We continue 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 fifteen instalments.
Christians naturally want a Christian on the dais of power, just as adherents of other faiths want their faithful on the dais of power. There is a significant desire among Christians for a Christian President therefore. The advantage of a Christian President to the Christian community is obvious. He or she will protect the faith. And some imagine such a President will proclaim Christianity state religion as the political resolution of the great commission. This is of course impossible in a true democracy without trampling on rights. Besides, the idea of proselytization by compulsion is alien to Christian doctrine.
God respects human rights, including the right to reject him. Salvation is not by force. A man has a fundamental right to go to hell literally. God can only be a righteous judge if faith in Christ is by choice. The “Christian President” therefore is a president who happens to be Christian not a President for Christians. He or she must be president to all – Muslims, animists, atheists, freethinkers, agnostics, occultists… He is president of all. The principles of his personal faith may guide his actions, form the philosophical basis of his policies, but he cannot impose his faith on anyone. Christianity is a very personal faith though we’re enjoined to share our faith with the world. By the tenets of Christianity everyone has a right to accept or reject God’s message of love.
As spiritual as he may be however, the Christian President must have a strategic blueprint for his country. Governance is a science. He must have a vision for his nation. Without a vision there is no strategic direction. Without a vision lives and resources are wasted, and the nation can’t attain. It will remain in a perpetual state of potentiation. Vision is critical. Great nations have a vision – what they seek to become.
A national vision is not some pie in the sky statement. It is a harbinger of the future, a working blueprint. A vision must be broken down into what we call strategic objectives. Strategic objectives are the steps that must be taken in order to accomplish a vision. The steps must be itemised and dates attached. And someone must be held responsible for each objective though the overall responsibility lies with the President. A thematic approach is thus recommended, with each department of state contributing to the attainment of the vision. Or they’ll run disparate programs. There’ll be no cohesion. Without thematic cohesion the vision is not worth the paper it’s written on. Each department must deliver on the overall vision. And so the Christian President must attract intelligent people into his cabinet. That is his management team. That was the value Daniel, Meshach, Shadrach and Abednego brought to the Babylonian government. They were noted for their acute intelligence: “The king – Nebuchadnezzar told Ashpenaz, head of the palace staff, to get some Israelites from the royal family and nobility – young men who were healthy and handsome, INTELLIGENT AND WELL EDUCATED, GOOD PROSPECTS FOR LEADERSHIP POSITIONS IN THE GOVERNMENT…” Daniel 1:3-5 MSG. These were then acculturated in the Babylonian way. They were specifically exposed to Babylonian literature.
Unfortunately some Christians imagine intelligence is counter Spirit of God. But Daniel was described as a man “well known for his intellectual brilliance and spiritual wisdom.” Daniel 5:11 MSG. Daniel had insight, understanding and wisdom. And so the idea of intelligence as anti-Spirit has no foundation in scriptures. Many do not realise the Holy Spirit is an intellectual. The Holy Spirit dictated Paul’s letters after all, and he was one of the Physicists in Genesis. He brooded, we’re told – pondered creation, thought through. So many mathematical computations. Genesis 1:2. To brood is to think a lot about something. Creation wasn’t magic it was science. It’s why we can access nature through science. The Christian President must therefore relate to the Holy Spirit on an intellectual basis. He knows a thing or two about governance. To hear some talk about the Holy Spirit one would think he doesn’t do intellectual work. They do not realise what they call “spiritual” is largely an expression of intelligence. The most accessed gifts of the Spirit are actually intelligence-based – prophecy, teaching, word of knowledge, word of wisdom… These are intelligence resources of the Holy Spirit.
One should expect creative intelligence from a Christian President. It’s his spiritual pedigree. He’s got to be able think outside the box if he wants to solve great challenges. Creative intelligence is what Joseph brought to bear in Egypt. Joseph carried out far reaching reforms in Egypt, from taxation, to food security, to strategic reserve management, to international trade… And he had to invent some of the solutions on the go. Joseph was phenomenal! He created new models of economic management. Egypt had a very strong balance sheet. Inflation was controlled through strategic grain releases.
At the centre of all the policies however must be the people. The nation is the people, not landmass. There must be strategic intent to lift the poor out of poverty. God is very particular about the poor and the socially disadvantaged like widows and orphans. Which means there must be a social security system however configured. And there must be emphasis on education. It’s the sure way to lift the poor out of poverty. It must be about the people. Jesus died for mankind: “For God so loved the world he gave his only begotten son…” John 3:16. There are thus principles the Christian President can borrow from his faith. For example enterprise must be encouraged. It’s a means of multiplying wealth and creating employment. Resources must allocated according to capacity. This is based on the Parable of Talents. Matthew 25:14-30.
The Christian President must also be strong on law and order. Or anarchy will reign and Satan will seize control. The army must be strong and well equipped. The police must be well organised and effective. The police force must not be oppressive. That in itself is lawlessness. Extra judicial killing must be discouraged. Life must be precious. Life is sacred. In recognition of the sacredness of life the President must work assiduously to reduce infant mortality. All these will dovetail into patriotism and citizenship. When the state values the lives of her citizens they will respond with patriotism.
Studies show that strong nations are built on powerful concepts. America for example is dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal, and that they’re endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It’s the basis of the American dream. There is aspirational licence. You can become anything you want to be. A concept must be developed for the nation.
In developing policy direction for his country the President must consider her competitive advantages. The competitive advantages may be climatic factors, it may be workforce, it may be mineral resources, it may be diversity, and it may be geographic… He must home in on these competitive advantages and market his country by them.
Energy is critical to the growth of a modern nation. There must be a well-thought energy policy. A large federated entity must consider regional resources in the crafting of energy policy in order to achieve efficiencies. And so in one region hydro power may be considered, in another solar, in another eco, in another fossil fuel, in another wind, and in yet another clean coal. Where solar energy is in abundance one would expect cars and homes powered by solar energy. It is inefficient to pipe fossil fuel over long distances to such a region.
Then the President must consider the brand of his nation. Nations are increasingly resorting to branding to boost revenue. There is a direct effect on the capital markets and foreign direct investment. The brand of his country informs the perception of his people as they travel the world and interact with other citizens of the world. It’s one of the reasons corruption must be resisted, albeit in a strategic manner. Those who serve in government must be above board. The institutions of justice must also be strong. It boosts investor confidence. And not just the institution of justice, all institutions of state must be strong. The concept of a “strong man” cannot sustain a nation. Look at African countries.
Lastly, the Christian President must think of his legacy. How will history remember him, what legacy will he leave behind? What’s his place in history? There is a difference between history and chronicles.
When a Christian governs right many will want to identify with his faith. An unskilled Christian in power will do injustice to the faith. It’s why those who want to go into office must prepare themselves. When you think about it, perhaps churches should concentrate more on opening schools of government than seminaries. Seminaries have their place but some nations require schools of government more.
And this is the end of the series, The Church and Politics. To read all the chapters of The Church and Politics, 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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