Preaching at an election special tomorrow night.

This seemed like a really good idea when I planned it in the programme back in February…but not so hot when it came to thinking of what to actually say! However, now that the fog in my brain has cleared slightly, I pass on what I have here in case it is of help to others. In all that follows, the tightrope is to talk about how to vote without saying what to vote.

Use your mind. (Mark 12 v. 30) We have a God-given duty to use our minds and do our homework when making a decision as important as this one.  Those who feel they will somehow ‘punish’ the politicians for their wrongdoing by not voting are wrong. someone will still get in, and the only people they will punish are the rest of the electorate by depriving them of prayer-fuelled votes. So, use your mind and do your homework. The BBC politics website gives an excellent side-by-side comparison of key policies for any parties you select.

Close your eyes – not to the issues, but to the X-Factor style beauty contest of the TV debates. The Bible urges us time and time again to look beneath the surface and beyond the obvious. If there are candidates in your constituency who have already served in Parliament, find out how they have really performed and what they have done – ‘by their fruit shall ye know them’. (Matthew 7 v. 16) Check out theyworkforyou.com for voting records etc.

Open your heart – to the needs of the poor. (Matthew 25 v. 40)  NIMBYISM is the scourge of local politics, and is not a Christian response. As Christians we are obliged to carry the needs of the poorest and weakest (both in this country and overseas) to the ballot box.

Obviously these are only a few hints and nudges in the right direction, but perhaps they will be of some help to someone.

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