Usually people have a habit of speaking ill of the country in which they live. We don’t always like something. And we believe that if we were in one position or another we would change for the better the life in the country where we live. The political arena of each of us has become our home, that is where our proposals are the best and most innovative. But as we leave our house we don’t care about anything. We are people who like to get involved only to the point that we are not really involved.
It is well known that the involvement of each of us in social life is crucial. Especially Christians must be that engine of society that dictates the course of life in a society. Christians have always had a special calling. This statement is also relevant when it comes to our involvement in public life. We have been warned by the Savior that we are citizens not only of the Kingdom of God, but also of the state in which we live.
One of the most relevant examples is the Apostle Paul who did the same. In his epistles, he urges us to make requests and prayers for those who are in authority, but also to ask the authorities to grant us certain rights and facilities so that we can live our Christian life in peace and godliness. The apostle Paul fulfilled the principles he taught us. When necessary, he demanded his rights to be respected by the political authorities of his time. When his rights were violated, he did not remain silent, but spoke. He spoke with dignity, elegance, and a lot of conviction and passion. For example, when he came to Europe to the city of Philippi (Acts 16) he discovered there religious freedom for all groups of the city, including wizards, but not for Christians. He was imprisoned because he preached the new doctrine of Christianity. He used the opportunity to assert his right to speak in public and to have this right recognized on an equal basis with other groups in the city. He asked, in modern terms, not to be discriminated against, and for the faith he preached not to be marginalized. Finally, after the abuse and imprisonment, the authorities recognized Paul’s right as a Roman citizen to speak in public.
When he left Philippi, Paul left behind religious freedom for Christians, a freedom essential to any free society. Demanding his rights as a Roman citizen to be respected, Paul was doing politics. He engaged in a political act which benefited all the inhabitants of the city. This is also the call of today’s Christians: to pursue the good of the city through direct involvement in ordinances; to be informed about the things that happen in the city and to watch over the life of the city; to pursue its good through involvement; to be light, salt, wisdom, courage and prudence in troubled times, immutable landmarks in times of confusion; to state their views in relation to the authorities.
In public, Paul was also a politician, not just a herald of the Truth. In his many discussions with the authorities, especially the Roman and Greek rulers, and even after he was beaten and imprisoned, Paul pleaded for freedom of religion and conscience. He advocated for the interests of the Christian community of his day in relation to the authorities and other social, ethnic, and religious groups in the Roman Empire. Not only did he urge the authorities to respect his rights, but he pushed Christians to change the ordinances of the city for the common good.
Nowadays, unfortunately, we see an apathy among Christians to get involved in social, political life. It is not surprising that it is increasingly difficult for us to choose someone who would live up to our expectations. There is an urgent need for those who are children of God to be actively and healthily involved in political life and to want this, if we care about the future of this country and if we want the adopted laws to work for the good of the country. I don’t think there is anyone who doesn’t want to see honest people of integrity to lead the country. But to see this, it is imperative for young people of integrity to be involved.
Translated by Liza Bîrlădeanu