Aussie Election 2016
Aussies will go to the voting booths on July 2, 2016. What does it mean to vote as a Christian? John Dickson, founding director of the Centre for Public Christianity (CPX), has some helpful thoughts. Read his original article here.
"While Christianity is not party political, it is political in the broader sense. At a fundamental level our faith concerns life in a society—the word ‘politics’ comes from the Greek politeuo meaning to live as a citizen. Everyone who is concerned with the life of our wider community (as every Christian must be) is ‘political’ in the best sense of the word. In essence, what I want to do in this short article is to urge you to apply some of your most basic Christian beliefs to the decision you make in the build up to [July 2]. Whichever way we vote, surely we will want to vote Christianly.
HOW NOT TO VOTE:
1. Precedent: ‘how we always vote’
Voting patterns are sometimes based on nothing more than family heritage (‘We always voted that way’) or geographical location (‘Most people vote that way where I live’). Something so important as the way, and by whom, we are governed must be approaches with seriousness and due reflection.
2. Christian favouritism
Vote for Christian candidates who also have a track record for diligence, leadership and justice, but please do not favour men and women simply because they are known as ‘Christians’.
3. Economic Prosperity
The main parties and most of the major media make ‘economic prosperity’ a central election issue. In a society such as ours, one devoid of deep faith, economic prosperity may be the only measurable form of success. The follower of Christ knows better. Beware the love of money (1 Tim. 6:10).
HOW TO VOTE:
1. Vote for others
Don’t think only of yourself – your family, your industry, your way of life. Think instead of the wider public good.
2. Vote for the moral health of the community
As citizens who believe that a society’s health depends (in part) on living as the Creator designed, Christians will want to ponder: which party and/or policies will promote the values applauded by the Creator, the values of justice, harmony, sexual restraint, honesty, family and mercy.
3. Vote for the poor and the weak
Psalm 82:3-4 says “Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed. Rescue the weak and needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.” Whatever socio-economic model you believe in, please make sure you vote for those who need your vote more than you do.
4. Vote for the Gospel
Is one party better for the spread of the gospel than another?
5. Vote prayerfully
The Scriptures urge us to pray for leaders and for governments. And, ultimately, this has to be seen as even more important than our vote."