Tuesday, October 13, 2009


By Joel Ferraris

As images of the calamity flood the internet links provided by people following the developments in our country my thoughts are flooded too with many memories as if they're floodwaters too that seem not bent on leaving. And as I gaze on my family sound asleep in our cozy flat here in Hong Kong after we said our prayers to the Almighty God the Father, in the name of Lord Jesus Christ, together and continue to be assured of their protection and well-being because I firmly believe in His grace, mercy and love I cannot lull my self to sleep that easy thinking about many things.

Fleeting thoughts of specific significance swirl inside my mind like debris floating in the murky floodwaters. People at this very moment sleeping or cannot sleep on rooftops, evacuation centers, trapped underneath building spaces destroyed by landslides elsewhere or even abroad thinking about their love ones back home are only a few in a mélange of images fit for a surreal painting. They are juxtaposed with other issues expected to take effect as a result of these calamities.

More than two weeks ago just before the three typhoons all sorts of news in the Philippines fight for the headlines for prominence and priority and one of these was the revelation of one senator about the corruption and the sins of one former president that would most likely pour out an avalanche. What bothered me that same night while I was about to sleep was the thought of how Edgar Bentain died. He was still a young man, a high school student, when I was a university student boarder in their apartment inside the university campus. He was then full of energy, a young man who liked to play soccer. What happened to him? How did he die? It was reported that he was murdered. What about those other students in our universities who died because of fraternity violence? Was there or will there ever be justice in all of these? Did the truth come out finally? Only people so wicked and possessed by demons were capable of doing these crimes as it is written that they are servants of “the devil who is a liar and a murderer from the very beginning.” John 8:44

“Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” John 8:44

Many people suffer injustice from the unrighteousness of spiritually corrupt people who hide the truth. Still many people are spiritually ignorant about the will of the Almighty God the Father and cannot accept the reason why Lord Jesus Christ came as a Savior and therefore cannot be free from captivity to sin.

Floodwaters will hopefully subside one day especially in the lowest areas which are still in danger of being submerged permanently and therefore the actual total destruction will be finally revealed to a certain extent. But how about in those cases where the dead cannot be found? Are they too buried into oblivion just like the truth that is still hidden from the families of victims of the many crimes committed in my country?

This recent calamity and the magnitude of destruction it caused present a big lesson for people to ponder upon deeply. There are those who, as expected, look forward that everything will be back to normal. But what is normal? What is normalcy? Are there serious lessons learned from this tragedy? Are these simply lessons for an arrogant secular society with science-powered pragmatism as its guiding light and with foresight as its prophetic thought? If this is purely a secular thing then does it mean that apostasy as well as idolatry goes on unhampered whereby goodness towards neighbor is simply a twisted version of the law Love thy Neighbor and where acts of goodness prominently added to the laurels of big companies, religious or secular groups vying for new members, supporters or profits?

There are some parallelism from the past that could still apply in the present and the future because the Almighty God the Father's laws are still the same.

From Ezekiel 14 http://kingjbible.com/ezekiel/14.htm

1 Then came certain of the elders of Israel unto me, and sat before me. 2 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 3 Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their heart, and put the stumblingblock of their iniquity before their face: should I be enquired of at all by them? 4 Therefore speak unto them, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Every man of the house of Israel that setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumblingblock of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to the prophet; I the LORD will answer him that cometh according to the multitude of his idols; 5 That I may take the house of Israel in their own heart, because they are all estranged from me through their idols.
6 Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Repent, and turn yourselves from your idols; and turn away your faces from all your abominations. 7 For every one of the house of Israel, or of the stranger that sojourneth in Israel, which separateth himself from me, and setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumblingblock of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to a prophet to enquire of him concerning me; I the LORD will answer him by myself: 8 And I will set my face against that man, and will make him a sign and a proverb, and I will cut him off from the midst of my people; and ye shall know that I am the LORD.

What will make us more terrified is this:

12 The word of the LORD came again to me, saying, 13 Son of man, when the land sinneth against me by trespassing grievously, then will I stretch out mine hand upon it, and will break the staff of the bread thereof, and will send famine upon it, and will cut off man and beast from it: 14 Though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they should deliver but their own souls by their righteousness, saith the Lord GOD. 15 If I cause noisome beasts to pass through the land, and they spoil it, so that it be desolate, that no man may pass through because of the beasts: 16 Though these three men were in it, as I live, saith the Lord GOD, they shall deliver neither sons nor daughters; they only shall be delivered, but the land shall be desolate. 17 Or if I bring a sword upon that land, and say, Sword, go through the land; so that I cut off man and beast from it: 18 Though these three men were in it, as I live, saith the Lord GOD, they shall deliver neither sons nor daughters, but they only shall be delivered themselves. 19 Or if I send a pestilence into that land, and pour out my fury upon it in blood, to cut off from it man and beast: 20 Though Noah, Daniel, and Job were in it, as I live, saith the Lord GOD, they shall deliver neither son nor daughter; they shall but deliver their own souls by their righteousness.

What about the aftermath?

By Joel Ferraris

Prompted by the behavior of the three typhoons I have to write this very important note as a reaction to the recent calamity and the ongoing devastation caused by the 2nd typhoon (Parma) still wreaking havoc in Luzon (as of this writing) while it changed its course and is forecast to move South Southwest at 12 kph.

People familiar with military strategy (learned either by experience or through computer games), I presume, could easily agree that if one part of the army is used for advanced frontal attack on the enemy a second wave of attack behind to hit enemy supply lines will cause so much damage to weaken and eventually defeat the enemy.

