Thursday, July 16, 2020

Christians in a Secular Parliament

I understand that in the United States, there are still many Christians in the House of Representatives, but in NZ, Australia and the UK, Christians are now a minority in their respective parliaments. This makes the role of Christian members of parliament quite difficult.

  • A Christian does not have to leave their faith at the door when they enter parliament. Politicians of every persuasion have an underlying world view that informs their views on many issues. Provided they are transparent about their views when standing for election, they should be welcome to bring them to the parliament. In the same way, if a Christian is open about their views when they are standing for election, they can allow their Christian beliefs to influence their voting behaviour.

  • The problem is that Christians are now a minority in society, so few will be elected if they are open about their faith. They will find it easier to get elected if they join a political party and keep their statements about their faith subdued. The problem with this approach as it leaves them compromised from the beginning. Most of the time they will have to go along with their party’s policies. They will not be able to be totally loyal to Jesus.

  • To get elected to their parliament, Christians have to get stirred up about the big four social issues: abortion, euthanasia, cannabis and sexuality. However, this limits their ability to have influence on other issues, because they are perceived as negative people, without a vision for how society could be transformed for the benefit of everyone.

  • In a country where Christians are a small percentage of the population, the Christian MP represents a minority view. Their view on any issue will be just one of many going into the melting pot of ideas presented to the parliament. They will only be accepted if they are better than other ideas put forward by other people. Their ideas will only rise to the top, if they have greater wisdom by the grace of God.

  • If Christians have better ideas because they are in touch with God’s wisdom, they do not have to be in parliament for their ideas to rise to the top. Ideas can be shared in many ways and in many different forums. If the main thing that Christians have to offer is better ideas, they should have influence anyway. Their wisdom will be recognised as superior, in the same way as Daniel’s wisdom was acknowledged by Nebuchadnezzar. Unfortunately, most of the ideas being propagated by Christian politicians and parties are the regurgitated policies of secular parties.

  • Christian MPs will only be effective if they can form a coalition with other MPs with similar views on an issue. They will often find themselves going along with other parties, who are known for positions that are an embarrassment to a Christian.

  • Christian MPs cannot pull out the God Card to give their views a privileged status. I heard a UK MP giving some apologetic arguments for Jesus being the son of God. He claimed that because Jesus’s ideas were God’s views, people in Parliament should give them a greater weight. That idea does not work for people who do not believe in the Christian god. In a secular society, claims to speak on God’s behalf have no credibility.

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