Issues for Christians to consider in this election is our focus today. Of course, we will have different views of what they might be but I try to highlight here those that have a direct effect on things spoken of in the Bible: the sanctity of life, justice, and so forth. The Archbishop Cranmer blog, albeit right of centre, made the following comment last week which is perhaps worth reflecting on:
No political manifesto is wholly or perfectly righteous, not least because Christians have differing apprehensions of the Beatitudes. It is a certain fact that the Tories are not going to be an instrument of millennial reign to all the nations (or even to the United Kingdom). But democracy reveals itself again and again to be a natural ally and agent of Christianity: God is concerned with present individual morality, not political future hopes. When it comes to voting in an election, Christians are exhorted to discern the lesser evil (if ‘evil’ it be); to choose the greater good. In this General Election, there is only one vision which will “get Brexit done” (ie get Brexit started) without preventing Roman Catholics from standing for public life and murdering nine-month-old babies in the womb.You may demur, of course, on which party manifesto better ushers in the Kingdom of God on earth. Argue robustly, by all means, but please do so in love. Also see this post from the same site.
The Christian institute has summaries of manifesto pledges that are of particular interest to Christians. In the end we have to balance our views on Brexit, Abortion, Religious freedom and LGBT issues, and much more and pin it down to one vote for one person. It is not easy!
The Anglo-Irish Treaty was signed this day in 1921. As a result, the island of Ireland was split in two with the south becoming a self-governing Dominion (the same status as Australia and Canada still have) and the north remaining part of the United Kingdom.
- Pray about the issues that concern you most, asking God to guide you to which candidate in your constituency has the closest heart-leanings to your own
- Abortion has been a hot topic in the last parliament, with a strong push towards decriminalisation and some arguing for no time limits. Pray about this issue (the Christian Institute website summarises each party’s manifesto pledges on this and other issues)
- Freedom of speech, the freedom to worship and believe, is another issue that has come up in this election. Pray about this
- Other issues that we have prayed about this week might be on your personal agenda, so pray again about those things which concern you (we will be praying about the NHS tomorrow)
- Pray that all of Ireland will know peace, that the distrust of the ‘other’ community will begin to die away and both Protestants and Catholics and also Unionists and Republicans will come to respect and live comfortably with each other
Bible Reading: Psalm 2. EngaGE19.org.uk prayer for today: We praise You, God, that issues of the sanctity of human life and religious freedoms currently have a high profile. Amen
As we pray through Advent, we are preparing for the coming of Jesus. This blog is about praying for our nation in this election, so I suggest using this song as our Advent prayer each day.
Last week a letter, signed by well over 300 clergy and laity from the Church of England, was sent to the Bishops as follows:
Both the Labour Party and the Liberal Democrats have, in their manifestos, proposed the “decriminalisation” of abortion. This would remove all sanctions in criminal law for those who perform abortions outside the limits set by the Abortion Act 1967. These changes would amount to a declaration that a foetus is no longer a human being, worthy of the same statutory and common law protections against deliberate harm and termination of life.
In light of the Church of England’s own teaching that it is strongly opposed to abortion, that “the foetus is a human life with the potential to develop relationships, think, pray, choose and love”, and that the Church “would like to see a drastic reduction in the number of abortions carried out and stricter interpretation of abortion law” (press statement of the Mission and Public Affairs Council for General Synod, 30 August 2011), we write, as members of the Church of England (and a small number of other Anglicans in Wales and Northern Ireland), lay and ordained, female and male, to express our sincere concerns about what is being proposed, and to call on you, as shepherds of the Church, to do all you can to speak out against these proposals and in defence of some of the most vulnerable in our society.
(300+ signatories attached to original letter)
CARE have launched a website devoted to information about, and prayer for, the Election. It is www.engaGE19.org.uk and their suggested prayer for today is included above.
Each week we will be focussing our prayer as below:
THIS WEEK: Policies and Manifestos
NEXT WEEK: Election Week