As part of our country’s broad democratic constituency, we, the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches, the largest network of evangelical Christians in the country, add our voice to the outspoken views regarding Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno’s recent statements. In attributing her appointment to God, we see it as a pure gesture of gratitude to Divine Providence. It emanates from a biblical creed that “there is no authority except by God’s appointment, and the authorities that exist have been instituted by God” (Romans 13: 1b).
In acknowledging the sovereign hand of God, the new Chief Justice shows that she sincerely prefers to be grateful to the Lord, rather than feel beholden to men. This aligns with her other pronouncements that good governance and public accountability are part of godly stewardship.
Such statements, given in the context of one’s religious belief, should not make secularists cringe. Neither should avowed freethinkers rush into unleashing a barrage of criticisms. Instead of feeling alarmed, we should find hope in the fact that Chief Justice Sereno’s deeply held Christian faith espouses the cause of truth, justice and independence, while upholding honesty and selfless service. These are principles which our leaders really need to practice.
—BISHOP EFRAIM M. TENDERO, D.D., D.L.
Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches,