Christians and political involvement
Some Christians say Christians may not be involved in politics. But does that mean that we just have to stand aside and do nothing?
I understand the involvement in politics differently. As a Christian, being a Christadelphian, I shall not go into politics, being actively participating in taking up a position as politician. But contrary to some fellow brothers I do not agree that we should not bring up our voice against certain situations. As followers of Christ we also should defend the weaker ones like Jesus came up to the defence of the ones who were cast out or who were not treated well.
Connections with non governmental and international organisations
Several Christadelphians also find it, like the Jehovah Witnesses, inopportune to have any connection with NGO’s or International organisations. To take care of international problems, having our relief supplies brought to places where we normally would not be able to come, we need international organisation and we need to meet with them or be involved in national and international discourses. Therefore I and the Belgian Christadelphians for our relief expeditions depend often on political agreements, and do have to have certain political and religious related contacts.
I and the Belgian Christadelphians could not get prisoners and tortured people out of Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan or Chechnya without being involved in a certain way in politics. For the programs on poor people and immigrants in Europe, we could not do our work properly not being involved with several political organisations or not taking part in the several European and national organisations and debates.
Even the English and perhaps other Christadelphian organisations involve themselves in politics, getting tax refunds for the donation of their members. (In Belgium we can not get that, and we can not become recognised as an official non-trinitarian religion.) To become recognised as a religion you have to be involved in politics and you have to go to the meetings and have to follow certain rules, so the Jehovah Witnesses are also not interested to become an official recognised religion. (Though internationally some years ago the Watchtower and tract Society tried to become recognised worldwide as a religion. At one point they also where involved or had contacts with the United Nations Organisation. Because of pressure they had to withdraw.)
Taking care and task given by Creator
As human being we do have the task to take care of the human race. One of the tasks given by the Divine Creator was to take care of the earth, the plants, the animals and the human population. We could name all the things which came into existence, but we also received the responsibility of this universe. So, we do have to take care of it.
Christians do know that there would be not any good political system that can bring everything in balance and be good and acceptable for every one, as long as the Messiah does not return. God, the Creator of everything, has given the Nazarene Jew Jeshua, today better known as Jesus Christ, the allowance to be a mediator between God and man and to return at God His time to the earth to judge the living and the dead, allowing them or casting them out for the entrance of the Kingdom of God. Those who believe in God and the son He has given into this world, there is hope for a better future. In Jesus we do have a New Covenant, which shall come into existence to be enjoyed by the lovers of God.
“I saw in the night visions, and behold, [one] like the son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.” (Daniel 7:13 MKJV)
“for god [is] one, and [there is] one mediator of god and of men, [the] man christ jesus,” (1 Timothy 2:5 MKJV)
“but now he has obtained a more excellent ministry, by so much he is also the mediator of a better covenant, which was built upon better promises.” (Hebrews 8:6 MKJV)
“and to jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than [that of] Abel.” (Hebrews 12:24 MKJV)
Periodical imperfect system until return of son of man
As long as Jesus does not return we as human people do have to continue to live in this system which never shall be as perfect as the Kingdom of God. But that does not mean we just have to take everything as it comes along and that we may let everything happen like others want to let it happen.
We also know that when we shall be reaching the time of the return of Christ we shall have to face a time of many troubles and much agony.
“7 and they asked him, saying, teacher, but when shall these things be? and what [shall be] the sign when these things are about to take place? 8 and he said, take heed that you are not deceived, for many shall come in my name, saying, I AM! also, the time has come! do not go after them. 9 but when you hear of wars and disturbances, do not be terrified, for all these things must first occur, but the end [is] not at once. 10 and he said to them, nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 11 and great earthquakes shall be in different places, and famines and plagues. and there shall be terrors and great signs from heaven. 12 but before all these, they shall lay their hands on you and persecute [you], delivering [you] up to the synagogues and prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name’s sake. 13 and it shall return to you for a testimony.” (Luke 21:7-13 MKJV)
Visible signs for Day of Judgement
Today we can witness already lots of problems which were prophesied as signs of the coming Third World War. The Holy Scriptures advice us to be prepared for that period which shall be preceded by a time of increasing earthquakes and natural disasters. It also shall be a time when the youngsters shall react against their own parents, and many children would be misused, abused and ‘trampled on’. (Do you recognise some of those signs?)
Christians perhaps may find that they just can stand aside until God’s Day of Judgement comes along. I would tell them that that day is near and shall come over this world as an avalanche crashing down from the Strong God! Those who believe in the Holy Scriptures as being the Word of God know they have to be prepared to face the days that everyone shall become paralysed in the panic, hysterical and unstrung.
