And What If Abbott Had Won?
When it comes to politics, it seems one can never be too clear in what one is saying. It seems many people either intentionally or unintentionally misunderstand things. You spell something out a dozen times, and they still get it quite wrong, for whatever reason.
Here I have in mind some of my recent musings on the Australian federal election. It seems that no matter how many times I seek to clarify things, explain things, and clear up misunderstandings, they come nonetheless. As I say, such misunderstandings may be deliberate, or I may just be doing a lousy job of communicating.
I would have thought that both in my recent writings, as well as my earlier ones, I have made it perfectly clear that in a fallen world no one political outcome will be perfect or fully in line with biblical ideals. Thus to write about the Labor win – and expressing my many concerns about it – is of course not to suggest that the opposite outcome would have made everything just rosy.
But my critics keep coming back, attacking me for things I never said. They are quite happy to set up straw men and shoot them down, not realising – or refusing to realise – that I never said half the things they claim I have said in the first place. So with all this unwarranted criticism, let me offer this article.
For what it is worth, I actually wrote this piece a week before the August 21 election. No prophetic insights here, or divine foreknowledge: just a quiet hope that this in fact would be the outcome. But that hoped for result did not eventuate, so I of course did not run with this article.
But given my many critics, it might be worth resurrecting this piece and printing it anyway. It will hopefully make clear just what I did, and do, think if the Coalition would have gotten into power. Here then is what I wrote a month ago, and would have posted had things gone a bit differently this week:
The Election Outcome
I believe that in response to massive amounts of prayer, Australia has been spared a Labor-Green government. I believe that we deserved such a government, but God was gracious and merciful, not giving us what we deserved – divine justice – but giving us what we needed – divine mercy.
Contrary to what some might think, I do not believe the kingdom has just come to earth with the Coalition victory. Nor do I think Tony Abbott is the messiah. Nor do I think all our problems will now disappear. Nor do I think we can now all relax and take a three-year holiday.
Am I pleased for the outcome? Absolutely: the alternative would have been disastrous for anyone who is passionate about pro-faith, pro-family and pro-life causes. I have written a number of articles outlining my concerns about a Labor-Green win.
So the worst of the parties have been defeated, and a relatively better coalition has gotten in. But this does not mean utopia has come to earth, or the millennium has now dawned in Australia. Scripture does not offer us the luxury of believing any one earthly government is going to come up with all the goods.
So in a sense, all this election has done has stalled the steady decline of Australia. The West – including Australia – seems to be continuing on a relentless push toward self-destruction as God is renounced and various non-Christian worldviews and belief systems predominate.
But such biblical realism is not meant to dampen some legitimate cause for rejoicing here. While the election of a conservative government will not usher in the Kingdom, it can result in at least holding back the tide in many areas, and at least slowing down the various downward trends.
It is even possible that some things can be turned around for the good. And that is nothing to sneeze at. If abortion can be reduced, if heterosexual marriage can be maintained, if the war against faith and family can be lessened, then these are all very real and valuable goods which we should all applaud.
So we will see how things unfold here. With a number of Greens in the Senate, it will be a rocky road ahead. But the truth remains that on so many different levels, a Coalition win is a tremendous relief compared to having the Labor-Green machine in power.
Lest I sound a bit too low-key here, make no mistake. I am in fact thrilled with the result, and really do believe it is a God-thing. I believe it is a miraculous outcome – one which was the direct result of tens of thousands of God’s people praying, fasting and seeking his face.
I really do think that this election result is nothing other than the absolute and undeserved mercy and grace of God. We really do not deserve this temporary reprieve in our downward fortunes. But we can all praise God for it. It is a special mercy indeed.
But as always, this is now just the beginning. Keeping the destructive Labor-Green machine out of office is just the first step. Now for some godly and wise governance. This will not be easy with the Greens in the Senate pushing their agenda, and with the usual opposition from the mainstream media.
Having said this, I am of course under no illusion that ultimately politics cannot save us. Nor can any political party. Nor can any political leader. In a fallen world the best thing we can hope for is some semblance of godly governance, with a minimum of corruption and incompetence.
Please pray for our new government (as we are exhorted to do in Scripture) and keep in touch with your local members. Get to know them, take them out for a coffee, and send them some encouragement from time to time – assuming they are doing the right thing! They certainly need our positive feedback and support.
Is it still possible that this election outcome is in fact in line with God’s bigger purposes? It may well be. God’s understanding of what is best for us is often different from our own understanding. Perhaps in the greater divine scheme of things, a Gillard win – for however long it may last – is part of God’s overall purposes.
Now is not the place to explore that rather deep and complex topic. But yes, I still believe that God is on the throne, and that his purposes will ultimately triumph. How things pan out in the coming months remain to be seen, but God has not vacated his throne, and he still is in ultimate charge of the affairs of men.
23 Replies to “And What If Abbott Had Won?”
I sympathise with your sense of disappointment at the eventual outcome. Here in the UK I breathed a huge sigh of relief when Labour, with its politics of envy, was recently ousted from office and we now have a Conservative/Liberal coalition which seems to be holding its ground. Another round of Labour government did not bear thinking about. I feel proud of Britain for starting to turn away from Labour’s self-destructive route.
Rachel Smith, UK
Like Rachel I can sympathise/empathise with you and what you have written and expressed in your postscript. It’s not the result that I wanted either, but I also wanted more than the Coalition seems currently able to give. Your first and last line are quite legitimate biblically, however it’s the feared and probable human cost of unGodly governments that doesn’t go down well. For too long I, and others, have seen the racial, cultural, sexual, and religious (Christian) destruction visited upon Australia with no apparent holding back of evil or a change for the better.
Some months ago I did a sermon series on the first six chapters of Daniel, and it was exciting to see the working of God to His intended victory over and in the heart of Nebuchadnezzar (Ch.4). It is also magnificent to see that God encouraged His captive, but being disciplined people by periodic displays of His power over their captor, whom God also wanted to bring into His Kingdom.
So what am I trying to say? Perhaps the statements by you and Rachel have simply resonated and triggered this expression of my heart. Another problem I see is the subconscious assumption (perhaps of many) that as these are the last days, let’s not rock the boat and just hold on till He comes again in power and undeniable glory, but this definitely ain’t scriptural! There is and always will be the necessary and Spirit impelled contention for the faith and the grace filled witness of His life in us and His Words through us. We are living for something very precious and for Someone very special. Rachel, I am glad that you are encouraged, but please be discerning. Bill, thanks for your faithful witness, and I say this to many of your correspondents as well.
Yours in Christ,
Many thanks Robert
Well said, and a great reminder about Daniel.
Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch
Bill I share your disappointment and for the same reasons.
You rightly say there were “tens of thousands of God’s people praying, fasting and seeking his face” throughout the election campaign and its aftermath. We have never had leaders with such a sharp contrast in world views. I have never prayed about anything as much as I prayed for this election. The outcome has really dented my faith, not in the Gospel but in the value of prayer.
Yes, but as I mention in my postscript, God may well have answered our prayers, but in a way a bit different than what we expected. He is certainly still able to redeem this situation, and bring good out of it. It is early days yet. Just how long this fragile and fractured Labor-Green machine will last remains to be seen.
So God has indeed heard our prayers, but how exactly he chooses to answer them may come in a different form than what we may have anticipated.
Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch
Dear Bill, Thanks again for all you hard work. Do you ever get discouraged? This election result has really taken the wind out of my sails! Knowing Tony Abbott as well as I do I really believed he would be a great PM. And maybe one day (soon hopefully) he will be.When he became Leader of the Liberal Party it was a miracle believe me. In the meantime it makes me sick to think that we will have that atheist and her boy friend living in the Lodge!