Such a scenario is what I have observed in what's going on in my country. While Ondoy devastated parts of Metro Manila and its neighboring areas before its final exit Peping (Parma), followed by another typhoon (Quedan), went north as if to purposely target the farmlands wherein crops supposedly ready for harvest in the coming months were destroyed. Now one understands and could imagine what this will eventually mean.

I am seriously thinking as to why all these things happened. What are the reasons? What is the main reason? What have we done to deserve such fate? What will the aftermath be?
It’s all Biblical.

What comes to mind is the more serious calamity happening to an individual. The presence of reality that there is confusion going on about religion and spirituality whereby true Christianity, suffering serious attacks from all sides, is either absent, obscured, ignored or even dismissed as dying or even inexistent in an age of computers makes one question about life and the afterlife and if there is a need for repentance.

Meanwhile, as soon as everything’s back to normal old habits and continued ignorance of what ways are sinful might come back again and everything’s back to “normal” again especially when society follows a confused sense of morality whereby the line dividing right from wrong is obscured. And as in the aftermath of the flood in Noah’s time evil will continue to lurk and resume business to devour the next victims without them having the chance of salvation through Lord Jesus Christ in order to have eternal life.

I have my own share of personal calamities as a citizen of a country ravaged by all sorts of calamities big and small, subtle or obvious. But all these have ceased their hold on me in 1988 when I was finally baptized in the Holy Spirit and accepted God the Father Almighty and His Son Lord Jesus Christ as my Savior. And truly, the gifts of the Holy Spirit available for free are what a person needs for him or her to be able to walk a straight path towards the right direction and make life easy and most of all to obey the will of the Almighty God the Father and make one identify what things are evil to be able to resist it and be free from captivity to the many deceptions of the evil one.

Indeed, after practicing true worship, my prayers were answered many times in many ways and instances. In the devastation brought by typhoon Frank last year in Iloilo my old, 80+ year old mother, who lived in our small house together with my younger brother, was spared from that calamity that not only destroyed property but also claimed many lives. Our house is located in lowland too but it was not directly affected by the devastation.

I love my family and I always pray for them and because of this that I teach them about true worship and I give my trust and faith to the Almighty God the Father who is the One who could protect not only me but all the people I love as well in this lifetime. And this love is indeed really true if we all enjoy it in the eternal afterlife.

I have no control of what happens to them but the fact that I have not hidden the truth from them about Lord Jesus Christ and the salvation through Him makes me accept the will of the Almighty God the Father for them.

Calamities and God�s Judgment: What Can We Learn From Natural Disasters? by Bob DeWaay http://cicministry.org/commentary/issue90.htm

Tsunami, Sovereignty, and Mercy by Dr. John Piper

The God of Disasters by Vincent Cheung

Monday, March 30, 2009

Another Test Of One's True Christian Spirituality

By Joel Ferraris

I just want to share my views on this new issue (RP envoy demands apology from HK writer ) sending disturbing ripples to the whole community of Filipinos.

Violent reactions against incendiary comments or intrigues (like the statement by that person about us as a "nation of servants") are a common occurrence among fratmen. According to reports, just last year and even early this year a series of frat rumbles terrorized UP Diliman again. Due to unchecked spirituality of each member of a group (comprising of different but conflicting spiritual beliefs) plus the kind of secular mindset and culture that each frat as a collective group espouses could result in violent conflicts that we termed "rumbles".

Fraternities are smaller compared to countries or races but we could derive the same pattern whereby patriotism is akin to loyalty to a frat. A fratman insulted by another means big trouble and they are ready to kill and to die which is similar to the loyalty demanded from each citizen to protect one’s country. The long-running fratwar in Cebu between two rival frats started just because of one T-shirt as reported. It sounds silly but it proved deadly. The same is true here with that comment from a Chinese man who claimed he was misunderstood. And to a lesser degree, the same is true even in egroups wherein issues to be taken objectively for the purpose of finding solutions to social problems seem to offend the very sensitive. We need to go no further but in homes the husband and wife conflict could lead to broken families. And the same is true too in religious groups defending their faith.

All of the above are simply a test of one’s spirituality. A true Christian will look at this more objectively knowing that the enemy is not the flesh but the unseen unclean spirits and principalities.

10Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

Anyone acting violently either in words or in deeds is unknowingly under the influence of the unseen who is unclean and the real enemy. And the one who knows Paul’s teaching on love looks at the problem more calmly with love and concern for others because of the Holy Spirit’s guidance. Yet concern and love for others could still be viewed negatively through dirty lenses. Lord Jesus Christ was crucified and died for our sins, yet He was mocked.

33And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. 34Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots. 35And the people stood beholding. And the rulers also with them derided him, saying, He saved others; let him save himself, if he be Christ, the chosen of God. 36And the soldiers also mocked him, coming to him, and offering him vinegar, 37And saying, If thou be the king of the Jews, save thyself. 38And a superscription also was written over him in letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew, THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.

Anywhere we go in the world people belonging to any race encounter any form of discrimination. People are victims in one way or another. But even in the safety and comforts of our home or country and even if these zones are all heavily-guarded no one could save us from other threats to life. Illness, terminal illness, depression, fear of the unseen, global warming, volcanic eruptions burying our churches and mansions, financial difficulties, the temptations to do sin, etc are just but a few of the countless problems a man and his family (and without even the knowledge of his own family) has to face. Here there’s no one to blame. Yet at this point people do make the mistake of blaming Him up there in heaven for all these miseries. The question is… did the sufferer believed, understood, obeyed and loved the One who is Eternal and Living God?