Today we see already a lot of horror in the world and much pain not only in war-zones but also in those places which are considered wealthy industrialised pastures. We can find a growing amount of people who are facing a nightmare. Evil on earth has come to non controllable proportions and many civilised persons may find it is getting time to terminate the dark acts of the wicked. It has become high time that all braggarts and boasters shall be gagged. Strutting tyrants should feel that their time has to come to an end and many people are really hoping that they will be left flat on their faces. For sure we may believe that proud humanity will disappear from the earth. Like a hunted white-tailed deer, like lost sheep with no shepherd, people will huddle with a few of their own kind, run off to some makeshift shelter.
“6 howl! for the day of Jehovah [is] at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty. 7 therefore all hands shall be faint, and every man’s heart shall melt; 8 and they shall be afraid. pangs and sorrows shall take hold of them. they shall be in pain like a woman who travails. they shall be amazed at one another, their faces [like] flames. 9 behold, the day of Jehovah comes, cruel and [with] wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land waste; and he shall destroy its sinners out of it. 10 for the stars of the heavens and their constellations shall not give light; the sun shall be darkened in its going forth, and the moon shall not reflect its light. 11 and I will visit evil on the world, and their iniquity on the wicked. and I will cause the arrogance of the proud to cease, and will lay low the pride of tyrants. 12 I will make a man more precious than gold; even a man than the fine gold of Ophir. 13 so I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall move out of its place, in the wrath of Jehovah of hosts, and in the day of his fierce anger. 14 and it shall be as a driven gazelle, and as a sheep that no man takes up; each man shall look to his own people, and each one flee into his own land.” (Isaiah 13:6-14 MKJV)
“18 and bows shall dash the young men to pieces; and they shall have no pity on the fruit of the womb; their eye shall not pity sons. 19 and Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the majestic beauty of the Chaldees, shall be as when god overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah.” (Isaiah 13:18-19 MKJV)
“21 and brother will deliver up brother to death, and [the] father [his] child. and the children shall rise up against [their] parents and cause them to be put to death. 22 and you will be hated of all [men] for my name’s sake, but the [one] who endures to [the] end shall be kept safe. 23 but when they persecute you in this city, flee into another; for truly I say to you, in no way shall you have finished the cities of Israel until the son of man comes.” (Matthew 10:21-23 MKJV)
In many countries we see the massacre the young going on. In those countries were protest against the tyrants is growing stronger, the ones pulling the stings wantonly kick and kill even babies.
Materialism, good life and survival
Christians do know that all the material things are not going to bring them ‘the real wealth to have a good life’. And people noticing that they can enjoy live no matter that they are bullied will perhaps realize it is the living God we are presenting and not some idol that makes them feel good, and therefore they are going to turn on us with even more joy, even people in our own family. There is a great irony here: proclaiming so much love, experiencing so much hate! But we may not quit and should not let our voice be silenced. We may not cave in. It is all well worth it in the end. It is not success we should be after in such times but survival. Yes we do have to be survivors! Before we’ve run out of options, we may believe the Word of God that tells us that the Son of Man will have arrived.
Persevering, Striving and Uniting
Making ourselves stronger is also taking care that we can be united with more people feeling the same and going strong for the same values. Though John Knox “A man with God is always in the majority.” we shall always be a very small group, but at the end we shall be a strong united group, and in the majority living with the 3 E’s: Energy, Enthusiasm, and Empathy.
Some people see things as they are and say “Why?” but we are better to dare to dream and imagine things that never were and say “Why not.” For those dreams we should come out. We only can become what we behold. As Albert Einstein said:
The most important human endeavor is the striving for morality in our actions. Our inner balance, and even our very existence depends on it. Only morality in our actions can give beauty and dignity to our lives.
When we look at figures in history, all those who have accomplished great things have had a great aim. They mostly had to fight a lot for it or suffer a lot, even going into prison for it. (What would we do without the perseverance of Pasteur?) We also should not be afraid to fixed our gaze on a goal which is high, and of which many would consider us ‘idiots’ or ‘not of this world’. Our goals may sound as not of this world or to seem impossible, but that should not hinder us to strive for it.
In subjection or obeying the governing authorities
For Christians being involved in politics has always been a matter of discussion. We do have to give what the emperor demands, but first there has to be an emperor. When that emperor or country demands to vote people do have to go to vote and may not stay at home not fulfilling the demand of the one in charge to keep up the democratic process. In Belgium there is the duty to vote, so every Christian has to go to the ballot station and bring out some vote.
