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Truth vs. Justice (Australian Federal Election 2010)

Christians have been debating truth vs. justice for a long time. Which is more important – gospel proclamation or showing Jesus’ love to others? As far as the testimony of the Bible is concerned, the answer is ‘yes’. You have to have both.

Except in the Australian Election, apparently.

What makes me sick about this election is that I feel that two core Christian values are being pitted against each other. I can either vote for truth (in the form of freedom to express Christian views, etc.) or I can vote for justice.

Pete’s responded really thoughtfully to Arthur’s comments about voting for the Greens here. I’m with Pete – I don’t want to vote for the Greens if it puts proclamation of the gospel at risk (although, we could argue about the advantages of persecution for gospel proclamation another time).

But neither of the Big Two are running a campaign which values compassion or caring for the poor. Same deal with the ACL.  Sure I want vote for Christians to have a voice  – but at the expense of compassion for others? Surely that undermines the very truth we proclaim.

Last election, I voted Labor because I felt they were a real alternative: serious about asylum seekers, indigenous issues and climate change. But this election, any talk of caring for the poor and oppressed has been silenced. But I will not be bought off with a bit of money thrown at school chaplaincy. The Christian agenda is broader than that. And if my vote for the Greens steals votes from Labor this election, my hope is that they’ll do some real soul searching and in the future I’ll have a holistic option.

In the meantime, if the Greens get in, I’ll be writing to my local candidate to advocate for Christians. And if it’s one of the Big Two, I’ll be writing to them about justice and compassion.

Categories: God Politics Written by Tamie

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Tamie Davis

Tamie Davis is an Aussie living in Tanzania, writing at meetjesusatuni.com.

11 replies

  1. nice one, Tamie.
    i totally feel the same way! this has got to be the most uninspiring and… depressing…? election, and it’s difficult to find a vote that sits well with me.
    hmmm.

  2. Hi Tamie,

    While I’m breaking my commenting duck…

    “Christians have been debating truth vs. justice for a long time. ”

    I think you’ve hit the nail on the head as to one of the biggest problems with the Christian approach to politics, and with our approach to life.

    “As far as the testimony of the Bible is concerned, the answer is ‘yes’. You have to have both.”

    Indeed – not only do you have to have both – they are inseparable (cf Ephesians 4, and James 2). Which I think is your point. Which I think is well made.

  3. Hi, just cruising the blogosphere to see who else is blogging about the election from a theological perspective. I think the key is in your last sentence: Christian engagement in politics is a much bigger job than just voting: its the long-term task of praying and advocating no matter who’s in power.

  4. Firstly, thanks to you both for some stimulating discussion of the issues.

    I think it may be helpful to remember that these two issues, gospel proclamation and showing Jesus love to others are both things that we as believers are called on to do (communally and individually) It isn’t up to the government to do either of them for us. Not that we shouldn’t consider the issue, but I think the distinction should be made between what we do as an outworking of our faith, and what a secular government does.

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