The London Institute for Contemporary Christianity

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Great expectations for the July election

The General Election is scheduled for 4 July. Outside 10 Downing Street, in the pouring rain, and with Labour’s 1997 anthem Things Can Only Get Better blaring in the background, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak declared, ‘Now is the moment for Britain to choose its future. This election will take place at a time when the world is more dangerous than at any time since the Cold War.’

In response, Labour leader Keir Starmer addressed voters, stating, ‘It will feel like a long campaign but, no matter what else is said and done, that opportunity for change is what this election is about.’

What should we expect from our political leaders in the next six weeks, and what should they expect from us?

The state of our politics reflects the state of our souls. Engaging with the general election is essential if we are serious about loving God and our neighbours as ourselves. Politics is about organising our common life, and participating in it is an act of neighbourly love. In a democracy, we hold power to choose those who govern us. We cannot relinquish this power, and we must use it responsibly by getting informed, involved, and voting.

But what should we expect from our political leaders?

First, we should expect our leaders to be people of good character and integrity. A good leader does not mislead (Proverbs 16:10–20). They should tell the truth.

Second, we should expect our leaders to clearly outline their vision for the country. There has been a lack of political vision across all parties in recent years. Leaders need to articulate what a good society looks like, what government should and should not do, and the purpose of power.

Third, we should expect our leaders to clearly set out the policies that are intended to promote and fulfil that vision. They should be transparent about the costs and benefits, acknowledging the winners and losers, and recognise the limits of political authority. Government cannot do everything, but it can enable others to contribute effectively.

We should not confuse political power with the kingdom of God, but we should not think that political power operates independently of God either. In the coming weeks, followers of Jesus should pray as he taught them, and act accordingly. ‘Father in heaven, … your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.’

Paul Woolley


  1. I agree with everything Paul says, but I fear that boat sailed several years ago. Our politics has deteriorated to the the extent that voters no longer have the ability to choose who represents them. Money has corrupted our politics and our politicians. Lobbyists, whether commercial or from other states, have more power than voters. First Past The Post disenfranchises almost all of us. Candidate selection prevents us from having a say in who we get to vote FOR. Sadly, many Christians woke up too late to notice what was going on. We’ve focused on our own dogwhistle issues, and made dubious alliances to further our “causes”, then found ourselves alongside “allies” who have no integrity at all. This has happened right across the political spectrum. I will be praying, as always, “thy will be done ON EARTH…” but I’m not at all sure what to DO as my part in that.

    By Robert Jones  -  24 May 2024
  2. re: ‘There has been a lack of political vision across all parties in recent years.’ – I really don’t think this charge can be levelled at the Green Party. It’s what the major parties want you to think, though, ‘all politicians are the same’ etc.

    By Nicola Normandale  -  24 May 2024

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