To claim as the only Christian nation in Asia, yet the second most corrupt in the region is a great contradiction. Thus, many Filipino Christians felt disillusioned by this startling reality. Why is it that there seem to be a big gap between Christian faith and practice in our country today?
August is designated mission month in my church. It is a time to affirm and celebrate the church’s basic nature and characteristics as God’s mission in the world. This is what makes the church different from any human institution for it has been set apart for a holy purpose of making God’s love known in the world.
The Marawi Crisis is still going on. Actually, armed conflict in Mindanao is not something new; it has been there through all these years, although sometimes it’s lying low. Perhaps, the cure applied to resolve it has been ineffective or no serious attempt to really put a stop to it. Now, we see once again human faces of fears and uncertainties, even as thousands of civilians flee from their homes in order not to be caught in the crossfire.
No doubt our country today is gripped in fear and anxiety. Our socio-economic and political situation is very much unstable. In the countryside, where armed conflicts are going on, people are in fear for their lives. The Marawi crisis is still going on. And there is a nagging fear that it might spill over to other parts of the country.
The recent devastating earthquake in Eastern Visayas, particularly in the island of Leyte, reminds us of the July 16, 1990 killer quake here in the City of Baguio that took thousands of lives. There are many explanations about earthquakes. Volcanologists were saying that the July 16 killer quake was tectonic in origin; meaning, it was caused by some changes or deformations in the earth’s crusts.
There is a beautiful parable in the Old Testament that would speak powerfully on the issue of leadership. This is the Parable of the Lamb recorded in II Samuel 12:1-15.
Last Monday, May 22, my wife and I had a very rare opportunity to witness the oath-taking ceremony of more than three thousand new lawyers at the Mall of Asia arena. Our eldest son, Leo, is one of those who passed the 2016 Bar Examinations. As usual, he would not like us to be there.
Every second Sunday of May is designated as Mother’s Day. This is one of the many beautiful traditions we inherited from our American Protestant Christianity.
Dr. Benjamin L. Corey wrote recently an article stating categorically that the so-called “Prosperity Gospel” is a non-Christian religion. The Prosperity Gospel is a modern brand of Christianity claiming that a good and faithful Christian results in good health, a long life, having an abundance of possessions, and material wealth. This is sometimes called “Success Gospel.”
The church is God’s mission in the world. It is not simply a non-government organization or a social institution. That’s why in spite of all the problems and limitations of the church, the persecutions of believers, schisms and divisions throughout history, the church continues to exist even in these critical times.
I was invited onetime to give a lecture presentation on evangelization in an international consultation workshop held in Geneva, Switzerland. Before my presentation, five case studies on the relationship of popular religion and the Gospel were shared from the various contexts of indigenous peoples in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.
Finally, spirituality for mission will also require us to realize God’s abiding presence. When Moses said to God, “I am nobody, how can I go to the King of Egypt and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” God answered him saying, “I will be with you “. When Jesus Christ our Lord gave the Great Commission to his disciples, he also concluded saying, “I will be with you always to the end of the age” (Mt.28: 16-20).