Church and Politics07.04.10
Aired on April 07, 2010
Narration by Mike Lacanilao.
CHURCH AND POLITICS
Some Christians think we should not be involved in politics. And that’s not surprising. Politics can be a dirty business. Votes and loyalties are oftentimes bought. People are even killed over positions of power…… These corrupt practices can lead to discouragement, despair and apathy. But this is not the way to respond. After all, Christ came to redeem all creation and to restore everything to God’s original plan….. And that includes our politics.
So how should we respond?
Well, some say, we need to ensure that Christians gain positions of power…. But, there are two problems with this approach. First, just because they claim to be ‘Christian’ does not guarantee that they will be true to their faith. Second, even if they are faithful Christians, their faith may not be reflected in the way they govern.
Others say that we should use state power to promote, even enforce, Christian values. However, history has shown that it is dangerous for the Church to use coercive political power to achieve its ends. The Philippines under the rule of Spanish clerics for more than 300 years is one example of what could go wrong. Another would be the excesses of the Church during the Middle Ages.
There is still another way — a better way — for all followers of Christ to be involved. We cannot simply put our hope in one or a few chosen leaders. All of us need to take responsibility for good governance. If we will truly obey Christ in all things, everyday, in whatever we do – even in politics – then real transformation is possible. We cannot criticize government for being corrupt if we ourselves lie, cheat, steal or bribe. We can’t blame government for poverty if we ourselves are not generous. Good government begins from the ground up – with you and I.
Jesus chose the way of the Cross instead of coercion. When he was tempted, he chose to follow God rather than to gain political power or influence. Jesus could have called an army of angels to force allegiance, but he refused to wield the sword. ‘My kingdom is not of this world,’ he told Pilate. Jesus does not need armies to promote the Good News. Instead, He empowers his people to speak with authority for truth, justice, righteousness, and love. To this day, the Gospel of Jesus Christ continues to transform lives and nations — one person, one family, one community at a time. Only when we realize what the power of Christ means for us personally can we truly transform our nation’s politics.