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Friday, 29 April 2011

Should Churches Be Politically Active?

The task of the church is set forth in the Great Commission, which involves not only baptising, but also discipling, "teaching them to observe all that I commanded you" (Matthew 28:20). God has not given the sword to the church; our only weapon is the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God. But the Word of God speaks comprehensively to all aspects of human life (1 Corinthians 10:31). The Great Commission does not restrict the church to preaching a simple gospel, the way to escape divine judgement. Rather, the preaching of the church presents to the world a way of life that transforms everything, including politics. Chirstians are not saved, of course, by political action. But they must bring their faith with them into their families, their workplaces, and their politics. Of course, in some culture there is not much that Christians can do, other than pray, to influence political structures and policies. But when they can influence them, they should. In modern democracies, all citizens are "lesser magistrates" by virtue of the ballot box. Christians have an obligation to vote according to God's standards. And, as they are gifted and called, they should influence others to vote in the same way.
Taken from my favourite theologian John M Frame's book The Doctrine of The Christian Life. In Zambia the role of the church is very cardinal given the large percentage of citizens who profess Christ. Unfortunately many leaders in the Zambian church  have tended to perpetuate poverty and injustice  rather stand with the weak. We have touched on this issue in brief posts, but I plan to take a more extensive assessment in a future monthly essay briefly dubbed "The Zambian Church As Agents of Poverty" - an important follow-up to In Defence of A Christian Nation


  1. churches can be as actively involved in politics as they want. but they state cannot be using public funds indirectly or directly for the benefit of one or all religions. the state should not align its self with any church or religion, but the any church or religion can align themselves with gov if they so chooses.

  2. Certain countries such as the United States, have what they call: "separation of church and state" engrained in their constitutions. I don't think the Zambian constitution bars church involvement in politics. We appreciate the role the church played in the fight against apartheid in S. Africa. Why then must the churches in Zambia abstain from the noble task of fighting against a corrupt political system that's bend on perpertuating poverty among the country's citizenry?


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