Louise Davies offers her tips on how to choose wisely this Thursday

2024 UK General Election Ballot Papers

Source: Alamy

There are now just a few days to go until this year’s General Election. Each party has launched its manifesto, making clear their policy pledges if they were to be elected to form a government.

As a Christian engaged with politics, I have read many manifestos, attended multiple party conferences, and been given the opportunity to speak to parliamentarians of all persuasions. But I have never read a manifesto, attended a political event or met a politician and agreed 100 per cent with all that has been written or said.

And I would be highly surprised - and a little freaked out - if I did. The only person I completely agree with is Louise Davies - and I am definitely not intending to form a political party or run for elected office any time soon!

Uniquely different

The Bible tells us that we are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14) and that we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works (Ephesians 2:10). God did not create us to be clones but, rather, to have unique personalities, upbringings and talents. We do not look the same and we do not think the same. And if we do not think the same, then we will not agree on everything.

The Bible addresses lots of issues other than sexuality, abortion and assisted suicide

Even at CARE, although as a staff team we are united in Christ, we each have different political leanings. We agree on certain issues, such as the beginning and end of life, but we would disagree on economics, foreign policy, welfare, the nationalisation of industries and so on. This is not a negative thing. The Bible tells us that as “iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another” (Proverbs 27:17).

Stay engaged

In my former role as director of Christians on the Left, an affiliate organisation of the Labour Party, I often found myself disagreeing with party policies on certain issues. A few years ago, a Christian friend asked why I was still a Labour member and insisted I should leave. They had the best of intentions, but I knew something that he didn’t. God had sent me into the Labour Party to be salt and light; it was my mission field.

It would be easier to shout from the sidelines, but if we truly want to engage, we have to show up and speak up. I responded by saying that the darker it gets, the brighter I shine. The choice to stay proved to be the right one. During my time there, I had the opportunity to speak truth to power to shadow ministers and to the leader, to shape policy, and to make a real difference.

I have never read a manifesto that I agreed 100 per cent with

It wasn’t the easiest season, and it required prayer and endurance, but to be effective we must work within a system that we don’t entirely agree or align with. Daniel had a similar dilemma as an exile in Babylon. Rather than not engaging with the political system he found himself in, he served the king. He had red lines that he wasn’t willing to step over, but he did glorify God in a foreign regime.

You will not agree with every policy from a political party. But we must not disengage or remove ourselves from the democratic process.

Choose wisely

So how do we choose the party to vote for in this General Election? Here are a few tips: pray for wisdom; read the manifestos with an open mind; attend a hustings and pose questions to the various candidates; discover what you are passionate about.

The Bible addresses lots of issues other than sexuality, abortion and assisted suicide. God cares about education, housing, our health system, economics, justice, the most vulnerable in society, asylum seekers, the environment…and so should we.

You can take our interactive quiz to help discover your political leaning, read our manifesto analysis and blogs from Christians from across the political spectrum – and pray some more! When it comes to July 4, vote for the person who you think will represent your constituency the best.

I pray that this election might be the springboard for Christians to engage in politics. Could more Christians be salt and light in political parties? We can despair at how parties do not reflect our values, but it would be far better for us to get involved and to actively shape policy ourselves, being led by God’s better story.

Find a range of resources to help you think, act, and pray before you cast your vote at CARE’s dedicated election website: engaGE24