[notice]Part 2 of a two article series that explores the postion that the Church should occupy in relation to politics[/notice]
In his book, Rediscovering the Kingdom, Dr Myles Munroe says; “People who adhere to some religion group, including Christians, consider themselves members of the group, which they perceive as a religious and spiritual relationship with the organization or fraternity…However, the concept of the kingdom is completely opposite to the concept of religion. A kingdom consists of a king with citizens” (2004: 40-41). This author goes on to delineate what God’s kingdom is and how we have misunderstood God’s mandate to man.
That the Bible calls Jesus the last Adam is no coincidence. It means there is something that got lost in the first Adam that Jesus was tasked to come and restore. The first Adam did not have religion or institutionalized worship but had God’s nature and dominion over all of creation. This is what he lost and this is what Jesus came to restore. Jesus had a kingdom mandate. He came carrying governance on His shoulders and His primary objective was, and still is, to find trustworthy ambassadors who can advance His kingdom and influence to all spheres and domains of life.
Politics on the other hand are about how cities and nations are governed. There are different systems and forms of governance that different nations operate under. There is a democracy, autocracy, aristocracy, monarchy, etc. Space would not allow me here to go into a detailed explanation and comparison of each form. Suffice to say that these are man-made attempts to maintain order among the populace. Incidentally, biblical icons like; Joseph, Nehemiah, David, Daniel, and many others were politically astute. Their roles were more political than religious.
In politics, then, we have politicians, and in South Africa we notice most because of their extraordinary arrogance and grandiosity. They claim to be servants of the people but end up self-serving and self-centered. They are careerists who have been corrupted by power. How then do we extricate ourselves from their unrighteous influence and find God’s proper model?
We have to do so by yearning for a type of a spiritual experience that redefines our cultures and traditions. If our Christianity does not challenge our values and understanding of citizenship then it is impotent. Being born again should also mean the rebirthing of our values because it is our values that influence our choices. We need value based politics and not those based on race, class, tribe or other segmentation.
We cannot allow people who are unregenerate to assimilate us into their politics of anger, deception, greed, etc. We should be wise as serpents, Jesus said. In our country’s case this means we need to know how to be patriotic without being partisan. Politicians are divisive and our calling is to unity and reconciliation.
No political system is perfect and this is why we should ask God to give us guidance. Some of us have made the mistake of assuming God is disinterested in our political choices. The Bible says do everything to the glory of God. Everything, my brothers and sisters, includes politics. You are not a dichotomous person who professes the fear of God on a Sunday and then support anarchy on Monday or in our case, on Wednesday. You are accountable to God for your choice and the choices of those you have elected. Choosing not to vote is not wise because passivity never changes anything.
You cannot allow the status quo to continue. When you put your cross as an endorsement for a political candidate please don’t forget what a cross means for you. Your vote cannot just be based on who will provide better services for you. This is selfish and narrow-minded. It should be based on what is best for our nation. We don’t install governments in order for them to improve our material conditions. That is an anomaly because governments are resourced with our tax monies. We install them so that they might maintain law and order. They are not there to provide for the people, this is God’s part. They are there to maintain an environment wherein people can use their God-given talents and abilities to make the most of their lives. Vote wisely.