OPINION

Connecting religion with politics

There are spectators and supporters. Many know the rules and back a team. A few are players risking injury or worse. Each group seems to have a different perspective.

Ephesians 6 calls us to engage as players wearing a breastplate of righteousness, carry the sword of the spirit, and fight against principalities and powers, and people in high places.

The golden rule, having foundations in the Old Testament, and restated in the New, instructs us to live a life with God for humanity.

Stories are told of characters in both the New and Old Testament. Many have seen these as fiction or allegory. In essence, some are the same type of story, a story with an outward focus impacting people. Some describe a journey of nation building. Many stories seem God ordained and directed.
 

I took the advice of the text in Ephesians.

I ‘fought’ people in high places, over nation building to deliver transport equity aimed at benefiting the Australian people and in particular, Tasmania, a former British penal colony and Australia’s island state.

In this long and rigorous journey, part of the Jonah story became initially relevant. I wanted to give up. Then some elements of the Noah story seemed to apply.. Then parts of the Moses story, the story of Job, then Christ, then Judas, Jacob, the years in the wilderness, deception, then remarkable success, mockery, and denial of history.

The elements of many of these stories seemed together to offer the assurance that others before had similar experiences, advancing or sometimes seemingly hindering the cause.

As the journey became harder and more captivating, the hand of divine direction appeared in success, and even in failure. A desire for self-esteem, and materialism, for ego’s sake, diminished. The value of wisdom seemed to rank far more highly than a self-interested pursuit of gain.

The Bible seemed to be a text book for engagement in sometimes ‘dangerous’ high level politics. The Biblical stories of yesterday seem to merge into today’s true stories. The Bible is possibly the greatest reference book for a life based on a combination of activism and lobbying. The journey through the stories gave me a new appreciation of Christianity.

Some Christians offer an account of how God has helped in their lives but, few recount help in a rigorous journey engaged for humanity. May I suggest that this is where the Bible and Christianity really come to the fore.

There is no better experience than to fight for God and humanity.

Suggestions to pray, study scripture, worship and living a good life are often advanced.

These are objectively more difficult to convincingly explain, when compared with the highs and lows of a journey on a God ordained cause, on a course set by application of the golden rule.

The nature and commitment of the journey with God seems encapsulated by the intent of the marriage vow, taken from the Book of Common Prayer,

to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part.’

The more the journey with God commands your time and interest, the less importance a quest chasing worldly values becomes, or even personal protection - the objectives of the usual ‘bucket list’ of priorities diminishes. The intrigue of the journey can become spectacular by comparison with any alternative priority, said to offer value.

So, after three decades engaged in lobbying, it seems the hand of God in a journey for Him and the nation that demands attention, not success in a more focused interest of the journeyman.

Many of the Biblical stories may come true in your life as Christianity is understood and experienced in this very vibrant and different way.

So religion and politics are really connected, this way.

I wonder if the following words should be placed on the spine of the Bible, ‘A Guide to an Extraordinary Life.’

This article was written without a strong theological background.

It offers a different perspective to some existing views of approaching the Bible.

 Many observers or spectators facilitate the transfer of the Bible and its guidance to others.

Whilst translations of biblical texts may change over time, the gists of the stories remain.  

 It is the view of this article and Ephesians 6 that the above is not a call to armed conflict but instead is a call to use l legal processes available in the interests of humanity.

Peter Brohier is a retired Australian Lawyer and winner of the Australian Hotels Association - Tasmania award for bringing a National Sea Highway to Tasmania. Peter and his team were also described in the Sydney Morning Herald some years ago as ‘the lobbyists that had beaten the nation’s best’.

1st October 2020

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