar, Jeanette Archer and Ally Carter are three, but if you include servants and police, the witnesses must number in the hundreds.
Fr. Thomas 10/5/2022 4:00 pm
You neglect to mention King/Prince Charles' role in the ongoing "great reset" and its 2030 agenda to de-industrialize and depopulate. You neglect to mention he was best friends with the notorious pedophile Jeffry Saville. You neglect to mention Prince Phillip's desire to reincarnate as a virus to take out most of the world's population. Sorry to say there have been many more corrupt kings throughout history, than noble and good ones. A return to feudalism is not the answer, nor the return to a rigid and debasing class system which denies the "royal priesthood" of every believer, or the fact that God's image is in each of us.
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