Yesterday we had another Non-Formal education meeting with about 7 pastors. We had hoped for more and are changing some things around to better fit their schedules, but you teach who shows up! We talked about the Christian, or more specifically, pastors in politics. It was a fantastic discussion and just a ton of fun. I can't believe this is my job.
With more than a dozen political parties, political ties can split a church. Don't get me wrong, we have our problems in the US with the Republican = Christian myth and pastors letting candidates stump from the pulpit on Sundays and other things but it is, like most things, worse here. Some of these pastors have elders with opposing political affiliations who hate each other. Brother's in Christ hating each other over politics.
We broke down and discussed civic vs. political duties because many churches just ignore things like municipal codes or getting the right governmental forms because they view themselves as separate from the world. We talked about the privilege of voting but also the higher calling of ministry over politics. The pastors agreed that it's just not a good idea for a pastor to become politically affiliated because then he can't deal with all the divisions in his church because the opposing party folks won't listen to him.
But then the pastors asked what do they do, practically, if two guys running for mayor both go to their church. Who do they support? How do they pray for them? Basically, they said they pray that the Lord's will be done and that the candidate would be honest and mature in their faith and serve the people with Christ as their example. An amazing thought in a country totally inundated at every governmental level by corruption. It's horrible. And most "Christian" candidates are just as bad as the rest.
It would be wonderful for mature, faithful believers to reach high political office here and really bring some light into the corruption. But it would be costly. Like Daniel, they would have to be above reproach, something that is achieved over a lifetime. It was just a fantastic discussion of real life, in the trenches ministry. May the Lord bear fruit from it.