|Minister's Letter - June 2016|
|Rev Peter Cornick|
|To ‘remain’ or ‘leave’ the European Union? That is the question. There is not a Christian answer – Christians will vote both ways; but is there a Christian perspective?
If you want to understand the history of the EU, see clear maps or read Christian comment, I recommend a pamphlet by the ‘Joint Public Issues Team’ called Think, Pray, Vote: EU Referendum resources for churches. (www.jointpublicissues.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/Think-Pray-Vote-EU-Referendum-resource.pdf).
The Christian perspective, it argues, begins not from calculating what benefit we as a nation might derive were we to ‘remain’ or ‘leave’. It begins from recognising that our existence and relationships with one another come from God.
Sovereignty for the Christian is rooted in God’s reign; will our position ‘in’ or ‘out’ of Europe reflect this more fully?
Trade may be more beneficial ‘in’ or ‘out’ of Europe. But all ‘good’ gifts are God’s provision anyway, whether industrial or agricultural. What might this look like within or without Europe?
The upholding of the weak is central to the Christian life; voters need only ask this question: would these better be achieved by voting to ‘remain’ or ‘leave’?
Christians have recently been campaigning on the effects of climate change so the environment is a key political topic of interest to Christians. The question is, will environmental issues be better addressed ‘in’ or ‘out’ of Europe?
Migration is a constant theme in the Bible, and how we treat people of difference graciously is of prime importance for the Christian. Jesus picks out the Samaritan – a foreigner in the land – as the one who cares for the man who falls amongst robbers, when the locals will not. Will we respect the immigrant more if we vote to ‘remain’ or ‘leave’?
To ‘remain’ or ‘leave’, from the Christian perspective, that is the question.