Election fever is at an all-time high in Nanaimo this week. Never has so much in B.C. politics depended on the decision of just one Electoral District! There has been a steady flow of politicians, candidates and volunteers knocking on doors, making phone calls and putting up signs in this beautiful community on Vancouver Island. Many prognosticators say the race is too close to call, which I believe is always a positive for democracy.
The Church has an awkward relationship with politics.
In the Gospels, we see Jesus talking about building a Kingdom that is not of this world. Some take this to mean we should avoid getting too involved in the political process and give ourselves to pursuing loftier and more spiritual outcomes. The opposite extreme is seen in the cozy relationship shared by American Evangelicals with the GOP. Sadly, our brothers and sisters are selling their spiritual birthright for the promise of political influence and power. I believe this can only end badly for the credibility of the Church in North America.
There is a better opportunity for us to engage in the political process, but it requires some fresh thinking on our part. Here are a few things to think about:
1) PRAY: our greatest opportunity is to become a genuine prayer-force in our nation. We have been given a unique role. No one else can do what we are able to do through prayer. What do you think God would do in response to the sincere prayers of His people on behalf of our nation?
2) THINK VALUES: we need to think beyond our traditional political assumptions about who can best represent our values. Kingdom values are scattered throughout the political spectrum. Choose the ones that matter most to you and support them within the political context.
3) VOTE: the Bible calls us to be exemplary citizens, and we believe part of being a good citizen is voting at every opportunity. Be an informed voter and if you want to avoid the lineups, be an early voter. The lines are rarely long at an advanced poll and your vote counts just as much!
4) SERVE: become a campaign worker/volunteer. Serve a political party as a member or on a party Board or…. take a giant leap and serve a community as a candidate/elected representative! Jesus taught and modelled service as a lifestyle. Follow His example!
Our team is praying for the community of Nanaimo. So, Nanaimo, the next move is yours. We, along with several candidates, await your decision!