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The (Christian) Commonwealth April 20, 2018

Posted by P, J, or J in Uncategorized.

The Commonwealth: What is it? What’s it for? and who should lead it?
It is definitely in the news at the moment (that moment being now Friday morning April 20th in the UK).
(screenshot from chogm2018.org.uk) 

Here are a few headlines I found last night from around the globe:

The latest news in the UK was
Commonwealth meeting: Queen hopes Prince Charles will succeed her BBC News, which includes a helpful link to Commonwealth: Seven things you might not know

Lots of Brits (perhaps along with lot’s of non-Brits) don’t really know a lot about the Commonwealth, fortunately for those of us who weren’t really taught about Empire, colonialism or post-colonialism there is always Wikipedia and not surprisingly there is a Commonwealth website http://thecommonwealth.org which contains a handy list of the 53 member countries.

There is also a subsite http://thecommonwealth.org/kids/ and I was very pleased to get 100% in the online quiz (can you?).

What I hadn’t known was that there are three intergovernmental organisations at the heart of the Commonwealth:


Each are worth taking a look at but I looked most closely at the Commonwealth of Learning and it’s emphasis on open learning.

As mentioned in some of the news stories it isn’t an automatic choice who will succeed the queen as it’s head, but something else I didn’t know was that an American had already put forward the idea of a different successor in a document entitled “The Christian Commonwealth”.

In the preface the author stated:

“Much is spoken of the rightful Heir of the Crown of England, and the unjustice of casting out the right Heir: but Christ is the only right Heir of the Crown of England, and of all other Nations also.”

He went on to urge,

“That you would now set the Crown of England upon the head of Christ, whose only true inheritance it is,” and set their “civil polity” on the model given by God to Moses in the wilderness (in Exodus 18), so that “then shall the will of God be done on earth, as it is done in heaven.”

ChristianCommonwealthIt should be added that this was stated in the year 1659, long before British ‘involvement’ in many of the current Commonwealth countries, and the author John Elliott is often credited as being the first American to draft a political book, but also the first to have it banned. You can read The Christian Commonwealth: or,The Civil Policy Of The Rising Kingdom of Jesus Christ in full at digitalcommons.unl.edu/libraryscience/19/ and read a bit more about some of the other fascinating history of John Eliot on wikipedia or a few thousand other web pages..


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