ballotboxJoshua 5: 13 Now when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, “Are you for us or for our enemies?”

14 “Neither,” he replied, “but as commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.” Then Joshua fell facedown to the ground in reverence, and asked him, “What message does my Lord[b] have for his servant?”

Sometime last month, a friend of mine sent me a message (I think it was a group message) declaring his intention to vie for a political post. This came at a time I’ve really been evaluating my position on politics and governance systems of this world in light of how diametrically opposed they are with governance of the kingdom of God , of which I am a citizen.

The need to take a position has been fed by three significant events; the US elections last year, a book I read recently, ‘Jesus Untangled‘, and the forthcoming elections in my resident country this year.

Like it is the case of previous election periods, most of us tend to withdraw from our normal unifying elements, to the enclaves that set us in the camps of “us” vs “them”. In kenya, this is normally across ethnic lines, and to a lesser degree party lines. If you think that the people of God are imune to this trend, you will only need to look at the news to change your mind.

One notices the increased attendance of politicians in churches and them kneeling for prayer so that they would succeed in elections, oh not to mention “prophetic words” of who God has appointed to win, don’t worry that the predictions do not have to be true. Normally these partcicipation in church activities will have significant relationship with who is the leader in those churches and what side of the divide they represent.

My thoughts have been revolving around what position a child of God ought to take in a contest like elections which are more often than not, very very divisive. Is it possible to take a preference for one camp against another, and still maintain a kingdom position of love for all?

I’d like to say it is possible, but I am increasingly being persuaded that it may not be. This has included a possibility of my not participating in the electral process as a personal choice, and leave my role to : “.. making supplications, prayers, intercesssion, and giving thanks…for kings , and all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceful life in all godliness and honesty.“.

Before I am accused of being unpartriotic, I think it is good to consider that from the perspective of the kingdom of God, to whose King I pledge my allegiance, “I am in this world , but not of it“. That makes me, and every follower of Jesus a foreigner in any nation of this world, and as is normal practice, foreigners do not vote.

Having said that, I do not think voting is a sin, any less not voting counts for righteousness. As you may have already realised, I’m still working this in my mind and heart, and therefore would encourage you not to allow me to confuse you – just follow your heart. Whatever your decision, remember the admonition that,

“supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour”

..and to, as you listen to the Lord, Jesus,

“Do whatever He tells you.(John 2:5)”

Blessings to all that call upon His Name,

Love in Him,
Patrick

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