Britain at the Polls once again by Rev Dr John Weaver

JohnWeaver
John Weaver

What are the things that matter to me?

Justice for everyone: sharing with the poor, caring for creation, restraint in the lust for power and wealth.

Our care of God’s creation is high on this agenda as it affects the lives of the poorest in God’s world and the damage to creation is largely the result of human self-centredness. As we come to vote for a new government on June 8th it is important that we should study the manifestos carefully in the light of our God given calling to ‘act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with our God’ (Micah 6:8).

To summarise the positions taken in each manifesto here would make this article over lengthy. However some of the initial work has been done for us by Carbon Brief who have provided a helpful tabulation of some of the key issues on energy and climate change here.

While the Carbon Brief tabulation gives an idea of the energy and climate change policies of each party, I still believe that we should each read their manifestos carefully before coming to a conclusion.

When we come to the ballot box it is our vote and it doesn’t belong to anyone else. The political parties will not only try to make their case on particular issues, but also significantly influence what is talked about and what is presented as important. While we might see the role of the media as challenging and rebalancing this, remember that news outlets have their own agendas too.

So avoiding becoming overwhelmed by the election coverage, we might take some time to think through the issues that matter to us. Whether or not these are covered by the newspapers or radio and TV news bulletins, we should seek to find out what the main parties are saying about those things and what our local candidates say about them. We should not be afraid to ask doorstep canvassers and our prospective MPs about the things that matter to us.

Finally, whoever is elected, we should commit ourselves to praying for our government that they may have God-given wisdom in all matters, and continuing to act out our Christian discipleship in caring for God’s world.

John Weaver was born and brought up in Cardiff. After taking degrees in Geology at Swansea, he taught at the University of Derby. John trained for Baptist ministry in Oxford and was then pastor of Highfield Baptist Church from 1981-1991. From 1992-2001 he taught theology at Regent’s Park College, Oxford, and from 2001-2012 served as Principal of South Wales Baptist College. He is a former President of the Baptist Union, and is the Chair of JRI. His main areas of research are: relating faith to life and work; theological reflection; adult education; and the dialogue between science and faith.

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