I myself have been guilty in my earlier years of despising particular politicians, something which hopefully I have grown out of. But sometimes I have been genuinely scared of some Christians and Christian lobbyists. In America in particular there have been genuinely frightening displays of hate by professing Christian groups towards Barak Obama, portraying him as a Hitler figure.
Stark displays of animosity also occur in our own country. In terms of political policy, I have recently had conversations concerning asylum seekers, with heated indignation about their arrival. What is stranger still is that I have had such discussions conversation with those who themselves have migrated to Australia.
Considering such a hot topic issue, when politicians receive low ratings should they change to please the populace or go with their conscience? Despite your political persuasion there is one important thing to remember when living your lives: ours lives are not to be ruled by democratic opinion, Jesus is King of Jews, and King of all (Mark 15:26; Rev 17:14)!
The practical implications of this are quite stark. Unlike the approach of most secular societies, what is best is not what the majority believes. The majority supported Hitler in Germany. The majority it seemed, believed that Jesus should be executed when Pilate asked them (Mark 15:14-15). When we come to politics we have to consider the same thing: Should we decide to go with the majority?
Majority is not what matters; it is only the call of Jesus in our lives. The notion that the majority know what's best is not based on reality, only one knows best, that is Jesus. In all things we should seek wisdom from God. An implication of this is that Christian politicians, I believe, should not vote based upon popular opinion! In my view Christian politicians should make every vote a conscience vote, regardless of the consequences (noting the Westminister Party system), because their ultimate responsibility is not to their constituency, but to the Theocracy of Jesus, God and the Holy Spirit (Rom 9:1).
Are our attitudes (such as loving one another) and our beliefs in line with Biblical commandments? A common problem I have viewed in friends and family is something called confirmation bias. This is a psychological term that refers to the phenomenon of people only paying attention to things that support their view and ignoring things that do not.
This can be frequently be seen when Christians accept the culture's standard view, ignoring all other evidence Biblical or otherwise, contrary to their belief. An obvious example is sex before marriage; in our society many young believers compromise in this area.
When we are deciding who we will support amongst political parties and their policies we need to examine our motivation. Are we self-serving or serving Jesus as Lord? In particular we should focus on the character of Jesus as revealed in scripture and what we believe he would support. I challenge you to think about what Jesus would do with asylum seekers, global warming and homelessness.
Popularity and praise should not be things sought with complete disregard for the more important matters of justice, mercy and the like. Often the price of conforming to the will of God is costly, and for Jesus and many others the price is death.
We should always be inspired by those who submit their will to God, despite the cost.
Since we cannot trust our own impartiality in matters of judgement, we need always to remember that we are first and foremost under the rule of God. He alone is the ultimate Judge. "Your throne, O God, will last forever and ever; a sceptre of justice will be the sceptre of your kingdom." (Hebrews 1:8)
Nathanael Yates from Perth, Western Australia, is an award winning young scientist who has won a scholarship to Oxford for 12 months as from October 2011.