BC-HOP Government & Economy Prayer: The Petro Caribe Amendment Act is one of the latest policy issues facing Belize. Since the Church has a seat on the Senate, the Church is being asked to take a stand on this issue. The Church’s senator represents both the Belize Council of Churches and the Belize Association of Evangelical Churches. The BCC and BAEC have an understanding that they should be in agreement on important issues which have moral and spiritual implications for the nation. But the Church does not have to yield to political pressures to vote on political issues.
The Petro Caribe Amendment Act is mostly a political issue. BAEC President Howell Longsworth says it is better for the Church to remain above this battle. The Church is to stay non-partisan and non-political. We only ask that any Petro Caribe funding be gained and used in a fair and fiscally responsible way. The Church speaks with more authority if it only takes stands that represent the consensus of churches on the Word of God for that issue. For other issues, the best position the Church can take is the position of prayer. We should be “lifting up holy hands, without anger or disputing” (1 Tim. 2:8). Verse 1 urges “that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone—for kings and all those in authority.”
Our prayers should be for the authorities of each political party. Matthew Henry’s Commentary on these verses says, “The disciples of Christ must be praying people; all, without distinction of nation, sect, rank, or party.” The Church can never belong to one nation or one party. The Church itself is “a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light” (1 Pet. 2:9). As God’s light to the world, the Church can shine only with the light He has given us in His Word. On issues where we lack His light, we can pray that He will light the way for His established authorities to make the right decisions.
BAEC President Longsworth says, “Those who are in authority are to be prayed for. They want our prayers. They have many difficulties to encounter, and many snares, to which their exalted stations expose them. In praying for our leaders, we take the course most likely for the peaceable and quiet life that God desires for us in 1 Tim. 2:2. I am calling on all our pastors to obey first the Word of God and to use wisdom on this issue.”
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Tags for Petro Caribe. Belize, Venezuela, Petro Caribe, Petro Caribe Amendment Act, BAEC, Belize Council of Churches, Howell Longsworth.
Keyword: Petro Caribe.
Petro Caribe is a political, not a spiritual issue.