Not Only Your Local Charismatic Pastor Can Do It

Not Only Your Local Charismatic Pastor Can Do It

Not just your average charismatic pastor or your favorite faith healer can do it. Buddhists and Hindus have been doing it for centuries or longer. The idea of using power called chi or ki to cause people to fall over, convulse, trip around and more. Here is an example of some Chi master.

What is interesting is what he says just after halfway when he goes on to speak. He says that the more his students train the more they become Buddhists. He mentions there is no real religion but we should only be a good person and the more Buddhist you become. Do not get involved in politics or divisive things he says. That would mean do not stand up for your beliefs or what is true, or theology. This has been adopted by the New Age way of thinking and all of the charismatics are becoming more Buddhist and even practicing meditation like this teacher in the video says. Meditation to concentrate your power is much the same as the Spiritual Formation or Centering Prayer the emergents promoted and the Spiritual Formation movement now pushes.

It is the same stuff, different religion. Different religion, same stuff!! It’s the same results! What the Charismatics and Pentecostals call Holy Spirit power or Holy Spirit energy is the same spirit the Buddhists use and whatever gurus, monks, and spiritual teachers of whatever magical and energy practices use. So one is from God but the other who shows exactly the same thing is not from God? Which one is more powerful? They both look the same to me.

What is really pathetic is when the charismatic missionaries go to countries who are steeped in Buddhism, Hinduism, Shamanism and more it becomes like the New Testament where people seek out powers like Simon the Sorcerer and just a way to do tricks and influence people. The people mix Buddhism with the Bible and more and no one gets saved from hell but falls steeper into deception. They just become universalists who reject absolute truth. Definately what will allow the Anti-Christ’s religion to take power when everyone is brain dead to truth and theology in order to “not be divisive” and have some form of “world peace.”

Why Did God Have To March On Tree Tops To Defeat The Philistines And Not Air?

Why Did God Have To March On Tree Tops To Defeat The Philistines And Not Air?

        The scene is found in 2 Samuel 5:22-25. Just before the Philistines found out that David was newly anointed the King of Israel so they went on a search and destroy mission. David hear about it and moved into his stronghold to wait. After inquiring of the Lord he set out in a full frontal assault and defeated them easily with God’s help. This did not stop the Philistines just yet. They came out for more a second time. This time God told David not to directly attack them, but to circle around behind them and attack them opposite of some balsam trees. The Lord told David to act decisively because He would be marching out before them ahead. God told David that it would be apparent the Lord is marching out ahead of his army t attack the camp of the Philistines because David and his men would actually hear the sounds of God’s marching in the tops of the balsam trees. David did what God said. So obviously he heard the sounds of marching in the tops of trees then attacked and slaughtered many Philistines for miles. He won.

The text:

 The Philistines came up again and spread out in the Valley of Rephaim. So David inquired of the Lord, and He answered, “Do not make a frontal assault. Circle around behind them and attack them opposite the balsam trees. When you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam trees, act decisively, for then the Lord will have marched out ahead of you to attack the camp of the Philistines.” So David did exactly as the Lord commanded him, and he struck down the Philistines all the way from Geba to Gezer.

        Why did God have to do it this way this time? Why circle around and why did he have to hear marching and why did God have to use the tree tops to make the sound of his marching known? These are questions I think about after watching documentaries on the History Channel or somewhere else about biblical things. Shows like Battles B.C. who created an episode on the battle of Jericho completely ignored all supernatural things or wrote them off and tried to explain them away with natural things. After reading the above passage it causes me to play the Devil’s advocate and pretend I am a secular scholar explaining away the supernatural occurrence with something natural. I will raise up skepticism with statements and then answer it from my own thoughts.

        David did not really talk to God or hear him. It was his own mind and his own confidence as a new king to defeat the Philistines. The first battle, he defeated them by pure will power and might. The second battle where he went to the trees was a new trick he used in order to confuse the Philistines who would expect another full frontal assault. When David went to the trees there must have been wind that blew the trees around making the branches hit together. David mistook that for God marching above him in the tree tops. With David’s confidence as a new King who felt destined to own all of Israel this empowered him even more to go into battle and with this energy he won a second time. He used military genius to defeat them again and it was not anything supernatural. 

No. It was supernatural and David may have bad prior battle experience in Saul’s army and was a new King but this does not mean he would be simply confident in himself. Obviously the Philistines scared him and he ran away into his stronghold to wait. He did not just go and fight them. He waited and was protected in his stronghold. That does not speak of military confidence or an assumption he will win in himself. He did wait and did inquire of the Lord. He did everything like that and only fought when the Lord told him he would win. The Philistine army was fierce and always scared the Israelites even int he days of Saul and they freshly defeated Saul and his men just a bit earlier which included the death of Jonathon. Obviously David was not confident in himself. David also just fought on the side of Judah in a small civil war with Israel and Benjamin. This would not build military confidence in a newly appointed King. God did talk to David and did fight for him and went out to attack before David so he would have victory.

Why would God have to use trees to make sounds? Couldn’t he do it in the air with nothing if He is God? If God is so powerful why would he need to use tree tops to make marching sounds? It was obviously wind or a storm that shook the tree tops which David superstitiously assumed was God.

There is no mention of wind or any kind of storm during this battle. If there was a storm or high winds it seems as though it would be important enough to mention. If there wa sa storm and high winds why would David assume the wind blowing the trees was God marching? It would be blatantly obviously it was just wind. No, this had to be something way different and unusual. Since there is no mention of a storm it is totally right to assume the day was clear and normal. There is also no mention of the trees physically moving. No mention of branches or trees swaying either. It is right to assume they di not move, the trees did no sway, and the trees were still and God marched over them and the sound was supernatural. Did God march alone as Himself or did God bring his army?  Would David have heard 1 pair of feet marching for God alone or would he have heard multitudes of feet marching from God bringing his angels into the battle? I believe God brought his heavenly army into the battle so David heard God heavenly army with his angels feet marching above the trees. The trees remained still and there was no wind and the only noise was God and His army marching towards the Philistines.

