Untangling civics

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Categories: Shuzia Magazine,

It is no news that Christians shy away from anything political. It is the opinion of many that “politics is a dirty game” and therefore, anyone whose focus is the kingdom of God should not engage in it. However, this maxim is borne of ignorance and lack of knowledge, the result of which is destruction as pointed out in Hosea 4:7. Destruction of, not just our faith, but also different nations of the world. Bad men rule and good men are left to suffer the consequences of their actions and decisions.

Another wrong idea is that just because the Christian home is in heaven, Christians are meant to “...seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God” (Colossians 3:1, KJV). As such, we have abandoned responsibility for the Earth – societies and our communities. Families are failing, societies are failing and nations are failing because members of the society abandon their Civic responsibilities to attend to matters of Higher calling – matters beyond the physical realm of men. The strong cords that bind us have snapped. We no longer care if the world burns as long as we can make it to heaven. We have let the light die down and nations can not flock to the light anymore.

We, as Christians, need to have a sense of responsibility in our Communities.

The kingdom of God for us starts from the earth. Jesus commanded us to love our neighbors. Love requires action, i.e. the things we can do to make our communities better. We need to stop being politically apathetic. Our participation should start at the grassroots (our immediate environment) before we can start effecting changes in the nation as a whole. From landlords and tenants associations to professional associations and pressure groups, down to joining political parties, not just as passive members, but active ones, with compassion and love as our weapons.

We need to understand that as members of our societies and communities, we have civic rights and responsibilities that are enshrined in the constitutions of virtually all nations of the world. Being a Christian doesn't exclude you from those constitutional provisions. The nation would be well served in our involvement.

Participation in grassroots politics

Grassroots political movements often thrive on a shared sense of citizenship and community engagement. When individuals feel connected to their community and see themselves as active citizens, they are more likely to participate in movements to bring about positive changes.

This strong sense of citizenship can foster a collective identity, encouraging people to work together towards common goals. In these movements, relationships play a crucial role. They provide a platform for like-minded individuals to connect, share ideas, and collaborate. This sense of belonging and collective purpose creates a powerful synergy that drives change at the local level.

Grassroots movements also prioritize direct engagement with community members, enabling them to voice their concerns and influence decision-making processes. This engagement strengthens the bond between citizens and the movement, emphasizing that they have a stake in the outcome and encouraging sustained involvement. By focusing on relationships and a shared sense of citizenship, a Christian's involvement in grassroots political movements can overcome challenges and drive positive changes. These changes may range from improved local policies and services to a greater emphasis on responsibility, equity, and civic participation within communities.

The civic responsibility of a Christian in grassroots politics, much like any individual's responsibility, is rooted in the principles of service, compassion, and stewardship. Christians often view their role in the community through the lens of their faith, seeking to make positive contributions that reflect their values and beliefs.

At the grassroots level, a Christian's civic responsibility might involve:

Community Service: Engaging in volunteer work and initiatives that address local needs, such as feeding the hungry, providing shelter, or supporting education programs. This aligns with the value of helping the needy.

Advocacy for Justice and Equity: Participating in grassroots movements that aim to promote social justice, equality, and fair treatment for all members of the community. This resonates with the Christian call for love, compassion, and standing up for the weak.

Promoting Moral and Ethical Values: Engaging in discussions and initiatives that promote moral and ethical values within the community, aiming to foster a more caring and responsible society.

Environment Stewardship: Taking an active role in efforts to protect the environment and promote sustainable practices, based on the Christian principle of stewardship over God's creation.

Encouraging Civic Engagement: Encouraging fellow community members to participate in civic processes, such as voting, attending local meetings, and contributing to decision-making.

Building Relationships: Cultivating relationships with diverse members of the community, promoting understanding, empathy, and cooperation, which aligns with Christian teachings on love and unity.

Leading by Example: Demonstrating integrity, honesty, and humility in personal conduct and interactions, serving as a positive role model for others in the community.

Ultimately, a Christian's civic responsibility in grassroots politics centers on contributing to the well-being of the community, promoting values of compassion, justice, and service, and working towards positive changes that reflect the teachings of our faith, in obedience to Christ's instructions to “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16 NKJV). It is your good works that would bring people to your light.

by Olaitan Victor Olanrewaju Published



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