If I were to face this problem or if I were to help my fellowman or a domestic helper I will go back to the privacy of my room and pray to our Almighty God the Father for help in the name of Lord Jesus Christ. And I will open the Holy Bible and learn some lessons from the past and most especially discern what message the Lord has for me for this particular situation for these Words of Wisdom will make me strong as a person and I could teach my fellowmen how to be strong too. Strong to have self-control and ready to welcome a wider understanding of what pleases the Almighty God the Father.

10Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

The fact is, before I learned of this recent news through the email I opened the Holy Bible and read the Book of Hosea. There in front of my very own eyes I saw the message and the lessons which apply to this current problem.

The Book of Hosea touches on issues about:

1. ERRING RELIGIOUS LEADERS wherein they become even richer as people become more sinful
2. PROSTITUTION, adultery and immorality
3. RAMPANT IDOLATRY and how the LORD repeatedly condemns its practice
and many more.

Can we really close our eyes to the truth that similar things are happening in our society today?

A particular passage that caught my eyes was:

11Because Ephraim hath made many altars to sin, altars shall be unto him to sin.

12I have written to him the great things of my law, but they were counted as a strange thing.

13They sacrifice flesh for the sacrifices of mine offerings, and eat it; but the LORD accepteth them not; now will he remember their iniquity, and visit their sins: they shall return to Egypt.


As the return to Egypt symbolizes return to idolatry and paganism what has happened to us after the dictatorship is going more deeply into idolatry after a glaring symbol was erected at the historic EDSA site. They even boasted about erecting even a much gigantic one in Luzon to rival the statue of Liberty which is likewise pagan.

The disappointing and irritating comment by that man should make us face the mirror and ask a question…why are we a nation of servants? Why are our women who are poor becoming prostitutes or “mules” carrying illegal drugs?

I, for one, was also a victim of sort to discrimination by other races here. I worked as a freelance with a few companies and of course I experienced discrimination too. But I always have the Words of God the Father Almighty in my mind and in my heart always. To serve other people, my human master, well is to serve God the Father Almighty whereby I have to work with all honesty and integrity despite the absence of cameras to check my performance because He sees me all the time. Likewise, as a boss too to my workers when I had my own projects I have to see to it that I do not lord it over to them. Let us be reminded too that those faithfull people of God the Father Almighty are courageous in the face of exploitation and oppression in following His will and are not concerned with what the world will say of them.

5Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; 6Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; 7With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men: 8Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.


Come to think of it, we haven't been freed yet from idolatry as a country ever since. Not yet. Although Spain introduced Roman Catholicism as a form of Christianity it brought with it a tainted one. We see the same pattern wherein in festivals for the so-called saints people of all sorts parade graven images made by artists and craftsmen, perform all sorts of dances in all sorts of costumes and when evening comes they become drunk and unruly as a result of alcohol and drugs and later on we read news about deaths!!!

3For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries:


The Holy Bible shows us how people in their rebellion against the Almighty God the Father are delivered to be defeated, abused and ridiculed by their enemies!

Before we react unwisely or even cause others to do likewise on this issue gaining heat let us ask ourselves...what have we done as believers to deserve this? Have we forgotten something serious about our faith in the Almighty God the Father? Are there not lots of graven images in the whole country misleading people to practice idolatry? Isn't this clear signs of apostasy the reason why we became a race of servants? Isn't it that because of all these iniquity our people, their families and especially the young are most affected? Let's be reminded by these Biblical passages:

1And God spake all these words, saying,

2I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

3Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

4Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: 5Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; 6And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.


The above will remind us that the errors of the past, those clearly wrong traditions as a result of disobedience to the Commandments of our Almighty God the Father, are being practiced and perpetuated until today causing us all to suffer His wrath. Are there no Pinoys who are servants in other countries? Are there no drug trafficking activities going on? Is drug addiction not a problem in our country? Is the frat culture of violence not laying havoc on families and distorting the mindset of our youth? Etc., etc., etc..

More troubling and seriously fearsome than the results of those incendiary comments by that man who is at the center of this issue is the message in the Second Commandment “for I The Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate Me”

How would we react when we hear these Words from Lord Jesus Christ Himself?

1Judge not, that ye be not judged. 2For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. 3And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? 4Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? 5Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.


Lastly, are we not a blessed nation because we, at least, have faith in Him who is the One Eternal, Living and Most Holy Almighty God the Father who sent His Son our Lord Jesus Christ to save us? What have we done to displease Him? How about a look at the preceeding entry to this blog titled "MESSAGES FROM HEAVEN?" and discern the messages therein and examine how others who are mature in the Christian faith discern these? Or how about surfing the internet to see what idolatrous practices are going on in the Philippines or research in the Holy Bible about idolatry? If we are convicted by the Truth that these practrices are abhorrent in the eyes of our Almighty God the Father, are we then ready to get rid of it in order to please Him so that we could be assured of His protection, guidance, blessings and graces and eternal love?

Going back to the frat culture, how do our government leaders or even our kababayans react to intrigues and threats from outside the country if they are trained as fratmen and seasoned as fighters and strategists in those fraternity wars all these years? In the last years before I left the frat to which I belong before for more than 30 years there was another instance when our resident brods in UP Diliman were attacked by rival fratmen. What followed were a barrage of emails in the egroup to plan a retaliation. I pacified them by reminding them about the Words of our Almighty God the Father in the Holy Bible and for them to pray and ask for protection and guidance. Until now, even after I left the frat for good, I haven't heard them involved in violent conflicts anymore despite the fact that only last January this year there was another series of conflicts in UP involving 2 rival frats locked in a long time bitter conflict. And everytime I visit my ex-frat brothers in the university I am like a crazy preacher proclaiming the Gospels of Lord Jesus Christ in this age of computer and digital technology.

