Conundrum: Who deserves my vote? 3



Conundrum: Who deserves my vote? 3


I’ve always been clear that political participation is a discipleship issue. But I’ve never been entirely free to define what I mean by that – but I’m no longer leading a church so now I can.

When the Spirit was poured out at Pentecost you would be forgiven for thinking that the only things that happened were tongues of fire and speech, miraculous powers and church growth.

But, no. Something far more earth shattering happened. The fledgling church shared everything they owned with each other so there were no poor amongst them. When the Spirit is poured out, the gap between the rich and poor is minimised. And no one was compelled, or taxed. They did it voluntarily. And onlookers wanted to join, though many seemed to have been put off from doing so. Despite the cost, this is one of the reasons the followers of Jesus slowly became an incredibly powerful social force within the Roman Empire. 

So if I take trinitarian theology seriously – where the Spirit highlights the ministry of Jesus, who only did what he saw his Father doing – I am forced to conclude that Christians have to favour some kind of emphasis on redistribution. 

Church historians tell us that it was the Christian insistence that we are all made in God’s image that led to the early church emphasis on caring for the poor. Rodney Stark argues that it was their counter-cultural lifestyle that led to the growth of the church.*1 This bias toward the marginalised became such a powerful and distinctive emblem that it also led to their persecution.*2

I don’t recall hearing anyone at revivalist rallies praying for this kind of second Pentecost!


I planned to vote Labour at this election but I’m fed up with the huge ming vase within which may, or may not, contain policies I believe in. If Labour are so ashamed of their roots that they aren’t prepared to stand for their founding principles why should I put my cross in their box? I’m voting Green. 

*1 Rodney Stark – The Rise of Christianity & The Triumph of Christianity.

*2 Watch Meic Pearse:

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About the Author

Craig Millward has been a Baptist minister for over 30 years and has extensive experience of the joys and challenges of church leadership.

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