Showing posts from April, 2014

If It's Too Good To Be True...

Just its name (“The Adobo Chronicles”) ought to have raised suspicion. Had people took the time to explore the website, they would have seen this disclaimer: “When writing stories for this blog, we let the news sizzle and simmer in our mind in a mixture of fact and fiction, then we spice it up with figments of our imagination.” Sadly, when it posted that the “U.S. Announces ‘No Visa’ Policy For Filipinos,” people got so excited that it went viral on social media. The U.S. Embassy had to issue a statement that there was no such policy change.

Though it’s debatable whether it’s a harmless satire or a cruel joke, it seems that one of the reasons why many people fell for it is an apparent lack of critical thinking among us. They forgot the cliché that, “If it’s too good to be true, it’s too good to be true.”

I also see this dire need for discernment in the way many believers take as Gospel truth the New York Times best-selling book, “Heaven is Real.” (The movie version already came out this…

Wise Words on Wealth (Part 3)

Read “Wise Words on Wealth”Part 1 | Part 2

Remember the famous “Marshmallow Test”?

Actually, it’s not really just marshmallows. The kids who went through the test “could choose a cookie, a pretzel stick, or a marshmallow”. (Source: Bloomberg Business Week) Anyway, Stanford professor Walter Mischel told the kids that “[t]hey could eat the treat right away, or wait 15 minutes until the experimenter returned. If they waited, they would get an extra treat.” Mischel monitored the kids as they grew old. What he discovered was a breakthrough.
As they matured and became adults, the kids who had shown the ability to wait got better grades, were healthier, enjoyed greater professional success, and proved better at staying in relationships—even decades after they took the test. They were, in short, better at life. … It has changed the way educators and psychologists think about success: The lesson is that it’s not just intelligence that matters, but self-control and patience and being able to tame …

Making Families Christ Centered Followers

The family is the first institution God created before the government and the church. He Himself builds the family. In fact, “[u]nless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.” (Psalm 127:1a, ESV) The command to honor our father and mother “is the first commandment with a promise” (Ephesians 6:2)
God takes the family so seriously that, for example, He even declared in Leviticus 20:9, “For anyone who curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death; he has cursed his father or his mother; his blood is upon him.” Though the sentence of death penalty to disobedient children applies to Israel only and not to us, the spirit or intent of the law applies to us also. According to Walter Kaiser, an Old Testament scholar and author of “Hard Sayings of the Old Testament, “the family order was so sacred to the fabric of society… What disrupted one family in the community attacked the whole community.” Remember that it takes a village to raise a child. It’s not just …

The Burial Clothes of Jesus?

“The Shroud of Turin has long been a source of reverence and intrigue,” as The Huff Post Religion put it. Measuring 4.4 meters  by 1.1 meters, the rectangular linen cloth is “[c]onsidered one of the most important Christian relics [since] many believe it to be the burial shroud of Jesus Christ, due to the faint image visible on its surface that appears to show a naked man bearing wounds consistent with crucifixion.” (Ibid) 

But there’s an ongoing, raging debate about its authenticity. Oxford University did carbon dating on the shroud before and declared it “a medieval forgery.” But there are those who contest that result, claiming that the samples might have been “contaminated.” A new study theorized that radiation emanating from the earthquake at that time imprinted the image on the shroud.

Personally, I don’t believe that the shroud was the burial clothes of our Lord Jesus. According to John 20:6-7, “Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen cloth…

“Bible Skeptics on the Rise”

That’s according to the Annual State of the Bible report of the American Bible Society. (Source: The Christian Post

According to the report, “Since 2011, the percentage of those who believe that the Bible is ‘just another book of teachings written by men that contains stories and advice’ has risen from 10 percent to 19 percent of those surveyed. …the percentage of Americans who are engaged with Scripture is equal to the percentage who are skeptical — both at 19 percent.” (Ibid) 

In that study, a person is considered “skeptical” if he chose “the most negative or non-sacred view of the Bible” among five options in the survey questionnaire.  On the other hand, a person is considered “engaged with Scripture” if he reads the Bible at least four times a week and believes that it is God’s Word. Sadly, those who admit they are too busy to read the Bible were about 40 percent last year. But, this year, it rose to 47 percent. 

Is there a correlation between the growing skepticism and the neglect…

Wise Words on Wealth (Part 2)

Read “Wise Words on Wealth”Part 1 | Part 3

A German saying goes this way, “He who borrows sells his freedom.”

