Why should we pray for the Provincial election?
The Rev. Dr. Philip Der, April 4, 2018
One of the key leaders in the early evangelicals in the Church of England (Anglican) was John Wesley. The Evangelical bishops, priests and lay leaders believed that simply telling people to believe in Jesus were not enough when people were facing many injustices in their lives, such as the black slavery and the white slavery systems during the 18th and 19th century. The black slavery was about the slave trade from Africa to England and North America. The white slaves were referred to many children from the poor communities working in mining and in cleaning chimneys. Many children died or injured due to the poor working conditions. James wrote, “Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?” (James 2:15-16.)
Since 1774, Wesley began preaching and condemning the injustice of the slavery system. Later William Wilberforce also advocated the abolishment of slavery in the English Parliament. Following his advocacy, over twenty or even thirty members of parliament (so-called Clapham sect or Clapham Saints) supported this motion. After many years of amendments of by-laws, they successfully halted the human trafficking from Africa and by 1833, England officially abolished the slavery system. In addition, the Anglican Evangelicals also started Sunday School in 1780. Children learned about writing and reading through Bible stories. As a result, this movement began public education for all children and education was not only limited to the rich and the nobles.
Today we need devoted Christians to serve in our three levels of governments to function as prophets bringing the awareness of social injustice, advocating constructively in education, labour, medical, poverty, and housing issues. Regardless what parties they represent, we believe that God can work through them for the Kingdom of God. Therefore I urge you to pray for June 7 Provincial election. Please visit prayon.ca website for more information and start praying for the election starting April 29.
Lastly, I have also learned about the feeling of isolation in those Christian candidates who are running in this election. Churches should support these missional Christians for changing the society. Protesting in front of the Parliament to what we believe in is one way to change our government. However, if we have pious and wise Christians to serve as members of parliament, and when they win the trust of other colleagues, that would be a more effective way of influence. Please pray for these pastors or lay leaders who felt called to make a positive impact in our society.
英國聖公會最早期的福音派代表人物可說是由約翰衛斯理(John Wesley)開始。福音派的主教、牧師及信徒相信單傳福音是不足夠，因為社會中，有很多不公平的待遇，包括黑奴制度，還有白奴制度。黑奴自然是指在非洲運去英國、美國等地方的奴隸。白奴是指在英國本土，有很多貧窮的童工在壙區、在住家清理的煙囪，導致很多童工喪命或傷殘。雅各書說：「若是弟兄或是姊妹沒有衣服穿，又缺少日用的飲食； 你們中間有人對他們說：「平平安安地去吧！願你們穿得暖，吃得飽」，卻不給他們身體所需要的，這有甚麼益處呢？」雅 2:15-16。
在1774年開始，衛斯理就開始宣講奴隸制度的不對。接著William Wilberforce 在國會議會中提倡要立案廢除奴隸的社會制度。接著有二、三十個福音派議員 (Clapham sect or Clapham Saints)也響應這動議。經過多年的立法，首先停止了人口買賣的生意，終於在1833年全國完全廢除了這不公平的制度。除此之外，聖公會福音派也在1780年開始了兒童主日學，用聖經故事教小孩們寫字。這樣開始了全國兒童有書讀，而不是只限於貴族或有錢人。