Related articles:


Bible verses: IDOLATRY



Understanding the Filipino seaman: His Values, attitudes and behavior TOMAS D. ANDRES

of Alcohol Drinking Patterns Among Filipinos
Maritona Victa Labajo

Drugs in the Philippines

Drinking and Driving in the Philippines: Until Death do they part?

Aklan and Ati-Atihan


Alcohol and media: The situation in the Philippines
Joyce P. Valbuena

One reason Pinoys want to leave RP

Sharing The Word Of God At The Penafrancia Festival in Naga City Philippines

Naga City 2009 Penafrancia Procession turns violent

Clash between Penafrancia tradition & the secular festivities of Naga City government

Drug Addiction In The Philippines

Pagoda & other fluvial tragedies

Bicolano Zarzuela “Manto” staged in UST


One for the books: Boy lost life saving 4 kids

idolatry and admiration

Revisiting fraternities

Maritime Disasters by death toll

Idolatry, mammon and leadership

A Buddhist's Conversion to Christianity & His Thoughts on Idolatry.

The Destructive Power of Idolatry

Ati-Atihan massacre

Wowowee, Penafrancia fiesta, & the 229 people injured in the Black Nazarene procession of Quiapo


Sunday, March 23, 2008



By Joel Ferraris

This is an opportune time to focus our attention to the more important things that matter in life.
While the witches of Siquijor, as what has been told in stories even when I was younger, gather and make their magic potions during Good Friday to make them powerful because of their alleged belief that God is dead, what true believers in the Almighty God the Father must do is to examine the Holy Bible.

Here's one story about Siquijor:
Herbalists scour Siquijor’s forests to cure the incurable

Here’s another:
Shamans of Siquijor Island - Dumaguete - Negros Oriental - Philippines

Part of the Gifts from the Holy Spirit is this: "(8) To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit," 1 Cor. 12:8

Equipped with this, a faithful believer cannot allow dubious beliefs to further ruin the gullible and weak in conscience and understanding who are also prone to become victims of the manipulations of dirty politicians.

Given the privilege to have education, the literate has to take time and effort to study the Holy Bible, with prayers of guidance from God the Father Almighty through His Holy Spirit, and impart their knowledge derived from this Spirit-guided study to others and, with a heart of a servant of the Almighty God the Father, try and help others avail of the infinite blessings only He could offer. And reflecting on the lives of the apostles of Lord Jesus Christ, who themselves are mostly simple people, the would-be disciples of today need to focus on the attainment of the purity of their hearts to please our Almighty God the Father who values this trait rather than outward looks no matter how visually impressive they seem to be.

“7 But the LORD said to Samuel, Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”1 Samuel 16

This is the answer to the problems that Filipinos are experiencing now in the midst of the renewed call to oust the perceived corrupt leadership while the poor majority wallows in poverty. In this time of what is considered as the most holy time of the year, the Holy Week, a newspaper editorial titled Un-holy Week plus lots of latest news and opinion columns present a disturbing picture of the current political, economic and social crisis as well as problems involving the religious in the country.

Most opinion columns and editorials I read never failed to mention verses from the Holy Bible when discussing and analyzing the current problems of our country:

A nation of lost sheep

Get thee behind me, Satan!

Healer, heal thyself

The fact that the biggest Catholic laity group, the Couples for Christ, experienced a disturbing division by splitting into two groups: CFC and CFC-FFL . What followed was a lot of discussions here ( In Defense of the Real CFC) and here (Couples for Christ Foundation) and added pain on the existing but silent debilitating wound to many believers affected by the division.

But what is more disturbing was the opposing views of the CBCP in dealing with the current grave problems about corruption in the government that rocked the people of a majority Catholic country, prompting them to issue a statement that there is corruption in all levels of society.

I agree.

The question is, why did it all come to this point - poverty amid corruption and vice versa? Of all the places, why the Philippines has become one of the most corrupt – a country that is majority Catholics equipped with all the safety nets in the form of moral and spiritual values?

What made these leaders corrupt and immoral? Or if they were falsely accused, what inspires their opponents and critics to relentlessly pursue such accusations? Are these critics honest, truthful and sincere in their mission? Are they well-equipped with integrity to cast the first stone? Were they sincerely repentant of grave personal sins that they were accused of or have secretly done in past that escaped public attention and justice?

And why is it that once people, even those said to have good moral standing and are perceived to be religious or God-fearing, as advertised by their election posters and adverts managed by their spin doctors, are prone to be corrupted once in power?

The next sets of questions are, are they morally and most of all spiritually equipped not to be corrupted once they assume office when in fact they are there to serve others? Were they molded correctly spiritually by their shepherds? Were the doctrines taught to them sound and free from errors? And are these doctrines based on what Lord Jesus Christ have taught in the Holy Bible?

Will the poor, just to escape squalor temporarily, accept bribes from politicians and the powerful that have evil intentions? And will they all, in the midst of pressing problems, kneel before a man-made image with expectant, long and repeated prayers? Can they differentiate clearly what is simple veneration from blatant worship of these images made by sinful hands?

Is it not then very important that people need to give importance first to their spiritual life before running for an office...they that were so privileged to have good education and can speak English well while the rest are being ridiculed for this disability?

Is it not most vital for people to understand their spirituality first and be sure to know the will of our Almighty God the Father, know Him well and understand Him better before they do anything to act in the midst of a crisis?

What about the fact that there exists opposing religious beliefs where what is wrong to some are right to others especially the use of hand-graven images?

