Saturday, August 30, 2008

Quiz Bee and Divine Wisdom

Nakakatuwang isipin na muli nanaman akong sasabak sa Quiz Bee competitions. Ang huling sinalihan ko ay noong ako ay nasa fourth year high school pa. I was assigned to mentor one of the best students of DLSU-Manila, si Louie Merced.

Quiz Bee competitions promote the importance of knowledge, character and hard work. Ang pagpanalo sa isang Quiz Bee competition ay hindi makukuha sa isang buwang intensive review. Katulad ng pagpasa sa Bar Exam, ang pagiging quizzer ay isang "lifestyle". Those who really desire to be winners should always read books, magazines and develop good study habits. There are not shortcuts to success. May tatlong importanteng bagay na itinuturo ang Bibliya pagdating sa pagiging MATALINO.

God desires all men to know and absorb HIS wisdom. Hosea 4:6 states that many people perish because of lack of knowledge. Marami ang nagkakamali sa kanilang desisyon sa buhay dahil sa hindi sila lumalapit sa nagbibigay ng tunay na karunungan. Ilan sa mga Bible verses na kailangan nating tandaan:
  • The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever. (Psalm 111:10 KJV)
  • So teach us to number our days, that we may present to You a heart of wisdom. (Psalm 90:12 NASB)
  • For the Lord gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. (Proverbs 2:6 NIV)
  • But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. (James 1:5 NASB)
  • Wisdom is a tree of life to those who eat her fruit; happy is the man who keeps on eating it. (Proverbs 3:18 TLB)
  • A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels. (Proverbs 1:5 KJV)
  • Does not wisdom call out? Does not understanding raise her voice? On the heights along the way, where the paths meet, she takes her stand. (Proverbs 8:1-2 NIV)
  • Teach me, O Lord, the way of Thy statutes, and I shall observe it to the end. (Psalm 119:33 NASB)
Bago kami sumabak sa unang kumpetisyon, sinabi ko kay Louie, "We will win for God's glory." And God proved Himself faithful to His promise. True knowledge starts with the recognition that we should depend on God in everything that we do.





Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Father's Love Letter (from the famous video)

My Child…

You may not know me, but I know everything about you
…Psalm 139:1

I know when you sit down and when you rise up
…Psalm 139:2

I am familiar with all your ways
…Psalm 139:3

Even the very hairs on your head are numbered
…Matthew 10:29-31

For you were made in my image
…Genesis 1:27

In me you live and move and have your being
…Acts 17:28

For you are my offspring
…Acts 17:28

I knew you even before you were conceived
…Jeremiah 1:4-5

I chose you when I planned creation
…Ephesians 1:11-12

You were not a mistake, for all your days are written in my book
…Psalm 139:15-16

I determined the exact time of your birth and where you would live
…Acts 17:26

You are fearfully and wonderfully made
…Psalm 139:14

I knit you together in your mother's womb
…Psalm 139:13

And brought you forth on the day you were born
…Psalm 71:6

I have been misrepresented by those who don't know me
…John 8:41-44

I am not distant and angry, but am the complete expression of love
…1 John 4:16

And it is my desire to lavish my love on you
…1 John 3:1

Simply because you are my child and I am your Father
…1 John 3:1

I offer you more than your earthly father ever could
…Matthew 7:11

For I am the perfect father
…Matthew 5:48

Every good gift that you receive comes from my hand
…James 1:17

For I am your provider and I meet all your needs
…Matthew 6:31-33

My plan for your future has always been filled with hope
…Jeremiah 29:11

Because I love you with an everlasting love
…Jeremiah 31:3

My thoughts toward you are countless as the sand on the seashore
...Psalms 139:17-18

And I rejoice over you with singing
…Zephaniah 3:17

I will never stop doing good to you
…Jeremiah 32:40

For you are my treasured possession
…Exodus 19:5

I desire to establish you with all my heart and all my soul
…Jeremiah 32:41

And I want to show you great and marvelous things
…Jeremiah 33:3

If you seek me with all your heart, you will find me
…Deuteronomy 4:29

Delight in me and I will give you the desires of your heart
…Psalm 37:4

For it is I who gave you those desires
…Philippians 2:13

I am able to do more for you than you could possibly imagine
…Ephesians 3:20

For I am your greatest encourager
…2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

