Equipping Christians for the General Election

Politics – at the bottom rung of the Hierarchy of Callings ladder
Stuart Weir

There has been a significant swathe of indifference, if not resistance to, the sphere of politics in the minds of many British followers of Jesus.[1] This is due to an inherited sense that politics is in some way more unholy and soiled than other sectors of society.

Why is this the case? Is politics so unholy that it should be kept at arm’s length? Is it so polluted by sin that we shouldn’t care about it that much? For some it is even worse than that; these believe that politics is so tainted by sin that it demands we give up on it altogether.

There is an understanding of sin as it combines with the world of work at play here.

It is 500 years since the Reformation began with Luther’s nailing of his 95 Theses on the Wittenburg Church door. Luther and Calvin celebrated the many different sectors of work and equalised them all, smashing any hierarchy of professions that may have previously existed.

As the centuries passed in the Protestant and evangelical movements, this flattening out of all professions was forgotten. A hierarchy of callings was constructed. It goes a bit like this:

  1. Overseas missionaries – they have sacrificed the most for the Gospel, right?
  2. Church leaders – they do a ‘spiritual’ job don’t they? More spiritual than mine anyway…
  3. Teachers – well, they educate our kids don’t they? Who’d argue against that as important?
  4. Doctors – they mend our bodies and look after people, but not as spiritual as pastors.
  5. Businessmen – now we’re in the realms of dodgyness. They do nasty dealings and run roughshod over the general public to make money
  6. Politicians – they are downright liars, the lot of them. They kid us all on and are soiled the most by sin

You could add more to the list but you get the idea.

This hierarchy of callings is completely misguided and incorrect!

Is sin not part of the reality of missionaries in Borneo and church leaders as much as with politicians? Is there truly a Sacred realm of reality which is entirely separate from the Secular? Is the Spirit of God completely disinterested in politics because the Daily Mail has an ongoing field day with the flaws of prominent MPs in Westminster?

We need to revisit Martin Luther’s healthy theology of vocation 500 years on from the start of the Reformation and recognise that our incredible God loves all His creation, and that includes the sphere of politics.

May this readjustment fuel some of our desire to vote and vote well at #GE2017! Research #engaGE17 and find out more!

[1] This is not a generalism as there are huge portions of the British church who engage wholeheartedly in politics.

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