Christians And Bribery – Introduction
Oxford Dict.: Bribe = A sum of money, services etc, given or offered to smb. in return for some, often dishonest, help.
other dictionaries: Bribe = Money or objects/things given or promised to a functionary to do (or not to do) something which he should do as a part of his job/duty
Christians and Bribery: WHY PEOPLE PAY BRIBE ?
-to have a faster and sure serving / to avoid waiting
-to ‘cover’ mistakes/problems
-because of their incapacity (laziness or not good students/emploees etc)
-to have/keep a good job
-to save a life (in the hospitals, court etc)
Christians And Bribery: What does the Bible say about bribery?
“And thou shalt take no gift: for the gift blindeth the wise, and perverteth the words of the
righteous.” Exodus 23:8
“Thou shalt not wrest judgment; thou shalt not respect persons, neither take a gift: for a gift doth blind the eyes of the wise, and pervert the words of the righteous.” Deuteronomy 16:19
“And his sons walked not in his ways, but turned aside after lucre, and took bribes, and
perverted judgment.”1 Samuel 8:3
“He that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent. He that
doeth these things shall never be moved.” Psalms 15:5
“The king by judgment establisheth the land: but he that receiveth gifts overthroweth it.”
“Which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him!” Isaiah 5:23
“He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly; he that despiseth the gain of oppressions, that shaketh his hands from holding of bribes, that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil;” Isaiah 33:15
“For I know your manifold transgressions and your mighty sins: they afflict the just, they take a bribe, and they turn aside the poor in the gate from their right.” Amos 5:12
“He that is greedy of gain troubleth his own house; but he that hateth gifts shall live.” Proverbs 15:27
“Surely oppression maketh a wise man mad; and a gift destroyeth the heart.” Ecclesiastes 7:7
“Thy princes are rebellious, and companions of thieves: every one loveth gifts, and followeth after rewards: they judge not the fatherless, neither doth the cause of the widow come unto them.” Isaiah 1:23
“The heads thereof judge for reward, and the priests thereof teach for hire, and the prophets thereof divine for money: yet will they lean upon the LORD, and say, Is not the LORD among us? none evil can come upon us.” Micah 3:11
“That they may do evil with both hands earnestly, the prince asketh, and the judge asketh for a reward; and the great man, he uttereth his mischievous desire: so they wrap it up.” Micah 7:3
DESCRIPTIVE verses about BRIBE, NOT PRESCRIPTIVE verses :
Prescreptive verses are those urging us to do something. Descriptive verses are those which describe situations and realities WITHOUT urging us to do the same. For example the Bible describes how Judas hanged himself, but we don’t have to follow his example just because we find it in the Bible.
“A man’s gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great men.” Proverbs 18:16
“A gift in secret pacifieth anger: and a reward in the bosom strong wrath.” Proverbs 21:14
The difference between BRIBE and GIFTS (AS A SIGN OF RESPECT FOR SOMEBODY)
“And king Solomon gave unto the queen of Sheba all her desire, whatsoever she asked,
beside that which Solomon gave her of his royal bounty. So she turned and went to her own country, she and her servants.” 1 Kings 10:13
“Therefore the LORD stablished the kingdom in his hand; and all Judah brought to
Jehoshaphat presents; and he had riches and honour in abundance.” 2 Chronicles 17:5
“And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.” Matthew 2:11
Christians and Bribery: good examples of people who didn’t accept bribery
“Behold, here I am [the prophet Samuel]: witness against me before the LORD, and before his anointed: whose ox have I taken? or whose ass have I taken? or whom have I defrauded? whom have I oppressed? or of whose hand have I received any bribe to blind mine eyes therewith? and I will restore it you.” 1 Samuel 12:3
“For two years no further action was taken against Paul, yet he remained a prisoner. Felix visited him several times and listened attentively to his words. But the real motive for this apparent friendliness was a desire for gain, and he intimated that by the payment of a large sum of money Paul might secure his release. The apostle, however, was of too noble a nature to free himself by a bribe. He was not guilty of any crime, and he would not stoop to commit a wrong in order to gain freedom. Furthermore, he was himself too poor to pay such a ransom, had he been disposed to do so, and he would not, in his own behalf, appeal to the sympathy and generosity of his converts. He also felt that he
was in the hands of God, and he would not interfere with the divine purposes respecting himself.” AA 426
“He was visited by dignitaries of the church and urged to submit himself to the council. The
most brilliant prospects were presented before him as the reward of renouncing his opposition to Rome. But like his Master when offered the glory of the world, Jerome remained steadfast.” GC 114
Christians And Bribery: Bad examples of those who paid or accepted bribe
“For Ahaz took away a portion out of the house of the LORD, and out of the house of the king, and of the princes, and gave it unto the king of Assyria: but he helped him not.” 2 Chronicles 28:21
“The bribe of costly gifts and prospective exaltation excited his covetousness [about Balaam]. He greedily accepted the offered treasures, and then, while professing strict obedience to the will of God, he tried to comply with the desires of Balak.” PP 439
“A deputation consisting of one leading man from each of the Philistine provinces was sent to the vale of Sorek. They dared not attempt to seize him [Samson] while in possession of his great strength, but it was their purpose to learn, if possible, the secret of his power. They therefore bribed Delilah to discover and reveal it.” PP 565
” He affirmed to his counselors that a conspiracy had been formed against him, and with the offer of rich gifts and positions of honor he [Saul] bribed them to reveal who among his people had befriended David. Doeg the Edomite turned informer. Moved by ambition and avarice, and by hatred of the priest, who had reproved his sins, Doeg reported David’s visit to Ahimelech, representing the matter in such a light as to kindle Saul’s anger against the man of God.” PP 659
Christians and Bribery: Differences between bribery and gifts
The bribe is given/promised before your problem is solved. Usually it has a big value.
