Farron’s Follies

tfI have said before and will doubtless say again there is no Scriptural bar on Christians being active in politics. In the Old Testament God’s people frequently held political office and combined that office with ministry; something that is especially, but not exclusively, true if that happened to be a prophetic ministry, Daniel, for example, held very high office in the government of a pagan empire:

Then the king made Daniel a great man, and gave him many great gifts, and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon, and chief of the governors over all the wise men of Babylon. Daniel 2:48

However, the central problem that Christians face in politics have been exposed by Tim Farron’s flip-flops over abortion and gay sex. Operating within liberal democratic politics is different to occupying a position within a kingdom obviously but that is not really a defence for Mr Farron – Daniel knew that although his immediate patron was the King of Babylon his allegiance belonged to the King of Heaven. Mr Farron has fallen at the first hurdle by making the fundamental mistake of being in politics to ‘serve others’ or ‘the people’, neither of which should be his ultimate concern, his ultimate concern should be to serve God. If he recognised this he would defend God’s Word without a moments hesitation.

The story of Daniel in fact shames Mr Farron. Daniel defied Babylons King and placed his life in the hands of the Lord:

 Then these high officials and satraps came by agreement to the king and said to him, “O King Darius, live forever! 7 All the high officials of the kingdom, the prefects and the satraps, the counselors and the governors are agreed that the king should establish an ordinance and enforce an injunction, that whoever makes petition to any god or man for thirty days, except to you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions. 8 Now, O king, establish the injunction and sign the document, so that it cannot be changed, according to the law of the Medes and the Persians, which cannot be revoked.” 9 Therefore King Darius signed the document and injunction.

10 When Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he went to his house where he had windows in his upper chamber open toward Jerusalem. He got down on his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he had done previously. Daniel 6:6-10

Meanwhile, Mr Farron lacks even the sufficient courage to risk not death but the possibility of losing votes at the polls. And yet people wonder why politicians are held in such low regard – in this case, it is not hard to see why. It is in no way surprising that when people say they wish to serve the world, serve the people, serve others etc people end up straying from God – the inevitability of that is seared right through the heart of Scripture. It is something that Mr Farron would do well to reflect on.

 

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