CHURCH AND POLITICS
By Joseph Azubuike
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What is church and Politics? Should they be mixed together? Will there be any benefit if they mix? Or will there be any trouble if they mix together? Let us discuss to find out the best from our discussion. Follow me to Facebook; twiter; LinkedIn; Google+; Pinterest; Tumblr; Pocket; Bing; Email etc.
Definition: ‘’Church could be defined as the Bride of Christ’’ according to the scriptures Col. 1:18. Church was first mentioned by Christ according to the law of first mention. He made this statement in Matt. 16:18. But the idea of Church came from the Old Testament, when God instructed Moses to gather the people of Israel to a ‘’Holy Convocation’’ or a ‘’holy gathering’’ Lev. 23 & 25. But it was actually prophesied by one of the Prophets that this name would first precede out of the mouth of the Lord himself Isaiah 62:1-3.
But ‘’Politics is a game of words’’, or ‘’a system of explaining to the people what one would do for the people when elected in a Democratic setting’’. It is a verbal display of one’s manifesto or a Party’s Program to the people. In this setting, not one person is involved. People or those interested will tell the Public what they stand to gain when they elect them into office/s as ‘’a Councillor, or as a President, or as a Governor’’ etc.
In a nutshell, Politics could be said to be a game of words and of good will if all practices it as it is envisaged. We are going to see if Politics exists in the Bible or if there is an idea about it in the Holy Scriptures. But it may not be written and called Politics but the idea conveys the same meaning. Some people are confused when they hear about it, but it depends on your knowledge of Scripture.
Actually, if we look critically into the Bible, we could see or discover Politics in the Bible. For I believe it was Politics that caused war upon war in the Bible. Those who felt they could fight against this or that other city and take over from them their city must have come from that idea. But let’s narrow it down to the house of David. We could see Politics being practiced in its fullness.
SHOULD THEY MIX TOGETHER?
In the days of the kings and the Prophets, there were Politics played. It all depends on how one sees it. The kings were in authority, but the Prophets were a kind of checks upon the kings. When the kings crossed over their boundaries, the Prophets would cry out against them. There were many incidents that took place, in that way between the kings and the prophets. One notable example was between David and his friend Nathan the prophet II Sam. 11. When David saw Bathsheba the wife of Uriah taking her bath, he inquired about her, and subsequently called her in and had her in a sexual relationship.
The Bible informs us that the woman got pregnant from that relationship, and she alerted the king about it. The king sent and called her husband who was at war with Israel to come back home. He wanted Uriah to cover the sin for him, but God was bent on exposing the sin of David. Uriah refused to get back home, and thus the king knew that there was Danger somewhere. He decided to make Uriah Drunk, so that he could go home under the influence of wine and have sex with his wife, but his game did not work out at last.
David decided the last option was to send Uriah to the hottest side of the war and afterwards he succeeded. Uriah died and David went ahead and took Uriah’s wife to be his own wife. But it didn’t die down, God sent Prophet Nathan to him. Nathan used wisdom in his report and message to David, read about the account in the Bible- 2 Sam.12.
What I’m trying to fish out is that there were Politics in the Bible, only if you know what Politics is. In those days the prophets served as watchers to the kings. In today’s world, other political parties do the same, by exposing the failures of the ruling party. You may not know that it was politics because you did not see politics written in the Bible as a word. But the features are the same.
Again, in the same house of David, his Son Absalom was making serious campaign against his Father, telling the people who came for judgment from his father saying, ‘’if only I’m made the king, you would have already won your case’’ 2 Sam. 15:1-6. The Bible said that Absalom stole away the hearts of the people of Israel. What was he doing? He was playing politics, even though his father did not struggle with him.
There was another incident in which politics was seen in the house of the same David. When David was old and well stricken in age, he was seriously down but not dead. His Son Adonijah the son of his wife Haggith started celebrating and announcing himself saying ‘’ I will be king’’ I kgs 1.
When his father had not commanded to crown him as king in his stead, what was he doing? He was playing politics. Now, the other side of politics records that Bathsheba which had been Uriah’s wife was now the mother of Solomon, and she was not invited by Adonija in his celebration. Neither Solomon himself were invited, nor the prophet Nathan to the celebration by Adonijah. This man had never received his father’s rebuke before in anything, so he was so confident of being the next king. He organized his own thing and celebrated it.
