Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Most of us saw, heard or read Jun Lozada’s explosive testimony before the powerful blue ribbon senate committee about the controversial National Broadband Network scandal, his abduction and even his ‘mea culpa’ or the confession of his own corrupt activities.
Nowadays, it is so easy to point an accusing finger. It is as if no one can afford to be neutral. To be impartial seems to be cowardice. Lines were drawn. Sides were taken.
How should we as a Christian community respond? I am not calling for neutrality but for prayerful sobriety or clear-headedness. No matter how engaging the accusations and counter-accusations, the right forum for all these is not the senate, though they may claim it is “in aid of legislation.” It is not even EDSA. It is the courts for we are a nation under the rule of law. We took shortcuts before. Look at where we are right now. Yes, it’s quick and easy compared to the slow grind of the wheels of justice. But I fear we would again end up short-circuiting the process if we take drastic actions.
I believe the best “communal action” we can do at this time is to pray for the Philippines. According to 1 Timothy 2:1-2, “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.” (English Standard Version) We can do more than prayer. But we cannot do anything without prayer. This is also the best forum to air our grievances. Like Daniel, we declare, “Our God, your name will be praised forever and forever. You are all-powerful, and you know everything. You control human events—you give rulers their power and take it away, and you are the source of wisdom and knowledge.” (2:20-21, Contemporary English Version)
Brethren, let us pray for our nation.
Saturday, February 02, 2008
“We’re the authorities on getting people off drugs. We’re the authorities on the mind. We’re the authorities on improving conditions. We are the way to happiness. We can bring peace and unite cultures. Now is the time.”
That’s from the latest, controversial video of Tom Cruise over the Internet, extolling the virtues of his Scientology faith. (Most websites that hosted the video pulled it out after the Church of Scientology issued them a notice of copyright infringement.) Someone wrote this about the video, “Let me put it this way: if Tom Cruise jumping on Oprah’s couch was an 8 on the scale of scary, this is a 10.” Cruise did not say those claims tongue in cheek. I watched the video myself. He is so enthusiastic or, as described by http://gawker.com, “with all the wide-eyed fervor that he brings to the promotion of a movie… Making the argument is an understatement. [He] is a complete fanatic.”
Well, Cruise is sincere… but wrong. Scientology is not the authority. Our Lord Jesus was, is and will always be the authority. He does not merely improve but rather He transforms lives. He is not only the way to happiness but, much more than that, “the way and the truth and the life.” (John 14:6, NIV)
But what caught my attention was what Cruise added, “It’s rough and tumble. It’s wild and woolly. It’s a blast. It really is. It is fun. Because [expletive deleted], there is nothing better than going out there and fighting the fight, and suddenly you see - boom! - things are better. I want to know that I’ve done everything I can do, every day... I do what I can. And I do it the way I do everything.” He may be wrong but how excited he is for his faith!
What about us? We have the truth. But are we that enthusiastic? Yes, Cruise was called a fanatic. But he does not care a bit. I’m not saying that we become “wide-eyed” fanatics. But we are called to proclaim Jesus. That’s more than enough to be passionate… to stake our reputation or give our lives for.
Brethren, now is the time!