Early in December 2011, Krunch, a faith-based charity working with young people across Sandwell, were approached at short notice by a senior figure from Sandwell local authority to host a ministerial speech. Later the same day, 4 people from London visited Krunch to see if it was a ‘suitable’ venue in which to host a national speech. These junior ministers fed back that Sandwell Christian Centre/Krunch had a ‘lovely feel and ethos about it’ and they wanted to use them as the venue. A few days later it was confirmed that Eric Pickles, the Secretary of State, was also visiting Krunch at Sandwell Christian Centre and then at about 6pm on the eve of the speech, it was confirmed that the Prime Minister himself was now giving the speech to launch the Troubled Families Unit.
David Cameron launched his new £400 million national initiative to connect with and support troubled families across Britain at Krunch on December 15th 2011. It’s a day I’m sure the staff there will never forget, but I wonder whether meeting the Prime Minister himself changed the way those people will vote on May 7th?
As followers of Jesus, we are never actually told in scripture how to vote, and the political scene 2000 years ago was very different, leaving us to try to work out what we need to do in order to fulfil our kingdom lives in line with how Jesus did things in 2015.
As I see it we have several options:
a: Do nothing
b: Vote without praying
c: Vote and pray hard that the Lords will be done.
d: Just pray hard that the Lords will be done.
e: Pray that a particular party that I like gets in.
Doing nothing should not really be an option, but I have to confess this has been my response, in the past, to a confusing situation where I have not been able to see the best party to vote for, and not really known how to pray into that either. If they all seem to say the same things, how do I know which one to back?
Voting without praying is not really any different to doing nothing from a kingdom perspective (in my opinion). I am just expressing my choice onto my ballot paper, so when two Christians vote for two different parties which one is in line with the will of the Father?
If I vote and pray, but I have voted for a party that does not reflect kingdom principles, then I could say I have wasted my vote, I might as well have just gone for option d: and prayed hard for the Lord’s will to be done.
If I go for option e: then is this not effectively just me deciding what I think is best, and is this not what mankind has done forever? We decide what the rules should be and who should be in government and that’s what has got us into this mess in the first place.
It probably only leaves one option: to ask the Lord to direct our vote as we exercise our civil duty, and then pray that His will be done no matter which party gets in. It’s interesting to note that when the disciples were choosing their replacement candidate for Judas Iscariot (Acts 1:23-26), they nominated two candidates based on their good track record, prayed for guidance and God’s will to be done and then voted as men by casting lots. I’m sure some voted one way and others voted another. But the principle of voting after praying was important and perhaps offers a good biblical example of the principles of democracy in practise.
Meeting David Cameron and his colleagues was a great privilege I’m sure and I do believe he wants the best for the country. But I’m sure the same could be said of Mr Milliband, Mr Clegg and all of the other party leaders. The decision, therefore, of who to vote for must come down to a conversation between us as individuals and the Father Himself so that His kingdom can come His will be done, on earth as it is in heaven………..
On behalf of Love Sandwell.