Asked what I feared most in this election, my response has always been that I would not be ashamed of my brethren's response to the call to stand for Christian values and with Christ in this election. I feared that a low vote for "Proclaiming the Lordship of Christ" in Shetland would result in Christ, His people, and His cause being seen as an irrelevance in our community.
Political commentators have already glibly written off the "the pair of Christians" poor showing, or put another way by another commentator who described them as "not even getting past the starting line."
What are the factors that may have led to a poor showing of the "pair of Christians" who sought to proclaim the Lordship of Christ in Shetland?
a. Candidates may have been seen as too inexperienced for Council responsibility. No doubt this is absolutely correct. However, where does your sufficiency in your work or other responsibilities come from? None of us are able in our own strength. Both candidates were well aware of their own weakness and insufficiency, but their hope was in Christ's and His alone. Through supporting our brethren, and upholding them in prayer, we seek by faith in Christ to enable them to His glory.
b. In Shetland South Ward, Andrew Shearer very likely lost several votes from the comment in the Shetland Times that Andrew (unlike the other candidates) had chosen not to submit his message for Shetland South voters to read in their newspaper. Andrew responded to this in a letter to the editor (published Friday 4th May), and an acknowledgement by the Shetland Times of human error was made beneath.
c. Was secular pragmatism by Christians another factor in the poor support from Christian brethren.
d. Resistance to change in terms of the electorate (Christiand and Secular voters), voting 'traditionally' for 'Independent' candidates rather along 'party' lines.
e. Christians voting 'for' the candidate they knew in terms of his record, rather than voting for the candidates who were 'proclaiming the Lordship of Christ'.
Any analysis of the election results must recognise objectively reasons why voters voted as they did. This analyis cannot be done accurately without feedback from those who voted for the Christian candidates either as first or second preference, and from those who are Christians, but voted for a candidate other than those openly proclaiming the Lordship of Christ.
Please feel free to offer any comments in Christian love and email Andrew Shearer at ... firstname.lastname@example.org
Other issues that should be considered as a result of this local election results are ...
1. Is the Christian world-view more secular than Christian?
2. What is the Christian's duty in politics?
3. How can Christians build on the foundations already laid to ensure a growing voice in the community and the winning of souls for Christ through our witness in all areas of life and sharing of the Gospel?
- a Christian (on-line) newspaper;
- a local Shetland Christian Party;
- the creation of a network of Christians representing the Shetland Christian Party in every congregation;