In light of recent events regarding the earthquake in Nepal (I offer my sincerest condolences to the departed there and a prayer of safety and recovery for the survivors), I have begun to hear many saying that we here in the Philippines should start considering our moral stance lest we become next. Then, much to my outrage, I have heard those who outright say that the people of Nepal deserve their fate for not accepting the Words of Jesus, as they are not a Christian country like we allegedly are. Ladies and gentlemen, I have never heard a more pretentious or arrogant statement in my life.
Look, before all else, let’s make things clear. I was raised Catholic and I am still currently practicing my religion and I take it very seriously, thank you very much. However, despite this, I would like to call out a lot of my fellow Catholics on their own activities as well as many of those who call themselves “Christians” who are anything but when it comes to their actions. Yes, anyone can claim to be a “Christian” or a “Catholic”, but it is a completely different matter to be one. I have always believed that one’s religion should be a lifestyle, not something to put down other people or something to bash those you don’t agree with.
We use our Christianity as a status symbol…
I think that Jesus’ teachings are things that we should take to heart, definitely. Unfortunately, there are so many of us who get the wrong meaning of what it means to be a Christian. Of course, I am no expert in the matter, I can at least admit that much and that I probably wouldn’t qualify as what the Bible would call a “good man”. However, with so many typical Pinoys clamoring that we are “the only Christian country in Far East Asia” and that we are “special” in the eyes of God, I can only imagine how Jesus himself would react if he saw us as we are today.
I can attest that for a lot of Filipinos, being called a “Christian” is simply a status symbol and nothing more. After all, it feels good to be associated with the world’s greatest martyr (and if you’re a fellow Christian, a literal man-god). Unfortunately, that’s as far as most “Christians” in the Philippines are willing to go.
Note for example that Churches are only crowded during Christmas or Easter and are rarely filled to capacity on ordinary Sundays. The Aquinos, especially Kris, are often seen on TV as going to church but one can probably attest that the Aquinos aren’t exactly good examples of what Christians should be and then, once outside the church, they bash their detractors with abandon and go back to being the self-centered lot they’ve always been. It is stated in the Bible that one should avoid praying loudly in public and do so solemnly and in relative silence but there are so many like Dionisia Pacquiao who like to show off their religiosity on live TV even when the Bible states that we should pray with a sense of humility
Our “Christianity” has clearly pagan roots…
Okay, I know a lot of you probably won’t agree with me here but much of our allegedly “Christian” beliefs here in the Philippines are pagan in origin.
For instance, let’s start with graven images. It is made quite clear in the Bible that God does not like the idea of worshiping “false gods”. Again, I’m sure some of you here will make up the excuse that having your religious icons is like having a visual aid or a picture of someone you cherish. If that’s the case, then explain to me your Black Nazarene which so many of our countrymen have died for. Like an orgy of destruction, people rush this idol in a stampede, crushing any and all who are unfortunate enough to be caught in their path.
Then there’s our acts of penitence during Holy Week that looks to me more like a pagan ritual than something that Christ Himself would endorse. Flogging oneself doesn’t necessarily make one sinless if they aren’t sincere about changing their ways. If anything, I can bet that most of these so-called “penitents” only do what they do to make themselves look “cool” in front of others, especially tourists.
You want me to be perfectly honest?
Calling these activities “pagan” is the nicest way I can call them. Because if you want my honest opinion, I would outright call it demonic or Satanic. Jesus has always emphasized the value in human life above religious dogma and I’m probably right that numerous people have died trying to reach the Black Nazarene or during the “penitence” activities that are all too prevalent on Holy Week.
We are hypocrites…
I’ve already gained a sizeable number of detractors so I guess there’s really no helping it now…
Note how we always try to whitewash ourselves when criticized by foreigners. Note how so many of us insist that our country is a good, clean country when our cities are rife with pollution, poverty and crime. Note how so many politicians and celebrities wanting to be politicians insist that they are honest when our very political system is founded on lies.
So there you go. The only Christian country in Far East Asia, eh? Also, the one can the country where Maria Ozawa or Fifty Shades of Gray are insanely popular. Note how all our teleseryes are centered around illicit relationships and dysfunctional families. See also how the church openly tolerates immorality of all kinds while trying to discourage foreign media which they outright demonize even though some video games (like Age of Wonders for instance) have more values to teach people than your typical teleserye.
So no, before any of you start gloating about how we are the only Christian country here in East Asia, let me remind you about Yolanda and the many who perished in her wake. Let me tell you that many Yolanda survivors are still struggling to get their lives back together thanks to a government that refuses to spend even a cent on them unless their self-interests are sated.
So many countries came to help us during the Yolanda crisis so I think that we should also return the favor and see what we can do to help our Nepalese brothers and sisters, not sit around gloating about our superiority as Christians.
And if you really want to know what it means to be a good Christian, please turn off your TV and read your Bible!
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