I am also the Father who comforts you in all your troubles
…2 Corinthians 1:3-4

When you are brokenhearted, I am close to you
…Psalm 34:18

As a shepherd carries a lamb, I have carried you close to my heart
…Isaiah 40:11

One day I will wipe away every tear from your eyes
…Revelation 21:3-4

And I'll take away all the pain you have suffered on this earth
…Revelation 21:3-4

I am your Father, and I love you even as I love my son, Jesus
…John 17:23

For in Jesus, my love for you is revealed
…John 17:26

He is the exact representation of my being
…Hebrews 1:3

He came to demonstrate that I am for you, not against you
…Romans 8:31

And to tell you that I am not counting your sins
…2 Corinthians 5:18-19

Jesus died so that you and I could be reconciled
…2 Corinthians 5:18-19

His death was the ultimate expression of my love for you
…1 John 4:10

I gave up everything I loved that I might gain your love
…Romans 8:31-32

If you receive the gift of my son Jesus, you receive me
…1 John 2:23

And nothing will ever separate you from my love again
…Romans 8:38-39

Come home and I'll throw the biggest party heaven has ever seen
…Luke 15:7

I have always been Father, and will always be Father
…Ephesians 3:14-15

My question is…Will you be my child?
…John 1:12-13

I am waiting for you
…Luke 15:11-32

Love, Your Dad. Almighty God

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

HEALER Composer, Michael Guglielmucci, nagsinungaling tungkol sa sakit...

This is the second shocking news I received this week after the case of Todd Bentley...God's grace is really good. He touched the song despite the weaknesses of the composer...Read on...

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“THE disgraced pastor at the centre of a fake cancer scandal has spoken for the first time about his “secret life of sin”.

But fallen pastor Michael Guglielmucci only released a brief statement to explain his actions, four days after The Advertiser revealed the truth of his two-year web of lies.

The statement was read to a packed congregation at a pentecostal church his father, Danny Guglielmucci, founded - Edge Church International at Reynella.

Mr Guglielmucci says the reason behind his fictitious cancer story was to hide his 16-year obsession with pornography.

“It is with much pain and sadness that I make this statement today,” he said in the statement.

“For over 16 years I have struggled with an addition to adult pornography as a result of this secret life of sin my body would often breakdown.

“I’d report the cause of my symptoms simply as illnesses and I’ve thrown my life into a ministry for many years trying to compensate for my sin.

“I believe that I do love Jesus and I know that he loves me and it is this love along with the prayers of people around the world that bring me to this place of confession.

“Two years ago, I reported that I was suffering from cancer, the truth is that although I was ill I did not have cancer but was again using the misdiagnosis to hid the lie that I was living.

“I know in my heart that it is the truth alone that will set me free and this is the reason for my confession.

“I’ve dishonoured God, my wife, my family and the church and I take full responsibility for my actions and would like to make it very clear that no-one else was in any way aware of my double life.

“I’m fully commited to a process of discipline, recovery and restitution and will see this process through to what ever extent is necessary.

“I am deeply sorry and pray that you will find it in your hearts to forgive me.

“Currently I am undergoing professional medical assessment and evaluation to help identify and begin to treat the real and much deeper issues.

“Please continue to pray for my wife and I and my family as we have a long, hard road ahead of us but a road that I’m thankful to God that I’m finally walking.”

THE Sunday Mail revealed today that Guglielmucci has been addicted to pornography since the age of 12.

The disgraced pastor’s father Danny Guglielmucci said the “severe addiction to pornography” was part of a bizarre double life his son had been leading.

Mr Guglielmucci said Michael had made a full confession to his family about his past, including revelations about the 16-year porn obsession and the lies over his supposed battle with terminal illness.

In an exclusive interview with the Sunday Mail this week, Mr Guglielmucci also revealed:

HIS son has been suffering “mystery illnesses” since the age of 12.

DOCTORS gave his parents the option of admitting him to a psychiatric ward for assessment as a child over the ongoing “illnesses”, but they refused.

THE family’s “absolute shock” at discovering Michael was not terminally ill.

Mr Guglielmucci said he and wife Sharonne – who founded Edge Church International – were struggling to comprehend what their son had done.

“When (Michael) rang me last Tuesday, I was on my way to New Zealand,” Mr Guglielmucci said.

