Socio-Political Understandings

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Sincethe early years, the commitment of Christians in the world has beenidentified as a standard contentious issue. One of the most debatedexpressions is the Christian involvement and associations withpolitics. Some writers have indicated that believers should playtheir full role as citizens. This sentiment is supported by severalmen and women who had commitments to the political spheres, yetserved God through their skilled positions. However, engaging inpolicy and government work may be detrimental to the faith of aChristian. The Bible gives examples of political figures and rulerssuch as King David, Solomon, and Saul among others, who fell into sinduring their reign. In the contemporary world, the declaration ofdemocracy and freedom has facilitated the participation of allindividuals towards politics. Societies encourage the inclusion ofboth Christians and non-Christians in the public domain. As such,both categories can vote in elections, they can give opinions and canalso take part in various political tasks and responsibilitiesdutifully.

AHistorical review gives specific illustrations that explain theChristian rationale behind the call to be in the world but not of it.The question that arises here is, how is a Christian expected to takepart in Politics in a sinful world? The ministry of Jesus Christushered in a new light and a different perspective of how to live,and interact with the world`s happenings. Despite the presence of theHoly Spirit, it is still a hard task to accomplish the teachings ofthe society faithfully. The political facet is particularly deceitfuldue to its strong association with power and responsibility for anindividual culture, community or region. Taking part in the politicalfield translates to the exposure to some of the greatest temptationof richness, reputation, self-importance, and at times, violence.This feat is quite challenging. The only hope is based on God’sgrace that will empower a Christian to participate in politicalprocesses in a way that he will not be separated from the Creator inlife, and even unto death.

Theobligation of political participation is based on the foundation ofthe creation story. The book of Genesis provides a narration of theprimary components of faith for a Christian. It all begins when Godcreated the world and affirmed its goodness and perfection. The manwas set up in God’s image and then placed amidst other things. Hewas given dominion over the other creatures and plants. Furthermore,he was allocated the responsibility of taking care of the world aswell as multiplying and filling it. This story purports that allspheres are valuable and worthy. It thus calls for honor andparticipation in its maintenance. There is also tremendous valueallocated to the human being. The Bible in its illustration revealsthe frailty of people concerning the political sphere. It clearlydescribes the selfishness and outright evil encompassed therein. Thesource of all this rebellion is related to the fall of Adam and Eve.This decline of man from God’s Glory led to a broken relationshiphence the tendency to transgress. Man’s responsibility to care forthe creation indicates that he must govern and as well, deal with theattached consequences. The sentence of death is usually felt throughviolence, greed, and selfishness controlled by the political sphere.The hope of redemption in the Bible is also illustrated by theKingdom of God which restores the problems caused by sin. The maincharacter in the recovery process is Jesus Christ through thesanctification of the Holy Spirit.1This hope offers a sound purpose for active participation with theworld, but at the same time ensuring that the devil does not ensnareone in the process. Christians being redeemed are presented with thepower of Christ and hence play a vital role in the earth’srestoration which also includes politics and governance.

Inhistory, believers have always contended their role in politics. Somehave a view of complete disentanglement. Even though their cause canbe justified, their honorable piety and yearn for devotion makes themmiss the chance to take part in God’s will and restoration in theworld. Their parting with politics seems to declare it an evil thatcannot be redeemed into something that reaps good. Some believersassociate so much with culture to the extent that they fail torealize the need to portray to others the redemption of Christ. Thereis another group which understands the exact role of Christianity,but they have developed a criterion to separate Christ and the World.Even though the holiness of God is presented, the value of humanculture forms a diverse view to the wholeness that creation brings.Every one of these notions has their advantages but in totality, theymiss the real purpose of God which is to redeem all creation.2A rational and in-depth view of the scriptures eventually leads thebeliever to the recognition of God’s commands and His principles.Additionally, the example that Christ reveals is truly that of God.As such, the right role of the Christian is to participatewholeheartedly in the world’s happenings including politics. In theprocess, these believers can impart their influence as they carry outtheir duties and responsibilities. The process of witnessing takespace with Christ’s continuous presence, transforming the world anddirecting the people to His kingdom.

ThisChristian-political locus is not without its setbacks. Although beingthe vessels of Christ in redemption is important, the Christians mustput in mind that the Scripture has outlined the principles of a truebeliever. The world keeps on rejecting the work of the Holy Spiritwhich is to impart motivation for the Christian principles. Asmentioned earlier, the temptations associated with interacting withthe world are very strong and can pull the individual away from God.Additionally, the attractions that make use of the world as a way toaccomplish God’s will are treacherous [ CITATION Den02 l 1033 ].

Becausesin is universal, principles that work against it may facilitate theapplication of political forces to realize the greatest benefits.Essentially, a Christian should enter into the policy and governancesphere with a lot of humility, compassion, and confession. The valuesand moralities of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit mustaccompany him in all his thoughts and actions lest he falls into sin.The focus of such a person is to witness for Christ, paying attentionto be faithful in his responsibilities, and thus contributeoutstandingly both in action and moral support to the presentedpolitical issues. This standing is vital since sinning with the aimof avoiding a seemingly greater sin is still transgression of God’swill and command.3

Godcalls his followers to be the salt and the light of the world.Politics is just a platform that Christians can apply their humancapabilities to enact restoration, reconciliation, and redemptioninto the sinful world. The person in such an office can wield theposition to work for peace, fight poverty and guide funds andresources towards goodwill. The voice of the Church needs to be heardin policy debates and other relevant forums. Without this stage, thevoice of Christ is diminished. Transformation can only occurefficiently through His ambassadors of grace. A political individualwho is fully possessed by Christ is a true representative of God.Holiness can only be considered holistic only if it is accounted forby an individualistic and societal concern of Christ’s principles.The failure to be present in social concerns is a setback to reform.4


Boulton, Wayne G., Thomas D. Kennedy, and Allen Verhey. From Christ to the World: Introductory Readings in Christian Ethics. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1994.

Dayton, Donald W. Discovering an Evangelical Heritage. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1988.

Hollinger, Dennis. Choosing the Good: Christian Ethics in a Complex World. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2002.

Miles, Rebekah. The Pastor as Moral Guide. Minneapolis: Fortress, 1999.

1 Boulton, Wayne G., Thomas D. Kennedy, and Allen Verhey. From Christ to the World: Introductory Readings in Christian Ethics. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1994.

2 Hollinger, Dennis. Choosing the Good: Christian Ethics in a Complex World. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2002.

3 Miles, Rebekah. The Pastor as Moral Guide. Minneapolis: Fortress, 1999.

4 Dayton, Donald W. Discovering an Evangelical Heritage. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1988.

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