by Rev. James Wong
I came across a church that opened a counter to register members as voters. “To vote is to be a responsible Christian’ so they claimed.
The church has a voice in society. Her role is neither political nor racial but her role is definitely in the business of bringing transformation of the human heart that is subject to the reign of God. This personal transformation will bring about a political and social change.
The church is always non-partisan in politics but politics affect our life. The greatest tragedy of the people of Israel in Egypt was found in this verse Exodus 1:8 “Then a new king, who did not know about Joseph, came to power in Egypt.” This new king had no relationship with the people of Israel and he changed his policy and oppressed them for fear of their racial domination. In a democratic country, the church must remain in good terms with the government and it is the duty of believers to pray for the kings and government of the day (1 Tim 2:1-4).
On a personal level, we should refrain from the infantile idea that we have nothing to do with politics. We must know what is going on in the country and begin to look at a larger picture. The least you can do for the wellbeing of the country is to get yourself registered as a voter. In Malaysia your vote is a voice in the government. The government of the day is the government you have voted to power. Your non-voting is a vote of silence in support of the government of the day.
What is the prophetic voice of the church? The church is part of the conscience of the society and she will speak against unjust discriminations, corruptions, injustices and social ills that are degrading our society. Her voice must reach the streets.
A good example is the Catholic Bishop Dr Paul Tan Chee Ing who speaks out publicly on the sex video allegedly portraying an opposition leader in an encounter with a sex worker. This is what he says in his latest release to malaysiakini, an online news portal;
"From the start, a permissive attitude has characterised the attitude of the authorities towards this sordid episode. Now that permissiveness has led to this outrage: the showing on public TV to audiences that comprise children and women of material that is vile and putrid. This is an inexcusable outrage for which the laxity of the authorities in not acting firmly to nip things in the bud is at grave fault. No person of conscience can fail to deplore this permissiveness, this inaction in the face of a puerile voyeurism that has now reached a nadir. … Guardians of law and morality cannot afford to equivocate in the face of insolent evil. They must act or society is at grave risk."
The church’s voice is against all forms of moral decay and evil. Christians have the responsibility to vote for a government or individuals who can uphold justice and act as guardian of the law and morality. Your vote is your voice. This is your social voice.