The Red Queen

I’ve just finished Philippa Gregory’s The Red Queen, her biographical novel of Margaret Beaufort, matriarch of the Tudors during the Roses War. She was a deeply religious woman even by the standards of the day. Gregory paints a fair portrait, though her subject does come across as rather unpleasant at times on account of her religious zeal. Now this is a Christian blog- piety and religious sentiment are generally welcomed and not automatically considered marks of eccentricity or fanaticism. Margaret’s husbands, though generally less devout, perceive her habit of conflating her own will with God’s. Her second husband, Sir Henry Stafford, asks her

“Do you really think that God in his heaven with all his angels, there from the beginning of time and looking towards the Day of Judgement, really looks down on all the world and sees you….and says that whatever you choose is His will? 

Her third husband, Lord Stanley, observes similarly: “…You think God wants your son to be king of England. I don’t think your God has ever advised you otherwise. You hear only what you want. He only ever commands your preferences…He only ever tells you to strive for power and wealth. Are you quite sure it is not your own voice you hear, speaking through the earthquake, wind and fire? 

This blog denounces false ‘Christian’ teachers who tell their congregations and acolytes what they want to hear (“God wants you to be rich! Successful! Permanently healthy!”). These charlatans are easy enough to spot; their expensive clothes, gleaming smiles and soothing, affirming words expose them as ear-ticklers. Discerning our own hearts, however, is a far harder challenge.

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

Ps 119

Image by Prawny from Pixabay