Welcome to this instalment of the series, The Church and Politics. If you’ve not been following the series, please go to www.myilluminare.com/the-church-and-politics/ to read the last ten instalments.
Christians have different concepts about God. And some of the concepts beggar credulity. The most incredulous tend to be those based on man-centric definition of God, as if God’s life and very existence revolves around man. It’s why some wonder what God was doing before he created Adam. The simple answer is that he was running his government in Heaven and continues to run a government. In actual fact, God is Government – capital “G”. God is government not just from the perspective of law and order, but because all political authority reside in him and emanate from him. ALL power proceeds from God. Psalms 62:11.
Some people don’t realise Heaven is a political space. They imagine it’s an antiseptic environment where sin does not and cannot exist; that all what the inhabitants do is worship. In other words, Heaven is a church on a grand scale. This antiseptic picture of Heaven is why many wonder how evil got into Satan when he was in Heaven, as if evil is some mutating virus that somehow found it’s way from outside Heaven into Heaven. Concerning Satan, the Bible had said, “You were blameless in all you did from the day you were created until the day evil was found in you.” Ezekiel 28:15 NLT. That expression befuddles many, the reasoning being heaven being a clean room environment and God having no evil in him, how then did evil enter Satan in Heaven!
Satan occupied a political post. He was the anointed cherub. The Bible text seems to suggest he was in the ministry of defence. He was head angelic guardian, a government official. Ezekiel 28:14 might also suggest Satan played a political mentorship role to nations on earth as head angelic guardian. Perhaps he was mentor to angels too. As the anointed cherub Satan had high level access and privileges: “I ordained and anointed you as the mighty angelic guardian. You had access to the holy mountain of God and walked among the stones of fire.” Ezekiel 28:14 NLT. Only problem was, Satan grew corrupt. He was a very corrupt government official who traded favours and ended up resorting to violent means of overthrow of constitutional order: “In much buying and selling you turned violent, you sinned!” Ezekiel 28:16 MSG. And that was the beginning of his demise: “I threw you, disgraced, off the mountain of God. I threw you out—you, the anointed angel-cherub. No more strolling among the gems of fire for you!” Ezekiel 28:16 MSG.
The picture painted about Satan in scriptures is that he couldn’t handle power, grace and exaltation. It all got into his head. He went for super-stardom: “Your beauty went to your head. You corrupted wisdom by using it to get worldly fame.” Ezekiel 28:17. The scriptures suggest by the time all this was taking place there were nations on earth. It also suggests the beings on earth were familiar with Satan. He was probably some kind of liaison between Heaven and kingdoms on earth: “I threw you to the ground, sent you sprawling before an audience of kings and let them gloat over your demise.” Ezekiel 28:18. “Your wisdom was corrupted by your love of splendour. So I threw you to the ground and exposed you to the curious gaze of kings… All who knew you are appalled at your fate. You have come to a terrible end, and you will exist no more.” Ezekiel 28:18-19 NLT. This passage – Ezekiel 28:18-19, is why theologians talk of a pre-Adamic civilisation. The bottom line: Heaven is a political sphere and angels are capable of human-like passions. They can be inflated with pride, can be vain, can be corrupt, and can be swayed by revolutionary antics. At least at the time of Satan’s fall. That’s what Ezekiel 28 tells us.
God runs his government in Heaven. That’s his “day job.” We’re not his primary assignment. As David noted, “What are mere mortals that you should think about them, human beings that you should care for them?” Psalms 8:4 NLT. When you study cosmological map, earth is just one pin prick blue dot in the rural area of the Milky Way galaxy. In the scale of things man is really infinitesimal. The only rational explanation of God’s reckon with us is that he just has a sentimental love for this particular breed of creation. John 3:16. We’re puny – absolutely nothing relative to his power and might. And heaven is not a local government or a housing estate. Just because Jesus promised us mansions in Heaven doesn’t make it a housing estate. Heaven is unimaginably HUGE! It’s actually a dimension. To appreciate the size of Heaven, think of all the saints who have died in the past 2000 years. That’s billions and billions of people. They’re all in Heaven. Then think of the Old Testament saints, going all the way back to Adam. They’re in Heaven too. Now add the number of angels. They’re innumerable, “uncountable.” Hebrews 12:22. Heaven has a huge population. And if Jesus tarries billions more saints will be added to that population. Heaven is not a small place.
God has his hands full running his government. He had a job before Adam. Salvation was a special purpose program inaugurated to rescue Adam’s generation and government. It’s not God’s primary assignment. But to hear some Christians say it one would think salvation is all God does. Which explains why they say Christians shouldn’t participate in politics, that our only job is to bring people into God’s kingdom. That view neither takes cognisance of the essence of God nor his administrative plan for the universe. Paul’s letter to Ephesians is quite succinct on the subject of the place of the Church as per government: “God raised Christ from death and set him on a throne in deep heaven, in charge of running the universe, everything from galaxies to governments, no name and no power exempt from his rule. And not just for the time being, but forever. He is in charge of it all, has the final word on everything. At the centre of all this, Christ rules the church. The church, you see, is not peripheral to the world; the world is peripheral to the church. The church is Christ’s body, in which he speaks and acts, by which he fills everything with his presence.” Ephesians 1:20-23 MSG.
In other words, Christ’s political administrative centre is the Church. It’s his administrative organ. The Church is a political organ. That conclusion is inescapable from Ephesians 1:20-23 MSG. The rulership of Christ is a specific program: “After that comes the end – completion, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father, after he has made inoperative and abolished every ruler and every authority and power. For Christ must reign as King until He has put all his enemies under his feet.” 1 Corinthians 15:24-25 AMP. “After crushing the opposition, he, Christ hands over his kingdom to God the Father. He won’t let up until the last enemy is down—and the very last enemy is death! When everything and everyone are finally under God’s rule, the Son will step down, taking his place with everyone else, showing that God’s rule is absolutely comprehensive – a perfect ending!” 1 Corinthians 15:21-28 MSG.
Yes, the preaching of salvation is our assignment but it is an inclusive assignment. We are required to “salt” our socio-political environment as well. We’re the salt of the earth. Matthew 5:13. We cannot focus on the salvation assignment and ignore extant political realities. Context is what shapes the feasibility of our salvation mission. If there’s no peace in a nation the gospel can’t be preached effectively. We must attend to our political context. We must be mindful of our nation. Though we’re not of this world, as the Bible says, we’re still in this world as the Bible says.
If Christians say the political context is of no interest to them how come they minister provision to internally displaced persons who were made so as a result of political dynamics? That’s involvement in politics. And why pay tax as well? Those who understand the signs of the times, who have had the privilege of studying records of history know it is imperative Christians get involved in the politics of their nation. And the least level of participation in politics is voting. Go and register to vote. Go and get your voter’s card.
We continue the series next week. To read full version of The Church and Politics Part 11: God’s day job, go to www.myilluminare.com/the-church-and-politics/.
If you’ll like to receive Jesus into your life please pray this prayer: “Father I acknowledge that I am a sinner, that Jesus died for me, that you raised him from the dead. Father, please forgive me. I accept Jesus today as my Lord and my Saviour. Amen.”
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Illuminare © Leke Alder | firstname.lastname@example.org.The church, you see, is not peripheral to the world; the world is peripheral to the church. Click To Tweet