“He said, ‘Dad you’ve got to come and see me’.

“I said to my wife, ‘Maybe the doctors have told him he’s only got a few weeks to live’.

“So we cancelled everything and jumped on the plane and went to see him in Melbourne, and that’s when he told us the story.

“We were just in absolute shock and we still are. We haven’t had time to get our head around it. He said, ‘I don’t have cancer. I’ve had two lives that I’ve lived’.

“His wife (Amanda), who has been with him for seven years, found out the day before we did and she’s had no idea.

“Michael has had a severe addiction to pornography. The addiction to pornography started when he was 12.

“It’s horrendous because we don’t have that sort of stuff around. He was raised in a Christian home; we’ve never brought that stuff into our home.”

Michael Guglielmucci was one of Australia’s highest-profile Christian preachers, inspiring hundreds of thousands around the world as he performed his hit song Healer with an oxygen tube in his nose.

He was a pastor with Planetshakers, Christian youth movement that began in Adelaide and has grown into an international ministry. Guglielmucci was based in Melbourne.

But that all came crashing down this week when his deception became public.

Mr Guglielmucci said his son finally confessed after the guilt of his lies and addiction became overwhelming.

“He lived the two lives and he would get sick as a result of the guilt,” he said.

“He was feeling like he was letting God down, letting his family down, his church, his friends.

“He’s been living this for so long, feeling like he’s had these two lives and now he’s the one that’s come out in the open. He confessed it, he didn’t get caught.

“To deal with the guilt he would pour himself into doing good work. He’s touched the lives of young people all over the world. Now they are all affected by this.

“He hasn’t done this for any reasons that have been portrayed that he’s a fraud.

“It was either keep pretending or come out with the truth and tell everything. He’s come out with everything but now we’ve got the consequences of it all.

“We have to accept it. We’re hoping to share with our congregation how it all started and how it got where it is.

“We understand people’s anger, we understand their questioning.

“There’s so many questions.

“An addiction like this is not going to be fixed overnight. You can’t have a 16-year problem and fix it in a week.”

Mr Guglielmucci said his son was undergoing psychiatric assessment with Adelaide doctors.

“They have said to me that he is very ill. They are assessing where reality stopped and fantasy kicked in and what’s caused all this,” he said.

“The doctor believes that at times Michael was totally convinced that he had this sickness.”

Mr Guglielmucci said his son had a long history of “mystery illnesses”, starting in childhood.

“When he was about 12 he did vomit all the time, he’d get really really sick,” he said.

“He was in the Adelaide Children’s Hospital for seven weeks at one stage; he didn’t eat and we thought we were going to lose him.

“They took out his appendix, thinking that it might be that, but they realised that it wasn’t.

“They gave us the option of putting him in a psychiatric ward to see if there was something psychological but we felt uncomfortable with that at the time.

“We signed him out from hospital and then he would go a few months and then he would get sick again.

“We’d always take him to hospital; we’d always do the proper thing but they couldn’t get to the bottom of it until now.”

Mr Guglielmucci said he and his wife were in “absolute shock” to discover their son was not terminally ill.

“We have watched our son go through what we thought was cancer,” he said. “My wife and I, over the past two years, have watched him vomit in buckets, having nosebleeds, and even his hair fell out in clumps at one stage.

“Every time we saw him, we saw symptoms. He stayed with us for a while where we had to put a special air-conditioner in one of the rooms because he would heat up so much in the middle of winter.

“He had this cold air-conditioner blowing on him to try to keep the heat down. As a professional minister I’ve stood in front of my congregation and cried and said to pray for my son.

“I’ve travelled the world asking people to pray for him. Can you imagine what a horrible thing it would be if I was playing a game?

“To be honest, I ask myself as a father, `What did I miss, what did I not do? What could I have done better?’ ”

Mr Guglielmucci said Michael’s wife was “getting really good counselling”.

“She’s not made any decision at this point,” he said.

“It’s happened so quickly. There’s so many questions.”

