Anglican Diocese of Armidale

The Anglican Diocese of Armidale exists to glorify God by introducing people to Jesus and helping them home to heaven.

 

Fascinating Political Times

28-Aug-2017

We live in fascinating political times or should I say disappointing or grievous times. Democracy is now unusually shaped by elites or minority lobby groups who wish to engineer a future that would change the shape of time-honoured institutions and keep the masses from having their say. Perhaps this last sentence suggests the end of democracy is nigh. It is at least broken as the former Deputy Prime Minister the Hon. John Anderson described recently. In the midst of this it is little surprise that politicians would try to marginalise the voice of the church as though the church, which is the sum of its people, ought not to be considered. This is not new to our world as Marxist, Stalinist and Nazi ideologies offer example - a suffering one.

I had the good fortune of reading Eric Metaxas’ biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer in my holidays. In a vacuum of leadership Metaxas writes, “…the German people clamoured for order and leadership. But it was as though in the babble of their clamouring, they had summoned the devil himself…” Nations can do that when good people do nothing. Without even realising, with a little slumber, a folding of the hands you can allow the summoning of a devil that has a nation reap the whirlwind. As Hitler came to power he divided the church, saw to the placement of church leaders who would bow to him and so subjugate God and His Word to a Fuhrer, to one man’s crazy ideology. I wonder, as the gun was held by Hitler to his head if he thought, “History reminds and will remind again that God is no man’s puppet.” Before his death he silenced free speech with ridicule and fear, then in the courts, and finally what would not be silenced he put to death – Bonhoeffer was one of his last victims.

Politically our nation seems to be in disarray and in all kinds of conversations the citizens of our nation are expressing a deep disappointment. Rampant individualism is destroying community confidence. Blocked plebiscite legislation in the Senate and High Court injunctions against postal polling on something that is at the very fabric of our society show complete contempt for the community. Dual citizenship breaches of the Constitution are problematic enough but the opportunistic nature of politics to topple a government is just un-Australian and in some contexts could be considered seditious even treasonous. Add euthanasia, gender fluidity and the rejection of gender all together and I think you could be excused for thinking that we have entered the age of confusion, and with it, the strangest experimentation. I find this very disturbing when I remember that Hitler encouraged experimentation that gave little respect to life.

Amidst all this you would be forgiven for asking if anyone is actually running the country. The great danger is that into a vacuum people will clamour for order and leadership and if there is no watchman at the gate we may well summon our own devil to power.

You may not always agree with the church but it has in God’s purpose exercised a watchman at the gate role for our society. There’s no doubt that some people have brought the church into disrepute, like some people do in all organisations, but Christianity and its church have long blessed western culture by holding up the objective morality of God which establishes great family units, gives dignity and sanctity to life, cherishes the rule of law, makes us accountable to God and each other, while calling us to love each other as God has loved us. It doesn’t ignore the individual but nor does it allow the individual a narcissistic place at our community tables. It doesn’t silence freedom of speech because it recognises the depravity of humanity and the control upon such depravity by way of accountability when people can freely speak to address issues. Thankfully Christianity also speaks to the possibility of repentance and the offer of God’s forgiveness in the context of all moral failure.

May God help us and may we all pray that God will help those who serve our nation in Government.