In the civilised Western world, we enjoy certain freedoms we must never take for granted; one of which, is the Freedom of Speech. In the United States, it was deemed so important by the Founding Fathers that it is part of the FIRST AMENDMENT in the Constitution.
I will not make long emotional declarations about this freedom that we enjoy but never take it for granted. Especially you, fellow Bloggers. Perhaps some of you have never read any of my posts which are oftentimes critical, sometimes silly and on many times sarcastic. But no matter what the tone is, I have made every effort to keep every word truthful. If I am not sure of something, I simply pose it as a question and welcome others to give an answer.
As you can see below, I suppose I have poked a very large bear. I have written some things about the Church of Christ (Iglesia Ni Cristo, in Tagalog). It is a Church which I am a member of, and which I believe, in the last few years have been going off course, led by its leaders – delving into business transactions and into some questionable matters which many are asking about since we are supposedly a “non-profit organisation”
What you see is the SUBPOENA of the Church, (signed by Rommel San Pedro, church attorney) to WordPress Inc. to give up ALL INFORMATION about this blogsite. It’s purpose is to simply shut down this blog – to silence this writer. If you will read the paperworks, I am not even part of this case that has already been concluded. I have been advised to fight this by legal means. But who am I to fight the powerful organisation that has a strong influence on the police and judicial branches of the government? So powerful is the Church in the Philippines that during every election year, such as this year’s, the Presidential candidates (and other levels) would personally pay a visit to the Church Leader to ask for their backing.
So who am I to go against these mighty forces? I have no power but just a voice. I merely speak what others are thinking. Isn’t that what most writers try to do, to speak through our writing?
So please beware; if you dare to write about the Iglesia Ni Cristo, you have better be prepared to face the swing of it’s mighty sword – the sword of litigation.
This was the Church that I joined. This is the Church that I loved for decades. It used to be a simple, humble Church. We used to look forward to our Worship gatherings which were so powerful and spiritual. This was where we obtained strength to get us through day in and day out. This was the Church where we found comfort in times of grief and find inspiration when we were downhearted. It was a loving Church.
But now, things are going awry; Now there are World Record attempts for fireworks, annoying traffic-jamming activities, concerts of rappers like Chris Brown and worldly acts like Katy Perry.
This was the Church that was proud to say ‘WE DO NOT OWE A SINGLE PENNY TO ANYONE’. Now there are multi million dollar LOANS. Where did the money go?
There are mass expulsions; covert and overt business ventures, hacking, spying on family members, misappropriation of funds, bullying, harassments, MANHUNTS and as you will continue to see, LEGAL ACTIONS.
Where did that Church that I loved go? It’s there somewhere. But the leaders that are steering this ship seems hell bent on running it aground. It is like the small mom & pop store being bulldozed and replaced by the monstrous Super Duper Discount Chain store. The beautiful humble Church I belonged to is being converted for mass consumption and mass production for maximum profit.
Now they will try to stop me and others from speaking up about it.
All I can say then to them is this; you know that First Amendment, which guarantees the Right to Free Speech? Look closer, it is also the same one that allows us the Freedom of Religion and the Right to Assemble. We, as a religious organisation benefit from it. So I ask, that if you respect and utilise the Right to Assemble and enjoy the Freedom of Religion, give that same RESPECT to that portion of the people’s right to Free Speech. Apostle Paul wrote:
“Everyone must obey state authorities, because no authority exists without God’s permission, and the existing authorities have been put there by God. Whoever opposes the existing authority opposes what God has ordered; and anyone who does so will bring judgment on himself.” Romans 13:1-2
Please, dear Church Leaders, do not bully us. Do not harass us or those whom we utilise to publish what is on our mind. Why so intent on hunting down people? This is not the Church I remember. If there are issues, ANSWER THEM CLEARLY. Explain to us why certain things are done. Tell us why there are secret business ventures and million dollar airbuses; why are there expensive transportations for the Church council and lavish shopping ventures of the family members? Tell us why Church doctrines are being bent like a reed in the wind. Then perhaps you will not have so many bloggers like me who simply wish to speak our minds.
“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” Matthew 6:24
The former Executive Minister never had problems with people speaking up. His simple and loving instruction? Answer them. TEACH them – let them get knowledge.
“The mind of a person with understanding gets knowledge; the wise person listens to learn more.” Proverbs 18:15
So I don’ t know if WordPress will be required to shut me down. Or perhaps the INC themselves will go after me personally, to hunt me down, expel me, shame me and my family into oblivion. No matter what happens though, the questions and issues will remain, until the Leadership decides to step down or steer the Church back into its rightful course.
So dear faithful readers, while this blog is still active, I hope you read what you can. There are questions that need answers. One day this blog site may disappear, but there will always be another asking the same questions. Don’t give up the search.
“Intelligent people want to learn, but stupid people are satisfied with ignorance.” Proverbs 15:14