‘For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God’ Rom 8: 14 (NLT)
Having at last had some space to reflect on the last few days of the media mayhem that often surrounds controversy, some important issues have reared their heads that I believe are pretty central to the way forward as a Nation, (a Holy Nation that is). Our citizenship is not of this world, regardless of how passionately we engage with politics, social justice, or anything for that matter. I was so encouraged by the balance and journalistic integrity that Chris Burn and the editorial team at the Sheffield Star exhibited in reporting the case of Linda Okungbowa. I was less so, with the approaches of the tabloid press. The difference being that Chris was sat in court and was a witness to what took place; the tabloids seem so often to both feed from and partner with fear. I remember so well during my military service the way that some elements of the media reported events that I too had been a witness to. This brought a great frustration and sadness, as lives were further damaged in the process. There is little doubt that Linda’s life too has been further damaged by this.
Jesus prays in John 17 to his Father not to take us out of the world, but to protect us from the evil one. We are currently surrounded by a media frenzy of comment, claim, counter-claim and editorial bias concerning the EU Referendum. What saddens me even more is to see church leaders posting photographs of their postal ballot forms on social media in order to make ‘their’ case heard. No matter how prophetic we may be, it seems unlikely that we can really know what the future holds either way. And even if we have the most powerful conviction that we have ‘heard from God’, we still see and hear in part. It’s called humility.
It seems already apparent that the question of how to vote on the 23rd is causing a new level of division in the political arena, regardless of the outcome. As the Bride of Christ, we have two options facing us. We either partner with the world, or partner with heaven; we cannot have two masters in this. We partner with heaven through prayer and through our relationship with Jesus; Wisdom himself. What we must not do is partner with fear, as we have the privilege to be bond-servants of love himself. Simply put, if we partner with fear (either way) we are in danger of allowing that fear to attempt to drive yet another wedge through the perfectly united Bride that exists in Christ.
I have prayed, and I know how I will vote on the 23rd. I am a witness to his witness to me that God is love. What will mark us out from the world on the 24th is our ability to celebrate His Kingdom together, a Kingdom that is undiminished by politics. So, I urge you to simply to pray. Take time away from the media frenzy that has wrought confusion, and listen to Him. That way, we can all be united in the simple fact that we decided to recognise His Lordship rather than our desires, or may I say fears. You never know, he may ask you to vote in a way that you least expected him to. Now that would be interesting!