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The Word on the Week

Election 2011

“The powers that be are ordained by God” writes St Paul in Romans chapter 13 but, in this country, we are given the job of electing them. By what criteria should we exercise choice? Let’s look at the Constitution. In it’s preamble it states; In the Name of the Most Holy Trinity, from Whom is all authority and to Whom, as our final end, all actions both of men and States must be referred, We, the people of Éire, humbly acknowledging all our obligations to our Divine Lord, Jesus Christ, Who sustained our fathers…” So we have a recognition of where authority comes from and an acknowledgement of accountability. There is also mention of duty owed to the Lord Jesus Christ and recognition of his help in times past. The “powers that be” have been somewhat negligent in recent years and we are now in the biggest financial hole of any country in the developed world. Their God-given responsibility has not been exercised well. Those hoping to be their successors you would imagine would take cognisance of the accountability thing and at least seek divine approval on their manifestoes. But you would be wrong. Perhaps it is because they all contain elements which contradict God’s laws and so we continue to set our course towards the abyss. Has the Bible any wisdom on the matter. Believers in New Testament times never lived under a government with a Christian Constitution! Indeed they lived under persecution and laws which enacted injustices but they did believe in the Trinity and their faith was in Jesus Christ. They realised that Jesus had paid for their sins on the cross was buried and rose again: 1Corinthians Chapter 15 verses 3 and 4. They had experienced the Holy Spirit cleaning up their lives enabling them to fulfill the laws of the land and show love for even their enemies: “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control against such things there is no law.”(Galatians Chapter 5 v 23/4) When the candidates come to the door looking for your vote ask them if they believe the Constitution when it says their authority comes from God. If they answer in the affirmative ask how this will influence them in their task of government. Do they pray for help with decisions? Are they guided by His word, the Bible? Do they know that both the Constitution and the Bible says they will be called to account? But above all tell them that it’s only faith in Jesus that will fully equip them for service.