Copeland By Election

First of all I am not going to tell you who you should vote for, that’s up to you to decide. However I do have some suggestions about how to choose and why you should vote.

Why you should vote

Peter in his first letter tells us:

Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. Honour everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the emperor. – 1 Peter 2 v 13-17

He was living in a time where there was no real democracy – the Emperor’s power was supreme, he selected the governors and other public officials.The people prospered under good Emperors and suffered under bad ones

And Yet Paul tell us that these authorities are placed there by God:

Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. – Romans 13 v 1

Even though those in government persecuted Christians and made life difficult for them, they were to be the best of citizens; to pay taxes (even the ones they didn’t agree with), to honour the Emperor, to:

Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarrelling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people. For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. – Titus 3 v 1-2

So like those early Christians we must be enthusiastic citizens our our country, wisely taking part in the choosing of those who will lead the country. But being careful not to put our reliance on candidates who promise more than they can provide, our hope is in Jesus not man.

How to choose

Despite what the writer of Ecclesiastes seems to be advising :-), there is no party a Christian should vote for over the others.

A wise man’s heart inclines him to the right, but a fool’s heart to the left. – Ecclesiastes 10:2

However we do need to weigh up what the person standing says and does and what their party stands for.  When Moses was starting the Hebrew state from scratch after their escape from Egypt he was told to:

Moreover, look for able men from all the people, men who fear God, who are trustworthy and hate a bribe, and place such men over the people as chiefs of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens. – Exodus 18 v 12

We want to choose people who will help the area, are people of good character and will govern/lead in a righteous way rather than a wicked way.

Choose for your tribes wise, understanding, and experienced men, and I will appoint them as your heads.’ – Deuteronomy 1 v 13

Pray for our leaders

Finally whoever is elected, all Christians need to honour them and support them in prayer, being careful what we say about them.

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. – 1 Timothy 2 v 1-2

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