Did Bong Revilla Take The Lord’s Name In Vain?

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I didn’t want to comment about Senator Bong Revilla’s t-shirt scripture, but tonight, for some reason, I feel compelled to do so.

I’ve been avoiding writing about Christian stuff not out of fear, but because I know that I don’t know enough about Christianity despite being a Catholic all my life and I tend to be a bit touchy when it comes to matters of belief that I’ve come to embrace over the past two or three years that I’ve accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior.

bong revilla tshirt scriptureYes folks, I’m born again. And no, you won’t find me preaching on a bus or knocking on strangers doors. And nope, I am not out to convert anyone although I do invite people I care deeply about to come to Bible study because I’ve found such gatherings to be very enlightening and uplifting.

Thing is, I know I am not in any position to tell people about how to live their life in the Christian way because I myself have not completely embodied all the Christian teachings and perhaps I never will embody all the teachings. I am never going to be perfect. The important thing here is just this, at least to me: Christianity is not about telling people how to live their lives in the Christian way, it’s about learning to embody the teachings of Jesus Christ — the emphasis is inward, not outward.

If there’s anything I’ve learned in my Christian life it’s that improving one’s self is more productive and more rewarding than trying to improve other people — because that implies finding fault in others first, which is what makes for great flame wars online.

It’s simple really because it’s pretty much like the instructions on the oxygen mask on most airplanes which tells passengers to (1) wear the mask first before (2) putting the mask on a child or someone else.  How can you help others if you’re incapacitated by oxygen deprivation?

I think that the most relevant scripture for this is a common one which you’ll come across and it has to do with judging others:

Mathew 7: 4 – 6

4″Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? 5″You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.

I have to admit folks, when I saw Senator Bong Revilla with that shirt printed with a verse from Psalm 118:6 “The Lord is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?”, my immediate reaction was to scoff and snort. Who is he kidding?

bong revilla scripture t shirtThen there were others who say that Revilla took God’s name in vain, but did he really?  To some people who say that they’re devout Catholics or even studied for years at a seminary, it’s pretty clear to them that Revilla broke two of the ten commandments.

As someone put it to me, “Why are have you been saying that he is not using GOD’s name in vain given the fact that he wore this shirt during press con? Come one? Are you doing PR for him? I will understand if you do thus it will be your position even if truth is already glaring. But please think about the people that died because of hunger or missed the opportunity to be treated in the hospital because the money was pocketed by them? Do you know the meaning of prima facie? It means “fact presumed to be true unless it is disproved.”

It is clear that the person who thinks that I am doing PR for Revilla (which I am not) is making two assumptions and they are:

(1) Senator Revilla is guilty of stealing.

(2) Being a thief, it is blasphemous for Revilla to wear a shirt that states “The Lord is on my side;…” because it implies that God sides with thieves, when He should condemn them.

Now here’s the thing we have to contend with and it may be difficult for some us to accept at this point, Senator Revilla as well as the others charged in the Pork Barrel Scam are STILL innocent until proven guilty in the eyes of the law.  And if we uphold things such as “prima facie evidence”, then we should also uphold things like “presumption of innocence”, quite simply because it would make an absolute mess of the system of laws that we have — which is already out of kilter to begin with.

If some people claim to have almost gone to law school, it would be cinch (an absolute NO BRAINER) to admit that it would be premature and presumptuous to say that Revilla is already guilty at this point since the court has not even deliberated on the case yet, much less rendered a verdict.

Unless, of course, some people prefer to have a revival of the Inquisition, which is:

“… a group of institutions within the judicial system of the Roman Catholic Church whose aim is to combat heresy. It started in 12th-century France to combat the spread of religious sectarianism, in particular the Cathars and the Waldensians. This Medieval Inquisition persisted into the 14th century, and from the 1250s was associated with the Dominican Order.”

Then again, perhaps some people may have a direct knowledge of Revilla’s stealing or perhaps some people, because of their years in seminary school, has found a way to speak on matters which perhaps God can only know for certain.

So, if Revilla hasn’t been proven guilty yet… if some people don’t have direct knowledge of Revilla’s crime… and if God didn’t tell them that Revilla stole money… What is the basis for them to say that Revilla stole money and what is their basis for saying that Revilla blasphemed in wearing a shirt that says “God is on my side…”?

And here’s the fine nuance that’s flying over some people’s heads in a Facebook group: All I am admitting to is that I am not in any position to judge Revilla on the matter of using God’s name in vain. It doesn’t mean I am absolving Revilla and the others of any crime, it simply means that I recognize that I am not in any position to render righteous judgment — which is the thing that seems to be badly needed in these times of tribulation.

Sure, I have my hunches about the whole case against Revilla and the others, but those are hunches.  And if one professes to being a seminarian or former seminarian, perhaps one should also KNOW that what is required is RIGHTEOUS JUDGMENT and not judgment based on hunches or personal biases.

Righteous judgment is something that has been stated in so many passages in the Bible — which is at the CORE of all Christ based religions and organizations.

Here is something which I think is good reading:

Jesus said: “Judge not, that you be not judged” (Matthew 7:1).

Does this mean we are never to judge? Certainly not, for Jesus also said: “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment” (John 7:24).

We are commanded to exercise righteous judgment. We are forbidden to judge when we are not qualified to do so.

xxx xxx

We may not judge with insufficient knowledge. Paul wrote: “But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by a human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. For I know nothing against myself, yet I am not justified by this; but He who judges me is the Lord. Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts; and then each one’s praise will come from God” (1 Corinthians 4:3-5).

We may not take God’s place in judgment: “Do not speak evil of one another, brethren. He who speaks evil of a brother and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. There is one Lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy. Who are you to judge another?” (James 4:11,12).

We may not condemn the guiltless by neglecting mercy: “But if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless” (Matthew 12:7).

To wrap it up, I think that the idea that really riles people up is that Senator Bong Revilla is using scripture or being ‘born again’ as part of his PR ploy to make himself out as some kind of martyr being persecuted by a corrupt regime.

If Revilla’s t-shirt were at all to be construed as Revilla saying that God says he is innocent of the charges, perhaps it could be seen like someone swearing an oath to tell the whole truth on a Bible then start lying and this where these verses come into play:

Matthew 5:33 – 37

33 “Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but fulfill to the Lord the vows you have made.’ 34 But I tell you, do not swear an oath at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35 or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. 36 And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. 37 All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.

Usually, when people accuse another person of taking God’s name in vain, they usually refer to cuss words and phrases that disrespectfully or irreverently use God’s name or names. What the New Testament says actually sets a higher standard because not only is one commanded not to disrespect God’s name, people aren’t even allowed to swear on anything at all and just answer with a simple yes or no.

Thing is, I can only hope that those counselling Revilla have advised him of the ultimate consequences of whatever he is going to do in the coming days.

Revelation 21:8 ESV
“But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”

Then again, if Revilla does the right thing, it could really bring a great deal of healing to this dysfunctional country we call the Philippines.

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39 Comments on “Did Bong Revilla Take The Lord’s Name In Vain?”

  1. Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the educated as false, and by politicians as useful.

      1. Education is the key to enlightenment which can solve many problems in Philippines society. Foremost the problems created by organized religion (any kind). I really don’t care if anyone has a problem with my statement, but religion is for feeble minded people. Aside form the fact that as an Atheist, I’m really tired of Filipinos trying to shove religion down my throat when ever the opportunity presents itself, I also say that this world needs more clear thinking people and less “dude in the sky” believers who let themselves be manipulated at every turn. Filipinos have a tendency to do wrong, but because of their believe, when going to mass they also think that they are forgiven, therefore squeaky clean. That alone is schizophrenic behavior. So Revilla visited Israel? He is reading the bible and going to church to find guidance? Anyone who thinks sitting in church can make you a good person must also think that sitting in a garage can make you a car. Revilla is seriously delirious, but not at all serious.