And what then those institutions, like those fraternities in universities, that promised to mold students to become leaders did to set the right direction for these aspiring leaders? What guarantee, given the bitter rivalries they have with their enemy frats, that this organized groups will distance themselves from corrupt practices or take advantage of influence, connections and power once a member of theirs becomes a public leader?

Are we ready and willing to be herded again into other people power movements that have now turned into prayer rallies to oust another set of corrupt leaders once the existing ones are successfully ousted?

Are the ones who are strongly opposing now but are having unholy partnerships with their enemies to oust the ones in power also prone to be like what they so eagerly want to get rid of once they take the reigns of the government?

Has the Catholic Church failed gravely in leading its flock all these years? Have the sheep failed to follow their shepherds into the right path? Did all those teachings about the Words of our Almighty God the Father in the Holy Bible able to sink-in in and have won the hearts and minds of Filipinos despite the fact that we are surrounded with a lot of religious rituals, festivals and religious images to remind us of our faith? Or is it that because the Philippines is a country of believers, does it follow that it is the frontlines of the battle between the forces of our Almighty God the Father and the fallen angels led by Lucifer? The next more important question is, are Filipinos well-equipped with the full Armor of God the Father Almighty to fight and defeat evil?

Reading the views of two priests: "From Darkness to Light." and Jesus 'would not enter Vatican' and the fate of the Roman Empire:WHY CHRISTIANITY DID NOT ARREST THE RUIN OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE could somehow give us a glimpse why the Philippines is into this situation now. The fruit depends on the kind of tree.

We must realize that this is a battle not merely of human differences but a kind of persistent, subliminal and supernatural conflict orchestrated by unseen spiritual forces rebelling against our Almighty God the Father and His Kingdom.

To oust a corrupt leader is like killing one snake on the head of Medusa while the rest of the other serpents still actively wriggle and continue to thrive on the head of their host. How many would-be leaders are in reality, but in all subtlety, snakes in the making? And what or who keeps them to exist in darkness?

How many in this age of digital technology, and even those attending masses regularly, believe that evil spirits still exist today and are the forces behind these battles between good and evil?
Does and will modern man still believe in this reality that is clearly explained in the Holy Bible? Will they still believe that Judas Iscariot or even Peter was influenced by Satan?

Gone are the days, probably, of the likes of violent protests by left-leaning activists in Mendiola that peaked in a massacre during the rule of Cory Aquino. Strangely now, in dealing with the evils of society, especially the leadership perceived to be so corrupt and led by a leader whom they call “Evil Lady”, various groups who want her ousted devised a mixture of what seems to be sincere moves while some are clearly ridiculous means to drum-up support to get rid of her.

Some used physical exercise supposedly to “EXORCISE the EVIL in MALACANANG.” Yet they might not understand this: How to Cast Out Demons.

Others resorted to exhibitionism where young students, whose identities were hidden behind masks, run naked in one leading university of the country while the question whether this is a moral act remains: Oblation Run

Some used fasting publicly and running even when fasting is supposedly done in secret to avoid the dangers of hypocrisy.

Others tend to collaborate or be manipulated by groups with dubious intentions as in “let’s unite now and I’ll deal with you later.” Still others exhibited what strong influence did science fiction movies like Star Wars on them when wishing the best of luck to a whistle-blower whom they called a Pinoy Jedi in one senate hearing: Rodolfo ‘Jun’ Lozada: Pinoy Jedi Knight

But are these ways the right approach to fight evil? Are they morally or spiritually correct? Are they aware that what they were doing might be just part of the hidden agenda of the devil to distract people’s attention from the real problem and divert them from their path towards the Kingdom of our Almighty God the Father?

Michael Ovey writes:

"It is, no doubt, possible to perceive that one is supernaturally enslaved. C. Arnold suggests that the world of hostile supernatural powers was all too visible to the inhabitants of Asia Minor, [28] a view paralleled by some missionary descriptions of animist attitudes in Papua New Guinea. It is equally possible to be enslaved and be unaware of it. The question must be faced whether this better describes the modernised West, where perceptions of reality are so strongly shaped by powerful visual media, and values readily situated in a life of wealth and health, a carnival culture, to paraphrase Mikhail Bakhtin. [29] This too is an apt continuation of Genesis 3, and highlighted by Jesus' depiction of Satan as the ultimate liar (John 8:44) and the ‘false' believers there as liars too (John 8:55). But in vanquishing a person's idolatry, Jesus vanquishes a covert demonolatry, a victory indeed." Idolatry and Spiritual Parody: Counterfeit Faiths

Michael Ovey further writes about Idolatry and Harlotry and Idolatry, Demonolatry and the Victory of Christ.

The problems happening in the Philippines are not simply material or economic in nature. The mere fact that religion is intertwined with animist and pagan practices makes the situation even worst. And idolatry of all sorts, stemming from the use of hand-graven images, is one very serious problem strongly opposed and criticized by Bible-based Christian groups.

The rituals of sorcerers and the amulets of faith healers and quack doctors are just some examples of idolatrous tools and practices. I could attest to that in the several amulets given to me in the past by various disciples of counterfeit spirituality and I threw them all away even before I was baptized in the Holy Spirit. They come in many forms from handkerchiefs with strange drawings and allegedly Latin symbols said to have magic spells to medallions and small bottles containing "holy" oil complete with a tiny crucifix inside. There are those with drawings of a triangle with an eye in the middle.

