Politics has over the years been regarded among Evangelical Christians as a dirty game. Overall, they hold the view that it is inconsistent for anyone to be a believer and approach the polls as a political contender. Thus, dismissive remarks such as “I am not just that interested in politics” or “politics just isn’t my thing” are often delivered with a veneer of piousness. The reasons are not farfetched. In reality, politics can be as dirty and ugly, just like other highly sensitive but essential institutions that seek to uphold the tenets of justice and equality in the society.
The word of God as written in the Bible has a holistic message that offers answers to all questions of life including whether or not Christians can venture into politics. God created man with a unique responsibility. In Genesis 1:28 states the duty of man “…to be fruitful and replenish the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over the fowls of the air and over every living thing that move upon the earth.” God recognizes the institution of human authority in governing the affairs of the world.
Biblical characters such as Joseph, Daniel, and Esther were placed in positions of political authority in their society. God bestowed upon Daniel and Joseph an immeasurable amount of wisdom that transcended that of their counterparts – a wisdom that enabled their policy making. Esther, who by divine design became Queen to King Xerxes in the Persian Empire, risked the danger of death to walk into the king’s chambers for the salvation of her fellow Jews. It is interesting to note that these men took charge of political leadership in a foreign land and foreign government. They used the force of policy making in governance to preserve God’s people in places where they hated and despised.
Numerous examples abound of people in the immediate past who have succeeded in championing the course of godliness in a godless society. Two-thirds of America’s abolitionists were Christian ministers who believe in the sanctity and individual worth of human lives. Among them was John Newton who led a gentleman to Christ, encouraging him to remain in the parliament where he could position himself to fight for the abolishing of slave trade in England. This man was William Wilberforce.
In a world that is gradually drifting towards the ideals of moral relativism, denying any transcendent reference to morality, adherence to the core Christian values is fast waning. It is imperative for Christians to rise up to this challenge. The conversation of Christians in politics is not mere wishful, explorative thinking. There is a dire, urgent need for Christians to engage the political sphere of their nations and the world in general.