Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Trust not in princes!

Well, once again we find ourselves in election time, and once again I am reminded of the fact that, as a Christian, I have citizenship in a kingdom far greater than the United Kingdom. My older brother is the king of Kings! The Bible tells us that God raises up kings and rulers, that he lifts up and pulls down nations.

“Praise the name of God forever and ever,
for he has all wisdom and power.
21 He controls the course of world events;
he removes kings and sets up other kings.
He gives wisdom to the wise
and knowledge to the scholars. (Dan 2 - NLT)

That being the case, whatever the outcome on Friday, it will be the one the Lord has decreed right for this nation. 
Taking this view makes casting (or not casting) my vote a much more peaceful process. However I vote, God in his sovereign power will make sure the result he wants is the one that comes about.
As Paul told the Athenians, the God who made heaven and earth does not live in temples, as if he needed anything.
Applying this to elections, God does not need my vote to get the result he wants. 

Having said that, I am called to do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, and to his glory. To that end, believing as I do that God’s ways are the best, and that the best possible society would be one based on New Testament morality, I have for many years now felt the wisest thing to do is to vote for any committed Christian, of whatever political party, who clearly worships the Lord Jesus and would seek, if elected, to pass legislation based on the teachings of Jesus Christ. Every election, and this one is no different, I email the candidates and ask them if they are Christians, if so, how and when did they become one, and to what extent they think the Christian faith should inform their work.

Now as it happens, my electorate has representatives from the four main UK parties and also the Greens, with no independent candidates. So my choice is between five candidates. But as it turns out, none of them are Christians. One of them said he was, but he also said he only went to church once or twice a year, and that faith should have no place in politics, so I do not think he would be a trusty representative for Christ at Westminster. So what do I do now?

Some would argue that its best to choose from the least worst option. If I go down that route, I know for whom I would cast my vote. 
But the problem is that if I, as a Christian, am willing to vote for non-Christians, then parties will never feel the need to put forward Christian candidates. Furthermore, its unreasonable for me to expect a non-Christian Member of Parliament to make or uphold Christian legislation (except inadvertently - the blind cannot make good laws for those who can see).

So I feel that, in good conscience, I cannot vote for any of the candidates. In the form of democracy we have in the UK, I believe my vote says more about who will represent me in Parliament than it does about the kind of party I wish to govern. I cannot, in good conscience, vote in the name of Jesus Christ, for an individual who does not honour my older brother, the King of kings, nor respect him, nor obey him.

Now it may be that with a ‘hung’ parliament we are forced to have another election within the next 12 months. And will it be that I again have nobody to vote for? Should I, in that case, run as an independent? It will cost me £500.00 then for the privilege of having someone to vote for (myself)! 

What are the arguments for a Christian standing for office as an independent? I’d be interested to read your thoughts…