CCF Pastors get involved in politics through the Christian Values Movement
At the height of the 2022 presidential election campaign, Christ Commission Fellowship (CCF) launched the Christian Values Movement (CVM). They want to educate young people on how to choose their political leaders, according to Exodus 18:21 and the qualifications for deacons.
The vision of CVM
According to CCF Senior Pastor Peter Tan Chi, CVM is a discipleship movement. “We want to attract and mobilize young people so that one day, this will have at least 10 million members who will learn to vote. It will impact the country.” [Practice a God-Centered Persepective]
Similar to Iglesia Ni Cristo’s “Unity Vote,” INC leaders do not impose but suggest who the body should vote for. CCF church leaders promoted three out of five presidential candidates.
CCF members rooting for Robredo
A strong majority of CCF members openly rooted for Leni Robredo, a Catholic, more than Manny Pacquiao, a born-again Christian. Robredo ran to stop Bongbong Marcos Jr. (BBM) from winning. BBM was not included in CCF’s list.
Dissenting political opinions divided CCF members
Two months before the election, CCF senior Pastor Peter Tan Chi said, “Politics does not divide… instead should be discussed,” in his sermon titled Work to make a difference. However, the opposite was true, at least in the case of CCF.
“Pinklawans” and “Solid BBM”
CCF Marcos supporters were labeled “brainwashed” and “deceived” by pro-Robredo members. After all, BBM’s father was listed as the world’s greatest thief.
Interestingly, the same CCF members who supported Robredo had been criticizing members who supported President Duterte in the 2016 election.
Politics was clearly dividing church members, causing many of them to unfriend each other on social media. “Pinklawans” were pro-Robredo, and “Solid BBM” was for Marcos Jr.
A long-time member said, “I don’t want to post anything about BBM anymore. They (Yellow/Pink supporters of Robredo) will just bash me again. Where is the love in the church?”
Pastor’s wives divide members
In April 2022, a pastor’s wife posted on her social media an alleged “joke” about a candidate who was a “thief.” She was obviously referring to Marcos Jr.
Another pastor’s wife mocked Marcos Jr by saying he won because of cheating, causing some of her followers who found it offensive to unfollow her.
A CCF pastor also posted an “anti-Marcos rant” on his Facebook, which caught the ire of CCF members who supported Marcos Jr. When BBM won, he continued to air his political rant.
Conflating church role and the great commission
For decades, as a religious figure, CVM Chairman JP Makasayan has always been active in pushing for “righteousness in government.” Criticized for his active involvement, he said that the constitution’s separation of church and state clause is man-made.
“This is not a scriptural law since it was not a law established by God; this must have been established by man, which makes it subject to error… And what is not godly wisdom the Bible calls worldly,” Makasayan said through an email circulated in 2004.
Since the 1970s, the Catholic church was the bearer of religious opposition to a “wayward government.” Since Duterte Sr. became president in 2016, CBCP, PCEC, and NCCP have used their organization to rebuke or suggest how the government should make laws.
The return of Marcos to power is perhaps one reason that more religious groups have warmed up to Christian activism. Bongbong Marcos and Sara Duterte are game-changers to evangelicals who have always supported the “Yellow Revolution” that toppled BBM’s father.
Not all CCF members agree
Not all Christian groups agree that evangelicals should “educate” the body of Christ on who to vote for. After all, whoever is elected is ultimately God’s will because He is sovereign.
Government leaders CCF has indirectly supported and prayed for did not win. Not all its members agree with them to begin with. Perhaps, the reason they need to build a movement of 10 million followers.
The case of Trump vs. Biden in the United States
In the United States, evangelicals are also into politicking, which leads to discord among religious groups and is mocked by atheists. Perhaps one reason why Jesus never entangled Himself in civilian discourse.
For example, American Christians were divided between Trump and Biden. One was Catholic but a liberal democrat, who supports LGBTQ causes and abortion. Trump, on the other hand, is a narcissist, but a Republican who supports Christian causes.
Evangelicals’ embrace of Trump harms Christianity. Skeptics may henceforth be disinclined to consider Christianity because they’ll think of hypocrisy when they think of evangelicals. [Tenessians]
The same situation is at stake in the Philippines because Christians too are divided. Perhaps another reason why the apostles told us to distance ourselves from civilian entanglement.
Not all Christian churches agree with political involvement
As early as the 2004 presidential election, some Christian churches rooted for candidates as a means to bring social and religious change to the country.
The Bread of Life Ministries openly rebuked them for getting involved in bipartisan politics. They published an OpEd in a newspaper.
Jesus never entangled Himself in civilian discourse.
Click here to read the statement of Bread of Life in response to bipartisan politics during the presidential run of Christian leader Eddie Villanueva against Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in 2004. It was published in Star Newspaper in 2004.