One of the ways we display the glory of God is through the unity of the church in both its breath & depth of commitment. Through the supernatural outworking power of God, He has and continues to redeem people throughout the world from every race, nation, tribe, culture, class, etc. to become one people. As a church, we work together to display God’s perfect character as imperfect people. Its only in the context of the church where all these diverse people are able to make manifold the riches of God’s glory to a watching world. In Christ, we’ve been united in spite of coming from different backgrounds. Though we’ve been joined together in this unity through Christ, sometimes, the display of God’s glory by us as believers is impaired by differences betwixt the diverse people in the body of Christ.
Though we are saved and are already in Christ, and we’re still continually admonished to be like-minded and of one accord as believers; however, as long as we are still with our present unredeemed flesh, we’re prone to stumble wonder and fall down. Not only that, because we’ve got liberty to choose and make present earthly decisions on the issues of life, this freedom can likewise impair and bring about discordance to Christ’s body which is the Church – both universally, & locally and in the end, it may hinder our fellowship as brethren – just ask Euodias & Syntyche.
Because of these differences that might crop up within the body, apart from the aforementioned unity & fellowship, other two tasks are at stake on our conduct as believers;
Evangelism: This has to do with how we relate with the outside world. It is both active and passive. Active is whereby we share the truths of Christ Gospel to the world (Matt 28:18-20), and passive is when the world watches our conduct (John 13:35).
As I said previously, even though we as believers have been given imperatives to be of one accord, at the same time, we’ve been given liberty on some of the decisions we make and an example of this is in the area of political thought and ideology. In some advanced democracies, we can see this ideology to the extent that it has literally created two camps; i.e. the right & left; however, in the case of our Kenyan context, unfortunately we don’t have any guiding ideology but our political worldview is still being dictated by our tribal leanings and this is where the trouble comes and thus making our ministry of evangelism to be at stake.
Let me use our social media conversation as an example.
According to the last population census in the country which took place in 2009, it was revealed that approximately 90% of the people who live in this geographical location of the world that was formerly founded by Imperial British East Africa Company are self-confessed Christians. Typically, most of these people in cucu (pun deliberately intended) media call themselves with terms such as ‘child of God,’ ‘daughter of Sarah,’ ‘Christ’s believer,’ ‘unmerited favour,’ amongst other clichés connected to Christianity. Unfortunately, our timelines usually digress from our confession as they are filled un-Christ-like clutter and especially at around this time with clutter dealing with very immature political thought. Out of the 168 hours we have in a week, almost 160 hours of our social media posts are things that bash our political opponents, deify our preferred tribal candidates, name-calling or talking ill/negatively of other the other camp, passing lies, amongst other ills. However, come Sunday between 6 am to 2 pm, have you ever noticed that our timeline posts usually shift a 180 degree turn and we start posting ‘spiritual’ things? How hypocritical!
In lieu of that, when you as a professed believer, how can you truly unbelievers that Christ’s not only saves but changes people while it appears that you yourself as an individual you are still not regenerate? How can you muster the strength to tell others the gospel if it has no effect upon you? How can unbelievers be won over to Christ by your conduct when you are mess in your own personal walk? If your speech & life isn’t filled & seasoned with grace, there is absolutely no way you can perform your duty of evangelism.
Discipleship: This has to do with how we relate with one another as believers.
So, you know the imperatives ‘one another’ that we’re to do; exhort, love, encourage, showing kindly affection, submitting, forgiving, admonish, comfort, etc. Looking at this list, how are you able to do any of them when there’s tension, infighting & disharmony amongst us as believers? Because of this, there will be a wall of separation between the various political factions in the church and in the end it’s the church which will suffer loss as there won’t be any real discipling taking place and our spiritual growth will stagnate.
Remember, it’s the role of every member to foster unity, and it’s when there’s real unity that we are able to do our work of ministry for the benefit of our own spiritual growth in the context of discipleship but also in the context of evangelism.
If we have to politic, let’s engage in a biblical, sober & mature manner. Let’s exchange ideas in order to build each other up, not the way the world does, but in a way that will truly show that our voting decisions are wise inferences – not tribal ones. Therefore, as James admonishes us, if we lack wisdom, let’s pray that God will grant us so that we may walk rightly as we politic and that no matter the outcome, God will be glorified.
I would have love to add other factors that are at stake such as where our trust lies, our real citizenship, God’s sovereignty, amongst others but that we can look at another time if the Lord wills.