Not long now until the General Election in this country. What should Christians do about it?
1. Vote! If we Christians do not vote, we are deliberately handing over control of politics in this country to Satan. On the other hand, if we do vote, then our voice will be heard.
2. Get informed. Christians need to know what the candidates standing in their area actually stand for. It may be that one of them is a Christian, it may be that none of them are. We need to know what people actually stand for and what they believe. If possible, contact your local parliamentary candidates. Note that if you can't contact one now, when he or she needs your vote, you probably won't be able to when he or she is your MP! So don't vote for someone who can't find the time to answer questions from a voter! Also find out about the past voting record of your sitting MP. Such information can be obtained from the Christian Institute, for example. Do not assume that because an MP is a Christian, he or she will take a Christian stand. Firstly, there are liberals in the churches (that's small 'l', not Liberal Democrats, this is a theological, not a party political point), and secondly, there are those who leave their convictions at the door of the House.
3. Think carefully. It may well be that you have to choose between the lesser of two evils in the election, between two candidates you disagree with! In which case you have to vote for the person you disagree with least. I am in complete agreement with none of my local candidates, and so will have to vote for the one I disagree with least!
4. Vote as a Christian. That means that the first question we must all consider at the ballot box is that of free speech. If I have free speech, then I can proclaim the Gospel. There are other desirable points, but this must come first.
5. Don't vote for the BNP. The bald statement may shock, and in some sense perhaps it ought to. As a pastor, I have to be non-partisan, but I simply cannot countenance the BNP in any way, shape or form, owing to the policies of the party. The BNP are a racist body that promotes hatred against non-white people in this country. The BNP leader has publically said that black churches will be robbed of the right to worship and refused grants if they operate in a 'historically white' area (Source: Evangelical Times May 2010). Of course, that could very well mean all of the UK, for mass immigration to this country is a relatively recent phenomenon. A BNP candidate in Norfolk has stated that, "I realised long ago that the BNP is the British equivalent of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, whom I admire and respect and who have great courage. That is why I joined." [Source]
In the 2009 Norwich North by-election the BNP fielded a man who calls himself "Rev." Robert West, and wore the garb of an Anglican clergyman - he is in fact a former Elder in the Apostolic Church, a Pentecostal denomination. Despite recent attempts by the BNP to portray themselves as defenders of our Christian heritage, in fact many of the BNP are neo-pagans. The BNP's Legal Director Lee Barnes has said: "Christianity is a semitic religion, it is creature of the deserts of the Middle East not the forests of the Northern Europe and its symbol the cross is an instrument of torture not of living redemption.…The icons of death are what the West once worshipped – Moses, Christ, saints, popes etc etc Now all these icons of death must be replaced by a living, organic religion which allows our people to reconnect once more with nature, the earth and the divine unfolding of the spiritual within the material and within Man. " [Source] He is of course a neo-pagan who worships Odin.
I refer to the BNP because they like to claim that they are chapions of traditional Christian values. Unless of course you regard love as a traditional Christian value... While Paul says that in Christ there is neither Jew nor Gentle, the BNP insists that black and white, in or out of Christ, is an important question. With this, the fact that one of their Prospective Parliamentary Candidates admires Hamas and Islamic Jihad, and the fact of the "Reverend" Robert West, I can only conclude that the BNP is using Christianity for its own ends. They are courting Christian votes, but do not stand for Christian values. BNP members have been linked to racial violence and neo-Nazi thuggery.
6. Don't vote for any other party like the BNP. The Church is not well-served by Christians voting for such things. We must be very careful not to confuse Christianity with an idealised view of the British past. Nor should Christians vote for those who claim to support Christian values while in fact supporting nothing of the kind.
In short, engage your brain, think as a Christian and vote as a Christian.