Bro. Eddie broke my heart

Watch this, then let me tell you why Bro. Eddie just broke my heart.

Let me lay out the ground work.

1. I’m an evangelical Christian.

2. Bro. Eddie is a leader of one of the biggest evangelical groups here in the Philippines.

3. While I’m not part of the Jesus is Lord Church which he founded, I look up to him as a brother and a great leader of the Church.

4. Apolo Quiboloy’s “Kingdom…”, on the other hand, is NOT an evangelical church. In fact, his church is largely considered a cult of Christianity among evangelical apologists. Reason for this includes his claim of being the Son of God (in Gentile body, blasphemous in my opinion), their works-oriented salvation doctrine, Oneness (as against Trinitarianism), and exclusivity (even claiming that Davao — where their headquarters is located — is the new Jerusalem). He has all the characteristics to be tagged by evangelicals as a dangerous cult.

5. I can respect Quiboloy as a citizen of the Philippines and truly a leader with many followers. But I will never call him a “preacher of righteousness”.

Bro. Eddie, as most of you know, is campaigning for the presidency.

Seeing this man of God compromise his belief, the gospel of Jesus Christ, to which this man from Davao has adulterated, breaks my heart. He is not only loosing his witness, he is also loosing the witness of the entire evangelical Christianity in the Philippines.

What else can Bro. Eddie do just to win the votes of the people?

I’m calling on Bro. Eddie to repent of this lie, hunger for power and for bringing shame to the name of Jesus Christ, the true Son of God.

Breaking the rules

Breaking the rules — not the moral or the civil laws of the land — but the rules that dictate the way we do things. The box where we are all in. Craig Groeschel, in his book “It”, page 98,99, says:

Most of the greatest spiritual innovators throughout history were people who broke the rules… When you try something new in ministry most people will tell you that your idea will never work… Innovation by definition will not be accepted at first. It takes repeat attempts, endless demonstrations, monotonous rehearsals before innovation can be accepted and internalized by an organization. This requires courageous patience. If you have a God idea, you must be brave enough to go with it. Break some rules.

This Sunday marks the start of “breaking rules” for LifeChurch Makati. We’re going to break some rules in doing church here in the Philippines. If you’re interested to know what it is, check us out on our first preview service at Glorieta 4, Cinema 4 this Sunday, February 21. You’re invited to observe and experience.

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It’s ok NOT to buy people stuff this Christmas

Read this blog then come back for my thoughts…

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Ok, now wasn’t that an eye opener? I mean, we know this, but we’re just sucked up inside this holiday tradition.

– we spend way too much in seasons of Christmas

– we buy people stuff that WE like but THEY don’t need.

– we feel guilty for not buying people presents

– we even feel annoyed for receiving gifts with lesser value than the gifts you gave!

Commercialism on Christmas season simply sucks. I mean, really sucks. We lost it. This is not supposed to be. Giving generously is fine. But obliged, guilt-driven, price-tag focused giving is not. Sadly, this is Christmas now a days.

So, friends, it’s ok if you’re not giving us gifts this Christmas, you don’t have to feel guilty about it. We, however, sincerely thank those who gave and sure appreciates whatever you gave. We’re giving away simple gifts this Christmas to some friends — but will not to others. That doesn’t mean we don’t love you, we simply want to save and wouldn’t want to spend a lot this Christmas.

The best way to celebrate this season is to be with the family, worshiping Jesus for who he is — a God who decided to be a man on Christmas morning in his love for us all.

Should Christians celebrate Christmas?

Question: Should Christians celebrate Christmas?

Answer: The debate about whether or not Christians should celebrate Christmas has been raging for centuries. There are equally sincere and committed Christians on both sides of the issue, each with multiple reasons why or why not Christmas should be celebrated in Christian homes. But what does the Bible say? Does the Bible give clear direction as to whether Christmas is a holiday to be celebrated by Christians?

First, let’s look at the reasons why Christians do not celebrate Christmas. One argument against Christmas is that the traditions surrounding the holiday have origins in paganism. Searching for reliable information on this topic is difficult because the origins of many of our traditions are so obscure that sources often contradict one another. Bells, candles, holly, and yuletide decorations are mentioned in the history of pagan worship, but the use of such in one’s home certainly does not indicate a return to paganism. While there are definitely pagan roots to some traditions, there are many more traditions associated with the true meaning of Christmas—the birth of the Savior of the world in Bethlehem. Bells are played to ring out the joyous news, candles are lit to remind us that Christ is the Light of the world (John 1:4-9), a star is placed on the top of a Christmas tree to remember the Star of Bethlehem, and gifts are exchanged to remind us of the gifts of the Magi to the baby Jesus, the greatest gift of God to mankind.

