‘Britishness’ and ‘Irishness’ are both idols!
As we go through the book of Revelation, we will find that the Church of Jesus Christ is drawn from every tribe and language and people and nation. (Rev. 5v9; 7v9). It transcends all flags, nations, cultures, languages and boundaries. We will also find that Babylon the great, will ultimately be judged and destroyed. Babylon is like a code word for Rome, the super-power of the time. But it also stands for every world power, system, authority and culture that stands either opposed to God or that takes no notice of God, exalting itself.
As such both ‘Britishness’ and ‘Irishness’ are human idols, worshipped at our peril. They will ultimately be judged and destroyed. In the new heavens and earth we will not speak Irish, Ulster Scots nor English; we will neither march under a Union Jack nor a Tricolour; the British crown will give way to the only one who is King of Kings and Lord of Lords and there will be no St. Patrick’s Day jamboree with green beer.
Of course, nationhood and societal structures, laws and systems are important. The democratic will of a people to self-determination and to decide how they will live, how they will be governed, and by whom, are important. It is politically legitimate to aspire to live in Union with the UK and equally legitimate to live as part of a United Ireland. It is legitimate to aspire to have language and culture respected and valued.
However, can anyone realistically argue that both ‘Irishness’ and ‘Britishness’ are not idols in N. Ireland. Both worshipped; both used to hold the country to ransom; both used to belittle and disparage others; both used at times even to legitiimise murder. May God have mercy on us, may God lead us to repentance of the worship of these idols and may God work through His Church to move our society and political representatives away from them.
Yours in His name,