Christ is the indispensable foundation for political life

Sunday November 29 2020
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Presidential candidate Mugisha Muntu surrounded by supporters on his campaign trail. PHOTO | FILE

By Msgr John Wynand Katende

The Church calendar (liturgical) closes this Sunday, with the feast of Christ the King of the universe. The feast was introduced by Pope Pius XI in 1925, in an encyclical “Quas Primas” (Latin: in the first), in the historical context of political unrest and turmoil, to provide sound guidance to cultural and political and thought and practice. The Pope was familiar with the influences of totalitarianism, fascism and atheism and their threats to the religious liberty of Christ’s church. 

“Quas Primas” teaches that Jesus’ kingship is rooted in his relationship to God the Father. Since they share the one and same essence, Christ has power over all creatures. His kingship extends into earthly matters, such as political and civil affairs. In fact, Christ is the indispensable foundation for political life. Everyone who holds public authority exercises their power through the kingship of Christ. It is for this reason that such authorities are owed respect and obedience (see Romans 13:1-2).

Pope Pius XI further reminds earthly rulers that they are bound to give public honor and obedience to Christ. At the last judgment they will be held accountable for their actions in building a just society. “When once men recognise, both in private and in public life, that Christ is king, society will at last receive the great blessings of real liberty, well-ordered discipline, peace and harmony,” he said. 

Modern society with its political, cultural and moral degeneration, renders relevance to the observance of the feast of Christ the King. These will only be resolved when Christ becomes the supreme authority over the entire world through the government of God. The politics of Jesus transcend any human political party or ideology.  His message is about the government of God that will rule the world and that will bring about world peace.

Instead of revolution or revolt, Jesus taught peace and nonviolence. On one occasion, a crowd of followers was so impressed with Jesus’ miraculous ability to feed a large crowd, including 5,000 men, with five loaves of bread and two fish that they attempted to take Him by force and make Him their king. However, Jesus escaped their intentions and departed to a mountain alone (John 6:5-15). “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I would not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here” (John 18:33-36).

According to St. Paul in Galatians 1:3-4, this present evil age, including its governments, is largely influenced by of Satan. Though they live in the world, Christians are counselled not to model their lives according to the politics of the world (see Romans 12:2). Christians are called to be ambassadors of Christ’s kingship. Ambassadors are representatives of one government, living in another country.

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However, some Christians do not respond to their call to be ambassadors of Jesus’ kingship, because they are entangled with other motives, such as fame, money, power, and self-aggrandisement. One thinks of the colossal amount of money being spent on campaigns. Some are simply timid.

The deepest issues facing humanity are spiritual in nature and will require spiritual solutions. Politics cannot save souls or produce a truly better world to live in. The duty of offering God genuine worship concerns humans, both individually and socially.  Christians must remember that their heavenly citizenship is to be real, practical, not just a theory.  They have a moral responsibility to influence public policy for the good; to register, vote, be informed, and to influence others, basing on Christian values. 

Christ the King is always calling: “The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.” (Mark 1:14-15).

TIP…

Bible says “For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do.” (Hebrews 6:10).  

The deepest issues facing humanity are spiritual in nature and will require spiritual solutions. Politics cannot save souls or produce a truly better world to live in.

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