CHURCH (Theocracy) STATE (Democracy)
Greetings to all of you my friends and fellow citizens.
I woke up with a heavy heart and a troubled mind concerning the God ordained roles of these two important institutions.
From a biblical point of view, the state leadership was supposed to consult the spiritual leaders for guidance on matters affecting the nation. They heavily relied upon God in their decisions to rule and protect His people. (See Exodus 28: 30; Numbers 27: 18-21; 1 Samuel 22: 9-10)
Our Lord Jesus reaffirmed state legitimacy in His answer to his critics, “render to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and to God what belongs to God” (Matt 22: 21: Luk 20: 35).
Later Paul reiterated the importance of civil government in Romans 13: 1-7, thus calling believers to respect and obey it, since it’s God’s agent for promoting order and justice.
In our modern society, we are still under obligation to conform to the above order of things – mutual respect. Any deviation from this establishment will slowly, but surely, spell doom for any society.
Apparently, our current situation is tending to obliterate this setting, and relegating the church to a mere receiving end. The voice of the church is at the outer edge, and may soon slip into a silent mode. Whether this is due to the church losing grip of her moral authority, or due to the state usurping the church’s powers by casting it’s long shadow over her operations, its remains a riddle to solve.
With due respect, the church – national and international – should reclaim her position during this pandemic season. The state ought to carry on its mandate of planning for the physical needs of and protecting the citizens, while the church is also exercising her divine call of ministering to their spiritual and emotional needs.
Elevating one institution to subdue and supplant the role of the other will have detrimental consequences upon the nation and the world at large.
If the church keeps silent and chooses a passive path of following human directives without foreseeing the far reaching results of “not” adhering to God’s mandate, then her relevance in such a time like this may remain a mere scarecrow.
It’s time to discern the schemes of the enemy, which (among others) aims at instilling FEAR and dispelling FAITH out of Christians. When the Church, God’s Earthly Agent of hope, is squeezed in the corner of fear and hopelessness, what should the world do? Jesus still expects the believers to be the salt and light of the world (Matt 5: 13-16). Let your light shine!
Our message of hope and trust in the Almighty God, who is in charge of all our human affairs, must not be covered under the bushel of secularism and humanism.
Time is now for the church to be an heraldry of God’s sovereignty over this global health threat.
Time is now for the church to take her stand as a Theocracy in the face of Democracy.
Time is now for the state to recognize that without God, every human effort (whether scientific, technological, political or intellectual) is futile. The preacher said, “The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God, and keep his commandments; for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil” (Eccl 12: 13-14).
Time is now for the state to show commitment our National Anthem “Oh, Uganda, may God uphold Thee… We lay our future in thy hands”.
Time is now for the state to show allegiance to the National Motto “For God and my Country.”
And time is now for both the church and state to listen to the Spirit of the Lord, [calling] “Fear not, and be not dismayed at the [lethal pandemic]; for the battle is not yours but God’s…. You will not have to fight in this battle; [get back to real business] and take your positions, stand still, and see the victory of the Lord on your behalf… Hear me [Ugandans]! Believe in the Lord your God, and you will be established, believe in his prophets, and you will succeed” (2 Chronicles 20: 14-20).
Like king Jehoshaphat, people’s fears are justified (v. 1-3) – indeed, the threat is with looming, but the DIFFERENCE lays in where we we put our trust… “Jehoshaphat feared, and SET HIMSELF TO SEEK THE LORD.” Let’s not do the opposite: SHUNNING THE LORD because of fear!
So help us Lord!
Rev. Patrick S. K. Ndyanabo