Wilberforce: The Great Parliamentarian Reformer
"Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God."1
To be politically correct many would say that Christians should keep out of the political arena. But think about William Wilberforce (1759–1833), the British politician who became the leader of the movement to abolish the inhumane slave trade. His life is a prime example of Christian political activism par excellence.
When he first became a committed Christian, however, he seriously considered withdrawing from parliament, but John Newton (a former slave trader himself) and author of one of the world's best known hymns, "Amazing Grace, " convinced Wilberforce to remain in parliament, as God had placed him there for a useful purpose. It turned out that as a politician Wilberforce had a much greater influence on the social ills of his day, and campaigned fervently for decades to help, with other Christian leaders, end the slave trade. He was actually dying when he received word of his success re the end of the slave trade.
Wilberforce said, "God Almighty has set before me two great objects, the suppression of the slave trade and the reformation of manners."
To this task this one man committed his entire life … and helped greatly to change a great part of the world. Would that we had such parliamentarian reformers today! There is a desperate need for them. Furthermore, you and I may never become another Wilberforce, but with God's help each one of us can make a lasting and eternal impact on the world in which we live and circulate. Will YOU volunteer today to be one of these persons? Remember, we Christians are called by Christ to be the salt (purifying effect) of the earth.2
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me in whatever role my life is invested to be actively involved in being 'salt of the earth,' and thereby help in a positive way to be a purifying effect in every area of life here on earth. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus' name, amen."
1. Romans 13:1. (NIV).
2. Matthew 5:13.