Domingo, 22 de Janeiro de 2017
   
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Corruption

Brazil is alarmed at corruption. I don’t mean that this issue is something new to us. Of course not. We are not that naïve. What Brazilians are alarmed at is how massive and widespread corruption has become. In our country, we can see it as a running sore affecting the whole body. It has not missed one single spot. And it has reached a worrying level. When we hear of bribery, we no longer think of an envelope filled with some bills. We think of billions. That’s right… billions! Something that the world has never seen!

As far as I can see, corruption is specially serious inasmuch as it is a murderer. Because of it, families die on the roads that could be safer, if it hadn’t been for an “embezzlement.” Because of corruption, thousands of people go through great suffering and die on the hallways of deserted hospitals. Because of corruption, there are no vaccines for people facing major epidemics, and they end up watching their beloved ones suffering and dying as victims of terrible diseases. By the way, epidemics last as much as they do because of corruption, as there are no substantial investments to fight them. All the money goes into the pockets of half a dozen robbers, whose hands are stained with innocent blood.

Yes, the corrupt politician is a wicked wrongdoer; a scoundrel that inflicts great harm to thousands of people while, in the meantime, he keeps on delivering his deceitful discourse with a cynical smile. Look at the children with microcephaly; consider how their lives will be like as a person with so many limitations and all the lifelong struggles and distress their parents will have to face. If you look back, you will see a non-stop chain of events in which, at the very beginning of all this misery, you will find the hand of a corrupt stealing all the resources intended to fight that disease.

Thus, we should not see the corrupt just as crooked shyster. He is a killer, a cold-blooded mass murderer that lacks any sense of guilt, a long-distance torturer, someone that makes millions of people’s lives a living hell, causing unprecedented rates of unemployment, famine, increasing criminality, poor public security, low-quality education, bumpy roads…We can be sure that the corruption is the prevailing cause of all the hardships brought upon our people, from the lack of street lighting to the spreading slums.

But what should we think about regarding this matter according to the Bible? Well, firstly we must understand that corruption is not a cultural issue as most people say. Of course it is rooted in our culture. But corruption is basically a spiritual issue. Think about Isaiah. This prophet lived in the 8th century and exposed the political corruption of Israel. He also condemned bribery (Isa 1.23). Isaiah was not playing a “social reformer” part as left-wing theologians claim him to be; he was defending the covenant requirements. He knew that in the heart of Israel’s social issues was the abandonment of God’s law. Thus, “social reformation” was not his first concern, but rather was a national conversion going back to Yahweh and obeying him.

While reading the first chapter of Isaiah, we are impressed at how the filthy reality of his own time resembles the current reality in Brazil. Then we realize that corruption is indeed a “cultural issue”, but also that this issue has affected our culture due to lack of fear of the Lord and neglect towards the Word of God.

In fact, we are a nation made up by mocking atheists. Our children, who have never heard a single Bible verse, swear at older people and are filled with evil from a very early age. Our youth lead hollow lives; they develop the bad habits they have got from their parents and seek futilities. When they hear something about the gospel, they mock. When they are warned about something, they don’t listen. Their hearts are young, but already hardened. Our young people live dirty lives and they don’t care about it, they don’t listen to anyone, and they often have their relatives support on such behavior.

Furthermore, consider our families. Disrespect, fighting, lies, splits… All this because the truths of the Word have been neglected. Well, Isaiah shows us that when that happens to a nation, increased injustice and social and political chaos can be expected, and corruption makes it very clear. The root of “Operation Car Wash” is the disdain for God.

So, we are led to a second consideration. If the root of corruption is spiritual deviation, then the only solution to this problem is repentance, turning to God, walking in his ways. That is what Isaiah says: “Wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight; stop doing wrong” (Isa 1.16). I know this is far from happening to our politicians and to our people. I know this is far from happening to our world. Therefore, I know that this assassin corruption will remain in Brazil and all over the planet. In our case, perhaps there will be a temporary decrease considering the most frequent punishments, but the end of corruption without the fear of the Lord is a laughable myth. In fact, believing that corruption will end with improved education and a stronger sense of citizenship is to say that a fire in a building can be extinguished if people start spitting on it. Absolute nonsense!

The truth is that this pigsty will only end with the glorious coming of the King of Righteousness. In the meantime, let us pray for our beloved homeland the “gentle mother” that put on weight by devouring her offspring’s flesh.

Pr. Marcos Granconato

Strength and faith

Soli Deo gloria

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