OBEDIENCE TO THE GOVERNMENT
Here in the Philippines there are so much talk about the Reproductive Health Bill or the “RH” Bill. And the Catholic Church in this country is calling for “Civil Disobedience” to fight this Bill from passing.
CHRISTIANS CALLED FOR CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE?
Is this calling a biblical calling? The Catholic Church is calling its member to disobey our government. Let us seek the word of God on what is the Christian way to do for our governments.
Romans 13:1-5 (GNB) “Everyone must obey state authorities, because no authority exists without God’s permission, and the existing authorities have been put there by God. Whoever opposes the existing authority opposes what God has ordered; and anyone who does so will bring judgment on himself. For rulers are not to be feared by those who do good, but by those who do evil. Would you like to be unafraid of those in authority? Then do what is good, and they will praise you, because they are God’s servants working for your own good. But if you do evil, then be afraid of them, because their power to punish is real. They are God’s servants and carry out God’s punishment on those who do evil. For this reason you must obey the authorities—not just because of God’s punishment, but also as a matter of conscience…”
St. Paul is quite clear that anyone who opposes the existing authorities opposes what God has ordered. In simple terms we as Christians must obey our government. Period!
Titus 3:1 “Remind your people to submit to rulers and authorities, to obey them, and to be ready to do good in every way…”
St. Paul reminds us always that we should submit to rulers and authorities. The first church in the New Testament never called for civil disobedience. They submitted to their government even in death and persecutions during the first three centuries.
WHAT SHOULD WE DO FOR OUR GOVERNMENTS AS CHRISTIANS?
1 Timothy 2:1-3 (GNB) First of all, then, I urge that petitions, prayers, requests, and thanksgivings be offered to God for all people; for kings and all others who are in authority, that we may live a quiet and peaceful life with all reverence toward God and with proper conduct. This is good and it pleases God our Savior…”
We must pray for our government if we want change. We are not called to be disobedient to our government even if the government and the church is in different views. We must pray, this is good and pleases our God, not calling for civil disobedience.
FILIPINOS ARE STARTING TO THINK
Two weeks ago a man stopped a Catholic Mass and he went in the middle of the Church with a plaque card saying DAMASO. Damaso is the name of a Catholic priest in the novel of our national hero Jose Rizal where this priest is always meddling with other peoples affairs.
Filipinos are now starting to think whether the Catholic Church is right or wrong on calling for civil disobedience and their members are saying other wise. There are so many fetuses being thrown in the waste baskets and trashes in Manila and some near or at the gate of Catholic
MY PERSONAL NOTE ON THIS ISSUE
First, it is unchristian and unbiblical to call for Civil Disobedience. Second, the Church should understand the role of the government and vice versa. Third, the church should not play God on the government and also the government should not play god on the church. Fourth, in the Philippines the Church and State are separate therefore let the government do its job in solving the problems of society and let the church do her job too. Finally, as Christians we must obey the authorities because God says so. Civil Disobedience is still disobedience.