The recent death of a man on Manus Island who had sought asylum in Australia, points to the unacceptable mistreatment of all people who are turned away from our shores.
There's a lot of information and misinformation around about voting that is aimed at Christians and it can all get a bit overwhelming. Here's 5 simple keys to keeping your head straight as you head to the polls this year.
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1. Be Realistic
There's no party that will entirely reflect your values as a Christian. You're going to have either choose the one that represents more of your values than the others, or that reflects your views on the issues that are most important to you, or that have a general philosophy that is closest to your worldview. Also beware of material that tells you, "These are the issues that Christians care about." Are they really? Or are they the issues that somebody else wants Christians to vote over?
2. Be Diligent *
Don't be lazy, steward your vote. Don't just trust someone who is paid to get you to vote a certain way or to sell media. They have a different agenda to you. Have a look at the parties' policies and read as much as you can. Figure out which issues are urgent. Ask people who you think are well informed on these issues to help you understand the issues. Just because you love and respect someone's guidance in your life doesn't mean they are an expert on everything - it's OK to decide your Dad, or your best friend, or even your pastor isn't the best source of information on specific policies.
Take some time to think hypothetically and generally how you think Christians should vote. Should it be from a place of fear? Should it be about what's best for their own family? Should it be what's best for others? Which others? A lot of political campaigning positions us to vote selfishly, with messaging aimed at making you think about your own taxes, services, beliefs. You have to kinda shake it off to figure out if that's really the way you should be thinking at all.
God is kind. His ways promote peace. The reason this is all a bit frustrating and depressing is that we're engaging with systems that are all a bit broken and human. And that's OK. We do the best that we can in an imperfect world.
Voting is only one of the ways that we change the world. The day after the election, we will all have the opportunity to advocate for those people who our society has oppressed, contribute financially to those in need, and to show love and acceptance to those who have been pushed to the margins. Voting is just a small part in a lifestyle of serving others. So cry, rage, lament... and then relax.
We're gonna be OK, guys.
* Here's our Resources Page with LOADS of excellent resources to assist with your research. We hope they are helpful.