Leadership Series (6): Perception Of Religious Leader’s In Politics. By Victor A. Imhangbe

It is a common believes and accepted norms in some religion organisation today with the notion and habit of criticising dedicated religious leaders for participating in politics. If we are encourage by the above assertion, since politics as they strongly believed is for worldly people; and only crook can be involved in it, it means the secular world as they are fun of calling it; was created for the crooks alone.

For the sake of the gullible and naïve victims in these categories of people, we shall consult the Holy Book for a reference. English Standard Version of the Bible succinctly quotes the Bible opinion concerning politics in Romans 13:1-7. “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers is not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience.

Further to the above, in Matthew 22: 17-22 English Standard Version, the following is explicit:

Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?” But Jesus, aware of their malice, said, “Why put me to the test, you hypocrites? Show me the coin for the tax.” And they brought him a denarius. And Jesus said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” They said, “Caesar’s.” Then he said to them, “Therefore render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” While Titus 3:9 ESV put it thus “But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless”.

From the above Bible scriptures, it is vividly clear to understand the world is created by God for mankind to dwell in and it is explicitly stated too in Genesis 1:26 “Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

Man has been given authority to rule over the earth including all creatures and man is authorised to have dominion. If man has been given the authority to rule over their affair, it is obligatory of Christians and non-Christians alike to participate and subject to worldly authority, especially if the worldly authority is left in the hands of wrong people, oppression and repression will only be the order of the day. We should be careful not to view politics with negative perception because of the activities of dubious and fraudulent politicians that takes public trust for granted for personal and self-aggrandizement. Of course there are bad politicians as there are bad; lawyers, bankers, engineers, doctors, pilots, in fact name any profession that comes your mind, there are always men and women of questionable characters that tend to bring the names, objectives and purpose of their establishment into disrepute’s and this does not applies to political actors alone. It is also a fact that the decision of a bad politicians can have adverse effects on well-intended profession, which means the influence of a bad politicians in power has a devastating consequence to the states social political and economic wellbeing, and that is the more reasons men of honour in all religions should be encourage to participate in political environment of a nation.

WHO IS A POLITICIAN?

My little Oxford dictionary defines politician as “person engaged or interested in politics” and politics as “science and art of government; political affairs or life or principles etc.” Politics consists of “social relations involving authority and power”. A politician is defined as one who is actively involved in politics or one who holds or seeks a political office. A politician is an individual who is involved in influencing public policy and decision making in government. Politicians play a central role in our lives. They are the concentrated voices of the people that make all efforts to improve their constituencies and peoples’ welfare. Good and dependable politicians are delight to serve the people and consider themselves as servants and people their paymasters. They represent the hopes, aspirations and the interests of every citizen in the state.

WHAT MAKE A GOOD POLITICIAN?

Politician qualities are their characters that are natural, while some of the qualities are as a result of external influences. Promising politicians qualities are often backed by skills, experiences, intelligence, integrity, with instincts; all combined together to achieve their goals. First and foremost, the best quality of a politician is honesty, God fearing and loving. Faithful and effective politicians are trustworthy and reliable. They must capture the essence of truth, display sincerity, candor and practices what they preaches. They make decisions and accept responsibility for their actions and their words. The same is true in their dealing with people. They make promises and keep those promises. Somebody that people may be relied upon. Loving people with all their heart, might, mind, soul and striving to help them as a true mark of responsible politicians.

WHAT MAKE A BAD POLITICIAN

1) Placing your personal interest (re-election counts) ahead of your obligation to your country;

2) Placing your party’s interest ahead of its obligation to its country;

3) Placing personal or party fund raising interests ahead of obligation to country;

4) Taking bribes whether for deposit in offshore accounts or to support campaigns;

5) Trying not to solve problems because having the problems benefits you personally or your party more than fixing them;

6) Party loyalty when you know it to be wrong;

7) Killing your own people;

8) Making impossible promises to voters;

9) Running your country into the ground because the crash won’t happen on your watch;

10) Refusing to recognize the legitimacy of differing points of view.

Honestly, religious leaders are supposed to be above board, their participation in political activities are supposed to be exemplary in nature; which will serve as a standard to the professional politicians. It is left to be seen if they have actually live up to expectation. In our next series, we shall be looking into the Keys that make great leaders. Your opinion and feedback is expected on the comment column. Do you like the piece? Kindly share.
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Victor Imhangbe

Hey, there! I am Victor Imhangbe and I am the brain behind this great lifestyle blog where you get to read everything from life to education to fashion and pretty much about everything else. I invite you to keep keeping tab on our latest news and updates!

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