Showing posts from November, 2011

So, who should I vote for?

Following my survey of the Biblical prophets, I scanned the websites of 12 of the 16 political parties currently registered in New Zealand.  For various reasons I decided to not even seriously consider Aotearoa Legalise Canabis, New Citizen Party, New Zealand First and The Kiwi Party.  I was looking to see what kind of policies the parties listed first on their websites.  All parties that seemed to be pitching themselves as a party that was trying to do things to improve the lot of vulnerable people went on my party shortlist for further consideration.  These are:
ManaLabourAllianceGreensUnited Future
The next question is: how to whittle that list down to a single party, using the leadership priorities I have found in the Biblical prophets?

My answer has been to try to list out actions I think a New Zealand government could take that would best improve the lot of poor and vulnerable people both here and overseas.  I will then compare those with both the parties on my shortlist (and als…

Results of survey of the Biblical prophets: How should leaders lead?

As I said earlier, in the light of the upcoming election I've been trying to work out how God might want our leaders to lead.  I've been somewhat surprised by what I've found.

As I see it, Christians in the anglophone West tend to adopt one of two political positions: 'family values' or 'social justice'.  I have always been part of the 'social justice' camp.  In doing this Biblical survey, my aim was to allow scripture to challenge that.  To my considerable surprise, I didn't find a single statement in the prophets that categorically seemed to support the 'family values' viewpoint.  Instead, what I found was material on the importance of leading the population in following God and material on the importance on caring for the weak.

I decided to ignore the stuff about leading people towards God: I don't live in a theocracy and it feels deeply inappropriate to me for our politicians to require Kiwis to follow a particular religion.  Tha…

How to vote

We are having a general election in New Zealand in two weeks time.  As I've been wondering how to vote I've started to wonder about how God would want (does want?) me to vote.  This has led me to wonder about what the Bible has to say about governance.

There is a lot in the 'history' sections of the Old Testament about the various kings of Israel, but they are kings in what is essentially a theocracy.  In that context it is natural that the main criterion for judging them to be good or bad kings is whether or not they themselves followed God and whether they did things that helped their people follow God.  However, I do not live in a theocracy and, while whether or not a politician follows God is not unimportant, I don't think it should be the number one factor.

In the New Testament there is, again, a lot on leadership.  However, again it doesn't seem all that relevant to my question, as it's all about religious leadership: either that of the pharisees over…

Carrying your cross and counting the cost

The more I read the Bible, the more I find in it!

At the moment, Martin and I are making our way through the book of Luke: the second of the four books that tell us about Jesus' life on Earth.  Today's reading was from the end of chapter 14:

 Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it?For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish

Luke 14:25-30, NIV

This passage contains two ideas that are very familiar to me: "take up your cross" and "count the cost be…

Apple in China, take 2

A fortnight ago one of the digital technology correspondents on Radio New Zealand National's Afternoonsprogramme suggested that Apple's track record in China was no worse than anyone else's.  I rapidly emailed them an abbreviated version of this by way of refutation.  I was amazed and delighted to hear my points discussed, sympathetically and in detail, in that same correspondent's slot on today's programme!  Woohoo!