Australia has a new Prime Minister who appears to have the convictions of a practising Christian. What difference does that make you might wonder? Hard to say at this point. Previously we have had Prime Ministers and ministers who have been ambiguous about their faith – you can never pin them down as to what they believe – Christian or otherwise. That does not appear to be the case of Mr Kevin Rudd who has an agenda, which will (hopefully) drive his government to address social ills, inequality and injustices, especially those meted out to our disadvantaged. Not because these will win him votes, but because he can. because he wants to. Because it is his personal conviction. And because he sits in the Prime Minster’s chair there is a moral obligation to do so, using his power for our weakest. To the point where he, if modeling himself on his hero the martyred German anti Nazi theologian Bonhoeffer, will be identifying with the marginalised, vulnerable, and oppressed” but also will be jamming” the spoke in the wheel” of state power when it oppresses its citizenry. To quote Andrew West in the Sydney Morning Herald today, “If Rudd is true to the calling of his heroes, he could find himself challenging the abuse of power, in all its manifestations.” We do that so poorly through the more formal church structures in our community, it will be interesting to see if it is a politician that sets the church an example. The proof of the pudding will be in the eating – we will know where Rudd’s heart truly lies by what he does, not what he says. He is not my colour of politics but now he is in this seat, should he demonstrate a social voice and exercises his power to be betterment of our disadvantaged then he will get my support. But in the first instance I will be intrigued to see how his faith sits with his own party and then secondly, how it sits with the churches. Then the Australian community. Translating his heart into action will be a challenge worthy of watching. And following and supporting, if it is true to its calling.
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