(A view from one Hawkes Rizal on Bro. Jose Ventilacion’s address. I salute you on your depth and focused understanding of the current issues surrounding the Church. I sincerely pray that all brethren be guided in similar manner as you have explained so clearly. Again I thank you very much for your comments. – W. Smith)
From Hawkes Rizal:
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Bro. Jose Ventilacion for taking the time from his extraordinarily hectic schedule in Scenic, South Dakota to address some of the issues that he perceived were causing problems within the Church.
While it is true that many detractors of our faith are interested in drawing members to their own congregations, I’m afraid that in this particular situation, that is not the case. No one who has watched or heard these expelled ministers believes they have a hidden agenda to start their own churches, are interested in drawing people away from the Church, are teaching doctrines different from what was originally taught, or desire any member from receiving salvation come the day of judgment. While that may be the perception, (since anyone who is critical of the “Advisory Counsel” is tantamount to hating God and wanting to go directly to Hell), you can rest assured, Bro. Joe, there will be no mass exodus from the Church stemming from the actions of these ministers, which 95% of your post seems to address.
What these ministers have merely done is bring to light the problems and concerns they have with actions the Advisory Counsel has made, for they believe, as much as they have to answer to the administration in this life, they will more so answer to God in the life to come, as we all shall, and that, I believe, was their guiding principle. As easy as it is to consider them traitorous and selfish, consider that the truly selfish are those who know wrongdoing is taking place, yet remain quiet, perpetuating the lie, in order that they continue to receive their tulong, traitors only to Christ. While it is true that only God can judge the Administration of our church, they are certainly not equal to God, which seems to be the underlying formula in all matters these days, that they are infallible and without reproach, that they are incapable of human error.
That seems to be a very perilous belief, for its leads to idolatry and despotism, which are almost always benchmarks for corruption, for no man is perfect, even our beloved Executive Minister, and certainly not his “Advisory Counsel.” While “I am One with EVM” may make for a nice banner, it is far better to be one with Christ. What’s most distressing, troubling and disturbing, even amidst almost irrefutable claims of corruption and financial misappropriation (which is bad enough already), but the lack of love, hate and animosity that stems from the Advisory Counsel, at the slightest hint of reproach. These ministers who have been expelled have been our brothers, our colleagues, and workers of the faith for most of their lives, and yet how quick and easy it is to vilify them. It isn’t sufficient to merely remove them from their office, but to expel them as well, thereby denouncing any claim or grievance they may have regarding any wrongdoing occurring within the church. (Rather convenient, if you ask me.) But of course, there are verses in the Bible to justify such treatment and we shall surely hear more of them in worship services to come, for the Bible has been used to spew hate for millennia, and how sad that we, knowing the truth, could not help but fall into the same trap.
How very sad that a verse used to illustrate Christ’s love for the brotherhood, would instead be used as justification for the mistreatment of our own mothers. Do you not think Christ loved is own mother? Do you think he would have allowed her to fall away? “HONOR YOUR FATHER AND YOUR MOTHER” is repeatedly admonished throughout the Bible [Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 5:16; Matthew 15:4; Matthew 19:19; Mark 7:10; Mark 10:19; Luke 18:20; Ephesians 6:2] that all may go well with you, the first commandment with a promise attached, and therefore a corresponding punishment. It is one of the original commandments brought down by Moses and adhered to not only amongst Christians, but virtually every human who ever had a mother. How sad that this most basic and universal of tenets could not be adhered to in the case of Ka Tenny.
Whatever counsel had advised that decision certainly did not have the welfare of the Church in mind, but guided by an agenda not wholly Christian. Christ equated the love of the brotherhood to the love of the family, not as a means to hate and disregard the welfare of our very own brothers and mother, but as an inclusion. It is a shame that the prevailing sentiment is proving otherwise. Brethren have already shown a disdain for Ka Tenny, saying, “She deserves it.” Is this the message the Advisory Counsel wants to send future generations of the Church, that this type of behavior and belief is encouraged and congratulated, to forsake the love of our parents and the brotherhood, at the expense of what? Protection of abundant wealth? We are not a cult (we never used to be actually). We are free to choose what we believe, what not to believe, who to listen to, who to ignore, reason for ourselves truths from non-truths, free to express ourselves as we see fit. That is the gift God has given sentient humans. One’s faith should never be bullied, tortured or intimidated into submission. That Ka Tenny’s great offense, causing “division” by asking to speak with her son, seems a grave miscalculation on the part of the Advisory Counsel. So long as Ka Tenny remains expelled, it will remain a blemish on the legacy of Ka Eduardo’s leadership.
But that is not for us to judge, for even Ka Eduardo himself must account for his actions upon the Day of Judgment, as we all shall, and I will continue to pray that God be merciful to him and those entrusted to care for the church. This is not an attack on Ka Eduardo, or his Advisory Counsel. It is merely a criticism, and a plea that God give guidance to him, to make corrections where needed, and restore unity within the Church.
I would like to commend Bro. Joe, for in his post, he has hinted, however obliquely, that things within the Church are possibly amiss, which is refreshing given the almost blanket statements that “all is well, everything is fine” spiel we’ve been so accustomed to hearing. It is true, as he has stated, and we believe, that God is not too weak to solve our problems, and it is highly possible He is using instruments to bring to light those issues needed to be brought forth, for surely lightning bolts and gaping earths are not His only means of action.
For those ministers and members who have been expelled, I will continue to pray for them, and offer my compassion, for truly that is what Christ would have wanted [Matthew 18:10-13].