“17 therefore tell us; what do you think? is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar or not? 18 but jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, why do you tempt me, hypocrites? 19 show me the tribute money. and they brought a denarius to him. 20 and he said to them, whose image and inscription [is] this? 21 they said to him, Caesar’s. then he said to them, therefore render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to god the things which are god’s.” (Matthew 22:17-21 MKJV)
“1 let every soul be subject to the higher authorities. for there is no authority but of god; the authorities that exist are ordained by god. 2 so that the one resisting the authority resists the ordinance of god; and the ones who resist will receive judgment to themselves. 3 for the rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the bad. and do you desire to be not afraid of the authority? do the good, and you shall have praise from it. 4 for it is a servant of god to you for good. for if you practice evil, be afraid, for it does not bear the sword in vain; for it is a servant of god, a revenger for wrath on him who does evil. 5 therefore [you] must be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience’ sake.” (Romans 13:1-5 MKJV)
Part of the world
There are many programs, like the ones on education, on poor people and immigrants where we could not do our work properly not being involved with several political organisations or political related institutions. Politics is just part of the world. Different opinions also brings different groups where we have to be confronted with and have to live with and sometimes have to react against.
We can not avoid that participation in political bodies sometimes has to be necessary. It becomes a grey area when you consider we have to work through them sometimes to help people.
Giving your vote
In Belgium voting is obligatory so people do have to bring out a vote and politics are a matter of debate because the voting shall decide a lot.
I totally agree with those Christians who say we should not be politicians, but as human beings we should not be standing at the site and letting things just happen to others. When Christians also do go wrong we should give them a sign where they go wrong. It is our brotherly love that request warning brethren and sisters about the dangers in life and political situations. Openly discussing political situations and exchanging ideas about politics are part of social life as well. We are part of the world. We can not escape that.
We have to look out for a Kingdom where there is no voting, because it would be not necessary over there because we will have the most righteous ruler under the best theocracy. But in this world we have to take the responsibility to protect others, and this sometimes will also demand uttering a voice.
Speaking and organising, In the right way
Somehow we do need organised structures and I also do believe political groups should have the possibility to elect a leader as long as they can be questioned and easily removed. We also should allow all sorts of groups of political ideas and/or religious or non-religious feelings. We should even allow radical groups to organise themselves as long as they do not become a treat for a democratic system where every body is allowed to live together.
Allowing organised structures does not have to mean we should continue to allow to have private owners having them others to work for them for nearly no costs but to gain as much as possible. It does not mean we should have massive profits being skimmed off by private owners any longer or to accept wages which are still a three hundred fold of what an other person can earn. This is not any more acceptable in the 21st century.
It also does not mean we do have to provide free funding for those who are to lazy to work. Those who want to be bone-idle should bear the consequences of their voluntary act themselves. Those who prefer to live anti-socially should be reprimanded by the society and those around them should reprove them in a social and respectful manner.
Time for change
Living in this capitalist system it is high time that we all try to re-think the ways of having such a system to survive and not having it to be drowning by the more and more greedy people, like the financial world and certain people who think they have the right to decide everything for the best of themselves because they are elected. (cfr Jean-Luc Dehaene his response at the stakeholders meeting of Dexia)
Some may say:
capitalism isn’t really an ideology as such, it’s just a formalization of the way the world works. You work, you create goods, you exchange goods, you have capitalism.
Anarchism, being the lack of an over-arching control, cannot oppose capitalism any more than it can oppose the laws of gravity or, (perhaps more aptly) fluid dynamics. The only way to suppress capitalism is by imposing control from above. Anti-capitalism is antithetical to anarchism.
Love of money
Those who support pure capitalism should see where it brought the society and what the dangers are of the love for money and capital gain. Today we clearly see how the love of money has fouled its own nest and the soul of many. And with that spirit and do not mean some extra ‘terrestrial’ being which some might think exist in a person and can leave it when that person dies. When we die everything is finished for us and we shall not be able to do anything with all the money or treasures we grabbed together. Once we die their shall nothing for us to take along with us, because we just shall not be able to do anything at all except to perish and to become dust.
