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Very often, the Church is reminded to stick to her lane, stay out of politics and read the Bible.

Unfortunately, the modernday church has done just that and almost completely forgotten about her role and responsibility in national transformation.

I have observed, with much sadness, that most Christians and ministers of the Gospel, always seek to detach the church from the society for which she was established. Yes, the Church was founded on the principle of being of service to God’s people and ensuring that their experience on earth is equivalent to that of Heaven. We have dismally failed in this. God’s people are experiencing poverty, injustice and pain everyday while the Church timidly hides behind her walls every Sunday.

As a devoted Minister of the Gospel, who daily dissects the Word of God, it is still a mystery to me as to where the Church of today derives her theology of the total separation of the Church and society. Lord have mercy! There is absolutely no way that God intended for the two to be separate.

Reading and dissecting the Bible every day for 33 years, I continually see a totally different perspective on this. This has not only transformed my thinking but it has totally liberated me as a Christian. I see a God that is absolutely interested in the day-to-day running of the world, including governments.

I see a God that would not allow Himself to be isolated from His creation. I see a God who expects the Church to be the Kingdom flagbearers here on earth and impact the world on His behalf. Psalm 24:1 proudly proclaims that “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof”.

Psalm 8 simply tells the Church to take charge because everything has been put under our feet — not some things but EVERYTHING! This surely includes the affairs of our world.

God has entrusted man to take dominion. To be stewards and not cowards. It is for His glory that we take dominion of what is entrusted to us. Everything a man does on earth must be for God’s glory. Whether it is in government or in commerce. From these Scriptures, how could we possibly say, God and the Church should not have a role to play in managing the affairs of the earth which He created for His own glory? The Church has been caught sleeping and God can’t be pleased with this.

The Bible is very clear when it comes to our role and responsibility here on earth. John 10:10 says: “The thief comes to steal kill and destroy; I have come so that they have life and life in abundance.” We have been invaded by leaders who are doing a great job of being representatives of the thief (the devil). They literally kill, steal and destroy.

It is no wonder today our government has allowed the iconic Chris Baragwanath Hospital to deteriorate to a point of failing to maintain a consistent supply of food for its patients. Our roads are littered with potholes and have become death traps. The railway system has come to a grinding halt, leaving one of the most affordable modes of transport inaccessible to ordinary people.

What about the endless hours of sitting in darkness because of a national power authority that was brought to its knees by years of poor and selfish national leadership? And this is just a tip of the iceberg, while the Church still insists on hiding behind its walls and focusing on the Bible.

What Bible are we reading and how are we reading it? Throughout the Bible, God, through His men and women, is involved in the affairs of the world. From the Old Testament to the New Testament He raises people like Joseph, Moses, Deborah, Daniel, Nehemiah, Esther, John the Baptist, Paul and Jesus Himself to impact and influence on Earth. They spoke openly about issues of national interest to a point of being killed for it. That is how devoted they were to their assignment and purpose on earth.

The story of God’s interaction with these Bible figures teaches us one important lesson, which is, God rules in the affairs of humanity through people and those people are found in the Church. The only people that He can use are people who presumably understand His vision and that vision is in the Bible. How then can we say that God and the Church do not have a role to play in the day-to-day running of nations?

In the words of Pastor Sunday Adelaja who just lost everything in the current war in Ukraine:
“If we are going to teach our people not to go into politics because it is dirty, then who is going to clean it up? Are there angels in charge of that kind of job?”

As far as I’m concerned, the argument of politics and the secular world being dirty is the very reason the Church was established. Christians need to step into this so called “dirty and evil world” and clean it up. We have not been called to be cowards or fearful — instead, with the sound mind we have been given, we need to clean up our world and that cannot be done while hiding behind the pulpit.

The Bible tells us that we are the light of the world. Is light not given to dissipate darkness? If the secular world is the darkness and the believer is the light, then in my mind God has provided a solution for the problem of darkness. That solution is the Church and the believers. It is unbelievable that in 2022, South Africans sit in darkness, literally, because of the years of maladministration at our national power authority.

“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” — Matthew 5:14-16

If the Church, which is the light of the world, is reluctant to go and engage the darkness of the world, what other means could we then use to overcome that darkness? Would God send angels to do that? It won’t happen! Neither can we pray certain things away. A lot demands our active involvement.

We sometimes live in hope, thinking God would raise people, He could even use stones to accomplish His will. Beautiful! But why should God be looking for stones when there are millions of Christians sitting in the pews in Church? There is no justification for God to raise up stones, when we have men and women who could be used by God to destroy the darkness in their nation. The only thing we need is to change their mindset and send them forth.

The Church worldwide needs to reconsider her stand and her role in the transformation of nations.

Currently in South Africa we are in serious chaos — nothing is working. If more than 80% of South Africans claim to be Christians, then the Church has a voice, then the Church can lead and turn things around. We have the potential to raise leaders who can make a huge difference.

Government should have men and women of integrity leading the nation. Unfortunately we as Church leaders have tamed the believers and trained them to desire more of Heaven and make them believe that they have no part to play in the daily activities of their world. Christians have neglected their responsibility here on earth. How can we hurry to be Heaven bound before we fix this Earth and leave it in an Eden state? The Church of today is heaven conscientious and earthly irrelevant.

“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” — Matthew 5:13-16

From the above Scripture, there are some lessons that we need to examine more closely.

1. Be the salt of the world — bring flavour, preserve, influence.
2. Be the light bearer — defeat darkness, expose, provide a pathway.
3. Be God’s public display — exhibit God’s character

Rev Chris Mathebula is a father of five, pastor of Hope Restoration Ministries, founder of a college, a citizen’s movement, an internet radio station and men’s, youth and charitable ministries.

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Date published: 26/03/2022
Feature image: Rev Chris Mathebula at the launch of the Independent Citizens Movement in Kempton Park, Gauteng in September last year. Credit – Facebook.

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