Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Jesus, Politics & Me - Government & Politicians


At RFC we want to foster a positive attitude to the elections and the possible social change that they could bring. Just as Jesus came to change lives & communities, so His followers are called to do the same. We are called to think ‘theologically’ as well as ‘act politically’.

There are at least three ways of governing society, all of which presuppose a view of human beings:

Absolutism is the political expression of imposition and has a pessimistic view of people. It essentially demeans citizens because it does not trust them to share in decision making. Absolutism denies human beings their dignity due to being made in God’s image; and leads to tyranny, not justice.

Anarchy has an entirely optimistic view of mankind as it considers unrestricted freedom as safe and that laws are unnecessary to create a just society. Anarchy denies the depravity of mankind due to the Fall; and leads to chaos, not utopia.

Modern Democracy reflects the balanced, biblical view of human beings, and it has its roots in post reformation Christian Europe. Because human beings are made in God’s image yet fallen, there is bound to be a gap between God’s ideal and the human reality ... a gap between what God has revealed in the Bible and what ‘humans find possible’ in everyday life. Democracy is supposed to be “the art of the possible”.

Christians’ should engage in the election process in order for our voice to contribute to society. We are called to champion the cause of the sick, the oppressed, marginalised and economic disadvantaged. As we consider which candidate and party to vote for we need the ‘plumb line of Jesus’ teaching from His ‘Sermon on the Mount’ ringing in our ears! (read Matt 5v3-10, 5v24, 5v25, 5v28, 5v37, 5v42, 5v44, 6v3, 6v14, 6v19, 6v33, 7v2, 7v12, & 7v24).

Despite a commonly held view that British public life is becoming ever-more secular, parties had been working hard to make inroads into faith-based communities and organisations.

Should the faith of a party’s leader influence ones vote? Yes & No! We can do better than simply going on a few guarded words in front of a camera. God’s chosen instrument can look very different from how we might expect them to be. We must ask God for wisdom to see beyond candidates’ words and catch both their heart & the team around them.

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