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Rise and Fall of Todd Bentley

Sino si Todd Bentley? Siya ang naging sentro ng tinatawag na Lakeland Revival sa Florida. Minsan siyang inimbitahan ng pastor ng Ignited Church, si Pastor Stephen Strader, upang magsalita sa kaniyang kongregasyon. Sa halip na limang araw lamang magsasalita si Bentley, umabot ng tatlong buwan nang magsimula ang Revival noong April 2008. Ang Lakeland Revival ang sinasabing unang "ONLINE REVIVAL" dahil sa malawakang paggamit sa Internet (GodTV.com). Maraming nagpadala ng kanilang mga patotoo at nakaramdam ng kagalingan mula sa mga nanonood sa Internet. Ilan na dito ang mga kaso ng pagkabuhay mula sa patay ng mahigit isang dosenang tao.

Naging instant celebrity si Todd sa maraming bagay. Una, binago niya ang imahe ng isang tipikal na pastor sa pamamagitan ng kaniyang mga hikaw at mga tattoo. Pangalawa, nakilala siya sa kaniyang mga “BAM! BAM!” declarations sa tuwing pinapanalangin ang mga maysakit. Pangatlo, kakaiba siya kung manguna sa mga revival services—minsan humihiga sa stage, nagtatakbo, sumisigaw nang bigla at kung anu-ano pa. Nasilip pa siya ng maraming church leaders sa America dahil sa kaniyang sinabing pakikipag-usap sa isang anghel na Emma ang pangalan. At panghuli, sa loob ng anim na buwan na pangunguna sa revival meetings, napag-alaman na siya at ang kaniyang asawang si Shonnah ay maghihiwalay dahil sa lumabas na resulta ng imbestigasyo ng Board of Director ng Ignited Church—nagkaroong extra-marital affair si Todd. Kung kaya, maibibilang na si Todd sa mga high profile cases na gumulantang sa Body of Christ sa mga nagdaang panahon---Ted Haggard ng New Life Church, Roberts Liardon, Jimmy Swaggart, Jim Bakker at marami pang iba.

Ano ang itinuturo sa ating ng naging karanasan ni Todd? May ilang bagay tayong kailangang maunawaan.

1.Sabihin man ng iba na napaka-unorthodox ng mga ginagawa ni Todd sa kaniyang mga revival meetings, iyon ang nagpapakita na gumagalaw ang Banal na Espiritu. Sa panonood ko ng mga services sa Youtube, isa lang ang napansin ko—hindi na si Todd ang may kontrol sa mga nangyayari kung hindi ang Diyos na ginustong mapaabot sa buong mundo ang kaniyang kadakilaan.

2. Lahat ng tao ay maaring gamitin ng Diyos upang maging instrumento ng kaniyang kapangyarihan. Hindi Siya tumitingin sa panlabas na katangian ng sinuman kung hindi sa pusong handang maglingkod. Hindi maganda ang nakaraan ni Todd—dati siyang magnanakaw, nagkaroon ng kaso ng sexual assault, mula sa isang sirang pamilya at marami pang negatibong karanasan. Ganunpaman, kayang ayusin ng Diyos ang anumang magulong buhay. We can all be vessels of His glory. No one has the monopoly of the power of God. Kung kaya, kahit hindi na makakasama si Todd sa mga revival meetings, tuloy pa rin ang mga pagtitipon sa Ignited Church.

3.Those who were chosen by God to start a revival must also listen to other Christian leaders. Maraming mga lider-Kristiyano ang nagbigay ng kanilang payo kay Todd tungkol sa mga maling sistema ng kaniyang mga pagtitipon. Kabilang sa mga pastor na nagpayo sina John Piper at ang editor ng Voice Magazine na si Jonas Clark. Sinabi nilang hindi pa handa sa isang napakalaking gawain si Todd kung kaya ang paghihirang sa kaniya bilang “apostle to the nation” ay isang bagay na minadali. Pinatunayan ito ng mga pangyayari. Madalas, nakatuon sa GIFT ang mga tao, hindi sa GIVER OF GIFT. My sense is, many leaders were overwhelmed by the ministry of Todd that they anointed and commissioned him to be an apostle.

4.Nakakalungkot isipin na maaring makalusot ang kaaway sa kampo ng mga Kristiyano. Ano ang dahilan? KASALANAN. Kahit gaano katindi ang “anointing” ng Diyos sa isang ministeryo, kung naroroon ang kasalanan, hindi kailanman magtatagal ang anumang revival. Your sin will surely find you.