So why did God have to be above trees and not the air? Well if it was in the air with no trees it could be possibly mistaken for thunder. Thunder has been known to occur even on days it seems there is no storm. God also probably wanted to use a physical thing on earth as a reference point for David and his soldiers to have clearer hearing and sight. God probably wanted David to stay behind the Philistines so they could not flee backwards after God disrupts them for the second time. The first battle before this God burst out into them so they may he terrified to run backwards. This would enable David to kill them easier. Also, with the trees being perfectly still and God’s marching above them, David’s men would not be confused to assume it was just a windy day or thunder. With no movement of trees and just the sounds of an army above them would give them total faith in God that this is supernatural.

I find it silly when secular scholars explain away miracles or the supernatural history in the Bible as some natural thing. It would not be possible to win these biblical battles without the Lord. These were no win situations for the Israelites if they had to rely on their own tactics and fighting ability. The enemies of Israel were so powerful an scary. It was God who won the battles and was completely supernatural. God did physically march over the trees that day and did fight for David.

That day David listened to the Lord and he defeated the evil army of the Philistines and had rest. God moved and worked in very special ways in ancient times. God was actively and physically guiding Israel during the Old Testament times. We no long for this to happen again. We can be assured that on the Day of the Lord when Christ returns there will be en even bigger noise and terror in the world.

Killing Jesus Movie Was a Huge Disappointment

Killing Jesus Movie Was a Huge Disappointment

        Bill O’Reilly’s Killing Jesus film was a huge disappointment which I knew it would be. I never read the book but I was hoping it would be accurate. The Jesus portrayed in his film was pretty much like any secular version of Jesus in other films: the whole idea that Jesus is confused or does not know his own plans, and that ideas come into his head randomly as if he had an awakening or epiphany. Also, there were no miracles done by Jesus in the film at all. Jesus was also never called Christ in the film because Bill O’Reilly arrogantly believes that no one called Jesus “Christ” except after the New Testament was written later. But in the gospel of Matthew (16:16) Peter is quoted calling Jesus “The Christ, Son of the living God.” The woman at the well also is quoted  calling Jesus this (John 11:27),  which O’Reilly completely ignored, or is simply ignorant about. Yet, in the movie Peter is seen saying “You are the anointed one, son of the living God.” So he switched out the words on purpose and misrepresented Scripture.

        The actor who played Jesus was a Muslim and it’s obvious he has no clue about who Jesus really was. He was a very weak Jesus who had no real authority or powers. He was quite reserved. It was if Jesus was simply playing by ear and making things up as he went without knowing what would happen next. It was really annoying. Nothing Jesus did in the films was impressive or would make me want to follow him. It made no sense why anyone would be excited over him.

        I will say that some of the acting was well done and the costumes were pretty good. The head pharisee Caiaphas was pretty good. Except Bill O’Reilly made a wrongful assumption that the pharisees simply were afraid of Roman rule and somehow Jesus would cause the Romans to kill all the Jews. That is the reason, O’Reilly claims, they were so upset about Jesus. Nothing about legalism of the grace of God replacing works. But that is to be expected from a “Roman Catholic.” So it made the pharisee seem less evil than he really was in the Bible. Judas was also portrayed as some sad or cowardly guy who simply made mistakes to where you feel sorry for him. So you feel sad and sorry as any trace of ultimate evil, greed, wretchedness and outright, shameless betrayal, such as the Bible teaches us about Judas Iscariot, is not seen.

        Many of the events portrayed in the film were randomly placed out of historic order, or simply mixed together into one event. Scenes such as a child who is demon possessed who people think died but wakes up. It was a mixing of one of the demonic possession stories with the story of the child who died whom Jesus brought back to life. O’Reilly purposely left out any true miracles Jesus did and avoided them and mixed up stories to hide them. Only one miracle is shown where Peter draws in a ton of fish, yet even that story was not correct and could be interpreted as Jesus not being divine but praying to God for the ability to catch fish. It was quite weak.

        A really weak event was when Jesus clears out the temple marketplace. Which he did not even clear, but just randomly ran into and dumped a table over and yelled some. Then his disciples without understanding anything start yelling at people and pushing people around as well. That never happened, nor would Jesus want them to help. It was completely out of character for O’Reilly’s good natured, happy Jesus who had no commanding power. Oh and he did not even command an evil spirit out of the boy in the above mention. He simply hugs him and somehow the kid wakes up later. Just stupid.

        Another interesting thing about this movie is that they used mainly tan actors. Most looked Arabic or even Indian. Not so much light skinned Jews as we see today. Jesus was played by an Arab actor. It seemed there was a mix of any tan skinned race such as Hispanic-Latino, Indian, Arabic/Middle Eastern, possibly native american and others. Most anglo-looking-actors were the Romans. I think this is fine since it seems more historically accurate that Jesus and most of the Jews in New Testament times would have a darker complexion. I thought this was interesting, but it seemed a little over board and almost looked like Jesus was in South Asia and not the Middle East. I am sure there would be more lighter “olive” complexioned people as well. The actor who played Caiaphas was actually hazel eyed and olive skinned.

        Just everything about the film was completely shallow, boring, uninteresting, falsely represented, and no real political concern was really described or anything truly historic. It was a very annoying film. I only watched it so I could know the stupid things O’Reilly added or the true things he left out so I could tell any person who does not know the Bible the truth, and engage in discussion.

