(The Information & Edification Series – Batch 9)
Some disagree on this but I am of the firm view, that Christians, people who profess to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour, should not be actively involved in politics or be passionately pursuing after it. Our mandate is to follow Christ, not politics and politicians and to tell lost souls of the good news of salvation, not to expend our energies on the lost cause of an earthly political system or party.
On this point, some people who profess to be Christians, like to point eagerly to godly men and women in the Bible, who they claim, occupied high office. They love to make reference to people like Joseph, Daniel and Esther, who were in positions of authority over the people, in an environment that was characterized mainly by heathen practices. They say that these people were able to effect change in the positions that they held, due to their influence.
However, these are not good examples to use in seeking to justify why Christians should be actively involved in politics. For, in all of the examples mentioned above, the persons who occupied high office did not do so voluntarily. They did not put themselves up for office or take steps to enter this realm. To the contrary, they found themselves in the situation they did, by force. According to the sovereign will of almighty God therefore, they submitted to whatever his plan was for their lives and served in those positions.
Joseph for example, ended up as second in command in Egypt, not by pursuing high office or trying his best to enter leadership. No. He ended up in Egypt by force, having being sold by his brothers to a stranger, who then took him by force to that land. When he got there, by force, he was made to serve as a slave in Potiphar’s house, which he did faithfully unto God and then spent several years in prison, against his will.
If Joseph could have chosen therefore, he would have wanted nothing but to remain with his father Jacob and his family. If he could have chosen, even after being made second in command in Egypt, he would have wanted nothing more than to return to his father, who, by reason of his abduction, he had not seen for many years.
Notably, when in Egypt, irrespective of where he was and what position he occupied, be it a slave in Potiphar’s house, a prisoner or the second in command over all of Egypt, Joseph still did his best, as unto the Lord and God used him mightily, as he had purposed. It is important to point out that God did not just use him when he occupied the high office of leadership but even before. For, when nothing more than a slave in Potiphar’s house, his master saw that the Lord was with him and so he was able to effect influence even in this lowly position. It goes to show that the Christian can effect influence wherever he or she is placed. He or she does not need high office to do so. The Lord can use him or her at any place and at any point in life, even if that person is in the lowest of jobs, once the Lord is with him or her.
This idea that Christians need to occupy high office to effect change and to make a positive difference therefore, is false. It is founded on nothing but pride, the love of the prestige of high office and too much confidence being placed in an earthly system, when it should be placed on Christ.
Genesis 39: 2-3 states:
- “And the Lord was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian. And his master saw that the Lord was with him, and that the Lord made all that he did to prosper in his hand.”
The same was true for Daniel and Esther. They were in he offices they held by force, they and their people having been taken away captive by a heathen government, in a strange land and thereafter, them having been taken non-voluntarily, according to the king’s instructions and eventually placed in the high positions they held.
In obedience to God, they submitted to the heathen authority over them and were placed in the positions of influence they held, according to God’s sovereign will and design. It is important to note that they did not go looking for these positions or even want them. In Esther’s case, the Word of God says that she was brought to the king’s house. Due to her beauty, which she could not hide, she was taken to the king’s house as a prospective bride for him. She did not volunteer herself or vie for the position of Queen.
Esther 2:6 states of she and the Israelite people living where she and her uncle Mordecai were living, that they “…had been carried away from Jerusalem with the captivity which had been carried away with Jeconiah king of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away.”
Within this context, when the king decided he wanted a new Queen to replace Vashti and gave the command for young beautiful virgin women to be brought so that he could choose one, Esther 2:8 further states:
- “So it came to pass, when the king’s commandment and his decree was heard, and when many maidens were gathered together unto Shushan the palace, to the custody of Hegai, that Esther was brought also unto the king’s house, to the custody of Hegai, keeper of the women.”
When it was her time to go to the king, she asked for nothing (vs. 15), although it was within her entitlement to do so, which indicates that she was not vying with the other women, who had also been selected as prospects for the position of Queen. She remained her herself and was respectful of the king’s authority and the way that God would have it, for his own purposes, she was granted favour in the eyes of the king over all the other women and he chose her to be Queen. She could not say no, as that would have been considered rebellious in those times and so she submitted to God’s will and plan, whatever it was and served.
Daniel’s situation was similar. He did not go vying for high office or desire to enter into the position that he was placed in. He too was where he was due to force. He and his friends wanted nothing more than to serve their God peaceably but God had other plans for their lives and orchestrated things where they were placed in the offices that they held, not according to their will or efforts but by his. Even their names were changed in the strange land that they were in, which they would not have wanted for themselves but they had no choice but to serve the heathen government that God had allowed to rule over them.
It was the Babylonian king’s decision, that Daniel and others like him be chosen and due to the excellent spirit of the Lord that was in him, he ended up in a certain esteemed position, in keeping with the design of almighty God. Once again, note that he did not offer himself for high office or vie for the post.
Daniel 1:1, 3-7 states:
- “In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it…And the king spake unto Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring certain of the children of Israel, and of the king’s seed, and of the princes; Children in whom was no blemish, but well favoured, and skilful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability in them to stand in the king’s palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans. And the king appointed them a daily provision of the king’s meat, and of the wine which he drank: so nourishing them three years, that at the end thereof they might stand before the king. Now among these were of the children of Judah, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: Unto whom the prince of the eunuchs gave names: for he gave unto Daniel the name of Belteshazzar; and to Hananiah, of Shadrach; and to Mishael, of Meshach; and to Azariah, of Abednego.”
