THERE is a thin line between religion and politics and this is so simply because of the numbers of people that both deal with.
Politics is a game of numbers and a politician who gets more numbers gets to rule and it is no wonder politicians run to churches especially when heading into an election.
The numbers of people that churches have is a perfect ground for campaigns. Church gatherings providing a rich platform to campaign and politicians are unfortunately using this trick with the guise of going to worship.
But the truth, according to the Bible, is that religion, Christianity in this case and politics are like day and night and cannot live together.
We agree with the stance taken by the Catholic Church in Zambian to ban politicians from using the pulpit to deliver their political campaigns.
Livingstone and Ndola Dioceses have so far implemented this ban which we expect to be nationwide especially that we are getting closer to the August 12 general elections.
Jesus explicitly put it that His Kingdom was not of this world and is way mightier than political leadership that man is so obsessed with.
This move by the Catholics is timely and reminds mankind that the Church cannot be used to pursue selfish goals. Going to church in the name of worshipping when the real goal is to campaign, leave a huge offering is using God’s name in vain.
The advice against this is enshrined in the Third Commandment (Exodus 20:7) which tells us that we are not to misuse the name of the Lord, our God. That verse continues with a clear warning: “The Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses His name.”
It is our prayer that more churches follow this line and ban politicians from using the temple of the Lord to deliver their campaigns.
Such acts demean the standing of the Church and it is time that such acts are put to a stop.
People entrusted with Church leadership need to take a stand now and put an end to the degeneration of the values of Christianity and what is written in the Bible from people who are more interested in lining their pockets than salvation.
In politically charged situations such as the campaign period, it is easy for churches to be misunderstood even for such polite gestures as merely allowing a politician from one party to ‘greet the congregation’, quite apart from encouraging a trend that would be hard to sustain without interfering with the traditional business of the house of worship.
Also, there is also no predicting what message a politician granted a captive audience, even for a fleeting moment, might deliver to the congregation in a bid to swing a few more potential votes. One wrong or misconstrued word could create all sorts of problems for the church.
These misdeeds that the Bible frowns upon have to be brought to a stop now and this all starts with one step.
We praise the Catholic for taking that one step and we ask many more to do the same.