Local government elections a test of our Christian maturity –Alain Walljee

Citizens queue to vote at a church in Alexandra Township during the local elections in May 2011 (PHOTO: File image/enca)

Thomas Jefferson, 3rd president of the United States, said: “The government you elect is the government you deserve.”

Do Christians understand the biblical imperative of Proverbs 29:2 (KJV) that when the righteous rule, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn? I am quite certain that God did not intend for us to merely know the truth of this verse so that we can quote it merely as a commentary on the state of our local and national governance.

It is my strong conviction that God wants his people to look at this verse as God’s will for our governance and then for us to do what we can to ensure that righteous leaders end up in public office. But accomplishing it is not automatic. We must be intentional about it.

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The lack of Christians involved in politics and the exorbitant number of Christians voting for parties with non-Christian values are symptomatic of a church ignorant of our biblical mandate. But more than that, it reflects pulpit indifference to that role of the church.

The truth is that if spiritual leaders taught Christians to be more politically engaged, all the laws that are passed that we complain about, might not have been passed. But we have not nurtured a culture of public participation and inputs into bills. We wake up and complain after laws are passed. We want better governmental leaders, but do we provide righteous alternatives by encouraging Christians to run for political office and become part of the process to end up in government?

Politically, the church seems to be deprived – we suffer from a poverty mindset. We wait for handouts and often do little to remedy our own situation. This must change if we are to see real transformation in our nation. For years we have been praying for righteous leaders, but God is moving on the Church to become a production line for our current and future political leaders.

This has to be a goal for churches and pastors. But the congregation will not know their responsibility if the leaders do not teach it and empower the Church regarding it.

I am of the opinion that the outcomes of the November 1 elections will reflect exactly how much the Church understands about our mandate in terms of our political interest, and exactly how astute our growth is to act in accordance with that understanding.

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