        I will have to say that this movie was 10x better than the outright garbage that is “The Bible” and “The Bible AD” (coming soon) put out by  Roma Downey and Mark Burnett for the History Channel, and their “compassionate high eye-browed hippy Jesus who is simply clueless.” It seems there will never be a well done Bible movie that is true to Scripture.

Typically You Cannot Rationalize With A Muslim

Typically You Cannot Rationalize With A Muslim

        I believe that there is no rational basis to believe in Islam or be a Muslim. I believe most often the believers of this religion base it on pure emotions with no real arguments. Here is an example of how it is to discuss religion with a Muslim:

What is really pathetic is the host lady is arguing from pure emotion then using ad hominem attacks and being unreasonable. She also does not understand the Quaran and looks like an ignoramus. Yet she called the woman guest ignorant. Yet this host wants Sharia Law all over the world. So why is she not wearing a hajeeb or veil? She has her hair done and is not covered up at all. She is a total hypocrite and looks absolutely stupid in how she talks.

But I find this behavior happens often when I talk about religion or ask about Islam with a Muslim. They have no real answers and refuse to discuss or explain anything and end up insulting me and refusing to listen. These are basically all moderate Muslims who have their heads in the sand about Islamofascist terrorism worldwide and the fact they do not seem to have the slightest clue in how to interpret the Quaran unless it is a liberal way that doe snot take “Allah’s word” literally.

Yoga Is Not For Christians

Yoga Is Not For Christians 

        Health and fitness in the last 15 or so years has become increasingly mixed with New Age spirituality. It is no longer just science about burning calories and fat, and becoming healthier in the body. It is now a “mind body” experience. A “holistic” experience. There is nothing wrong with a healthy mind and body. But it has gone beyond just mind and body and into spirit. So now it is “mind, body, spirit” that people think they are nurturing when doing fitness activities. This attitude is mostly promoted by practitioners of Yoga.

        The website hinduwisdom.info states,

Yoga sutra consists of two words only: yogash chitta-critti-nirodah, which may be translated: “Yoga is the cessation of agitation of the consciousness.”

The word yoga is derived from the root yuj, which means to unite or to join together. The practice of yoga may lead to the union of the human with the divine – all within the self. The aim of yoga is the transformation of human beings from their natural form to a perfected form. The Yogic practices originated in the primordial depths of India’s past. From this early period the inner attitudes and disciplines which were later identified and given orderly expression by Patanjali. 

According to Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra, the classical text on yoga, the purpose of yoga is to lead to a silence of the mind (1.2). This silence is the prerequisite for the mind to be able to accurately reflect objective reality without its own subjective distortions. Yoga does not create this reality, which is above the mind, but only prepares the mind to apprehend it, by assisting in the transformation of the mind – from an ordinary mind full of noise, like a whole army of frenzied and drunken monkeys – to a still mind.” (http://www.hinduwisdom.info/Yoga_and_Hindu_Philosophy.htm)

It also expresses: “Yoga is an integral part of the Hindu religion. There is a saying: “There is no Yoga without Hinduism and no Hinduism without Yoga.”

I took a Yoga class before at the YMCA because I worked there teaching Taekwondo and Kickboxing. I was waiting around for my class to start and followed along. Yes, the movements and poses they do can sometimes be challenging or build isolated muscles strength by various holds. It can also increase flexibility. This class was pretty much Yoga for yuppies and not a deeply spiritual class. The instructor did use terms that sounded new age and other expressions typical of Yoga instructors. But it was therapeutic in nature and also meditative. Like lying on your back and closing your eyes etc. Some of these drills can be used in a positive way but with Yoga’s historic roots it is obvious such classes are a gateway to New Age belief and Hinduism. This is something the Christian needs to avoid at all costs and not be open to. Of course I did not become demon possessed simply because I took a silly Yoga class for 1 hour and neither would anyone else. But over time becoming open to such ideas and getting deeper into the art you could very well open yourself up to unbiblical spiritual beliefs that can have a serous effect on you.

Yoga is simply a gateway into the eastern mystical traditions for the western culture. It is a shame many churches hold Yoga classes for their congregations. Yoga is simply a way that Satan uses to influence people and to soften their views of mysticism, new age, and occultic practices. We should shun it.

When I came back from the Philippines and was walking out of Los Angeles International Airport a Hare Krisha cult memeber gave me a tract talking about reincarnation. I took it home to see what they believe. Harre Krishna is a cult of Hinduism started in New York city by an Indian named Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. It has gone international and has members worldwide. It is a modern Hindu sect. The man at the airport randomly wanted to speak to me and handed me several books. I had no clue what he wanted and I said, “Huh? You are giving these to me?” Then he demanded money and I said, “Money? No way! And gave them back.” He was pretty dumb about it. He was behaving in the manner of “No money? Then you cannot have these.” But he did give me a small booklet titles “Beyond Birth and Death.” It says i was written by “His divine grace, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Founder-Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness.”

Chapter 2 of this booklet mentions some interesting things that Christians who are thinking about practicing Yoga should consider:

There are different kinds of transcendentalists, who are called yogis— hatha-yogis, jnana-yogis, dhyana-yogis, and bhakti-yogis— and all of them are eligible to be transferred to the spiritual world. The word yoga means “to link up,” and the yoga systems are meant to enable us to link with the transcendental world. As mentioned in the previous chapter, originally we are all connected to the Supreme Lord, but now we have been affected by material contamination. The process is that we have to return to the spiritual world, and the process of linking up is called yoga. Another meaning of the word yoga is “plus.” At the resent moment we are minus God, or minus the Supreme. When we add Krsna— or God— to our lives, this human form of life becomes perfect.” (p. 12)

It states further:

