Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Christian Yet Most Corrupt?

This morning, I received a disturbing and embarrasing news about my country. According to the World Bank in its 2008 Worldwide Governance Indicators (WGI), the Philippines is declared as number one most corrupt country in East Asia today.

All over the world, we take pride as the only Christian nation in the Far East. Most of our neighbors are predominantly Buddhist (Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam). Mainland China is likewise Buddhist and communist in government. Japan is into Shintoism. India is Hindu by majority. Yes, the Philippines is the only Christian country in East Asia!

"Christian yet most corrupt." The words are totally incompatible and opposed to each other. An oxymoron! It's like saying that one can be a "Christian stealer," a "Christian murderer," or a "Christian adulterer." If that is our brand of faith, then something is deeply flawed and defective. It surely does not represent Christ and His true disciples.

How then do you explain this disturbing finding of a reputable international financing institution about the Philippines as "Christian yet most corrupt?"

Is it because "poverty breeds corruption" in the Philippines ("Naghihirap kasi yung mga tao e.")? I don't think so. I say this because, in the Philippines, the biggest crooks, thieves, and most corrupt can be found among the richest and most influential Filipinos, not among the poor!

Indeed, the heart of the matter is spiritual and not economic. In the very root of corruption is the sin of selfishness, which says, "Even if all generations suffer, go hungry and homeless, as long as I and my family have more than enough, that's fine with me." (Scriptures: 1 Timothy 4, Matthew 6)

Through this piece, I pray that we may all understand (individually and corporately) the true nature of being a Christian or followers of Christ - that we may not end up bringing dishonor to His name.

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