ear-end Ministers and Family socializing kuno! Oh, come on my dear Ministers. Pa social-socializing pa kayo. Ginawa pang December 11 para hindi halata. (Iba naman sa December 25 – PBA sa PA!) May bilin- bilin pa kayo na paga-pagano ang Pasko. Inurong pa ninyo ang oras ng pag-samba para lang doon. You really got some nerve. I have to give you credit for that. Where is that socializing going to take place by the way? The latest I heard was at the Philippine Arena. A little too big a place for that event don’t you think? Maybe they’ll transfer to a much less conspicuous place. Anyway, have a good time. And in the meantime while sipping champagne and watching all your families dancing away to “Careless Whisper” give some thought to all of the Officers and brethren that made this event possible. Without the hard-earned offerings from them, you’d all be dancing naked in mud like hogs in their dirty pig pens. What success can you brag about to God without the support and following of your own interpreted subordinates. And where are these brethren you see as subordinates? Oh, they’re everywhere really. Selling dirty ice cream, taho, balot, collecting junk on carts with the green-white-red painted on the side. Some are fortunate to be called employees with their green-white-red pins proudly displayed on their wrists or bags. Yes, all of them brave the heat of the sun, the cold of rain just to make a living and be able to attend pagsamba, doktrina, pagdadalaw, pagtupad sa tungkulin, etc. So that ALL OF YOU will look good! So again, Merry Christmas to you all. Enjoy the night. While you still can.
nce in a while readers respond with such depth and meaning that make you realize that relationships take more importance than just attachment. It is an understanding, knowing your place in that relationship, and acceptance of who you really are in this vast space we comprehend as the universe. Hope Eternal couldn’t have made it more clearer.
“To Ricardo Molina: It seems to me that your predicament goes beyond the current crisis in the church. I remember being in that situation after being exposed to great thinkers and philosophers in our “Western Thought” class in college where I submitted a paper entitled “Can we prove the existence of God?” In my research, I discovered that all known arguments especially philosophical ones have counter-arguments which led me to believe that God’s existence is best proven not by reasoning alone but by feeling as well. At that time, I was part of a group that asked so many questions about (but not necessarily challenged) the INC doctrines. That was one turning point in my life as an INC member when EGM and the other senior ministers patiently answered our questions.
Some they could not answer directly and I remembered Ka Ben Santiago’s fatherly advice which had an ominous warning: “As you question many things, you may find yourself becoming a free thinker. Just don’t forget to make sure that what you are asking and doing will lead you closer to God”. That is why it’s all a matter of choice(s) and having respect for other people’s choices when they differ from your own. I refer to it as “to each his own spiritual experience”. Hence, despite flattering myself that I have a high education and a wealth of worldly experience to carry me through, I found myself, time and time again, experiencing severe trials I could not resolve on my own but miraculously overcoming them after I prayed hard to God for help. So, you see, I have reached that point in my life that I am merely repaying all the blessings I received from God.
Any additional blessings are treated as just extra or bonus for me. Indeed, I had my fair share of darkness and hopelessness but God has lifted me up and blessed me many, many times within the INC. And if ever he takes away my life, I believe am ready and happy to abide by his decision anytime. That’s why I am holding on to my membership and the teachings I understood and live by, just as Ka Angel & Ka Marc supposedly were told by Ka Erdy to keep alive and hold on to the faith no matter what happens (even if they got unjustly expelled).
So if you choose to regard the INC’s doctrine of salvation as “elitist”, then you’re right, there’s no point in discussing the present situation in the church because you have made up your mind to downplay the role of the church as the vessel for salvation and lean more towards the way of the freethinkers. Out of curiosity though, I tried answering your other questions or responding to your other comments as follows:
Who decides to lead? My own take – there’s the remote chance that EVM might mend his ways and he stays on; or if God decides to lay him to rest, then perhaps the good ministers will prevail and reinstate the 2 brothers from whom the successor will be elected; or who knows, EVM’s son may be anointed by God; or some other arrangements will spring up, etc.
There will be members who will obey EVM and company – Fine; it’s just the same during King Saul’s time when many more continued to obey him as leader. The important thing is what happens next just like in Saul’s time when God set him aside and let David take over. The church will never recognize this “interim” church – It’s really immaterial because the “interim” church is meant for the expelled members to have a formal worship of God and not to seek recognition from the mother church. In the same way that it’s immaterial if INC recognizes the other religions such as Catholicism & Protestantism because they don’t care what INC thinks since they are concerned with their own services and practices for their own members.
Simplest solution is to find your salvation within you – Now, that’s not an INC doctrine and it is similar to the “Just accept Christ as your personal savior” doctrine. As I said, in my case, I am convinced that Christ has been sent by God to be the Savior in these last days and he built his own church which he redeemed with his blood. The guaranty of salvation is the membership in his body (church) as written in the Bible and taught to us in the INC and not one’s own salvation found within one’s self. Are you at peace going to the service and hearing those lessons about offerings & obedience? Initially, no, just like how I feel when a “problematic” even “lordly” (nag-aastang panginoon) minister is assigned to our locale; but bearing in mind that I will not leave the church, I am always able to make the necessary adjustments to ignore this minister and find ways of fulfilling my duties to God based on my understanding of the doctrines preached to me. For instance, no matter what the ministers say about the offerings, I will follow what I learned from FYM & EGM, more clearly stated in NIRV (New International Reader’s Version) 2 Corinthians 9:7 – “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give. You shouldn’t give if you don’t want to. You shouldn’t give because you are forced to. God loves a cheerful giver.”
Doing it to please relatives, so as not to be suspected of being a defender, just a waste of time – No, because I cannot find any better alternative to continue my services to God; it is no different from what we have been saying all along that we are on a journey and our ultimate goal is perfection by the time Christ returns; it just happens that the journey had to make a detour and we have to get back on track again. There’s more to this life, this world, this universe – Agree. But, I use INC as my base or center so as not to lose my bearing as I explore what this life, this world, this universe has to offer.
Good luck on your choice brother and God bless!
- Hope Eternal”