Franklin Christian Lobby, based in Pukekohe (south of Auckland) , is concerned that Christians throughout New Zealand are wondering what they can do to rectify the decline of Christian values and justice in central and local government politics.
“Many young people today do not remember the days when New Zealand was known as a Christian country, ‘God’s Own’, and its leaders acknowledged God,” said Maurice Lovegrove, leader of the group.
“We have seen a lot of good, and some not so good, people with sincere intentions attempt to form Christian political parties over a number of years and these have failed. Maybe there is a better way,” he said.
Ross Wilcox, another member, added. “Over the past decade we have had new laws thrust upon us that appeared contrary to Christian values and justice. Leadership of the main stream churches either failed to speak out or else could not agree and no united voice was heard. A good example is the recent smacking referendum where church leaders have spoken out in support of the Government’s actions and 88% of voters (clearly many of the church leaders’ members) were against those actions.”
The lobby group consists of a mix of experienced former local and regional government politicians, business owners and consultants who worship at different churches. These are Anglican, Presbyterian/Methodist, Roman Catholic, Baptist and a community church. “Unity of lay people in this arena seems far more achievable than a united voice from the church leadership,” said Maurice.
One of the objectives of the group is to meet with, and pray with the local Member of Parliament and Mayor. These people appreciate their support.
Last year Franklin Christian Lobby ran a seminar of similar groups from around the country in an attempt to develop a network of like-minded Christians concerned to find a better way forward. They want the voice of Christian values and justice to be better heard in Government circles and are exploring better strategies for this to happen.