Christian views in politics – Part 3
-In our previous editions, we tried to look at the expected roles of Christians in Politics and in continuation of our discourse; I would want us to look at some controversial Christian views in politics, such as:
(a) There seems to be lack of understanding or misconception of the meaning of political leadership by some Christians. The Bible states the mind of God thus: My people perish for lack of knowledge and understanding, and not because of the height or magnitude of the challenges. No matter the size of the challenge, when knowledge is correctly applied, it becomes a toy.
Though we did not look at the root word and meaning of politics, when we started this work, but I think it is pertinent for us to know or have a better understanding of the word politics. Politics from my own understanding has to do with governance. From the dictionary, the root word of politics is derived from the word POLITE. Polite is the act of doing things with due consideration to the feelings of fellow humans. So, POLITIC, which follows polite means doing things in a polite way. POLITICAL, which is next to politic, has its meaning as the act of doing things in a polite way that affects the people or the citizens. From the afore-going, politics is simply the process of politely influencing people to follow or agree to a view or choice that affects the citizens positively. From this, can we truthfully say that our present political leaders are politely doing things that have positive influence on the people?
The Church is very much involved, be it politics or political because the work of the Church is to EVANGELISE and this evangelism is to influence people into believing our message and into the kingdom we preach about.
Paul and Silas in Acts 17, preached for two weeks in the city of Thessalonica trying to influence them to believe the message of salvation. Through it, many Jews, a large number of Gentiles and prominent women, “Some of the Jews were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a large number of God-fearing Greeks and not a few prominent women” (Acts 17:4 NIV). These people came to the saving knowledge of our LORD Jesus Christ. Indeed, this act influenced the people positively that they had to change their lifestyles, which provoked the Jews to jealousy, “But the Jews were jealous, so they rounded up some bad characters from the market-place, formed a mob and started a riot in the city…” (Acts 17:5). This is the negative side, which resulted to the apprehension of Jason, Paul’s host in Thessalonica, V6; and must be guarded against. From what the early fathers of faith did (e.g.) Paul and Silas, and what we are doing today, including myself and the one I will do in December, HOREB 2018 with Rev. Dr. Uma Ukpai, Very Rev. Dr. Nkechi Nwosu and many others; you’ll agree with me that the Church is the first political structure in the world built on Christ Jesus.
The healing Apostle Alexander Dowie partnered with God to produce political leaders at his time in America. The Prophet Nathan backed Solomon’s enthronement. The Prelate Emeritus, Sunday Mbang, while addressing Akwa Ibom State Governor, Deacon Udom Gabriel Emmanuel, some state Excos, the Fathers of Faith and the leadership of Akwa Ibom Christian Assembly on November 4, 2018 at Government House said, “The body of Christ will make a huge difference in the coming elections…” The Fathers of Faith and all Church leaders in the state have mandated all Churches under our care to encourage Christians to vote for your (Udom’s) second term in office.” To achieve this purpose, he told the gathering, “The Akwa Ibom Christian Assembly (ACA), with the mandate of the Fathers of Faith has built a large network of members across the state. It has structures across all the LGAs, Wards, and Units with membership registration across the state standing at over 75,000 and still counting.” In his response, the Governor made the house to know that it is not the name of Deacon Udom Gabriel Emmanuel that was at stake, but the Church and everything possible should be made to take away that reproach and shame from the body of Christ.
His Grace The Most Revd. Chimezuo O. N. Nwankpa, Archbishop of Uyo Archdiocese, Methodist Church Nigeria.