Another argument against Christmas, especially having a Christmas tree, is that the Bible forbids bringing trees into our homes and decorating them. The passage often cited is Jeremiah 10:1-16, but this passage refers to cutting down trees, chiseling the wood to make an idol, and then decorating the idol with silver and gold for the purpose of bowing down before it to worship it (see also Isaiah 44:9-18). The passage in Jeremiah cannot be taken out of its context and used to make a legitimate argument against Christmas trees.

Christians who choose to ignore Christmas point to the fact that the Bible doesn’t give us the date of Christ’s birth, which is certainly true. December 25 may not be even close to the time Jesus was born and arguments on both sides are legion, some relating to climate in Palestine, the practices of shepherds in winter, and the dates of Roman census-taking. None of these points is without a certain amount of conjecture, which brings us back to the fact that the Bible doesn’t tell us when Jesus was born. Some see this as proof positive that God didn’t want us to celebrate the birth, while others see the Bible’s silence on the issue as tacit approval.

Some Christians say that since the world celebrates Christmas—although it is becoming more and more politically correct to refer to it as ‘the holidays’—Christians should avoid it. But that is the same argument made by false religions that deny Christ altogether, as well as cults such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses who deny His deity. Those Christians who do celebrate Christmas often see the occasion as an opportunity to proclaim Him as ‘the reason for the season’ among the nations and to those trapped in false religions.

As we have seen, there is no legitimate scriptural reason not to celebrate Christmas. At the same time, there is no biblical mandate to celebrate either. In the end, of course, whether or not to celebrate Christmas is a personal decision. Whatever Christians decide to do regarding Christmas, their views should not be used as a club with which to beat down or denigrate those with opposing views, nor should either view be used as a badge of honor inducing pride over celebrating or not celebrating. As in all things, we seek wisdom from Him who gives it liberally to all who ask (James 1:5), and accept one another in Christian love and grace, regardless of our views on Christmas.

Lifted from GotQuestions.org. Thanks to abugian, ministry leader of The Bereans Apologetics and Research Ministry for forwarding this very relevant article.

Miss California and gay marriages

I kind of created an unwanted tension between my friends on Facebook when I posted a link to a blog post by former Miss Philippines Universe Joyce Burton-Titular about Ms. California being the most famous first runner up. If you’ve been around the blogsphere, you know about the buzz. During the Miss USA pageant, Miss California was asked by showbiz blogger Perez Hilton about what she thinks on same sex marriages. She answered with conviction, she doesn’t support it. It became very controversial, it even came to a point where she was about to be stripped off her Mis CA crown.

On one side, some friends of mine (really close ones) said Miss California, by rejecting same sex marriage, claims to be a Christian but is inaccurately representing it by her actions. On another side, a friend of mine said we should stop criticizing her for the other things that she’s doing and instead praise her for taking a stand. I hope to defuse the tension a bit by giving my own (hopefully diplomatic) stand.

First of all, in my opinion, Ms. CA did a great job at answering the pageant question. I’m not saying whether I agree or disagree with her answer. All I’m saying is she did a great job. She was asked with a controversial question, what else can you expect but a controversial answer. What she did is simply to answer the question with conviction — exactly what a pageant like this requires. If she answered differently with the same conviction, she will still get an A from me. 

Secondly, in my understanding, as far as civil rights are concerned, this is not an issue whether same sex marriages are moral or not. The issue is the definition of marriage — is marriage between a man or a woman, or is it time to redefine its meaning? You only have two choices and Miss CA took the former definition.

And lastly, while I think Miss CA did a great job in standing for her Christian conviction, it is true that some reports did say that she was inconsistent with it. But, on the other hand, isn’t that an issue for all of us? I mean, who can say that we’re always consistent with our own beliefs? Isn’t that the goal of a growing Christian — little by little to become like Jesus and be consistent with our beliefs? In the meantime, we’re all going to mess up. But thank God for his grace.

I do have my own opinion on gay marriages. But since I do not live in the US nor this is going to be an issue here in the Philippines, at least for now, I’m just going to hold my piece. In any case, US President Obama — largely liberal president whom I suppose supports gay marriages, and Rick Warren, an evangelical pastor that rejects it, are friends. Warren prayed for Obama on the inaugural. I think it’s the best way to say that we can all live together in harmony even if we have different convictions.

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