Editor’s note: Afzal Amin, a Tory candidate for Dudley North, is accused of plotting with the English Defence League to increase his vote by intervening in a row over a new Mosque. Dudley Councillor and MEP for UKIP Bill Etheridge is still swimming in a sea of controversy over his comments made at the Young Independence Conference in Birmingham in August 2014 where he described Hitler as a ‘magnetic and forceful public speaker’ who ‘achieved a great deal’. This is in addition to the questions raised by his suspension from the Conservative Party in 2011 after he posed on Facebook with a golliwog. And Labour MP for Dudley Ian Austin still finds himself haunted by accusations about his expenses claims in 2009.
Naturally, all three men have spoken out in defence of their actions but such stories do seemingly raise strong evidence for the following, oft-uttered statement:
What’s the point in voting?
We asked Stephen Cook from Amblecote, a passionate advocate for this subject, to tell us what he thinks about Christians and politics. Here is his response….
“Politicians are just all self-serving and corrupt.”
“Whichever way I vote nothing will change anyway.”
“None of them care about Christian values even if they pretend to.”
“Not voting is probably the most Christian thing to do anyway as then I am not showing my approval for the bad stuff governments do in our name.”
Do any of these statements sound familiar to you? That’s probably because these views are not too dissimilar to what most people are saying at home or in the pub tonight (well take out the Christian bit). I honestly get sucked into this trap often, but are we not meant to be different?
Politics isn’t perfect. Neither are politicians. Neither are you or me. Or the work we do. We need Christ just like politicians and politics does.
You might be thinking politics is not my thing. I serve God in other ways. True. I would argue though that God seems to place a certain significance around earthly rulers in the Bible (Romans, Daniel, Esther, Nehemiah etc. http://www.christiansinpolitics.org.uk/politics-in-the-bible/ ) and how we can influence them. We all have a role to play.
On 7th May we can take a small step in influencing those that rule us by actually voting. I am not here to sell a particular party or way of governing. What I am here to say is this: please do something. The famous quote says the opposite of love is indifference. Don’t be indifferent to those who ultimately make the civic rules which govern your life and the lives of those around you. Vote! You never know one day you may even be one of those politicians making the decisions.
How does Christ and His Kingdom come into the political realm?
Simple. We take Him. Through voting and maybe through much more…
Not registered to vote yet? Well, to be blunt, you should be. https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote
Confused by this whole thing? There’s a wealth of information out there. Check out this really helpful, unbiased, website set up by Christians to help us engage in politics. http://www.christiansinpolitics.org.uk/showup/
Want to help us encourage more people to vote or maybe write an article explaining your own views to help fuel area-wide discussion? Email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll put you in contact with other like-minded individuals.
Above all, don’t feel guilty but also don’t just do nothing. Your vote counts for far more than you might think it does.
On behalf of Love Dudley