Good morning and welcome to Church. It’s great to have you here especially if you’re new or visiting. We’d love to meet you after church over a cup of tea. Next Saturday it will be time to vote in the Federal Election. Who should you vote for? Who should any Christian vote for? I won’t be producing a how to vote card in this article nor will I even try to imply who you should vote for without actually saying it. Voting is a difficult business and an important responsibility. In coming to a decision each of us should take time to reflect on the candidates and their policies. We should resist the temptation to just vote for the party we always vote for or to simply vote for someone because they have some similarity to us (even Christian Faith!). In this election I think there are a number of important issues that we must consider. We may well think very differently about them but we must consider them. I’ve chosen four that should be of significant interest to Christians. I’m certainly not suggesting these are the only four or even the most important four. Abortion. The labour party has made it clear that they will reform our abortion laws if they win the election. Whilst some the details of this policy are unclear, it is clear that public hospitals would be required to provide abortion services and that those services would be paid for under Medicare. Abortion is an incredibly divisive issue. It is one that should not be spoken about flippantly or without a great deal of care and compassion. In Australia that has meant that this issue has not been spoken about much at all in recent years. It would be a very big societal change if abortion became funded by the State and became a normal morally neutral medical procedure. Refugee Policy. Australia’s refugee policy has been the source of political point scoring for many years. The general theory is, people should vote for whoever is best at stopping the boats and keeping people out. We Christians should be interested in electing a government who will act in ways which display the character of the Australia we want to live in. We should be interested in seeing our nation treat people with kindness and compassion. Global Warming/Energy. From the start of the Bible God has made it crystal clear that we have a particular responsibility for looking after the earth. He made it for us and He has set us over it and all the animals that live on it. If scientists are to be believed (and I think they are!!!) then the way we currently consume oil and coal is not a lasting option. We need a government who will lead responsibly in this area. Religious Freedom. The labour party have also stated that they intend to change our anti discrimination laws. They plan to remove from the anti discrimination act the exemptions regarding religious schools. They have stated that they want to do this in a way that still allows schools to impose ‘reasonable’ conditions on employees in matters related to the beliefs of the organisation. This could be no problem at all. It all depends what is considered reasonable. There are many key tenants of the Christian Faith that people no longer consider reasonable. Depending which of those issues or indeed any others you consider most important, your decision might seem easy. What makes voting difficult is that there is not just one issue, and there is very rarely a party that agrees with your opinion on all the issues. Pray for wisdom and vote for who you believe will form a wise and compassionate government.