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.

 

God Mandated Taxes But He Did Not Mandate Wealth Redistribution

God Mandated Taxes But He Did Not Mandate Wealth Redistribution

        God mandated that people pay taxes. The first time this occurs in the Bible is in Exodus 30:11-16. Most Christians know that Jesus said, “Give to Cesar that which is Cesar’s and to God that which is God’s.” But many Christians might not remember, or know that God also commanded the ancient Israelites to pay a “ransom” tax. God commanded Moses:

“The LORD spoke to Moses: ‘When you take a census of the Israelites to register them, each of the men must pay a ransom for himself to the LORD as they are registered. Then no plague will come on them as they are registered. Everyone who is registered must pay half a shekel according to the sanctuary shekel (20 gerahs to the shekel). This half shekel is a contribution to the LORD. Each man who is registered, 20 years old or more, must give this contribution to the LORD. The wealthy may not give more, and the poor may not give less, then half a shekel when giving the contribution to the LORD to atone for your lives. Take the atonement money from the Israelites and use it for the service of the tent of meeting. It will serve as a reminder for the Israelites before the LORD to atone for your lives.'” 

This was a tax that only men had to pay. Women did not have to pay it. Only men had to pay this tax and they were commanded at age 20 to register for this “ransom tax.” So any time there was a need to take a census for the Israelites the men who were 20 or older had to pay half a shekel. That is not a large amount of money. It served to keep the tent of meeting services going. This atoned for their lives. If they did not pay it they would fall ill and by the language used probably die.

What is noticeable is that this tax was equal for all people. It was not more expensive for rich people, nor was it less expensive for poor people. It was the same tax. Today the idea of “wealth redistribution has been talked about, especially from President Obama” that each person needs to give their fair share. Democrats like Obama believe that rich people should pay an extra tax simply because they have success. It punishes people for success and rewards people for non-success, or less-success. A lot of liberals who claim to be Christians believe that socialist ideas of wealth redistribution are what Jesus would do. That God would want rich people to pay more. This is simply not true. The first statement in the Bible about any kind of charge, or tax for the collective Israelites states firmly that the payment is the exact same no matter their financial status. The tax was also very small and affordable for everyone. Also, the age was 20 and not 18 as it is in our country.

God does not hold favor for rich or for poor people and makes them all the same. God did not punish or charge more for successful, or rich class Israelites and neither should our government. Our government is corrupt and many liberals use the Bible to justify this coercion and our economy is failing. Taxes are charges for all kinds of things beyond reason that most people should not be forced to pay for. Americans should only have to pay for the necessities such as roads, police and fire departments, military defense, and government officials. Yet we are charged for so many failing public services that never allow people to rise above. It is an attack on capitalism. The separation of the “have nots” and “haves” is nowhere found in the Bible. But it is everywhere found in communism which is an atheistic religion of social construct. The Israelites were only charges for the necessities of the tabernacle’s functions so that God will be properly worshiped throughout their generations. There was no extra taxes for random government programs in Israel.

Jesus Christ is God and what God commands in the Old Testament is the same opinion Jesus had and has. Just because Jesus told people to give to Cesar what he demands does not mean Cesar was right to charge the taxes he did. That is why tax collectors were so hated in Christ’s time on earth. They were robbing the people. That is what the U.S. government seems to be doing today and crushing our economy so we are dependent solely on the government for anything. That is the goal of the progressives in our society in the United States.

Government Mandated Vaccines: What About My Body My Choice?

Government Mandated Vaccines: What About My Body My Choice?

        The hypocrisy of the Left is always apparent. I for one do agree that vaccines should be given to children. There was a scare propagated by the Left that vaccines contribute to autism in children. Many people were afraid to give their children vaccines because they heard it could make their child autistic. Even Barrack Obama was mentioning this in his addresses to the nation years ago. Today on Sunday (Feb. 8th, 2015) I was listening to talk radio as I do when I drive. It was the “Rush Limbaugh’s greatest moments of the week” broadcast. He talked about this issue and how the Left propagates scares with faulty science. He likened the scare to the false “war on women” they tried to pin on Mitt Romney when he was running. Today though the tables have turned and the left is now making up a new propaganda scare, completely turning it around to say that Republicans are against vaccines. This is bogus! This is exactly like the bogus “war on women” they made up.

