The upcoming federal election is not far away now. While there are several Christian candidates and parties, one of particular interest in this election is called The Australian Christians. Based in Western Australia, the party takes its stand on politics based on Biblical Foundations.
Maryka Groenewald, is the State Director for the Australian Christians, and is the second Senate candidate for WA. She recently joined us on 20Twenty to explain the position the party takes on it’s prayer strategy, and her thoughts on religion and politics.
Political parties and a prayer strategy can seem like an oxymoron. But Maryka says that the party just made the decision to lay everything they say and do at the Lord’s feet. He needs to provide the strategy, the means and open the doors that need to be opened.
“We made a deliberate decision to pray weekly for what we do,” says Maryka. “That’s been the biggest game-changer. We can talk about changing legislation and lobbying. But ultimately, it’s a revelation of who Jesus is that’s going to change people’s hearts and minds.”
As a Christian party, the Australian Christians want to maintain and uphold the right of Christian schools to teach according to their foundations in the Word of God. It seems recently, that Christian schools have been under more persecution than any other group.
“This time around, we need to make a stand and say being able to teach the Bible in schools is incredibly important,” says Maryka. “And that flows into a whole range of other things, including gender. These are critical issues in this election.”
The party also supports freedom of choice. “When we consider freedom, we need to look beyond just freedom of movement. We should champion freedom in its entirety. That means freedom of choice, speech and conscience. And of course, that does dovetail into the mandate issue.”
The Australian Christians have also just finished a new First Nations policy, that actually reflects the heart of reconciliation throughout communities. Maryka has a community development background, and is passionate about how social education and health outcomes are approached in the policy
The party also takes a strong stance on issues like Australia’s defence force and cybersecurity. “Protecting our kids online is becoming increasingly important,” says Maryka. “Providing sufficient funding for organisations to train and equip both kids and parents is so important.”
The party also advocates being a good steward of our environment. Maryka says she often tells young people to start in their own backyard, and to understand what they can do within their family and community. Getting involved locally is a great first step.
Applying a biblical view to ever changing political policies can be challenging, but the Australian Christians continue to seek God in their strategy. Maryka says the party really does labour in prayer about the things that need to go out.
“It’s really about asking the Lord about His heart for people,” says Maryka. “What do they need to hear? What should they be encouraged to know? One of the things in our policies is actually restoring some hope and getting people to think and plan ahead.”
“We spend time asking God what He wants us to talk about. We seek the things that are near and dear to His heart. And those are the things that become our core platform.”