A week is a long time in politics. And what a week it’s been. Two very unsavoury types viciously slugging it out in most unedifying fashion. As I wrote earlier, it is all rather like Alien vs Predator. I was hoping both would self-destruct, once and for all. Perhaps they will yet do so.
So here we go again: yet another Labor leadership ballot, and this time it is more of Julia, by a vote of 71 to 31. About the only sure thing that can be said about all this is something Tony Abbott said recently, “the government is totally dysfunctional”. What an absolute circus the past few weeks – and past years – have been.
Indeed, another truth which can be affirmed here by everyone – except for die-hard Labor fans – is that this current batch of Labor leaders must be amongst the most inept, out of touch, and unqualified lot in Australian history. Have we ever witnessed such a shambolic bunch of misfits?
And all along the nation has suffered greatly. Why Labor thinks that Julia is going to save the day is beyond me. She was held up as the great white hope – the messiah – the first time by so many. In the same way Obama was held up as the great black hope – the messiah – by so many in the US, even by rather naive and undiscerning Christians.
So another run of Julia – will things be any better? One certainly should not hold one’s breath here. What we have here it seems to me is a clear case of reshuffling the deck chairs on the Titanic. The ship is going down big time, and all the furniture rearrangements will not really mean a hill of beans.
It seems pretty clear that with all the hyper-hate and bitterness which runs throughout the Labor Party, it will be impossible for Julia or anyone else to govern effectively. There is now so much bitterness, animosity, nastiness, jealousy, anger and in-fighting that this will be a completely dysfunctional and absolutely disunited government.
And what will Kevin now do? Will he engage in more white-anting from the back benches? Will he eventually resign? Will he mount another leadership challenge? And since Julia will likely continue to flounder in the days ahead, will other ambitious Labor MPs challenge her for the leadership role before the next federal election?
Things can only go downhill from here. This may be one of the ugliest, most divided and least cohesive Labor Parties of all times. It really is one pathetic joke. The public has had a gutful of it, and the only sensible solution is to bring on an election right now.
Why should faceless men hold the entire nation to ransom? Why should ego-tripping, overly ambitious, and out-of-touch politicos destroy a nation? So many ordinary Australians are getting desperate. They are crying out in despair: ‘We want our nation back!’ And they are quite right.
But since it is early days in terms of how all this will pan out, perhaps not too much more can be said about the political side of things here with any degree of certainty. But one can – and should – speak to the spiritual side of things. While it may surprise even many believers, the Bible has heaps to say about politics, government, rulers, and the like.
It offers us God’s perspective on these matters, which really should be the most important thing. It does not really matter what the political commentators think, including me. But it is vitally important what God has to say about these sorts of issues.
And he has said plenty. If one simply goes to just one book of the Bible – the book of Proverbs – one will find plenty of divine commentary on these topics. Plenty of proverbs could be mentioned here, but let me highlight one. The first half of Proverbs 28:2 says this: “When a country is rebellious, it has many rulers”.
This is an important text for many reasons. It certainly makes it clear that all the responsibility should not be placed on our leaders. When the people are not pleasing God, a multiplication of rulers and unstable leadership will be some of the bitter fruit. A sin soaked-land will see God’s displeasure reflected in its leadership woes.
Thus the old saying, “people get the leaders they deserve” may have some bearing here. While the phrase is not found in the Bible, there is some truth to it nonetheless. It is not amiss to bewail the lousy leadership we have at present. Indeed, it is our duty, both as citizens and as Christians, to hold it to account.
But if unrighteousness is found throughout the land, we can hardly expect to be blessed with godly and/or righteous rulers. We get what we deserve it seems. So we should be doing at least two things here. We should be praying for our leaders as we seek to make them accountable and more fully confirming to righteous leadership.
But we also should be holding the church to account – that is, ourselves. Because we have not been the people we should be, both as a church and as a nation, God is allowing this political quagmire to continue and multiply. The sins of the world are obvious, but the sins of the church also need to be addressed.
That is why 2 Chronicles 7:14 will always be so relevant here: “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
And plenty of other proverbs could be cited here. One thinks especially of such proverbs as the following:
Prov 14:34 Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people.
Prov 28:12 When the righteous triumph, there is great elation; but when the wicked rise to power, people go into hiding.
Pro 29:2 When the godly are in authority, the people rejoice. But when the wicked are in power, they groan. (NLT)
Pro 29:12 If a ruler listens to lies, all his officials become wicked.
This is not the place to get into a big discussion about leadership and godliness. The truth is, there can be some good and helpful secular leaders. And there can be bad and inept Christian leaders. So I am not saying only Christians should be leaders. I will always prefer a competent and qualified secular ruler to an unqualified and incompetent Christian ruler.
And in the case of Julia, we know what an utter disaster she has been as a leader. Now we have to settle for more of her. How much lower this nation has to sink under such inept and out-of-touch leadership remains to be seen. But it seems it really can’t go much lower.
So it is Julia again. First, let us pray for her. But second, make sure you keep her and all of our leaders to close account. Third, expect to see more back-stabbing, coup attempts, and destabilisation in the days ahead. And fourth, all I can say is: bring on an election – now. I want my country back.