Monday, 12 January 2009

Christianity and politics

Let's start 2009 with a rant.

I simply cannot tolerate people who label themselves Christians, but who do not want to stand up for social justice issues.

I'm not talking about complacency or being apathetic.

I'm talking about those who know that human rights atrocities happen but fail to take action simply because they think it's being "too political".

They don't make a statement about a government, because they believe one should "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's".

These pseudo-Christians choose to bury their heads into the sand and pretend there is no war, no genocide and that people are not suffering because of their inaction.

And the worse thing? They berate other Christians for taking part in activism, for standing up against the wrongs in the world, and even for simply stating that Robert Mugabe is a less than desirable ruler of a country.

It is one thing to stir the hornet's nest and manipulate state of affairs by being too involved in politics. But it is quite another to simply ignore the slave trade, evil dictatorship and mass genocide because that would mean being "involved in politics".

Aren't we Christians called "to act justly and to love mercy"?

So why do we immediately cower in fear and become cowards when someone in church declares that the world needs to take action because dictators like Robert Mugabe is bringing Zimbabwe to ruins?

Why do we choose not to write letters to governments and sign petitions, pressuring the government to be accountable for human rights issues and even environmental issues?

It's like one of the pre-requisites of being Christian is to live in bubble wrap, pretending that the world is made up of rainbows, blue skies and sunflowers and that we all live in perfect harmony.

I say wake up and smell the reality.

This world stinks. People are suffering.

And Christians are the very group of people who are meant to stand up for the poor and suffering, help the widows and orphans, take care of the environment and reflect Christ to the world.

When you show people you care, that's when you become a true Christian.

Why bother to call yourself a Christian when all you want to do is live in your comfortable world, pretending that nobody is in pain or suffering, sometimes because of the government, and criticise others for actually trying to make a difference in the world?


Richard Lawry said...

Amen!! I have noticed in the U.S. that Christians as a whole focus on one or two issues; i.e. abortion and homosexuality. Social injustice and war are on the back burner, or worse even upheld by so called Christians.

An Arkie's Musings

Kel said...

a stirring post to start the year

Melody said...

Had to make a bang! ;)

Faith said...

On January 8, 2008, Lasantha Wickramatunga the editor of The Sunday Leader in Sri Lanka, was shot dead by two gunmen on a motorcycle (see also Huffington Post).

This is an editorial he wrote, chillingly written with an awareness that his days were numbered.

While this editorial may, on the surface, relate better to journalists, I think the following quote from German theologian, Martin Niem”ller shows that speaking up is a very Christian thing to do.

First they came for the Jews
and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the Communists
and I did not speak out because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists
and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me.

As Adventists, when we speak up against policies that hurt our Sabbath-keeping sensitivities, or when we proudly thump people with the wonders of vegetarianism, it doesn't count.

That's just promoting our self interests. Selfishly guarding our own rights.

So keep doing what you're doing, Mel. The world needs Christians like you who are unafraid to speak up against issues that go beyond your backyard.

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