Thursday, June 12, 2008

Real freedom...and real problems that a brethren should focus

Happy Independence Day!!! Mabuhay ang Araw ng Kalayaan!!!

I took advantage of this occasion to make a post. Being busy AND writer’s block are the reasons why I’m not posting recently. Not to mention my graduate school paper that was further delayed by the department chairman’s sudden hospital confinement.

Now, speaking of Independence Day, the cliché is this: are we really free?

Well, as for me, a person will only be truly considered free if he is saved by the Lord Jesus Christ. As human beings, we can’t save ourselves. The only way to be saved is that one must admit that he is a sinner and confess your sins before God (Romans 3:10, 23; I John 1:9). You should do this in prayer (Romans 10:13). Believe that Jesus Christ will save and accept Him as Lord and Savior (John 1:12 and John 3:16). That is what I consider true freedom.

Then, why the heck am I still greeting “mabuhay ang araw ng kalayaan”? Simple, I’m giving to Caesar what is due to Caesar. As a Filipino citizen, greeting is the least that I could do. I admit: I didn’t buy a Philippine Flag (my bad).

All the prices are going up and our country is facing crisis. An economist said that the worst is yet to come. This oil crisis is international in scope. I have watched CNN, and they are lamenting the same: oil crisis.

With all these problems, I can’t help, but abhor indifference, discord, gossiping, strife, divisiveness, hatred between brethren, hatred to a specific church leader, etc. inside the church. Why? Our country is facing problems right now. I have known a youngster who boycotted both Sunday school and Youth gathering (I’m the usual speaker/teacher of these two). She has her reasons. It’s the same girl that I’ve called Ms. Y. Don’t get me wrong. Ms. Y is still welcome. In fact, all youngsters are welcome. I condemned no one (partially because I have experienced how to be condemned by some folks who misunderstood the word “church discipline”, and basically because God condemns sin, not the sinners). I just shake my head every time I remember the hatred she has. I admit that there came a time in my life that I experience to be bitter. However, every time God made me remember His goodness, His grace, His love, and His blessings to me, I said to myself, “I have no reason to fill myself with hatred; no, not even substitute hatred with indifference and apathy”.

I have said this many times: there are many things to do in the church. Besides, I have seen people facing problems worst than she is, and yet they have overcome hatred. (My prayer is that she overcomes her hatred, indifference, and apathy to the church, especially to the Youth ministry AND LEADERSHIP.)

My fellow brethren in Christ, especially in the Baptist faith, let’s love each other. There are so many problems our respective local churches need to face. Souls that need to be saved, youngsters that need to be taught, Bible that needs to be read, church buildings that need fixing/repairing/paying (if rented or paid by installment). Not to mention the brethren who needs encouragement rather than indifference, leaders who need a tap on the shoulder or a smiling approval instead of the usual boycotting and criticism. There are pastors who need our support in prayer, in time, in talent, even in money. Look at your local churches. What does it lack? Do they need a choir director? Do they youth leaders? Sunday school teachers? Stay-in workers? Take a look around in your own local church what it needs, and I’ll tell you this: there is work to do and hatred, apathy, and indifference is the least of our concerns. The oil crisis and the crisis in this country are in God’s hands, and for now, we can’t do something about it. What we can do for the mean time is surround ourselves with love for the fellow brethren in Christ. By doing so, at least we can still smile without pretensions and ease ourselves in our present REAL problems right now.


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