play_arrow

keyboard_arrow_right

Listeners:

Top listeners:

skip_previous play_arrow skip_next
00:00 00:00
chevron_left
volume_up
chevron_left
  • cover play_arrow

    Premier Christian Radio Your voice of hope!

Politics Today

Thinking Christianly about Public Policy

todayOctober 16, 2019 7

Background
share close

The News Hour

It is to identify a principle that is central to biblical teaching that is credible to almost everyone and to build our political thinking and policy proposals around that principle, using non-religious language that is familiar to the majority. I want to suggest that the importance of relationships is such a principle. Let me explain.

Consider what the Bible reveals about God. 1John 4:8 tells us that He is love and love comes from him. He is three persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, co-existing in perfect harmony. That is what the Trinity is all about: the perfect, eternal relationship. In addition, God loves us.This is how God showed his love among us. He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him”. (1John 4:9-12)

Relationships lie at the heart of the biblical understanding of humanness and what it means to be made in the image of God. Of all God’s creatures, humans alone were created for relationship with our Creator. It is not just that he loves us: he wants us to love him too. Jesus expresses this clearly when he quotes Deuteronomy 6:5 to say the greatest commandment is to love God with all our heart and soul, mind and strength and then quotes Leviticus 19:18, that we should love our neighbour as ourselves.

Central to the Old Testament is the Covenant between God and Israel. This Covenant was about a very special, long-term, committed, faithful relationship. Righteousness is another key Old Testament word. It is primarily about right relationships.

Relationships are equally central in the New Testament. Jesus says that his disciples will be known by the way they love one another (John 13:34-5). However, this love must not be exclusive. We must love our neighbours and even our enemies. The Cross is about reconciliation, which is a relational word, and Jesus showed the full extent of his love by dying on the Cross so that all who believe might have eternal life. Eternal life is about ‘knowing God’, the ultimate relationship.

In his first letter to Corinth, Chapter 13, St Paul makes plain that the Christian life is not primarily about prophetic gifts, financial sacrifices or even being martyred for the faith, it is about the quality of our relationships.

Who would deny that relationships are important, even if some do not act in a manner that reflects this? The place of family and local communities are an obvious example but I want to suggest that relationships are important at work, in schools and health care. A child who respects his or her teacher is much more likely to be motivated to work hard to please that teacher. Patients are more likely to do what their doctor tells them if they know and trust them. The same is true in politics. To achieve influence as a lobbyist one has first to establish a relationship of trust and respect with the politician one wants to influence. Equally, why should a citizen vote in an election for a candidate about whom they know nothing?  The shrewd candidate will do all he or she can do to make themselves known and gain the confidence of their electors.

Of course making relationships a core principle in policy making will not make Britain a Christian country in the short term but it could make us more humane in how we tackle such social problems as the rough sleepers on our streets, people and families who live in desperate poverty, and elderly folk living alone and desperate for company. It would also shape our foreign policy in the post Brexit era and our domestic relationships as Scotland seeks independence from the once United Kingdom.

Written by: Miriam Emenike

Rate it

Previous post

North of England

Junction 42

In this special program for Prisons Week Premier’s Northern Correspondent Ian Britton has been to visit Junction 42, a Christian Charity based in Newcastle upon Tyne.

todayOctober 16, 2019 73


Similar posts

Politics Today

Controversial immigration changes

The Home Secretary, Priti Patel, has announced changes to immigration rules intended to prevent low-skilled workers from coming to live and work in the UK. These rules will come into force next January. The changes are obviously linked to Brexit. Announcing the changes Ms. Patel said, “We’re ending free movement, […]

todayFebruary 19, 2020 27


0%