        The fact is very few people are against vaccines in children. Some even promote government mandated vaccination. I am on the fence. I believe, like Global Warming, that the science behind the autism scare was faulty and proven false. Now the Left is agreeing that the autism scare they propagated is not accurate. Now they are pretending only “crazy conservatives” think that there is a link to autism and vaccines.  In fact very few would deny their children vaccines.

        I do think everyone should vaccinate their children because it is a matter of public health. I am also not a conspiracy theorist who thinks that vaccinations inject the 666 micro chip into people (because conspiracy theorists are a bunch of wack jobs who make rational Christians look bad to the general population, we are not all crazy!). On the other hand it is a fundamental, God given, American right to not be forced to put things into our bodies, or our children’s bodies. All though I do think any parent who denies their child vaccine is doing a disservice to their own child’s health as well as the general public’s health. I do think public schools should mandate vaccinations to protect other children. So if you deny vaccines then homeschool your children. I am sure many of the people who hold this view already do anyway.

        Limbaugh stated that diseases like measles and others that have vaccines provided were basically finished and not a threat. America got rid of them. He then brought up the real issue about open boarders. Where are the new diseases coming from? They are coming from the illegal aliens none other than the Left seems to embrace.

        The left is always adamant about American rights. Women have the right to abort their babies because they are not real humans and just globs of biological mass because,

“It’s my body! My choice!”

We should be allowed to do drugs because,

“It’s my body! My choice!”

We have the right to die and commit suicide because,

“It’s my body! My choice!”

We can eat whatever we want because,

“No you can’t. It may be your body but it is not your choice! Michelle Obama does not approve!”

We do not have to get vaccinations because,

“It’s NOT your body and NOT your choice. The government says so!”

Uh oh…

We do not have the right to eat any kinds of food we want or pack certain kinds of lunches for our children’s school lunch because it does not have a “perfect” nutritional value and we are “AT WAR WITH OBESITY!” And apparently, we do not have the right to not get vaccinations for ourselves and not our children. But apparently illegal aliens who spread throughout our country (am embraced by Obama’s America) do not have to get vaccinated. Who is spreading it? Certainly not the minority Americans who do not approve of vaccinations.

        The hypocrisy of the left!!!

Ideological And Philosophical Terms Christians Should Know

Ideological And Philosophical Terms Christians Should Know

        The following terms are words that Christians need to know and understand. Almost all of them speak to the belief there is no God or a human centered worldview. A few do not and are compatible with Christianity. Many Christians do not understand what communism is or its verifying factors. So learn the definitions of the words and try to understand. Not all atheists are communists, but all communists should be atheists even though there is a contradictory trend of “christians” claiming it. Not all humanists are atheists, but all atheists are humanists, but both atheists and humanists hate religion (even though early humanists claimed they were a religion). All the definitions are a mix and match of concepts that may or may not consist of the entire definition of current people following such beliefs. There may be 2 separate definitions for the same term, yet it is not hard to understand which is which. They are all from dictionary.com. I list them in no particular order. Just skim over it and read the definitions.

