Dear fellow Christians - Grant Vandersee

My heart is heavy, and my soul is troubled.

These are uneasy and uncertain times, and not just because of the impact of coronavirus.

We are seeing our society lurch further and faster towards radical positions at odds with a Christian, Biblical worldview. Increased division. Intolerance of others. Silencing of free speech. Self-centred greed and envy. The endless quest for power and control. Disregard for human life.  Neglect or, or direct harm to, children. Constant attacks on the church, on family, on authority. Militant ideologies that refuse to be questioned, demanding obedience, and punishing those who dare to dissent.  The religion of self over others. 

The classic Australian mantra of “she’ll be right” is no more.  She won’t be right.  Not unless people across the country are prepared to stand up and fight for the truth, and, more fundamentally, for the basic freedom to simply speak that truth.

It’s no longer good enough to just turn up at the polling booth every three or four years and cast your vote.  Our opponents are waging their war every single day, as their long march through the institutions claims vital territory in our universities, schools, governments and even churches, and we are losing ground as we sit back and wait for the next election.

It’s time to be political.

Of course, as Christians, we know that we should bring everything before God in humble prayer. But we should also act. As children of God, we may no longer be of this world, but we are still in it. 

As Edmund Burke famously said:

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.

William Wilberforce knew this, and his faith drove his fight to end the slave trade in the British Empire.

Harriet Tubman knew this, and her faith gave her the strength to rescue over 300 slaves from the US South, and bring them to freedom in the North.

Sojourner Truth knew this, and she campaigned against slavery, and in favour of women’s rights, all the while preaching “When I found Jesus”.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer knew this, and was a vocal opponent to Hitler and his euthanasia program and persecution of the Jews, costing him his life.

While it is important to get your own life right with God, to deal with your own sin, to repent and seek His forgiveness, and to let His sanctifying grace work through you, it’s not all about you.  We also have a responsibly, and obligation, to look out for others as well – both current, and future generations.

It’s time to be political.

Jesus taught us to pray that God’s will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. (Matt 6:10)

What is God’s will for His people? What is the issue that gnaws away at you constantly? What breaks your heart every time you hear about it in the news? What keeps you awake at night, or invades your thoughts during the day?

Is it the thousands upon thousands of innocent vulnerable babies whose lives are terminated each year before they even get a chance? Or the women who feel that this is their only option, either by coercion, force, or abandonment and helplessness?

It’s time to be political.

Is it the young, victimised women, who are forced into pornographic slavery, surrendering their bodies, and their souls, to the men who profit from the violence and control and rapes and abuses, in a modern incarnation of slavery?

It’s time to be political.

Is it falling literacy and numeracy standards in our schools, while students instead are instructed in the ever-growing list of genders available for their daily choice, and encouraged to experiment with unpredictable and dangerous actions, drugs and even surgery, often without parental consent or even knowledge?

It’s time to be political.

Is it the push from activists, lobbyists, even Governments to promote, endorse, and authorise euthanasia, with the obvious and inevitable dangers, instead of improving palliative care services for those in need?

It’s time to be political.

Is it enacting environmental protections to ensure clean water and air for this and future generations, while still providing farmers with the ability to produce food for an ever-increasing population?

It’s time to be political.

Is it the downtrodden citizens of foreign nations, oppressed by oppressive dictator Governments, who control what they can see, or read, or even think, all the while feeding them misleading propaganda to shore up their power?

It’s time to be political.

Is it the level of healthcare and support for people with disabilities, or mental health issues, who are struggling to cope with the pressures and complexities of life, work, relationships? Or perhaps seeing a nation celebrate that they have eradicated Downs Syndrome, when what they mean is that they have eradicated all the people with Downs Syndrome?

It’s time to be political.

Is it maintaining the freedom to be able to state your belief in the Biblical definition of marriage as one man and one woman for life, without the fear of recrimination or punishment from a government anti-discrimination commission?

It’s time to be political.

Is it an increasingly hostile media who have replaced journalism with opinion, reporting with activism, and have stepped up their attacks on Christianity and churches and people of faith?

It’s time to be political.

Is it protecting impressionable children from increasingly sexualised content on television, in movies, and video games, even in toys and books, allowing children to be children, without corrupting them with overt sexual messaging?

It’s time to be political.

Is it the increased assault on parents’ rights to decide what is best for their children, whether it is educational choices, or healthcare, or just how to raise them, without over-reaching governments pushing their agendas?

It’s time to be political.

Talk with your friends and family about the issues, openly and honestly.  Discuss your thoughts and get their feedback. Question each other and clarify your position.

Talk to your priest, pastor, minister about the issues.  Get their theological input.  Encourage them to speak about the issues in church, to challenge the congregation to be aware and to get involved. And pastors, preach on the big issues. Your congregation needs to hear from you.

Read about the issues from a range of trusted reliable sources.  Write about them yourself, putting your thoughts, concerns, ideas on paper, seeking feedback and discussion.

Attend meetings and forums to hear from speakers, and to share your concerns and ideas, and to raise awareness.

Contact your local MP, and all the candidates for upcoming elections.  Find out where they stand, and how they would vote, on the issues that really matter to you. 

Join a political party, and have a say in directing party policy, and selecting candidates for election.  Even put yourself forward as a candidate, to be able to affect change at the highest level.

I’m reminded of the inspiring story of Esther:

“For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”

Esther 4:14

Or perhaps this moment in The Lord of the Rings

Frodo: I wish none of this had happened.

Gandalf: So do all who live to see such times; but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.

What will you do with the time that is given to you?

G.K. Chesterton said:

We do not want a Church that will move with the world.  We want a Church that will move the world.

I believe that applies both spiritually and politically.

You ask, what will it cost me if I speak up. But I ask, what will it cost others, if you don’t?

And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

Heb 10:24-25

Nobody gets to sit this one out.

 

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Grant Vandersee is a former secondary teacher who is now horrified at what is being taught and promoted in schools. A husband and father, political engagement runs in his family with three generations serving in local government. He's been personally involved in party politics for 20 years and is a member of the Liberal National Party. Grant is a staunch advocate for life, family, free speech, individual freedom and religious liberty.

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