How does a Christian decide where to cast their vote when an election is looming? It is not simply a matter of placing ‘ticks’ in boxes on a ballot paper and hoping your chosen candidate wins their seat. If it were that simple then I would not be writing this blog.
A person with the right to vote in an election also carries a very real responsibility to ensure that their vote is not wasted, or ‘bartered’ away in some back room deal. They need to know what policies their chosen candidate and their political party stand upon.
It is a rather tense time in Australia currently, with a Federal Election being called for Saturday 21st August 2010.
The two major political parties who stand to gain the Countries leadership are, the Australian Labor Party – currently led by Julia Gillard (Prime Minister) and the Australian Liberal Party – led by Tony Abbott. There are other political parties, The National Party of Australia led by Warren Truss, and the Australian Greens – led by Bob Brown. The National Party is in coalition with the Liberal Party (since 1944).
The Green’s have just entered into a deal with the Labor Party. According to a report on ABC News, The Greens have confirmed that they have struck a preferences deal with Labor, which will affect the Senate and some key House of Representatives seats in the upcoming federal election. – (so effectively a vote for the Greens is a vote for Labor in the upcoming election)
Another Party – Family First led by Steve Fielding is also running for election. I do not know where those seats (if won) will be allocated. (? Preferences etc)
So what should a Christian voter KNOW about the party they intend to vote into office?
My belief is that as a Christian voter with the responsibility of electing the Government of Australia into power, we must vote for the person who meets God’s own standards, and that my friend is the bottom line. So how would we recognise those standards, what exactly are they?
I was truly blessed to find a commentary on just this very subject when I opened my inbox today. I did wonder why I had this particular topic, but now I think I understand. It is based on 1 Samuel 8:7, and I feel it is important to share a considerable portion of it with you.
When the author speaks of ‘having a king – to rule over them’….. substitute the terms Prime Minister or President in your thinking. When the author speaks of Israel, he is speaking of a Nation… just as Australia and the USA (for example) are nations. The Bible is not simply dead, old fashioned words on a printed page, they are God’s words to us, for all times and seasons.
We frequently gloss over the truly important part of 1 Samuel 8:7 as we read through it. It is clear from Genesis 17:6 and Deuteronomy 17:14-20 that God anticipated Israel having a king or judge. The title is of little importance. Having a king was not the real issue because God had already planned for Israel to have a king. Every organization must have a leader, so God lays down instructions as to how the leader should conduct himself in office. They are designed to ensure that the king does not elevate himself above the people and rule as a despot. Instead, he is to be thoroughly familiar with and guided by the attitudes and laws of God. He must comprehensively know that his own nature is just like those he serves and be humbled.
However, the key to understanding the significance of Israel’s demand in I Samuel 8 is that she desires a king just like the other nations. Spiritually, this demand confirms Israel’s whorish behaviour, and thus God tells Samuel to describe the national effects of her demand. On Israel’s part, it is a complete rejection of her marriage vows; she wants her Benefactor and Husband—God—to have no say in her life, declaring herself free of Him and to be completely and totally a nation of this world, no longer the type of God’s Kingdom on earth.
The issue between God and man is simply a matter of government—of sovereignty and providence. This appears as early as Genesis 3 when Adam and Eve reject God’s rule over them. Once God reveals Himself through His calling, the issue of government comes to the fore. This is what we confront in decision-making. As the Bible has recorded in great detail, mankind has shown that it wants to retain this authority to itself. Yet, the naked truth is we cannot retain sovereignty to ourselves and still have what God is offering, entrance into the spiritual Kingdom of God. We cannot have it both ways. We will be submissive either to God’s will or to our own fickle drives. Many of us do not get it!
It is a simple thing. It is a matter of government. Who is going to rule: God or us? Israel rejected God’s rule. God makes that very plain. Will we? That is the issue.
Our Lord God gave humanity ten very simple (moral) laws to live by, so as to remain His children, His chosen ones. As Christians we endeavour to live our own lives by this moral code, should we expect any less from our elected representatives? Many will tell you that the Ten Commandments are ‘old hat’ just not relevant any longer etc. I say those people are most assuredly wrong!
(Exodus 20; Deuteronomy 5) are not laws devised by Moses and given only to Israel. They were binding before Moses’ time, as well as during and after Jesus Christ’s life. In fact, the Ten Commandments have been in full force and effect since creation. They are still binding on us today! We will see also that they are not just “church rituals” or “good suggestions,” but the very code of conduct of our God!
As you are listening to public debates, watching infomercials on TV and reading newspaper articles and following blogs etc, do your research. Discover what your political party – the one you intend voting into office on 21st stands for on the major issues like abortion, euthanasia, same sex marriages, same partner adoptions, one child per family policy etc.
If your chosen politician stands out against these things, then you can feel far more reassured when they are in office that they will lead with Christian principles on matters to do with immigration, taxation, education, health, cleaning up the environment and looking after the elderly.
This is not a case of separating Church and State people. High Moral Standards, God’s standards will lead us forward in love and prosperity. You will not be electing a religion into office, just a party with a high code of ethics, God’s own standards will apply we pray!
How would you feel as Australians, if you discovered that a new Minister for Education was a homosexual activist and founder of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network?
Thankfully that is NOT the case in Australia – however it is the case in the USA.
Be very careful where you place your ‘tick’ on August 21st people because if God is not running this country and a self professed atheist who is living openly in a relationship, unmarried – is running this country; one that espouses pro-abortion and has done a ‘back room deal’ with the leader of the Australian Greens, who is openly Gay, — this could well be the road we end up traversing and we will have no one other to blame but ourselves. God is King and ruler; let’s make no mistake about it.
Pray, research, think, and pray some more, the future of our Country is in your hands people – a steady hand is needed when completing the voting form, and a heart strong in faith!
On the question of the separation of Church and State:
The Separation of Church and State lies at the heart of the American political system. The first amendment to the United States Constitution specifies that
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.
In the English political system, the Head of State, the monarch, is also head of the Church of England. People who favour a separation of the Church and State are said to support disestablishmentarianism.
In Australia, the separation of Church and State is not as clear-cut as either the United States or Great Britain, but it would be generally accepted that the State has no business interfering in the operations of organised religions.
As in the United States, Section 116 of the Australian Constitution specifies that:
The Commonwealth shall not make any law for establishing any religion, or for imposing any religious observance, or for prohibiting the free exercise of any religion, and no religious test shall be required as a qualification for any office or public trust under the Commonwealth.
When asked the difference between Faith and Religion:
It has been said: Religion is the rules, the guidelines, and the culture. Faith is the belief, the undaunted hope that makes it worth living life even in its darkest hour.
Religion is manmade whereas faith is a spiritual concept. Religion has an institutionalized background. It has conformity of a system of attitudes, beliefs and practices.
Faith on the other hand is the actual belief and trust and loyalty to God, the creator of the universe. In other words when the carpet that you’re standing on is ripped out from under your feet you know, and trust that the lord God, creator of all still loves you, and will protect you. That’s the biggest difference between religion and faith. Religion with its written doctrine will inform you what you are to believe. Faith is an actual deep knowing that you trust in your own belief in God.
Some references and links for you to research.
Differences between religion & faith
Faith and Religion – differences
1 Samuel 8:7 – commentary
The Separation Of Church And State – Australia
Australian Parties and political leaders
Labor, Greens seal preferences deal
Family First Party
Family First is opposed to the medical procedure of abortion.
FAMILY First senator Steve Fielding has compared same-sex marriages to incest
Greens on Abortion
Greens on Same Sex Marriages
Julia Gillard on abortion– The ALP’s National Platform and Constitution says Labor supports the rights of women “to determine their own reproductive lives”, specifying, in particular, the “right” to abortion.
Within the ALP is an inner circle of females called “Emily’s List”, sworn to support “the crucial issues of child care, equal pay and pro-choice”. “Pro-choice” as in “pro-abortion”.
Three quarters of ALP female MPs belong to this group, which was co-founded by — guess who? Correct – by this very same J. Gillard. So we need not doubt that Australia’s new Prime Minister is totally anti-baby…..
Gillard against gay marriage
Abortion in Australia: Abortion in Australia is a subject of state law rather than national law. The grounds on which abortion is permitted in Australia vary from state to state. In every state, abortion is legal to protect the life and health of the woman, though each state has a different definition.
This is a very sensitive subject, but is critical to your future as an Australian Christian. I pray you will think long and hard, and discuss your choices with The Lord God.