“for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Matthew 6:21 MKJV)
“for what is a man profited if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:26 MKJV)
“1 for all this I took to heart, even to make all this clear, that the righteous and the wise and their works [are] in the hand of god. no man knows either love or hatred [by] all [that is] before them. 2 all [happens] alike to all; [there is] one event to the righteous and to the wicked; to the good and to the clean, and to the unclean; to him who sacrifices, and to him who does not sacrifice. as [is] the good, so is the sinner. he who swears is as [he] who fears an oath.” (Ecclesiastes 9:1-2 MKJV)
“5 for the living know that they shall die; but the dead do not know anything, nor do they have any more a reward; for their memory is forgotten. 6 also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; nor do they any longer have a part forever in all that is done under the sun.” (Ecclesiastes 9:5-6 MKJV)
“for will you do wonders to the dead? shall the dead rise [and] praise you? Selah.” (Psalms 88:10 MKJV)
“the dead do not praise Jehovah, nor do any who go down into silence.” (Psalms 115:17 MKJV)
“his breath goes forth; he returns to the earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.” (Psalms 146:4 MKJV)
“for the grave cannot praise you, death can [not] rejoice in you; they who go down into the pit cannot hope for your truth.” (Isaiah 38:18 MKJV)
“he said these things; and after that he said to them, our friend Lazarus sleeps. but I go so that I may awaken him out of sleep.” (John 11:11 MKJV)
“and Jehovah god formed man [of the] dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” (Genesis 2:7 MKJV)
“in the sweat of your face you shall eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken. for dust you [are], and to dust you shall return.” (Genesis 3:19 MKJV)
“then the dust shall return to the earth as it was, and the spirit shall return to god who gave it.” (Ecclesiastes 12:7 MKJV)
In the world we need some means to trade and exchange goods easily. Money and banks are a handy tool. Not everything can be solved or hold in balance by an exchange system. Not all goods can be swapped or bartered for something of equal value in return. In previous times you could trade meat for coal, but how would you decide today what can be of good value for the other thing?
We should come back to trying to help each other and forming mutualist or co-operativist organisations, not forbidding private propriety, trade, or even capitalist entities. Competition is also something which has not to be objected.
Environment and those around us
We do have to take in account other societies and the countries around us and be conscious how things may affect the world ecological, economical and political. More and more we should think globally but also think more of collectives which are so much better than private undertakings, when everybody may equally share in the earnings of the concern or collective.
Being part of the whole universe we should start thinking more in a global way and step away from the little island of the self. Everybody in the community has to take on a part to be useful or to do a job which enriches not only the person who does the job, but can enrich the whole community. In that community there is also no place for profiteers or people who want to live on the cost of the community. Every one is able to do something, so no excuses. When there are systems made up to have the community working or thriving all should be able to control it and have their say.
In case people are blinded by the governing system those who are awake should warn the others. It is our brotherly task to be alert and to be vigilant for the whole community around us.
Anti-Capitalist or Anarchist
You could always question when one person is against the uneven distribution of capital, if he cold be considered an “anti-capitalist” or an anarchist.
Is the one who looks at the system and say what he thinks, somebody to be shunned or to be regulated to the reserves? We should not denounce those who dare to give their opinion. We also should not stay quiet and let everything just happen like that.
We all have a responsibility in this life and we should take it up.
Continues: Intellectual servility a curse of mankind
Previously about this subject:
- Anti-Crisis anger calling out
- Classes of people and Cronyism
- Christian values and voting not just a game
- Economics and Degradation
- Justififiable anger or just anarchism
- Capitalism downfall
- Democratic downfall
- Violence or an other way to win
- Ageing and Solidarity between generations
- Cool Person of the year 2011
- The Protester named Person of the Year 2011 by Time Magazine
- Anti-Crisis anger calling out
- Victims and Seekers of Peace
- World Agenda for Sustainability
- Lindau talks and consequences for Belgium and Europe
Please do read Can I be a non-purist anarchist? which gives enough thoughts and some answers.
Could we have an anarchism which is not a manic drive to eliminate all rules or functional hierarchies or routines, but instead is a mission to defeat the main ruling class of society, eliminate all oppressions of specific demographics, and to generally create a situation where nobody-is-in-charge-because-everybody-is-in-charge?
it’s okay to faction-fight within a pre-existing union for improvements, whereas from what I hear the syndicalists think this is a bad idea, and stand for setting up a splinter or competitor union which is radical from the start.
Apparently “anarcho-collectivists” believe in placing all workplaces under collective ownership, but still requiring people to show up and work to get paid. At first this sounds too similar to the same-old-shit of capitalism, but when you realize that we’ve eliminated the massive profits being skimmed off by private owners (pay hikes all around!), plus instituting workers’ democratic management of the workplace, it’s actually a huge, revolutionary difference.
