By Nneka Okumazie
What makes friendship with a politician bad for a genuine pastor? When does a pastor draw the line, for a politician that popular wisdom describes as despicable? What does a pastor gain or lose, with friendliness or hostility to a politician?
There are lots of people around the world who want successful pastors to become activists, or to speak up on political issues of the day. There are also people who think friendship with any politician means a pastor isn’t genuine.
But any true servant of God has to be extremely cautious of political activism, as it can be a snare.
Also, any true servant of God has to be careful of too much support of any politician, or extreme closeness, as it can also be a snare.
However, it is not a bad thing to speak up against injustice or unfairness, or be friends with politicians.
In the Scriptures, there were several prophets who spoke against kings – many times, as the Lord instructed them, and there were others too who were friendly with kings.
Prophet Samuel spoke against King Saul (1 Samuel 15:28), Prophet Jehu spoke against King Baasha (1 Kings 16:1) and the King of Israel hated Prophet Micaiah (1 Kings 22:8).
Conversely, one direct example of the high connection of a Prophet was Elisha, when a woman was of great help to him, and he told her, should we speak about you to the king, or to the captain of the army? (2 Kings 4:13).
Also, Apostle Paul said he preached to both great and small (Acts 26:22).
In all, alliance with the Lord was central to how these followers of God navigated the friendships.
There are people who want Pastors to be activists on some issues, but have attacked many of the doctrines in the Epistles.
There are also people who gleefully share stories or issues when certain pastors or leaders do wrong.
But no pastor or leader anywhere is the standard of Christianity. Jesus is the author and finisher of the Christian faith (Hebrews 12:2).
Apostle Paul said ‘follow me, as I follow Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1). There are too many odd things to human nature that Christ commanded in the Scriptures.
Any true follower of God would be too busy, watching and praying to attain, and go higher than focus on politicians and their activities.
Yes, a true believer must love, care, must not hate, insult, or be conformed to the world, so, hate or sycophancy to any politician must be avoided.
Remembering the words of Christ (Matthew 10:16), as a sheep, in a world of wolves, be wise, be gentle.
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