…for kings and rulers in positions of responsibility, so that our common life may be lived in peace and quiet, with a proper sense of God and of our responsibility to him for what we do with our lives.
Yippee, it’s election time again, and so I’m expecting the usual questions to be raised about ‘the right way for Christians to vote’. This time around though it’s made more exciting by #Brexit, so let’s just deal with that up front. Brexit will be something that you will have a legitimate view on and it will no doubt, and not unreasonably have a major impact on where you put your cross; that being said, and I know that this may be controversial, but Brexit is not the most important issue for Christians (those who know me well will appreciate how difficult it was for me to write that…).
Let me explain why I say that: It is clear from the mainstream media, social media, conversation and experience, that in the past decade there has been a seismic shift in our society as a result of significant and often underreported changes in law, guidance and judgements from both our parliament, governments and judiciary. This shift that has radically diminished freedom of speech and expression, has led to more babies being killed in abortion, has normalised a huge number of behaviours that are contrary to scripture and are a danger to our society and raised up all manner of political organisations as the new ‘gods’ of our age. Alongside this our politicians discourse has become all too often sordid, ungracious and duplicitous.
But Christians can neither sit back and blame everyone else, nor absolve ourselves for our part, because, in fact, the part the Church in the UK has played in bringing about this sad shift in our society has not been insignificant. Sadly instead of being ‘salt and light’ in our country many Christians have found that they are afraid of ‘speaking the truth in love’ for fear of abuse, loss of employment or worse, and these fears are not irrational as you will discover if you speak with any who have done so…
So, you may be asking, what has this to do with the upcoming election? Simply this: Christian’s let’s take this opportunity to re-evaluate, reboot and remember what it means to live as resurrection people, we’re here to be Christ’s witnesses in this world, we are to live renewed lives because, by His Grace and Mercy, Christ is renewing us to live as Kingdom people. But what does a Kingdom person do in the midst of an election campaign?
I would suggest the following, and this is no perfect or definitive list:
- Pray for all your local candidates, and keep praying for them;
- Be gracious in any communication, show Jesus’ love by the way you speak or write;
- Don’t get party political, unless you are called to serve politically;
- Ask all the questions of the candidates that you can think of asking, particularly around their standing on:
- The breakdown of the traditional family unit – what are the candidates views on why this has happened and how would they support traditional marriage and family?
- The sanctity of life – abortion and euthanasia;
- Education – the teaching of relationships and sex across schools, the secularisation of the curriculum etc.
- Freedom of expression – the diminishing freedom to express biblical beliefs and views to which some people object, and also to speak of Jesus Christ and share the Gospel.
- The worldwide persecution of the church;
- Do they have a faith?
Also, check out the following organisations who have great ministries helping and supporting us be the Christ’s Church in this land:
True Freedom Trust;
The Christian Institute;
The Coalition for Marriage.