Post Mortem

Theological graduates in politics

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 4/2/2019 12:31:07 PM IST

 During the course of an election campaign, it is common to hear evangelicals, especially Baptists, quip, “I’m just not that interested in politics,” or, “Politics just aren’t my thing.” Wait a minute we are still on earth, Lord Jesus taught us to pray “our Father....your Kingdom come on earth, your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven” Matt. 6:9. As a Preacher, do you want to see Heaven like state in India? Corruption free state; a government that care for poors, orphans, widows, a government that brought us at our doors peace, justice, Godliness and prosperity. Have you ever murmured about our bad roads, bad infrastructures and unfair governance? Do you care about the welfare of people as your care for their spirituality? Then engage yourself in politics to bring Godly changes in our government for Christ and His Kingdom. Because Bible-believing, gospel-loving Christians should accept as congruent with Scripture.

The message of the gospel is that by grace through faith sinners can be reconciled with God (Ephesians 2:7-8). This message transforms individuals and enables them to lead godly lives. Mandated by Scripture (Matthew 28:19-20), Christians are charged to share the good news and disciple others in faith.

The gospel is a holistic message with implications for all areas of life, including how Christians engage the political process. Here are few reasons Christians’ ministers should care about politics and personally engage in politics whether on electing rightful candidate or becoming right candidate to run the Office.

1. The Christian worldview speaks to all areas of life: A frequently raised objection against Christian engagement with politics is that anything besides explicit preaching and teaching of the Bible is a distraction from the mission of the church. However, this is a limited understanding of the kingdom of God and contrary to examples in Scripture.

The Christian worldview provides a comprehensive understanding of reality. It speaks to all areas of life, including political engagement. In fact, the Bible speaks about civil government and provides examples of faithful engagement. In the Old Testament, Joseph and Daniel served in civil government, exerting influence to further the flourishing of their nations.

In the New Testament, Jesus engaged in holistic ministry, caring for the spiritual and physical needs of people. Feeding the hungry and healing diseases were an outworking and extension of the reconciliatory message of the gospel. Paul also advocates this approach: “As we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone” (Galatians 6:10). And: “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10).

Engaging in “good works” should include participating in the political process because of the legitimate and significant role of government. The decisions made by government have a substantial impact on people and the way we interact with them. A Christian worldview should include a political theology that recognizes every area of life must be included in the “good works” of believers, especially politics, an area with significant real-life implications for people.

2. Politics are unavoidable in this life on earth: As “sojourners and exiles” (1 Peter 2:11), it can be tempting for Christians to adopt a mindset that earthly governing systems are inconsequential to the task of furthering the gospel. But ask a pastor in an underground church or a missionary attempting to access a closed country if politics are inconsequential. Religious liberty is not unnecessary luxuries but are often vital for preachers and missionaries seeking to preach and teach the gospel.

Augustine’s City of God offers guidance on this point. Believers are citizens of the “City of God,” but on this side of eternity, we also belong to the “City of Man” and therefore must be good citizens of both cities. There are biblical examples of how membership in the earthly city can be leveraged for furthering the reach of the heavenly. Paul’s appeal to his Roman citizenship (Acts 16:37, 22:25) is a model of this. James Madison explained that the “consent of the people” is the “pure original fountain of all legitimate authority.” This reality makes politics unavoidable for Christians citizens who control their political future.

Because politics have real-world implications for Christian evangelism, missions and preaching the gospel, Christians ought to engage in the political process by leveraging their rightful authority, advocating for laws and policies that contribute to human flourishing.

3. Christians should love our neighbours: When questioned by religious authorities on the law, Jesus explained that loving God with heart, soul and mind was the greatest commandment (Matthew 22:37). He added that second in priority was: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39).

Followers of Christ are called to love and serve their neighbors (Matthew 28:19-20). When asked about the qualifications of “neighbor,” Jesus told the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37), indicating that irrespective of race, background, social status or occupation, neighborly love is owed.

(To be concluded)

Dr. Tiaren. Lusang

Launched on December 3,1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.

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