Church vs. Politics
Jesus once said, “give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and to God what belongs to God.” This was an answer to a tricky question asked by the Pharisees in an attempt to find fault in Jesus, and it was “Teacher, we know that you are sincere, and teach the way of God in accordance with truth, and show deference to no one; for you do not regard people with partiality. Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to the emperor, or not?”. You see, back in the days, the Israelites sought the comfort of peace from the Romans, who were the world power of those ages. The Romans protected the Israelites from harm and so in exchange for their services, they were required to pay taxes to the Roman emperor. The Jews, however, following the law of Moses, only believed in making sacrifices and offerings to the Lord and no one else, for they believe that paying such things to humans would be like idolatry, and man was made by God Himself. So what does Jesus mean?
Up to this day, politicians scoff at catholic churches that make stands against the lawmakers, but who should we follow? It’s simple, really. God’s law is over and above all laws. Politics, a system that man has devised, is man’s system of assuring peace and harmony within one’s homeland. Just like buying a company’s services, we have to pay for what we receive from the services of our government. The role of the Church is to make sure we remain morally upright as good Christians. The role of the government is to ensure peace and harmony within the country, and to help the citizens when they need help, like in times of turmoil, natural disasters and calamities, and education for the poor.
However, lawmakers are not openly honest in providing the best policies for the benefit of the country, and oftentimes have selfish motives hidden. When immoral bills are passed, it is but right for the Church to make a stand and point out the mistakes of the government, for even the people who make up the government are under God’s dominion and nobody’s exempted.
On the other hand, the Church has no right in participating in political affairs, such as helping a candidate in his political campaign through endorsements, as well as saying negative things about a candidate. This is where Church and state separates.
We should pray for our country’s leaders and all people in public service. Since they are only humans, they get tempted with all that power under their hands, and they tend to become corrupt if God is not within their hearts. We should also pray for our religious leaders, that they may be guided by God always in every decision that they make.