The General Election is scheduled for 4 July. Outside 10 Downing Street, in the pouring rain, and with Labour’s 1997 anthem Things Can Only Get Better blaring in the background, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak declared, ‘Now is the moment for Britain to choose its future. This election will take place at a time when the world is more dangerous than at any time since the Cold War.’

In response, Labour leader Keir Starmer addressed voters, stating, ‘It will feel like a long campaign but, no matter what else is said and done, that opportunity for change is what this election is about.’

What should we expect from our political leaders in the next six weeks, and what should they expect from us?

This article is from the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity section on Connecting with Culture - Entertainment.

The state of our politics reflects the state of our souls. Engaging with the general election is essential if we are serious about loving God and our neighbours as ourselves. Politics is about organising our common life, and participating in it is an act of neighbourly love. In a democracy, we hold power to choose those who govern us. We cannot relinquish this power, and we must use it responsibly by getting informed, involved, and voting.

But what should we expect from our political leaders?

First, we should expect our leaders to be people of good character and integrity. A good leader does not mislead (Proverbs 16:10–20). They should tell the truth.

Second, we should expect our leaders to clearly outline their vision for the country. There has been a lack of political vision across all parties in recent years. Leaders need to articulate what a good society looks like, what government should and should not do, and the purpose of power.

Third, we should expect our leaders to clearly set out the policies that are intended to promote and fulfil that vision. They should be transparent about the costs and benefits, acknowledging the winners and losers, and recognise the limits of political authority. Government cannot do everything, but it can enable others to contribute effectively.

We should not confuse political power with the kingdom of God, but we should not think that political power operates independently of God either. In the coming weeks, followers of Jesus should pray as he taught them, and act accordingly. ‘Father in heaven, … your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.’

Paul Woolley

This article is from the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity section on Connecting with Culture - Entertainment

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