Saturday, February 06, 2010

More salvoes in the election campaign

There's an interesting page in today's Times that says something about the forthcoming election and how Christians will be challenged by it.

At the top of the page the ever-sensible Tom Wright, Bishop of Durham, expresses concern that God is being squeezed out of politics by the way the current government does business - though he does reckon this process started under Mrs Thatcher.

At the foot of the page is a report of a David Cameron interview in the gay magazine Arena where he says that churches have got to accept gay people into their ranks as equals.

For some Christians this could well leave no party worthy of consideration when it comes to casting their vote!

Clearly that's not a sensible position, so there's going to be a need for some really careful thinking to take place between now and 3 May. Deeply held opinions need to be challenged and fresh reflection on what scripture and Christian tradition says about crucial issues will have to take place.

That thinking will undoubtedly be helped by the lecture that Tom Wright is due to deliver at the synod next week and a book co-authored by Nick Spencer and Jonathan Chaplin that's coming out this week.

Resources are one thing, but I also think we need to be serious in prayer for our civic society. There are fault lines that can become fractures; there are deep differences of opinion even within congregations that need to be prayed about and talked out.

So, let the conversations begin - and those that have already started (and there are lots, I know), spill over into the public domain so we can all benefit from them.


Andy Goodliff said...

The book God and Government has been out ages ... most be book launch especially at synod to get some extra sales!

simon said...

thanks for the correction, Andy. I guess I ought to read it

Jude said...

Democracy is a dreadful way to run a country but there isn't a better one so we have to engage in it even if we will never find a policital party that fits all our requirements. This means I have to find a best fit to the main themes of what Jesus says. He prioritised "Love your neighbour as yourself" and defined "neighbour" very broadly. That's why I am a socialist. Yes, the Bible prescribes on various other things but I don't think they are things that are higher up God's agenda than loving him and loving our neighbour. Simples :)

simon said...

well said, Jude. I agree that we need to look at the big picture stuff, the principles that underpin our actions.

I'd agree that loving God and neighbour are key.

When we vote, i guess we're asking where we see those principles, those values most clearly reflected and we put our cross there.

This should lead to us getting more engaged with the parties that get our votes so that the values we think matter are amplified within them.

That's the great strength of democracy, i guess.

Jude said...

Here's an interesting article, and video about the imact of Christians on the Tory party.