POLITICS AND THE PULPIT
The mantra, “Politics is a dirty game”, is perhaps the most accustomed when it comes to politics and its place in the church. This has consequently escalated the hiatus between the two institutions in an effort to define their congruence. Eventually, most Christians view politics to involve mental vulgarity. Not because it entails those who are mentally vulgar, but because we have continually lost interest in the current political regimes.
Apparently, the church has for long taught its faithful to distance them with any involvement with political affiliation. Those with contrary opinion have little or no place in the church. Politicians are seen as people who after seeing light at the end of the tunnel, they go out and buy more tunnels to maintain the status quo. Martin Luther king Jnr once said that you must take a position that is neither safe, nor politics, nor popular but you have to take it because conscience tells you it’s the right thing. And this is what the church has continually missed.
The rivalry between the two most influential institutions is open and evident. Consider any public rally, political retreat and church seminars. The topic is always almost predictable with the two tearing each other. Mostly, the initial allegations are be raised by the church with political group responding at equal weight. The end loser becomes the “mwananchi” who is the common ball between her two “saviors”. The question of whom to follow is always the daily puzzle by the later.
In Kenya, as it is with most African countries, ethnicity has been and still remains the strongest force that binds a people together. This is because other barriers of alignment such as the church and political rationalism are recently and weakest phenomena and in most cases alien.
While the church has fallen in its own face in bridging the gap between the two, and ultimately giving the state the shape and the direction that the political regimes ought to stroll in, the state on the other hand crafted strategies to ensure that the voice of the church remains the weakest force that can influence its subject. This include the state coming up with laws that suppresses the ability of the church to raise its opinion on what ought to have been done, what not to and obviously what to give a hand and what to let go.
The inability of the two institutions to operate for a common goal has resulted to the politicians menacing its subjects with endless series of hobgoblins all of them imaginary and making their selfish desires seem like the national interest. This includes getting the funds from the affluent and votes from the humble and yet remaining at a distance with the later and still promising to protect each other.
The recent reformation at both the political regimes and the church has brought the two together during the adverse peaks of crisis after which they assume their former state of independence. It’s always good not to be faced with too much of self-centeredness until we can no longer face reality. The truth remains no matter who says it. The church should not be intimidated by anyone in its input to what it sees right in governance. The political groups should also move from their cocoons of selfish desire and strive to work for the best of a nation.
Politics is good. This is all what the church need to know and take the fore front position in defending their faith through political affiliations. The state and the political groups should also ensure the involvement of the church in governance through resource allocation, consultations and role appropriation. (God said…) “He who rules over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God. And he shall be like the light of the morning when the sun rises, a morning without clouds, like the tender grass springing out of the earth, by clear shining after rain.” (2 Sam 23.3b-4)
Let’s all take our positions and claim the better days ahead collectively. Shalom!
POLITICS AND THE PULPIT