Showing posts from October, 2016

October 31 Is Not Just About Halloween

Relax. This is not one of those “halloween-is-pagan-not-for-Christians” articles. This is not even about trick or treat. This devotional article is about a historical event that is way  much more significant. 
I’m talking about the Reformation.
Next year, this coming October 31, 2017, is the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s nailing of his 95 Theses (or Propositions) against the sale of Catholic indulgences on the Castle Church door at Wittenberg, Germany. That’s the spark that has set ablaze the Reformation, even though there were people before Luther who also spoke against the unbiblical teachings prevalent at that time. 

In 1515, as he struggled with his lack of righteousness before God, Luther was reflecting on this verse: “For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, ‘The righteous shall live by faith.’” (Romans 1:17) Here was his key to spiritual certainty: “Night and day I pondered,” Luther later recalled, “until I saw the connection bet…

Getting Involved

Nick Russell Oniot, an 18-year-old architecture student from Adamson University, could have been alive today. 
Last October 14 about 11PM, two suspects tried to grab Oniot’s backpack. He tried in vain to fend them off. One of the suspects brutally murdered the victim, stabbing him 18 times. CCTV captured the entire crime. 

What happened next was equally tragic. 
Shiela, the sister of the victim, “lamented the final moments of Nick, slumped on the pavement in his bloodied uniform, as bystanders did not even bother to check him or call for help.” [1] 
It is sad not because nobody played the hero that fatal night. It was late at night and it appears no one else was around when the stabbing happened. It is sad because nobody played the role of the Good Samaritan while Nick pleaded for help when in fact there were already onlookers.  Moments before that, the CCTV showed Nick fighting off his attackers who stabbed him. They only left Nick alone when a jeepney and a van passed by.  Nick tried to …

Obscure (“Mother Teresa” Part 4)

“Interpret unclear passages with clear passages.”
That’s one of the rules of Bible interpretation. I have already cautioned in a previous blog article that, “We should be careful not to base our beliefs on obscure or figurative statements.” As Reformed theologian R.C. Sproul put it, “The implicit is to be interpreted by the explicit.” [1] Closely related to the rule of interpreting the implicit by the explicit is the correlate rule to interpret the obscure in the light of the clear. If we interpret the clear in the light of the obscure, we drift into a kind of esoteric interpretation that is inevitably cultic. The basic rule is that of care: careful reading of what the text is actually saying will save us from much confusion and distortion. No great knowledge of logic is necessary, just the simple application of common sense. [2]Without that safeguard, the sky is the limit as far as rogue interpretation is concerned. Sproul warned of interpreting the clear passages with the unclear pass…

“To obey is better than sacrifice”

Through the prophet Samuel, God commanded King Saul, “Now go and completely destroy the entire Amalekite nation—men, women, children, babies, cattle, sheep, goats, camels, and donkeys.” (1 Samuel 15:3, New Living Translation) [1]
Now, before we go further, allow me to explain why God is not a moral monster for issuing this apparent genocide. The Lord Himself gave the reason for the extermination of that nation: “I will punish the Amalekites for what they did to Israel when they waylaid them as they came up from Egypt.” (v. 2) According to “Hard Sayings of the Bible,” Why was God so opposed to the Amalekites? When the Israelites were struggling through the desert toward Canaan, the Amalekites picked off the weak, sick and elderly at the end of the line of marchers and brutally murdered these stragglers. … When a nation starts burning children as a gift to the gods (Lev 18:21) and practices sodomy, bestiality and all sorts of loathsome vices (Lev 18:25, 27–30), the day of God’s grace and …