With the upcoming federal election, Christians can find themselves in a bit of a quandary when it comes to deciding which side to vote for. There has been significant disillusionment with the Christian credentials of the government over the past three years.
Martyn Iles from the Australian Christian Lobby believes that we need to apply a Biblical metaphor to all of the political parties. He says there are good guys and bad guys on both sides of politics, but the problem is that too many bad guys have been empowered to do whatever they like.
“The good guys are silenced by the media,” says Martyn, “who support of a lot of socially progressive and anti-Christian policies. It’s going to require homework on behalf of everybody to find out if the names on the ballot are people with a good track record and good convictions.”
The consequences of people’s votes in the parliament are very profound. It’s important that Christians start to be wise and understand the individuals in the political system. We have a real battle between light and dark in the nation’s parliament.
“It’s people who support religious freedom that need to speak up,” says Martyn. “Those who support Christian schools, who might be pro-life, people who want to make sure that the education system is free of really strong left wing radical content.”
Often during an election campaign, there are a series of movements that are working for their side of the political agenda. Organisations such as ‘GetUp’, and big billionaire financiers are funding all sorts of left wing and anti-Christian policies on one side of politics versus another.
Martyn says that the ACL has the funds to campaign in key states, particularly where there are problematic candidates. “We can highlight those things to the voting public. But this campaign is not so much targeted at our supporters. It’s a field campaign where we’re reaching out into the community.”
ACL will continue highlighting the issues, while actually holding people accountable for their performance. Martyn is hoping this will help change the dynamics in some of the key seats. There are still many conservative voters out there who believe what traditional Christians believe.
“They just need to be activated,” says Martyn. “They need to find their voice and have someone to lead them. We’ve seen key moments in the last three years when these people have come together to take a stand and there’s been an impact.”
Romans 13 tells us that those in authority are ministers of God’s righteousness. They will bring judgement upon themselves if they do the wrong thing. That’s the standard that Christians should also be judging candidates on. It’s not a responsibility we should take lightly.
“If Christians stand together they can have a big impact here,” says Martyn. “It’s up to ACL to have a good strategy that people can support to achieve that impact.”
Listen to the full interview here: