Contrary to popular opinion, and the struggle of the Kenyan church to live out its mandate of faithful political witness, there is nothing “unchristian” about politics or Christians engaging in politics. Since politics is about setting up systems and structures to facilitate the common good, the Church’s participation in national political affairs is at the heart of its God-given mandate of being “salt” and “light” to society. Failure to do so would be disobedience to the Lord Jesus, whose radical lifestyle and message were essentially political, for his mission was to set up the Kingdom of heaven on earth, and challenge the value systems of his time and culture. Therefore:
- In order to rise up to the challenges Kenya faces, the Church needs to rediscover its mandate as God’s instrument to remedy the alienation of the general populace, at a challenging time when Kenyans are politically, economically and socially marginalized by the political class.
- The Church also has a transformative agenda in society, through its redemptive cultural presence and participation as the salt and the light of the world. Therefore, Christians should enter every sphere of society, including politics, to prevent decay and rot, and promote the kind of values and leadership that enable socio-economic flourishing of the country.
- The church needs to be honest about the factors that have undermined its prophetic voice and transformative agenda, and put its house in order, particularly in the following shortcomings:
- Discordant voices and lack of unity or message among the church leaders and clergy
- Tribal allegiance and bondage
- Love for money, or the “Gehazi” syndrome
- Lack of wisdom in engaging with the politics of the day
- Despite its shortcomings, the Church can, and should rise to the occasion and take up its mandate of being the prophetic and transformative voice in the society, and this should begin by carefully listening to God and responding accordingly.