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llast Sunday, my wife and I attended the WEBEX worship service officiated by EVM on the dedication of the Mountain View locale in California. It was the first time I witnessed the actual dedication of a locale through Webex. When you’re Head Deacon, you seldom leave your locale because of the responsibilities that carries with it. But now, it’s a different story for me and my wife. We both formally retired owed to health reasons and we couldn’t be much happier since. We currently travel and eat out a lot and only now do I realize how much my wife had sacrificed for me. Those late nights, half of your time dedicated to the Church and family taking only a far second. Come to think of it, I have never experienced being an ordinary member since my baptism some nearly fifty years ago. I started out in Children’s Worship Service, then KMP (Kadiwa now), Deacon, and subsequently Head Deacon, asssorted  Committees in between. Tsk, tsk indeed, very bad time management. Remember Ministers and Workers have their very own family weeks, fully paid. The laymen, that means us don’t, but instead we take care of house while the Ministers and their families have a good time. Some even manage to extend their vacations and others especially the holy ones make trips to Hongkong, Japan, Singapore, or even the Big Apple. They are a lucky lot aren’t they? And while they are away what do we do? What else – savor the crispiness of Bagnet and the tangy taste of Sinigang na Bangus at Mang Boy’s Carinderia, Food for the Gods 🙂 .

But all that’s in the past now. I devote full time to my wife and of course my fluffy little secretaries who manage to keep me company while my dear wife is fast asleep. By the way, first it was  Ms. Goofy and Katy. Now Katy has 2 kits – a son and a daughter. Now that daughter gave birth to another 4 kits. So imagine yourself reading this while Ms Goofy tries to keep at bay Katy, her kits and grandkits from climbing all over my table and laptop! Well, it can’t be denied we are one happy family 🙂

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Getting back to that WEBEX, I think dear HOPE ETERNAL clears the issue better than what I could have done. Some landmarks, aside from our half-renovated dedicated chapel –

 

Here’s what HOPE ETERNAL has to say:

“The WEBEX worship service is one of the reasons why attending worship services nowadays has become an ordeal to some (if not many?) INC members especially the older and/or thinking ones like me. Lest I be accused of focusing on the negatives, let me just say that I am merely comparing it to the EGM-officiated worship services that I used to experience in the past which truly strengthened me spiritually. I envy the brethren who positively react to EVM-officiated worship services even to the point of shedding tears. I wish I could also react that way but somehow, I am sorry to say that I have difficulty connecting to EVM because of the marked differences between his and EGM’s officiating of worship services: EVM not praying after the sermon, prayer recitation during dedication, pre-w.s. collection of offerings outside, abrupt change in schedule, technical distractions (lost signal, overlapping translation, unsynchronized hymn singing, replacement of old lyrics), etc.

This is especially true whenever he makes simplistic arguments which reflects on his credibility as a spiritual leader. Last time, if I remember correctly, he countered the criticism against the use of the Airbus for his foreign travel by asking if they instead wanted him to walk or travel by car. This time, he defines corruption as a situation where nothing gets done or there’s no progress such as in his example, Brazil, which he cited for not showing signs of progress because of corruption. That’s why he continues to insist that there is no corruption in the church simply because the church keeps progressing as evidenced by the construction or purchase of more houses of worship and the breaking of Guinness world records.

It is one thing to say that an audit was conducted and no irregularities were found and another thing to say that there is no corruption as proven by the signs of the church’s progress and hence, no audit is needed. Even if I try to understand where he is coming from, i.e., never having had the working experience in business or the outside world, I always thought that it is common practice among mature organizations to conduct an audit especially of big and/or sensitive projects or operations that matter a lot to the organization. And if we simply go to the internet and google “corruption”, we will get its definition (e.g. the dishonest or fraudulent conduct by those in power, typically involving bribery; the misuse of entrusted power (by heritage, education, marriage, election, appointment or whatever else) for private gain; etc.) and find examples that will show that corruption exists regardless of the progress or success of the affected countries or organizations.

For example, Massachusetts, USA (where the most expensive highway project, “Big Dig”, “plagued by escalating costs, scheduling overruns, leaks, design flaws, charges of poor execution and use of substandard materials, criminal arrests, and one death”, was completed at a projected ultimate cost of US$22 billion which will not be paid off until 2038; the European Union (which reportedly loses about €120 billion (US$163 billion) each year to corruption in its member states – almost the entire annual budget of the Union), Wells Fargo (which paid $185 million in fines to Los Angeles city and federal regulators to settle allegations that its employees created millions of fake bank accounts for customers), FIFA (whose officials were indicted by the FBI for racketeering, fraud, and other offenses ), Volkswagen (“which ran commercials of its engineers as angels even when company officials were setting up elaborate systems to lie to customers and get around pollution controls”), etc.

Unless EVM can show that his definition comes from the bible, I will simply treat it as one instance of FYM’s warning for us not to believe in what a preacher says if it is not stated in the Bible. I just hope that EVM doesn’t resort to referring to his definition and related pronouncements as “alternative facts”, a new terminology coined by Trump’s camp in supporting their claim that Trump’s inauguration had the largest audience ever despite being shown otherwise through side-by-side comparison of pictures of Obama’s and Trump’s oath-taking crowds. As in the case of Trump and his supporters, this is a scary trend and may we all be vigilant in guarding against the application of that well-known propagandists’ principle that “If you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes the truth.”

In a nutshell so to speak. And here’s a segment from Men In Black that sounds very, very familiar. Enjoy, I promise you it will make your day 😀 😀 😀