As a pastor in this city we have to speak out clearly about the way our fellow citizens are being robbed by those who have power over their lives. Poverty is a destructive curse, but it is being perpetuated by those who claim to be solving it! Our city is is being paralysed by corruption, both in the public and private sectors. Corruption is not just out there. Its being done by our neighbours and people we know. Even we ourselves can be part of this scourge that causes destruction and poverty in our country. Daily I hear stories of corrupt government officials and business people who cannot function unless they pass something under the table. We cannot fix this without some important changes in our society. It has to start with political will at the very top of our country. We as citizens have a responsibility to use our influence – be it within party political structures, or the ballot box, other civil society spheres and with prayer, to remove corrupt people, and to expose those who are abusing our trust and their mandate to enrich themselves. The Bible condemns Corruption, and thus as Christian leaders we need to speak out against it. One of the challenges we see is that it is not just a South African Problem. Those who find their Governments abusing their power – even in the United States – and blow the whistle on corrupt government practices can get sent to jail or get left in Exile.
We however cannot allow corruption to be unchallenged on our watch in our city. The Bible describes this so:
6 “You shall not pervert the judgment of your poor in his dispute. 7 Keep yourself far from a false matter; do not kill the innocent and righteous. For I will not justify the wicked. 8 And you shall take no bribe, for a bribe blinds the discerning and perverts the words of the righteous. 9 “Also you shall not oppress a stranger, for you know the heart of a stranger, because you were strangers in the land of Egypt. (Exodus 23:6-9 NKJV)
The Bible describes bribe taking people as cursed- Deut 27:25. People who refuse to take a bribe shall not be moved (Psalm 15:5). Surely oppression destroys a wise man’s reason, and a bribe debases the heart. (Ecclesiastes 7:7 NKJV)
Have a serious look at what God promises to do to those who act corruptly and pervert just dealings… Isaiah 5:23-25 Who justify the wicked for a bribe, And take away justice from the righteous man! 24 Therefore, as the fire devours the stubble, And the flame consumes the chaff, So their root will be as rottenness, And their blossom will ascend like dust; Because they have rejected the law of the Lord of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel. (NKJV)
People think they can get away with it now, but there is always a reckoning coming!
Pastor Patrick Douglas-Henry
Crossroads Christian Fellowship
Regional Leader of the Eastern Cape Regional Leadership Forum
Apostolic Faith Mission of South Africa