On Saturday week, Australia goes to the polls.
Christians will come to different conclusions about how they should vote.
We attach different levels of importance to various issues.
One may feel that economic management is extremely important.
Another may prioritise the plight of refugees or climate change policy.
However there is one issue, unique to this election, which is very important from a biblical point of view.
This election may decide whether or not the definition of marriage will be changed to include same sex marriage.
This is a very significant departure from the Bible’s teaching, which will have profound long-term consequences for the fabric of our society as a whole, because it undermines the place of marriage and the family as the basic societal unit.
It is likely that legislation to implement same sex marriage will not contain sufficient protections for those who continue to believe and teach that marriage is only between a man and a woman.
As a result, our ability to exercise biblical, gospel ministry through our schools, caring organisations and even our local churches could be severely constrained.
It is important for Christians to know the position of the major political parties on this issue.
According to the ABC, the Coalition will “hold a plebiscite… at some point after the election”, Labor will “introduce a bill to Parliament within 100 days”, and the Greens will “legislate through Parliament immediately.”
This is not the only issue we should consider when deciding how to vote.
There are other issues that are also very significant.
But it is essential that we don’t underestimate the importance of this election for this particular issue.
I invite you to prayerfully consider this when you come to vote on July 2.
Bishop Michael Stead, Chair of the Archbishop’s Plebiscite Task Force