It’s pretty bad out there- the corruption.
It’s everywhere. It’s government, police – actually almost everyone official.
We are living in a Catholic country, classifying the Philippines as “Christian”. This means theoretically that the majority cling to the Christian identification rather than Muslim, Hindu or some other major religion. The term Christian also applies to everyone who is in between, such as cults etc. What troubles some is that the Philippines is considered the only Christian nation in Asia and yet we have corruption? How can this be? Depending on which survey you read we are between 1 and 5 as the most corrupt country in Asia.
So the Philippines, though called Christian, has only a small percentage who are true practicing Christians- people committed to Christian values and practice.
The business of corruption, and it is a business, is all around us in Asia. The following paragraph is from Time Magazine;
“The Thais call it gin muong (nation eating). In Chinese, it is known as tan wu (greedy impurity), in Japanese oshoku (dirty job), and to the Pakistanis, it is ooper ki admani (income from above). Every Oriental language has its own phrase for corruption—and in every tongue the words are unpleasantly familiar. There is always the kickback artist, the bagman, the specialist in “squeeze.”
Now for true Christians this is a problem. Can I, should I, pay money to get favor in business? How about influencing a court decision? Should I pay the policeman to overlook my driving infraction? Or worse… for him to go away and forget his imaginary infraction on my part?
Corruption is everywhere, in every country… just worse in some places.
I have a couple of thoughts about this subject.
The New Testament was written within a very corrupt society. Yet Paul said in Romans 12 to be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. The KJV says be “honest”. Proverbs speaks strongly against bribes. Bribes were, and still are, primarily used to pervert justice- like paying a judge or influencing what is right in your favor which may be wrong.
The bottom line is we cannot do much about the corruption in a corrupt world. We live in it and with it.
We can, however, do something about our participation in it.
We should not pervert justice with money. When a policeman asks me for money, my reply is that I am a Christian and I cannot give him any money. So far, every time he has backed down and let me go.
Then there are times I have given money for causes that I did not feel were perverting justice. For example, I needed some court documents, The judge had already ruled in my favor. However my documents would have taken many weeks to get out. My attorney recommended I give the clerks something and we’d get the document in a couple of days. I did so but felt no guilt because i did not pervert or interfere with a decision. I “oiled the wheels of administration”.
So the giving of money must be qualified by the reason it is given. I’ve known several Christians who have obtained good contracts without reaching under the table. It can be done!
It takes faith to live in this corrupt world. God can help us, provided we have inner convictions that we want to be honest in every thing we do. I wish it was black and white, but it isn’t.
Maybe a simple answer would be found in this question, “If Jesus stood beside me during this transaction, would he approve?” That should settle it.