All his father’s cabinet and confidants were not invited; he went forward celebrating as the next king. Then the prophet Nathan spoke to Bathsheba the mother of Solomon saying ‘’has thou heard that Adonijah the son of Haggith is going to reign? Haggith reigns and our lord the king knows not about it. Nathan therefore counseled Bathsheba the mother of Solomon to save her life and that of Solomon, he advised her saying-
‘’Go in to the king and speak saying, did you not swear to me that my son Solomon shall reign in thy stead? You said he shall sit upon thy throne’’. Nathan said to her that while she would be talking to the king, he himself would breeze in with the same question, ‘’what was this’’? It was real politics. But you do not know it that way, no someone must show you what happened in such cases. And it was so that as she was yet speaking, Nathan came in.
And from here David swore again in the presence of Nathan and Bathsheba Solomon’s mother and solidified it with the king’s Mule, that Solomon shall Reign in his stead. Read the whole account in the Bible, and convince yourself about this incident I kgs. 1. The king further instructed that Solomon should be accompanied round about the city with a town crier who shall be announcing that king Solomon reigns. What was happening? Politics was taking place.
Politics was existent in the Bible, but the way it is played today makes it a taboo to many Christians. Yet Christians are politicians who are in the church. In my own opinion, it should be encouraged from the Church, how? The Bible says, ”when the righteous are in authority, or on the throne, the people rejoice but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn’’ Prov. 29: 2. In this case, when a good man appears for Politics, he has come to challenge someone who may not be doing well.
Should we leave politics to the ungodly alone? What about Christians who are in politics, are they no longer Christians because they are in politics? Politics should not be rejected by the church in any ramification. If we believe that no Christian should engage in Politics, we will be ready to bear the excesses of the ungodly or be ready to mourn.
Yes, because they might make laws that will not be favourable to us. But when Christians are there, such obnoxious laws will be under check. Even as we are not going to stop God’s programs from taking place upon the earth. Yet the world is being preserved today mainly because of our presence here. Have you forgotten that we are commanded to ‘’first of all make intercessions, pray for those in authority that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life’’ I Tim.2:1-2, and we are always found obeying this commandment from our Father.
When the ungodly is the President of a country, there is the tendency to make laws which might be against the righteous, because we are different people in all our behaviours and conduct, our lifestyles are not the same with that of the world, so we should guide whatever laws should be made here upon the earth. For example today, the President of the United States, Barak Obama has legalized Gay marriage for his people. And Christians are under his Government. Are Christians there now feeling better?
Although we know that this kind of law might be found somehow in God’s programs. It is a pointer to Christians that we are living in the last days. When God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, the practice of Gay was observed in the land and the land itself cried out to God and he came down to see altogether whether what the land reported was so, and it was correct Gen. 18: 20-21.
We must be very careful to study the scriptures and note the reasons why God had done many things against the land or people and avoid repeating them in our own time. Obama’s Gay law is in connection with the last days. And it will eventually reach the whole world. Right now some countries have started already to welcome it. At the right time all countries shall be commanded to join by force, whether they like it or not, there shall be no exemption.
WILL THERE BE ANY BENEFIT IF THEY MIX TOGETHER?
Of course we have earlier indicated that our presence in politics shall help check the trend at which corruption is spread in the society where we live. The essence of our prayers here on earth is not to be over emphasized. The book of Revelation informs us about the prayers of the saints which was mixed with fire upon the Golden Altar inside a golden censer and cast down upon the earth’’ Rev. 8. Our prayers are very powerful and we should not relent.
There are very many benefits; the progress of this world is in our hands, and we are the reason for its existence till now. Mixing the Church and Politics together will balance our economy a great deal. Wherever Christians are, that organization shall go forward with speed, because the law of our Lord forbid us from embezzlement. Even when we see those who want to do it, we always try our possible best to frustrate it. Check it for yourself and see.
We never sit upon people’s promotion as do the ungodly. If you try to bribe us, we always refuse it, not because of fear of any human being but for the fear of the Lord which is the beginning of wisdom Ps. 111:10; Prov. 1:7; 9:10. In fact, Christians are very big blessing to the world, although they do not know it. But whether they know or not has no meaning to us because we are not working for man, although man may have employed us into the work.
