Snap! General election time.
I’ll be honest with you... I don’t know all that much about politics. I care about it and I have my own views, but there’s no point me claiming to be an expert in something I’m not. This post won’t go deep into parties and policies, because I would be speaking from ignorance.
What I am trained in, thankfully, is scripture and Jesus... and whenever I get stuck or stumped by anything, I go back to Him. So for me, when it comes to politics, I simply look to Jesus as my model.
A theological exposition of who Jesus would vote for would make fascinating research, but so nuanced and loaded is that question and so easy it is to reconstruct the Saviour in our own political image that I’m not sure how well it would work. What is clear is that Jesus stood for sacrifice. This stands out in scripture time and again.
God the Son come to Earth, born as a baby, laid in an animal’s trough.
God the Son who made the Earth and then washed it from his followers’ feet.
The Saviour who said that the last would be first and the greatest must be the least when it comes to His Kingdom.
The Saviour who told his people to be like little children, full of innocent faith.
The King who entered the capital on the back of a donkey, subverting the power of Imperial force.
The King who was crowned with thorns and hung on a cross, whose greatest victory was won by sacrifice of life itself.
And we are called to live the same way.*
So when it comes to this general election, here is our clerical advice. Yes, vote. Yes, get involved. Yes, use our democratic rights that so many through history have not been blessed with... but do so on the basis of sacrifice, not seeking what serves your own best interests, but what looks to the interests of others, of humanity as a whole.
In the midst of that, know that what unites us as Christians is greater than what divides us, and that, to summarise Archbishop Justin, 'how we disagree is more important than what we disagree on'.
We commend to you the video below, made by three committed Christians who are heavily involved in politics. They, and their content, are a living example of how to go about politics as followers of Jesus: fully engaged and yet learning to disagree well.
Happy voting. May you know the peace of God as you engage in the gift of democracy.