Thinking politically about the Gospel or thinking ‘Christianly’ about politics

Jeremy Corbyn

As many of you already know, I am passionate about the Christian Gospel and its communication (mission) and also I am passionate about politics. You also probably know that I think these two issues are intimately linked. I think that the confession “Jesus is Lord” pushes the Christian into the realm of politics. The question is “of what is Jesus Lord?” Is it only my life, my church? Or is he Lord of my town, my country and the whole world?

Many of you, I know will disagree with me when I say that I believe Jeremy Corbyn to be promoting economic policies that are closer to a Biblical view of economic justice than that of the Cameron Government. The message of Easter is not to do with “hard work and responsiblity” as Cameron famously noted. The message of Easter is that God has saved the undeserving, unreservedly.

The Labour leadership race is an undignified affair with ugly accusations and criticisms which have no place in political debate. This has highlighted a wider problem within politics upon which I think the Gospel sheds clear light. The Theos Think Tank has produced a very good Labour needs to learn to love its enemies by David Barclay. The point is that there is too much hate in political debate and little or no tolerance. This article directs its criticism towards the Labour Party but all parties are guilty.

“Love” is central to the Christian message and should be one of the most important elements in politics. Jesus’ radical statements is directed towards Christian attitudes towards those who do not agree with us. Or even are our enemies and those who actually actively work against us.

43 ‘You have heard that it was said, “Love your neighbour and hate your enemy.” 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven (Matthew 5:43-45a)

What would it do to political debate if we started to put into practice these verses?