"The Politics of Righteousness"

  • Sunday Agang
Keywords: faith in Christ, politics, righteousness, Christian theology, ethics, morality, justice, integrity, respect for human dignity


More and more Christian denominations across Africa are showing unprecedented interest in politics. It is critically important, therefore, to draw their attention to the need for those of them who are going into politics to model what godly politics entail. For we live in a continent where our religiosity has not stopped corruption in high and low places. Both Christian and non-Christian leaders at every level of our society tend to disconnect their faith and morality from their political activities. As a result, the masses in Africa are denied access to the common good and flourishing life or the respect for their human dignity and the right to earn a living as dignified human beings. Thus, they have not yet had the Africa God wants them to have and enjoy the realization of all their God-given potential as dignified human beings. To have the Africa God wants us to have, politics must be seen as a sacred (divine) affair. In other words, although politics is a divine responsibility, today, however, the average African politician does not seem to see any correlation between politics and their faith and spirituality. This is what has led many people to see modern politics as a dirty game or to associate it with deceitfulness. It seems that many African Christians who go into politics go with the notion that God has no interest in politics. As such, they are free to do whatever they want with the national resources at their disposal. Therefore, this article is primarily arguing that politics is a divine assignment and therefore it cannot be devoid of righteousness. This clarification is necessary because of the increased interest in politics that Christians in Africa are showing. If we must change the present wrong notion of politics, it is absolutely critical for Christian politicians in Africa to rediscover the Christian roots of modern politics. For instance, it was the belief in "the priesthood of all believers" that led to the discovery of the idea of modern democracy in the 17th century. This revolutionary discovery was led by John Calvin and his disciples. Consequently, the old status quo of rulership where a few people held the rest of society to ransom was changed to a government of the people by the people for/with the people. Democracy supplanted the old feudal system. Modern democracy all started with the Calvinists’ revolutionary belief in the biblical idea of “the priesthood of all believers.” So, in this article, I attempt to argue that to have the Africa God wants us to have and enjoy the realisation of our full potential as dignified human beings, all Christian politicians need to grasp the correlations between their faith, everyday life, and governance.