“‘One who, at the time of death, fixes his life air between the eyebrows and, (sic) by the strength of yoga, with an undeviating mind, engages himself in remembering the Supreme Lord in full devotion, will certainly attain to the Supreme Personality of Godhead.’ (Bg. 8.10 [meaning Bhagavad Gita 8.10 the popular 700 verse Hindu Scriptural book] ).” (p. 12-13)

This booklet goes on to explain concepts of Yoga helping the practitioner do transcendental meditation and traveling to planets and other such things and quoting more from the Bhagavad Gita. Such things described in the Hare Krishna booklet I received are clearly unbiblical and contrary to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. A person cannot attain perfection doing physical movements and meditating. A person does not have the divine “within self” and we do not have to return to a spiritual world. Humans are not connected to the “Supreme Lord” unless they are Christians who have the Holy Spirit living in them. Non-Christians are dead in their sins and not at all connected to God until they receive the Gospel message of repentance of their sins and faith in Christ for salvation. And most certainly no one is connected to a false god called Krishna or Krsna whom they deem in the “Supreme Lord.” That is idolatry.

It is clear Christians should NOT participate in Yoga or promote it. Before the Yoga trend athletes have always done various deep stretching, deep breathing, and other positive physical activities. They did not need a “spiritual” attribute to their athletic training. The Bible says, in 1 Timothy 4:8 expresses, “for the training of the body has a limited benefit, but godliness is beneficial in every way, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. ” Paul was clearly teaching that there is a separation from physical training and spiritual training. They are different. The soul and body are not 1 thing. They are separate things. We are stuck in our flesh in this sinful body, and while we live we should do physical training to stay healthy and last longer for the purposes of God. But physical training itself does not save you or benefit you eternally. Our bodies still die. The Bible of course warns us to stay away from unhealthy practices such as gluttony, laziness, drunkenness and other things that give the human body bad health. God does want us to work our bodies and maintain health. But what is more beneficial is true spiritual training and learning from God’s word. It is separate. Practices like Yoga try to combine them and make them one. This is wrong.

There are various physical arts, systems, and styles that a human being can practice. Not all of them are satanic like Yoga. Yes, anything not biblical and contrary to the gospel truth is Satanic and demonic. It was brought fourth by lies to deceive and soften people to sin. Yoga fits this. On the other hand, dancing styles, gymnastics, and various sports are not sinful or full of false religion. Martial arts are also positive and non-religious. The thing about martial arts is uptight legalists do not understand the difference between culture and religion. They assume eastern customs such as bowing to the instructor, or to flags or photos of previous masters are religious worship. This is not true. It is the same as the military saluting those soldiers who died before them and saluting the flags and symbols of their regiments. In martial arts it is purely physical activity unless you practice a style that incorporates Buddhism or another religion into your training. This can happen in certain styles, but one can ignore it and train the self defense techniques. I personally would not recommend any Christian training in a system that promotes a false religion as mandatory study.

In different parts of the world there are different dominate religions. Within a culture a religion does affect certain customs or behaviors, but not every behavior is sinful simply because of a dominant religion. Certain philosophies or ideas are not inherently sinful either. While martial arts can easily be separated from religions (and should be), Yoga cannot. It is strictly a religious practice for Hinduism. It should be avoided. Christians should instead do conditioning classes with deep stretching and a focus on breathing. Martial arts offer this. In Taekwondo I teach my students to stretch in all kinds of ways, Yoga uses some of the same poses as various athletic training, but the training itself does not need Yoga to benefit.

 

A Blessing Through Killing The Wicked

A Blessing Through Killing The Wicked

        The Word of the LORD:

And Moses stood at the camp’s entrance and said, “Whoever is for the Lord, come to me.” And all the Levites gathered around him. 27 He told them, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says, ‘Every man fasten his sword to his side; go back and forth through the camp from entrance to entrance, and each of you kill his brother, his friend, and his neighbor.’”28 The Levites did as Moses commanded, and about 3,000 men fell dead that day among the people.29 Afterward Moses said, “Today you have been dedicated[f] to the Lord, since each man went against his son and his brother. Therefore you have brought a blessing on yourselves today.” Exodus 32:26-29

        The Bible is against murder, but not killing. Killing can be done for various justifiable reasons whereas murder is unjustified and wrong. There is a difference. Any Christian who claims it is wrong to kill or soldiers are sinning because they kill enemies, or capital punishment is wrong because it murders criminals and life in prison is righteous, are not very intelligent or knowledgeable about what God’s Word says. Ecclesiastes 3:3 states that there is “a time to kill.” God commanded the Israelites all over the Old Testament to kill the wicked and commit mass genocide of wicked nations who were under God’s judgment. There were many wars fought with Israel against wicked nations. War then is much the same as it is now, except we do not literally have God commanding battles. Humanity is left on its own to figure it out. The problem is humanity is mostly sinful and the wars they start are for sinful causes. Even so, within this context there are righteous defenses to madmen. WW2 is one example of a righteous cause, a cause to fight the evils of Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany led by madmen who wanted world domination and wanted to grasp it through murder and mayhem and the slaughter of innocent people. To allow such atrocities to occur and not stand up for it is insane. Hardly any normal person would claim it would have been better to let Germany and Japan do what they wanted and we should not have defended against them. All through history wars have been fought. Some wars have 2 sides who are both evil fighting each other much like what was described in the Old Testament where wicked nations fought other wicked nations such as described in Genesis 14.

        The key to being on the right side of any war is knowledge of the Bible and God’s standards of what is good. Obviously, if someone today wanted to fight the Islamic State most Americans would say that I.S. is an evil entity (whether or not one would think we should send troops or not). Being against them is righteous. Also, killing them is also righteous. Going to battle against I.S. and killing them is how you can stop them. In WW2 the Allies won the wars by going into battle and killing as many NAZIs and as many Imperialists on both the Western and pacific fronts. That is how you win wars. One side says, “we want to do this and will kill you to get it,” and the other says, “no you won’t because we will stop you and defend ourselves and kill you.” That is war. To win and to allow a better world to survive you must kill the enemy and as many as you can before have the advantage ot win so that they will surrender.

