I watched the Philippine news the other day. Watching Mr. Menorca struggle with a civilian clothed police officer, my first reaction is, “is this real?” Or is this a ploy of the “Defenders” to gather sympathy? I am not a convinced Defender. I just observe and think for myself. But watching all this unfold and finding out that it was real, it makes me ask 1. Why? They said it’s LIBEL. 2. Who made this decision to do this?
On the part of Why? I am confused. I have never in my life seen anyone arrested for LIBEL. From what I know, Libel is a civil suit and not something one is arrested over. Especially not in dramatic fashion with undercover police officers.
As far as the Who made the decision, we are told that the Church Administration has nothing to do with it. It was the SCAN members who filed the suit. This brings me another question. When did one of the Church organizations ever take such an action without the approval of the Administration? We can’t even hold a picnic in the park without a go-signal from the Central office and now we are told they know nothing about this??
Then this brings up two things in my brain. If it is true that they do not know about this – why not? Are they out of touch with the organization? What’s next? LIBEL suit by the Buklod? The Binhi perhaps? And secondly, if the Administration does know about the libel case, why deny it? Is it because they urged the SCAN members to file the case? Are we into all this underhanded activities now?
All these things make me wonder if we are still worthy to be called members of the body or Church of Christ. To be a true member of His body or His disciple, Christ taught us that “But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment.”
And yet, what we are seeing now are brethren lashing out in court and online. And it can be quite brutal. Even editing photos of the expelled. And this brings us to the topic of this article. The behavior of the brethren and those leading us.
Yes there will be enemies of our faith, but again, Christ gave us the guiding words: “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven…”
Are we doing this? To be true children of God, this must be the behaviour of each and every member. It saddens me when I see all kinds of harsh words and horrible depictions of the siblings of the Administrator.
Please take note, I am not spreading all kinds of lies or rumours. These are simply verses in the Bible. I am not even a Bible expert. I am simply going from one chapter to the next. And yet, what I read, I do not see from the members. I see anger. I see rude words. I see very unchristian behaviour.
If we would truly follow the examples of Jesus, we would see very different behaviour from all. What is one of the main characteristics we can learn from Jesus? One word: COMPASSION. Not submission. Not revenge. Not expulsion. Look it up yourself. Here are some of the verses:
When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.
Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat.
Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him.
When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd.
As members of His Church, should we not have compassion on all? Do we still feel? For those who have sinned? Those who lost their way? Those who have been expelled and cannot even attend Worship Service? Where is the compassion?
Have we not all sinned? Didn’t Jesus say let him who has not sin throw the first stone? So if there are others who sinned against us, the instructions are written too: “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
Reading this verse makes me ashamed when there are those who are so mean to the expelled. Makes me ashamed to say they are my brethren.
This is the very reason we became members of the Church isn’t it? Because God had compassion on US. He sent His son that we may be forgiven. Then why are so many so brutal to the expelled? One reason I heard from a Minister is that those who were expelled (like the siblings and the mom) are responsible for causing division and causing others to be expelled. But we are not a bunch of mindless idiots. God gave us brains to use. He gave us the ability to choose. Deuteronomy 30 says: “This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life…” Should we put the blame on those expelled for the choices of others? We all make our own choices. The choice I made, I cannot say it’s Mr. Menorca’s doing. It is not Mrs. Hemedes. That is why Apostle Paul said “Work out your own salvation”. We cannot justify harassing the expelled by the reason that they cause others to be expelled. Should we also harass all the Catholic priests for teaching about bowing down idols?
Another argument is, “oh they’re not members anymore!” Ok. So then, we must be the real children correct? Remember these words from Colossians:
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”
Where has the compassion gone from us? I don’t even hear it in the worship services. I don’t hear a single prayer for the lost souls. I don’t hear anyone ask to please make us compassionate just as you have compassion on us. It hurts to think that we are nothing like Jesus. All I hear these days is that we must be one with EVM and to obey commandments like Offering.
I hope and pray that one day, we can return to that. The time when we were humble. The time when we were compassionate.