Ministry and Politics
Funnily enough I wasn’t at the Melbourne Anglican Clergy Conference on the weekend (presumably my invite was lost in the mail). However, today I’ve been hearing about the crazy goings on up in Bendigo, especially an address by Peter Costello. My very reputable source was saying today that Mr. Costello gave the clergy some advice on being involved in the political arena. His advice was this: Don’t repeat what the Right is saying, or what the Left is saying. Politicians hear this every day. As Christian ministers, say something that has a gospel distinctive.
I think that there is really something good to hear from this. Too often I see ministers and bishops trying to do the job of politicians. Others try and stay out of politics all together. Both of these things are fraught with danger. It seems to me that what we should be doing as Christians, whether in leadership or not, is to talk about political issues from a gospel perspective. Leave secular politics to the secular politicians. Let’s be a voice in society that is radically counter-cultural, because the gospel is radically counter-cultural.
Sometimes this will take a lot of work. Trying to figure out what God has to say about something like the carbon tax, or the immigration issue, can be really tricky. And sometimes there are no simple answers. But isn’t it something to really work hard at?
(btw, I am not saying that Christians shouldn’t become politicians, but for the majority of Christians who aren’t, maybe this is helpful…)