In Defence of Faith
John Gilday has penned an interesting piece which amounts to a critique of Jehovahs Witnesses. Firstly, let me acknowledge that John recognises clearly in his piece that their attitude is not the full story of how people of faith operate in politics and furthermore state that I am not here to defend them. As far as I am concerned they are a heretical cult. They commit numerous violations of Scriptural Law in regards to its injunctions regarding the Book of Revelations. They are indeed, happily for them, subject to its curses for the sin of adding too it and their view of Jesus is Scripturally unsound. In answer to Johns comments regarding the story of the worlds Creation and the account of it in Genesis I will merely ask:
Were you there when I laid the earths foundation? Tell me if you understand.
Let me start with asking the question that article does, to a degree, ask by implication, which is does God have a place in politics? This is however, the wrong question to ask, because the answer is no. God has no place in earthly politics which is squalid and carnal in its nature and to say he does is to profane the holy. A better framing is whether the Christian faith has a place in politics and to that my answer will always be yes. Faith gives believers a moral compass a sense of right and wrong which ultimately is not governed by the dictates of what is around us but by our faith and love for the Lord. I cannot see how a moral compass in politics is a bad thing and to be honest too much in politics is governed by the needs of the now and merely reacting to what is around us. Christians by their very nature have a bigger picture understanding of the world and I can, once again, not see how that is a bad thing.
Love of God must be freely chosen to be meaningful and obedience to His Laws similarly so, Tim Farron when he quit was quite right to condemn those Christians who try and impose things on others through the political sphere. It is indeed something that the Church has been guilty of ever since the Roman Empire opportunistically adopted it as its state religion and started the current corruption that long-suffering Christians labour under the yoke of from the pulpit to this very day. Covenant Law is for the Church and for believers – so, while I am utterly opposed to same-sex marriage within the Church I see no way Christians can justifiably call upon a Gentile state [it is different for the Israeli state, for the Jews are born into the covenant as established by their forefathers] to stop it in a wider context. I would not vote for it were I be an MP in Parliament but nor would I vote against it.
Similarly though I expect the state to, in the politest possible sense, butt out of the Church – it has no right to impose itself on the Church which when all said and done is the House of the Lord, subject to His will and Law alone. It is in this context that I understand the passage in Acts which states;
Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.
It is not a call to disregard the laws of men but to place the Law of God over and above them so if it comes to a clash between the two then Christians are to obey the Law of God. A concrete example would be Christian business owners who refuse a service, such as a room for the night, to a same-sex couple. By the laws of men they are wrong but by the Law of God they are right and it is the latter which they are duty bound to obey. Politically I would define myself as a libertarian for precisely the reason to my mind that libertarianism recognises the right of the believer to follow their faith and diminishes the ability of the state to override that. People of faith should not be hounded out of politics nor made to feel their faith is somehow unacceptable because its standards are different – to do so in mind is more than a little fascist and is against the libertarian spirit of UKIP. Democracy, after-all, is worthless empty-shell unless it is there for those we disagree with, unless it is for those whose views we might even find offensive. UKIP can be a Party where people of faith feel comfortable and that is becoming an increasing rarity, a perfect illustration of that are the conversations I have had with John himself where although we do not agree we have managed to find much common ground. So, UKIP, don’t become like the other Parties where Christians are increasingly marginalised and in many ways are persecuted. Once again, be the voice of the voiceless.