        There are a lot of “isms” thrown around in social, political, and worldview discussions. The only 4 I believe could be considered biblical and give freedom to men are capitalism, nationalism, republicanism, and individualism when practiced with Christian morality of course. Even though many cultures exist, it is impossible to have a nation with a set of values that identify it if there is an emphasis on forcing multiculturalism. It is a way to mask absolute truth and promote a liberal view of morality and religion. Cultures and customs are one thing, but when it comes to a cultures morality and theology it gets difficult. The influx of Islam in many western nations is an obvious sign that multiculturalism is not a good thing. The national identity will be lost and its values and culture covered up. The United States is suffering from multiculturalism as well and our nation is failing because we gave up our Christian heritage. Globalism is also bad. Yes caring about other nations is good, and having an eye out for the earth to preserve resources and nature; but allowing the world to dictate your nations values, rules, regulations, culture, and religion is not, and that is the goal is globalism. It rejects a nations sovereignty and make everyone a citizen of the world. It has the goal is creating a one world government and one world culture and it will be a humanistic philosophy. The Bible teaches that individual nations should exist. Even in Ezekiel when it talks about the reign of Christ on earth it mentions other nations still existing who will come and honor Christ in Israel.

        The rest are pretty much godless views that are anti-christian in nature and vehemently opposed to the Bible’s teachings. They are man’s idolization and promotion of human transcendence over any God and their own take on how a “perfect” society should be in thought and practice. The results of such thinking are pretty much worldwide misery and destruction and bondage to the elite few who will dictate to the world every aspect of their lives. It will be a dystopian future ready for the Antichrist. Even anarchy in its philosophical form makes no sense since humans will not freely cooperate with one another unless someone makes them. So anarchy is self refuting. It would be short lived.

Terms to know:

HUMANISM: The denial of any power or moral value superior to that of humanity; the rejection of religion in favor of a belief in the advancement of humanity by its own efforts. A variety of ethical theory and practice that emphasizes reason, scientific inquiry, and human fulfillment in the natural world and often rejects the importance of belief in God.

SECULARISM: A doctrine that morality should be based on the well-being of man in the present life, without regard to religious belief or a hereafter. A secular spirit or tendency, especially a system of political or social philosophy that rejects all forms of religious faith and worship. The view that public education and other matters of civil policy should be conducted without the introduction of a religious element.

*Put them together and it is SECULAR HUMANISM*

MATERIALISM: The philosophical theory that regards matter and its motions as constituting the universe, and all phenomena, including those of mind, as due to material agencies. Preoccupation with or emphasis on material objects, comforts, and considerations, with disinterest in or rejection of spiritual, intellectual, or cultural values. The monist doctrine that matter is the only reality and that the mind, the emotions,etc, are merely functions of it. The rejection of any religious or supernatural account of things. Philosophy that nothing exists except matter. 

NATURALISM: The view of the world that takes account only of natural elements and forces, excluding the supernatural or spiritual. The belief that all phenomena are covered by laws of science and that all teleological (of or relating to teleology, the philosophical doctrine that final causes, design, and purpose exist in nature) explanations are therefore without value. The belief that all religious truth is based not on revelation but rather on the study of natural causes and processes. 

MORALISM: The practice of morality, as distinct from religion. The practice of moral principles without reference to religion. 

IDEALISM: The cherishing or pursuit of high or noble principles, purposes, goals, etc. Any system or theory that maintains that “the real” is of the nature of thought or that the object of external perception consists of ideas. The tendency to represent things in an ideal form, or as they might or should be rather than as they are, with emphasis on values. Philosophical doctrines that share the monistic view that material objects and the external world do not exist in reality independently of the human mind but are variously creations of the mind or constructs of ideas. 

REALISM: The tendency to view or represent things as they really are. The doctrine that universals have a real objective existence. The doctrine that objects of sense perception have an existence independent of the act of perception. That things exist despite not perceiving them or knowing about them. They exist outside of the mind. 

MONISM: The doctrine that the person consists of only a single substance, or that there is no crucial difference between mental and physical events or properties. 

DUALISM: The doctrine, as opposed to idealism and materialism, that reality consists of two basic types of substance usually taken to be mind and matter or two basic types of entity, mental and physical. The theory that the universe has been ruled from its origins by two conflicting powers, one good and one evil, both existing as equally ultimate first cause. The theory that there are two personalities, one human and one divine, in Christ.

