Goliath Strikes Again!
If you read my earlier post about how we used to be the small church that went against the odds, you would understand the usage of “Goliath”. What was once the humble group of people, have now become the bully. Yes we have heard the words of Jesus: “It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest of all seeds on earth. Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds can perch in its shade.” That promise is for us and we have witnessed how the church has grown. I have heard an old minister say that the “birds that will perch in its shade” are those politicians who will ask for help from the Church. These have been fulfilled, thanks to the Lord God.
But even when God grants success and blessings, there is also a reminder He gave to His people:”Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.” Note that this was not just a reminder to individuals but to His entire nation. After success, there is always a danger that one becomes proud and forget God.
This was reminded again in the Christian era. Let’s break this down and see if it sounds familiar: (2 Timothy 3)
“Remember this! There will be many troubles in the last days. In those times people will love only themselves and money.
– They will be boastful and proud. (officially amazing anyone?!)
– They will say bad things against other people. (Fallen angels?)
– They will not obey their parents. (ahem) They will not be thankful. They will not be the kind of people God wants.
– People in those times will not have love for other people. (get out of #36 TS?? Really?)
– They will refuse to forgive and will talk about other people to hurt them. (What did you say about Failon and Drilon for doing their jobs?)
– People will not control themselves. They will be angry and mean and will hate things that are good. (mocking the expelled. I say mean And heartless)
– In the last days people will turn against their friends. They will do foolish things without thinking.
– They will be conceited and proud. People will love pleasure—they will not love God. (proud, like Goliath)
– Those people will continue to act like they serve God. But the way they live shows that they don’t really serve God. Timothy, stay away from those people.”
I’m sure that all the “One with EVM’ers” will say I am turning this verse around. That this applies to the “Defenders” who are speaking lies. Okay. Let’s examine why I said the INC has now become the Goliath…
I say Goliath because he was conceited and proud. A bully who tormented the weak. It’s not about defending the Church. It is the church members who are now pushing their weight around, and very proudly too. This week, the Goliath struck again bullying the media. There were reports in the news of the Iglesia Ni Cristo issues with Lowell Menorca II and as news reporters do, they reported what had happened. But of course, we no longer “tolerate” this any form of insult from the government nor the media and the I am One Brigade lashed out. There were calls for boycott of the ABS-CBN network, the TFC channel, Rappler, there were personal attacks on Ted Failon and on and on.
Are insults new to the Iglesia Ni Cristo? NO. We have been taught the moment we have our Bible Study that it is part of our life. We are taught by Jesus “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.” So why such rage at the world? Is this not a blessing to be insulted in the name of Christ? Instead we flex our muscles and show that we can pressure people to stop harassing us and stop portraying us in bad light. We insult back when there are people who talk negatively about the Church.
Do we not remember the teaching of Jesus when we are persecuted? Matthew 5:44? “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you”
Or are we too inundated with the Submission lessons? Jesus clearly teaches to LOVE YOUR ENEMIES. PRAY FOR THOSE WHO PERSECUTE. I have not heard this in any Worship Service. I’m sure there’s some smarty pants who will say, “I DO pray for my enemies. I pray that they will all be cursed and perish.” That is NOT the teaching of the Bible either. Apostle Paul said “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.”
And even brethren who may be considered “rebelling” because they do not like to be “One with EVM”. If they are considered as not submitting to the the teachings, even the Apostles wrote: “Take special note of anyone who does not obey our instruction in this letter. Do not associate with them, in order that they may feel ashamed.” ‘Oh there you go!’ you might say. But let’s finish the verse… Yet do not regard them as an enemy, but warn them as you would a fellow believer. Even those who do not obey. Even those the expelled. Yes, it says do not associate with them but it does not say we harass them and file charges against them. On the contrary, it clearly states DO NOT REGARD THEM AS AN ENEMY. Should we disregard these verses as well?
I hope everyone is paying attention. Whether it is the people of this world. Or the newly expelled. Or the “Silent Defenders” still in the Church, if anyone is persecuting us, we are taught that
1) It is a blessing for us.
2) We must love them.
3) Do not regard them as an enemy
But what if those people are insulting us? What if they are the ones clearly in the wrong? They are the ones who file cases? Did Jesus say hold a rally? Counter sue? Pressure the government? Bully the other side?
“Never take revenge, my friends, but instead let God’s anger do it. For the scripture says, “I will take revenge, I will pay back, says the Lord.”
Revenge is not for us. Leave it to God. We, the Iglesia Ni Cristo cannot be the bully. We cannot be the Avengers. We cannot and must not be Goliath.
Lastly, before I close this commentary, here is a verse for all of us, yes, including the SCAN who (supposedly) filed a lawsuit against Menorca (you naughty SCAN you):
“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ But now I tell you: do not take revenge on someone who wrongs you. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, let him slap your left cheek too. And if someone takes you to court to sue you for your shirt, let him have your coat as well. ”
That’s right. This is where we got the expression from, “Turn the other cheek” It’s biblical! Again, I reiterate – Jesus did not say You bully them. You pressure them. You file a lawsuit against them. You boycott them. You use political connections. You harass them. The commandment is simple. They slap you on the right, give the left. They sue you for your shirt, give the coat. It is the Christian thing to do. Why are we not being taught this? Why are being taught to be at War and act like Goliath? Have we forgotten who we are?? BE CHRISTIANS. Like we used to be.