The last leftist government was deposed by an impeachment process based on allegations of corruption. Recently, the minister of education in the Bolsonaro government was arrested on the same type of charge. How can Christians hold politicians accountable on corruption?
Guilherme De Carvalho: Holding politicians accountable is the duty of Christians, without a doubt. But given the systemic problems in our country, it is clear that verbal demands against corruption by Christians are insufficient and “prophesying” on Twitter is useless. It is necessary to support candidates who introduce effective anti-corruption bills in the legislature.
A practical path would be to create an evangelical political oversight team that would hold politicians accountable on corruption and other issues. But something like that would need an anchor in Christian political theology, something few people have today. Many of the politicized believers are ideological copies of a secular militancy.
Iza Vicente: To demand transparent and ethical political practices, it is necessary that the support or vote of the evangelical is not based on unconditional devotion, idolatry, or on the idea that the elected candidate is inerrant, infallible, and “sent from God” to represent the evangelicals. However, demanding best practices in the fight against corruption and accountability, through a due legal process, is the duty and right of every citizen, and we evangelicals have to take a more active role in this regard.
Ziel Machado: Our public witness must be supported by a life of commitment to holiness.
I’m saddened by the instances of corruption in which Christians have been involved, although I also believe in forgiveness, reconciliation, and restoration. More than regret, however, situations like these should make us ask, “How can we, as a church, prevent things like this from happening?”
Perhaps we should ask God to raise up, in the midst of the evangelical community, professional politicians who are prepared to act with integrity in the public square, who know the responsibility they have to their fellow Brazilians, and who are accountable for their political practice to the church. We know of only some isolated experiences of Christians in politics who make a practice of being accountable to their constituents.
The principle to be followed is outlined in 2 Corinthians 8: 21, where Paul writes that he is “taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of man.” Integrity is an important value that the Christian cannot give up.
Jacira Monteiro: Christians, like all other citizens, must demand that the corrupt be removed from their positions and held accountable—either through impeachment or even imprisonment, depending on the seriousness of the act. As the Word of God says, “when the sentence for a crime is not quickly carried out, people’s hearts are filled with schemes to do wrong” (Ecc. 8:11). If there is no punishment for the wicked, there is an incentive, a free pass, for that sin to be repeated. It doesn’t help shalom; it doesn’t help society flourish.
Barbosa: I will disregard the initial comment and answer only the question “How can Christians hold politicians accountable?
There are laws and institutions to fight and prevent corruption. If they don’t work properly (and unfortunately they often haven’t), we should look for an institutional means to improve the system. This mainly involves choosing our representatives in the National Congress and in state and municipal chambers. They are the ones who can legislate in favor of changes in the judicial system.
In addition to demanding that politicians be held accountable, we must do our own homework. We must practice transparency in our churches. We need to be responsible citizens in our work and with the use of public resources. Corruption is present in the actions and decisions of all spheres of society.
Read our guests’ bio in the lead article.
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How Can Christians Hold Politicians Accountable on Corruption?