After the publication of the article “The time has come to involve true Christians in politics (10 reasons),” I received several comments in which I was asked for my opinion on the involvement of pastors in the political life of the country. In this article I want to share some thoughts on this topic.
Politics are dirty
This statement belongs to many people and it serves as motivation or, rather, an obstacle for them to get involved in political activity. As in any other field of human life and activity, the quality of the characters of those involved in these activities affects the quality of activities themselves. If we have reached times when many university professors are corrupt and demand bribes from students, we cannot say that university studies are a dirty thing. Likewise, if a large number of doctors have become corrupt and do not want to help you until you pay bribes, this does not mean that the hospital or health care system is a bad thing. We know that there are also honest teachers and doctors who really care about people and serve them. Likewise, the quality of political activity is determined by the quality of the characters of the people involved. The Bible says:
When things go well for the righteous, the city rejoices, And when the wicked perish, there is joyful shouting. By the blessing of the upright a city is exalted, but by the mouth of the wicked, it is torn down. (Proverbs 11:10-11 NASB)
Non-engagement in politics is involvement with political effects
Each of us is a citizen and this is a political term, which involves political responsibilities. One of these responsibilities is to go to the polls. Through the vote we give, we take the side of a party or ideas that will be promoted. By refusing to go to the polls, we give freedom to some to commit fraud and, thus, for our vote to end up being used by those who manipulate and deceive, to be for those for whom we would never have voted if we went to the polls. So, as you can see, every citizen is involved in the political life of the country and uninvolvement, apparently, is an involvement with negative effects. Why do I say all this? To understand that every pastor is already involved and participates in the political life of the country, as does every citizen.
Christians expect direction from their pastors when it comes to giving their vote
This was very pronounced in the last local elections, when people were in total confusion. Some parties have understood this and are now beginning to put pressure on and manipulate religious leaders to secure their support in the 2009 election. In this context, church leaders must show righteousness, integrity, and discernment not to allow themselves to be used by others for evil purposes. In order to give the right direction to the people, pastors must know the state of affairs in the political life of the country, understand this state through the prism of God’s Word, and thus present it to Christians.
Pastors have a responsibility to ensure that God’s message is present when making important decisions for the country
In the early centuries of the Christian church, when the books of the New Testament were written, Christians did not have the opportunity or even imagine that they could reach the leading positions in the state. The message of the gospel, however, had to reach those in the leadership of the state, and at that stage this could only be accomplished through the persecutions that Christians would suffer, as Jesus said:
But be on your guard; for they will hand you over to the courts, and you will be flogged in the synagogues, and you will stand before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them. And the gospel must first be preached to all the nations. (Mark 13:9-10 NASB)
If at that stage the message could reach those in power only at the cost of persecution and suffering, all the more so today’s pastors must use the right offered by the country’s Constitution to every citizen to reach those in power and ensure a good, living and present relevance of God’s message regarding important decisions in the country’s Parliament.
Pastors must protect the Church of God from party quarrels
It is very ugly to see how, especially during the election campaign, the representatives of different parties throw as much dirt as they can against each other. This only brings bitterness and hatred. Christians cannot and should never take part in such acts of darkness, I mean this kind of quarrels with unjust accusations and malicious gossip. Precisely to protect the church from such quarrels and gossip, I think it is good for pastors not to be members of a political party, at least in the conditions and parties we have in Moldova at the time of writing this article.
The pastor cannot abandon the preaching of the gospel message and propagate the platform of a political party that is in contradiction with God’s Word.
We are called to preach the Word of God, the Lord Jesus, and to teach people to live the Christian faith in all aspects of life. This is the message we must all carry and from the rostrum of the country’s Parliament the position of God’s Word must be presented on every question, decision and law that is under discussion. If a pastor does not do this, I see no point in him leading the country.
We cannot allow Parliament to pass laws on the church, the family, and morality without the participation of church ministers.
This year, the Law of Cults was discussed, which directly concerns the church, but no pastor was present in the country’s Parliament who could analyze every point of the law from the perspective of the Bible. Now, a black cloud is coming over all Christians, I mean the Non-Discrimination Bill, which is very malicious against the church, the priests, the family, and all people. I am now researching the bill and will be back soon with a detailed presentation and explanation of these intentions. Christians must make every effort to promote wise, upright, and determined priests in the country’s parliament.
Let us all pray that God will help us to have honest and strong, Christian people in Parliament who will present the position of God’s Word in decision-making.
Translated by Didina Vicliuc