About God and the world:
- God of gods
- Some one or something to fear #6 Faith in the Most High
- Without God no purpose, no goal, no hope
- Hope for the future
- God my fence, my hope for the future
- God His Reward
- Believing in God the rewarder
- God’s design in the creation of the world
- God’s promises
- Fear of God reason to return to Holy Scriptures
- The hands of God’s wrath
About death and end-times:
- Dead and after
- Destination of righteous
- Destination of the earth
- Signs on the earth and in the skies
- Increase Earthquakes
- Reacting to Disasters
- Sheol or the grave
- The soul not a ghost
- The days are coming
- End Times
- The Conclusion of the System of Things
- The great Day of their wrath
Other interesting articles:
- We are ourselve responsible
- To mean, to think, outing your opinion, conviction, belief – Menen, mening, overtuiging, opinie, geloof
- United people under Christ
- When we love we do not need laws
- A visible organisation on earth
- Faith and works
- Some one or something to fear #2 Attitude and Reactions
- A Living Faith #10: Our manner of Life #2
- If we, in our prosperity, neglect religious instruction and authority
- With the gift of Jesus comes an awesome responsibility
- Fear and protection
- Newsweek asks: How ignorant are you?
Other related articles
- There is no such thing as religious freedom in Cuba (babalublog.com)
A member of the Jehovah’s Witnesses in Cuba filed a complaint with the state prosecutor last month alleging discrimination against her three school-age daughters.She says the authorities have condoned acts of discrimination including physical and verbal violence, which have led the pupils to miss classes and their parents to move house.
The state education system is heavily politicised, and the current school regulations require all pupils to be “willing to defend the socialist homeland”. That is something Jehovah’s Witnesses cannot do, as they are conscientious objectors.
- Anarcho-Capitalism: Why It’s Broken & How To Fix It
In this video I’m going to give my analysis of anarcho-capitalism as a belief system. I’m going to point out a number of serious problems that I see in its logical framework, the probable consequences if implemented in current form, and I am going to propose a set of alterations to the belief system that would mitigate these issues to some degree.
- Do We Really Have A Choice?
Freedom. We all may agree that is the pre-condition for the state of a good life. If we want to begin a credo for the most righteous and just method for all mankind, it all must be founded on this tenet. Freedom. Once again, it’s essentially very abstract and relative philosophy. The question is : where can we find a true freedom? how can we bring a genuine freedom into being? what kind of freedom that would fit justly and equally into society?
- Video: The only REAL anarchists are the Anarcho-Capitalists
- Refuting “anarcho”-capitalism by means of “anarcho”-capitalismBoth Kropotkin and Tucker considered their ideas as a form of socialism. However, using typical dictionary definitions of both would result in a contradiction. Anarchism is defined as “a political theory favouring the abolition of governments” while socialism is “a political theory advocating state ownership of industry” or “an economic system based on state ownership of capital.” Which means that an anarchist could not be a socialist yet “anarcho”-capitalists are happy to call anarchists “anarcho-socialists.” This contradiction is enough, in itself, to show the flaw in their methodology. Why should the dictionary be good enough for “anarchy” but not for “socialism”?
- Anarcho-capitalist FAQA typical dictionary definitionPf of anarchism is: “The theory or doctrine that all forms of government are oppressive and undesirable and should be abolished.”Pf This definition follows the etymology of the word: “Anarchism” is derived from the Greek αναρχία meaning “without archon” (ruler, chief, or king.) This is the core meaning of the term – against the State. This means against it in principle, as an institution, not merely against certain policies or personnel.
- What is anarcho-capitalism?
- Why should one consider anarcho-capitalism?
- Do anarcho-capitalists favor chaos?
- Isn’t anarcho-capitalism utopian?
- Isn’t laissez-faire capitalism exploitative?
- What justifications are there for anarcho-capitalism?
- Are anarcho-capitalists anti-war?
- What are the myths of statism?
- What are the myths of socialism?
- Why don’t you just leave?
- Are there different types of anarcho-capitalism?
- How do anarcho-capitalists compare with other anarchists?
- Is anarcho-capitalism the same thing as libertarianism?
- Who are the major anarcho-capitalist thinkers?
- How would anarcho-capitalism work?
- How would anarcho-capitalists handle the “public goods” problem?
- Have there been any anarcho-capitalist societies?
- How might an anarcho-capitalist society be achieved?
- What are some major anarcho-capitalist writings?
- Where can I find anarcho-capitalist web sites?
A typical dictionary definitionPf of anarchism is: “The theory or doctrine that all forms of government are oppressive and undesirable and should be abolished.”Pf This definition follows the etymology of the word: “Anarchism” is derived from the Greek αναρχία meaning “without archon” (ruler, chief, or king.) This is the core meaning of the term – against the State. This means against it in principle, as an institution, not merely against certain policies or personnel.