Is it right for a Minister of God to partake in politics to the point of becoming a Politician or President?
This is a question that you might get as many answers as the number of different people you ask. It is obvious that those already engaged in politics and are ministers will tell you, “yes.” In this case, the Bible does not answer this question directly, but let's review some facts found in the Scriptures:
1.) Joseph was the Prime Minister of Egypt at God’s leading and did a wonderful job. He didn’t ask for the position, but never shirked away from doing it when selected by pharaoh. In fact, he later told his brothers that it was God who directed in this matter in order that the Israelites might be preserved. (Genesis 45:5 and 50:20-21)
2.) After the interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar's dream, Daniel was proclaimed "the ruler over the whole province of Babylon, and chief of the governors over all the wise men of Babylon." (Daniel 2:48) During the reign of the Persians, he held the title of "first president" "because an excellent spirit was in him and the king thought to set him over the whole realm". (Daniel 6:1-3) Daniel was a man of great influence in his day and it's important to note that he never at any time forgot to give God the glory for his success. (Daniel 2:27-28 and 6:22) Though he ruled in pagan territories, Daniel was consistently faithful to the Lord, even when his life was in danger (Daniel 6:10-13). Daniel didn't hesitate to do "the right thing", even when it meant that he had to rebuke kings because of their sins (Daniel 4:27 and 5:22-28). He didn't check the “poles” to see what course of action to take, but rather, he sought direction from the Lord of all heaven and earth (Daniel 2:17-23 and 9:3). Indeed, Daniel served God continually. (Daniel 6:16)
3.) Psalm 33:12 says, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.” Human logic tells me that it would be much better for a city, state, or country to have a true Christian at it’s head, as opposed to a wicked tyrant. What nation in the Bible has ever followed the Lord when its ruler was a wicked man? Bible history is full of stories that say, “King so and so did what was pleasing in the sight of the Lord and the people followed the Lord all the days of the King” or “The king forsook the Lord and caused the people to do more abominations than all the kings before him.”
4.) Proverbs 11:14 tells us that, “Where there is no counsel, the people fall; but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.” The counsel we desperately need is a real knowledge of God's will and the course that is righteous in His sight. Who should know more about God’s will than a true minister of the gospel? Matthew 5:9 says, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God.” Let’s ask ourselves this question: Do we need peacemakers in government? Of course we do.
5) Proverbs 3:5 instructs us to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” If my country asks me to serve in a political capacity and I am willing to take my relationship with God into every detail of my work, surely the Lord can direct my path so that all can see His leading and His name can be glorified. I just need to maintain a constant connection with Him and make sure that this is truly His will for my life.
When we look back into history, we actually find that a large percentage of the government leaders were clergy. One reason for this was the fact that they were among the few that could read and write – the educated. The problems that the early church (or the kingdoms) experienced weren’t because they were clergy, but because they were greedy or became greedy. The axiom that ‘power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts totally' can be seen in so many clergy of the Middle Ages and has even carried over into some churches today.
We might also ask you this question: “Which man (or woman) would you rather have as your government leader: A Hollywood movie star or a consecrated Christian minister? In conclusion then, Romans 13:1 caps this for me. It says, “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.” This implies that God is in charge of all governments and He is working to do His righteous ways in all things. Sometimes bad people are allowed to rule to bring about His mysterious ways, such as the evil pharaoh in Egypt, whose stubbornness helped the Israelites understand patience and God’s mighty power to save. If the pharaoh had let the people go right away, how would the children of Israel know that God had the ability to take them to the Promised Land? And we must never forget that God, at times, allows sinners to punish sinners. e.g. The Babylonians and the Syrians taking the Children of Israel captive into slavery because they had adopted so much heathenism and they loved their pagan rituals more than the Lord. This was God’s way of “waking them up.” (Isaiah Chapter 1)
I wish that there were more true Christians in public office – ministers or nonministers. Corruption in politics is destroying the love of liberty (democracy) in our land and the moral structure of the world as we know it. While it's sad to say, the United States of America is no longer a Christian nation. The same can be said of many countries and governments around the globe. We have a great need for leaders like King David who was a man after God's own heart, who sought to fulfill His holy will. (Acts 13:22) According to the Bible, this probably won't happen until Christ, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Revelation 19:16) reigns over this world when it will be re-created and purged from sin. (2 Peter 3:10-13; Revelation 21) Yes, God's Holy Word assures us that evil intentions and ungodliness will increase until the return of Christ (2 Timothy 3:1-5 and 13; Matthew 24:12), but we have the promise that we will one day reign with Jesus in His heavenly kingdom! (Revelation 20:6; Romans 8:16-18)
In fact, this notion even has an
application for us today: Christians are to live holy lives as children of
the King because we "are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy
nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who
hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light: Which in time past
were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained
mercy, but now have obtained mercy. Dearly beloved, I beseech you as
strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the
soul; Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they
speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they
shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation."
(1 Peter 2:9-12)
--Thanks to George Blumenschein for answering to this question!
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