Although we are citizens of a heavenly kingdom and look forward to its coming in full, we have a responsibility to do our part in letting God’s will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Let us vote wisely in the coming federal election, that we may elect leaders who will build a more just society.
Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world.
If it were, My servants would fight to prevent My arrest by the Jewish leaders.
But now My kingdom is from another place.”
~ John 18:36 (NIV)
Let me tell you a little of my story. I grew up in a Christian tradition and in a country where I was not expected or obliged to vote in elections, and where this verse from John’s gospel was often used to justify this position. I grew up thinking that if all Christians thought like this, our government would never represent Christian values and there would never be any Christians in parliament.
So, what’s the answer? Jesus said His kingdom was not of this world, but His disciples have always lived here. So, despite my upbringing, my desire has always been to see a society permeated, as much as possible, with traditional Christian values.
Christian Values Checklist: Second Edition
This week in the Canberra Declaration I was delighted to read:
We are excited to announce a miraculous shift in the Christian Values Checklist, towards righteousness. In our 23 years of our existence, the Australian Christian Values Institute has never seen anything like it. Totally extraordinary. Second Edition Christian Values Checklist. — Warwick Marsh, Kurt Mahlburg & Cody Mitchell
So, what’s brought this about — the power of prayer? I believe most definitely, yes. Yes, Christians have fallen on their knees in prayer for this election perhaps more than ever in recent history. This is truly wonderful. But, in addition, I suspect many Christians have been writing to their senators and to their federal members over the last two years, raising their concerns. I believe this has borne fruit and our representatives have heard their people.
There used to be a saying that one letter to parliament represents at least ten others who have not written. I suspect members’ office staff have been doing the statistics over the last two years and many have seen the writing on their wall.
So, if prayer and letter writing has created the most tangible shift in Australian political values in 23 years and we have not even voted yet, what effect could prayed-up Christians have on polling day?
Preparing for Election Day
We have to vote in Australia. So my encouragement, along with Molly Joshi’s post, “Preparing Your Heart to Pray for the Federal Election”, is to be fervent in prayer. I have written out a list of all the candidates in my electorate and I am systematically praying for each one. They are all men and women who have put their lives on the line for our nation, and just like our servicemen and women, I believe they should have our fervent prayer support.
Then, I believe all Christians should rise up in God’s strength, use our minds that He has given us and study all we can about our candidates — perhaps phone them up and interview them. What I am trying to say here is that for me, as a Christian, I can’t go into this election and simply vote just the same way as I did last time without a thorough re-evaluation. For me, I believe I must be prayed up and informed and trust the Lord to guide me to number the candidates as He directs me. I don’t want to vote out of habit, but out of passionate conviction that this is the order of candidates He wants me to vote for.
My motive for this post is perhaps to encourage someone to pray up and study up more before polling day, Saturday 21st May. So that you can go to sleep that night with a clear conscience that you have done the right thing. My kingdom is not of this world, but I do live here, and I am passionate about freedom, free speech and justice for all, particularly the voiceless. For me, the Christian faith is the foundation for all these principles.
Photo by Artem Podrez.