0

A Take on Issues: Christianity and Democracy

There are many religions on this earth, each claiming to be the real one. Certain groups believe that religion is fiction. According to Karl Marx, “Religion is the opium of the people.” I beg to disagree. Perhaps ‘False Relgion’ is the opium of the people.

People of faith are being bashed on media and internet for the actions of a couple. Some people do things that are downright dishonorable – subject to criticism and disapproval by the rest of society. And this causes the world to be misled, to believe in the entirety of atheistic principles – including the nauseous idea that people came from apes. Such that even Richard Dawkins believes that the God of the Bible is a sadomasochist! God forbid anyone be misled by this foolish man. (See: The Sadomasochistic Tales of the Stupid Richard Dawkins by Mr. Controversy)

Featured Image -- 301

In the U.S., people celebrated the day when all of the states of this superpower country legalized same-sex marriage. They took to twitter with the hashtag #LoveWins. But later, in Kentucky, there was an issue regarding deputy clerk Kim Davis who, according to her beliefs, refused to issue a same-sex couple a marriage license – a clear violation of their constitutional rights. Davis believes she has a right to the practice of her faith, thereby not granting the marriage license to which she believes is a practice of her faith. But where do we draw the line between religious rights and constitutional rights?

Let’s talk about democracy first and get this thing straightened out.

In Democracy in Brief of the Bureau of International Information Programs, it is written:

Democracy, which derives from the Greek word “demos,” or “people,” is defined, basically, as government in which the supreme power is vested in the people. In some forms, democracy can be exercised directly by the people; in large societies, it is by the people through their elected agents. Or, in the memorable phrase of President Abraham Lincoln, democracy is government “of the people, by the people, and for the people.”

But on page 26, under “Rule of Law,” the following is stated:

democracy pic

No individual is above the law. Clear as day!

I am no expert at politics, but I think this part of the conversation is pretty much intact. That said, despite having her religious rights, Kim Davis obviously have violated the law of the land. The rule of law defends against threats of tyranny and lawlessness – she can’t be exempt from the law because of her beliefs. This is where the “Separation of Church and State” comes in.

So, on the grounds of democracy, Davis’ actions are undoubtedly wrong. But on the grounds of Christian faith, could she be correct?

What better way to cross-examine this issue by going to one very unrefutable Christianity exposé blogger, Mr. Controversy?

Here is an excerpt taken from the website ControversyExtraordinary.com:

Christ emphatically expressed that there are things for God and things for Caesar. Christ did not remove from his disciples the acknowledgement to government and to Caesar’s power. In fact Christ even taught His disciples to subject themselves to the power of the government.

MATTHEW 22:17-21
17 Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not?
18 But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites?
19 Shew me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a penny.
20 And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription?
21 They say unto him, Caesar’s. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.
ROMANS 13:1-2
1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.
I PETER 2:13
Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme;

But even to such submission, Christ emphatically expressed that there are things for God which are not meant to be spent for luxurious lifestyles.

Mr. Controversy in “Iglesia ni Cristo Straining the Gnats but not the Camel,” ControversyExtraordinary.com

The Philippines has democratic constitution like that of the United States of America and should adhere to the same logic. In the above excerpt, the author accurately explained that Christians do subject to government.

In the blog above from which I just quoted, Mr. Controversy addresses against a certain issue regarding a religious organization which claims that their religious rights are being violated.  From August 28 to August 30, members of the Iglesia Ni Cristo group rallied in protest of the Department of Justice’s move accepting the complaints filed by Isaias Samson Jr. against, not the church group, but 8 individual members of the church group. It turns out that, for the Iglesia Ni Cristo sect, when Justice Secretary Leila De Lima did her job, she simply violated their religious rights.

They rallied on the weekend along one of the busiest highways of Metro Manila, EDSA. They exclaimed, in summary, that they wanted the government to get their nose out of their church affairs. But is this a legitimate complaint?

In an article by Patrick Quintos of ABS-CBN News published in August 31, it says:

Expelled INC minister, Isaias Samson, earlier filed a criminal complaint against eight members of the INC’s Sanggunian before the Department of Justice (DOJ).

