Alain Walljee conducts a Q&A interview with Lance Grootboom ACDP councillor, MMC for Public Health in the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality and mayoral candidate in the local government elections on November 1
How can Christians influence government?
“First of all, it is important for Christians to vote and to participate in the country’s elections. That will be the first important thing for all Christians to do.
Secondly, it is important for Christians who have a calling to get involved in government, to actually do so. So, I would encourage them [Christians] to vote and those who have a calling – if God has called them – if there are Daniels, Josephs and Esthers – if there is a passion and a calling for that ministry, I would encourage them to go [and get involved in running for public office].
It is important that Christians do not avoid the political governmental system. It is important for us to engage the system. If we do not engage the system, we will not be able to impact or influence it… Engaging the [political] system will allow us to make the necessary difference.
There is a saying, “Evil thrives when good men do nothing.” So, it is important for righteous people to go into the courts of government and to influence government for the Kingdom of God.”
What advantage have you experienced, from a Christian perspective, from being a councillor?
“Yes, there are advantages. Like I said, you sit at the table where decisions are being made and these decisions are for the benefit of the people. So, the fact that you are there, you have an opportunity to influence government for the Kingdom of God.
So, like what I have seen, is that the influence of righteousness in the courts of government has brought about changes in our city. There was no corruption where I was in-charge of a department. We managed to build 79 parks in less than 18 months. That has never been done before! We won an international award for the best environmental health blitz project in 2018. We were runners up in the cleanest, greenest municipality competition. We started the project: ‘Can a City Be Cleaned in a Day?’ and we launched the first recycling initiative that will pave the way for a green city.
So, when we talk about me being a Christian in government, it shows that when the righteous are in power, the people rejoice; but when the wicked are in power the people moan. When the righteous are in power, the Holy Spirit is also with you and you’re getting downloads from the Kingdom of God regarding the projects we’ve done.”
What should Christians consider regarding which party or candidate to vote for this election?
“It is important for especially Christian voters [to understand] that parties represent different ideological beliefs. You get liberalism, communism, dictatorship, democratic governance, and there are parties who base their beliefs on biblical principles.
The first thing that I would ask a voter is: What are the party’s values that you are voting for? And where do their ideas come from? Do [the party’s] ideas violate biblical principles? Do their ideas work with God or does it destroy God’s ideas? That is the first thing to consider when you vote.
Secondly, look at competence, capacity [to govern] and whether the person you are voting for is God-fearing. The Bible gives us a criterion when it says that we must elect leaders who “hate dishonest gain” and who are competent. It is important that you do not elect leaders who abuse people, who manipulate the poor to gain power because God wants us to care for the poor.
I would also advise voters to look at parties that go for race and for colour because God did not create us to be distinguished by race or colour. We are all called as one. We are all children of God. So, look at whether parties are following biblical principles and if they violate biblical principles because then they obviously have no fear of God.”
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