SHOULD CHRISTIANS BE ACTIVELY INVOLVED IN POLITICS?
“Then this Daniel distinguished himself above the governors and satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king gave thought to setting him over the whole realm” (Daniel 6:3 NKJV).
Undoubtedly, my devotional message this week is controversial and I want your candid opinion about this issue: Should Christians be actively involved in politics? My answer is YES. However, two incidents made me decide to raise the issue here. The first incident: I posted a message on my Facebook wall pages and also broadcast the message through the BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) that instead of criticizing people in government, we should be praying for them. Some people disagreed with me on this issue. Someone, after he engaged me in a long debate, decided to delete me from his BBM contact list. The argument of people that disagreed with me in praying for those in government is that most of the people in government have disappointed the people they govern. The second incident: there was a discussion in my local church about pressure groups and having dialogue with the government. Part of my contribution to the discussion was that Christian should be actively involved in politics if we Christians want any tangible change in government. Interestingly, the congregation was divided along the line of those who supported my submission and those that did not support it. The argument of those that did not support active participation of Christians in politics is that the Christians will be corrupt by other people in politics.
Based on the injunctions of the Holy Bible, apart from submission, we are to be praying for our leaders especially political leaders, even when they are bad leaders (1 Timothy 2:1-3; Romans 13:1-7; Titus 3:1; 1 Peter 2:13-17). If Christians refuse to pray for these leaders, probably because they are bad, how will they govern rightly? If “the king's heart is in the hand of the Lord, [and] like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes” (Proverbs 21:1 NKJV), then Christians ought to commit the hearts and the whole lives of government officers to God’s hand for divine leadership.
Many people in the Bible were actively involved in the politics of their days and they were not corrupt by it. A classical example is Daniel who distinguished himself above other politicians of his time. Nehemiah, Zerubabel, Ezra, Gamaliel, Joseph of Arimathea, Joseph (son of Jacob in Egypt) and countless kings like David also used their political positions to positively influence the government of their days. If these people were not actively involved in politics then, only God knows what would have happened negatively to people of their time.
I will still say affirmatively that Christians should be actively involved in politics if we do not want unbelievers to continue governing us. Politics may be a dirty game, but Christians should go into it and make it clean. However, any Christian that will go into active politics must be sure that God is leading him/her to do so, and he/she must be ready to be there “...to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31 NKJV). Such a person must also be ready to be a light and a salt in the world of politics (see Matthew 5:13-16). For other Christians, “...supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks [should] be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior...” (1 Timothy 2:1-3 NKJV).
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
1. Pray for the courage for every Christians that are led to go into politics.
2. Pray for people in government that they will yield to the leadership of God.
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