The DOJ has yet to act upon the complaint, but the INC has already accused the agency of selective justice, calling on the government to leave the matter alone to the church, citing the Constitution’s provision on the separation of the Church and the State.

“Religious group Iglesia Ni Cristo members cry for separation of Church and State in their protests along Shaw Boulevard on Sunday, August 30.” (Photo & Caption: Philstar.com/Efigenio Christopher Toledo IV

Netizens react to INC rallyists who condemn Justice Secretary of the Philippines. (Photo taken from Twitter)

Netizens react to INC rallyists who condemn Justice Secretary of the Philippines. (Photo taken from Twitter)

See Tweet-reaction Compilation by Rappler: INC protesters anger commuters, stranded motorists

“I don’t want to have this conflict. I don’t want to be in the spotlight. And I certainly don’t want to be a whipping post,” Davis said. “I am no hero. I’m just a person that’s been transformed by the grace of God, who wants to work, be with my family. I just want to serve my neighbors quietly without violating my conscience.”

– “Kentucky clerk won’t interfere with gay marriage licenses,” Associated Press published on Yahoo.com, by Claire Galofaro

Despite saying she does not want conflict, Davis continues to say that she has no plans on resigning from her government position, and she will not go against her conscience. This is despite that she had sworn oath to do her duty under the authority of the laws and provisions of the constitution.

Photo taken from Twitter

Photo taken from Twitter

Nightly Show host Larry Wilmore put it perfectly when he asked the rhetorical question, “Since when do federal employees get to renegotiate the conditions of their employment?… Like her job has to match the view of the world in order for it to work.” He further adds, “Why is speaking her mind a quality admired and rewarded above all others right now?” He went on to compare her actions to Donald Trump’s public statements against Mexicans.

In addition to her actions, she comes out to Kentucky in election season in support of Huckabee. Wilmore termed that the lady is “forcing her beliefs” on the constitution which is clearly a violation of individual rights as well.

(You can watch the Nightly Show whole commentary on this below.)

What kind of God do these people serve? What kind of God does Davis serve? As proven with the verses stated earlier, the God of Christians definitely wouldn’t have His people ‘force’ their beliefs on anyone.

Of course, the law of man is imperfect. Absolute justice isn’t exactly being carried out everywhere at all times, especially in places where democracy does not apply, such as in the Middle East, and China.

But according to Televangelist Bro. Eli Soriano, “In God’s justice, the worst crime done ignorantly, especially of unbelievers, is pardonable (1 Tim 1:13).”

Therefore, ignorance is pardonable.

In the truest sense of God’s justice, no biblically inclined mind and thinking will conform to the internationally accepted fallacy of human principle on laws  Ignorantia legis neminem excusat.

The principle  states, “Ignorance of the law excuses no one from compliance therewith”.

The primary logical question is: How can you comply with a law you do not know?

The lawyer Apostle Paul said, where there is no law, sin cannot be imputed (Romans 4:15).

“Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression.”

“Because the law brings punishment from God. Where no law exists, there can be no sin”

God’s law is just and is the formidable bastion of justice (Romans 7:12).

“Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.”

Is it justice being served if somebody is being prosecuted for an offense based on a law not known to him?

– Bro. Eli Soriano in “Ignorance of the Law Excuses Someone,” Elisoriano.com

This being the world we live in, it is nice to know that there is true justice that will be served in the end.

“God is a God of perfect justice.Hope in your heart that there is a time — a perfect time for God’s intervention… and it is coming soon!”

– Bro. Eli Soriano in “Perfect Justice in God’s Perfect Time,” elisoriano.com

I support Mr. Controversy and Bro. Eli Soriano, and I urge you to read up more about these controversial issues pertaining to faith from these two blogs: controversyextraordinary.com and elisoriano.com/blog

To God be the Glory!

Advertisements
2

Strong at 34: The “Ang Dating Daan” Anniversary 2014

“The truth of the Bible is not dependent on any book on earth.”