5.Christian leaders should be persons of integrity if they want to maintain the full spiritual protection and blessings of God. Leaders have greater responsibilities because they represent God’s authority. Ang pagbagsak ng isang pastor ay may malaking epekto sa mga taong nagiging bahagi ng isang iglesya. Marami sa mga dumalo sa mga revival meetings ni Bentley ay kasalukuyang nagtatanong kung sa Diyos ba talaga o hindi ang naganap sa mga pagtitipon. Marami ang nagalit. Marami din ang nalito. Dahil sa nangyari, ilan sa mga naka-schedule na revival meetings ni Todd ay kinansela.

Isa sa mga naging inspirasyon ko noong ako ay nagsisimula sa ministeryo si Smith Wigglesworth, ang ginamit ng Panginoon upang magsimula ng revival sa Yorkshire, England sa mga unang taon ng 1900s. Sa isang biography na isinulat ng kaniyang manugang, sinabi nitong minsang umiyak ang kaniyang biyenan sabay sabing kailangan na niya nang lisanin ang daigdig. Bakit niya sinabi iyon? Ito ay dahil marami nang tao ang nakatuon sa kaniya at hindi sa Panginoon.

We must understand that the Lakeland Revival is not about the Bentleys or any other ministries, it’s all about Jesus. Hindi kailanman papayagan ng Diyos na agawin ninuman ang kaniyang kaluwalhatian.

Thomas Zimmerman, former superintendent of the Assemblies of God once compared the Holy Spirit to a mighty river, and the Scriptures to the banks of that river. He said that problems will surely manifest if the river overruns the banks.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

CRISTIANONG AKTIBISTA?

Nag-aral ako sa isang unibersidad na labis na pinahahalagahan ang pagmamahal sa bayan. Sa tuwing may matitinding isyung panlipunan at pampulitika na kailangang pag-usapan, normal na lumabas ang mga estudyante mula sa kani-kanilang kuwarto, bitbitin ang malalaking streamers, iwagayway ang mga placards, gamitin ang malalakas na megaphone, magmartsa sa corridors at ihayag sa lansangan ang pagkadismaya sa itinuturing na “bulok” at “mapaniil” na sistema ng lipunan. Isang mahalagang elemento ng lipunan at demokrasya ang kultura ng aktibismo. Sa pamamagitan ng malayang pag-uusap ukol sa mga isyung nakakaapekto sa mga mamamayan, mas nagiging sensitibo ang mga namumuno sa pamahalaan sa pulso ng bayan. Kung hindi natin sasabihin ang ating mga nararamdaman sa ating mga lider, mas malaki ang posibilidad na masunod ang inaakala lang nilang tama na maaring humantong sa pag-abuso ng kanilang kapangyarihan.

James 4:17 (MKJV) states “Therefore to him who knows to do good, and does not do it, to him it is sin.” Kung kailangan nating gawin ang isang bagay at hindi natin ito ginagawa, nagkakasala tayo sa Diyos. Maraming Cristiano ang nagbubulag-bulagan sa mga kasamaan sa kanilang paligid. We must understand that if we do nothing to stop evil, we are considered accomplice of the devil. As Edmund Burke once declared, for evil men to triumph, let good men do nothing.

FROM WITHIN OR WITHOUT?
Several people (including church leaders and ministers) have depicted politics as the ‘territory of the unbelievers’. It is necessary for Christians not to distance themselves from the affairs of the government. When Christians abandon their moral responsibility to influence society with their values, other influences will fill the gap. Isang paraan upang mabago natin ang ating masamang sistema ng pamamahala ay maging bahagi mismo tayo ng gobyerno.

May isang malaking katanungang: saan mas epektibong makakaimpluwensiya ang mga Cristiano sa mga usaping panlipunan? Sa loob ba ng Kongreso at Malacanang o sa labas ng kalye? Ang aking sagot: pareho. Kung tinatawag ang isang Cristiano upang maging mambabatas o pulitiko (batay sa kaniyang karanasan at kakayahan), kailangan niyang sundin ang ipinagkaloob sa kaniyang misyon ng Panginoon. Pero hindi lahat ay tinawag sa ganitong misyon. Huwag nang magpilit ang mga taong mas epektibo sa loob ng iglesya na pumasok pa ng pulitika. Siguraduhing tinatawag ng Diyos na maging lingkod sa pamahalaan bago suungin ang anumang laban sa pulitika. Ganundin, kailangang magbantay din ang mga Cristianong hindi bahagi ng mga pormal na proseso ng pamamahala.

