Thoughts On The Eve Of The British Election
I cannot recollect commenting on, far less criticising, a Prime Minister in our congregational monthly letters – but I am going to do so now, with sadness, and yet with resolve.
Last month, our PM, Tony Blair, stated that abortion should not be an issue in the forthcoming election! Just who is this PM who dares to tell the electors of this nation what should and should not be an election issue? This astonishing hubris is compounded by the fact that while he thinks abortion, the killing (usually for social convenience) of unborn human beings made in the image of God, should not be an election issue, the banning of foxhunting should be. I wonder if we sufficiently realise what a moral quagmire our nation is in. What could more highlight the amorality of “Great” Britain than a House of Commons that outlaws foxhunting, but happily allows unborn children by the million to have their lives snuffed out for no other reason than “social convenience” (“my lifestyle would be hampered”)?
The truth is there is no more worthy issue of being at the forefront of electors’ minds in the coming election than that of abortion. The recent advances in medical technology have dramatically highlighted the wonderful humanity of unborn children. There are few sights more moving than seeing the scan of a tiny, in-the-womb child, wriggling, smiling and sucking. Truly we are “fearfully and wonderfully made.” Abortion is a dark, sinful stain on the life of our nation. If, as the Bible tells us, “righteousness exalts a nation and sin is a disgrace to any people,” then the unrighteous killing of the unborn is an issue of momentous proportion.
There is little doubt that tomorrow’s election has been won and lost on economic issues (perhaps the war in Iraq will have some telling influence). Economic issues are important issues. Christians should not be ignorant of the policies propounded by the major, and not so major, political parties. God has given us minds to think with and the exercise of our democratic privileges should never be unthinking. However, surely for Christians, if for no one else, concerns over the economy take second place to concerns for the sanctity of life. The truth is, we have allowed the incipiently secularist agenda of the irreligious to shape what will be and what will not be matters for debate at general and local elections. The unholy and inhuman dogma of Darwinian (or today is it “Dawkinsian”?) evolution has desensitised many of our fellow citizens to the awfulness and wickedness of abortion. Of course we should be concerned about education, health, the environment, aid to the “Developing Countries.” Christians should know what our political parties’ manifestos say on these, and a host of other matters. No less should we be aware of what the parties say about the God-defying, human-despising sin of abortion.
Let me make a confession: I am not a political purist. I do not believe there is one party that is uniquely deserving of a Christian’s vote. Christians, because we yet live in a fallen world, will differ on who and what to vote for. It needs to be said, however, that for Bible-believing Christians some truths within the national arena are non-negotiable. One of these non-negotiable truths is the God-given right of the unborn to life: “The LORD gives, and the LORD takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord.”
Christians of all people cannot subscribe to the secularist mantra that religion and politics must always be separated. Our Saviour has called us to be salt and light, penetrating the putrefying and confusing effects of sin in the world with the light of Gods wholesome and saving truth. When the truths of the Christian faith are eclipsed in a nation, its moral and ultimate demise is inevitable. Let me say again, this letter is NOT an attempt to parade the virtues of one political party over another. It is, however, an unashamed attempt to provoke us to take perhaps more seriously than some of us have done before, what our political leaders are saying about abortion. If we do not speak for those who cannot speak for themselves, who will?
Pastor of the Cambridge Presbyterian Church, England
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