How would God vote? It’s a tricky question! Certainly not one I can claim to know the answer to!
Actually I haven’t met many people who are certain how they’re going to vote in the forthcoming EU referendum – or at any rate, who are prepared to admit to it!
Much of what the media is putting out hasn’t helped me either. I find most of news coverage of the politicians bewildering, and much of the tone on Facebook posts also puts me off. There’s no obvious bible answer, although I have read a few things that I’ve found incredibly helpful.
If, like me, you’re looking for help in thinking this through clearly and from a biblical perspective, here are links to some accessible resources you might want to follow up:-
1. PETE GREIG (24/7prayer)
Pete summed things up brilliantly for me on a recent Facebook post:
“I wish that preachers and pastors like me would stop claiming to have divine revelation on God’s opinion….. the pastor’s job in any civilised democracy is to encourage a thoughtful, prayerful, political engagement by outlining the pertinent questions biblically without answering them in any publicly partisan way”
For me the key (biblical) questions in this referendum are these (and I am grateful to Dave Landrum for his advice on this):
1. Identity. Am I British, European or both?
2. Democracy. Will our governance be healthiest in Europe or out?
3. Economy. What will bring greatest prosperity to us and to our neighbours?
4. Morality. Since God blesses nations in order to make them a blessing to others, how can we become most merciful and generous?”
These are really helpful questions to think and pray over and you can read the whole post for yourself here: https://www.facebook.com/pete.greig.1/posts/10207952699950099
Another great place to look for concise, helpful & balanced information is the CARE website. Their resource page includes two christian MP’s putting the case for either side of the debate. http://www.care.org.uk/eureferendum
3. MARTIN LEWIS (Money Saving Expert)
When it comes to it, almost everyone is admits that it’s impossible to know for sure what will happen if we leave or stay! In this article and short video, journalist Martin Lewis – one of the most ‘trusted’ people in the UK clearly explains how this decision is mainly about managing risk. http://blog.moneysavingexpert.com/2016/06/05/how-to-vote-in-the-eu-referendum/
4. J JOHN
I’ve read some views from Christians which are quite long winded and a bit ‘out there’, but this article from highly respected author & speaker J John is concise and clear. While not quite advocating a position, he certainly highlights the issues. http://www.canonjjohn.com/blog/2016/06/151/europe-leave-or-remain-
5. EVANGELICAL ALLIANCE
This is another very helpful site to help christians engage with the debate: http://www.eauk.org/current-affairs/politics/eu/index.cfm?page_no=1#articles
None of the above makes a strong public argument either way although Martin Lewis seems to be favouring ‘in’ and J John seems to be hinting at ‘out’. These two further articles are more in depth & stronger in their opinion, but from my perspective still well argued and helpful:-
6. GORDON BROWN – Lead not Leave
The former chancellor & Prime Minister makes a passionate case for staying in on leadership grounds in this video & article. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WLgwtfWYdTs
7. PETER HORROBIN
Finally, Peter, leader of Ellel Ministries and makes an interesting case for coming out on spiritual grounds. http://blog.ellel.org/2016/03/24/in-or-out/
I hope these few links are helpful – they’re all simply articles that have come my way over the past few weeks which I have found accessible and clear.
I would encourage everyone to engage with this debate, and to be prayerful about how to vote, and finish with two quotes from Jim Memory, a Lecturer in European Mission:-
“However you decide to vote on 23 June, please don’t make your decision about the EU referendum on economic grounds alone: “will I be better off if we leave or remain?” To do so is to ‘buy into’ the spirit of our age which puts economic self-interest above all other considerations. That is a travesty of the gospel of grace and the primary ethics of the kingdom: love for God and love for our neighbour.
“Whether you vote to leave or remain in the EU on 23 June we will still be part of Europe. Jesus said: “You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8) For us in Britain, continental Europe is our Samaria. In or out, let nothing deter us from sharing the hope of Jesus Christ with today’s Europeans.
And above all, in all the debates around sovereignty, let us demonstrate in word and deed that Jesus Christ and his kingdom is the story that we live by.”
(Jim’s full article is here: http://www.eauk.org/current-affairs/politics/eu/a-christian-mission-perspective-on-the-eu-referendum.cfm)