The transformation of a nation depends on people who lead the government. Gumagawa ng batas ang mga lider ng ating bansa dahil gusto nilang mapabuti ang bayan. We must understand that all legislative acts and laws are moral in nature. Hindi puwedeng ihiwalay ng mga mambabatas ang kanilang pagpapahalaga at moralidad sa pagbuo ng mga polisiya ng pamahalaan. Kung walang Cristianong makikialam sa pamahalaan, malaki ang posibilidad na mamamayani ang mga batas na kakalaban sa katwiran at kabanalan ng Diyos.

Maraming tao ang mas madaling nakikita ang dumi at kasamaan ng pamahalaan subalit wala naman silang ginagawa upang solusyunan and problema. Hence, Christians should get involved in the Government. To abandon the idea is to miss the mandate of God to the Church as a whole. Politicians can legislate laws for the common good of the people but they cannot abolish evil and change the inner beings of men. Kailangan ng pamahalaan ng mga Cristianong babago sa mga pagpapahalaga sa pamahalaan at magtataguyod ng mga mabubuting prinsipyo ng Panginoon sa lipunan.

THE PITFALLS OF TOO MUCH ACTIVISM
Social activism has been a contentious issue among the youth, especially university and college students. Ang iba ayaw mabansagan na kasama ng mga tagapagtaguyod ng iba’t ibang –ismo (sosyalismo, komunismo, anarkismo). Kakabit kasi ng mga –ismong ito ang karahasan, pamumundok (paglubog sa kanilang termino) at negatibong kaisipan laban sa pamahalaan. Marami akong kaibigan na hindi na nakatapos ng pag-aaral dahil sa labis na pakikisangkot sa isyung panlipunan—rally dito, rally doon, rally kahit saan. Ang ilan sa kanila ay nasa hitlist pa ng mga pulis at militar. May sari-sarili silang dahilan. GANUNPAMAN, may ilang kadahilanan kung bakit kailangang maghinay-hinay ang mga kabataan pagdating sa aktibismo. Ilan lamang ang mga bagay na sumusunod sa mga bagay na hindi maiiwasan.

Galit at Poot -Hindi puwedeng sabihin ng isang kabataang aktibista na hindi sila nakararamdam ng matinding galit sa mga tao o institusyong kanilang kinakalaban. Kakabit ng anumang protesta ang matinding emosyon ng pagkasuklam, pagkabagot o kaya ay pagkadismaya. Sinabi ng Panginoon na mahalin natin ang ating mga kaaway sa pamamagitan ng pananalangin sa kanila. Ilapit natin sila sa Diyos na siyang maaring bumago ng kanilang puso. Isa sa kailangan nating iwasan ay maging biktima tayo ng galit at maling pagpapahayag ng ating saloobin. Hindi maiiwasang maging marahas ang pagpapahayag ng mga aktibista ng kanilang posisyon lalo na kung nahaharap sa mga dispersal team ng mga pulis at maykapangyarihan. Kung ganito ang mangyayari, nilalabag na natin ang utos ng Panginoon na we should not repay anyone evil for evil. Also, how can we manifest patience and kindness kung lagi tayong galit?

Compromises and Unholy Alliances -Ang hindi matalinong pakikisangkot sa pulitika ay puno ng panganib. It can lead to personal compromises and unholy alliances. Magiging kalapit natin ang mga taong hindi naniniwala sa kapangyarihan ng Diyos na baguhin ang bansa dahil mas nakatuon sila sa personal na krusada upang baguhin ang sistema ng lipunan. Dahil kasama natin sila, hindi maiiwasan na isakripisyo natin ang ating paniniwala para manatili ang ating pagsama sa grupo. Maari ring maubos ang ating panahon sa pakikipagdebate sa mga taong sana’y binabahaginan natin ng kaligtasan ng Diyos. We may be focused on secondary matters.

Karahasan -Isa sa mga saliwang paniniwala ng ilang social revolutionaries ay ang paggamit ng karahasan upang matamo ang kanilang layunin. The Bible never supports this idea. Armed revolution was never condoned by Christ during His earthly ministry. We should never resort to violence or overt revolution. We should express our sentiments and grievances through peaceful means. If we live by the sword, we will surely die by the sword. Remember that Christians are called to be peacemakers not war initiators.

