Wednesday, 5 November 2008

What's in it for..... others!!!!

Its election time. Politicians are out trying to get as many votes as they can on elation night. The trouble is, people have so many different ways of deciding who to vote for. Some people vote the same way every time, or just vote for the party they parent's voted for. Or against the parent there parent's voted for. Others take hours poring over each parties manifesto and work out who to vote for that way.

As the Telstra Clear ad says, we have become a society where people are asking the question “what’s in it for me?” Or maybe we have always been so. Whatever way it is, that seems to be the way many people approach deciding the way they vote in elections. They vote for the party which will offer them a few extra dollars a week in tax cuts. Or so they will get a student allowance when they study. Or for whatever the election bribe happens to be that year. They make their vote on the based on what’s best for them.
But is this the best way of doing it, voting purely out of self interest? I don’t believe it is. I believe that as Christian, it is my duty to look out for the needs of others. The Bible is clear on this.

Mark 12:31 the second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

Romans 13:9 the commandments, “Do not commit adultery,” “Do not murder,” “Do not steal,” “Do not covet,” and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Isaiah 1:16- 17 Take your evil deeds out of my sight! Stop doing wrong,
 learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.

Psalm 146:7-9 He upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets prisoners free,
 the LORD gives sight to the blind, the LORD lifts up those who are bowed down, the LORD loves the righteous.
 The LORD watches over the alien and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.

The Bible is clear: we are to love others and stand up for the disadvantage, the poor and the sick. This is how we are called to live our whole lives. And this is also how we are called to vote. Some Christians seem to have the idea that the government (or state) should not have to look after theses people because ‘The Church” should be doing it. But the truth is we do this with our votes, as much as we can thought organised church activities. This is the second of the two great commandments, and should be the focus of our lives, including the way we vote.