I’m not so sure about the extent of the power of these amulets but they were tested by a famous sharp shooter: Time to test Anting-antings

I have witnessed too a woman who was using one amulet given to her by a faith healer yet she was possessed by Satan once the medallion was removed from her chest. The cunning of the devil made her cling to the medallion for protection – a clear practice and evidence of idolatry. When our pastor asked the evil spirit who he is he answered he is Satan and he is mad because the woman is already his yet she is being converted to the side of our Almighty God the Father.

What then does this clear example of the use of hand graven images or objects tell about idolatry and the strong influence of the evil one? And there are a lot more stories to tell, including psychics who are clear liars and deceivers just wanting money from their victims.

My resistance to these things became more reinforced after I received the power and gifts of the Holy Spirit that even in my dreams I battle demons, vampires, sorcerers and dark forces while I rebuke them strongly that only God the Almighty, Living, Holy and Eternal Father is the One to be worshipped, adored and loved above all.

When I was younger, a college student who just transferred to Manila from Iloilo City, Philippines, I was stopped by a mean-looking man in Cubao in Quezon City. He said that he has a gift for me and he handed me something wrapped in a piece of newspaper that he got from his shoulder bag. I asked him what it was and he said, “Open it, it’s my gift to you.” I was surprised to see a small Santo Nino or Baby Jesus made of plaster of Paris and, as a Catholic then, I said thank you…feeling happy for his kindness despite the fact that he is a stranger. But after taking the “gift”, he asked for a donation. I gave him 1 peso because I was still a poor student then but he complained and demanded that I give him 20 pesos. That was in 1978. So I argued that a donation must be voluntary but he insisted. So I angrily returned that religious object to him!

Idolatry and Lie, another topic of Michael Ovey's paper fits the picture of what's happening in the Philippines right now. In my country, where the use of hand-graven images goes along well with the existing animistic beliefs and pagan past, recent issues revolving around the search for truth amid blatant lies about corruption are a big question to a people so religious by the visible practices of using hand graven images yet so prone to malpractices or the manipulations of corrupt politicians using people power to make puppets out of the gullible.

History could attest that the past has seen a pagan Rome freely practicing idol-worship but soon Christianity became a redeeming faith. Yet the growing presence of sincere followers of Lord Jesus Christ who welcomed the worship in Spirit and adoration of and to love for His Father, our Almighty God the Father, was not able to rescue the Roman Empire from its ruin.

John Lord wrote:

“One of the most interesting inquiries which is suggested by history is, Why Christianity did not prevent the glory of the old civilization from being succeeded by shame? This is not only a grand inquiry, but it is mysterious. We are naturally surprised that literature, art, science, laws, and the perfect mechanism of government should have proved such feeble barriers against degeneracy, for these are among the highest triumphs of the human mind, and such as the world will not willingly let die. But a still more potent and majestic influence than any thing which proceeds from man still remained to the haughty masters of the ancient world. A new religion had been proclaimed with the establishment of the empire, which gradually broke down the old superstitions, conquered the hatred and prejudices of both Greeks and Romans, supplanted the old systems of Paganism, and went on from conquering to conquer, until it seated itself on the imperial throne, and proved itself to be the wisdom and the power of God.

“But we see that as this wonderful religion gained ground, whether in changing the lives of individuals, or in allying itself with dominant institutions, the Roman Empire declined. When Christianity was first proclaimed, the Roman eagles surmounted the principal cities of antiquity, and the central despotism on the banks of the Tiber was the law of the world. When it was a feeble light on the mountains of Galilee, the glory of Rome was the object of universal panegyric, and the city of the seven hills rejoiced in a magnificence which promised to be eternal. But when Paganism yielded to Christianity, and when the latter had spread to every city and village in the empire, with its grand hierarchy of bishops and doctors, the proud empire was in ruins. It would even seem that its decline and fall kept pace with the triumphs of a religion it had spurned and persecuted.

“What is the explanation of this grand mystery? Why should society have declined as Christianity spread, if, as we believe, Christianity is the great conservative force of the world, and is destined to regenerate all government, science, and social life? If the stability of the empire rested on virtues, and was undermined by vices, virtue must have declined and vice increased. But how can we reconcile such a fact with the progress of a religion which is the mainspring of all virtue, and the destruction of all vice? We do know that Christianity did not prevent the empire from falling, but also we have the testimony of poets and historians to the exceeding wickedness of society when Christianity was fairly established.”

Given this example and lesson from history, will the Filipinos’ dream of having a strong nation come true? Is there then a parallelism to what happened in Rome in the past and what’s happening in the Philippines now? Or is it likewise a mystery why despite the fact that majority of the population are Catholics, believers in the church as the body of Christ, became embroiled in corruption in all levels of society?

The picture seem to be a clear opposite of Rome, which got rid of paganism to officially embrace Christianity, yet a clear depiction of the product of an old system that re-embraced or has not really got rid of pagan practices but blended it with Christianity.

The Philippines is majority a Catholic country and the use of images are publicly allowed and encouraged. After the success of People Power 1 in Edsa a statue of Mary was erected as a symbol. I’m not sure to what purpose was it. It could be to thank God the Father Almighty for that freedom from the 20-year rule of Marcos and the restoration of democracy which draws a parallel picture with the freedom of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt when they made that Golden Calf to worship and thank YAHWEH.

Moreover, just recently, a popular healing priest is reported to have attracted a lot of people for miracle cures yet there was rumor that a fund-raising campaign was using his prayer sessions to raise funds for the construction of a gigantic, 33-storey high, statue of Mary somewhere in Luzon to rival the Statue of Liberty or the image of Jesus Christ perched on the mountain-top in Brazil. The fund-raisers was shown on TV as demanding no less that 200 pesos minimum donations from people.