RELATIVISM: Any theory holding that criteria of judgment are relative, varying with individuals and their environments. any theory holding that truth or moral or aesthetic value, etc, is not universal or absolute but may differ between individuals or cultures. The doctrine that no ideas or beliefs are universally true but that all are, instead, “relative”that is, their validity depends on the circumstances in which they are applied.

GLOBALISM: The attitude or policy of placing the interests of the entire world above those of individual nations.

NATIONALISM: Devotion and loyalty to one’s own country;patriotism. The desire for national advancement or political independence. The policy or doctrine of asserting the interests of one’s own nation viewed as separate from the interests of other nations or the common interests of all nations.

STATISM: The principle or policy of concentrating extensive economic, political, and related controls in the state at the cost of individual liberty. The theory or practice of concentrating economic and political power in the state, resulting in a weak position for the individual or community with respect to the government.

ANARCHISM: doctrine advocating the abolition of government. doctrine urging the abolition of government or governmental restraint as the indispensable condition for full social and political liberty. The belief that all existing governmental authority should be abolished and replaced by free cooperation among individuals. 

UNIVERSALISM: (Social Welfare) The principle that welfare services should be available to all by right, according to need, and not restricted by individual ability to pay, but funded by general contributions through taxes, rates, or national insurance payments. A system of religious beliefs maintaining that all men are predestined for salvation. 

MULTICULTURALISM: The preservation of different cultures or cultural identities within a unified society, as a state or nation. 

MARXISM: The system of economic and political thought developed by Karl Marx, along with Friedrich Engels, especially the doctrine that the state throughout history has been a device for the exploitation of the masses by a dominant class, that class struggle has been the main agency of historical change, and that the capitalist system, containing from the first the seeds of its own decay, will inevitably, after the period of the dictatorship of the proletariat (the class of workers, especially industrial wage earners, who do not possess capital or property and must sell their labor to survive), be superseded by socialist order and a classless society. Actions and human institutions are economically determined, that the class struggle is the basic agency of historical change, and that capitalism will ultimately be superseded by communism.

COMMUNISM: political movement based upon the writings of Marx that considers history in terms of class conflict and revolutionary struggle, resulting eventually in the victory of the proletariat and the establishment of a socialist order based on public ownership of the means of production. theory or system of social organization based on the holding of all property in common, actual ownership being ascribed to the community as whole or to the state. A system of social organization in which all economic and social activity is controlled by a totalitarian state dominated by a single and self-perpetuating political party. Advocacy of a classless society in which private ownership has been abolished and the means of production and subsistence belong to the community. 

LENINISM: The form of Communism as taught by Lenin, with emphasis on the dictatorship of the proletariat. A dedicated group of intellectuals had to spearhead the revolution into communism and serve as leaders of the state. 

STALINISM: The principles of communism associated with Joseph Stalin, characterized especially by the extreme suppression of dissident political or ideological views, the concentration of power in one person, and an aggressive international policy. The theory and form of government associated with Stalin: a variant of Marxism-Leninism characterized by totalitarianism, rigid bureaucracy, and loyalty to the state. Emphasizes the repression of all dissent, often by brutal means; a rigid adherence to government management of economic life; and the domination of all communist movements worldwide by the Soviet Union.

SOCIALISM: theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole. The stage following capitalism in the transition of a society to communism, characterized by the imperfect implementation of collectivist principles. An economic theory or system in which the means of production, distribution, and exchange are owned by the community collectively, usually through the state. It is characterized by production for use rather than profit, by equality of individual wealth, by the absence of competitive economic activity, and, usually, by government determination of investment, prices, and production levels.

MAOISM: Marxism-Leninism as interpreted by Mao Tse-tung: distinguished by its theory of guerrilla warfare and its emphasis on the revolutionary potential of the peasantry. The doctrines of Mao Zedong, most notably the doctrine that a continuous revolution is necessary if the leaders of a communist state are to be kept in touch with the people. Chinese communism of the People’s Republic of China. 

