Christianity and the vicious cycle of political hopelessness

For a long time in Christendom, there has been an unfounded nursed notion that, active political engagement is inherently defiled and corrupt, hence Christians who are serious and passionate about the gospel should not be involved. Most Christians are of the view that anything besides pulpit preaching of the gospel is a distraction from the Great Commission. while this sounds religiously true, it is urgently necessary to understand that we believe in a God who cares passionately about His world and the whole of His creation (Jn. 3:16) and is therefore concerned about its affairs such as, how it is governed and who governs it.

The Lord in Matthew 28:18-20, commanded us to go and make disciples of all nations, teaching them to obey God in every area of life. In making disciples of all nations and in all areas, we must also disciple people to make godly decisions about politics and governance. Nevertheless, this is not the stance of many Christians. Some prefer to be indifferent towards governance and the whole process of electioneering. In Nigeria, majority of the active and most influential politicians belong to the ‘other side’ and are at the helms of government, advancing the purpose of their beliefs. That is largely the reason why today, the afflictions of Christians are multiplying all over the country; the incessant harassment of Christian farmers all over the country by Fulani herdsmen, Boko Haram insurgencies, the displacement of Christians from their original villages in Kaduna, Benue, Taraba etc. and many more terrorist actions are few examples.

While some of these persecutions may have their place in awakening the Nigerian church and increasing her thirst for revival, could this have been the original will of our God; that His people have no safe place of worship? These killings and terror attacks might go on and many more may arise simply not because God wants it but because Christianity lacks influence in Nigerian politics. It is not just okay anymore to fold hands and watch helplessly as evil men decide the fate of God’s true children. In this write up, I introduce the term “political hopelessness” to help explain the default condition of an ordinary Christian in Nigeria towards politics. I also try to charge the heart of Nigerian Christians to get involved in politics, lead and establish God’s purpose on earth.

The lack of Christian influence in the Nigerian government has led to a vicious cycle illustrated below:

Most Christians have recoiled from affairs of the government due to past experiences and therefore have developed a default mindset that sees politics and every politician as evil and corrupt. This has consequently engendered borderless political apathy. However, not getting involved does not solve the problem, it only makes Christians to be outnumbered and consequently loose in the elections. So when the elections are over and most of the seats are occupied by non-Christians, we have nobody to represent our interests. No one to stand up and pass bills that protect Christian interests and affairs as evidently displayed in various systematised anarchy unleashed against innocent Christian farmers, villagers, schools or gatherings.

As time went on, we lost our voices and because our voices were lost, our interest were buried! We consequently returned to the beginning of the cycle. And on and on goes the vicious cycle. This cycle has been on for decades in Nigeria and we have consequently settled with a sense of hopelessness having ignorantly concluded that nothing could be done anymore.

Furthermore, many so-called Christian politicians have worsened matters. They come to the churches and kneel on the altars only to get elected and enrich themselves. Such people have lost the trust of the Christian masses for they have helped make them hopeless. Reserved for them in hell is everlasting torment, except they repent and occupy for God.

In order to remedy the situation however, the cycle has to be broken. Christians must begin to deliberately strategize and put trusted people in the right positions. These efforts may not yield immediate results but at least will set the pace for generations to come. The Bible also challenges us in Luke 14: 28 & 31 to first sit and count the cost, and plan. With determination and proper strategy, Christ will rule and God’s counsel will be established. It is necessary that stable government policies that promote the preaching and practice of God’s word at all levels of civil service be implemented. It will be glorious if the government of the day sees and believes in the end time revival of the land and hands over power to the Holy Spirit to move in the lives of citizens. How can this be achieved? To what extent is this achievable? It takes having a sincerely consecrated disciple of Christ to be in power. How else can he/she be in power if not encouraged to accept God’s leading and training, and then get involved in governance?

It is worthy of note that the involvement of Christians in government through the ages is the most vibrant reason why today, we have hospitals, abolition of slavery and the practice of killing twins, modern science, the true understanding of the worth of women, regard for human life, great works of art and literature, a workable system of justice, education for the common human being, the free-enterprise system, etc. A writer tells a story of a Christian minister named John Witherspoon who became president of the College of New Jersey in 1768. While there, Witherspoon taught Biblical principles of government to his students. Of the 478 young men who were graduated during his tenure, 114 became ministers; 13 were state governors; 3 were U. S. Supreme Court judges; 20 were U.S. Senators; 33 were U.S. Congressmen; Aaron Burr, Jr., became Vice-President; and James Madison became President. As a Christian, Witherspoon exerted an enormous influence on the direction of American government. So did Joseph and Daniel during their times in the Bible. These are eloquent testimonies of men whom God used in politics during their time. What makes it different now?