All these actions prompted a group claiming to have the gift of prophesy to warn that this project, should it materialize, will become the downfall of the Philippines.

The lesson that was Edsa 1 saw that People Power 1 fizzled-out into merely a succession of dwindling street protests of opposing factions that morphed from a united force to topple a dictator to scattered protests actions or prayer rallies backed by men of the cloth with opposing views.

Is there not a parallelism here between the fate of the Israelites under the Pharaoh and that of the Filipinos under Marcos? And is there likewise another parallelism between the freed Israelites building the golden calf and the Filipinos erecting the statue of Mary in Edsa?

Although Rome used to be pagan and its symbols were of pagan origins the latter introduction of Christian images replacing pagan idols seem to show a culture rescued from the claws of paganism. But the wrong belief that since the Word became flesh and dwelt amongst men and Lord Jesus Christ was a visible person of flesh and blood allowed the use of hand graven images to be used and venerated has dangerously exposed the most gullible and unsuspecting believer into the dangers of idolatry?

Despite the defense of the Catholic Church of the use of hand-graven images as objects to remind the faithful of their faith as akin to family members being reminded of their love ones with the use of photographs, still the mere fact that a thorough Christian education to all the people, especially the grassroots prone to or are disciples of animism, is increasingly absent makes the problem about idolatry unchecked.

This questionable belief is made more confusing by the popular belief that Mary is a co-intercessor and, with pictures of Mary alongside Lord Jesus Christ, prompted one pre-baptism seminar lecturer to remind people that while Mary is Mama, Jesus is not Papa but only Kuya or older brother. So I asked, “how come the priests are called Father?”

This and all other factors presented above has diverted the attention of people from the very essence of the message of Lord Jesus Christ when, instead of focusing on God the Father Almighty’s Words in the Gospels by Lord Jesus Christ and the mission to bring the Good News of Salvation to the people and let them be part of His Kingdom people seem to be more distracted by a lot or ritualistic practices and long-repeated prayers.

The recent admission of a priest of the dwindling number of church-goers in the Philippines, despite the fact that Filipinos caused the church elsewhere in the world to be repopulated by their mere presence especially in the church choir, reveals a picture of an existing problem about spiritually educating people thoroughly. And even the laity group Couples For Christ, supposedly to aid in spreading the Gospels with its comprehensive approach to evangelization, including values formation targeting all levels of society, wasn’t spared from factionalism. CFC itself, under the Catholic Church, cannot or refuse to address the issue about hand graven images some of which are clearly visible in Gawad Kalinga villages.

So, here is the massive work for the poor to alleviate their plight. But is it not that a serious question remains: if idolatry, starting from the practice of the use of hand graven images, is still a very serious issue confronting a believer in God the Father Almighty through Lord Jesus Christ and a sure cause of other forms of corruption, will this be given serious attention and consideration when looking at the present case about the Philippines and in arresting completely its problems? If idolatry is hated by a jealous Almighty God the Father, will He listen to our cries if we continue to rebel against His will by the continued use of these objects of worship?

The entry of church homilies into popular multi-media like Youtube is seen as a new tool in evangelization. But this is just merely a new arena continuously spreading a usually tainted doctrine with the use of hand-graven images as an existing issue and whereby other Christian groups that are Bible-based clearly oppose.

Not content with just presenting King Hezekias moves to rid the Almighty God the Father’s people of idolatrous practices in support of the many verses in the Holy Bible against idolatry, I will add here the article written by Ernst Martin: Lingering Idolatry in the Temple of God.

Despite the belief that the Catholic Church is the real body of Christ and has the fullness of the Gospel, why is it that the CBCP in the Philippines is clearly divided and its clergy strongly reacting to its present stand regarding the current crisis in the country? REPLY TO THE CBCP STATEMENT:WE HAVE LONG KNOWN THE TRUTH:

As a final thought…by looking and observing what’s been happening, it is the fight against evil that is now actively being fought in my country and clearly it isn’t just a material one. Materially, people quarrel because of huge amounts of money being stolen from the people by their leaders. But in closer look, if because of the fact that the love for money is the root of all evil and the evil results that goes with stolen money could surely victimize the stealers and their families, will the citizenry who are mostly believers and Catholics, not be concerned with the welfare and the souls of their corrupt leaders instead of simply getting justice? If they are the ones being wronged, and they are spiritually and morally clean, then they are on the safe side as in the side where the sheep belong while the corrupt are in the side where the goats are? Is this not a lot disturbing if our neighbors fall into the snare of Satan while we so angrily want vengeance?

And isn’t it the right thing to do that we need to examine more if our link to our Almighty God the Father, with Lord Jesus Christ as the only mediator, is strong that by just praying He will hear us and let us out of this mess we are in? But first we have to consider if the Parable of the Sower has reached an important place into our hearts and minds and to be prepared for the harvest.

Otherwise this is just simply a battle about worldliness between worldly men and women.

More links;
Don’t turn Holy Week into a circus - Pampanga bishop
Paete stages procession of life-size images of saints
Fewer Filipino Catholics go to Mass, says Fr.Orbos

Sunday, February 24, 2008


My views on the split of Couples For Christ and its effects on Gawad Kalinga

This thing that happened to GK affecting the whole country, soon revealed internationally and made available in the virtual world presented a lot of issues and concerns for a true believer in God the Father Almighty to think about.

Groups and organized religions are tools that could either aid in one’s spiritual enlightenment…or, sadly, in one’s eternal doom.

To reveal the truth is to allow people the chance to see what they are following…not blindly.

