Can Christians participate in politics?
Published On April 23, 2016 » 1922 Views» By Hildah Lumba » Features
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Religious Corner LogoCHRISTIANS always want to operate behind the scenes on the issue of politics. It was encouraging to hear the Republican President encourage Christians to join politics.
President Edgar Lungu warned that Zambia’s political and economic responsibilities would be difficult to attain if Christians continued taking the backseat.
He had on several occasions appealed to Christians to join politics for them to help bring in love and unity in the political arena.
Politics have been termed as a dirty game, which many Christians do not want to involve themselves into. And yet it is not a game but authority which inspires people and to help change realities of those who have chosen to commit to their activities.
Those that are less competent and power hungry cause so much damage. One of the major dilemmas we face as Christians is how to deal with politics and government.
When a Christian becomes a politician they are termed as being disobedient or sinning before God and man.
People around always say of all things on earth why enter into a sinful arena.
In the Old Testament politics played a major part in pagan religious activities such as the worship of Baal-berith.
Governments often went so far as to hire temple prostitutes to bring in additional money. In many cases, a religious system was set up and supported by the government so the offering could find community projects.
Religion became a profit-making business. In Israeli religion, this was completely forbidden. God’s system of religion was designed to come from the heart and also designed to serve people and help those in need, not to oppress them.
Many Christians do not want to involve themselves into politics, perhaps this is because power has a way of taking over and controlling the person using it. Abimelech’s life shows us what happens when hunger for power corrupts judgements.
By the time he was fully into politics, he no longer had power, power had him. He was over confident and forgot everything about God, he was different from his father. This story is recorded in 2 Samuel 15:5-6.
Another story we can learn from is that of Samuel and Saul. Samuel called all the Israelites together at Mizpah, where he would anoint Saul as their king.
According to Bible scholars, up to this point the political seat of the nation seems to have been the religious centre of the nation as well. 1 Samuel 10:17.
Saul may have been the first Israelite leader to separate the nation’s religious centre (probably Mizpah at this time) from its political centre Gibeah- 1 Samuel 11:4, 26 :1)
Politically, the nation grew strong for a while. But when Saul and his officials stopped seeking God’s will, inter jealousies’ soon began to decay the nation from within.
King Solomon’s late father David brought back to Jerusalem the Ark of the Covenant, he completely united the religious and political centres at Jerusalem.
From this it is easy to learn that politics cannot do without religion, they work hand in glove. It is not wrong or a sin for a Christian brethren to join politics.
When the Israelite king took office, he was not only crowned, he was anointed also. The coronation was the political act of establishment for the king as ruler, the anointing was the religious act of making the king God’s representative to the people.
Christians are free to participate politics, as long as they do not forget that this world is not their home, they are headed to heaven where Christ rules for ever.
And when Christians involve themselves in politics their ideas are to be that not of this world and fight the corruption and injustices that is promoted by those who do not know God. Christians should be careful that their participating in politics does not take all their time, for precious time should be used to serve God.
If you enter into politics as a Christian don’t behave like Pontius Pilate who on three separate times declared Jesus not guilty but the fear of the Jews political pressure made him decide to allow Jesus’ crucifixion.
He went against what he knew was right in desperation, he chose to do what was wrong.
Many politicians share a common humanity with Pilate. At times they know what is right but chose what is wrong. He had his moment in history and now you have yours.
Don’t make a decision to please the followers or opposition. Make decisions that please everyone, we fall into compromise and lawlessness. God promises to honour those who do right, not those who make everyone happy.
If you meet a man wearing a trouser the wrong way, you won’t say “I will never wear a trouser in my life,” but you will do it the right way.
The same way with politics if others are doing them wrongly as a child of God do it right, James 4:17 encourages us that-Anyone then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.

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