  2. Being in a religion only finds us excuse for our failures that all are written according to someone above’s will and blah blah. If we are educated we learn that we hold total control of our destiny and we accept our mistakes responsibly. Religion was only used to colonized us in the first place and to control our society. Ideas about Christianity is completely bullshit. The myth about jesus christ was to stir anti-Semitic doctrines and poitically to eradicate the jews. The early founders of christianity and their so called saints even agree to their enslavement torture and obliteration for the reason that they are evil in the writings of the new bible. They were methodically killed during the crusades, porgroms in eastern europe inquisition in western europe. Only during the nazi regime were their killings(6 million) was well documented. The nazi party were even well financially supported by rich christians and the papacy when they were still trying to win a seat in the government. The Christian doctrines always talk about peace and all other shits but they spill blood by doing so forcing us to swallow their shit and stuffs. We Filipinos have become idiots and unreasonable. We forget our history. The Roman Catholic Church slaughtered about a million natives at the time of invasion and killing mercilessly those who dont convert to christianity. The funny thing about Christianity is it is only derived from the jews(judaism). The Jews were scattered in different regions and their religion was copied also from their host country’s religion during their enslavement in ancient times. For example The story of Noah was same as Epic of Gilgamesh in Persia. The Ten Commandments was same as The Book Of The Dead in Egypt. Cant Blame the Jews though they were slaves during ancient times from Babylonia, Persians and Egyptians. Yet the birth of Christianity signaled the start of harsh brutalities on ethnic races of the Earth.

  3. The point of this post is that we should not judge other people out of irrational thinking, but with logic. Just because a woman became a prostitute doesn’t mean she is for the D. While I do agree that Revilla is guilty (it is obvious by the way), we should not just be a superficial, bigoted prick, just like what some Catholics and their counterpart atheists do.

    (By the way, true Christians, who are humble and kind to everyone, barely existed until these present times. Reason? The expensive price of the Bible. Only the elites can afford it. And they, more likely, manipulated its contents into their favor.)

    1. ^One of the few comments that has actual sense. Believer or non-believer, that’s not the issue here. Ang punto lang naman ng may-akda e dapat pag humusga tayo, may konkreto tayong basehan, hindi yung dahil sabi lang ng katabi natin o ng nakararami e sasakay na agad tayo. Hindi naman masama humusga e. Di ko lang maalala kung sino nagsabi nito, pero “only shallow people do not judge.” Lahat naman tayo may interpretasyon sa mga bagay na nasa harap natin. Kailangan lang mag-isip tayo at maging responsable tayo pag binitawan natin yung saloobin natin.

  4. Ok, so I am biased towards Revilla being guilty with the scam. But then again, consider this, I have been a christian, like you Paul, for a very long time, and I could not, fully contend that in whatever decisions and endeavors I go through or went through in my live, that God is/was on my side. To say so would be putting oneself on a pedestal. He is in fact putting words in God’s mouth.

    I still say, based upon my biased judgement (of politicians and/or actors) the he is a self righteous hypocrite.

  5. Hello there, people!! so much talk about being a christian and/or being unchristain… just think of this… the money allotted for PDAF… did not benefit any of the people who needs it most. WHY?? of course we ALL know the answer to this!! This is what we should expose!! not diversionary tactics of like religion or spiritual beliefs. Don’t let yourself be fooled by these fools, thieves… always put in mind everyone, they took the money and put it in their pocket!! it may be blunt and simple.. but its direct and true!! Get the logic??!! My verdict – GUILTY!!

  6. Sad that it has to come to that before Sen. Revilla realizes God’s importance in his life. It’s obvious that when the worst comes to your life, you always call to a higher being – that being God.

    But if he really is serious about his belief and / or about being a Christian, don’t you think he should have been conscientious about his actions, way before this controversy blew? He kept denying his involvement when it had been obvious all along that he was.

    Is he guilty? We really can’t answer that, can we? Is he taking the Lord’s name in vain? Let’s put it this way, I can wear that t-shirt and people would still think it’s blasphemy.

    1. I’m confused. You say we can’t answer the question of Bong Revilla’s culpability but you first stated that it was obvious he was guilty. Which is it?

      1. We can’t answer because he hasn’t been convicted yet. Him being guilty is based solely on what we see on the news and his expressions. So I guess, it’s what you think of him more that makes him guilty, not in the eyes of the system… YET!

      2. He’s not guilty, because he hasn’t been convicted yet. Him being guilty is based solely in what we see in the news, his facial expression and his actions (obviously).

        I guess, it is what we think of him more than made him guilty, not the system.. YET! I hope.. cross-fingers… I hope they’re not blind.

        note: I thought I already posted my answer… my mistake!

