It was movie night in our house. The usual debate was being had as to what we were going to watch. “Okay, all those in favour of Prince Caspian?” Four hands shot up, leaving our 7 year old despondently holding The Incredibles knowing it was now a lost cause. “But I wanted to watch this” he muttered plonking the DVD back on the shelf. “Well son, that is the problem in a democracy” his wise parents replied, “minority interests easily get overlooked”. He looked at us in bewilderment and decided the popcorn and hot chocolate probably made up for the choice of viewing and settled down to enjoy the film.
Politics is all around us in whatever sphere we inhabit. In the Old Testament the civil law was partly given as a mandate by which the people were to live, a set of values and beliefs designed to help them get on alongside one another, describing the principles of looking after the poor, how to manage wealth, how to deal with crime or offences against others; the list goes on. In Western society today we live in a democracy and vote on broadly the same issues. Of course, many of us will end up being represented by people we didn’t vote for and living with laws we don’t agree with but this is partly what makes the process exciting. We all get to play our part before, during and after an election to debate the issues that are important to us and make our views known to those in a position to make a difference. This process of lobbying is crucial to how our democracy works for us all, including the minority interests!
A number of years ago I worked with Christian MP’s in Westminster and this experience really opened my eyes to the complexities of faith and politics. I realised there were Christians who all love Jesus but have very different views as to how the country should be run. We can tend to think that there is a ‘Christian view’ and that maybe one party more than another represents a biblical view. However this is simply not the case and what is more likely is that there may be a party which has an overall ideology you agree with but within that certain areas you disagree on. When deciding who to vote for it is important that first and foremost you are well informed. Think and pray through the responsibilities the bible says we have as Christians such as to protect the poor and vulnerable, or to honour marriage and family. How does these and other issues look when applied to our schools, hospitals, businesses, welfare and the economy? If you find too many conflicts when looking at a party as whole try focusing on your local candidate. Find out what their plans are for the area you live in and consider if you feel they would be approachable and willing to listen to your views on matters of local and national importance. There some useful links below you might find helpful to look at but above all else lets be sure that our ‘requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone-for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness’ 1 Tim 2:1-2. Let’s engage with our society and make our vote count.