WILL THERE BE ANY TROUBLE IF THEY MIX TOGETHER?
Well, the correct answer here should be yes and no. Actually there should be no trouble, because we are living in the same World and we should also protect ourselves with good laws through Politics. But if we leave politics entirely to the ungodly, some of them in the communities shall make laws that shall bind Christians to join them in rituals which are against what we believe and practice. But our presence in the communities, state and national Assemblies help a lot in stopping the making of most of such laws and sometimes its enforcements.
Sometimes there are or were some fighting in the Assemblies whether State or National. The reasons are not farfetched, it might be one of these reasons given above. That is why Apostle Paul commanded that first of all intercessions be made for them in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable lives. He continues to say that no Government comes into power but of God.
But if any trouble should arise, it shall be a national issue, and such issue/s shall attract the attention of the whole country involved. Or if it is a community issue, the whole community shall be involved to settle it within it. I know about an issue that involved a traditional ruler with his people. Everyone was involved, both Christians and the ungodly joined themselves together against this king, and they eventually won the battle.
Even as we should not abstain ourselves entirely from every community meeting, there are times we should be in their midst to help the community go forward. When we combine our spiritual wisdom in such meetings, God opens their eyes to see that we can bring in better ideas on some things they are ignorant of and they are solved. I personally have been commended for giving an advise which had lifted my people from what they did not know how to go about it. The only thing that irritates us is their use of those things we do not like to eat or drink. In spite of these, we should be with them as our people.
So most Christians who advocate that Church should not be involved in Politics should read this blog, so that they would be enlightened and be made to posses what God gave to us all. If we avoid politics, how shall we join them at the State and National Assemblies? How shall we attract development to our communities? How would the Government in power appoint someone from our villages or towns to be the commissioner of one ministry or the other?
Should I remind you that if any of your sons or daughters is in politics, it might bring that community, village or town to popularity? Imagine if a Governor is from your community, how great do you suppose your community will be? Or do you think that God will come down from heaven and appoint your brother who is not in politics as the Governor of your state? We should stop thinking myopically, is it because we are commanded to be holy?
Holiness is a thing of the heart. Holiness involves determination, dedication and Purity. If you are in politics you still can maintain your holiness, purity etc. You can recommend your own candidate for employment. You are given the privilege to employ a brother, sister or neighbour to your office for work. When you are in politics, you can give one or more scholarships to your people to study in any school, whether at home or abroad.
There are enormous benefits which we may not mention here because politics is another way for advancing your position, your town or community. Especially when you are a child of God, he expects you to help the brethren around you. You are expected to help not only with money, but with getting jobs for your people. If you have made any promise to your people, make sure you fullfil your promises, or else you stop others coming after you.
This is one area the ungodly are found derailing and a child of God should not be as the ungodly, which makes people to blaspheme the name of the Lord.
Politics is not only for the people of the world; Christians should be in it, but with a different approach and from a different angle. Any community, town or village that avoids politics will hardly see development. Anyone who talks against it, except from the negative side of politics, such person do not see clearly and should be sent to school, because such a person is far from knowledge. We know that politics has the negative side, from which when some people see it, they condemn it totally.
Almost everything that has positive side also has the negative side. If we condemn it because of its bad side, what do we do for the better side which has greatly lifted up people and their communities, towns and villages? God has allowed Satan to live, but not with him in heaven. A day has been appointed for him. Allow anyone who makes himself a Devil to leave. Such people that practice ritualism, occultism and their likes still lives. But if they attack your health and life in that order, don’t keep quiet, return fire for fire.
But I want to tell you that the positive side is greater than the negative side of politics. Therefore the Church should not be scared about the bad side of politics; we should concentrate on the good aspect of it and practice politics. Evil practice/s did not start today; it all started with the single disobedience of our first Parents Adam and Eve at the Garden of Eden.
So I recommend that children of God should not run away from participating actively in politics, but they should only avoid being bought over for evil by the ungodly who sees politics as a do or die affair. Be involved, God is actually holy and expects we play it in a holy style.