By Asst Ps Gift Daniel
The GE2020 is over. Regardless of who we voted for, how do we proceed from here as Christians who are called to be the salt and the light in society? Below are my personal reflections on how we can support our elected Government within the parameters mentioned in the Bible.
As Christians, we need to first recognize that it is God who brings people to power and God who removes people from power. As long as the church is fervent in prayer (hope we prayed earnestly for the election), God will do His work. Apart from prayer, I suggest the following for our consideration.
Let us speak up and give constructive feedback to the government
I think we can do more than just pray for the elected government. One way we can help and support the Government is to give them constructive feedback. When I talk to people both within and outside the church, I often hear concerns and unhappiness in relation to government policies and schemes. I wonder how many of these people who are genuinely concerned about our government policies have actually given feedback to the respective ministries for their consideration. I am one of those who seldom give feedback to the authorities. I am not talking about giving feedback to the town council about the lift that is out of order or the rubbish bin that is not cleared (many of us have no problem doing this). Rather how many of us are prepared to give feedback to the government regarding sticky issues that affect us or fellow citizens? One convenient reason we give for withholding our feedback is that we are just a drop in the ocean and therefore our feedback will not make any difference. I do not think this is how Christians should think when engaging the public square.
However, let us do this with gentleness and respect. I believe the Scriptures demands civility from every Christian. The Bible exhorts Christians to approach everyone with gentleness and reverence, and to strive to live at peace with everyone, even those with whom we disagree (I Peter 3:13-16). Let us do our part by giving constructive feedback to our leaders to help them govern this nation with Biblical values.
Let us help connect the needy with available government resources
Our government has many schemes in place to help the poor and the needy. These include free counselling, marriage intervention programmes, half-way houses and schemes to help the elderly and the jobless. Many of the poor and needy may not be aware of such support schemes. Let us be a bridge between them and the relevant government resources. Churches are probably one of the religious organizations that are very much in touch with the ground (if we are not, let us strive to be). Whether it is our church’s community outreach efforts or when we walk or jog in our neighbourhood, let us be sensitive to the needs of the people around us and do our part to connect the needy with the available government resources.
During the circuit breaker, I heard of a non-Christian couple struggling in their marriage. After finding out from some people, I introduced them to a government-run marriage intervention centre. I know of a brother who serves as a volunteer in a grassroots organization to assist the MP in the Meet-the-People sessions. He helps the poor and the needy in his GRC to translate and write letters, and to request help for those in need. I sincerely appreciate his service. This may not be for all but let us not ignore the opportunities God may bring to us. Let us be a bridge between the needy and the government resources.
Let us help create a caring community
Covid-19 has brought to our attention some social gaps that exist in our society. In the past few months, we have been overwhelmed by the negligence in the care given to migrant workers. I believe the church can play a part in this area. Taking care of the marginalized is very much in God’s heart. This is a core Christian value and one of the ways whereby the Gospel can be lived out in today’s culture.
Recently, we provided shelter for the homeless through the S3P project. We have helped the sex workers in Geylang and the migrant workers in dormitories in some small ways. Let us continue to do this; be a voice for the marginalized; and support the government in improving the social fabric of our society.
Let us be an instrument of peace
Regardless of which political party is in power, our mission and message are clear. We have a mission to spread the love of God and our message is to bring reconciliation.
Let us not talk politics to the extent that it becomes unhealthy and divisive. We are here to point people to the Prince of Peace. We are moving towards a time where there will be more strife (between nations), more enmity and more divisive politics. It all points to one thing – the coming of the Lord’s reign is near. He will rule the nations, His kingdom will come. Let us therefore submit to and support the rulers of this earthly kingdom while looking forward to the eternal kingdom.