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“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, for kings and all who are in high positions, so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and dignity.  This is right and is acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour, ...”  A year or two back, a community church I was visiting took these words (1 Timothy 2.1-3) so seriously that one of the elders led the congregation in prayer for the Government for five minutes before every Sunday service.   Likewise we Anglicans have in one of our old liturgies: “We beseech thee also to save and defend all Christian kings, princes and governors; and specially thy servant Elizabeth our Queen, that under her we may be godly and quietly governed: and grant unto her whole Council, and to all that are put in authority under her, that they may truly and impartially minister justice, to the punishment of wickedness and vice, and to the maintenance of thy true religion and virtue.”

If we should pray for those in Government, how much more should we endeavour to ensure that we choose the best people to govern us for the next five years?  Yes, the title of this piece refers to the UK General Election, not to Saturday's Grand National.  But how to do this?  Pray, of course, but are there helps to engaging with some of the issues from a Christian perspective?  

The Jubilee Centre in Cambridge has just published Votewise: Form a ‘Christian Mind’ About Election Issues.  The blurb says “Are you ready?  Do you know what a Christian perspective on key political issues looks like?  Talking about politics with friends and colleagues is an excellent opportunity to let an alternative set of values and ;loyalties shine through.  We are excited about our recent publication designed to help you do just that.  Written with the general Election in view, this short, readable book covers eight key election issues from a biblical perspective: Asylum, Race and Nationhood, Education, Transport and Mobility, Healthcare, Criminal Justice, The Economy, International Order.”  Find out more at www.jubilee-centre.org.

But how to compare a Christian viewpoint with what's on offer from the parties?  The BBC seem already to be working hard to make life simpler for us.  This link will help you quickly to compare the main parties’ stances on key issues; for more depth and a wider range, visit this one.

But whatever you do or don't do, make sure you play your part in the electoral process.  After all, only 31% of the human population was living in fully democratic nations at any given time during the last century (http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/govt2000.htm).  If you're one of them, counting your blessings means using your vote Christianly.

Yours in Christ

Peter Nicholls

 

... only 31% of the human population was living in fully democratic nations at any given time during the last century.

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