      3. So — you’ve already convinced yourself Bong Revilla IS guilty even if NO CONCRETE EVIDENCE has been presented in court and this decision is based on over-hyped news coverage of the PDAF/DAP melodrama. Exactly the same emotional sentiment Penoy Aquino and company created during the Renato Corona impeachment. Conveniently sidestepping the fact that NO ally of the Aquinos or any members of the Liberal Party are being scrutinised for their involvement in the affair.

        1. YES (to your question). But then that’s just me… Your involvement and what you think of the issue is irrelevant to me. Any affairs that involved politics are dirty… that’s the way I see it.

        2. Revilla is at least guilty of being a huge liar!

          I can prove it.

          He calls himself an actor.

          Liar!

  7. I think wearing such a Shirt is in Bad Taste,but I do understand why he had to publicly display his trust in his Own God. I pray that he Truthfully replies to the charges laid against him.

    1. I understand also why he has to wear that T Shirt. I will give you two reasons :1) It is natural for a politician to epal. 2) playing victim card.

      You pray that a pinoy politician utters the truth in a public venue. I suggest you pray to St. Jude.

      As for the soul of Noynoy I suggest you pray to St. Anthony.

  8. Will Philippine History repeat itself again & again & again…..?

    Just imagine if one or both (Ramon Revilla & Mayor Joseph Estrada) eventually die before 2016 Presidential election.

    Our stupid voters may catapult either/both Bong & Jinggoy to be our next President or Vice President.

    So sad…..

  9. Why FULL ATTENTION is given to an accused Magnanakaw (big-time thieves/plunderers)? Our media are obviously being paid w/ money stolen from us.

    Why GLORIFY the Corrupt people? Instead of castigating the act and educate our people of the ill-effect of Corruption. Our media make our people dumb or brainwashed.

    With all the TV, radio, newspaper, prints, social media (internet) exposure given to them – I’m sure it also benefiting them both (Estrada & Revilla) whether it’s Free or Paid publicity.

    Notice how they look so good on picture/video and how smooth they talk during interview to get the sympathy of our people/stupid voters (majority). Somehow it maybe a way to groom them as a legit opposition to run as President or Vice President.

    Politics is the art of deception.

    It’s more about making the public believe half truths and lies to gain votes. Politicians will stop at nothing for power and wealth,

    Observe that recent elected Philippine Presidents are all from (pretend to be) opposition so as gain people support.

    Our Media has a social responsibility to make Philippines/World a better place by promoting/influence an intellect society and leave a positive impact on our people. And not just pursue profit from news maker at the expense of making our people dumb or brainwashed.

    “The media’s the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the minds of the masses.” by Malcolm X

    1. What responsibility? All ABS CBN cares about is trouncing GMA 7 and vice versa. This is often achieved by out baduying the other. Pinoys don’t care for education or enlightenment. All they care about is slapstick, T & A and insults.

  10. Satan or the Devil can also use and qoute the scriptures from the Christian Bible. Jesus Christ fasted for 40 days and 40 nights, in the desert. The Devil went to temp him. qouting “It is writen…” Satan or the Devil can use anything, including the Sacred Scriptures, to his advantage.

    It is detestable to use God in politics, to earn sympathy/votes from people…I believe all of them are guilty; including Aquino, who bribed these Senators with Pork Barrel Funds. I believe these are all “palabas”, with Real Actors participating in the “palabas.”

    Anyway, this is a qoute from our Lord Jesus Christ from the New Testament Bible ” Ye shall know them from their fruits.” You can see the fruits of the works of these political leaders, by the miseries of our people and the country, as a whole…

  11. I beleive that Senator Revilla is the least guilty amomg the three senators who are accusede in the PDAF scam.

    1. …and what is that suppose to mean?

      Like the difference between someone killing “just” one person and someone killing five?

      What the hell does least guilty mean?

      It is either guilty or not guilty.

  12. “He who speaks evil of a brother and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law and judges the law.” Thats why We dont have the right to judge…

    1. Then let’s remove ALL constitutional laws, judiciary departments and let men kill each other without judging each other. It’s funny that the verse in the bible is always being abused and used as an alibi so that one will not be held accountable for something they did wrong.

