“It is not when the Church gathers but when the Church scatters”
That’s when the Kingdom of God grows. That’s the rallying cry of political parties to get their workers out with their message engaging with communities. And so it is for the Church, even to be scattered among the political parties, local government, media and economy – that’s when we see the Holy Spirit transforming society. Recently I have been saddened to wonder whether we would in deed recognise the Holy Spirit at work – how can you, if you despise the opinions of political opponents, or not even respect they can have a different opinion.
I have had the privilege of being a minister in two churches where the local MP was a member, one Conservative and one Labour, and at the time I voted for neither. This is the gift of democracy we have in our country. I could harangue our politicians for inappropriate behaviour, disrespectful words and false promises; I could easily find fault with our electoral system and prejudiced press; I could certainly question the motives of all of us how we vote. And then I think of news coming in from around the world, some countries which long for elections, or others where there is rampant corruption, intimidation of voters, or violence and murder accompanying elections. And of course, there are some countries with such poverty that elections would make no difference. My spirit grieves for God’s children.
We have elected a government, peacefully and in good order. It is our responsibility as citizens to now get behind them, to both support them, and to be a critical friend to keep them to account. It is our responsibility as Christians to pray for them, our monarch, civil service, local councils and our country, but as dissenting Christians, we keep alert to the prompting of the Holy Spirit, ever reminding us of obedience to God’s Word.
In Christ’s love