I had paid no attention to the term “Brexit” until I visited England in May and everyone was talking about it. It’s short for Britain Exit, and as you know, that nation voted 52-48 percent to leave the European Union.
My friend Steven Halford, who pastors a charismatic church on the south coast of England, feels so passionately about this that he calls it Britain’s Independence Day. As we celebrate our own Independence from England 240 years ago this weekend, I believe you will find his analysis interesting. You may also want to listen to my podcast with him—which took place weeks before this historic vote—on what is happening spiritually in the Mother country.
I invited Steven to write a commentary for our website from his perspective as a spiritual leader. I liked it so much I’m using it as a guest editorial in my newsletter today. I’ve done this only a few times before. If you enjoy it, share it on social media with your friends. He believes God’s hand was in this vote. It can encourage those of us who pray God will turn the tide from secularism in our nation as well.
‘We Are Seeing This Tower of Babel Fall’
By Steven Halford
On Thursday, June 23, I went to bed in Portsmouth, England, not knowing what the next day had in store. Earlier I had voted for my beloved England to exit the European Union. I believed without a shadow of a doubt that my side had lost.
I watched the results from Gibraltar roll in and knew the rest of the country had been swayed by the very strong “Remain” campaign. I asked God for peace and for His will to be done before drifting off to sleep. As a pastor, I knew there was a spiritual aspect to this controversy.
I started thinking how unhelpful the Remain campaign had been, calling those who wanted to leave “hate mongers,” “xenophobes,” “racists” and even “homophobic.” I’m not sure why the last one was relevant, but I’ve been called all those names (and worse). We didn’t hate anybody; we just wanted self-rule again. We voted to leave the EU. We did not vote for those inside the EU to leave Britain.
On Friday, June 24, I awoke to my wife: “Steven, We’re out! The U.K. has voted to leave.” I couldn’t believe my ears. Scrambling to find my laptop, I watched the news in utter disbelief.
My desire, dreams and prayers had been answered. We were now free. Our Independence Day had come. We were now free to make agreements, or no agreements, with whomever we chose. We could make laws that better reflect our nation. We can pave a way forward that the forerunners of this once-beautiful, once-Christian nation had known and dreamed of. Such news!
We became a sovereign nation once more. We severed ties to the godless and secularist EU.
We haven’t left Europe (you can’t leave a continent), but we did indeed choose to leave the European Union. An amazing 52 percent (17 million) people voted to leave. We had a 4 percent majority and over a million votes that made the difference. Brexit (Britain exit) had won!
In my opinion, this is the single greatest act of democracy in the U.K. in my lifetime.
This act will forever change the way we conduct our affairs, both nationally and internationally. Many of us feel that God ordained this. We don’t know why, but we do know He has a purpose for us still. It’s like a supernatural wave of His presence has engulfed us again, and even the heavens are taking note.
During the campaign, a few church leaders told me they were voting to leave but were afraid to say anything for fear of being ostracized by peers. I’ve heard the sentiment, “We just feel like it’s wrong. That there is an underlying demonic agenda. We can’t intellectually put our finger on it, but we just feel like it’s wrong.”
Personally, I felt as if I would be disobeying God by choosing to remain. I know there are a lot of fears out there for the future. I have a disabled daughter. What if the U.K. could no longer afford to pay for her care? What if a wheelchair was no longer covered under our National Health Service due to the fears being actualized? We’d be done for!
But I knew within myself, as so many others have said since the vote, that they felt the same way. We were “quickened” to act, regardless of what our carnal minds were telling us.
In the past few weeks, we have seen more rain in the month of June than at almost any time in our history.
1 Corinthians 15:46 says, “However, that which is spiritual is not first, but the natural, and then the spiritual.” As it’s been raining in the natural, God has been raining in the spiritual. A downpour of His presence that will cover the land with the deep cleansing washing of His Spirit and Word. Even if believers didn’t feel that voting to leave was God’s will, we can mostly agree that God is moving and blowing on our once-great land again.
And as people from my church and the local churches were praying at dusk on the eve of the Brexit vote, they all blew their shofars to signal the clarion call for God’s people to gather, pray and act. The moment they blew the shofars, lightning filled the skies and thunder sounded out. These were people who prayed for God’s will but secretly knew what that will was. It’s almost like the Father thundered from heaven that He had heard our prayers and was ready to answer.
We have now severed the ties that bind by allowing us to become the nation we once were—God-fearing, Bible-believing, repentant sinners saved by the blood of the lamb, Jesus Christ. This is very optimistic, I know, but prophetically speaking, this is what many of us hear. Sever the secular ties to Europe, get on your knees, pray like Russia is about to invade and preach like Jesus is coming back today.
We church leaders are quite divided in the U.K. There’s been a huge silence from national leaders on this issue of Brexit, possibly for fear of offending the many nations we find in our churches. There is a spiritual heaviness and break down in our Christian heritage in the past 40 years of being a member of the EU.
Neo-charismatics within the U.K. have mostly seen the need to escape the throes of a culture of rules and regulations that are intended to strangle the life out of the church.
I believe the EU is tantamount to the tower of Babel—a place where we have one voice and one purpose, without borders where we can ascend our man-made tower to reach the heavens and become god to the people—where power is our religion.
This past week, we took back our power. We saw the need for borders—for national laws to govern people who have a rich heritage in biblical principles—and we are seeing this tower of Babel fall slowly but surely to the ground, causing those within the EU to scatter and seek refuge again within the people who made their own nations great.
I believe the EU is a denizen of godlessness, where politics has replaced God. It’s where Stalin left a fingerprint of communism, and socialism left enough influence in its violent past to finally infiltrate every level of European society, including the church.
We lost sight of the main goal of the church, which is to seek and save the lost, to introduce people to Jesus. Those who don’t have a heart for God have become overcome with fear. And those of us who don’t have this fear know we can go it alone as a nation, trusting God will lead us and even provide for us.
The nations have opened in a new, broader way, and those without fear can lead the way into this new mission field.
The Word says, “God has NOT given us the spirit of fear. But of power, and love, and self control” (2 Tim 1:7). Fear is a spirit, and those who fear this new future are partaking of this spirit.
I, for one, welcome this new future, the unknown. So do many fellow church leaders. We have lived in fear for a generation. For 40 years since our parents voted to join what was then called the EEC, we have slowly but surely lost our identity. Well, June 23, 2016, we started the process to get that identity back.
We pray the Lord will look favorably upon us again, with the Queen—a Bible-believing Christian—as our Head of State and her God-fearing government, and we pray He will deliver us from the European secularists who have caused so much division within our beloved nation.
Thank you, America, for your kind words to and about my nation. It needs help. It needs voices. It needs courage and deliverers to save it from the darkness it has found itself in.
May the Holy Spirit sweep across our land as we find the freedom we need to govern ourselves, free from secularist oppression.
As a gifted speaker and anointed motivator, Steven Halford strengthens churches in the U.K., USA and the developing world with an evangelistic ministry marked by revival fire. He also leads a congregation at home on the south coast of England called Living Word Church Lee in Lee-on-the-Solent.