Why this series? Christians are citizens of two kingdoms and have responsibilities in both. As UK citizens we need to overcome our apathy and engage in the biggest event in our culture this year. (see article on BBC news website 'Will Christians swing the 2010 election' here)What’s happening on Thursday 6th May? There are two elections taking place: A general election that decides which Member of Parliament (MPs) will represent the constituency in which you live; and a local election that decides which councilor represents you in your local council.
What’s “Voting with a Jesus agenda”?:
Economy: Politicians need to be able to grow the private sector whilst also keeping a tight rein on the public sector in order to cut the borrowing deficit. Jesus said we can’t serve two masters (Matt 6v42) and so economic policies must reflect God’s heart for the disadvantaged, not just be driven by business principles.
Family: People are living longer than ever, which raises the question about care for an aging population and who will pay for it. More children are growing up in the UK in relative poverty compared to other European countries, and our nation still has the highest rates of teenage pregnancy. At the end of his earthly life, Jesus provided for the care of his aging mother (John 19v26). God’s building block for society is still families.
Health: In the UK we are rightly proud of our desire to provide access to health care to all people, regardless of race, wealth or religion. However, the cost of providing care is significant & increasing. Jesus healed not just because it pointed to him as the Messiah, but because he had compassion. Access to health care is a good gift from God and we rightly want to express His compassion by access to health care.
Race relations & Immigration: Since the last election in 2005, an extra 1 million people have come to live in the UK. Some believe this boosts the economy while many others have concerns of the pressure it brings. Jesus said we should ’love our neighbours’ (Luke 10v 27). So regardless of the complexity surrounding the immigration issues, we should not set ourselves against those who are different to us.
Education: In England, 1 in 4 in children start secondary school without a good grasp of English & Maths and nearly 1/3 of all school leavers now go to university. Who will pick up the bill for further improvements in our education system? Jesus embraced & valued children (Matt 19v4) and so we need an education system that reflects his heart for children & young people regardless of their background / postcode.
Environment: With threats of power-cuts, fuel supply availability and rising skepticism about climate science, whoever wins the election faces challenges. The bible says that Jesus created all things (Col1v16) and that Adam was put him in the garden to work it and take care of Jesus’ creation (Gen 2v16). That mandate to look after creation has not been revoked!
God has established a democratic elected government for our nation and as His people we must actively participate in what He has established (Rom 13v1). As we consider who to vote for, let us remember who is really in control, Jesus (Col 1v17, John 1v1 & Isaiah 9v7).