As Christians, we must come to the understanding that God is interested in having His Children take over every sphere of influence even on earth. And we must deliberately determine to make His counsel stand if we truly love Him. The true proof of our love for God and one another lies partly in our participation in politics albeit, with a kingdom mindset. How do we claim to love God if we don’t engage in things that enhance and promote His kingdom? How do we claim to love one another if we don’t participate in the area that most profoundly shapes basic rights and the freedom of others? We must arise, take the bull by the horns and put an end to this vicious cycle of hopelessness. You have the opportunity to influence the world for God if you will only take it.

However, taking the bull by the horns comes with a price. We must realize that this is a mandate worth living for and if need be, worth dying for. We must be ready to loose our lives in pursuit of this mission, bearing in mind that to live is Christ and to die is gain. And also that as long as we remain in the will of God the Father, there shall no evil befall us neither shall any plague come nigh our dwelling, except it be His will. We therefore, must come to a point where our lives mean little in the face of God’s great promises. He has said, “he that loveth his life shall lose it, and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal”. Eternity is the bigger picture. We must be able to give up our lives to pursue Heaven’s mandate. If we do not come to that point, then it is better not to have started. Are we ready to die if need be? Are we ready to say like Daniel and his friends, “our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us out of thine hand, But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.” We will not compromise. And the Father will fight for us. We have the opportunity to influence the world for God if we will only take it. May God grant us the courage, Amen.

(C) 2018

Steven Kator IORFA

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SELF-2

So I don’t get it,
Explain it please,
Or maybe I don’t know what love means,
I don’t understand how comfortable me only loves evil things,
I don’t understand why he says God loves but to me stinks,
He says God comes in peace,
Or how else could I explain this,
He sent His only prince,
To earth to die for my sins,
My evil sins,
So I could wear a crown in a more comfortable place.
that’s entirely why he hates my evil comfortable ease.
Hmmmm
My proud self said, ” introduce me please “
I would gladly say yes to anywhere more comfortable than this,
But,
He says I must surrender first,
He says I must confess my sins,
My evil sins,
He says I must now love others first then myself last ,
He says “that’s all God needs”

Frankly,
My proud self is not actually pleased,
But myself feels so humble and tensed,
How could God still love me after all my boosting and tease,
How can he still choose me after all my apparent squeeze,
Sincerely, I would love a place more comfortable than this,
So now let me confess my sins,
My evil sins,

giggles

I am your lawless ghost,
I tell you to live your life without any codes,
I am proudly responsible for all of your lusts,
I love money, sex, wild living, cheating and anything close to those.
I am the reason God is not naturally who you chose,
I tell you, don’t let God get so close,
He comes with so many rules,
I am the one who tells you, now you can boast,
I tell you your vision is great, throw God away, His plans you should toast.
I always lie to you,
I am the one who tells you, you have to do something good before God will be faithful and good,
I am the reason you always act rude,
I am the reason you do evil and still be bold,
Damn I am very good,
It is because I always make you act proud, everyone thinks you are cool,
Mehn I am cool,

Truthfully,
I know I would always be in you,
I know I am permanently a part of you,
But now is the time to be true,
The time to repent is due.
Now everything is left to you,
Choose today who would be the king for you,

Truthfully,
God is actually the best for you.
The choice is left for you.
But Now my sins are forgiven too,
I need peace,
Crazy me finally says,” in you now Jesus lives”,
“In time I would welcome you home to a more comfortable place”,
Let my child have their peace.
Peace.

National Poet

(c) 2018

SELF-1

My name is self,
I like to introduce myself as mySELF
I can be black and I can be white,
I can be chocolate and I can be fair,
I do not know which color I am here, but the fairest of them all is myself.

I hate the sun, because I love to sleep,
I love myself, I love to just be,
I do not answer to anyone, my comfort is dare to me,
I have created my zone so I can be pleased and free.

I am lovely,
I am beautiful,
I am proud,
I am strong,
I am bold,
But I have only one problem,
I don’t understand why I have a conscience,
I don’t know why I have a me in me that is alien to me,
I don’t know why I have a me in me that is crazy to me,
You wouldn’t understand,
But Crazy Me is trying to take over the whole me,

Shoot a bullet to the north, shoot another to the south,
When would they ever meet?
Show me that line that separates good from evil, so I could dare to cross it,
I promise you, that’s all from the crazy me,
Crazy me always preaches to me,

I don’t get it,
I love me,
I love comfortable me,
I love to do as I please,
That is just natural to me,
But crazy me tells me that my comfort is evil to Him,
So why would I ever want to cross from evil to good? Who cares about Him?

I love evil,
Evil is the good for me,
Evil is what pleases me,
Everything else just irritates me,
I love it when people sing my praises to me,
I love when everyone is envious of me,
I am also famous to me,
But when I am not creating something epic about me,
I am just really thinking of me.
Myself really hates the crazy me,
To me he is the evil me,
He tells me about a God who loves me, but hates the comfortable me.

National Poet

(c) 2018

DON’T CAST THE STONE

All scattered in the street,
Visible to every corners,
Dedicated to the rain and sun,
Just like obeying the clarion call,

They wish not for this course,
Longing for strength to rise,
But nature held them bend,
Cast not the stone on them,

Give a smile to them,
Stretch forth an arm to them,
Love them with words to bear,
Bless them with gifts till they blend,

They are the beggars we see,
Let’s love them as equal,
To show Christ we love,
Till he comes as a beggar in the night.

Oladayo Joseph Okelola
(c) 2018

ANTI-GUILT

Sometimes my mind wanders,
all over the place . . .
but, it always comes back
to God’s amazing grace.
Some days I try to make it,
on my very own . . .
but, I’m always lead back
to God’s loving throne.
Sometimes my faith,
begins to doubt and waiver
but, I’m always brought back
to God’s abundant favor.
Sometimes for my wrongs,
I still feel I am guilty
but, it always comes around
to God’s tender mercy.
Sometimes my feet roam,
as I run the faithful race . . .
but, they always return
to God’s mercy, love and grace!

God, forgave you,
and you must too
or else your guilt
will eat away at you.
Guilt is your enemy,
it devours the soul
only Jesus can heal
and make it whole.
Guilt condemns you,
it’ll convict and blame
only Jesus’ love bears
all of your shame.
Guilt is destructive,
with it you’ll contend
but, on Jesus’ grace
you can depend.
God, forgives you,
and you must too
for Jesus took guilt’s
punishment for you!

David Chijioke.

(c) 2018

Brave Heart

Bravery is not in a particular action or deed. Its  an attitude, a hearts disposition.

A child who grew up in a farm exposed to wild horses is not really brave because as an adult he comfortably tries to ride a wild horse. His history has ensured it’s familiar and less threatening to him.

Its the one who has never had such history, who finds the wild horse scary and threatening but still attempts to ride it, that’s the brave fellow, that’s the courageous fellow. Its obviously out of his comfort zone but he’s still trudging on.

Bravery requires an expedition outside your comfort zone, outside the familiar, this might be tasting a dish you’ve never tried before, giving a speech in public, trying a new look, meeting a stranger, enrolling in a new course, learning a new skill, investing in a business or riding a wild horse. Some men are not brave enough to help their wives out at home, some women are not brave enough to stop worrying about their kids, some others are not brave enough to stop a habit or even to start the right one.

I’ve met macho men too scared to give a speech, pretty ladies too timid to say their mind, folks crippled by excessive concern about what others would think. People who hate things they’ve never even tried, forgetting that some of life’s most exciting times are those moments when our hearts beat rapidly, our minds run freely, those anxious moments of uncertainty that birth new experiences. That’s what golden memories are made of.

So this weekend, go on and be brave, be courageous, go out of your comfort zone and stay there till it becomes your new comfort zone, then go out and repeat the cycle again and again.

Bravery is being comfortable with the uncomfortable or at least comfortable enough never to let it stop you. Courage is marching on in the midst of fears and doubt and its shown more in the little things of everyday life.

#ThinkWell

#RedefineYourCulture

(C) William Udousoro