Fear God and Honour the Emperor: The Results of the 2020 BC Election
According to the preliminary results of the 2020 British Columbia, the BC NDP has won a major electoral victory. The NDP is projected to win 55 of British Columbia’s 87 seats. Of the five electoral victories for the BC NDP, this election gave the party a larger margin of victory than in the 1996 and 2017 and a smaller margin of victory compared to 1972 and 1991 elections.
However, these are just preliminary results. Elections BC issued almost 725,000 mail-in ballots, or about 20% of all total votes, that remain to be counted. Because these votes have to be counted and vetted by hand, the final results of the election may not be available for another two to three weeks. The counting of mail-in ballots may change the outcome of a few close ridings such as Abbotsford-Mission, Chilliwack, Chilliwack-Kent, and Langley East, but there is little doubt that the NDP will walk away with a sizable majority government.
ARPA Canada would like to congratulate every MLA on their victory and thank every candidate for standing for election. Regardless of party affiliation, ARPA will continue to pray that God might direct the steps of all the (re-)elected MLAs and for our re-elected Premier John Horgan and that He may open their eyes to the areas in which British Columbia is going astray. We encourage you to also pray for our newly elected government.
Did any Christian parties or candidates get elected?
By winning a large majority, the New Democratic Party has solidified its hold on British Columbia’s government. As ARPA’s voting guide outlined, the NDP has generally not been supportive of Christian beliefs, such as a biblical perspective on gender and sexuality. In fact, the NDP weaponized the Christian beliefs of several opposing candidates and painted these candidates as unsupportable because of their Christian views. Although the NDP has not made any recent statements on abortion, conversion therapy, or euthanasia, it is extremely likely that the views of most of their MLAs do not align with the biblical views of Christians. For example, instead of supporting Christian hospices and palliative care units, the party wants the government to take over all Christian and all private long-term care facilities.
Unfortunately, the second-place BC Liberals as a party are not largely supportive of Christian notions of life, family, and education either. In the past few years, the BC Liberal party has been reluctantly willing to allow Christian candidates to be members of their party. With the resignation of Chilliwack-Kent MLA Laurie Throness from the BC Liberal, the space for traditional Christians is slowly being squeezed out from that party. (The race in the riding of Chilliwack-Kent is extremely close; the mail-in ballots will likely determine whether Laurie Throness or NDP candidate Kelli Paddon will win that riding.)
Smaller parties that tend to have policies more in line with the beliefs of Reformed Christians – the Christian Heritage Party and the Conservative Party – both failed to win any seats or attract a significant number of votes. The Christian Heritage Party captured 0.28% of the vote, with their leading candidate, Rod Taylor, attracting 13% of the vote in Stikine. Similarly, the leading Conservative candidate, Trevor Bolin, garnered 35% of the vote, compared to the party’s total of 2.4% province-wide.
Where should Christians go from here?
Many Reformed Christians may be cynical about these election results and the lack of support for solidly Christian political parties and candidates. Many will be tempted to revile and disparage a government that does not reflect our values.
Resist that temptation.
The apostle Peter in 1 Peter 2:13-17 says, “Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. Honour everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the emperor.”
Realize the context in which Peter lived. The Roman emperor was not a Christian. He did not seek the well-being of Christians. He did not seek to uphold laws consistent with God’s Word.
Yet, Peter reminds all believers not only to submit but to honour the government. Do not speak ill of Premier John Horgan or your local MLA; disagree and argue against their policies, but always honour them as people made in the image of God and as the authorities that God has placed over us.
Why? The apostle Peter gives two reasons. First “this is the will of God.” It’s that simple. If God commands it, we do it. Second, “by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people.” Honouring those that you fundamentally disagree with is hard, yet it can be an incredible testament to those around you. Honouring others helps to build relationships, and good relationships with politicians are crucial to advancing Christian policy.
Stay tuned in the coming weeks for updates as the mail-in ballots are counted and the final results announced