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Should a Christian fulfill the Civil Laws?

By: Berocan Rogers, SDB

Some Christians think that government of the earth is of no use for them. They think that politics is a dirty game. As Christians, we need to know that politics itself is not a dirty game as we do think, but only that some politicians makes it dirty in search for their own interests. The leadership of the earth is from God, for nobody can lead if he is not chosen by God. Some leaders when they are on power, they try to neglect God, who give them all the strength and power to lead and as a result they deviate from the true leadership God opted them for as his representative amidst his people. Others become killers, jealous, dictators, power hungry, just in search for their own interests. The lord God speak to us well about the government of the earth in the book of Sirach “Sovereignty of the earth is in the hand of God, who raises up on it the man of hours; sovereignty over every main is in the hand of God, who imparts his majesty to the rulers’’ (Sirach 10:4)

God chooses and bless leaders to represent Him amidst his people. His aim for the chosen leaders is not that they should destroy and scatter his people from the nation, but instead to be their servant and treat them with justice. No leader is to lead for his own interest and for his own glory, but for the glory of God who chose him.

What is the duty of a good Christian for his nation? Should a Christian neglect the authorities and civil laws of his nation?

 A good Christian should develop a generous and loyal devotion for his country, he has to follow the good example of Jesus. He obeyed to the civil laws by paying tax to Caesar. In the same way a Christian should do as the Master did “Teacher, we know that you are a truthful man and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. And you are not concerned with anyone’s opinion, for you do not regard a person’s status. Tell us, then what is your opinion: Is it lawful to pay the census tax to Caesar or not? Knowing their malice, Jesus said “Why are you testing me, you hypocrites? Show me the coin that pays the census tax”. Then they handed him the Roman coin. He said to them “whose image is this and whose inscription?” they replied Caesars’s at that then he said to them, “Then repay to Caesar what belong to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.’’ (Mathew 22:16-21). Jesus knew well that his kingdom is not the kingdom of this world, but the Kingdom of Heaven. In the same way a Christian know that after the life here on earth, he has a place waiting for him in the Kingdom of heaven, but that life of heaven is prepared from here on earth by being obedient to all what is right. Jesus had all the authority over this earthly kingdom but still he obeyed because he knew that paying taxes to the nation is not a bad thing and again these leaders of the earth are chosen by God. Jesus therefor, tells us not to obey to the good leaders only, but also to those who are harsh.

 

 

Let every Christian be subjected to the government authority for there is no authority except from God, and those authorities that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore, a Christian who resist the authority resist to what God has appointed and he who resist will incur judgment, for rulers are not terror to good conduct but to the bad conduct. If you wish to have no fear for the authority, then do what is good, he who do wrong will not go unpunished. In the same way the rulers have also to be servant to God’s people in the right way so that they go unpunished by God who chose them to represent Him amidst his people.

IS THE NATION INDEPENDENT FROM THE CHURCH?

Since the time of Jesus Christ to present, the respect to the civil authorities is the tradition of the church. The church, the mother of the moral values has to collaborate with each nation against what is morally wrong. The church in the world, Vatican council II explains that “Christian should have a generous and a loyal devotion to their country, but without narrowing their minds. Liturgical honor for the civil authorities and remembrance in prayers of the faithful is prescribed. Bishops are to collaborate mutually with public authorities regardless of their religion. Even in the communist countries, the civil obligations needed for common good have to be accomplish”

The church, the mother of morality has to play its full role in mothering the nation by being keen in the observation of moral duties and also being aware that what is legally right is not necessarily morally right.  For what is legally right has not to be morally right as some people do think. This call upon the church leaders to reflect with patience to put aside what is dangerous to their context of teaching. The priest and the Christians at large are to be bearers of their true witnesses to the importance of the spiritual values.

Calling upon the Church to collaborate with the nation does not mean that the church leaders are to become politicians, because in the church politics are not taught, only faith in one God and other moral values which are also valuable for the nation’s growth.

If any religious leader misinterprets that to collaborate with the civil authorities is first to become a Politician, then he is out of the church context of the collaboration with nation. It is true that these civil leaders are chosen by God, but church leaders in collaborating with them are called upon to remain the true bearers of Faith in one God.  “Sovereignty of the earth is in the hand of God, who raises up on it the man of hours; sovereignty over every main is in the hand of God, who imparts his majesty to the rulers’’ (Sirach 10:4.) The Church is there not to oppose to the nation and the nation is there not to oppose to the Church, but the two has to work in mutual collaboration. The church the mother of moral values is for the nation a mother who fights for good moral in her family so that her children grow morally upright.

SIN A UNIVERSAL PROBLEM 

Sin is a deliberate human action to do evil. It breaks our relationship with God, with our own self and also with others. The consequences of sins bring damages to our lives and diminish our happiness.   Our sins make the Lord not to answer to our prayers. Sins does not only affect the one who commits it alone, but it has a universal problem, if one person commits a sin in the family, it affects not only him, but the whole family members and even all the descendant of the family are affected. Sin separate us form God, it makes us not to acknowledge God as our Father, we fail to acknowledge His goodness towards us. We should know that without God no one is strong and is capable of doing something.  The gospel of saint John tells us “Apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5) If we fail to acknowledge God as our father, sin and all forms of wickedness comes into our life. We should therefore fear the sins for it cut our relationship with God.

