I write this before the current election in which Australia decides who will be our next Prime Minister and the political party that will lead us into the next season. Unlike any other election day prior to this I have been extremely interested in some of the key issues that are being discussed and how they pose a challenging question to many Christians in Australia.
Do you vote left for socialist, environment issues, which from my research is their major flag in the ground or do you vote right, who are putting their flag in pro-life, freedom of speech and the importance of a really strong economy? Both of these parties are representing the heart of God and not one actually ticks every box over the other.
In my research this past week I discovered that there were so many issues that are present and as a young person in Australia so many of these issues affect our lives in some way, shape or form. This effect maybe immediate or it may be the effects that might play out in the future, i.e. the effects of environmental policy, foreign trade, etc.
Now probably as you read this we would have decided this next leader and so this is a thought, post the vote. So these insights are more about what do we do as Christians post the vote and what is our responsibility given Australia would have decided the next leader and party.
On Thursday at my mid-week church prayer meeting, naturally one of the key topics was about praying for the election and particularly the leader that most aligned with beliefs of the church and its leadership. In this time I felt God speak into my heart the words of Timothy in his 1st letter (1 Timothy chapter 1, verses 2-7). He said,
I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus,who gave himself as a ransom for all people. This has now been witnessed to at the proper time. And for this purpose I was appointed a herald and an apostle—I am telling the truth, I am not lying—and a true and faithful teacher of the Gentiles.
From this letter there were a few things that were highlighted when it came not only to approaching which Party and people to vote for, but how do we as a Christian act post the result, even if it does not go the way our vote went.
This section of scripture is actually about worship and the fact the word ‘worship’ does not just mean singing Christian songs. It actually is about how we conduct ourselves in our whole lives and our whole lives means our responsibility as privileged people living in a democracy.
“First of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people, for kings and all those in authority.”
Timothy highlights a couple of key things that I would like to unpack. The first is that we need to pray and intercede for all people including all the kings, aka leaders that are charged with the head roles of each of the political parties. So even if the leader we decide is not the best fit, we are still commanded, (not optional) to pray for them. What this does is put the control in the God of the universe hands who created all the leaders that are in all political parties. It says in his word that he decides all leaders and our role is to trust God in his decision.
“That we must lead quiet and peaceful lives.”
It’s funny to think that one of those cryptic words Scott Morrison used in his campaign was the quiet Australians will decide the vote. Quiet would suggest that we do not have a voice and shouldn’t speak out when it came to political choices, but I believe that statement came from 1 Timothy chapter 2. I believe the quiet peaceful lives are the lives that show in action what is truly inside of us. The idea of peaceful is often seen as tolerant or accepting and almost seen as a passive word. Actually being peaceful is being a peacemaker as Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called the children of God.” To be peaceful is to stand for the values of the Kingdom and cross of Christ.
“In all godliness and holiness”
When it comes to a society becoming a great society it is in these two characteristics. Godliness is the actions that come out pursuing the Father’s heart and asking for him to show you your part in the plan. Godliness is the characteristics of a heart that pursues becoming more Christ-like.
When I think of holiness I think of the colour white, it’s pure, without blemish and just simply emanates the light that bounces off of it. God asks us to act holy as he is holy (1 Peter chapter 1, verse 16) because a life marked by holiness is one that is constructive for society and reminds us of the reverence of the one that created us. If we were to take seriously the call to lives marked by holiness we certainly would not be facing some of the current issues of the day that are driven more by our wanting to be god’s of our own lives.
As we discover the new Prime Minister of Australia leading us into the next season, even if it is not the leader that you felt would best represent us as Australians. God’s word says we Christians are to follow Timothy commands of praying for them, practicing what we preach, being more Christlike everyday and understanding that this life is made only possible because of Jesus blood and body on the cross and that fact that He is a holy God and he loves us his children and he knows best.
Justin is married to his beautiful wife and together they pursue being his Kingdom agents through their intentional Jesus community house in Glenelg. Justin is also a prophetic artist under the label JR Faith Creations as well is pursuing a career in the entertainment industry with his new studies in VFX and digital illustration at university. He is a lover of surfing and anything adventurous.
Married to the amazing Liana Monaghan for 13 years, a fellow creative that is just trying to release a little bit of heaven this side of eternity. How do I do that? I draw, paint, love people and surf my way through the streets and beaches of South Australia.