Keeping them Honest12.05.10
Aired on May 12, 2010
Narration by Ptr. RG Foncardas
KEEPING THEM HONEST
The prophets of the Old Testament had an unenviable role. Consider this: it was their role to speak up first when the leadership of Israel and Judah was not fulfilling what God called them to do. Jeremiah was thrown into prison and into a muddy well for speaking God’s word. And Jesus himself, thousands of years after, lamented that Jerusalem always killed the prophets God sent them.
Today also, the people of God have a prophetic call to hold the leadership of the nations to account, since these leaders are ultimately accountable to God. No one can shirk from that duty. This is especially true in our country as we await our next government.
On the 26th of April, seven of the nine presidential candidates signed a covenant to respect the electoral process and ensure that cheating is prevented. Will they abide by this commitment? We have a duty to denounce them if they violate God’s word: “Let your ‘yes’ be ‘yes’ and your ‘no’ be ‘no.’”
Candidates at all levels have made promises of every sort. If they have concrete platforms to show, let us scrutinize whether they are fulfilling them or not. If they promise to do their duty with honesty and competence, let us see if indeed they are doing so. If they violate their oaths of office, let us make sure they know that it is wrong.
We acknowledge their authority over us, as indeed it is right to do so, but in a democracy, they are answerable to us as well. And God’s people are called to be a conscience to society.
It is certainly a difficult call; but there are concrete ways we can put this call into practice.
One possibility is for people of God to gather periodically for reflection on the current political situation in the light of God’s word. They may want to examine what local officials are doing with respect to particular issues. If there is something praiseworthy, it can be a source of thanks to God. But if there is something wrong, the group can discern how to react.
The prophets of Israel never believed that things would settle down, that leadership problems would be solved, once a new monarch was chosen. Likewise, we shouldn’t pretend that our work of promoting democracy ends with the ballot box. Until the Kingdom comes, and yes, until the next election, it is our duty to keep the politicians honest. And, like the prophets of old, it is our responsibility (all of us who claim to be Christians) to live by the principles and standards we profess. Only when we ourselves live righteous lives can we hold others accountable.