Apostle Joshua Akinyemiju, Chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Oyo State Chapter, has urged Christian leaders to encourage their followers to participate in politics.
Akinyemiju gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Ibadan.
He noted that the level of Christians’ participation in politics, especially in the state, was low.
According to him, Christians have both moral and biblical obligations to participate in governance, adding that the gospel of Jesus Christ applies to all areas of life.
“The scripture advocates neither total withdrawal from the political process nor over indulgence in it.
“Although, political engagement do not lead to faith in Christ, that is not to say that politics is defilement.
“God simply demonstrated His sovereignty by choosing to use human government to carry out His will in the civil sphere.
“Governing authorities are described as ‘ministers of God’, they are responsible for administering civil justice.
“So, government is God’s idea and Christians should engage in it in a way that is consistent with God’s ordained purpose,’’ Akinyemiju said.
The chairman recalled that Joseph and Daniel in the bible served in foreign administrations and used their influence to implement policies that benefitted the society.
He added that Esther used her influence in government to save the Jews from a state-sanctioned genocide while Jeremiah instructed the exiled in Babylon to seek the welfare of their new city.
Akinyemiju, however, advised Christians to never equate the Church’s mission with politics, saying “there is a clear line of demarcation.’’
According to him, political power resides with the people, so when Christians vote as part of their civic responsibility, they are delegating their ruling authorities to others.
He said that by voting, Christians are entrusting their responsibilities to officials who will govern on their behalf.
“Arising from this perspective, voting is a matter of stewardship and failure to vote is a failure to exercise God-given authority.
“In the light of these considerations, church leaders should exhort their members to get involved in the political process, to vote and be voted for.
“They should also help to educate and equip them to think about moral issues. Christians should no longer seat on the fence or be complacent,’’ he said. (NAN)