Weekly Blog - 26 May 2024 - July Election


July election

This week, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced the date of the UK’s next general election as 4 July, earlier than the autumn date expected by most.  Furious campaigning by all parties has already begun.  A recent Arise blog looked at the crucial importance of democracy in this year of elections around the world, and considered how we can bring about democracy where it doesn’t exist and strengthen it where it does.  This week we consider the tricky issue of how Christians decide who to vote for.


Who should Christians vote for?

Firstly, it is really important that we do turn out and vote.  Millions of people around the world do not have the privilege and opportunity to do that, and are protesting, suffering and dying for that freedom.  (Indeed Arise is supporting many of them through our Reform Movements campaign.)  We need to recognise the privilege voting is, and take that responsibility seriously.  As Christians, we read in the Bible how God wants all governments, everywhere, to rule well, with justice, fairness, impartiality and integrity (Arise Manifesto, pg 79 – 85).  As God instructs the leaders of his people through the prophet Jeremiah, “Administer justice every morning; rescue from the hand of the oppressor the one was has been robbed” (Jer 21: 12).  In a democracy ultimate authority resides with the people.  It is therefore our responsibility to use our votes wisely and well to do our best to appoint a government that will govern well with justice, compassion and care for all.  

Christians should pray about who to vote for, look into the manifestos of all the major parties, and vote for the one we feel most closely reflects Biblical teaching on establishing social justice, ensuring prosperity, eliminating poverty, caring for all in society and restoring the environment.  We might also want to pray and think about voting tactically if there is a particular party we feel strongly doesn’t represent these values well that we want to keep out of power, and vote for the strongest alternative in our area.  Of course, no single political party will reflect all of God’s standards.  Each will be good on some, not so good on others.  There is no such thing as a perfect political party.  We can’t be purist, but should vote for the one we feel matches God’s standards most closely.  We should also avoid obsessing over any one single issue, rather it is a question of which political party’s overall balance of policies we feel most aligns with God’s standards for social justice, ensuring prosperity, caring for all in society and protecting the environment.  For help in discerning this look at God’s standards for the change he wants to see in our world in Parts 4 – 6 of the Arise Manifesto (our big picture, researched, Biblical, holistic and practical Christian vision for a better world), look at the Bible, and the literature from the parties, pray about it and decide for yourself.


How parties score against the Arise Manifesto

To help you as you do this, consider creating a table like the one below as a useful tool in considering how closely the policies of the main political parties fit with God’s standards for establishing social justice, eliminating poverty, and restoring the environment, as set out in the Arise Manifesto (Arise Manifesto, pg 314 – 330).  Have a quick look at their websites and manifestos, and make a note on whether they score ‘good’, ‘bad’ or ‘average’ on each area below.  Then pray and make your decision.


  Conservatives Labour Liberal Democrats Reform Green Scottish National Party Plaid Cymru
Standards for democracy, human rights and good governance at home              
Improving democracy, human rights and good governance abroad              
Preventing major conflicts emerging              
Reducing and ending conflicts              
Building a strong and fair economy              
Taxation and social spending on health, education, social care etc.              
International development              
Tackling climate change              
Shifting to a circular economy              


Get involved

But democracy should be about more than just voting.  We should consider getting involved in the decision-making ourselves by joining a political party that we feel most aligns with God’s standards.  You can give, volunteer and help out, and in due course consider running for office yourself at local or even national level.  Use your position within that party to advocate for policies that establish social justice, eliminate poverty, restore the environment and build God’s Kingdom.  There are many great Christian MPs and politicians, and the world needs even more of us to become involved in this way, rather than opting out of politics and leaving those decisions to others who may well not have God’s kingdom values at heart.  The world really needs good Christians with good values to be involved in politics (Arise Manifesto, pg 68).

So whether it is through voting, or also by joining a party, giving, volunteering, becoming involved, and in future standing ourselves, let’s all be salt and light as Christians, take full part in July’s UK elections, and exercise our democratic duty.


Find out more

Find out more about how God is at work in the world, and the role we all have to play in that work, in the Arise Manifesto.  This report is Arise’s big picture, researched, Biblical, holistic and practical vision for a better world.  It looks at what the Bible says, and what we can learn from the best data and the world’s leading experts on the five major areas of evangelism, discipleship, social justice, development and the environment.  It then draws these lessons together into a practical road map for the changes we need to see in our world, which the Arise movement campaigns to achieve.

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