That God’s hand was in this and desired for Daniel and his friends to be promoted, for HIS own glory was clear. They did not take themselves to Babylon but were taken captive there. They did not volunteer themselves to be handpicked to learn the language of the Chaldeans but due to the wisdom that they possessed as given by God, they were selected, along with others. Finally, they did not seek an audience with the king but were brought in to him and the excellence of the spirit of God operating in their lives, became evident to the king, from their answers to the questions he posed.
Verses 9 and 17 to 20 state:
- “Now God had brought Daniel into favour and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs…As for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams. Now at the end of the days that the king had said he should bring them in, then the prince of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar. And the king communed with them; and among them all was found none like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: therefore stood they before the king. And in all matters of wisdom and understanding, that the king enquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm.”
God also gave Daniel the ability to decipher the meaning of dreams that he (God) allowed these heathen kings to have, to further HIS divine purposes. He (not Daniel himself), then orchestrated things whereby Daniel was brought before these great men because of the gift that was in him. Proverbs 18:16 states, “A man’s gift maketh room for him, And bringeth him before great men.” and this is exactly what happened with Daniel.
Notably, he was not boasting about his gift or promoting himself on a platform or clamouring to get the attention of the king so as to occupy high office but when the need arose, he used his gift, in keeping with the perfect will of God. At no time therefore was he seeking his own glory, as many people who profess Christianity and vie for high office do, under the guise of wanting to serve the Lord.
No. God used him and God placed him where he wanted him to be. Daniel was therefore always mindful, even as Joseph and Esther were, that although they occupied high office, they had been placed there by God (not their own will) and were ultimately the servants of the Lord.
I say all this to say, as I have indicated earlier, that I believe that the Christian’s place is not in politics. When it comes to political matters, the Word of God is clear as to what our responsibility should be as Christians. We are to pray for those in authority, not run campaigns to promote ourselves to try to enter into high office. The thinking that this is needed in order to effect meaningful change is flawed, as it goes against scripture, which clearly states that the Christian’s involvement in politics should be to pray for those in authority, nothing else.
We must abandon our so-called wisdom and embrace the Lord’s. Our power to effect change lies in obeying God’s will and prayer.
1 Timothy 2:1-4 clearly states:
- “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.”
It is clear therefore, that God does not want us to ever lose focus on what our mission on this earth is. Our mission is not to enter politics to try to change the system from within. No. Our mission is to remain separated but to pray for those who do occupy high office, in love, that they would be saved. Our mandate is to actively pursue lost souls for the Lord, so that they can be saved, not to actively pursue high office or to actively support politicians.
Our power lies in prayer, not in entering into politics or throwing support actively behind any candidate. If God has not called us to enter politics, then we have no business entering. No Christian in politics today, can say that they were forced, like Joseph, Daniel and Esther were, into this domain. They ought not to be citing these people as examples to justify their lust for high office therefore. When those who profess Christianity today, enter high office, they go of their own volition, if not backed by God to do so and what usually happens in such a case, is that they make no positive change but compromise.
We will not effect positive change by joining with the world’s system but by remaining separate from it and praying for it.
This leads me to the point of why I hate politics and believe that all genuine believers should as well.
I HATE POLITICS BECAUSE:
1. It promotes pride, prestige, cliquishness, favoritism and nepotism;
2. Many a time, it is steeped in some level of corruption, no matter who occupies office;
3. It promotes and takes comfort in name-calling, badmouthing, mudslinging, slandering and the like.
4. It is selfish, not caring who gets hurt in the process of gaining support, winning votes and being in power. In getting ahead, it often resorts to discrediting or pulling down others, even if it is based on fabrications.
5. It breeds divisiveness, among family, friends and sadly, even professers of Christianity.
6. It promotes idolatry, as it expects complete allegiance from supporters and to be placed first and foremost in every consideration. It encourages its followers to place it on the highest pedestal and to treat it as salvation, when in truth and in fact, it is not.
7. It presents itself as the solution to life’s problems when Jesus is the only solution.
8. It steals God’s glory and tries to ascribe it to man or a party.
9. It is often used by many as a vehicle to exploit people and to serve self, family, loved ones and friends, at the expense of others.
10. It does not acknowledge God, only makes reference when convenient and many times in a blasphemous manner, so as to exploit his name or some verse in his Word, for political mileage.
11. It is not a friend of truth but constantly seeks to hoodwink, deceive, manipulate and control the people. It forever tries to shape the narrative, to get people to think favourably of a political party or politician, even if the story it pushes is false and dishonest, as its sole focus is to keep and get additional supporters at all costs and to win elections.
12. On the whole, the overarching reason why I detest politics is because its ways, its systems and many of the programs that politicians are expected to continue and support while in office are in stark contradiction and opposition to the ways of the Lord. The way of politics and the principles under which it operates are so diametrically at war with the ways of the Lord and the principles by which he wants us to operate, that in my view, a genuine believer of the Lord, who takes God and his Word seriously, can’t help but passionately hate all that it stands for.
On another note, some professors of Christianity try to guilt believers into voting, as if it is sin if they do not vote. This is a lie. They often say that all citizens have a right to vote and while this is true, a right does not mean that it must be exercised. A right is not a duty. If voting was a duty, then there would be a penalty in law for failing to do so. It is not a duty but a right, meaning that you can choose to exercise it if you wish but you also have the freedom to choose not to do so if you wish. Any attempt to convince God’s people otherwise is an attempt to deceive, which is not of the Lord but of the devil.
If a Christian feels led to vote, he is free to do so. If a Christian does not wish to vote, he too is free to abstain from doing so. There is no obligation either way. For the record though, I don’t vote. I did once and vowed never to do so again. For, I have realized that there is no hope in earthly politicians and political systems. All parties are secular and anti-Christ’s agenda.
(Written on 16th July, 2023)