Our Readers' Opinions
December 8, 2017
How far should Christians go in politics?

EDITOR: Partisan politics has had an impact on the lives of men from inception. It has to do, not only with power, but the way in which power is utilized to achieve the goals of those elected by the populace. Such utilization of authority oftentimes has reflected itself to mean the invoking of negative energy in corrupt practices. A good question to ask is: Is partisan politics for the Christian? Better yet, how far should Christians go in politics? It is important to note that the politics of the day is much different from what it used to be in the days of the patriarchs – the righteous servants of God. When David ruled Judah at around 1000 BC, his rule was fully circumscribed by the laws of God. He exercised power in accordance to righteous principles. David was hand-picked by God to rule in this way. All kings in Israel followed this example. They were chosen by God and ruled by his laws. Power was inherited and righteous laws obeyed. Politics was theocratic in nature.

Today, across the Caribbean, power is entrusted into the hands of servants by vote. Also, the laws of God do not have the authoritative seat in the governance and life of the citizens. In St Vincent, for example, there is the culture of Carnival and Christmas, which oppose the law of God. These cultural practices are supported by the Government in power and even by opposing parties. The argument which may be brought forward is the fact that SVG is not theocratic and persons should be free to live as they please, in respect of rights of others. But this was never God’s intention. Hence, what should be the Christian’s place in politics of this nature? Should he lead a political party? Should he vote? Should he minister? Should he criticize?

Christ made a statement to his disciples, which included the fact that the poor we have always with us. Likewise, would we have persons who both are not fully spiritual and who wish to rule the governing party? Therefore, rightfully avoiding leadership positions in governments that support ungodly practices by Christians would never mean an unled country. We would always have those persons with us. Moreover, one cannot serve God and Mammon. You can never truly be a servant of Yahweh God and have political policies which oppose him.

If one wants to argue that he should lead the

country and righteous changes would happen over time, such a person is misguided. That argument only means that willful, sinful compromise is the way to righteous fulfillment. Such is rubbish and can find no place in scripture!

What position then should the Christian take? The Christian has the responsibility given to him by God to ensure that the better party for the country is voted in. He should not only vote, but also is free to criticize wrong policies and positions held by parties. In addition, and fairly so, he should give commendation of good decisions made by the Government. God never intended for the Christian to be mute on issues affecting him and his brother. Christians are not to subject themselves to verbal pacifism in politics. However, they should always be sagacious and true. In harmony with the foregoing, it is quite fortunate and possible for the Christian to occupy certain ministerial positions where he or she can serve the people, but freedom must always be present for internal critique and opposition to ungodly culture.

Politics would continue to be about the powerful achieving their desired ends in partial respect for the right. Christians who are called to be complete servants of righteousness are limited, as a result, in how much involved they can get. The two, however, should not be entirely separated, with the latter having a dominating influence.

Mbeki Swift [email protected]