Original Research

Pentecostal church and politics: Interdependent instruments of God’s mission in Africa

Titus M. Ingaboh
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 58, No 1 | a3000 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v58i1.3000 | © 2024 Titus M. Ingaboh | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 18 July 2023 | Published: 12 February 2024

About the author(s)

Titus M. Ingaboh, Department of Theology, Faculty of Theology, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa


The debate about the interdependence or the dichotomy between the church and the state or politics is not new. The discourse is neither over nor something that will pass any soon. Both perspectives provide concrete reasons depending on the viewpoint from which an individual is writing and arguing. Both the ecclesia and the state or politics enjoy social capital. Of the two, however, the Church’s social capital is resilient and consistent, unlike the political capital which is seasonal and only rigorous in the pursuit for political position.

In recent years, there is an immense emergence of Christianity that blend charismatic practices and African religiosity. An increased pursuit of political leadership is being witnessed by the church leadership and the secular community. One of the motivations has been the derivatives from the positions, which are mainly monetary and honourability. This can be linked to a struggle to meet a status threshold set and determined by a postmodern society which the clergy and the political leader must uphold. Anyone who lives below that ‘standard’ does not fit that position. It is for this reason that both the church and state or politics has been commercialised. The commercialisation aspect resulted in the two competitive entrepreneurial enterprises. Thus justice has been retailed to commercialisation and consumerism.

This article therefore firmly holds the possibility that church and state or politics have common elements that, if reworked, can become tools in the mission of God. The assumption is that both institutions are reviewed as organs and not organisations because, as organisms, they are both fit for transformation into suitable instruments for the mission of God. Institutional reforms are dictated by the reformed human resource. This article leans towards the interrelationship between the Pentecostal tradition and the state or politics in viewing their role in doing justice to the mission of God. Thus a comparative framework fits this work.

Contribution: The interdependence of the church and political enterprise is exposed to a constructive critique and further writing. It has advanced affirmed the comparative methodology as a ongoing study alternative.


Church; Politics; Geopolitics; Classical Pentacostalism; Contemporary Pentecostalism

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 16: Peace, justice and strong institutions


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