Thanks again! just a quick comment on this para:
“Is it still possible that this election outcome is in fact in line with God’s bigger purposes? It may well be. God’s understanding of what is best for us is often different from our own understanding. Perhaps in the greater divine scheme of things, a Gillard win – for however long it may last – is part of God’s overall purposes.”
I just had to quickly say that you should change the ‘possible’ and the ‘perhaps’ to ‘The election outcome will in fact align with God’s bigger purposes, and is in fact part of God’s overall plan’ (see Eph 1 v 9-11 – He works ‘all things…’).
I don’t wish to be critical, rather to encourage you and everyone else that we can rest in the certainty of God’s sovereignty over all this, we can rest in the certainty that this is part of His sovereign plan.
I think it’s important to maintain this sure hope (we walk by faith not by sight) as we continue to work and testify diligently to the truth – as you often exhort us to do.
Make no mistake, we have a sure and certain hope In Christ as we work on in these dark times! May we never forget it.
Isaac Overton, ACT
The biggest problem we have is that we expect the government to solve all our problems. There is no doubt that they can and should solve a lot of problems, but there is one that they are helpless to change and that is our spiritual condition.
Most of the negatives are as a result of our rebelliion against God. “We will not have this man to reign over us.” If the spiritual condition changes, then the natural can change. Unless you change the heart, you can’t change the action.
That is where the church comes into its own. Unfortunately, the church has closed the door and turned its back on society so the counterfeit has taken its place, evidenced by the fact that the general consensus is that poeple are interested in spirituality but not the church.
If the church and christians want good government all they have to do is take the fight up to the enemy for our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 6:12).
When a church does not have prayer as its number one priority and explains away the supernatual gifts, it gives satan the right to play havoc with society.
Every circumstance we find ourselves in gives us another opportunity to see God move in our midst. God IS sovereign and “there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.” (Rom 13:1) When the Apostle Paul wrote to a group of persecuted Christians in Rome, who were under the rule of a Caesar who wanted them dead because of their faith, he took the opportunity to remind them that it is God who is the ultimate authority. He encourages the Roman Christ-followers to pay taxes and give respect and honor the Governing authorities who are in power. (Rom 13:7) That doesn’t mean we don’t have the right to disagree, but it does mean that we show respect and honor to those who God has sovereignty placed in leadership over us. I also think it’s important to note that is was under this heathen, anti-Christian, oppressive Government that the gospel flourished and Christianity was born. As a community of Christ-followers our greatest witness is not demonstrated by how we live under a Government of our choice which supports our values, but rather in how we live under a Government with whom we disagree. We have a unique opportunity to live as a loving, authentic Holy Spirit-led community that honors Christ and loves others whilst challenging the social norms of our day. Our witness is to look different – to show honor and respect to all who are made in the image of God, regardless of their gender, race or political persuasion! God is Sovereign and I’m looking forward to seeing Him move in our nation in the coming days.
Various “anti-Christs” have come and gone, Nero, Napoleon, Stalin and co., Hitler, Pol Pot, — whoever —!! but the church, The Body of Christ,is still here and will still be here, till Jesus comes again in glory.
Radical secular humanism may have its brief apparent supremacy in the pages of history but we can be certain of two things. Firstly that “This too will pass ” into the forgotten past! and secondly that it will be good for us! Yes good, maybe not best but certainly good since “all things work together for good to them etc.”
History tells us what great revival comes from persecution and from the blood of the martyrs.— Mind you folks I’m not suggesting it will be fun, but in the permissive will of God its what we now have and we need to discern how best to serve Him in it. We know we’re going to hang in there, — Scripture and history prove it.
Yes I did write in the piece just before this one that persecution often has the unintended consequence of being good for the church, separating as it does the men from the boys. Of course as I also so often say, we are nowhere told in Scripture to seek or pray for persecution. Religious liberty in other words is a tremendous social good and well worth fighting for.
Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch
Tony Abbott voted for the ALP’s Barry Unsworth’s State govt in NSW. Tony has DLP views and Unsworth was a moderate ALP man close to DLP views.
