Thursday, March 31, 2011

Dear Christian School and Non Christian school graduates

I’m a product of Christian school. I grew up in the church. It’s an open book that is so open that those facts are virtually ignored by everyone that knows me as a friend or by name. I’ll be forever grateful that I graduated from that school. I’ll be forever honored and privileged to be a part of that batch of graduate (not in the boastful, arrogant sense of the word, but in a school spirit sense of the word). Christian education was used by God for me to be led to the Lord Jesus Christ.

However, I don’t know about you, fellow note readers and bloggers especially graduates of Christian school, but one of the strong negative statements that have haunted (exaggeration intended to create attention) me are the following statements or anything similar to this: graduates of Christian school, especially those who grew up in the church, are a bunch of ignoramus, not in the intellectual sense, but in the “outside world” sense. To add insult to the injury, the young and single professional Church attenders who were never products of any Christian school, are both directly and indirectly proving Christian school graduates that they’re more street smart just because they are, well in the “outside world”. More often than not, they’re proven right, even without trying (general viewpoint please, don’t be specific).

Is it a sense of pride for some if we’re so called ignoramus, not knowing the “outside world” and they’re these street smart individuals? The reason for these street smart, is because a portion of the graduates of Christian school are not in the ministry, stay-in or stay-out. One person I heard even mentioned that if they fell, they fell big time. One even stated that if they fell into sin, not only they can rationalize why, but also can’t accept the fact that they have fallen. Not only that, a Christian school graduate doesn’t only lack street smart characteristics, they’re generally closed minded.

Now, I’ll never justify any wrong deeds done by a fellow Christian school graduate and even my own wrong deeds. Most of us are guilty of misdoings, mischievous acts, which are usually being done by teenagers. If a Christian school graduate falls into sins like fornication and/or was subjected to severe or even moderate discipline, I’m one of those first people who are sad…TRULY. However, let’s put things in its proper perspective. Teenagers are teenagers. Graduates became individuals when they go out of the institution. Do you blame Philippine Military Academy (PMA) for the corruption at Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) that is being inquired right now by the Senate? Not entirely you may say, even if most of the senior officers are PMA graduates.

Foolishness is bound in the heart of the child, the Bible says. It’s not the Christian school’s fault if the graduate is itching his or her way out of “Alcatraz”. This “itching” attitude is something internal in nature, not external forces. About being ignoramus, like my fellow graduate and my former mentor said, I think otherwise. Christian school students are taught, not indoctrinated. Christian school students go home after the class, they’re not hermits or monks.

I can go on and on and on, but it will be pointless. Let’s just look at the bright side, those who stay eventually become Pastors, preachers, deacons, active lay workers. Even if that graduate becomes a prodigal son, the Word of God will never go away from him or her. It will be his or her compass, even if he or she will never admit due to certain ecclesiastical hatred.

As I writer, I don’t want to be misunderstood and misquoted on this one. This is not my own statement, although the evaluative statement is my own doing. It’s a summary of numerous statements of different people whom yours truly have encountered.

I’ll repeat the first paragraph as an ending: I’m a product of Christian school. I grew up in the church. It’s an open book that is so open that those facts are virtually ignored by everyone that knows me as a friend or by name. I’ll be forever grateful that I graduated from that school. I’ll be forever honored and privileged to be a part of that batch of graduate (not in the boastful, arrogant sense of the word, but in a school spirit sense of the word). Christian education was used by God for me to be led to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Friday, March 25, 2011

What if we're just victims of "he said, she said"?

By logic and by ideals, open communication is truly important. When I say open communication, I don’t say that you’ll dig to your private closet and mention your “skeletons” or dark secrets. What I mean is a reliable communication.

Now, having said that, let me give open questions to every note readers out there, particularly those who are reading this right now: what if the information you heard from someone, whether they’re confidant, spiritual brethren, or even family, is not as what you think? What if it’s not real? What if we’re all just victims of false rumors? What if it’s all just lies made up by people? What if it’s just exaggerations? What if it’s plain manipulation? What if the truth that you got is influenced by certain approaches or negative emotions hence you’re carried and became antagonistic (or being negative) to a so called “common enemy”? What if the truth mentioned is not meant to help you, but to twist you head and torture? What if we’re just victims of faulty communication line because, whether we admit it or not, we’re too proud to approach the people themselves? What if the reason for this faulty communication is because we’re more comfortable to hear only one side of the story just because you are of same gender, same religion, same belief system, etc.? What if the truth mentioned is blurted out because of an outburst emotion?

If the information is found out to be not true, are you willing to approach the people and apologize for believing? IT IS UNLIKELY A “NO”..

Friends and brethren, even the wisest man on earth, King Solomon, was fooled, it took an old age before he mentioned “all is vanity”. Being fooled because of a faulty communication or because some people are just plain cruel or manipulative happen even to the best among us. It is not stupidity.

What are my points in all of these open questions? Listen to information and take time to listen to every angle. If you’re a victim of false information, forgive. If you were fooled and believed and became antagonistic to the person, apologize, or if you don’t have the guts, make the person feel that you’re truly apologetic.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Son-ship and membership: two of the nicest possessions

“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, [even] to them that believe on his name:” John 1:12 (Italics mine).

“And all that believed were together, and had all things common;” Acts2:44

It’s awesome if you’ll think of it deeply. Being joint heirs with Christ (Romans 8:16, 17). Truly heaven bound. Saved by grace through faith. Awesome indeed. Because of this salvation that we possess, we have a tool to face this life’s hardships and happy moments as days go by. Why? It’s not pride. It’s son-ship.

It’s also awesome to have genuine fellowship with fellow believers in Christ, be it in your own local church or with other church with likeminded faith. You speak the language unbelievers don’t understand. It’s not pride that some societies try to instill. It’s brotherhood.

Sad as it may seem, we tend to take these two things for granted once we had them, and especially when we have them for so long. Even most especially, we take these things for granted if we practically grew up hearing these two things (son-ship and membership). We let our old sin nature stand in our way hence we take these two things for granted.

How are we unintentionally (or worst, intentionally) taking our membership for granted? I don’t know how many, but one of them is being a snub, intentionally a snub. We’re battle scarred with the hardships of this world, being pilgrims. You go to the church. Human beings are social beings; next to God, we need other human to survive and be sane. It is head shaking to see people snub other people inside the church for no particular reason. Yeah, they’re just being natural. Wait, so that means I can just kick someone’s sides and justify it as “old nature”? Definitely, unless you have numerous “defenders of the universe”, you’ll not do it. Yes, at the end of the day, it’s our choice whether will crack under pressure. You can’t put Hebrews 12:2 as a sort of excuse to all newcomers every time an ingrate acts in a “devil may care” manner, be it outwardly or subtly. After all, other aspect of fellowship is rebuke. Another thing we do that indicates the lack for appreciation of our son-ship and fellowship is spreading rumors and hate.

Sometimes, I can’t help but think, “what if there came to a point that they will be intentionally ignored by almost 100 people all at once, and most of them are your friends? What if you can’t come in to the place that matter to you?” Yes indeed. What if you wake up one day with your membership, and even son-ship, gone? Remember, when God gives statements, He will make sure you’ll feel it.

It’s quite envious to see people not making any effort to change, just doing their stuff. After all, they’re not kick outs. Bluntly but out of love, I say this: you’re taking your son-ship for granted.

The point of all this hammer pounding? Let’s not take our membership and sonship for granted. Take advantage of fellowship. Get involve. Take time to talk to some brothers and sisters; you’ll learn from them.

Have a nice day…or night.