CAN BELIEVERS ACTIVELY PARTICIPATE IN POLITICS?
Believers are in the world, but are not of the world. If this is the yardstick, then they are automatically participants in politics. They are the citizens of the country, while living in the world; therefore, they have to utilise the constitutional rights endowed in them. Our country follows the system of parliamentary democracy and the believers certainly use the power of their ballot to vote for the party of their choice. Now, regarding active participation in politics, one has to think twice, as politics these days is becoming more maligned and murkier. Jesus Christ had said that 'patients need the Doctor.' Then the believers can't keep mum, but play a role; that can be even by active participation, thereby, setting excellent examples like probity in public life. The problem is that of hypocrisy in most of the believers; they feel it is none of their business to join in party politics, as they have other roles of proclaiming the Good News and converting people for Christ. Of course, that is their primary role; for that, the old methods of distributing Gospel tracts, and speaking about Christ on street corners, have taken backseat now, as times have changed. Now is the time to practise what one already preached over two millenniums. We have come to the fag end of this age and as Jude wrote in his epistle vv 22-23 "Be merciful to those who doubt, snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear, hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh" Now, politics is widely believed to be the most corrupt profession and certainly a Spirit-filled believer has a role to save many from this quagmire. Had Jesus not taken away His real glory in heaven and come down in our midst, we wouldn't be saved. Similarly, the faithful too are expected to follow in His footsteps, while in this world.
R. K. Kutty, Bhopal
Believers trust God hopefully and follow His ways and commandments. Gospel teaches us on the spiritual value of a man, not the physical assets one earns in this world and accumulates for his own generations. It cannot be taken along with him when he dies.
Even if one is genuine in politics and serve the people with an attitude of benevolence and magnanimity, his followers will not allow him to be a good human being with admiring value and respect among the people.
A politician need not be a saint with altruism, but at least a loyal human being. Definitely he cannot come out from the slum of the corrupts and looters. If so, he will not be accepted as their leader by his followers and supporters.
A true believer cannot be a politician, especially in India, where truth has no value. If so, he would be a cat sucking milk with eyes closed.
B. P. Pereira, Madurai
The present political system in our country is at its lowest, a means for personal gains and cheating the poor; proving one's up-manship by political terrorism. Thus every other day the country witnesses scams worth thousands and lakhs of crores of rupees. Satan quickens this by giving power of the world to people of his choice (Lk.4:6). Time is ripe to inject God-fearing blood into this system to achieve clear and clean governance, though not overnight. But a few honest Christian politicians can't clean the dirty stable. They only get routed utterly. To be a politician is to be with no ideals whatsoever; be a member of a political party; fight for everything right in the eyes of the party; never be transparent; always twist facts and tell lies; be a mudslinger; work against the truth& own conscience; change loyalty to suit situations; compromise with principles; be forced to grieve the Holy Spirit, and even deny Christ. Each of these is against Christian ethics. Hence, before attacking the enemy one should draw out the strategy and draw the required armour (Lk.14: 31, Pro.25:8a, Eph.6:10-18). Believer job seekers, each one a genius, migrating to foreign countries, form the mighty force. If, for Jesus' sake, they stay back, they can 'infiltrate' the upper crust of government institutions, sow the seeds of Christian principles, be true witnesses of their Master and be a model of faithful servants; and thus influence the political bosses. Gradually this will change the political atmosphere, when these 'believer warriors' can actively 'fight' for the final goal, of course supported by the prayer warriors (Esth.4:16, Acts 4:23-31).
Donald J. Godfred, Secunderabad True believers are citizens of heaven, but are in this world as Ambassadors of Christ. As such, even though they are not of this world, believers are called upon to demonstrate their temporal earthly citizenship "seasoned by God's wisdom and love" without unduly getting "caught up in the partisan political whirlwinds." Christians may actively participate in 'clean' politics in one's country provided they: "1) Don't equate the biblical kingdom of God with any human political party or nation.2). Don't elevate a politician to messianic status expecting him/her to solve all problems and usher in utopia. 3). Don't just vote, but pray for the leaders of all political parties. 4). Don't forget that one's ultimate security is in the unshakeable kingdom of God and not in any earthly kingdom or rule. 5). Don't bring the polarisation of partisan politics into the family of God and create division among the brethren. 6). Don't demonise anyone. Every person has been created in the image of God, and Christians must not demonise or dehumanise other people, whether we agree with them politically or not (Col. 3:8; Jas. 4:12). 7). Don't engage in angry, hostile confrontation, but present one's political convictions through civil debate and rational dialogue instead. Confrontational arguments demonstrate an ugly pride that demeans Jesus Christ (Jas. 1:19-20; 2 Tim. 2:14). 8). Don't become so intertwined with any one political party that one forfeits one's independence. When you do, you lose your right to be heard and to speak and clarify biblical truth to all politicians and political parties (1 Tim. 3:15; Rom. 3:4). 9).Don't allow one-self to support attempts to divide races (minorities), male and female, rich and poor, or young and old. Partisan politics often divides society into voting blocks, and separates society, instead of uniting it. Christians should function as peacemakers and reconcilers in the public square and should resist every temptation to join the game of dividing people for political gain (Matt. 5:9; 2 Cor. 5:18-19). 10). Don't simply curse the darkness, but constructively engage it. The cultural and missional mandate of Kingdom Christians is not to curse the darkness in our world, but to act as illuminating light and preserving salt. We must share the light of God's truth and work to maintain the common welfare of our nation by overcoming evil through doing good (Matt. 5:13-16)" (Courtesy: Christian Research Institute, USA).
Joaozinho da S.F.A Martins, Goa
As a believer, having brought up in a Christian atmosphere, having served actively in State Government service in various capacities, for a period of 31 years, in my personal opinion, we cannot be successful, with a true Christian character in our country for the present.
David in Psalm 53, first few verses, has very well justified the present condition of our people at large, without hope and vision. Even if we try, we would be thrown out early, with lot of torcher and humility.
P. D. Arthur Prasad, Mysore.