(Foreword exert taken from the November Draft Pre-Election Manifesto)
By Revd George Hargreaves - Leader of the Christian Party
“Shouldn’t Christians join the major parties and try to influence politics from within the mainstream?” We believe that the answer is “No”, and here is why.
Most people enter into politics with the desire to make a significant difference. It is, however, easy to confuse ‘activity’ with ‘doing something significant’. Jesus claimed that we can do nothing “apart from” Him. Unfortunately, British political parties have ignored this basic truth. They are not rooted in Christ and are therefore doomed to achieving nothing in God’s eyes, and thus ultimately produce policies and laws that do not serve us well.
For example, Communism was widely believed in the 19th century to be a good and fair philosophy, more or less in line with the teachings of Jesus Christ. But the foundation of Communism is atheistic humanism. As time went on, as sure as night followed day, that ungodly root led to such widespread evil and murder that almost nobody claims to be a Communist today. In the same way, liberal secular humanism has now clearly started to produce evil in our society and it will only get worse and worse unless together WE stop it. Yet all the other political parties embrace liberal secular humanism.
The Christian Party believes that there is a clear majority in the United Kingdom that treasures our Christian roots, even if they are not active church members. However, a hostile non-Christian liberal elite now dominates all the main political parties and want to destroy what is left of our Christian culture and legacy.
The New Testament scripture says, “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers…” This radical statement does not mean, “Have nothing to do with non-Christians.” Jesus showed us clearly that we must love our neighbour and serve all people. What it does mean is that Christians should not get themselves into positions where they are forced to go in an ungodly direction. “Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked…”
The British party political system is dominated by what is called the ‘Whip’. It sounds painful and it is. The ‘Whip’ is the yoke that binds Christians to unbelievers and their godless agendas in every ‘mainstream’ political party. It is the undisguised coercion that forces our elected representatives to “tow the party line”. Such coercion is illegal in business and frowned upon in everyday life, but is the norm in our increasingly corrupt political system. It causes Christian politicians to vote in favour of evil laws.
One of the starkest examples of this practice of Christians being ‘unevenly yoked’ is the East Ham MP, Rt Hon Stephen Timms. Mr Timms is a sincere practising Christian, respected by churches and Christians throughout the country. However, you would not know it by looking at his voting record in the House of Commons. Mr Timms is a Treasury Minister - a member of the Government, and therefore yoked by the Labour Party Whip to vote accordingly; regardless of whether the policies are godly or not.
If Mr Timms did not submit to the party Whip he would soon lose his ministerial job. This is a situation that no Christian should place himself (or herself) in according to scripture. Indeed, the Bible says, “Come out from them and be separate...” Elsewhere it says, “Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character.’” This is why we have a Christian Party. By not being under the Whip of political parties that are not rooted in Christ, the Christian Party provides “salt and light” in the political arena.
When a Christian Party politician is elected to political office, he or she not only avoids being unevenly yoked; but also has an electoral mandate to speak in the corridors and chambers of power - not as a Conservative, not as Labour, not as a Liberal Democrat, but as a Christian.
The Christian Party, however, is not a proselytising organisation looking to establish a theocracy; it is a political party made up of Christians who seek to serve their country and all their fellow citizens in a professional manner in the political arena. We do not seek to make “windows into people’s souls.” Neither do we wish to invade the privacy of people’s homes or thoughts. Indeed, we would abolish all legislation that tends toward thought crime.
Without compromising our faith we seek to serve all – regardless of race, creed, or sexual orientation – giving respect to those who do not share our faith, while in turn expecting them to give respect to us and others. The Apostle Paul noted that, “It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill.” When Jesus was born the angels declared, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward [people].” We believe that goodwill is a precious asset and we would like to be known as the political party that promotes Goodwill between all groups of people in this country and worldwide.
In political terms the Christian Party is distinctive. The so-called ‘major’ parties believe in big government; we believe in small government. We believe it cannot be right, for example, to have more bureaucrats in the Ministry of Defence than front line combat soldiers in our Armed Forces, or more administrators than nurses in the National Health Service.
Within the pages of this document you will find norms and popular ideas questioned and challenged. For example: Should education be the business of government? Can we really afford the NHS in its current state? Should taxes be as high as they are? Answers to such questions will not be given in the outmoded tired old framework of the left/right political dichotomy, but rather in the light of God’s love, His word and His wisdom.
People must be free to pursue their dreams and ambitions, to make money, give generously and bring up their families without the state intruding into every aspect of their lives. We believe, for instance, that there is no reason why a law-abiding citizen should have to interact with the state, unless they want to, apart from paying their taxes when applicable. The intrusive nature of our current governmental system has meant that Big Brother is your brother’s keeper – not you, and the state is your children’s parent.
We would get rid of unnecessary laws, thereby generating more respect and legitimacy for the laws that remain. We question the present scope of government. The Christian Party believes that small government and low taxes is part of what is required to give the British people the freedom God intended them to have.
Indeed, the Christian Party recognises mankind as the pinnacle of God’s creation, and we believe that to limit mankind’s freedom beyond the limits that God decrees is to limit the expression of God’s masterpiece. This being the case, in order to achieve that balance that gives rise to attaining the best in life, we must ‘Think Christian – Think Freedom’; because “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free!”