Less than six weeks to go to the general election, and voter confusion remains high. How could it not, given what appears an absence of moral principle and political distinction between politicians? So the question arises, how can Christians vote with integrity? What questions should we be asking? Or should we rather just wash our hands, metaphorically saying, ‘A plague on all your houses, you’re all equally as bad as each other!’
Tempting though the latter option might some times feel, there are strong arguments against this, the most compelling being that, under God, we all bear responsibility. It goes without saying that the function of civil authority and the State is to safeguard the best interests of the people, providing a just environment in which all (and especially the vulnerable) are protected and can flourish. As we are a part of that State, therefore, it falls to us to help determine, as best we can, the structure and formation of civil authority.
Though the Secularists never like it to be pointed out, Western Democracy didn’t just happen as result of evolution, but is founded entirely on Judeo-Christian belief. Secularists may argue that we would have arrived at the same point without God, because man is innately ‘good’, but actually the history of the world contradicts this. Left to ourselves, men and women do not respect and try and promote each other’s best interests. Rather they try to control and exploit each other, with power seen as the ultimate goal and good. In fact without God, as revealed in the Judeo-Christian tradition, it really is a dog eat dog world, with the elite and privileged enjoying a cushioned existence on the backs of the weak.
No, respect and care for others comes direct from the Judeo-Christian understanding of God, which sees men and women as worthy of honour because all alike are made in His image. So today, as society increasingly rejects God, we see the ancient rights on which our nation has been built being gradually but inexorably worn away. Eroded step by step, as values inimical to Christian faith increasingly prevail, stifling any and all dissent.
We see this, for example, in the redefinition of sexuality, of marriage, and of what constitutes family. We see it in the ever-growing restrictions on freedom of speech and of ‘acceptable’ belief.
According to the new credo, men and women are no longer made in God’s image – which was clearly always flawed – but now have the choice to remake themselves in whatever fashion they prefer. Hence there are no longer male and female but, as now being taught in schools, the individual starts from a gender neutral canvas, on which they can impose their own preferred configuration. In fact, the great god Sex now holds sway, and the worship required from all is absolute obedience to carnal impulse, with obliteration of any and all self-restraint that even hints at harmfully repressive Judeo-Christian morality.
The fruits of this new faith are all around, most clearly seen in family disintegration, in ever increasing rates of mental illness, in exposure of sexual abuse and trafficking rings, in increased violence against women…. The list is endless.
Yet despite the mounting evidence – which sits like an extremely large elephant in a correspondingly small room – this new belief system has become the credo of many of our politicians. It is therefore questionable, before God, if we can vote for them. Yes, economics and defence of the nation in face of the ever escalating threats from terror are hugely important, as is the NHS and education. But how can we, in all conscience, give our vote to anyone who flouts the basic laws underpinning creation, and who fails to protect children and the vulnerable?
St Paul, in his hard hitting letter to the Romans, said, ‘If God is for us, who can be against us?” In these socially perilous times, should we not equally ask, ‘If God is against us, who can prosper?’ Certainly, without a vision the people perish – but infinitely more dangerous is pursuit of a wrong vision, which leads to chaos and death.
So in the forthcoming election it is the bounden duty of all Christians to vote, but to exercise that vote with care. Because the fate of our nation hangs in the balance. So we need to ask our politicians the awkward questions they would infinitely prefer we leave lying quietly out of sight under the table. We need to demand answers and not be satisfied with weasel words of reassurance and obfuscation – of reasons why they privately agree, but can’t openly support us, because then they’d no longer have a voice!
And, only then – when satisfied – should we give our vote. Together we can make a difference!