Today people will be voting in the general election, for who they want to represent and govern them. It is really important to vote, so if you’ve not done it already go and do it!
Yet democracy ought to be more than marking a bit of paper every four years? As I began to think about it, we actually vote all the time, often a vote for the status quo, but a vote none the less.
It has been said that every pound you spend is a vote for the kind of world you want to live in, scary when we think that if we have the internet in our homes we are in the top 4% of the worlds richest people. How we spend our money shouts loudly to this capitalist world.
Interestingly if we look back to the 80’s when many banks wanted to invest heavily in South Africa at the height of the apartheid they stopped doing so when people -mainly students and the now infamous picture of Jeremy Corbyn getting arrested- boycotted their banks.
As consumers what we think really matters, if in any doubt look at the millions that are spent devising algorithms to match our viewing habits to commercial sales.
So, although it might be only a baby step even a facebook share or twitter comment at least does make something of an impact.
The lie we are fed is that we are too small or insignificant to make a difference.
Yet as Confucius once said “Too small to make a difference? Try spending the night with a mosquito”. -He also said, that “A mosquito on your testicles teaches man that not every problem is best solved with violence”-.
The problem is that we are often don’t make a stand about anything much at all. A great question that has always challenged me is “would my bank manager know I was a Christian by the way I lived and spent my money?”
What are my choices when I buy, do I seek to be an ethical consumer? Do I value fair-trade? Do I enquire about sourcing? Or animal welfare? Do I ever do any on-line research about company ethics? Is there anything I boycott due to ethical grounds? -How does our (honest) answers on this chime with our response to a position of God entrusting us with the responsible stewardship of creation?
Yet, I think that we can do more than spend wisely, read labels and write strongly worded tweets on social media.
I passionately oppose the sale of weapons especially to states with awful records on human-rights, but yet I have never been on a protest, or picketed and arms faire, if I care about this issue I need to step up to the plate and make my protest felt.
Although Christians statistically are good citizens when it comes to doing their civic duty and vote, we perhaps need to be better at protesting against injustice, do we sign petitions? Do we write to our MP’s? Do we go on marches? Do we campaign for a better world?
The truth is that if the people of God don’t step up for the things that are upon the heart of God then who will step into that void?
So a call not just to vote, but live a life that seeks to usher in and advance the Kingdom of God, voting as a lifestyle each day, choosing to be a campaigner for the Kingdom of heaven and the cause of the heart-cry of Christ.