The politicians, political scientists and the pollsters are still not quite sure how we have arrived at this point. Labor lost the unlosable election. No-one predicted it, no-one really expected it. I think that the best explanation for the Coalition win was given by the Prime Minister when he stood and said “I have always believed in miracles … and we have been delivered another one!”
I can only agree with Mr Morrison’s statement.
I too believe that it was a miracle. I believe that, across our Nation, there was more prayer for this election than any other, and the result reflects that prayer.
We often hear it said that the church should keep out of politics, but if the church is to live as it should, that is simply not possible.
We have been culturally programmed to accept the Dualism of Greco-Roman philosophy. In simplistic terms, this means that we can keep our religious life and views separate from the rest of our life. We “compartmentalise” aspects of our life, so we can leave our “religion” at home when we go to work and ignore it in the formation of our political views.
But the culture of the Bible doesn’t allow for that. Our Christian views and values should be so entwined in our thinking, that it affects absolutely everything that we think and do.
So in this election, the church across the nation recognised that those values were under attack. In response, it began to exert any influence it had on the electorate. But more importantly, it recognised that the “Southland of the Holy Spirit” could be influenced by one thing more than any other. Prayer.
So, now that the election is over, will the church keep praying?
In idealistic / theoretical terms, the best form of government that we could have would be a benevolent dictator. The problem is that you will never find one of those.
Our humanity and tendency to self-interest will see to that.
The next “ideal” form of government is probably pure socialism. Such a system is described in the book of Acts 4:32-35, however once again, our humanity gets in the way and the system fails. Orwell summed it up pretty well when he wrote “All men are created equal, but some are more equal than others.” So humanity’s tendency towards self-interest again makes this system untenable.
And so we have a system called “Democracy”. This word is a combination of two Greek words – “demos” meaning people, and “kratia” meaning power or rule. So it is the crowd (the people) who have the power in this system.
The problem with democracy is that there is no true moral compass; it’s simply the will of the people that determines what is acceptable in a democratic society. There can be no moral absolute. If the majority of people decide something is acceptable, then it is – regardless of any moral code that may differ greatly from the people’s decision.
So how do the people rule? We could consider all sorts of political theory in answer to this question, but in practice it is the loudest voice and the strongest influence in a democratic society that determine what is acceptable. Thus we see the LGBTI lobby, representing about 3.5% of the population and the Muslim community representing about 2.6% of the population, having an impact on our nation that far exceeds the percentage of the population that they represent.
I suggest that the church has a vital role to play in our democratic system. If we are to retain the Judeo-Christian moral foundation of our society, the church must become an even louder voice and an even stronger influence within our society.
The election result is far from a signal to the church that it can now relax, rest on its laurels and pat itself on the back. It was once wisely said that if you rest on your laurels, you are wearing them in the wrong place! The election result is not the end, not even the beginning of the end.
The battle is far from over. The Christian community should see that they can have a far greater influence on society than they may have believed. They should see that the power of prayer is a huge and potent weapon that can be activated and used effectively.
The election result was great, it was heartening to a lot of people who subscribe to the Judeo-Christian ethos.
But the battle isn’t over – it’s just the start of the next round!