From the Revd Kenneth Cross
Sir, - There is much debate regarding the Christian
"credentials" of different political parties. I fear these
discussions miss the mark. Jesus was neither Pharisee, Sadducee,
Zealot, nor patriot. Eventually these "parties" conspired to murder
Jesus, because he put an axe to the root of their political
interests: wealth, power, and national pride.
Jesus embodied and taught a subversive message of compassion,
mercy, justice, and welcome to the despised.
In this light, we must be asking: how might Jesus's message
inform our perspective on issues such as the economy, foreign
policy, war, immigration, the national deficit, and how we look
after the sick, disturbed, unemployed, and the undeserving. Deep
reflection on this begins to reveal how radical, political, and
upsetting the Way of Jesus is. I suspect Jesus would be no friend
to any of our modern political parties.
How each person votes will be a compromise. There is no
"Christian" political party. To vote for the party that seems to be
most kind to Christians is a symptom of a distorted persecution
We must rather look to see what policies embody Jesus's
priorities. As we do so, we may sometimes glimpse Jesus's ways of
compassion and justice, but we should be warned that his is a way
which is profoundly at odds with normal politicking.
So, if we take the Jesus Way seriously, we will not allow
unquestioned party loyalty or distorted attachments to wealth,
power, or nationhood to determine our vote. Justice, mercy,
compassion (includ-ing toward our fragile planet), and welcome to
the unloved - these will be the issues that will inform our
inevitably compromised choice.
The Rectory, Roadwater, Watchet, Somerset TA23 0QZ