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:
http://kingjbible.com/ephesians/6.htm

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.
http://kingjbible.com/luke/23.htm

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:
http://kingjbible.com/ephesians/6-1.htm

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
4. POLITICAL CONSPIRACIES
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.

http://kingjbible.com/hosea/8.htm


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.

http://kingjbible.com/ephesians/6.htm

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:

http://kingjbible.com/1_peter/4-1.htm

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.

http://kingjbible.com/exodus/20-1.htm

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.

http://kingjbible.com/matthew/7.htm

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:

THE WRONG SACRIFICE

Bible verses: IDOLATRY

JOB VACANCY

MESSAGES FROM HEAVEN?

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

THE FILIPINO AS THE QUINTESSENTIAL DRINKER: A Study
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

M E T H A M P H E T A M I N E

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

TRAGEDIES AND VIOLENT INCIDENTS DURING RELIGIOUS CELEBRATIONS


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

PASTORAL APPROACH TO INDIGENOUS PEOPLES IN ASIA










2 comments:

freida said...

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Rebecca said...

ref ur post: "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," etc... These are TRUE! - We have LOST what God ASKED US TO DO! - YET, He calls us to COME OUT of Babylon (the confusion of teaching of "Christianity" and what Christ taught)--- Yeshua taught what God had written in many books, He really never CONTRADICTED any of the writings... but did make them CLEARER and easier to UNDERSTAND. There is in all the Bible, and overview of what God wants from US: To OBEY HIM, by keeping ALL of The Commandments HE gave to all mankind, and as Yeshua (Jesus real name) showed us how, - THESE are what I call THE BASIC PRINCIPLES OF FAITH AND BELIEF: if we refuse ANY part of the basic, we cannot BELONG. Just as in any job, or in any Country, there are rules to follow. God gave us a SPECIAL DAY to HONOR HIM, and RESPECT HIM, which is like a PERPETUAL LIVING MONUMENT TO CREATION (Genesis-2)-(repeats fully in Exodus-20) --- But a MAN (666 is his mark) made a NEW law to REPLACE God's LAW - WITHOUT God's permission! - Whereas God's DAY is HIS MARK UPON HIS CHILDREN, the Man's day is THE MARK OF THE BEAST! - (Constantine started that rot in 370AD) - and Sun-Worshipers took advantage of C's Edict, and over 300 odd years eventually took FULL CONTROL over the original CHURCH... Do YOU KNOW, or have you WORKED OUT who that CHURCH IS TODAY? - It is simple!