On Our Christian Political Responsibilities

Having had a breakfast with a terrific Christian politician this morning, I was reminded once again of several truths. One, we need to keep these warriors in our prayers. Two, we need to regularly encourage them. Three, we should build relationships with our local members, be they Christian or not.

The small but important group of Christian MPs and politicians who serve in state and federal parliaments and assemblies are doing a terrific job, and certainly find themselves up against it. In many ways they have been thrown in the lions’ den, and they are certainly not having things easy there.

To the extent that they are bold about their convictions and forthright about their faith, they receive heaps of flak. They often meet with hostile colleagues, a hostile media, and hostile members of the electorate. They can so easily be discouraged and bummed out.

Yet as I find time and time again when I meet with these Christian politicians, they seldom hear from other Christians. And they seldom receive any praise and encouragement from Christians. If they do hear from fellow Christians at all, it is only to get blasted and criticised about something.

Given how very hard their job is, and given how very little affirmation and positive feedback they get from churches and other believers, no wonder so many are overwhelmed, discouraged, and ready to give it up. Indeed, many do quit, since they never hear anything but complaints, and are left with the strong impression that they are really just wasting their time.

So if you are a believer, and if you have a Christian politician representing you in your electorate, or know of other Christian MPs elsewhere, please, I beg of you, keep them in your prayers. They so very much need it. It most certainly is a case of heavy duty spiritual warfare going on there, and they really need your prayer cover.

And please get in touch with them as well. Send them an email, give them a phone call, or write them a letter, and tell them you are praying for them and that you do indeed support them. Better yet, make an appointment with them. They don’t like being stuck in their stuffy offices all day. So offer to take them out for a cup of coffee or something similar.

Give them a nice 15-minute break, some nice coffee, and a few words of encouragement and support. Pray beforehand about a passage of Scripture you might share with them. Offer to pray for them then and there if they are willing. I have done this a number of times over the years, even in crowded cafes or restaurants.

And guess what, you can even ask non-Christian MPs if there is anything you can pray for them about. I have yet to have even non-Christian politicians refuse an offer of prayer. And it need not be prayer about their political life; maybe they have some issues in their personal life or home life that needs prayer.

And all Christians should make such contact with their local representatives, whether believers or not. They are after all there to represent you. That is what they are getting paid for – and with your tax dollars. So make a point of getting to know those who are politicians in your electorate.

Again, take them out for a coffee for the simple reason of getting to know them. Later meetings with them can be used to encourage them to vote the right way on various issues, and so on. But just getting to know them and establish a relationship with them is a good place to start.

All politicians can live lonely and discouraging lives, so simply befriending a few and letting them know you are thinking of them and praying for them can be a real boost. Many politicians simply quit in despair and frustration, and some may even seek to take their own life.

So whatever their faith commitment, you as a believer can have a real positive and valuable ministry in just befriending them and keeping in touch with them. And of course to help them to represent your values and principles when bills are being voted on or legislation is being debated is important as well.

The truth is, those on the other side of the political fence are doing this all the time. They are visiting MPs, lobbying them, sending them material, and urging them to vote their way. Why in the world are Christians not doing this? Why are they not taking their concerns to their MPs as well?

We have as much right as anyone else to share our concerns, promote our values, and seek for legislation which promotes our beliefs and interests. We dare not leave such concerns to the handful of religious lobby groups which are out there. We all have a role to play here.

After all, we are all in electorates, we all have political representatives, and we all have a biblical mandate to be salt and light, and to work for righteousness in the public arena. So please, stop thinking someone else can or should do this. You need to do it.

So if you do not know who your local members are in both the state and federal parliaments, find out now, and start praying for them. Then make an appointment with them, and have a friendly chat with them over a coffee or dessert. Get to know them, establish a relationship with them, and let them know you think about them and pray for them.

And especially if your member is a believer, you need to encourage them, bless them and uplift them in prayer. You may never know how important this is and how beneficial this will be. Christian politicians are starving for support, encouragement, prayer, and Christian concern.

Will you be the means by which they are reinvigorated and emboldened to continue in their good work? Or will your apathy, indifference and lack of biblical stewardship here result in them simply giving up, becoming another casualty of the system, or of in fact defecting to the other side?

The choice is yours my friend.

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18 Replies to “On Our Christian Political Responsibilities”

  1. He wasn’t an MP but I knew a Christian who was in charge of a government department and he used to say anyone was welcome to call in to his office for a cup of coffee and a chat. Oddly, not many employees took him up on the offer! What it did achieve though was nobody could ever say he had a closed door, or was unwilling to talk to his workforce. People didn’t realise what they had until he left. Funny how life’s often like that.
    Ralph Toomey

  2. Thanks for this article brother Bill. We are encouraged by the Christian organisation we support to always write to our MP’s when he has voted against prospective un-biblical legislation, and he does appreciate that. We need to uplift them in prayer for God’s help in important decisions. Not for nothing are we exhorted to pray for those in authority over us. God Bless
    Carol Parker

  3. Thank you for the uplifting sentiment Bill.
    It’s hard to remain focused on our politicians’ spiritual welfare when they almost always lie to us – even Christian ones
    If we use ex pm Kevin Rudd as our basis for a Christian politician, then God help us!
    Keep up the good work Bill.
    Dameon McManus

  4. You are spot on Bill, thank you for the encouragement.

    Depending on the outcome my local member may be too busy for the likes of me, he has dinosaurs to walk around the golf course, Titanics to build and Chinese debtors to chase. He may sue me for suggesting he needs prayer.

