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Pastoral Letter – Vote for the things that God loves – 8 May 2019

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Next weekend we will go to the polls in a Federal election. I am writing to encourage you
to be prayerful, biblical, and intentional in considering how you will vote.

Our Christian calling is to love God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength and love
our neighbours as ourselves. These two commandments are the guiding principles for
how we should approach our task.

To love God with our vote, we should be mindful to vote for the things that God loves:
his holiness, the poor and the needy, and the stewarding of his creation. To love our
neighbour with our vote, we should put the needs of others before our own concerns.
This makes our task quite complicated, as no party in our current political system brings
that kind of biblical balance, even though we see elements in each of the party
platforms.

We must avoid the habit of voting automatically for who “we always vote for” but weigh
things up carefully. Dr John Dickson (co-founder of the Centre for Public Christianity
and Senior Lecturer in Public Christianity at Ridley College, Melbourne) recently
published an article in
Eternity titled, How to vote Christianly. I commend his article to
you.

He doesn’t say who to vote for, but rather helpfully emphasizes that as Christians we
should vote for others (Philippians 2:3-4); vote for the moral health of the community (1
Corinthians 5:12); vote for the poor and weak (James 1:27); vote for the gospel (1
Corinthians 10:31-11:1); and vote prayerfully (1 Timothy 2:1-4).

It is a privilege to live in a democratic country with the freedom to vote, and with this
privilege comes a responsibility. We need to be deep in prayer this week, that God
would raise up the government that he desires for our nation at this time. Please pray

that religious freedom for all Australians remains protected so that we have the liberty
to speak publicly about our faith and beliefs. Remember that God is sovereign, and he is
the one who gives the authority to our leaders (see Romans 13). Our job according to 1
Timothy 2:1-2 is to pray for those who govern us and to submit to their leadership.

I encourage you to vote in a way that is informed by your faith and bathed in prayer for
our nation.

Prayerfully in Christ,


The Right Reverend Dr Richard Condie
Bishop of Tasmania

8 May 2019

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