Following the brexit vote, I friend of mine made this announcement on Facebook:
Seems a lot of Christians on here, when it comes to politics, have temporarily forgotten what “love your neighbour as yourself” means… So I have had to temporarily unfollow some folks due to that…
A sad indictment.
Some of the following comments blame politics, ” Politics will bring the old man back..” said one. But I don’t know. We need politics, the idea that you must not mix politics and religion is not found in the Bible, not is it found in Christian tradition. Wilberforce campaigning against the slave trade was Christian in its motivation but deeply political in the way it was worked out. We need more Christians to be involved in politics, not fewer. We need more Wilberforces.
With Christians and the EU there was a problem. They were divided,
The EU has neoliberalism written in its core: The Maastricht agreement is neoliberal to its core, but there is also a social chapter, EU laws protect workers’ rights.People who are against neoliberalism but in favour of workers’ rights cound come out, on balance, on either side of the debate, depending on how they weigh the importance of each of the issues.
And that is just one of the issues on which people can disagree from a Christian perspective.
Some say that we should be preaching the Gospel and not getting sidetracked into social issues. But I say how can we love our neighbour as ourselves if we do not bring to light that a political system is unfair to some? “Love your neighbour as you love yourself” is second only to loving God. Jesus was being political when he said that.
The vote is over in the UK, we have a result which Prime Minister at the time if the vote, David Cameron, said he would abide by the result, Prime Minister Theresa May, his successor, has said she will do the same.
The decision has been made. The UK is leaving the EU, we need to move forwards from this, not backwards. The ironic thing is that a lot of the hate and bile I see being spread post brexit seems to be coming from the losing side. the number of racially motivated attacks in the UK has increased.
This should not happen with Christians, but it does not surprise me that it does. Christians are stereotyped by what they are against for good reason. We are seen as anti women, anti gay because of the way some are campaigning on these issues.
We should not be anti anyone. Love compels us to campaign in favour or the oppressed, of the poor, of the foreigner in our midst, This may bring us up against those with the power, with the privilege and with the money, but let it never be a campaign against them. Let us keep it positive.
Paul, writing to the Colossians had a problem. There was heresy being spread there. But you will not find out what the Colossian heresy was by reading that letter. The antidote to heresy is to preach Jesus. In the same way the antidote to bad politics is to preach good politics. There was a lot of negativity in the brexit campaigns. The time to stop the negativity for Christians is now. There is a lot of division in our country over this issue. It is time to put aside our differences and work together in reconciling people
The Gospel is for all, and the social side of the Gospel is every bit a part of the Gospel as preaching Jesus.
This was a very parochial blog. Yet a lot of the negativity I am seeing on social media on politics is coming from across the pond. In the USA their political campaigning is still going on.
I really sympathise with the dilemma the Americans have in the next few months.
Republican Donald Trump is too authotitarian for my liking.
Democrat Hilary Clinton is too right wing for my liking. Further to the right than Trump, but less authoritarian.
Libertarian Gary Johnson, is even further to the right politically, but ironically not very libertarian. His policies read like a less authoritarian form of neoliberalism.
Green Jill Stein has policies of the libertarian left. I just can’t get my head around the Greens authoritarian stance on nuclear power.
So if I were American I’d have no-one to represent my views. It looks like the election may be won or lost on negative voting, voting for the candidate you least like. See above for my views on negative campaigning. Americans, you have both my sympathy and my prayers.