Sunday, March 02, 2008

Political Space (5) - Radical Thinking Required

The politicians and parties are comfortable with political power and are very experienced in using it. Politics is about power:

  • power to tax
  • power to decide who will pay taxes
  • power to spend vast amounts of money
  • power to make laws
  • power to force people to obey laws
  • power to force people to do what they do not want to do.
  • power to decide how other people should live.
Politics is about power and coercion. Politicians are comfortable with this power.

Christians do not do power very well. We should not do power very well.

If we naively think that entering the political space is just a matter of voting or joining a political party, we are treading on dangerous ground. If we just join the struggle for control of political power, we will find ourselves being transformed by the political space.

Instead of being transformed by the political space, we should bring a radical perspective on the shape and role of the political space so God can transform it.

Before rushing into the political space, Christians should do some hard thinking about the purposes of political power and what they want to achieve. Otherwise we will just become “cannon fodder” in the left/right battle. We will get sucked into the struggle for political power, and lose our distinctiveness.

If we just take sides in the existing struggle as defined by the political space, the gospel of Jesus is likely to be swamped. This has already happened. Listening to many Christians arguing about political issues sounds just like the debates of secular politicians. The categories are the same and the arguments are similar.

No comments: