According to the Bible, the word “Christian” was first used in Antioch to describe the followers of Jesus. The word means “Little Christ” or “Imitator of Christ” and that is what we should be.
In Britain, much of our legal and social structures are based on Biblical principles, such as laws against stealing, murder and perjury.
Equally it is said that the two things to keep away from the manufacture of are laws and sausages. Having recently been subjecxt to a member of a profession historically linked with butchery, I will leave off the sausages, but I would like to take a look bat part of the political process.
I believe that Christians ought to be engaged with politics at a local and a national level, though they need to be aware that politicians often present their side as having a monopoly of good and their opponents as having a monopoly of evil and that is patently untrue. So what should Christians who do want to be involved do?
One alternative is to join and be active in a local political party, fighting that which is wrong within that party and joining other party members in condemning what is wrong in the other’s policies. But every now and then one needs to look around to check that one is still in the correct party.
Recently, a Methodist minister, who was also a Labour Councillor has come under fire for allegedly breaking some laws. He has been suspended by both the Labour Party and the Methodist church pending investigations. In another role, as a director of the Co-operative he was involved in supporting the MP Ed Balls with £50,000 of co-op money.
I want us to examine the recipient and ask if this is a reasonable thing for a Christian to do. The use of money and resources is necessary to help politicians be elected, and in and of itself is neither moral nor immoral, but the stand that the recipient takes will tell us whether it is or is not a moral use of the money.
The Christian Institute has a list of how MPs have voted on various topics of concern to Christians and this is what they have recorded about Mr. Balls.
By my reckoning of the Christian Institute information, Mr. Balls was eligible to vote on 21 votes where there was a clear moral dimension. He voted once in the manner that the CI suggest a Christian would vote(to reclassify Cannabis as a Class B drug), abstained or was absent 4 times, which probably means he was “paired” with an MP who would have been intending to vote opposite to him and so the votes cancelled out, but 16 times he voted opposite to the manner in which the Christian Institute thinks would indicate being a Christian. Among these votes are votes for the Religious Hatred Bill and against the Lords amendments to that bill, not to reduce the time limit for abortions from 24 weeks, not to require genuinely independent counselling for women considering an abortion in cases of fetal abnormality, in favour of same sex marriage, and of the sex orientation regulations and in favour of allowing the creation of animal human hybrids.
Should a Christian encourage a politician with such views by voting him money for his election campaigns?