        It can be said killing is morally permissable also for capital punishment. Laws in the Bible over and over demanded the death of certain people who broke certain laws. Some laws were not punishable by death, but many were. Capital punishment is promoted by the LORD all over the Old Testament as well as supported by the New Testament when Paul states that “if you do wrong, be afraid, for [the government rulers] does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer.” Certain grievous sins deserve the death penalty. Wasting time on people serving life sentences is a waste of resources. God does not teach that we should provide life imprisonment for murderers or rapists, but they they should be put to death.

     God told Moses to command the Levites to kill everyone they could going forward to the other side of the camp, and then back to the first side of the camp. It was a forward and back clean sweep of everyone including their own family members and neighbors. God demanded the death for the horrible sin of idolatry right after God had rescued the Hebrews from Egypt. Moses stated that the Levites received blessing from God because of the act of killing approximately 3,000 people in 1 day. God demanded the execution of the wicked and it was just, because God commanded it, and they were under his righteous judgment. Sometimes it really is correct to kill people and God will bless those who do it.

        I believe God blessed America and the Allies in all the the killing of enemies in WW2 and provided a temporary time of prosperity for America. But like the Israelites America has become lazy, stiff necked, immoral, and idolatrous. America will not last much longer at the rate things are going.

        The only time killing is justified is if it is commanded by God, which today God is not physically present and audibly commanding things. God’s Word is how we receive God’s commandments. Any execution and any war fought needs to line up with Scripture. A soldier is under the command of his government and sent off to battle, they are not held accountable for killing enemies in battle. On the other hand, unjustified death such as mass genocide of innocent people is sinful. The only mass genocide commanded by God was in the Old Testament because the nations were under his judgment, not one person was innocent in those nations and God had deemed that it was their time to go. It was a specific time in Israel’s history for their nation and society alone. It is not a command by God to kill everyone who is in a false religion. God is perfect and absolutely holy. He is a righteous judge and allowed to make decisions on who lives and who dies. Nobody else! No one else in the Old Testament made these judgments, but simply followed orders from God who literally was there telling them what to do. Through Christ, now days we understand that vengeance is God’s and not ours, so we spread the Gospel. But when we are attacked by evil forces, or our family is in danger by criminals we are very justified in defending ourselves even to the point of killing a criminal or attacker, as well as justified in sending soldiers to war to face enemies and hopefully killing them. I believe today the truest evil in the world we are threatened with are the radical Islamists, the Islamic terrorists, who are torturing, raping, murdering, at an unbelievable rate everyone who does not perfectly fit their ideology. These enemies are named the Islamic State and Al Qaeda (including all their affiliates).  I believe it is morally justified to kill as many of them as we can before they kill all of us. And believe me they will kill as many Americans as they can if they get here. Our government has a God given obligation to protect us and defeat such types of enemies. Sending soldiers to battle is the right thing to do, yet our President does not care. The time to kill is now!

What You Need To Know About The Philippines If You Plan To Do A Mission

What You Need To Know About The Philippines If You Plan To Do A Mission

*I originally wrote this in 2008 for a class I was taking at Biola University for my Intercultural Studies Degree. I wrote this before I left on my internship. It is a report on the Philippines with various information to show I was prepared before I left to the country for my summer mission trip. Unfortunately I did not get to go in 2008, and instead had to re-plan to go in 2009 which I did and which made me even more prepared to go. I had a great time in the Philippines and was given many opportunities to serve Filipinos for Christ and witness the gospel. I learned a lot about life through this trip and it changed my life. I have updated bits and pieces to be more accurate for today even though I wrote this 7 years ago. This report will help anyone who wants more information about the Philippines or just has a general interest in other countries and experiences. Filipinos who read this will also get an understanding of what an American learned and thinks about their country.   

April 5th, 2008

Report on the Country of the Philippines: Research Before I Go On My Internship

I have planned my internship to be in the country of the Philippines in the capitol city of Manila. I will be working with missionaries in evangelization within the urban poor areas. There are many interesting things about this country that I have found out about before leaving on my internship.

The country of the Philippines is an archipelagic nation in South East Asia. It is below Japan and right above Indonesia. Directly left to it is Vietnam. According to the CIA website “the Philippine archipelago is made up of 7,107 islands; favorably located in relation to many of Southeast Asia’s main water bodies: the South China Sea, Philippine Sea, Sulu Sea, Celebes Sea, and Luzon Strait” (cia.gov).

In ancient times it was a region of different tribes and band societies. This pre-Spanish history of the country is very hard to know. According to Woods (2006), “The written materials about the pre-Spanish Philippines are not only scarce, but also written almost exclusively by outsiders” (p. 15). Nonetheless, we know that the Philippines was in contact with traders and merchants from China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia and the regions around it. Muslims came up through Malaysia and Indonesia and heavily influenced the southern region of the Islands in the area of Mindanao. To this day there are a lot of Muslims in that region and some are fundamentalists and terrorists. There is an Islamic terrorist organization called Abu Sayyaf. This started out as an organization solely for Islamic rebels, but has since become corrupt within its corruption and is now a front for typical organized crime such as kidnapping to hold people ransom. They especially go after white foreigners because they believe they would have a lot of money and rich relatives that would pay the ransom. They still try to kidnap other Filipinos as well. Colin-Jones G. & Colin-Jones Y. (2006) state that,
“The Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), is funded through bombings, assassinations, kidnappings, and extortion, and its successful raid on Dos Palmas, an island off Palawan, has had a bad effect on tourism in the area. Such groups are not driven by ideology, but may rather be regarded as bandits seeking to make a fast buck. The sooner they are destroyed, the better it will be for tourism” (p. 126). I will not be doing my internship in that area so I am going to be safe from this problem.

