The Origin of Corruption

June 27, 2016

The Origin Of Corruption

I have seen violence and strife in the city. Day and night they go about it upon the walls thereof: mischief also and sorrow are in the midst of it. Wickedness is in the midst thereof: deceit and guile depart not from her streets” (Psalm 55:9-11).

It is becoming increasingly more common to see corruption on the part of our leaders and elected officials. They have found a way to build an infrastructure that allows them to get away with it. Big government takes power out of the hands of the people.

In social gatherings the topic of conversation is often about corruption in the government. The question of how corruption gets started is seldom discussed. What is the source of corruption? If we pursue that question to its logical conclusion it touches almost all of us and our ancestors whom we loved and respected. It would have never taken root if the common people had been diligent in electing honest, respectable officials and holding them responsible for being honest.

The Bible tells us that we should judge ourselves before we judge others. Romans 2:1 says, “ Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.” I Peter 4:17 also says, “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?” Without realizing it, there is a measure of corruption in all of us; in some more than in others. To be sure, the corruption in us isn’t as violent or lucrative as it is for some government officials. There are hidden things we approve of and do. We justify it by saying, “everybody does it.”

While serving as missionaries in Argentina, we went through a heartbreaking experience. One day a riot broke out on such a grand scale that the police couldn’t control it. People went out and broke into stores and took all they could carry. Some went back for more. Some store keepers, with tears in their eyes, said, “I can’t believe it. Among the looters were people who came frequently to buy at the store. We talked as friend to friend, but they were among those who took all I had.” They justified their plundering by saying, “Everyone is doing it so I may as well get my share.”

The only reason many people don’t go out and steal is because they know what the consequences might be. They might lose the respect of friends and relatives. They might even be sent to prison. When people like them find themselves in government positions and know that most likely there will be no serious consequences for corruption they say, “Why not?”

Corruption begins in the hearts of children. If their parents don’t teach them to be kind and respect the property of others they will be shop lifters. If, in school, they are permitted to copy from a smarter student at their elbow they will say, “Why not?” If people are allowed to think: “Others do it, why can’t I?” They too will say, “Why not?”

What is the solution for corruption? People need to have moral standards instilled in them. It needs to start with the common people, even children and teens. There was a time when Christianity had a greater moral influence on society. Christians were an example of moral purity. Unfortunately, many churches in our day aren’t teaching people to have moral values. Church discipline is seldom practiced. It is unfortunate when people can look at us Christians and say, “I see them doing it so it must be alright.”

Corruption increases when moral standards are lowered. Moral standards go down when people depart from biblical Christianity. There is a world of difference between biblical Christianity and the superficial Christianity that we see so much of in our day. Superficial Christianity makes people feel good about themselves because they have completed with some rituals and have some emotional experiences. Biblical Christianity demands a submission to the will of God.

We would see much less corruption if those who call themselves Christians were willing to sincerely pray the prayer found in Psalm 139:23-24. “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

Corruption in our government won’t be stopped until more people with strong convictions about right and wrong start voting for men and women running for office who also have strong convictions about right and wrong. You can have a part in making our country what it should be by allowing God to make you what you should be.

Comments or questions can be sent to us at our e-mail address. It is:


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.