Friday, September 6, 2013

One more post on how to vote Christian, kind of, before election day arrives

John Dickson, CPX, how to vote christian, Australian christian politics, election,
John Dickson, one of Australia's leading marketplace Christian communicators, begins his election advice with this quote from Mahatma Ghandi:
'He who says politics and religion do not mix understands neither one.'
christian politics, faith and religion, voting Christian election, election 2013Peace-award winning Pastor Jarrod McKenna begins his electoral advice article in today's Fairfax media with a quote saying just the opposite from Tony Campolo:
'Mixing religion and politics is like mixing ice cream and manure. It doesn't do much to the manure but it sure does ruin the ice cream.'
Despite the apparent divergence of starting points, the two move on to give remarkably similar advice to Christians and other voters in how best to cast their vote.

The fact Dickson seems to be reminding us that faith cannot be left out of any sphere of life, including politics, whereas McKenna is reminding us that faith can only be damaged by politics without benefiting it, is an apparent contradiction, but not a real one.

Both points are true but are in tension. If we allow faith and religion to guide our values, personal choices, voting priorities and political behaviour our politics will be better for it.

If we submerge our faith and religion in the political process thinking it is our saviour and the worldly means of defending our turf or asserting our will then we all lose.

To read more of John Dickson and other election advice, see our previous post. To read Jarrod McKenna, click here.

ACV's final pre-election thoughts

And as this may be our last pre-election post, perhaps there's room for a few brief reflections.

To think any one party or leader will solve all our problems or be above reproach on every point is to think we are in heaven and not on earth.

To be impressed by all the powerful and intelligent-sounding voices, particularly the ones that adopt the, 'I really know more about this than any of you' tone (Bernard Keane, for example) is only to be as fallible as the person who pays no attention at all.

The Christian world-view has many challenges but one advantage is that it accustoms a person to the tension of living fully for today and living fully for eternity. We can care enough to consider policies, write political blogs and cast a considered vote without buying into the depressing spectacle that this is all there is between us and oblivion.

Something to remember about the telling majority of voters in Australia, is that they don't need that much information to make an electoral judgement that by and large is good for the country. We are mostly grounded in the practical issues of life and this is perhaps the best place from which to make political decisions. Governments can often do a reasonable job with nuts and bolts and struggle with intangibles.

Christians are meant to be good with the intangibles and deeply committed to aiding the practical realities of others.

There's an intersection there somewhere with the act of voting and we pray you find that sweet spot on polling day. Happy voting.

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