27/04/15 From the Minister’ soapbox
Vote for someone!
I am mindful of those clergy who landed themselves in hot water when talking about politics. In fact we heard of a friend being so out spoken on social media that I reminded him that overt political views might be a problem come stationing time. Put it this way, I don’t think he will be heading off to Kensington any time soon.
Politics like religion and money are private matters in this country, but we are becoming more open about political thoughts. We are also less likely to vote for the same bunch from cradle to grave. And the two party system seems to sinking by the bow. Some will have hated the idea of a coalition government but it has endured and it has delivered a credible administration. The election this time is a very wide ocean onto which any number of mariners are ready to seek our custom for their passage to power.
The people of this church no doubt will vote in a number of ways depending on their concerns. Listening to conversations I am not sure that habit is the ruling force this time round and our vote should never be made on habit.
Clergy get into trouble when they mention voting for Christian values; the poor, the oppressed, the needy and the outsider can set bells ringing in many minds. ‘Folk do not like the Church meddling in politics’. But, if the church is silent who is going to deal with moral issues. Questions of sexuality........ – well I’ve more sense than to pursue that particular hare. However, the protection of life and liberty and the place of family and Christian foundations are areas we should consider. At cradle and grave all is not well – underage pregnancy is rife and continuing calls for euthanasia are matters of concern for anyone planning to grow old. The matter of care for the elderly reaching crisis should certainly hold our attention. The right of free speech has come unstuck for many. I could go on.
Jesus stayed out of politics according to those who want a silent church; but he said taxes were to be paid. He also talked about the poor, the oppressed, the needy and the outsiders for which he got into trouble. Paul said ‘Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment,’ Romans 13:1. You might think the apostle was not having his best day when he said this. He was not writing an eternal dissertation on the relation of Faith and State. He was protecting the church from Nero’s whims something that had not gone well for them under Claudius. Most of us would want a recount if God had elected Robert Mugabe. However, Paul was talking for those early critical days. He also says that leaders often don’t worry about those who promote good conduct. And Scripture does say we should pray for our leaders and reminds those in leadership they will be judged on their actions.
So where do we go with this matter; health, defence, Europe and the economy fill the news programmes. We have a number of candidates this year in a constituency which has altered in area since the last election. What are the issues that should seal our vote on Election Day. Well I am not going further on this but please vote for someone. Vote for a candidate who has a heart for the people and whoever gets in; pray for them!