Being Part of the Corrupt Political Arena While Remaining Free of Corruption

I’ve written several articles regarding whether Christians should enter the political arena. We’ve talked about Lot, Abraham’s nephew of Sodom/Gomorrah fame, as well as three friends of Daniel – Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego – who faced the fiery furnace and survived without even smelling of smoke. Their refusal to join in the corrupt political arena of their day is something that all of us should take note of.

corrupt political arena
Daniel refusing the politically correct norms of Nebuchadnezzar’s court.
I have one more person I’d like to highlight, also from the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament for us Gentiles). Daniel lived during a time when Nebuchadnezzar reigned and Nebuchadnezzar was allowed by God to attack and overcome Jerusalem. He then took what he wanted from Jerusalem (over a period of three separate trips there and back), including many people from the Land of Israel. He made them part of his kingdom.

Then, he chose what would be considered to be the best and brightest of the young men and put them through a re-education so that they would be valuable to him as counselors. In essence, he wanted to brainwash them into forgetting their homeland, their religion, their culture, and even their language. This he set out to do by first changing their names from the Hebrew, giving them Babylonian names. Then he provided for them the best from his kitchen. The training, or re-education would last three years.

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The original names of four young men were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah and were changed to Belteshazzar, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego. Training began immediately and just as immediately, Daniel foresaw a problem. He could not eat the king’s food as it would be considered “unclean.” Daniel did not want to defile himself with that unclean food. What to do?

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He went and essentially made a bargain with the overseer that he should allow the four men to eat only vegetables and water for ten days. At the end of that time, let the overseer judge to see which group of men looked more healthy. At the end of the time, Daniel and his friends passed the test with flying colors. You can read about it in Daniel 1.

This was the beginning of Daniel’s climb up the ladder of politics, if you will. He began by not giving into the temptation to eat the king’s food. As we go through the remaining years of Daniel’s life, we see that he was appointed to a very high position in Nebuchadnezzar’s court.

In chapter two of Daniel, we see that Daniel faced his second critical test that ultimately meant life or death for him and his friends. Nebuchadnezzar wanted to have his dream not only interpreted, but he expected his counselors to tell him what he had dreamed! As you can imagine, the counselors were incredulous. They could not believe what the king expected.

Nebuchadnezzar became very angry and gave the order to put all of them (including Daniel and friends) to death. Daniel asked for time to see if he would be able to interpret the dream. Time was given.

Daniel and his friends prayed. Not only was the interpretation given but so was the contents of the dream itself. Daniel went before Nebuchadnezzar and declared, “As for the mystery about which the king has inquired, neither wise men, conjurers, magicians nor diviners are able to declare it to the king. However, there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and He has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will take place in the latter days,” (Daniel 2:27-28). Then Daniel revealed the dream and the contents to Nebuchadnezzar and the king was very pleased. He was so pleased that he promoted Daniel and “made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon and chief prefect over all the wise men of Babylon,” (Daniel 2:48).

Daniel neither wanted nor sought this position. He was literally thrown into it. You think this went over well with all the other “wise men of Babylon”? Ha! Now, they had to answer to Daniel and they became jealous.

Their jealousy eventually led them to try and have Daniel put to death. You’ve heard the story of Daniel in the lion’s den and how God saved him from being eaten. You can read about that in Daniel 6.

While Christians who enter into the political arena today in the United States will not literally be thrown to the lions, nor would we have to face the fiery furnace, just being in the political arena can create situations in our lives that force us to choose the right way or the wrong way. We can compromise our faith, or we can ask God for the strength to do what we know should be done.

Even outside of Christianity, there are moral people, who actually enjoy following the rule of law. They see what the law says and they do their best to obey it. We need more people like this in politics because short of having these folks in politics, we have sheisters and corrupt individuals who are in it for what they can get out of it.

I find it fascinating that in spite of the pressures and difficulties that Daniel faced, he seemed to never turn away from God’s moral high road. In spite of the fact that some worked to kill him, he did what he did because he understood that God had placed him in the king’s court. He never seemed to question that. He simply submitted to God’s rule.

Those who understand the difference between morality and immorality and have the wherewithal and strength to take the moral high road may be used in the arena of politics. We cannot shirk from that calling and in spite of the dangers (and there are many), we must remain true to absolute truth, rejecting political correctness, which is what got America into the mess we are in at the first.

We need people of high moral caliber who will not sell themselves to the highest bidder for the sake of politics. We must look at things squarely in the face and not fear, not run away, but simply march forward. In this day and age and specifically at this time, I believe that is our calling.

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