Last week our main party in opposition, the National Party, elected Christopher Luxon as its leader. He is therefore the Leader of the Opposition and potentially our next Prime Minister.
Christopher Luxon is a Christian and has views on things such as abortion and euthanasia which seem exceptional to some in our media but which are pretty standard for a large majority of Christians in New Zealand, whether Protestants or Catholics.
Oddly, however, he says he has not been to church for five years. (Here he offers a jokey kind of explanation for this.)
Across the Tasman, Scott Morrison is Prime Minister and well-known for his Christian beliefs and for his involvement in a large Pentecostal church (though it is not Hillsong as a number of people have mistakenly supposed). But some of his decisions and actions as Prime Minister don't sit easily with some of us who are his brothers and sisters in Christ. In particular, as PM he presides over a harsh approach to New Zealanders in Australia!
Of course, US President Joe Biden is a Christian, a Catholic faithful in attendance at Mass and a Catholic at odds with many Catholics who cannot understand his failure to uphold Catholic teaching on the sanctity of life to the point where a number of US Catholic bishops think he should be denied communion.
Boris Johnson, the UK Prime Minister, to be fair doesn't make a great show of his Christian faith, which may be just as well given his odd pattern of behaviour, decision-making and somewhat eccentric approach to leadership. Many commenters would not be as kind as I have just been in that sentence!
Yet recently Boris managed to pull some kind of ecclesiastical deal to enable his third marriage to be a Catholic marriage in Westminster Cathedral!
Over in Russia, Putin lacks no shortage of fans in the Russian Orthodox Church. Yet he may be about to invade Ukraine.
This brief survey, which could be extended into other countries, especially in Europe, perhaps leads to the conclusion that it is difficult to find consistency among political leaders who profess to be Christian.
Oh, and we should not forget Angela Merkel, recently stepping down as Chancellor of Germany: the most sensible of all Christian politicians in this present era?
Regular in church/irregular in church. For abortion/against abortion. Sensible leadership/foolish leadership. Kind/unkind. It is interesting, is it not, that the phrase "Christian politician" is not a useful guide to what we might expect from a politician so described?
But, more deeply, might we observe that this may not be some uplifting sense of "diversity among Christians is to be welcomed and celebrated" because we do not all think alike?
Rather, such difference among Christian politicians is a sign of deep fractures in global Christianity, fractures of the kind that are debilitating for the cause of Christ?
What are non-Christians to think when, say, they recognise that Boris and Joe and Angela and Scott all follow the way of Christ? To those outside of or even against the way of Christ, that way must seem, well, a little confusing!