In the past, Spain had ruled the Philippines for over 350 years. Ever since the arrival of Ferdinand Magellan in 1521 in the name of Spain, this nation has battled with self identity and oppression by other people groups. The problems with self identity in this country can even be seen by its own name, the Philippines; the name of Prince Philip of Spain (1542). Even today certain groups in the Philippines want to change their countries name to something else. Another issue that made matters more frustrating to the Filipinos was what happened in the Spanish-American War in 1899. The U.S. took advantage of Spain’s colony of the Philippines and attacked its harbor and took it over for their own control. This led to the Philippine-American War that started in 1899 just after the Americans defeated the Spanish to control the Philippines. Filipino rebels led by Emilio Aguinaldo fought against the United States in hope to be free from outside oppressors. This war was one of the most violent and brutal wars in Filipino and American history and lasted for about 2 years when it ended in 1901.

Not all Filipinos opposed the Americans though, as many understood that a lot of money was being put into the country from the USA. After the Americans won the war against the Filipino rebels they began a process of establishing infrastructure. The United States built many highways, roads, schools, hospitals and more. They built Navy bases to be used by American troops as well. Unfortunately this was impeded when the Japanese took over the Philippines in 1942 until 1945 during World War II. During this time the horrific Bataan Death March took place under the notorious General Yamashita, the Tiger of Malaya. Solis (1995) describes it:

The Bataan death March began on April 1, 1942, with more than 60,000 Filipinos and 11,000 Americans who had surrendered. They were forced to hike to San Fernando, 120 kilometers away. From there they were taken by train to Capas, Tarlac and made to walk another 13 kilometers to Camp O’Donnel. The 54,000 who survived the march which was nine days of “phantasmagoria of swirling red dust, sweltering horses and moving men…crawling in the fierce sun” suffered added torture, brutality and neglect in the prison camp. By liberation day, only 4,000 Filipino and American prisoners survived” (p. 63).

As you can see the Philippines is a country that has been through a lot of problems. It still is going through problems. Even after the Americans released the country to govern itself on July 4th of 1946, the Philippines has become very corrupt even though it is a democracy. One of the most notorious corrupt leader’s they had was named Ferdinand Marcos who became a dictator. He was president of the Philippines from 1965-1986. He declared martial law in his second term because he claimed that communist insurgency was a threat (which it was, but he was taking advantage of it). Steinberg (1990), quotes Marcos as saying, “I, as your duly elected President of the Republic, use this power to protect the Republic of the Philippines and our democracy” (p. 118). In reality, Marcos used martial law because he did not want to give up his authority since his term was about to expire. During this time there were a lot of human rights violations, but at the same time the economy was booming high so this excused him to many outsiders, especially the United States. Marcos was using the country for his own personal gain.

Eventually in 1986 there was a coup. After many mass protests with Filipino university students in colleges all over the world, and many in the United States, and other protests, people who were tired of Marcos’ dictatorship took up arms and went against Marcos forces. But there was virtually no bloodshed. Marcos fled the country and President Aquino took over who was a woman. Democracy was put back in place, but still the Philippines would be plagued with corruption in the government. The CIA website on the Philippines explains some of the recent history,

The 20-year rule of Ferdinand MARCOS ended in 1986, when a “people power” movement in Manila (“EDSA 1”) forced him into exile and installed Corazon AQUINO as president. Her presidency was hampered by several coup attempts, which prevented a return to full political stability and economic development. Fidel RAMOS was elected president in 1992 and his administration was marked by greater stability and progress on economic reforms. In 1992, the US closed its last military bases on the islands. Joseph ESTRADA was elected president in 1998, but was succeeded by his vice-president, Gloria MACAPAGAL-ARROYO, in January 2001 after ESTRADA’s stormy impeachment trial on corruption charges broke down and another “people power” movement (“EDSA 2”) demanded his resignation. MACAPAGAL-ARROYO was elected to a six-year term as president in May 2004” (cia.gov).

Today the current political climate in the Philippines is still corrupt in its government and even much of the police are corrupt and will take bribes, and put people in situations in order to get bribes. People still vote for things, but there are a lot of shady things going on behind the scenes. Many of the people know this and figure it’s something they can’t get past and just live life knowing corruption will always be there. The Philippines is very friendly to the United States as our country put a lot of effort into their country in the last century. Filipinos also greatly admire Western culture and the country has become very westernized. There were also many American military bases in the country, but in the 1990’s the country voted to kick them out so they no longer exist there. There are mixed feelings about this issue because many Filipinos realized that with the military bases lots of money was coming into their country and was helping out for their benefit. Other people saw it as imperialism still existing, and they still have very nationalistic feelings of being totally independent from outside forces. Interestingly enough Colin-Jones, G., & Colin-Jones Y. (2006) explain,

In general, Filipinos are very welcoming toward foreigners. Some people say that they still have a colonial ‘mentality,’ admiring fair skins and regarding imported goods as superior. There also is the stereotypical belief that all foreigners are very wealthy. For many Filipinos it would be a dream come true if they could go live in the United States” (p. 58).

