What Christians can learn from the Australian elections
Following the election of Prime Minister Anthony Albanese in Australia over the weekend, Christians would be forgiven for thinking they were about to face a tough time over the next few years.
In the last Parliament, Albanese’s own party – the Australian Labor Party (ALP) – proposed changes to the Sex Discrimination Act that would make it harder for Christian schools to operate in line with their ethos. And with a large Green vote in the Senate, the PLA will need them to pass legislation or risk teaming up with its Liberal/National opponents.
In such a context, it would be natural to assume that Christian schools and faith-based institutions are more at risk. And yet, with every gray cloud, there is a silver lining.
The number one political lobby for Christians in Australia, the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL), has waged a targeted campaign against MPs who have failed to back the Religious Discrimination Bill – a set of laws allowing institutions denominational organizations to operate according to their values.
The ACL’s plan was to reshape the Liberal Party after it had been hijacked by a more left-leaning faction that sought to undermine former Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s promise to introduce anti-discrimination laws in Parliament. religious.
The ACL targeted five rebel MPs who voted against the bill, sending out flyers, knocking on doors, canvassing, setting up billboards and running newspaper ads in their local constituencies.
It could be said that their campaign was successful as four of the five rebel MPs who voted against the bill ended up losing their seats, with only Bridget Archer of Tasmania surviving thanks to her preferences despite the Liberals swinging wildly in neighboring districts.
Commenting on the result, ACL National Policy Director Wendy Francis said: “The Australian Labor Party has responded to the campaign by pledging to protect Christian teaching and enact religious discrimination laws.
“Religious communities have held the Morrison government accountable for its failures in these policies and are prepared to do the same for the Labor Party.”
This Labor Party pledge suggests a greater willingness to protect Christian schools and a tougher stance on religious freedom and religious discrimination after the election and post-ACL campaign than perhaps they had last legislature.
This shows that Christians can still influence the national conversation despite a trend in society at large away from Christianity.
We have also seen it in South Australia where a large number of pro-abortion-until-birth MPs lost their seats.
And it also shows that Christians will vote in accordance with their Christian values and put the individual candidate and what he stands for before any party.
This could have a huge impact on the political scene if parties take notice and accept more candidates with strong values that reflect their core voters.
The ACL campaign has also taught us that the Church of Jesus Christ is still a powerful force.
However, attacks will certainly come and it is important that as Christians we are ready to roar and use our God given influence.
Because Australia’s greatest need is not a change of government but a change of heart towards the Lord.
Isaiah chapter 9 verse 6 says:
“For to us a child is born,
a son is given to us,
and the government will rest on his shoulders.
And it will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6 NIV).
Ben Kruzins is pastor of Hub Baptist Church in the New South Wales region of Australia. He has written articles for The Canberra Times and The Sydney Morning Herald.