God our Creator love us just as we are and for this reason, He sent his only son Jesus Christ to save us so that those whoever believe in Him may find life “For God so loved the world that he sent his only Son that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life’’ (John 3:16.)  So long as we do not sin against our God, we are always closer to him and we find all the peace we need in our life, for God is the source of all peace we need in our hearts. Our union with Him give us prosperity in all what we do for he is our pillar on which we stand. If we sin against God, we fear him and we no longer remember to ask for his help, sin separate us from God. Our separation from God is the beginning of our destructions, and of our downfall in everything. We become weak and utterly defeat by the devil because we are no longer united with God our liberator from the slavery of sin

The book of Judith puts it clear ‘’As long as the Israelites did not sin in the sight of their God, they prospered, for their God who hate iniquities was with them. But when they deviated from the way he prescribes from them, they were ground down and their cities were occupied by their enemies” (Judith 5:17-18) In the same way, if we sin against God’s way he prescribed for us to follow, we are separated from Him and His place in our hearts is razed and the devil occupy our heart, living with this enemy marks the end of our peace. If we sin against God, we should not hide from Him for He is ready to forgive us s if we acknowledge before him that we are sinners. GOD forgiveness is just like human breathing which is constant. As sin is a universal problem we should always acknowledge before God that we are sinners so that he forgives not only us but also our entire people.

NAKEDNESS BEFORE GOD.

It is from God’s own love and desire that all things were created. The story from the book of Genesis helps us well to understand God desire to create all things. For this reason, all creatures of God are naked in His Eyes, because He is their only Creator, the Book of Hebrews makes It More Concrete for Us and encourage us to believe in God as the powerful Creator.  “Before him no creature is hidden but all are naked and laid bare to the eyes of the one to whom we must render an account” (Hebrews 4;13). The lord GOD is a powerful Creator. We human beings created in the image of God and also possess the knowledge to distinguish what is good from bad, sometimes we try to pretend to hide up from God in what wrong we do, for example abortion, corruption, masturbation, adultery, prostitution, lesbianism, homosexuality among others. If we do wrong and we try to hide away from God, it is not God that are deceiving, but we are just deceiving our own selves for God knows everything. “Then God said “Let us make man in our own image, after our likeness. Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and all the creatures that crawl on the ground” (Genesis 1:26) Man sometimes forget that he is created by God in His own likeness, man never contributed to his coming into existence he knows nothing about is beginning and his end, his own life with all its projects is even mysterious to him, only God knows about it. yet he pretends to hide from his Creator. Man with all his history and his plans is not a hidden creature before the lord. The almighty God understands our innermost secrets, no thought from man can escape Him, he discloses what has been and what is to be, and he reveals the paths of the hidden things.  Sirach tells us: ‘’ He search out the abyss and the human heart, he understands their innermost secrets. For the most high knows all that are to come. He discloses what has been and what is to be, and he reveals the traces of the hidden things. No thought escapes Him, and nothing is hidden from Him’’ (Sirach 42: 18 -20) All creatures remain naked before him, for through Him they came into existence.

Many times we find ourselves into sin and we try to give up in prayers just because we have sinned, but we need to know that God love all of us despite of all our weaknesses, that is why he gave us Jesus as our savior, so that we are safe from our sins. Whenever we find ourselves into sin we should fix our eyes on Jesus who died for our sins and we shall be saved. “For God so loved the world that he sent his only Son that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life’’ (John 3:16)

ABORTION

 Abortion is a deliberate removal of unborn baby from the Mother’s womb. It is the dangerous act that destroy the life of both the child and the mother. Life is the greatest gift given to man by God. Life is God’s life in us, even in the unborn baby. Since human life is from God, therefore no human hand should be raised to put out life.

Every child should be born first in the heart of the parents and then it will be accepted at the very moment of the conception. Once a child is conceived, there is life. This means GOD’s life. The child has the right to live, to be loved and taken care of by the parents. The child created is the child of God, created for the greater things of God, just like you the parents. Prophet Jeremiah put it clearly by his teaching: “For I know well the plans I have in mind for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare not for woe! Plans to give you a future full of hope” (Jeremiah 29:11) Each child is created for the plans of God. He who destroy this life through abortion destroy the plans of God set for this particular child.

The nurse and the doctors are professionally trained to save lives of people including the unborn babies. The knowledge for realizing this is given to them by God. For all the work well-done with one heart prepare each person for his or her place in the Kingdom of God. Contrary to what God has prepared for them in their profession, some of them use their profession to destroy the life of the unborn babies through the abortion. It is not only the doctor and the nurses alone, but there are also some local people at home who give the local drugs to the pregnant women and even those who give wrong advices to their friends to carry out abortion act against God. Abortion is a killing. Those who carry out abortion put themselves at the place of God who is responsible for human life since the life is from Him. This therefor is a sin against God. All those acts are wrong and evil. This is what saint Paul says to be waiting for us due to our wrong doings: “Do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Do not be deceived! Fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, male prostitutes, sodomite, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers, robbers- none of these will inherit the kingdom of God (1Corinthians 6:9-10.) We should avoid these wrong doings so that we inherit the Kingdom of Heaven.

Any country that does not protect human life from the very moment of its conception is definitely leading its people to the destruction through violence. Any country that accept abortion is not teaching its people to love but to use violence to get what they want.

 

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