We continue the series, The Church and Politics. Last week we looked at the rebel federation of Satan in Axis of Evil. To read past episodes of The Church and Politics, please go to www.myilluminare.com/the -church-and-politics/
When it comes to politics, some Christians view the world as a bipolarity of “saints versus the world”. It’s a completely false paradigm with no pragmatic or strategic value. Such a mind-set betrays lack of understanding about the very nature of politics, portrays lack of sophistication and parades poor scholarship of scriptures. There’s the erroneous belief God allocates power based on human goodness. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Of the 22 kings who ruled the Kingdom of Israel between 1047 BC and 723 BC, only 4.5% were determined good; 86.4% were considered terrible. (9.1% were conflicted). Yet God gave all those people political power, and we shall see why.
ALL political power proceeds from God, whether held by good or bad people. The Psalmist wrote, “God has spoken once, twice I have heard this: That power belongs to God.” (Psalm 62:11 AMP) ALL political power belongs to God: “He controls the course of world events; he removes kings and sets up other kings.” (Daniel 2:21 NLT) And so the question of divine allocation of political power is much more sophisticated and much more complicated from an aerial perspective.
The simplistic notion of morality as a basis of God’s donation of political power cannot accommodate human history. Some people are given political power to facilitate prophecy. Some are political triggers for events that are yet to take place. It’s why they’re given political power by God. And some are trajectories of the arrow of destiny. God does not allocate political power based on human goodness though there were good kings in Israel. Some of the people he gave power were even hostile to him, had no fidelity to him. This moral equivalence will be difficult for some to process or accept but the facts are there in scriptures. Interpretation of scriptures must be evidence-based.
Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon (605 BC – 562 BC) was not a good man. He was idolatrous, irascible, volatile, sadistic, oppressive, brutal, rash… Yet God gave him political power. He conquered the world. And he conquered God’s people – Judah and Jerusalem, completely destroyed the Temple and most of Jerusalem. He carried off the remaining people into captivity in Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar was ironically God’s instrument of judgment against Judah for her idolatry, unfaithfulness and disobedience. This had been prophesied by Jeremiah: “I will gather together all the armies of the north under King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, whom I have appointed as my deputy. I will bring them all against this land and its people and against the surrounding nations. I will completely destroy you and make you an object of horror and contempt and a ruin forever. I will take away your happy singing and laughter. The joyful voices of bridegrooms and brides will no longer be heard. Your millstones will fall silent, and the lights in your homes will go out. This entire land will become a desolate wasteland. Israel and her neighbouring lands will serve the king of Babylon for seventy years.” (Jeremiah 25:9-11 NLT) Nebuchadnezzar was so oppressive and authoritarian that Daniel, his top adviser once pleaded with him to change his ways in order to avert God’s imminent judgment: “King Nebuchadnezzar, please accept my advice. Stop sinning and do what is right. Break from your wicked past and be merciful to the poor. Perhaps then you will continue to prosper.” (Daniel 4:27 NLT)
But even more curious is the fact that God gave political power to Cyrus the Great, a man God himself testified didn’t acknowledge or reckon with him! (Isaiah 45:4) He reigned 539 – 530 BC. One hundred and fifty years before Cyrus was born, Isaiah had prophesied he would free the Jews from Babylonian captivity. (He actually donated towards the rebuilding of the Temple): “It is I who says of Cyrus, ‘He is my shepherd (ruler), And he will carry out all that I desire–’ Saying of Jerusalem, ‘She shall again be built,’ And of the temple, ‘Your foundation shall again be laid.’” (Isaiah 44:28 AMP) So there were those like Nebuchadnezzar and Cyrus who were given political power based on God’s prophetic declaration. They tend to be assigned special roles – very specific roles. But then there were also those who got into power based on human agitation. King Saul’s ascendance was predicated on an informal referendum. (1 Samuel 10:19) And this principle applies in a democracy.
God also takes cognisance of the rules of succession in assigning political power. For example Solomon succeeded David as son. Many of the kings in Israel ascended the throne on the basis of succession. And there are those God gives political power to usher in a grand scheme, like the emergence of the Antichrist. He must emerge so the Genesis conflict is finally resolved. And we can see the world’s political agenda to usher in the reign of the Antichrist. In fact, scriptures tell us that the spirit of the Antichrist is already in the world. (1 John 4:3) There are those dedicated for the fulfilment of the prophecies concerning the Antichrist. In some cases, they are adumbrations of him. Hitler readily comes to mind in this regard. He coveted the spirit of the Antichrist. Hitler’s actions were entirely driven by prophesies of Blatvaskian Theosophy. His racial ideology came from it. He was opened up to “the Powers”. (Ephesians 6:12) He was of the occult.
It would seem therefore that God allocates political power on the basis of fit for purpose, in fulfilment of prophecy, towards fulfilment of prophecy, by rules of succession, human agitation or in the direction of history’s strategic arrow. But here’s the thing: though the primary reason Cyrus ascended the throne was to free the Jews from captivity, they couldn’t have known that in Persia. The reason God gives power is not always locally obvious. We obviously don’t have God’s eye view when it comes to political issues. We tend to view things from a human level. Our understanding is thus highly localised and within a frame of time. Barring God’s prophetic sovereignty therefore, it means if Christians want to install people in power in a democracy, they must learn the science of human agitation. If Christians want to advocate changes in the political space, they must master the framing of issues, adopt the savvy use of media and create pressure groups. God recognises human agitation in a political context. There are things God would not do for Christians in a democracy: “The heaven of heavens is for God, but he put us in charge of the earth.” (Psalm 115:12-16 MSG) If you want to see change, act! And so it is befuddling when Christians base non-participation in politics on a misconstrued understanding of the statement made by Jesus that his kingdom is not of this world. Context is completely ignored. Many times, Christians isolate scriptures and read them out of context. This creates an ideological rather than scriptural viewpoint.
Jesus was accused of treason against Roman authority. The Romans claimed sovereignty over the Jews. There can be no other king but Caesar and Jesus was accused of claiming to be king of the Jews. The charge of treason against Jesus was why the criminal indictment nailed to his cross was, “Jesus Nazarenus, Rex Ludaeorum” – “Jesus the Nazarene, the King of the Jews.” (John 19:19) In other words, Jesus was assassinated as an insurrectionist. They didn’t see him as “moral instructor”. He was a political figure. But they jumped the gun. Jesus could not claim kingship over the Jews at that moment in history because the political programme of the Messiah had not begun. [The Messiah had two programmes – redemptive and political (Isaiah 9:6)] It’s why he veered into a cryptic statement about truth with Pilate: “You say I am a king. Actually, I was born and came into the world to testify to the truth. All who love the truth recognise that what I say is true.” (John 18:37 NLT) Jesus was referencing the first programme of the Messiah – the redemptive programme – when he spoke cryptically about truth to Pilate and said his kingdom is not of this world. He subsumed the political programme in his discussion with Pilate. They were talking at cross purposes. (Pun intended). Post resurrection however things have changed: “God raised him 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.” (Ephesians 1:20-23 MSG) In other words, Jesus is now king of the Jews and that will soon become apparent. (Psalm 2:6) As military commander-Messiah, he will save the Jews from annihilation by the Antichrist. (2 Thessalonians 2:8)
In a democracy, you can’t just keep praying, folding your arms like a dejected supplicant, refusing to take part in the politics and claiming that is righteousness. It’s not! It’s foolishness. You’ve got to get involved if you want to see the change you want.
We continue the series next week. We’ll be looking at the Power of the State. To read full version of The Church and Politics Part 5: How God Allocates Power, please 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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