Image result for idiot box images

“The air is getting chilly isn’t it, Goof? Let’s take a walk with Ruff.” Oh, by the way we now  have a  beagle, we call him Ruff.  Yup that’s Dennis’ dog in the comics. An abandoned dog Goof and I rescued a few weeks ago. I was driving to the supermarket to pick up a few things when Goof suddenly started acting up. “What’s the matter?” I asked. She stared at me, barked then went to the side window, barked again. “Ok, ok”, I slowed down and pulled to the side. Checked the rear view and noticed something laying down on the side of the road. Goof was continuously barking and jumping up and down. “Relax” I said, “I’m on it, I’ll see what it is.”

It was a dog, probably hit by a car. Suddenly noticed that she was still breathing.  The eyes were still closed though. It half opened when I started to slowly stroke her sides checking if any bones were broken. By the looks of it, she was an abandoned dog and probably just loitering around when hit by the car. Fresh blood was  seen on its hind legs. I carefully wrapped her up in an extra  T-shirt I keep in the car.  All the while Goof was staring at me from the car window and very concerned. I slowly walked back and said, “Goof, we need to take her to a doctor.” and layed her down in the back seat while Goof looked down at her kind.

Well, the dog was a beagle and a “he”. We named him “Ruff”. After two weeks of treatment, we brought him home and no one could be happier than Goof. Ruff now had a home and Goof a companion. Katy seldom visited so the timing was just right. And William Smith the happier 🙂

Image result for idiot box imagesTwo weeks ago (after missing a few sessions of worship services), I decided to attend lest they forgot I existed. Unfortunately, it was a pay-per-view service, Webex in short. By the way King Eduard, the monicker “pay-per-view” was introduced by one of your very own henchmen or minister if you prefer 🙂  Who? I’m itching to tell you but let’s leave it at that. He happens to be a very good friend and sure knows how to flow with the church crowd.

As usual I was greeted by the deacon at the lobby who greeted us with, “Ang abuloy po, ihulog sa kahon.” simultaneously pointing at the box, one in each corner. Did I drop anything into the box? I was caught off guard not knowing that it was a Webex service. A good friend was with me who dropped a paper bill into the box. I checked my wallet then asked, “May bente ka ba jan?” “Wala eh,” he responded. So I returned my wallet to my pocket and decided to go to the restroom. My friend followed. And there he said, “Ihulog mo na yan.” He must have seen that I had some bills in my wallet. Actually I had a P50 and a few P1000. “Hindi ah” I replied.

Then we entered the main hall to attend the service or should I say watch TV or the “Idiot Box”. And do you know why they call it the Idiot Box? states – An allusion to the supposed mind-reducing nature of television programming or its lack of educational value. The same term could also have an application towards computer screens and tablets A synonym is boob tube.

I think this is more appropriate –

“The television, and in all it’s glory of propaganda and dumbing a society down. It is the ultimate weapon of mass distraction and can make anyone and any person hate anybody.

The term is often used by people that can see that the TV makes others stupid who believe anything and everything they see on TV as a fact even if it’s fiction.

Term is also used to define people who waste their time all day flipping channels and watching junk instead of doing something useful with their lives.
A good case of the Idiot Box is this; in the 70’s many people wrote letters to the Navy and Coastguard telling them to go rescue Gilligan and the others off their island.

Once upon a time there was people who went to the Beverly Hills with their only goal to knock on the door of the mansion used in the Beverly Hillbillies show and ask for Jeb or Granny. No wonder the owners got tired of it and sold the house!”

Image result for idiot box imagesAnd now, we use this medium to worship God. Before only a portion of a webex worship service would be used – the opening prayer of Pareja, then the sermon of King Eduard, and the closing prayer. In concluding the worship service, the feed would be cut and the assigned officiating minister at the pulpit would conduct the benediction. But now the only participation of the minister you see at the tribuna would be to say, “Mga kapatid, sa ilan sandali, magsisimula na po.” That’s it. Everything from the choir singing, the opening prayer, sermon, closing prayer and EVEN the benediction is done through Webex.

So when you close your eyes and  hear the King utter. “May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”  pray that the Idiot Box’s signal won’t jam and end with, “and the love of …”  So what would we do in such a situation? Continue to wait till the feed comes back or the presiding minister take over and finish the benediction? What if the feed suddenly comes back while the minister is making the benediction?  A DOUBLE WHAMMY! 😀

Seriously speaking, why Webex? The late Ka Erdy NEVER conducted a worship service using this medium. On-line meetings with districts abroad yes, but worship service, never. Pagsamba sa Dios yan, baka nakakalimutan natin. Kung haharap tayo sa isang mahalagang tao, ihahanda nating mabuti ang ating sarili, ang ating bibigkasin, ang ating sarili. At ito ay nararapat dahil sasamba tayo sa Dios at hindi lang isang mahalagang tao.  Sagwa naman tignan siguro kung haharap tayo at pagdating doon ay recorded na video ang ipapakita natin.

Baka nakakalimutan ni King Eduard na hindi lang kapulungan ang sumasamba sa pagkakataon yon, kung di pati siya na nasa Webex. Tayo nasa loob ng kapilya, siya naman recorded presence. Tama ba yon?

Kanina naman, ang pagsamba ay ukol sa kahalagahan ng bahay sambahan at partisipasyon ng bawat isang anak ng Diyos na panatilihin maayos ito sa pamamagitan ng handugan. Nagpliwanag, “Tulad kayo dito, air-con ang kapilya, komportable, ang Meralco ba nagbibigay ng libreng koryente para sa air-con? Nagtanong pa ang ministrong nangasiwa, “Kung manonood kayo ng sine at papasok kayo doon, magbabayad ba kayo o hindi?  Binulong ko kaibigan ko, “Hindi, senior ako eh …” Siniko ako, “Tumahimik ka nga, may makarinig sa yo.”

Well, anyway the analysis is this. If we have a regular Handugan for the construction and maintenance of chapels and special Tanging Handugans, why do we still need to make additional donations for construction materials such as paint, bulbs, toiletries, and even labor? Are the offerings the church collect not enough for all this?

I’d like to end this article with a short anecdote told by my nephew who was then a student at the Evangelical Ministry-

My nephew and two classmates of his were going up a staircase when one of them noticed that Ka Bening (Vivencio Pineda) was coming down. “Patay,” my nephew uttered, “Si Ka Bening!“, “Anong gagawin natin?” the two others responded. Ka Bening was now exactly three steps above them. Dumbfounded the three including my nephew instinctively turned around and just stood there with their backs waiting for Ka Bening to pass. “Yan…” Ka Bening softly said, “Takot sa tao, hindi sa Dios.”