Bill have you got an opinion on the online pornography controversy over Fred Nile’s office? It seems to be doing him PR damage even if it is just a political beat-up.
Don’t let one result that didn’t go as expected dent the value of prayer. God commands us to pray and act but leave the end result to him. How much worse could it have been if Christians hadn’t prayed. We now have a nation awakened to the importance of making each vote count and the hearts of men & women have been revealed. Besides God allows people’s foolish choices to be become evident in order to show their foolishness. Rejoice that you have a personal relationship with the only True & Living God who hears and answers prayer while others deny his existence or give lip service. Put your trust in God not men.
Yes it was a complete beat-up. Fred put out several media releases on this, clearing the air. For example, Fred does not even have a computer, and they were counting things like news.com as adult sites!
Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch
“The Lord has his way in the whirlwind and the storm and he knows those who put there trust in him.” or as John Wesley used to say “Best of all God is with us”.
I sense our Fathers hand on our nation at this time and I am gladded by it.
I think it is necessary for conservative Christians to do more than just blindly support the conservative parties. Economic conservatism is a different beast from social conservatism.
The Coalition for example has no policy on abortion. It has a policy to pay working mothers up to $75K in maternity leave, while stay-at-home mothers get zip. Why is there no outcry about this from Christians concerned about the family?
I think much more analysis is needed on the actual policies of the major parties as they affect families. I’m aware of the Christian Values Checklist, but it too had little to say about issues that affect family life.
The success of the Greens in this elections needs thought too. My reading is that Labor lost support to the Greens because many voters were disillusioned by Rudd’s backdown on climate change. If the government holds the independents’ vote together, it could well get an ETS or carbon price through the Senate once the Greens get balance of power after June next year. Ironically, if that happens, the disaffected Labor voters could swing back to Labor at the next election, particularly if, as seems likely, the economy continues to gain strength. I don’t have much optimism that the Coalition will sweep into power anytime soon, and I don’t think that Abbott has the vision that it will take to counteract the advantage of incumbency. “Stopping the boats” as a major policy plank was hardly inspiring.
Thanks Bill. I’ve also given a lot of thought to the fact that thousands of Christians prayed and a Conservative win didn’t eventuate. I was one of the ones who prayed though I had a gut level feeling that God has His timetable and I wasn’t quite sure if I was praying the right thing. If we prayed that the AntiChrist himself would not arise, we would be praying in the general spirit of the word of God for Godly governance but would God have answered such a prayer against His own word? I wonder how many of the early Christians prayed against some of the most horrific persecutors of the faith but God knew that the conditions of the Roman Empire were necessary to spread the word to the world.
Although God answers so many of our prayers, especially those which are in line with His will, there may just be that prayer that cannot be answered due to reasons known only to Himself. The Bible tells us that the Beast will wage war against the saints and be permitted to overcome them for a time. What? Are we not overcomers? Yes, but God’s kingdom is not of this world and the early church under Rome could hardly be discribed as defeated despite the fact that they did not have political power.
Yes, I prayed. I wasn’t exactly sure what God’s will was though and I’m not 100 percent sure why our prayers weren’t answered in the way we thought they should be but as Peter said, and I paraphrase “Where else shall I go (but to You Lord)? You alone have the words of eternal life.” In my view, we’d better make up our mind to cling to Jesus whether we understand what’s going on or not. There’s nowhere else to go!
While I have not forgotten basic truths such as God is still on the throne, and that he does hear our prayers, but will always answer them his way (the wisest way), the further away from Tuesday we get, the more I am seeing that in the long run this outcome may have been the best. God is at work, and he sees the beginning from the end, so we must align ourselves with his purposes. Indeed, whether Julia and Bob will even manage to last the full three years remains to be seen.
America has Hussein and Hillary, and we have Julia and Bob. That is a big worry, but the Democrats should get a big whack in November at the mid-term elections, and our secular radicals may well self-destruct before long.