The gift is given/promised after your problem is solved. Usually it is symbolic (no big value).
Christians and Bribery: Advices, solutions
“But the LORD was with Joseph, and shewed him mercy, and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison.” Genesis 39:21
“I have raised him up in righteousness, and I will direct all his ways: he shall build my city, and he shall let go my captives, not for price nor reward, saith the LORD of hosts.” Isaiah 45:13
“Now God had brought Daniel into favour and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs.”
“I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.” Psalms 34:4
“Then they cried unto the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their
distresses.” Psalms 107:6 (read the whole psalm)
“Never entertain the thought that an honest, truthful physician cannot succeed. Such a sentiment dishonors the God of truth and righteousness. He can succeed; for he has God and heaven on his side. Let every bribe to dissimulate be sternly refused. Hold fast your integrity in the strength of the grace of Christ, and He will fulfill His word to you.” MM 128
“Men in responsible positions should be men of temperance and integrity, and especially should those who are entrusted with judicial functions be men of sober habits, that they may render justice, and be unbiased by bribe or prejudice.” Te 281
“As the word of God is meditated upon and practiced, the whole man will be ennobled. In
righteous and merciful dealing, the hands will reveal, as a signet, the principles of God’s law. They will be kept clean from bribes, and from all that is corrupt and deceptive.” DA 612
-be professional in what you do (it’s easier to find a job)
-preventive actions (- ex. find a good Christian physician/doctor who doesn’t expect bribe)
-choose serious partners/companies for some services and be ready to pay the price!
-trust in God, ask Him for wisdom (Mt. 6:33) , otherwise you can’t be sure that you fulfill His
will when you force the things to be as you want!
“Show a firm, undeviating trust in God. Be ever true to principle. Waver not; speak
decidedly that which you know to be truth, and leave the consequences with God. Bear in mind that God tests the genuineness of your desire. Believe the word of God, and never cease to press your petitions to his throne with sanctified, holy boldness. “Men ought always to pray, and not to faint.” By precept and example keep the standard uplifted. Your testimony, in its genuineness and reality, God will make powerful in the power of the life to come. The word of the Lord will be in your mouth as truth and righteousness.” RH, October 30, 1900
“Worry is blind, and cannot discern the future; but Jesus sees the end from the beginning. In every difficulty He has His way prepared to bring relief. Our heavenly Father has a thousand ways to provide for us, of which we know nothing. Those who accept the one principle of making the service and honor of God supreme will find perplexities vanish, and a plain path before their feet.” DA 330
“One wrong trait of character, one sinful desire cherished, will eventually neutralize all the power of the gospel…. The pains of duty and the pleasures of sin are the cords with which Satan binds men in his snares. Those who would rather die than perform a wrong act are the only ones who will be found faithful.” Mar 82
“Even life itself should not be purchased with the price of falsehood. By a word or a nod the martyrs might have denied the truth and saved their lives. By consenting to cast a single grain of incense upon the idol altar they might have been saved from the rack, the scaffold, or the cross. But they refused to be false in word or deed, though life was the boon they would receive by so doing. Imprisonment, torture, and death, with a clear conscience, were welcomed by them, rather than deliverance on condition of deception, falsehood, and apostasy. By fidelity and faith in Christ they earned spotless robes and jeweled crowns. Their lives were ennobled and elevated in the sight of God
because they stood firmly for the truth under the most aggravated circumstances… An adherence to the strictest principles of truth will frequently cause present inconvenience and may even involve temporal loss, but it will increase the reward in the future life. Religion does not consist merely in a system of dry doctrines, but in practical faith, which sanctifies the life and corrects the conduct in the family circle and in the church. ” 4T
Consider the two scenarios.
1. I am a businessman and I have an ailing business. My policy as per the bible is not to give any bribe for taking orders. There are eighteen laborers working for my company. Sometimes the cashflow is so tight that we are unable to give even their salaries. Added to this, the government imposes heavy penalties for late payments of VAT, visa, government fees etc. which are huge around 30-40%. This late payment also arises due to the poor cashflow. My laborers families are suffering and they are cursing me and so also my family where I have a special needs son for whom I am unable to to anything.
2. My fellow businessman entered into the market with a few laborers. His policy is a clear bribe for every transaction. He fixed with the major companies 10% bribe for every order. Accordingly the executives finalising the order even increased the order by 10% to accommodate their bribes also in the order. He is flooded with orders from all sides. His employee strength is now more than 80. All his employees are blessing him and their families are all well fed and safe. They all praise him so much and the word has spread so that my employees are longing to leave my company and join him. They strike and curse me everyday seeing and envying at them.
I am not only lacking in providing for my family and my special needs son but also for eighteen employees and their families. Am I not accountable for this sin.
So which sin should I choose??
sorry for the delay in responding to your comment. i won’t provide a direct answer to your question. there is a cross in every requirement of God’s Word. our Lord Jesus invites us to take the cross… in the country where I live (Romania), there are many instances where you are “invited” to offer bribe. the most difficult situations are those in hospitals, where people are conditioned to get medical help. if you don’t pay (bribe) services which are normally free of charge, your surgery may be delayed, the carers may neglect you etc… the article is written specially for countries where the bribe is still an issue for many people… may the Lord bless all of us with wisdom and courage to stay on His side in these dangerous times…