I'm trying not to be too cynical about the election. Though as campaigning comes to a crescendo I'm finding it increasingly hard.

I've been particularly disappointed over the last few days by the way that all parties have sort to make political capital out of the terrorist attacks in London and Manchester. There is something very unattractive about someone who is willing to prey on people's fear to gain power for themselves. Wouldn't it have been better for them to have mourned with the nation and shown that in the face of tragedy they care more about the lives of others than their own interests?

I am convinced that as a Christian I have a responsibility to partake in the political process. On more than one occasion the Bible makes it clear that God is the giver of authority. "Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God." (Romans 13:1). So I think that I have a responsibility in a democracy to take part in the process of deciding who the governing authorities are.

I am also convinced that, whatever the result of tomorrow's election, I should submit to the rule of the government with respect. There would appear to be only two reasons to disobey our authorities: if they commanded me to do something that God forbade or they forbade me to do something that God commanded. There are good examples of how to go about that, even in the face of death, in the book of Daniel (see Daniel 3 and 6). Christians are to be good citizens.

But the one thing that I am not expecting is that our next government will be able to deliver on their promises. This isn't simply because they are just trying to win our votes with false hope, but rather that they are incapable of bringing about the world that we all want. Never in the field of human history has any human being succeeded in sorting out their own lives, let alone anyone else's!

I firmly believe that democracy is the best form of government. Not because the will of the majority means that we will receive just rule. Nor because I believe that majority of human society has the right to decide how everyone should live. Just because most sinners want something, doesn't make it right or beneficial. No democracy is best because it is so inefficient. It takes ages to get anything done and most of the time legislation is so compromised that it hardly makes any difference anyway. Democracy's strength is the way it limits the ability of the evil human heart to put it's latest plan into action.

So I will vote tomorrow. Then I will try and live in the light of 1 Peter 2:17:

"Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honour the emperor."

I will try to respect everyone, whichever way they voted, whether they respect me or not, because they are made in God's image and I am called to love them as the Lord has loved me.

I will endeavour to love Christians and especially the church that I am part of. Trying to lay aside my personal desires for status, control and comfort, so that we might resemble a little more accurately what the world would look like if everyone had Jesus as Lord. 

I will try to remember that the only person I need to fear is God, my loving heavenly Father. Because He is in control of all things. Even elections. And a right fear of him (not a terror - but an awed recognition that He is God alone) will dispel all other fears and worries about what a new government might do.

I will seek to honour whoever our Prime Minister and government are. Not perpetually whinging as though I or anyone else would do a better job. But seeking to try and support them as they seek to make the UK a safer and better place for everyone. Up until the point that God's word in the Bible means that I have to not just disagree with them, but disobey them.

 

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