SHOULD A CHRISTIAN PARTICIPATE IN POLITICS
It is a lively debate in Christian culture over whether a believer should participate in government. Those who say “No” usually base their position on their understanding of being separate from the world. I respect their opinion, but I do not share it. We should be separate from the world in the sense that our values should be different from those who do not follow God. If our values are different, then we will also live differently. However, we do have one thing in common with Canadians who are outside of our faith. We are all Canadians. Being a Canadian, in itself, does not obligate us toward political activity, but being Canadian does make us subject to the Canadian government who rules over us federally and provincially.
The Canadian government does debate issues and does make laws which relate to the free practice of our faith. As citizens of Canada, we do have constitutional rights to express our viewpoint, on issues that matter deeply to us, to MLAs and other political representatives. In times of elections, we have the right to elect or dismiss governments in a collective way with other Canadians. These are fundamental rights within democracy. Why should we not use our rights and freedoms to be a part of the decision-making process of where Canada is heading as a nation?
Reader, you might be saying that you are just one man or one woman. That is true, but yourself, together with other believers, we are a body. Never underestimate the influence that we can have on government if we are united in our cause.
In Canada, there is tremendous politcal apathy and non-participation. Because of this, special interest groups often end up influencing the decisions which governments make. Although they are small in number, they are organized and have a persistence in their political efforts which most Canadians do not.
Canada does not have to sink deeper and deeper into godlessness. Canada can be shaped and changed in ways that allow for the free practice and expression of Christian faith. These changes, however, require Christians to stand up and speak out and let our voice be heard in the ears of those we elect or live under the governorship of. A people which is apathetic intentionally and uninvolved in the political process and voting, does not encourage a government to be accountable to its people. Voting, and challenging participation in government, is what makes government accountable to its people.
As Christians, we must choose whether we want to be a part of the apathy or a part of the answer. We are called to be salt and light in this world. Just as salt preserves meat and other food products, so, too, do Christian values have a preserving effect on any nation which implements and follows them. Canada needs to be salted again. May we rise up and give voice to our convictions in a day which so desperately needs them.