If this is really God the Father Almighty’s work and for His own glory, He will protect it the way He has protected the Ark of the Covenant when it fell into the hands of the Philistines.

What transpired in GK is to reveal the truth about people’s true intentions, the insincerity of others and the monopoly of one religious group in expressing love for others when in truth what matters in the Last Judgment is the purity of our heart and soul.

Here also … what is revealed are the whitewashed walls and how unleavened …or leavened…the bread is.

CFC started only in the early 80s…and GK followed. All these happened in the midst of the continuing plunge of the state of morality in our country worsened by corruption and dirty politics. Also, the fact that serious issues regarding conflicts among Christian groups are still not settled, especially about doctrines.

The questions is, why did and what made the country arrive in that sorry state prior to the foundation of CFC? Were we not believers ever since?

Therefore, there are still a lot of stories to unfold as the battle to introduce God the Father Almighty and His will to the people continues against forces that either try to ignore Him or twist His truth.

What a true believer in the message of Lord Jesus Christ must do is to study the real essence of Christianity and endure till the end…because the sad thing to hear when that time comes is ” I never knew you” …from Lord Jesus Christ Himself.

(Read more here. Also read Boo Chanco’s Is Gawad Kalinga too good to last?)

Friday, January 25, 2008


The Ironies of Christmas

The holiday season is gone but most probably people are still recovering from a lot of expenses or even debts due to gift-giving, to hospitalization caused by firecracker accidents or, worst, of deaths caused by stray bullets from guns fired by drunk men last New Year.

“Many Filipinos, largely influenced by Chinese tradition, believe that noisy New Year's celebrations drive away evil and misfortune, and the staccato blasts of powerful firecrackers could be heard all over Manila and other cities on Monday night and early Tuesday morning.”

In my previous posting titled HOME. SICKNESS. (Part 6) “I want and I’ll Share Life-Giving Gifts”, I expressed my thoughts on the relevance of Christmas exposing its hidden distorted nature. There I wrote about how people have become blinded by materialism and consumerism without really understanding the meaning of this celebration about the birth of our Savior Lord Jesus Christ. Equally blinding is the distorted belief that noise could drive evil and misfortune away!

Last Christmas I did not give material gifts and I did not expect to receive any (except a greeting card from artist-friends, a couple from the US). To me the most important thing of all is to practice true Christian love all year long for the rest of our lives. To treat people the way Lord Jesus Christ did is the best gift to them and the struggle to achieve this level in life is likened to saving a lot for the holiday seasons. But this time what I aim to save is Wisdom and Love, according to what pleases our Almighty God and Father, so that I can share and express these to others. These are the things that cannot be bought or hidden by the shallowness of cosmetics just to look nice from the outside for these gifts run deep in the very foundation of one’s Christian spirituality.

It is ironic that during this supposedly “season to celebrate and be happy” still others become depressed and entertained the thought of suicide. (Watch this video here about people depressed during the holiday season and read this article to learn the other meaning of the word SAD.) Obviously, these people who wanted to commit suicide were the ones who were not equipped with real Christian spirituality for they gauge everything in terms of material things just to be “in” during Christmas with the rest of society enslaved by materialism and consumerism.

“Christmas is the season of profound love” according to one article
Holiday Depression By Dr. Richard Boyum . Yet it misses the point about the real essence of Christianity. The profoundness of the love that Lord Jesus Christ taught is not confined only during Christmas season. It will not dissipate after Christmas and will not cause depression just because someone has no money to buy gifts or celebrate. Lord Jesus Christ conquered worldliness and materialism when He succeeded in fasting for forty days and forty nights in the wilderness despite the temptations of the devil who offered Him the wealth of this world if and only if He will bow down to this fallen angel.

Likewise it is ironic too that we celebrate the supposedly birth of Lord Jesus Christ on a date challenged by critics as not the real date of His birth but the date of an ancient pagan celebration to worship the sun. There are links of websites on the Internet discussing this topic. People might even feel sad to see a Christmas without Christmas trees, lanterns, Santa Claus and all those glittery gift-wrappers but won’t care at all to lift a finger and do their share of spreading the Gospels of Lord Jesus Christ. They have obviously fallen in love and in awe of the grandeur of paganism not to get rid of it rather than be joyful of the Good News of Salvation and embrace it.

To me the date is irrelevant because the real essence of His coming is the most important point of all. We may celebrate his birth and experience short-lived happiness but the rest of the year we are depressed, hateful, angry and vengeful among other wicked acts and thoughts because we are ignorant of His teachings. Therefore it is very important to understand the reason for His first coming here on earth to prepare us for His second coming.

If the reason for the birth of Lord Jesus Christ to be celebrated on a pagan holiday is to win converts and save souls then the real meaning of His birth needs to be inculcated in people’s minds and hearts first and foremost rather than for paganism and its original festivities to blind the people with the glitter of gold and bury the real essence of Christianity by materialism and consumerism and to hide the truth about the birth of Lord Jesus Christ from the spiritually ignorant and hungry people.

There is danger in devising dubious means in replacing pagan rituals by what we perceive as Christian yet questionable ways to save souls. The mere fact that with Christmas falling on a pagan holiday the real essence of Christianity lost to paganism and secularism, to materialism and consumerism so is true faith and worship in danger of losing to idolatry when the acceptance of hand graven images was introduced and widely accepted practice in the Catholic church despite the fact that there is confusion among the faithful about what differentiates blatant worship from mere veneration or devotion.

Helpful links:

Bible verses: IDOLATRY


Isaiah’s Polemic Against Idolatry (Isaiah 40-48)

Jesus Christ vs Santa Claus


The Great Christmas Crime