‘Why don’t you campaign on…?’
We’re occasionally asked why we don’t campaign on such and such a topic – most frequently poverty and the environment.
These are two significant issues that matter to Christians. But they are topics that The Christian Institute doesn’t directly address. Why not?
The short answer is that we cannot address every issue and there are other organisations which campaign on either or both of these.
We focus on moral and ethical issues where we believe the Bible’s basic teaching is clear. But on other matters, for example transport or taxation policy as well as poverty and the environment, we recognise that Christians seeking to apply biblical principles can legitimately come to different conclusions.
Loving your neighbour
And the longer answer? The Christian Institute campaigns on:
• Religious liberty
• Marriage and the family
• Sanctity of life issues, such as abortion and assisted suicide
• Parental freedom
• Christianity and the constitution
These are areas where biblical standards, particularly the Ten Commandments, directly apply.
We also regularly consider Jesus’ words when he summarised the law:
“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind’” and “’Love your neighbour as yourself’”. (Matthew 22:37-40)
So, for example, if Parliament considered legislation allowing euthanasia, we would campaign against that because it breaks one of the Ten Commandments: “You shall not murder” (Exodus 20:13).
And we make efforts to love our neighbour by:
• Advocating for laws to protect people from damaging drugs;
• Challenging pro-gambling laws. These are wrong and disproportionately affect children and other vulnerable people;
• Speaking out when lobbyists seek to push inappropriate sex education on children.
‘Take care of the earth’
Should these be the only issues Christians consider? No. But they should definitely be among our considerations.
And what about those other issues? Does the Bible talk about poverty and the environment? Absolutely.
Deuteronomy 15 tells us that God wanted the Israelites to “be openhanded” with their poorer neighbours.
And Genesis 2:15 contains the principle that mankind should “take care” of the earth.
But Christians can disagree on exactly how to respond to these while still loving God with all our heart, soul and mind.
For this, we need the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the wisdom God promises:
“If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” James 1:5