Religious leaders in Philippine politics
The heavy dislike for Duterte government is growing. Catholics and Christians in ministry openly condemn his policies and morality. One even wished death to the President. Believers ranted and unfriended friends on Facebook while a few Christian leaders openly showed their political leanings.
Towards the election, Catholic priests and Bishops criticized the President over his hateful religious remarks and dissuaded his voters. Catholics and Evangelical groups have made political statements. The issues raised are valid, but what good will it do in promoting the Gospel? Point is, evangelicals have joined the bandwagon of religious people clamoring for change in the government.
Politics in the Bible
The Apostles were constantly attacked by “religious politicians” because The Gospel they preached undermined Jewish authority. However, they neither ran for office nor encouraged people to criticize the government. Politics began with the House of Saul. They rejected the Lord from being King over them and asked for a ruler (1 Samuel 8:4–9). God agrees to select a king begrudgingly. God’s disdain for propping earthly political power is evident. Similarly, Jesus did not involve Himself in politics, He was busy preaching or praying.
→ Seductive idols of a Christian leader
Politics divide, refrain from showing political leanings
The Apostles urge us to respect the government righteous or not. God will deal with it (Romans 13). Asking people to “make noise” or gathering in a large group in public for a “prayer rally” is asking for media attention and for what advantage? Influential Christians have shown their political leanings on social media and all these add up to a reputation that Christians (too) have become political. What good will it do in promoting the Gospel?
→ What we can learn with how Chinese Christians handle politics
What the Apostles actually did
The Apostles retaliated against the system, not for political reasons, but to defend The Gospel (Acts 4-6). There is a big difference! Like Jesus, they didn’t care much how the government was being run (Mark 12:17), the unbelievers did that part in rallying, complaining, and eventually mounting coup d’etat (Siege of Jerusalem). The government is God’s turf, He removes kings and establishes kings according to His plan. (Daniel 2:21)
→ Should Christians submit to a bad leader?
Jesus has set the example
Every person is subject to authority because they are ordained by God (Romans 13:1-7). If there was anyone who should have fought the government, it was Jesus. He had a strong following and divine power. Instead of ranting against the abuses of Rome, Jesus focused on ministry and so should we. As Carey Nieuwhof of Connexus Church puts it, “Your job is to share the Gospel, not to change the government”.
Scriptures tell us to pray and intercede for all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority. We should be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, malign no one, be peaceable, and show every consideration for all men” (Titus 3:1-2).
Your job is to share the Gospel, not to change the government