The military bases were a mixed blessing. With these bases a lot of money did come into the country, but also many people took advantage of the fact that military bases are full of young, lonely men. Many Filipino’s opened up brothels, sex clubs as well as produced a lot of pornography. Since that time, many young helpless Filipina women were taken into sexual slavery and there now exists a large sex trade. There is still a huge prostitution problem in the country and many women are taken advantage of and kidnapped. Many women are traded overseas to places like Hong Kong, Japan, and other places. Many foreigners come to the Philippines to have sex with underage girls and even boys. Women are kidnapped after being scammed. They are told they will have a job working as a waitress or something similar, but in reality they are tricked into prostitution because the women are forced into debt with no way to pay back the owners of the businesses for the price of housing, and their only option is to give sex for money or else harm comes to them.
With this sexual attitude there is also a problem of the production of pornography being distributed around the world made by Filipinos. Filipinos are the main people responsible for much of the sex trafficking and degradation of their society. Foreigners interested in sex are only obliged by Filipinos themselves and the Philippines as a result has become one of the top sex tourist attractions of Asia not much beneath Thailand in popularity. This lifestyle promises easy money which will give lots of wealth. Women in desperate situations become involved in pornography. Many women who are single mothers want a better life for their children and they think the only way to do that is to do porn or become a prostitute. One of the major money making things from pornography has come with the popularity of the internet as there are many internet cafes in the urban areas. Many Filipinas sign up on what seems to be a system of network marketing for webcams. Women pose nude and do sexual acts on webcams for viewers who have paid with credit cards. They become internet prostitutes. This eases up the risk of STD’s since the women have a choice of what goes on and many times are alone on the camera. When I first heard about this I felt heartbroken for these women. These women need answers to life, and that answer is only through Jesus Christ.

My internship has been planned to be within the urban poor areas of the city of Manila. This city is the capitol of the Philippines and is known for their large shopping malls, but even within such a consumer based area, many people are poor and living in shacks. According to Woods (2006),

The hundreds of thousands of people who have moved to Manila to find their fortune, or simply a better way of life, often end up in slum areas around Manila…Most slum dwellers are squatters who lack such essential services as water and electricity. They are forced to drink water either from the government- supplied tap in the market or from polluted water-ways near by. The urban poor are always present in Manila, even in affluent sections; most of them are either unemployed or work as street vendors” (p. 147).

So you can see that there are a lot of problems in this city, even though it is a very glamorous and a famous place.

Most Filipino movies are also made here as well as TV shows and the country has five popular TV networks based in the city. There are also many theater production companies as well as two ballet companies: Ballet Philippines and Philippines Ballet Theater. There are also orchestras. With these attractions it is easy to forget the hundreds of thousands of poor people within the city boundaries. Fortunately, the church I am going with has a contracts set up with whom I will be a part of that will work in evangelization of these people and hand out food, teach Bible stories to kids, and other such things. Hopefully these efforts will make a difference for some people so they will find God.

There are a few major ethnic groups in the Philippines. Filipinos are descendents of Austronesian speaking peoples who migrated from Taiwan down to the Pacific Islands. There are many different groups of people. According to the CIA website the ethnic populations are: ”Tagalog 28.1%, Cebuano 13.1%, Ilocano 9%, Bisaya/Binisaya 7.6%, Hiligaynon, Ilonggo 7.5%, Bikol 6%, Waray 3.4%, other 25.3% (2000 census)” (cia.gov). The wealthiest ethnic group would have to be the Spanish mixed Mestisos. These people have a high degree of Spanish blood and are usually the upper class people. They have a lighter skin complexion that Filipinos favor as well. Then there are the Negritos which are various small tribe societies which are thought to be the original inhabitants of the islands. There are also a small amount of other Asian ethnic groups such as Koreans, Japanese, Chinese, Indonesian, Malaysian and others which are minorities. Most Filipinos have Chinese blood in them as well.

The major languages spoken in the Philippines which are listed on the CIA website are the following: “Filipino (official; based on Tagalog) and English (official); eight major dialects – Tagalog, Cebuano, Ilocano, Hiligaynon or Ilonggo, Bicol, Waray, Pampango, and Pangasinan” (cia.gov). Almost everyone speaks English in the Philippines, especially the educated. People also understand some Spanish because of the Spanish colonial rule had a huge affect on their language as Tagalog uses many Spanish loan words. There are also a significant amount of English loan words with the increase of technology and communication in the world.

Nonverbal language is also used in different ways in the Philippines than it is used in the United States such as their use of smiles. Colin-Jones G., & Colin-Jones Y. (2006) explain, “Filipinos are often regarded as happy, smiling people – but the smile conveys many different feelings, apart from contentment. They smile when they are embarrassed, confused, apologetic, critical, or in disagreement. They want to avoid confrontation, and are concerned about ‘losing face’” (p. 163). So Filipinos will smile if they cannot help you, or don’t understand you so you will not be angry. They also smile if you make a mistake to wait for you to recover. One should not assume the Filipino is laughing at them. They are simply helping you save face.
Eye contact is the same as American use of eye contact in the Philippines, but there are other interesting nonverbal uses of communication. Filipinos say “yes” with their eye brows. When asked a question it is normal for Filipinos to answer “yes” by raising their eye brows up and down one time. Also, Filipinos point with their lips when giving directions. They shape their lips in a “kissing” type of motion and turn their heads in the direction of wherever you want to go or wherever something is you are looking for. A westerner can often become confused by this as eye brow raising and lip pursing is seen as flirtatious in western culture.

With the Tagalog language the basic greeting is “Kamusta?” and that simply means “Hello, how are you?” Filipinos will also say “Hey” like Americans too. Another interesting word is “Hoy!” This word means “Come here!” It is usually said to get a friend’s attention who is far away or to speak to a child. You never say this to an elder or someone in a position of respect. To get a Filipino’s attention you can also say “Ssst!” or “Tssst!” It is not much unlike the American word of “Psst!” to get someone’s attention. With Filipinos, friends always use “tssst” to get each other’s attention. Also, using hand gestures to attract a person over to you would be to move your hand about chin height and wave as if saying goodbye in a downward motion. It is funny because in America this means “goodbye,” but in the Philippines it means “come here” or “over here.” Never use your fingers and curl them upwards to get someone to come over to you. That is seen as very impolite and rude. And do not snap your fingers to get anyone’s attention either. In America these may be common ways to get a person;s attention, but in the Philippines these are things you do to get a cat or dog’s attention, not a human’s. It is really offensive!

