Micah Mandate, as a collection of Christian perspectives, is timely.
More than anyone else the Christian has much to offer, not only ideas but constructive service to humanity, and history has proof of that. Where the Gospel is honoured much fruit in word and deed has resulted. If not for the emancipating and inspiring nature of the Gospel, the world will be a much darker and colder world.
Our thoughts are influenced by the Gospel of Jesus Christ who commands his followers to love their neighbours as themselves. Love is not blind but constructive, even if at times rebutting, for God himself disciplines those he loves. After all the Word of God is inspired by God for “reproof, correction and training in righteousness” so that the man of God may be “equipped for every good work.”
Human ideas do not always conform to God’s ideas because God’s ideas and standards are eternally higher than man’s. But as children of the light and spiritual sons and daughters of the God of Love endowed with God’s Spirit, in matters of human compassion and moral choices we have the Bible to guide us and God gives us intellect and reason to advocate for him, for ourselves and for one another and also for those who don’t have a voice.
I hope more Christians will come out and stand in the gap for God and play a constructive role in their society and lend their voices to all just causes. The world is not a bad place because bad people lead it but because good people let them. It is when we learn to be apologists for God that others hear his voice.
“Come let us reason together,” God enjoins everyone, even sinners, and it behooves us to be able to reason with those who don’t always see our points of view and hopefully in humility we too may learn from others without giving up our sound convictions. In our cynical world “love your enemy” is not sound wisdom yet it is godly injunction.
Politics is one area where God’s people are under-represented. Often shunned for one reason or another, Christians also make the same mistake as those who think politics is dirty business. How wrong. It is dirty only because the politicians are dirty. It is analogous to sex. Sex is dirty and wrong when it happens outside God’s laws. Just as legitimate sex perpetuates and safeguards the human race, good politics ensures sound governance.
Politics is too important to ignore. As a human activity it is the means of engendering order in human society and affects our lives in many different ways. As Lee Kuan Yew once said, “I didn’t enter politics but politics entered me.” There comes a time when the actions of government compel us to respond in a responsible political way.
I would like to see more God-fearing Christians in politics. But saints in politics is pointless unless they are there for a purpose beyond politics itself. The primary aim of the Christian in politics is not for vain self-glory or power but service. They must be governed by the politics of righteousness where the values of the Gospel that uplift humanity can be embodied in the laws and policies that governments make.
Truth, justice, fairness and altruistic values are crucial for society to develop into a just nation and Christian politicians with sound convictions are best equipped to deliver what is good for society. We do not need to apologize for our Christian pedigree because it is a sound and proven pedigree. The influence of godly Christians who have influenced their times and societies for good and not evil are well documented.
The multiplying of words is vanity, we are told. So it is worthwhile to remind ourselves that we must not love only in word or speech but in deed and in truth. As Proverbs says, “Mere talk leads only to poverty but all hard work brings a profit.”
More than anyone else, Christians are to be like the sons of Issaachar who “understand the times with knowledge of what they should do.” If “anyone lacks wisdom they must ask God,” James wrote. But ideas need to find expression in good works. We must act. We can’t do everything, but we can do something to benefit others.
We live in challenging times. Canaan may have giants and threats that cause the faint-hearted to despair but like Joshua and Caleb we are not cowardly and see only the Promise Land, not the giant obstacles. God will remove the obstacles and our eternal God continues to confound his enemies because nothing thwarts his purpose. Let us tap into that purpose and seek to do his will where he has placed us.
In our global world there are no boundaries. “Go, therefore and make disciples of all nations.” Jesus said and he promises that he will be with us “to the ends of the earth and until the close of the age.” Wherever we are and whatever we do – we can only testify of our Lord’s love for mankind and do everything possible that people might know him.
Our danger is apathy. Prophet Ezekiel reminds us “Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen.”
Christians can’t afford to be guilty of the sins of omission. Pastors, elders, evangelists, deacons, leaders in the land of Canaan are all given the role of leading their flocks into the Promise Land. We are all to “live such godly lives among the pagans so that even though they accuse us of doing wrong they may see our good deeds and give glorify our Father in heaven.”
No one needs to be coerced or preached into fruitful service. It is a Spirit-led and spontaneous resolve to serve the Lord and others with joy because we all once were blind and “hating one another and being hated” but God saved us by his grace to serve others.
“I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome every power of the enemy… nothing will harm you.” This is our mandate, this is our promise from Jesus, and this is our hour to glorify him.