– Bro. Eliseo F. SorianoWorldwide Bible Expo: Oct 30, 2014

Oct. 30, 2014 – Even under the scorching heat, people had already started to amass at all entrances at the Smart Araneta as early as 2:30pm. What was the fuss all about? This day specifically marks the 34th anniversary of the longest running religious program on Philippine TV, Ang Dating Daan. In celebration, a Worldwide Bible Exposition was to be held at the Big Dome.

To-date, the Bible Exposition has become a gathering where people all across the globe can ask questions regarding Christian faith, answered straight from the Bible by none other than Bro. Eli Soriano, presiding minister of Members Church of God International. Bible Expositions have since made up the show “Itanong Mo Kay Soriano, Biblia ang Sasagot” (“Ask Soriano, the Bible Will Answer”) which is one of the first segments produced by the Ang Dating Daan program.

ADDfb

Humble Beginnings

The first ever airing of Ang Dating Daan on television was in 1983 (apart from the radio broadcast which started in 1980), with a three-person production staff. Despite the lack of personnel, financial constraints and other setbacks, there was no stopping the program from airing on Philippine Television.

Starting with an initial air time of 30 mins, the program slowly developed, and in years to come, the program would have faced many more obstacles including media critics, religious enemies, and conspirators.

In 2005, the religious host, Bro. Eli Soriano left the country, during which time one could hardly realize that this would be the start of expansion of the program and its works toward other countries, slowly infiltrating the Global Arena.

ADDfb - cover

PersonalInsta - stage

Shooting for Audio Video Presentation

For the anniversary special, it had been a collaborative effort from MCGI members in selected parts of Luzon including Laguna, Cavite, and Metro Manila.

And since Ang Dating Daan had long focused on and continue to shape a nation zealous of good works, hand-in-hand with the celebration had been continuous medical missions, clean-up drives and other public services.

Worldwide Bible Exposition at Araneta Coliseum

The event began with a few intermission numbers. ASOP interpreters presented most defining Songs of Praise to God. Songs such us “Ikaw,” and “May Awa ang Dios” were one of the highlight performances.

But none was of astounding brilliance as the view of the Ang Dating Daan Chorale, together with MCGI Music Ministry Choir in the background.

ADDfb - choir

The stadium was already jam-packed as early as 3:30pm, but there were thousands more guests who were no longer able to enter. Despite that, there were Ang Dating Daan coordinating centers/ local chapters (live-viewing centers) which were open to accommodate them.

ADDfb - packed

As with every Bible Exposition, many were given the chance to ask their questions and hear Bro. Eli answer straight from the Bible.

“Naniniwala akong hindi nakadepende ang pag dami [ng miyembro ng isang samahan] sa debate, kundi yung aral ng Dios ang nakapagtuturo…”

– Bro. Eliseo F. SorianoWorldwide Bible Expo: Oct 30, 2014

Bro. Eli had earlier on taken the opportunity to thank their sponsors with which the broadcasts were able to continue despite difficult times, apart from making known his gratefulness for all those who were able to grace the occasion. Bro. Eli was proud to mention that, especially in Brazil, Filipinos were not seen as liabilities.

Bro. Eli was not meek to point out his unrest regarding the rise in number of Atheists—people who do not believe in God, pointing out that there is nothing wrong with believing in God. From there, he reminisced the history of how he and his program had kept up with enemies trying to halt the propagation of their cause.

“Ang tao ay may instinct ng pagiging maka-Dios. Naco-corrupt lang ito ng demonyo.”

– Bro. Eliseo F. SorianoWorldwide Bible Expo: Oct 30, 2014

In addition to the success of the event, the featured hashtag #Happy34YearsADD had made it to the top of Philippine trends on Twitter.

ESfb - trendADD34

And even for me, it was simply a wonderful experience to have taken part in this celebration. For to merely listen to this man, how he conforms to every question, and how he is able to answer queries according to the Bible, but most importantly how he is able to care for the flock in these grave times with the guidance of the holy Gospel–these things are not the work of man but of God.

Thanks be to God.

CollageInsta - Araneta

Sources:

angdatingdaan.org

mcgi.org

facebook.com/AngDatingDaanTV

facebook.com/BroEliseoSoriano