Christianity and Politics

... Where lies the boundary?


How will it end? How will you end the story of your political ministry? It is the question that will matter most at last but which must of necessity be answered from the beginning! If leadership is generally considered tasking, then, political leadership is better described as a daunting task. Some have described it as a thankless job. This may not be entirely correct, but it is largely so, especially from the human perspective. This is the very reason why political leadership positions are better occupied by children of God that have learnt to labour here but wait patiently for God’s commendation and reward than expecting the praise of men. More than anyone else, a Christian politician is in the best position to determine how his political ministry will end; either safely as God wished it to be (Jeremiah 29:11) or shabbily as Saul ended his own.

Two typical finishers exist in ministry, and the following are two typical testimonies of the two mainstreams: First, Eli, towards the end of his life, God Himself said, “…I said indeed that thy house, and the house of thy father, should walk before me forever; but now the Lord saith, be it far from me; for them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed. Behold, the days come, that I will cut off thine arm, and the arm of thy father’s house, that there shall not be an old man in thine house” - 1 Sam.2:30-31

The next person is Apostle Paul who in one of his last letters on earth, inspired by the Holy Spirit, wrote to Timothy, his beloved son in the Lord – “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give to me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing” – 2 Tim.4:7-8 The truth is that either of these pronouncements could hold for any ministry, including a political ministry. The real question is, ‘which of these men do you desire to end like?’ If your answer is Apostle Paul, then, you must make up your mind to do the following from the beginning to the end:

Absolute Obedience to God:- There is no substitute for absolute obedience. No wonder, Prophet Samuel told King Saul, after the later has terribly disappointed God: ‘Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams’ (1Samuel 15:22). While the Lord has to be obeyed all the time, particular attention has to be paid to areas that God paid more attention to while training us. The obvious fact is that God concentrate more on our weak areas where we are easily vulnerable to the hard and sudden kicks of the devil in our unguarded hours, without neglecting the other areas where we may be considered relatively strong. This explains why Moses had to spend about Forty years rearing the cattle for his father-in-law! - Quite a humbling experience and a profound way to teach humility as well as deal with the ‘killer’ called anger!

Seek the anointing of His Holy Spirit:- There are numerous reasons why a Christian politician must be a power carrier. Chief among these are the myriads of spiritual and physical oppositions that he or she has to contend with from time to time. An insufficient or erratic flow of God’s anointing will not only jeopardize the success of the political mission but even the life of the vessel himself. Elijah and Elisha are two typical no nonsense power carriers who throughout their ministry demonstrated the level of zeal and purity that is expected to retain the presence of God and His anointing that are sine-qua-non for success in life and ministry. So real was their understanding of these necessities that Elijah had enough of the presence and power of God to ascend to heaven without tasting death while Elisha’s bone in the grave retain so much of the same to raise up a death body! It is important to reiterate the point that has been paraphrased above that undiluted purity is most needed if God’s presence and anointing is to flow unhindered in a Christian.

Hebrews 1:9 says of Christ, ‘Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.’ Closely associated with purity and largely complimentary to it in promoting God’s generous presence and His awesome anointing is a very robust prayer life. All these should be done without neglecting any other Christian obligation, including being a generous giver.

One other major reason why the presence of the Holy Ghost and His anointing is heavily required is that those who fall to sin in their Christian journey or ministry often know what is right or wrong when acting contrary to God’s expectation or directive, but, majorly, they lacked the power and the will to resist the temptation when the devil struck! The erratic nature of the anointing on Samson was his greatest undoing. The anointing became erratic as a result of a lifestyle of compromise. The same is responsible for incessant power outages in the life of many Christians today.

Watch and Pray: - Thank God for His grace, but God does not intend that grace should take the place of prayers. God’s design for our success in life and ministry is such that our success is to a very large extent directly proportional to our prayer life, that is, to how much we seek His face and look up to Him for success. The indispensability of prayer is emphasized in several scriptures: Matthew 7:7; 1 Thessalonians 5:17; Mark 9:29, etc.

One unfortunate defect in the spiritual eyes of many Christians today is our short-sightedness. This has caused us to see and define success oftentimes contrary to God’s definition and has thus made us not to properly place the role of prayers in true success. In reality, only a very few people have a little glimpse of what success means by God’s standard. It is even more disheartening to observe that only a minute number of believers who knows God’s preference are ready to wait for His commendation. Others would rather go by the standard of men and be seen succeeding in the eyes of men! This is the more reason a Pastor with a congregation of Five hundred people will be considered more successful than the one with Twenty’, even if at the end of the day only one person will make it to heaven out of the Five hundred people, excluding the Pastor himself, but Eighteen people will make it out of the Twenty-member congregation!

The need for a Christian politician to be watchful cannot be overemphasized. The pit-falls are too many to allow for carelessness and erratic lifestyle. It must be mentioned without reservation that no matter how prayerful, a Christian that is not watchful will still fall to the antics of the gate of hell like the one with a lack luster prayer life. There is no option to being watchful, though a robust prayer life compliments spiritual sensitivity, thus, making it easier to pick the faintest of danger signals as the Devil trades his wares through those antics and cunning devices. In all, no stone should be left unturned. No danger signal should be dismissed with a wave of the hand. No instruction should be considered trivial. No Christian obligation should be taken with levity. Most catastrophic falls in ministry often start with seemingly negligible errors and sins that the devil soon build upon, to make a wreckage of a loaded ship, that was confidently sailing towards a glorious destination.