Leave the church out of campaigns
SIR: According to Martin Luther King Jr., “The greatest tragedy of the period of social transition is not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people”. While not claiming to belong to either grouping, I am constrained to document my conviction on this subject matter for posterity in this season of endorsements for and against political parties and their candidates. The silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most, has made it possible for evil to triumph.
Politics and religion are by nature very divisive. Historical evidences abound of institutions that left their hallowed estates to dabble in partisan politics. Most of such institutions became victims and losers of their purposes because of the attendant polarisation of issues. This is why the church as an institution needs to tread cautiously as we approach the general elections.
Let me put on record that, though I do not subscribe to any of the existing political parties and this is not an attempt to defend any, I recognise the right of the individual member of the church to freely belong to or associate with a political party. This must be done with decorum. We are the light of the world. As campaigns heat up and filter to all nooks and crannies, let us be careful not to drag the Church into this. It is my firm belief that we should not use our pulpits or indeed any other Christian platforms to sell, attack or defend any candidate.
Our defense is for Christ who died for us. I believe the pulpit is set up to preach the good news and if so, it won’t be an appropriate platform by my thinking, to be deployed otherwise. This is my humble suggestion and I do hope it will be received in good faith. I agree that misgivings on either sides of the political divide need to be cleared and sideliners won over, but we cannot turn the church into a campaign ground The Body of Christ will do this at her own peril This is the thrust of my message.
The Church, which our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ purchased with His precious blood must not be allowed to become a veritable tool in the hands of politicians. Jesus is Lord!
• Samson Ozovehe
Kaduna, Kaduna State.
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