Filipinos are very indirect and they seek to save face in every situation. Their culture is a shame based culture and collectivistic in most senses. But the American influence of individualism is clearly coming around. Filipinos will not ask too many questions if it will make them look like they don’t know what they are doing. So knowing this I will have to make sure I tell Filipinos things they need to know so they can do things right if they are helping me in case I wanted a repair done or something. Otherwise they might just guess and break something. This happens a lot to foreigners.

Filipino society is very conservative outwardly and women dress modestly and so do the men. There is a huge influence of western culture that causes men and women to dress “American”, but generally Filipinos dress conservative and most of the time they are wearing t-shirts and shorts, because the weather is so hot and humid. But even with the weather so hot, the higher class Filipinos dress nicely and wear pants and women wear skirts and they wear nice shoes. Most other Filipinos wear sandals called “tsinelas”. But the “very conservative” attitude is changing a lot with the newer generation of young people who want to be more “liberated.”

Rice is the staple food of the Philippines. Without rice, a Filipino cannot live. Rice provides a significant amount of the nutrition they eat each day. Many Filipinos are poor so most of what they have to eat is rice. They eat rice at every meal. Other types of foods Filipinos eat are fish, chicken, and beef, many different kinds of tropical fruits and also vegetables. They even eat the bones of fish and put them in soup as to not waste food because some Filipinos are so poor they cannot always afford to have what Americans would think are “good slices of meat.” Many of the Philippines dishes are influenced by this philosophy or historic reality, yet they have made such “poor dishes” into delicacies truly unique to their country. Most of these foods are sold in the markets. Since the Philippines are many islands surrounded by water there is a big fishing industry.

Filipinos are very hospitable. If someone visits a Filipino’s home, the Filipino will always have some food to give to the guest. The guest has to receive the food no matter what, even if they are not hungry. This is polite. If you are not hungry you can ask for it to take with you to go. This is how Filipinos show their manners and are polite. When you visit a friend’s house in the Philippines make sure you are hungry because every time you go to a house you will be fed. Filipinos enjoy company and they will even ask questions that come off as too personal in American culture such as, “How much money do you make at your job?” when they don’t know you that well. This is not to be taken as rude, but showing a general interest in the people who they are talking with.

The national religion of the Philippines is Catholicism making the country the first and only “Christian influenced” nation in Asia. Almost every Filipino claims to be Catholic even if they don’t go to church. There are other religions such as Animism which is practiced more by the indigenous, rural tribal societies who have original religions that predate the Spanish. After Spanish rule witchcraft was also adopted into their superstitions. Shamanism, and sorcery have always been a part of their societies and Western witchcraft ideas and superstitions also became a part of it. With these religions there are a few Millenarian groups that mix indigenous beliefs with Roman Catholicism. In the south in the region of Mindanao there is a small Muslim concentration and the group Abu Sayyaf. The terrorist organization for Islamic Fundamentalism is active there. There are a small amount of Buddhists as well. Various Christian denominations have also arrived in the Philippines because of American rule and allowance of missionaries to arrive. Along with genuine Christian missionaries various cults such as Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses and others have also arrived. This is unfortunate, and another religion based off of these cults that has gained popularity in the Philippines is Iglesia Ni Kristo, which was founded by Felix Y. Manalo, a Filipino who used religion for his gain. The INC could be considered the Filipino version of Mormonism. It is a cult.

With all of these religions there is still Protestantism in the country. Woods (2006), says that

President McKinley’s [(The American president during and after the Philippine-American War)] decision to keep the Philippines included a religious component, the need to evangelize and convert the local population. He gained support for his decision from major denominations in the United States because they saw the Philippines as a new mission field where they would have the freedom to do missionary work. The rejection of Catholicism by many Filipinos because of the abuses of the church made them open to embracing a new religion” (pp. 124-125).

Unfortunately this turned into the spread of the social gospel which focused more on changes of the institution instead of changes in individuals’ lives. Today most evangelical Christians are Pentecostal. This probably has to do with their superstitious nature and emotional culture which leads them to seek after the supernatural experiences that Pentecostals practice. There are still a small amount of other evangelical denominations. Christianity in the country is viewed in a positive light since the majority of Filipinos are Catholic. They are open to talk about Jesus Christ, but there is still some strong opposition against Protestantism and what they call “born again Christianity” which they label to anyone who is not a Catholic. This included mainliners and baptists as well as mistakenly applied to cults.

When I stay in the Philippines the climate is going to be very hot and humid. I will arrive in Manila and catch another flight to Bacolod and Boracay later and then go back to Manila before leaving to the USA. There are about 240 airports in the country, but they are mostly small. The main one is in Manila where I will arrive. The CIA website lists the cities of Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Davao, Liman, Manila, Nasipit Harbor having ports and terminals (cia.gov). The U.S. Embassy is in Manila as well. Knowing all of the information in my research I can better be effective as an agent to serve Christ with the small Fil-Am church in Southern California I am going with.

References

(2008) CIA – The World Factbook – Philippines. Retrieved April 5th, 2008, from the CIA Web site: http://www.cia.gov

Colin-Jones, G., Colin-Jones, & Y. (2006). Culture Smart! Philippines. New York, New York: Random House.

Steinberg, D. (1990). The Philippines a Singular and a Plural Place. San Francisco, California and Oxford: Westview Press.

Solis, M. (1995). Pilipinas A to Z. Salinas, California: Srmnk Publishers.

Woods, D. (2006). The Philippines: A Global Studies Handbook. Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO, Inc.