TOTALITARIANISM: Absolute control by the state or a governing branch of a highly centralized institution. The character or quality of an autocratic or authoritarian individual, group, or government. Domination by a government of all political, social, and economic activities in a nation.

AUTHORITARIANISM: Of or relating to a governmental or political system, principle, or practice in which individual freedom is held as completely subordinate to the power or authority of the state, centered either in one person or a small group that is not constitutionally accountable to the people. Exercising complete or almost complete control over the will of another or of others. 

CAPITALISM: An economic system in which investment in and ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange of wealth is made and maintained chiefly by private individuals or corporations, especially as contrasted to cooperatively or state-owned means of wealth.

REPUBLICANISM: Republican form of government. A state in which the supreme power rests in the body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by representatives chosen directly or indirectly by them. 

COLLECTIVISM: The political principle of centralized social and economic control, especially of all means of production.

INDIVIDUALISM: A social theory advocating the liberty, rights, or independent action of the individual. The principle or habit of or belief in independent thought or action. 

UTOPIANISM: The views or habit of mind of utopian; impracticable schemes of political or social reform. Of or relating to a perfect or ideal existence founded upon or involving idealized perfection. Given to impractical or unrealistic schemes of such perfection.        
NIHILISM: Total rejection of established laws and institutions. Anarchy, terrorism, or other revolutionary activity. An extreme form of skepticism: the denial of all real existence or the possibility of an objective basis for truth. Nothingness or nonexistence. Annihilation of the self, or the individual consciousness, especially as an aspect of mystical experience.        
SKEPTICISM: Doubt or unbelief with regard to a religion, especially Christianity. The doctrines or opinions of philosophical Skeptics; universal doubt. The position that what cannot be proved by reason should not be believed. In its extreme form, that no knowledge is possible.       
ATHEISM: The doctrine or belief that there is no God. Disbelief in the existence of a supreme being or beings. Rejection of belief in God or gods. 
AGNOSTICISM: An intellectual doctrine or attitude affirming the uncertainty of all claims to ultimate knowledge. A denial of knowledge about whether there is or is not God. The  impossibility to prove that there is no God and impossible to prove that there is one. 

Why Most Muslims Are Silent Against Terrorism

Why Most Muslims Are Silent Against Terrorism

        Why is it that Muslims are outraged when people criticize their religion or make satirical pictures of their prophet, but they are silent when it comes to condemning terrorism and outright murder and genocide that Muslim extremists are committing, it seems like, every day? Many move to democratic countries or free societies to have a better life. They want to escape the violence and craziness in their former Islamic countries, yet when they move to a Western country with freedom and democracy they want to change it into the countries they left? They move because they are not happy, then end up in a better country but willfully seem to become unhappy again and want to change these countries into duplicates of the former Muslim nations? They demand Shuriah law and want to vote on it. They will use the idea of free speech to destroy freedom of speech. Some even want police to stay away and not get involved in Muslim communities in cities. They want to use Shuriah law instead. People like this should be held suspect to their true intentions. The so called moderates will keep claiming Islam is a religion of peace and when you criticize terrorist acts, they are sure to come out and protest and claim you are intolerant.

        I believe there are 3 reasons why Muslims are silent about Islamic-Terrorism (it seems that in this age the words “Islamic” and “Terrorism” go hand in hand and are inseparable). The three reasons are:

1. They are themselves terrorists and/or support Islamic terrorism and Jihad and want Shuriah law world dominance and to force everyone to bow down to Allah or live within their laws or be killed. In fact everyone else is an infidel and deserves to die if they do not convert. They also hate other types of Muslims and want their Islam to take over and wipe out the other sects.

2. Even though they don’t agree with it, they understand true Islam actually supports terrorist Jihad and the Quaran really teaches it. They are moderates, or liberal, and simply use Islam as a cultural religion they do not take serious and ignore the violence commands from the prophet Muhammad in the Quaran and Hadith.

