Warning: controversial political post ahead. The past couple of days, I’ve had a few people tell me that the Conservatives are God’s party for this election. They’ve also told me that Paul Martin and the Liberals are enemies of God, mostly because of their position on same-sex marriage and abortion. (I have to admit that Martin tends to dismiss and demonize anyone who agrees with him on these issues.) I’m always surprised when Christians get too excited about any political party. Faith should enter into our politics, but no Christian party is going to win this election, nor would I want them to. We live in a pluralistic democracy, not a theocracy, and I don’t long for a return to Christendom. Constantine should have taught us something. The people I talk to usually raise two issues:
- Abortion – Marc writes:
There are two different messages that I would like to issue to the Canadian public: 1. To conservative evangelicals: abortion is not an issue in this election or at all at a governmental level. 2. To left-leaning Canadians: abortion is not an issue in this election or at all at a governmental level. How about everybody stops hinging their votes and non-votes on a non-issue?
I’d love to see an intelligent debate on third-trimester abortion one day – something that should be discussed even if you are pro-choice – but in this election, it’s not even on the table.
- Same-sex marriage – I’d prefer civil unions, but this issue raises questions for me about Christian faith in a pluralistic society.
Greg Paul said a couple of things yesterday that are worth thinking about:
- “The Bible calls us to live by Biblical standards, not to impose these standards on other people.” I often wonder why we spend so much time trying to get those who aren’t Christians to live by Christian standards, especially when we have our hands full trying to conform our own lives to Biblical standards.
- “If you want to vote as a Christian, which party represents the greatest window of hope for the poor? That is what is primary in God’s economy.” Greg went on to say that people who take this question seriously might end up voting for any of the major parties, but that is the issue we should care about as Christians.
So no party is God’s party, but faith sure enters into the decisions we make at the ballot box. And the concern isn’t about making Canada a Christian country – that is not the government’s job, and it never turns out very well. The concern is that we have a just government that allows us to lead “quiet and peaceable lives” and that is just toward the most vulnerable members of our society. Gary Bergel writes:
Recognizing that we have a kingdom destiny, that we are sown by Christ to be the “good seed” of the new order (Mt 13:38), let us consider how we can adopt a kingdom focus as we relate to the world around us. I believe the hour is upon us—as it came upon Joshua when he looked to enter Jericho (Josh. 5:13-15)—to repent of all partisan, sectarian, and “pet” doctrinal and political persuasions; to humbly regather ourselves unto the person of Christ; and to pray in a simple but wholehearted way, “Thy kingdom come!” For, biblically, this is our primary and transcendent mandate for prayer.