The search for our new Prime Minister is well under way, as I write this, with the dozen hopefuls who put their name forward already whittled down to the final two. Those amongst us who take an interest in politics and the like have had plenty to feast on in the media over the last few months, and the race to Number 10 will be a fitting climax to the months of chaos seemingly at the heart of Government. Though none of us will actually get a vote on this one – unless of course you are actually a member of the Conservative Party, and if you are you’ve been keeping that quiet! – who actually wins the top job will affect us all, so I guess we’ve all been forced to take an interest to some extent at least.
What has been particularly interesting from a Christian point of view has been some of the moral questions that events have thrown up. We should always seek to see the events of the day through the Scriptures, and when words like ‘redemption’, ‘forgiveness’ and ‘atonement’ are mentioned our interest should immediately be grabbed. In the last few weeks a number of the aspiring candidates came clear about misdemeanors of the past, particularly those that relate to drugs. One other prominent figure in the race, on the other hand, seemed a lot more reticent to talk about his private life, which appears to include a number of extra-marital affairs.
The moral and ethical questions that flowed from this situation amongst the political commentators were many; can there be redemption for someone who took illegal drugs many years ago? Is the private life of a politician any of our business, as long as he does his / her job properly? Is it right to expect a higher moral standard from those who aspire to political office than from the ordinary person? Can a lawbreaker really be a lawmaker?
The answer to many of these questions is not easy. We need to refrain from the sort of hypocrisy indulged in by many of the journalists who seem to be happy to throw stones about drug taking and immorality, when they are often not ‘without sin’ themselves. The Bible is clear that “there is none righteous, no not one” (Romans 3:10) “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Though it is a perfectly legitimate question to ask whether a politician who has proven untrustworthy to his spouse deserves the trust of voters he will never come into contact with, we must again remember that Scripture repeatedly warns us “Do not put your trust in princes, nor in a son of man in whom there is no help” (Psalm 146:3)” and that applies even to the squeakiest clean politician.
The good news for or political leaders, and for us too, is that redemption can be found! But it can only be found in Jesus Christ and his atoning death on Calvary. The bad news for our land is that no man or woman can sort out the present mess in our land. Only God and an outpouring of His grace through the Holy Spirit can turn us around. At the moment our leaders won’t acknowledge that. Will you? Gordon