POLITICS, GRACE AND SERVICE
POLITICS, GRACE AND SERVICE
Which way to vote... or should you vote at all? Pastor Ian Sweeney shares insights in a BUC News video interview.
With little more than two weeks until the UK general election many voters appear confused as to who best to vote for, or should they even vote at all. Seeking wisdom, BUC news editor, Victor Hulbert sat with Ian Sweeney, President of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the UK and Ireland and asked him not just about the national elections, but also elections that will be happening this summer for both the Adventist World Church and the Church in the South of England.
"The problem sometimes with voting is that it can become very partisan," Pastor Sweeney stated near the end of the interview, and in the context of prayer, "but the reality is for the United Kingdom to work, for any country to work, it isn't simply about winners and losers, it is about cooperation. How can we make our country, our society, our community, better places to live in?"
That, Pastor Sweeney would argue, must be the challenge for every citizen, and in a church context, the purpose behind selecting the best leaders to move the mission of the Church forward. During the eight-minute interview he challenges politicians and church members to 'listen more' – and certainly not to believe that everything the opposition says is wrong and 'everything I say is right'.
Pastor Sweeney believes it is important to vote in the general election but emphasises, "don't do it out of self-interest." Too often the temptation to vote is based on 'what is best for me'. However, his reading of Scripture indicates the putting aside of self-interest and asking, "What will be best for the generations to come?" He asks the politician on his doorstep, "What is it within your policies that will make for a better society, a better community?" He insists, "I'm looking for policies that respect other people and that deal with the quality of life so that people can live in a better society."
Turning his attention to San Antonio and the World Meeting of the Adventist Church this summer, Pastor Sweeney stressed that unity is a significant element in the Christian message. Noting that there will be major issues discussed, some of them potentially divisive, he noted the words of Jesus that "By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one to another." [John 13:35] Regardless of what the results of some key votes may be, his hope is that we can leave the meetings knowing that even with strong passions, and strong views being expressed, that "we can move forward together, unitedly."
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Contact: BUC news