SOME GUIDELINES
Christians should never sacrifice their faith for the sake of a particular political or social ideology—right, left or center, for several reasons. Una, walang pinapanigang political group o party ang Diyos. Hindi natin puwedeng sabihing mas papaburan ng Panginoon ang isang partido dahil sa kaniyang posisyon. Walang kinakampihan ang Diyos maliban sa mga taong naninindigan sa katwiran, kabanalan at katarungan.

Pangalawa, walang maituturing na isang fixed political agenda ang Diyos. Ang ating posisyon ay dapat nakabase sa kung anong isyu ang pag-uusapan. Dito na pumapasok ang pansariling paniniwala ng mga Cristiano. Tandaan natin na maraming aspeto ng ating buhay kung saan sadyang tahimik ang Bibliya. We must realize that political judgments are subjective and relative. Mahirap bumuo ng isang tunay na Cristianong pananaw sa bawat isyu sa ating lipunan.

Pangatlo, kailangang maging matalino kung makikisangkot sa mga gawaing pampulitika. Politics is a messy process. Hindi maiiwasang kahit ang mga Cristiano ay magkabanggaan. Remember that our first identity is to be Christians. Saan man tayo ilagay ng Panginoon, kailangang mauna ang ating pagiging Cristiano. The diversity of our political persuasions and positions should not divide us as brothers and sisters in Christ. Nagkakaiba man tayo sa pananaw, kailangan nating maunawaan na tayo ay pare-parehong niligtas ng Panginoon mula sa pagiging makasalanan at may responsibilidad na ideklara ang kaniyang kabutihan sa lahat ng mga hindi mananampalataya. Kung tayo-tayo mismo ang magsasakmalan at maga-away na parang mga mababangis na hayop, mahihirapan tayong mapaniwala ang marami na tayo ay mga taga-sunod ni Cristo.

CHRISTIAN ACTIVISM
Christians should have a different way of addressing social issues. Our weapons are not carnal but spiritual. We destroy strongholds and false arguments mainly through spiritual means. Ang ating unang kinakalaban natin ay ang espiritung umaalipin sa mga tao kung bakit nagpapatuloy ang kasalanan. We must first change the hearts of men if we want to witness radical social change. Kinakalaban nito ang prinsipyo ng maraming aktibita na naniniwalang kailangang banggain at baguhin ang lipunan para mabago ang buhay ng lahat ng tao. Remember, Jesus was mainly concerned with spiritual conversion not the dismantling of social and political structures. This does not mean, however, that we should do nothing in reforming our institutions. We should also change the structures of society but this should be accomplished by people who have the righteousness of God. Kailangang mabago muna ang puso ng tao, bago tuluyang mabago ang lipunan. Changed hearts can lead to a changed nation. Where people are Christians, there will be less sin, more humanity and compassion, more public honesty, and better human relations. Ang mga makasalanan at hindi nakalulugod sa Diyos na mga ugali at tradisyon ay mas mababawasan kung hindi man tuluyang mawawala.

As God’s Spirit penetrates people’s hearts through the gospel, those people become new creatures. Ang pagbabago sa kanilang buhay ay positibong makakaapekto sa kanilang ginagawa saan man sila naroroon. Walang bagay sa mundo na hindi pag-aari ng Diyos. Christians, therefore, should settle for nothing else than the comprehensive lordship of Jesus Christ. Ang pagbabago ay kailangang maganap sa espiritwal na dimensiyon ng lipunan. We must bring every thought captive to the Lord. Every human institution must acknowledge him as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

I therefore define "Christian activism" as a “righteous attempt of Christians to promote God-pleasing principles and values in the secular world, in a peaceful and righteous manner.” Ang pinakadakilang pamamaraan nito ay ang ibahagi ang Mabuting Balita ng Kaligtasan sa lahat ng tao. Bagaman, makakatulong ang pagpunta sa mga rallies and demonstrations at magsisigaw sa kalye para maipahiwatig ang ating mga posisyon sa iba’t ibang isyu, mas kailangang unahin ng mga Cristiano na ipahayag ang Mabuting Balita ng Kaligtasan na siyang babago sa mga taong mamumuno sa ating lipunan. Anuman ang ating ginagawa, kailangang laging napaparangalan at nalulugod ang Diyos. Bago sumama sa anumang kilos-protesta, kailangang iniluhod ito sa panalangin at pakikipagniig sa Panginoon. Since we are advancing and promoting a spiritual kingdom, we must always be led by the Holy Spirit in everything that we do.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Ninoy Aquino's Undelivered Speech

I have returned on my free will to join the ranks of those struggling to restore our rights and freedoms through nonviolence.