But yes, as I have often pondered, as I did again Tuesday night, why did God seem not to answer – at least much more speedily – the prayers of millions of Russians who had to endure the nightmare of atheistic communism? For a full 72 years – an entire lifetime – people lived under this hell-hole of tyranny. Billions of prayers would have gone up, asking God to end this all, to bump off Lenin, or Stalin, etc.
Sure, in the end the whole thing collapsed, but it was a very long wait indeed. So what about America and Australia? Will they – and the entire West – continue to get darker, more ungodly, more unrighteous, and more degenerate? Possibly. We may well have to go through a whole new dark ages before things get better.
But 2 Chronicles 7:14 continues to be the key passage in all of this. Whether Western Christians rise to the occasion and meet the conditions of this text or not remains to be seen.
Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch
Dear Bill, Things would have been slightly better had we elected Tony Abbott as PM. For a start we would have had a happily married man and his family in the Lodge setting everyone, especially the young, a good example. Not a perfect man by any means but certainly more moral than Julia Gillard who is anti-life, an atheist and a shameless fornicator. Please forgive the language but it is the Truth after all. The fact that he isn’t in the Lodge – yet, I have wracked my brains about. It must be because God wants us to learn from the experience of having a Green-Labor Left government and all the instability and ‘bad fruit’ it will produce. Jesus said ‘By their fruit you will know them’ so it is time for all of us, without exception, to be fruit inspectors. Hopefully the fruit will rot quickly and fall off so the tree [Australia] can be pruned and treated for the disease which has befallen it so it can bear healthy, wholesome, fruit once more. It might take a while for this to happen. I might not even be here when that happens but happen it surely will because God knows what is best.
Thanks for your encouragement, Bill. I’m not sure we aren’t in an era where humankind has become so very wicked that Jesus will have to come quickly before we self-destruct in a spectacularly terrible way. And I will certainly keep praying. We pray every day for key Christians such as yourself and Fred Nile and every day we wage warfare against the network of darkness over this nation and especially in our region. Our closest town has a population of only 1500 people and boasts four thriving covens (that we know of) and a very active Masonic Lodge. The strategy for taking this region is, for me, the same simple strategy for taking this nation. First, we pray for others to rise up in intercession as well as just us. There’s strength in numbers. Second, bind the demonic power flowing out of the occult centres (such as covens) to their key people in government, education and media and then to pray in general that they are divided, inept, unable to strategise effectively or to receive power from their demonic overlords. On a national level, we pray this in regards to Julia Gillard, Bob Brown, Lee Rhiannon and Clover Moore. On a local level, we pray for the downfall of key satanic figures in our community and for the church to arise and awaken out of their slumber and unite. The results of these prayers have been nothing short of miraculous!! There has been enormous power generated re: the local Christian community, amazing divine appointments, Christians hungry to learn more about how the Spirit moves. I believe He will answer those prayers prayed in relation to the national political arena (to break down satanic networks, to cut off their demonic support, to block them from operating effectively) as well but I am also aware that we are up against larger numbers and perhaps higher level principalities and powers. According to anecdotes and biographies I’ve read, there is a very dedicated and organised satanic network out there who intercede to Satan against Christians and for their own people to succeed. We can generate enormous power if we pray united as well and even if there are only two or three of us praying, we will eventually make inroads. It might just take a bit longer and we may have to focus on praying for the Body of Christ to wake up and for God to send out a new wave to empower us to meet what’s ahead.
I have not done a thorough analysis of the conservative party policies (which by the way grow out of their members views on the party’s principles, platforms and develop through policy into practice). However it seems to me that the conservative parties are neither conservative financially nor socially. They may be closer to traditional conservative financial policy but they still leave a lot to be desired. As a result of this hung parliament, perhaps the conservative parties will stocktake and redevelop their policies. Let us pray so.
I would like to thank Dee Graf for telling us how they intercede. I am challenged quite a bit recently about my weak prayer life and how I can’t go deeper with God until I learn to pray more.
If you would pray for me a little in this I would be grateful as I would like to join you in intercession. Thanks & God bless you!