    Des Morris

  5. Thanks Dameon. Yes I should have added something about that as well: Perhaps when a relationship is established, there may be a place for a word of rebuke, warning or reproof, especially if the MP claims to be a Christian. A prophetic word about the need for repentance may be just as vital as a word of encouragement.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  6. Bill, Any chance you can name some names across the board, not only for prayer but for us to watch out for, and perhaps send a word of encouragement to, when their name/some relevant issue arises in the course of their parliamentary life?

    Brenda Rudolph

  7. Good idea Brenda. We can start with Victorian Liberal Sophie Mirabella who is still fighting to retain her seat from a lefty independent.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  8. Thanks, Bill. Wow, I will watch this news item with renewed interest, and pray for her future. (So far they’ve just been two names to me!) Keep some more names coming when you write political stuff 🙂 I know it can be somewhat unclear with certain pollies, as someone noted above – and in fact the policies they do or don’t support can be more of an indicator!

    Brenda Rudolph

  9. I think I must now add, having read a bit more about the contenders for the seat of Indi, that I would need to look at not only their professed Christian stance (a good starting point), then their moral and ethical policy opinions, and finally the things these pollies say and do on a daily basis. Christian faith is not enough in itself to commend a politician.

    Brenda Rudolph

  10. On that note, I think it is also important to remember that secular leaders are placed in their leadership position by God whether they realise it or not. We must also pray for them too.

    Janice Tooh

  11. Bill,
    On the subject of Christians in politics, in this election just past there were four parties with a Christian base: Rise up Australia, Family First, Australian Christians, and the DLP. In my electorate of Isaacs they all together polled almost 4000 votes – quite significant I think you would agree. I have looked on the AEC website at the results for a number of electorates and found that Christian-based parties together polled quite well, unless (as in Indi) a Christian was standing for a major party.
    Adding to the confusion here is that when it came to the Senate some of these parties directed preferences to very minor candidates – single-issue candidates and the like, and away from the Coalition whose candidates could well make a difference.
    My question is this: can these Christian-based parties not get together and so maximise their vote. Sure there would be theological differences between them, but these are not an issue when it comes to the political realm, surely. Short of that, can they not be persuaded to do some tight preference deals so that they support each other rather than spreading them all over the place, and then at the end preferencing the Coalition.
    I would very much like to know your view on this?

    Murray R. Adamthwaite

  12. I appreciate reading your thoughts Bill. As you no doubt have experienced, standing for the truth of God’s Word is not always appreciated by others- whether Christian or not- so I wish to say ‘thanks’ to you for commiting to such a task.
    Secondly, I agree with Murray’s comment. A friend and I have been involved with handing out ‘how-to-vote’ cards at the WA and Federal elections, for the AC’s and while doing so, have discussed the rationales of the various Christian based parties and wondered why there is not greater ‘oneness’ between them in seeking the greater good. Some of the parties appear to be have specific standpoints on who is ‘called by God’ to lead Australia, or why they should leave the name ‘Christian’ out of their name… Why not preference one another or at least the major party that may align itself more with Christian values?
    I noticed that in several of the electorates, the Chrisitan based parties together, accounted for around 3 to 4% and sometimes more, of the vote. If this was consolidated into one party or the improved spread of preferences, there may be a better outcome for all.
    Is there something more to be said around this issue that may promote better understanding and co-operativeness between the Christian aligned parties?
    Chester Wilson.

  13. Thanks Murray

    Would it be a good idea for all the smaller parties to come together? Sure. Will it ever happen? Not likely. First of all, the DLP is basically a Catholic (and ex-Labor) based party. The other three are evangelical Protestant for the most part. That can be a real big divide to overcome, even though politics and not theology should be paramount here.

    And even though FF is just as Christian based as the CDP (AC elsewhere than NSW) and RUAP, they prefer the secular image. So that s another big obstacle to overcome.

    Then there is the issue of strong leadership and personalities. That is good for each party, but an obstacle to real cooperation. Who will be the head honcho and who will defer, playing second and third fiddle? Sadly most leaders like to be the leader, and there is plenty of kingdom building going on here. Everyone prefers their own turf to actually humbling working together with others for a greater good. That is true of most of the church in general as well.

    So we can pray to this end as it may well be far more effective. But much will need to be overcome before it happens. Simply look at some of the bizarre and unhelpful preferencing deals some of these parties embarked upon. There is plenty of bad blood out there which needs to be smoothed over. Humility and repentance would go a long way here, but that is often the last thing being considered I am afraid!

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  14. A good reminder Bill, to encourage and support MP’s. Laurie Ferguson, Labor, Werriwa NSW needs prayer.
    Bill, you do too, so lets add Bill to our prayers.

    Judith Bond

  15. I am a little concerned that even on this site, where I thought all the discerning thinkers write, some still make allowance for the possibility that Kevin Rudd could be considered a Christian. Of course, we do not know his eternal destiny, but I believe at this moment we can say with confidence from the fruit he displays that he is not a Christian. The gift of discernment is a really important one at this time of conflicting claims and even evidence.
    Many blessings
    Ursula Bennett

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