Wednesday, December 11, 2019

General Election Thoughts


This Thursday our nation votes to elect a new set of MPs, and through that a new Government. I have no idea what the outcome is going to be, or indeed what God wants the outcome to be. I'm very wary of those who declare with confidence that there is a particular party Christians should vote for, or that God is pro remain or pro brexit. However, I do know that there are some issues which God cares about deeply, and which we should therefore be passionate about too. In the light of that I have two encouragements for us.

The first is to vote (if you are eligible) and to use your vote wisely, even if you are in a constituency where the result seems inevitable. The Evangelical Alliance have a helpful page summarising the main policies of each of the main parties, along with an analysis of various policy areas and how Christians should engage with them. I'd encourage you as you consider the options to think not only about who will do us good as a nation, but in particular who will do the most good for those facing poverty and injustice. As a people called by God to 'act justly and love mercy' (Micah 6:8) this should be a priority for us as we decide how to vote.

Secondly and even more importantly let us pray, both on election day and in the months and years that follow, for our MPs, our Government and our Prime Minister. The Apostle Paul wrote to his spiritual son Timothy to say:


I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving
be made for all people – for kings and all those in authority, that we
may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.
This is good, and pleases God our Saviour, who wants all people to be saved
and to come to a knowledge of the truth.

1 Timothy 2:1-4

Paul is writing to Timothy in Ephesus, which at this time was under Roman rule. Those in authority, from Caesar down, were deeply ungodly and at times extremely hostile to Christianity. But Paul knew that through prayer God could still use those rulers to bring peace, godliness and holiness, as well as creating the environment where the gospel would flourish. By praying we declare that our hope is in God, not in our politicians, that only he can bring the change we long for in our nation, and that he will do that as we pray and act to see his kingdom come and his will being done.

Blessings,

Simon

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