Not Just On April Fool’s

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Today, April 1 a.k.a. April Fool’s Day, my Facebook timeline is swamped with jokes that the unaware (Read: naive) could mistake for legitimate news. From Gmail’s “Shelfie” to “BIR request to block Facebook, Twitter over tax issues” and finally “Philippines Now Has 7106 Islands: PH Government Donates Island to China as Peace Offering,” it just proves once again that whatever becomes viral online is not necessarily true offline. As one good friend noted, “It’s cute at first but it later becomes troubling that many can’t tell the difference.” 

Gmail does it again. This time, their April Fool's prank is the Gmail Shelfie. Image credit
Yes, it’s funny but sad at the same time that, as one Filipino writer lamented: “Why do many Filipinos mistake satire for truth so easily?” (Source: Rappler) We can chalk it up to a poor educational system. “It’s possible, through a flawed educational system, that many Filipinos were not taught to think critically enough. And if you can’t think critically enough, grasping satire may be more difficult than it should be. … The local school system isn’t exactly churning out smart cookies.” (Ibid) The writer dreams of a nation of critical thinkers. “A Philippines made up of confident, critical thinkers is a Philippines that knows how to tell fact from fiction, chooses between right and wrong, and, ultimately, unburdens itself of the people who steal power and abuse it.” (Ibid) I dream the same dream. 

This is how atheists caricature believers. Time to teach what real faith really is. Image credit
The Filipino Christian Church can do her share. We should not preach a faith devoid of reason. After all, a blind faith is no faith at all. A faith without reason is not really faith but actually presumption. (Read: “A leap in the dark or a step into the light?”) After all, we are commanded, “You shall love the Lord your God… with all your mind.” (Matthew 22:37, ESV. Emphasis mine.)

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We pastors are to equip the people we shepherd to defend the faith and to be discerning (1 Peter 3:15; 1 Thess. 5:20-22). We are to preach and teach the Word in all its simplicity, practicality and authority so that every believer can declare as Apostle Paul have proclaimed, “I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me.” (2 Timothy 1:12. Emphasis mine.) 

Brothers and sisters, let us know why and what we believe.

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