The social contract

The social contract

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Written by Mpho Khoele

A recent conversation:

ME: Friend, have you heard of what is happening in Cape Town?

FRIEND: You mean the water crisis?

ME: Yes.

FRIEND:  Well, the politicians have known about this for a while and have dropped the ball. They’re so corrupt and incompetent!

ME: Fair enough, but we must do something.

FRIEND: I pray for my friends and family. I don’t get involved in politics.

And I was like:  'WOW!'

How many times have you heard this statement before? One too many times! I personally believe we cannot, in good conscience, exist in a bubble, waiting for the rapture. This, while the world is crashing and burning all around us! As children of God we have a special duty not only to bring the Gospel to the masses, but also to bring an end to suffering, through whatever means possible. Doesn’t the bible teach about taking care of the poor (Psalm 82:3), and the widows and orphans (James 1:27)? Naturally, this help would extend to other disenfranchised groups of people as well. We do serve a God of justice after all!

Here is a scary thought. As South African citizens, we are involved in politics whether we are aware of it or not!

How? This is where the social contract comes in.

A social contract is an agreement between the people of a state and the government of that state. The people agree to follow certain rules made by such a government. In turn the government is held accountable for its actions, by the people. Do any of these words seem familiar?

Take a closer look at the Freedom Charter found within South Africa’s Constitution.

'We, the people of South Africa... through our freely elected representatives, adopt this Constitution as the supreme law of the Republic so as to... Lay the foundations for a democratic and open society in which government is based on the will of the people' (Act 106 of 1994).

As you can see by the words above, we (the people of South Africa) enter into a contract (which is the Constitution) with the government.

Why is this so important? Because Christians sometimes get a bad rap and the world is closely watching. We are silent on things we shouldn’t be silent on. Things which are morally wrong such as injustice and inequality. We somehow think that the world is going to fix itself, or that Jesus is coming upon his mighty steed to rescue us all.

Well, Jesus is coming! But until then? What happens?

Come on, engage with the social contract you are bound to and make the difference only you can make!

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