By the time you read this the European Elections will be over (collective sigh of relief!) and we will no longer be subjected to the bizarre party political broadcasts from fringe and mainstream parties alike. It has become clear to me that far from seeking to help the voter to a clearer decision making process, these programmes have clouded the important issues – for all I know perhaps that’s deliberate. So we have the party of ‘in’ or ‘out’; but equally there will be another party of ‘up’ or ‘down’ and then there will be the party of ‘round and round’. Am I not taking this seriously enough?
Yet in that ‘in’ or ‘out’ argument I can find something a little more serious but not necessarily in the way that the – well, let’s not become too political here… we’ll refer to them as the Okey-Cokey Party; not necessarily in the way that the Okey-Cokey Party intended. The argument appears to centre round the benefits of remaining in the EU over the benefits, as seen by others, of getting out. Now it seems to me that in most cases the force of the argument is driven by the way in which it appears to benefit the individual – and some individuals would undoubtedly benefit from ‘out’. Some would equally be worse off. The majority, however, would receive little benefit either way. They are simply the battleground on which the small group of ‘ins’ and the small group of ‘outs’ wage their bitter campaigns. The winner is the side that can fool the most people in the middle into thinking that their lives will be better if the ‘ins’ or the ‘outs’ are richer.
And the argument is over what? An organisation that exists almost entirely to serve itself? That is what some say. Others say it is open to manipulation by those countries which have the most financial and political muscle – or vulnerable because of the economically weak member countries. And it is all based on human activity – the Way of the World.
I’m still not being serious, am I? Well, okay, here’s where it gets a bit more real. You see, I can identify with the party of ‘in’ (but not necessarily the Okey-Cokey Party!), but I’m not talking about the EU here. We may consider the EU, the UN, NATO or any other organisation ostensibly formed for co-operative existence between nations but, as with all human activity, they are limited by human understanding. But the Kingdom of God has an ‘in-out’ requirement which leaves no-one in the middle ground; it requires a response which involves a cross, but not on a ballot paper. When Jesus died on the Cross he was voting for our salvation. ‘In’ is the acceptance of the healing that the Cross offers. ‘In’ is part of God’s plan to make all things new. ‘In’ is the decision for life.