There has been a lot of debate on whether Christians should participate in their nation’s politics or not. Many people have urged for the complete, absolute separation of church and state.
Others argue it’s impossible to serve both God and the World at one go.
But I believe people can engage in politics and serve their God. God calls on his people to help their communities to live a better life economically, politically and socially.
We live in the world and we belong to the kingdom of God and we are therefore, called upon to learn its ways.
As representatives of God, in this world, we should fully represent God by serving his people diligently in whichever way.
Under Christ there are three primary influence on modeling the community; the economic, political and social spheres.
Jesus never asked his disciple to preach to individuals but nations, tribes and all peoples. To do so they must be involved in all social, political and economic spheres/systems of these people.
Society is organized around values, structures and individuals.
Three systems of society have different focuses, but all work together for the betterment of its people.
The religious system is about values, beliefs and convictions.
The political system relates to the means by which society orders its public life. The economic system is the way the society manages its wealthy.
God is a just God and, therefore wants us to have politics of justice, economics of equity, and a religion of relationships.
Politics revolves around justice and governance system. Giving fair justice and good governance to all its citizens, which includes, but is not limited to, the distribution of national resources equitably, safeguarding people’s lives and their properties, creation of a good environment for citizens to live and operate in their country, are all areas catered for by God.
Politics of Justice
God instituted and advocated for a just judicial system.
In Deuteronomy chapter 16: 18-20, God argues us to appoint among ourselves judges and officials in every town, and these should be high integrity persons, impartial, not corruptable, or turn a blind eye to cause them to give wrong decisions.
Any moral country will always strive to cherish and promote this. People with such integrity are people who fear God and have strong values of impartiality, who can be found in the house of God.
This doesn’t mean that you cannot get them outside the House of God.
But it may be hard. For this reason, Christians should participate in politics to give fair and impartial leadership.
Also in Deuteronomy 17:14-20, God tells Israelites (read Rwandans) that “when you get possession of the land I have given, you will demand for a king to be like other nations around you.”
God urges us to choose a person of our own.
This person should not make themselves rich, and should have a copy of the book of laws (Bible) in his hands, read it daily and obey each and everything written in this book.
This means that this person is a vice regent under God, and should be chosen by God from his people.
The political system exists to provide and dispense justice to all in the land. The Bible also says that there is no authority, political and otherwise, that does not come from God. (Romans 13:1, 1st Kings 3:28) This implies that leaders are God’s servants and any rebellion against political authority is a rebellion against God.
We have a duty as Christians to obey our leaders both political and religious. We are also obliged to commend and support those who do right and punish those who do wrong. Political chaos ensues when wrong doers are not punished.
If a leader cannot do the above, he’d better get out and give others a chance and if the leader is the wrongdoer, then the system should punish him.
The Bible also talks of submission to our leaders. This means payment of taxes and giving honor to them. Thus the saying; give God and Ceaser what belongs to them.
As Christians we have a big role to play in our communities and therefore should not only sit down and watch as messes happen.
As we pray for our nation and community, we need to actively get involved to set things right or else we are betraying our call to serve the communities we live in.
Involvement may be in form of active participation in politics, advising leaders, submission, praying, knowing what is happening in our communities rather than locking ourselves in churches, being good citizens and offering examples to non believers.
We should stand to be voted for political positions and be encouraged to go and vote for those who should govern us, based on fairness. Christians, I believe, can change the world by giving their input at all levels.
Even if we are to stand out and just pray, we cannot pray for what we don’t know.