I seek no confrontation. I only pray and will strive for a genuine national reconciliation founded on justice.

I am prepared for the worst, and have decided against the advice of my mother, my spiritual adviser, many of my tested friends and a few of my most valued political mentors.

A death sentence awaits me. Two more subversion charges, both calling for death penalties, have been filed since I left three years ago and are now pending with the courts.

I could have opted to seek political asylum in America, but I feel it is my duty, as it is the duty of every Filipino, to suffer with his people especially in time of crisis.

I never sought nor have I been given assurances or promise of leniency by the regime. I return voluntarily armed only with a clear conscience and fortified in the faith that in the end justice will emerge triumphant.

According to Gandhi, the WILLING sacrifice of the innocent is the most powerful answer to insolent tyranny that has yet been conceived by God and man.

Three years ago when I left for an emergency heart bypass operation, I hoped and prayed that the rights and freedoms of our people would soon be restored, that living conditions would improve and that blood-letting would stop.

Rather than move forward, we have moved backward. The killings have increased, the economy has taken a turn for the worse and the human rights situation has deteriorated.

During the martial law period, the Supreme Court heard petitions for Habeas Corpus. It is most ironic, after martial law has allegedly been lifted, that the Supreme Court last April ruled it can no longer entertain petitions for Habeas Corpus for persons detained under a Presidential Commitment Order, which covers all so-called national security cases and which under present circumstances can cover almost anything.

The country is far advanced in her times of trouble. Economic, social and political problems bedevil the Filipino. These problems may be surmounted if we are united. But we can be united only if all the rights and freedoms enjoyed before September 21, 1972 are fully restored.

The Filipino asks for nothing more, but will surely accept nothing less, than all the rights and freedoms guaranteed by the 1935 Constitution -- the most sacred legacies from the Founding Fathers.

Yes, the Filipino is patient, but there is a limit to his patience. Must we wait until that patience snaps?

The nation-wide rebellion is escalating and threatens to explode into a bloody revolution. There is a growing cadre of young Filipinos who have finally come to realize that freedom is never granted, it is taken. Must we relive the agonies and the blood-letting of the past that brought forth our Republic or can we sit down as brothers and sisters and discuss our differences with reason and goodwill?

I have often wondered how many disputes could have been settled easily had the disputants only dared to define their terms.

So as to leave no room for misunderstanding, I shall define my terms:

1. Six years ago, I was sentenced to die before a firing squad by a Military Tribunal whose jurisdiction I steadfastly refused to recognize. It is now time for the regime to decide. Order my IMMEDIATE EXECUTION OR SET ME FREE.

I was sentenced to die for allegedly being the leading communist leader. I am not a communist, never was and never will be.

2. National reconciliation and unity can be achieved but only with justice, including justice for our Muslim and Ifugao brothers. There can be no deal with a Dictator. No compromise with Dictatorship.

3. In a revolution there can really be no victors, only victims. We do not have to destroy in order to build.

4. Subversion stems from economic, social and political causes and will not be solved by purely military solutions; it can be curbed not with ever increasing repression but with a more equitable distribution of wealth, more democracy and more freedom, and

5. For the economy to get going once again, the workingman must be given his just and rightful share of his labor, and to the owners and managers must be restored the hope where there is so much uncertainty if not despair.

On one of the long corridors of Harvard University are carved in granite the words of Archibald Macleish:

"How shall freedom be defended? By arms when it is attacked by arms; by truth when it is attacked by lies; by democratic faith when it is attacked by authoritarian dogma. Always, and in the final act, by determination and faith."

I return from exile and to an uncertain future with only determination and faith to offer -- faith in our people and faith in God.

ANO BA TALAGA ANG "CALLING" KO?

Lagi kong naririnig iyan sa mga kabataang kaga-graduate lang sa kolehiyo at mga young professionals na nababagot sa buhay. Nagtatanong si...