At the Marketplace Institute, we believe that Jesus’ call is for his followers to be salt and light, to be ambassadors for Him, to carry out the ministry of reconciliation, and to communicate the truth of the gospel to every nation. This is a call to relate the truth and person of Christ to every sphere of life, including the political.
One way of doing so is to study the lives and experience of God’s servants in the past who have been called to involvement in the politics of their day. Such studies are particularly relevant when they are conducted through the eyes and interpreted through the experiences of contemporary Christians who have been involved in the politics of our day.
This series of articles is one such example and focuses on the lives of several exiles within the Bible in order to gain insight for today. The series is authored by Preston Manning, a practising Christian, Senior Fellow of the Marketplace Institute, founder of two Canadian federal political parties, and former Leader of the Official Opposition in the Canadian House of Commons.
Moses and David were servants of God who exercised political leadership in a community–the nation of Israel–where their faith was generally shared by the people they were called to lead. But Joseph, Daniel and his friends, and Esther were servants of God who rose to positions of political leadership in societies and political systems that were hostile to their faith. Their circumstances were therefore more analogous to the situation of Christian believers today who attain positions of political leadership in the secular societies of our time–societies which, if they tolerate religious faith at all, relegate its expression to the private sphere and seek to purge its presence and influence from the public square.
Lessons in leadership taught by the experiences of Joseph, Daniel, and Esther–serving from a minority position in a hostile majority culture and walking the difficult line between cooperation and compromise–are therefore particularly relevant to believers who attain positions of political leadership in the materialistic, humanistic, and secular societies of today.
Ezra and Nehemiah, while they were first and foremost leaders of God’s people, had the unenviable task of trying to restore the life and vitality of a defeated and discouraged faith community immersed in a hostile environment. Their experience is also particularly relevant to spiritual leaders today who seek to carve out a spiritual homeland and rebuild spiritual institutions from a minority position under conditions hostile to faith.
There is, therefore, much for contemporary Christians with political interests and ambitions to learn from the life of the exiles, especially as interpreted by a contemporary Christian with significant political experience.
Please join us as we study “Faith and Politics: Leadership Lessons from the Life of Exiles ” through a series of articles that include:
Part 2: Providential Positioning
Part 5: Diligence and Excellence
Part 6: Cooperation and Compromise
Preston Manning works with the MI on the development and communication of faith-informed approaches to political leadership and public policy, including new approaches to the intersection of faith with democratic governance, the market economy, pluralism and multiculturalism, science and technology, and environmental stewardship.
Preston served as a member of the Canadian House of Commons from 1993 to 2001, part of which he served as his party’s critic for Science, Technology and Innovation. He founded two new political parties—the Reform Party of Canada and the Canadian Reform Conservative Alliance—and was the Leader of the Official Opposition from 1997 to 2000. Preston also has 20 years of experience as an owner and manager of a consulting firm specializing mainly in strategic planning and communications advice to the energy sector. In 2005, he founded the Manning Centre for Building Democracy, which supports research, educational, and communications initiatives designed to achieve a more democratic society in Canada guided by conservative principles.
Source: Marketplace Institute