4th November 2016

What Next in Politics?  

“…they helped to destroy one another.”
2 Chronicles 20:23 (NKJV)
 

The exercise of democracy, instead of bringing people together, sometimes separates friends, families and communities. Recent examples of this are the 2014 Scottish Referendum, the UK’s Brexit vote, and, of course, we have the deep divisions in the United States in the lead up to the Presidential election. In many democratic countries the arguments continue even after voting is long over.

Can Christians play a part in healing a divided nation? In 2 Chronicles 20 a shaky coalition of “men from Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir” conspire to invade Judah but, due to divine intervention, their plans are thwarted. What happened afterwards is instructive to us today. Instead of uniting again in face of a common enemy, Ammon and Moab “rose up against the men of Seir to destroy and annihilate them”, and, once they had finished slaughtering them, the Ammonites and the Moabites turned on each other so much so that, as the leading scripture tells us, “they helped destroy one another” (verses 10, 23). It’s somehow reminiscent of the treachery we see in modern politics where politicians not only seek to diminish an opponent’s point of view but also to destroy his or her reputation and ruin his or her life.

What can we do when we live in a divided country? Some Christians, although not all, have learnt to live with other Christians who hold different doctrinal or procedural views from them. Perhaps we can set an example of tolerance in this, and not get involved in the spirit of animosity that exists too often among opposing political parties.

About 800 years after the events of 2 Chronicles 20, the apostle Paul gave some wisdom to the Christians who lived in Rome, a city that was full of divided persuasions and political factions. Today we could all benefit from his advice: “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men” (Romans 12:18). 

Prayer
Holy Father, in our divided nations help us please, through your Holy Spirit, to set an example of living in tolerance of and in peace with one another. In Jesus’ name.
Amen

Study by James Henderson

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openbibleAbout the Author:
James Henderson is the National Ministry Leader for Grace Communion International in the UK and Ireland.

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