Monday, April 15, 2013

"My kingdom is not of this World" (John 18:36)

I have had a long day preparing for my lectures on John 17-19. At 6pm I wrote about politics in Malaysia as a diversion, while at the same time reflecting on Jesus' answer to Pilate: "My kingdom is not of this world". If Christ's kingdom is not of this world, are His followers going to be concerned about what happens in earthly governments or affairs of the State?

While Christians are not of this world, we are still in the world (17:11) and hence, the Lord's prayer to His Father that believers are protected from the evil one. If we are still in the world, it goes without saying we need be concerned what goes on in our world. If evil can be manifested in and through earthly rulers, tyrants or oppressive governments, surely one of Christians' main tasks in the post-modern world in the 21st century is to engage as much as it is possible in the democratic process in selecting and electing those who will hold the reins of power and government for the good and welfare of the people. Why complain if unjust people are elected to rule and evil reigns if Christians do nothing? Why complain if incompetent leaders are elected and bad and ineffective governance follows when Christians remain non-committal in the political process? When Jesus said that "his kingdom is not of this world" he does not mean his followers do nothing as citizens in a democratic State, but that after all that we do and say does not bring about the desired change or result, we don't despair or become despondent because we can look forward to the coming of the kingdom of God which will right all wrongs, put away all injustice and bring in everlasting peace.

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