Ontario politics just blew up. Patrick Brown, the leader of the Progressive Conservative Party has stepped down from the leadership of the Conservative Party. Two women have accused him of sexual misconduct during his time as a federal MP. If these allegations are true, then it is good for him to step down. He has abused his power, and has acted in a way not befitting of his position as a political leader, and has harmed two women in the process.
But how should Christians respond? Patrick Brown has not always treated Christians well. In many ways, he deceived Christian voters into thinking he was a social conservative. As Father Raymond J. de Souza points out, Patrick Brown did not act well when he tried to block social conservative, Sam Oosterhoff, from winning his riding in Niagara. Patrick Brown has sided with many of Premier Wynne’s social policies, and it has become difficult to trust Brown as even a fiscal conservative. He has not proven himself to be an entirely honest man, as de Souza so clearly points out.
But we should be cautious about how we respond to these allegations. After all, they are allegations, they are anonymous as Christie Blatchford clarifies, and a man should be considered innocent until proven guilty. Again, Biblical law, which to some degree is recognized in the courts of our land, demands two or three witnesses and a full court case to prove that a man is guilty (Deut. 19:15-21). This precaution is set in place because there are many malicious witnesses who might step forward to condemn a man (Deut. 19:16).
If the witness of these women are true, they should be commended for their boldness in stepping forward. Currently, the courtrooms have not been able to judicially evaluate their claims. The media has received the first round of claims, and we have to step back before making claims that might show us to be injudicious as the fall-out ensues, and Patrick Brown proceeds to cross-examine their story (Prov. 18:17).
These allegations may be true, and Patrick Brown will reap the consequences, and then Christians may rejoice that justice has been carried out. But even then we must be cautious. The writer of Proverbs tells his son in Proverbs 24:17–18 “Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles, lest the LORD see it and be displeased, and turn away his anger from him.” I’ve always had a hard time understanding this verse. But I see it along the lines of praying for our enemy and loving him. More specifically, I see this as a call simply not to rejoice when we see him stumble. Yes, justice must happen, but the Lord may show His mercy to Patrick Brown. For that, Brown must repent, and for that we must be clear first and foremost on the good news of Jesus Christ in the presence of Patrick Brown.
We should pray for Patrick Brown (I Tim. 2:2). He is not above the law, but as Christians, we must also judge with righteous judgement (John 7:24). We must call him to repent of what he has done wrong, not for what he hasn’t done wrong. Christians should be the most judicious when it comes to a fall-out in politics.
At the end of the day, we must wait for the courts to judge this case. We have to be careful, because it is becoming easier and easier to destroy someone’s political and/or public career, even that of a godly man. Yes, Brown must repent of some of his deceitful ‘politicking’ and many of his compromising viewpoints. He also must stand tall and ‘judge with righteous judgement’. But we must remember to speak the gospel in this political environment. Whatever the fall-out, we should point Patrick Brown to a perfect law that is found in Jesus Christ. He is the Ruler of kings on the earth (Rev. 1:5). He is the Lamb of God, the sacrifice, who not only takes away our sins, but the sins of who ever comes to Him looking for forgiveness and an ability to take responsibility for their sins and lead a godly life. May His kingdom come in our lives, in Patrick Brown’s life, and in our culture.