  13. Hanggat hindi napapatunayang guilty si Senador Bong ay inosente pa rin siya sa batas.Tigilan na ang trial by publicity.

    1. Minsan kasi ang media ang nagpapalaki ng issue.kaya yung mga tao naman naniniwala agad kahit walang katibayan.

  14. dapat tayong magisip mga pilipino.buksan ang isip wag tayong basta basta na lang maniniwala sa mga inilalabas sa media.Hindi naman magsusuot si Bong ng ganung tshirt kung alam niya na may kasalanan siya unless wala siyang konsensiya.Pero the point is wag na sanang siraan siya dahil lang sa tshirt.Ang totoong issue dapat ang bigyang pansin.

    1. Kung nagnakaw ako sa kapitbahay ko at nagsuot ako ng tshirt na may mukha ni Hesus at Maria, ibig bang sabihin noon ay wala na akong ginawang masama? He’s already clinging to “The Lord” dahil gusto nyang makuha ang simpatiya ng tao na magpapakatangang magmartsa para sa kanya. Distracting tactics, kung talagang wala siyang ginawang kasalanan, patunayan niya yun in front of the court at hindi na gagawa ng peryang pag-uusapan dahil mas lalo lang niyang nilulubog ang sarili niya sa mga ritwal niya bago maaresto.

  15. Politicians, scoundrels, law breakers, they always use religion as their moral shields because they know Filipinos are gullible and sympathetic whenever they saw people holding tightly to bible verses. I think what Bong was trying to do in wearing the shirt is that he’s expecting people to sympathize with him, make them believe that he is being purged unlawfully, and hoping that imbeciles will march with him towards his freedom. We are a nation of shamanism and superstitions that’s why we don’t move forward because we are used in seeing politicians, celebrities and famous people as divine entities and these same people knows that they can use it as a tool for their interests. If Filipinos will research the Roman Catholicism origins, the religion itself is a propaganda by Constantine to encourage followers in his time.

    1. And a person of good will shall be ABLE to realize that Roman Catholicism is NOT limited to Constantine. There might be individuals who are part of the Church and have wrought deeds out of ill will, and there might be some who even used the Church (and thus creating an illusion that they represent the Church) to satisfy and selfish motives. Yet still, the Church is not these individuals, nor their actions. The Mystical Body is not limited to a certain individual and thus should not be looked into from just a single angle.

  16. Though I don’t want to accuse him for whatever reason, and although it is not my intent to judge whatever kind of faith he may have, he should have just thought of not wearing that t-shirt at all, in view of the possible reactions of other people (both positive and negative). With or without that T-shirt, if God is with you, He will be. If you believe in His Mercy, then you believe. That’s it. Keep it in your heart. You don’t have to publicize it.

  17. siya naman ang magdadala ng conscience niyan e. sabi nga ng kilala ko pari, kapag nagkasala ka sa kapwa mo tao, ang mamamagitan ay si God. kung nagkasala ka kay God sino ang mamamagitan sa inyo?

    kung tama man siya or hindi; e hindi natin pwedeng questionin or i`judge ang kanyang faith kasi si God hindi naman kino question ang ating faith pero we will be judge in our faith kapag namatay tayo kasi doon din naka base kung gaano karami at kaunti ang ginawa mo kasalanan “lack of faith is a sin”..

    ang dapat tignan.
    sino ba naglabas niyan?
    sino ba mga gustong magpabasak sa kanya?
    wala din ba silang ninakaw?
    kanino tayo nakikiisa?

    kung ang both party ay nagc`comit ng pagnanakaw then applicable itong verse na ito

    “he who is without sin can cast the first stone”?

    mas okay na sabihin sa tao na huwag ka magnakaw kesa sabihing magnanakaw ka.. right??

    mas lalong nagugulo kung hindi mo alam kung sinong kakampihan mo. puwedeng manalo si bong pero kapag siya ang naupo palpak naman. puwedeng ang nagpakulong sa kanya pero same result din..

    ang dapat natin gawin if we are uncertain dapat nating ipagdasal na lumabas ang katotohan at si God ang bahala. mas easy yun compare sa pag j`judge at pag condemn ng tao.
    mas easy magdasal kesa makisalamuha sa gulo..

    Matthew 11:30
    my yoke is easy and my burden is light

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