That’s why Proverbs 22:7 warned us, “Just as the rich rule the poor, so the borrower is servant to the lender.” [1] When we incur debt, we already imprison ourselves mentally and emotionally even if we are not yet physically in jail. According to The Message version, “The poor are always ruled over by the rich, so don’t borrow and put yourself under their power.”

[Today, we continue with our F-I-N-A-N-C-E-S acronym. We already saw that “F” stands for ‘First Give To God” and “I” stands for “Invest in Yourself.”]

“N” stands for “Never Live A Life Of Debt.” Borrowing money is not necessarily wrong. Borrowing money as a lifestyle is not right. Romans 13:8 commanded us, “Owe nothing to anyone—except for your obligation to love one another.” According to The Bible Knowledge Commentary, “This is not a prohibition against a proper use of credit”. [2] The command “Owe nothing to anyone” i…

Wise Words on Wealth (Part 1)

Once upon a time, a wise man gave this advice to a woman: “If you could marry four men, marry a banker, an actor, a preacher and an undertaker.” Puzzled, the woman asked why. The wise man replied, “One for the money, two for the show, three to get ready and four to go.”

Seriously, as far as wisdom are concerned, I would go to the Book of Proverbs. King Solomon, whom I call “the ultimate wise guy,” wrote, compiled and edited this collection of wise words with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. And, when it comes to money, we don’t have to marry a banker. We just have to follow his wise words on wealth. 

To make it easy for us to remember these wise words on wealth, I came up with the acronym F-I-N-A-N-C-E-S. 

“Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the best part of everything you produce.” (Proverbs 3:9) [1]

“F” stands for First Give To God. When we give, we honor God. Yes, worship involves our wealth, too. We recognize that He owns everything and we are His managers. We give not becaus…

Strange Fire: Beyond the Hype and the Hysteria (Part 3)

That many Filipino believers fell for the self-proclaimed Prophet Sadhu Sundar Selvaraj is  “Exhibit A” that there is a dire need for Biblical discernment nowadays. (Read: “Nakuryente?” [“Electrocuted?”])

That’s why, whether we agree or disagree with the way John MacArthur blamed the pentecostals and charismatics for the prosperity preachers, I still believe his Strange Fire: The Danger of Offending the Holy Spirit with Counterfeit Worship [1] is a clarion call for us today.

McArthur devoted two chapters on “Testing The Spirits” regarding the “fivefold test” with which we measure any and all movements that would claim to be of God. [2]
Only that which holds up to the scrutiny of Scripture can be embraced, while that which falls short must be confronted and rejected. Nothing less is the duty of every pastor and teacher as well as the responsibility of every true believer. We might frame these tests from 1 John 4:2-8 in the form of five questions: (1) Does the work exalt the true Christ? …

Strange Fire: Beyond the Hype and the Hysteria (Part 2)

Critics of John MacArthur’s Strange Fire feel that he focused on the dot instead of the paper. (When there’s a dot in the center of a white paper, people tend to see the former instead of the latter.) 

They claim that the Word Faith movement that he lambasted does not in any way represent the mainline pentecostals. They question him for citing an extreme example and make it represent the entire charismatic movement. 

MacArthur explained why he believes there is really a link between the two.
Some might argue, however, that such heretical elements represent only the lunatic fringe of an otherwise orthodox movement. More moderate charismatics like to portray the prosperity preachers, faith healers, and televangelists as safely isolated on the extreme edge of the charismatic camp.Unfortunately, that is not the case. Thanks to the global reach and incessant proselytizing of religious television and charismatic mass media, the extreme has now become mainstream. For most of the watching world,…

Strange Fire: Beyond the Hype and the Hysteria (Part 1)

“The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him.” (Proverbs 18:17, ESV)

That verse talked about “dealing with a dispute (a lawsuit) [wherein] a judge needs to hear both sides of a case before answering… or making a decision.” [1] However, I think it’s a good reminder to all of us not to jump to conclusion without hearing all the facts.

We heard that, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” However, in the case of Strange Fire: The Danger of Offending the Holy Spirit with Counterfeit Worship, [2] I fear that since Dr. John MacArthur is an outspoken critic of pentecostal and charismatic beliefs, people might have already judged the book by its author. After all, the book is typical MacArthur. Hard-hitting. Pulled no punches. Asked the hard questions. And… not surprisingly... [drum roll]  anti-charismatic theology. Thus, because of that, it appears there are those who chose not to read it at all. There are others who decided against reading the book based…