Is 2:2 (ESV) It shall come to pass in the latter days
that the mountain of the house of the LORD
shall be established as the highest of the mountains,
and shall be lifted up above the hills;
and all the nations shall flow to it,
3 and many peoples shall come, and say:
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD,
to the house of the God of Jacob,
that he may teach us his ways
and that we may walk in his paths.”
For out of Zion shall go the law,
and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
4 He shall judge between the nations,
and shall decide disputes for many peoples;
and they shall beat their swords into plowshares,
and their spears into pruning hooks;
nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
neither shall they learn war anymore.
5 O house of Jacob,
come, let us walk
in the light of the LORD.
The rot starts within and manifests at the top
When we look at Africa we often see that our elected leaders can only gain their power through the availability of a large, ineffectively educated voter population available to deceive into voting for them. In South Africa, the apartheid government set up the country for democratic failure by providing a majority of people with deliberately sub-standard education. It would appear that our current president received this into his hands as a gift that allowed him to capture what he apparently thought to be a hapless nation.
However, the fact that he was democratically elected and was able to survive this long, indicates that Jacob Zuma does reflect the values of the majority of the voter population. Initially the voter population of the nation, and later the voter population that had to decide on the consecutive attempts to remove him from power. Either that, or it reflects the propensity to be deceived of the majority of voters in each of these situations.
Every system produces exactly the output it was built to produce. If the output is not what you expected, or desired, you need to change something in the system.
Two key ingredients for effective democracy
A democratic nation is won or lost firstly by the ability of the majority to think clearly and critically – and based on this to build a strong set of values by which they make judgements, decisions and choices; and secondly by the ability of the institutions within that nation to produce strong leaders that reflect the values of the majority of their society.
The church as the source of good government
The church is the perfect breeding ground for both of these. It is in the church that, through sound teaching, we can teach large groups of people to distinguish between right and wrong, between good and bad, between falsehood and truth. It is the fear of God, and faith in His omnipotence that give people the courage to then stand for what they know to be right, good, true, and just. Secondly most churches are part of large enough organisational structures that they are perfect places for people to be trained and get practical practice in leadership.
The church has the answer to the two core pillars on which a democratic nation can be uplifted.
What is your role?
For those two pillars to work, however, we need to know God’s role for each of us, because it is as we each take our rightful place in the Body of Christ, that it will function to its full potential.
I believe God is speaking to many people at this time to get involved in education – in whatever form that may take. Maybe He is calling you into leadership, or into development and mentorship of leaders. Maybe he is calling you to start an education program in your workplace that will teach people to make wise choices in the light of available evidence.
In South Africa, we have about one year before the next national elections. In other countries the timeframe might be different – but the mandate of the church in the light of government remains the same:
Develop Godly thinking.
Build Godly leaders.
My name is Ashton Fourie.