Many would say that Australian politics is broken, but it may be more accurate to say that Australian culture is in ruins.
Increasingly today, Australian legislation and society is calling God’s good things ‘evil’ and is considering evil to be ‘good’.
Justice is turned back, and righteousness stands far away; for truth has stumbled in the public squares, and uprightness cannot enter.
More than ever before, our nation needs spiritual re-invigoration.
Perhaps we are beginning to see the public manifestation of such a renewal.
For decades, Christians like Sen. Eric Abetz, Rev. Fred Nile, George Christensen and others have stood alone in our legislatures, unashamedly representing and supporting policies that align with Truth and God’s nature. Sadly, even today many Christians have not heard of these leaders, their ministries or their work.
Recently, however, as Christians have become increasingly engaged in Australian culture, a fresh wave of courageous Christian leaders has entered the fray.
This trend is perhaps best represented by the phenomenal growth of the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) under its managing director, Martyn Iles. Under Iles, the ACL has grown to include a membership of over 200,000 Australian Christians and Iles’s popular The Truth of It videos have reached tens of thousands of viewers internationally.
But beyond the work of the ACL, scores of other uncompromising Christian leaders are emerging (or reemerging) in various fields: commentary, academia, media and the legislature — Stephen Chavura, John Anderson, Amanda Stoker, Kurt Malburg, Kirralie Smith, Damian Wyld, Lyle Shelton; the list goes on and on. There are many Christians in all areas of society doing incredible work.
However, public Christian witness is not just a responsibility for full-time Christian missionaries. Every faithful Christian has some role to play in helping to positively represent our faith in Australia today.
So, how can Christians contribute to Australian society going forward?
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Christians can and should live out Christ’s call to be ‘salt and light’ in the world through their support of just and righteous laws.
Among other things, this might entail support for legislation protecting religious education and chaplains in schools; the unborn, elderly, disabled and vulnerable; freedom for the practice of religion, as well as the natural Biblical views of family and gender.
All Christians have a responsibility to stand up for and live out Truth in the culture we find ourselves in. Jesus Himself said that His fundamental purpose for coming into the world was to reveal and testify to the Truth.
Evidently, Truth is of vital importance and we cannot merely leave the public square void of it.
Public Christian leaders and all those involved in the public conversation have the opportunity to not only stand up for Truth but to live it out in the public square. And this opportunity to show the world the tangible hope and joy that we have in Jesus Christ is of crucial value.
The opportunity is massive. With faith increasingly sidelined in the political and public sphere, every faithful light shines so much brighter. Our faith, honesty, integrity and love can proclaim the life-altering, culture-changing, counter-cultural power of the Christian gospel.
Every loving, beautiful, consistent Christian life lived in public testifies to the truth of the Biblical story. This is what it means to be the light of the world.
People are disillusioned with the self-centredness and dishonesty of many of today’s politicians. In contrast, let us live out the abundant life that Jesus Christ has given us.
Let our words and actions stand in stark contrast to the despair and hopelessness around us. Let our hope and certainty through troubled times expose the world’s naïve faith in politics as the only answer.
Christians don’t need to agree on everything to be able to work together, but neither do they need to obliterate significant doctrinal discussions. Denominations can disagree vehemently and yet combine like regiments in an army – each with its distinctive character and partisan loyalties and rivalries – to fight a common enemy. What unites us, strengthens us and focuses us is our love for Christ and the Truth in His Word.
Political and social involvement is not an attempt to negate our responsibility to spread the gospel. On the contrary, it is yet another way to bring glory and honour to our heavenly Father and another avenue by which we can share the good news through what we say and do.
Public Christian leaders have a huge mission field in Australian society; they have a vital role in helping to flavour, preserve, enlighten and transform the culture around us.
And so does every Believer who takes seriously Jesus’ command to go into all the world and preach the gospel.
You can buy Kurt Mahlburg’s book here to learn more.
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Cody Mitchell graduated from the University of New England where he studied history and politics, Monash University where he did postgraduate coursework in marketing and communications, and the Lachlan Macquarie Institute. A prolific writer, he is the founding editor of the educational blog History’s Page and has had his work published in a number of academic journals and news sites. Cody currently works as the media advisor for an Australian federal senator.