3. They are afraid of being killed for speaking out against the murder and mayhem Muslims are committing worldwide. They may or may not believe the Quaran supports it. If they believe it supports it they fall into category 2 and 3 at the same time. Believing the Quaran teaches it and fearing death for speaking out against what their religion teaches. If they do not believe Islam teaches violence then they are simply afraid of the vast amounts of crazy lunatic Muslims worldwide who will hunt them down and assassinate them and their entire families.

This is the typical Muslim moderate girl I see almost every day in big cities:

Yes hide your hair, it is too sexy and hot and will cause me to lust. But it is okay to wear a form fitting shirt and tight jeans because that is acceptable to the moderate Allah. Yes, because hair is so sexy compared to your shapely body parts to men…

        Is it true that the majority of Muslims worldwide want peace and tolerance for all religions and people? Or is it true that the vast majority actually support Jihad and Shuriah Law? Their overwhelming silence speaks volumes to the rest of the world. When will liberals wake up? When will our president admit the truth of the problem? The problem is not necessarily Islamic extremists, but Islam itself. The more Muslims who move into a country and populate through reproduction the easier time they will have taking everything over. That seems to be their goal. I took a class on Islam during my university studies and one thing I learned is that the Hadith teaches that once a Mosque is built in a country than that country is owned by Allah and it is the Muslim’s right to dominate. How many Mosques have been built in the USA? A lot.

        Moderate Muslims who claim not all Muslims are bad need to do their jobs and speak out against this evil and be loud when they do it! But they are not! Come on moderates! Prove to us Islam is about peace! Maybe they cannot be angry over the terror attacks because they happen so much that moderate Muslims would have to be upset and angry 24/7, but then they take time to be angry and protest when people criticize their religion and cry racism and tolerance. They seem to really emphasize their hatred towards Christians, Jews, Israel, and Westerners.

        Maybe Islam is not a religion of “peace” and is actually a religion of….blowing people to “pieces.” The religion of peace…

Friends Flee But Christ Remains

Friends Flee But Christ Remains

        For various reasons many Christians lose friends whether they be secular friends or typical church-people friends. Because of sin in the world true brotherhood is very rarely played out. Deep in the soul of individuals we long for it but often times never get it. We are left alone. Friends don’t act like friends and don’t care about personal struggles and they really are not genuinely truthfully friends, but just tolerate you or are simply acquaintances. I was reading more of the book Strengthen My Spirit by Charles Spurgeon today, the sermon titled “Never Forsaken” speaks to me (p. 10).

“And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.”   Psalm 9:10 (KJV)

A lot of times it is so hard to put my faith and trust in God because I am a weak sinner and I give into depression and evil thoughts. So much pain and anguish from the past comes back and there is no one to help. I often feel like I want to cease to exist, life is hard, I would rather die and go to heaven. Bad thoughts creep in and doubting because of Satan’s worldly lies. But Spurgeon exclaims,

How sweet it is to learn the Savior’s love when nobody else loves us! When friends flee, what a blessed thing it is to see that the Savior does not forsake us but still keeps us and holds us fast and clings to us and will not let us go! Oh, beloved brother and sister, believe that your remaining here on earth is for your eternal benefit.”  (p. 10)

It is very tough sometimes to let go of the feelings and fully trust and put faith in God during certain times. But the dark times usually pass and then I am back on track. I am always a continual work in progress. Friends in this world whether they be Christians or not are not the point of life. Though Christian friends who are helpful and love you are beneficial and used by God for your spiritual health. But the dark times in the world make genuine Christian friends more scarce and even the Christian ones fail miserably. Everyone fails including me. A person needs to hold on and live life through the pain and endure until God’s timing to call you home. Suicide or hoping to die will not benefit Christ as much as suffering and embracing it.

Unimportant, Unknown Christian More Glorious To God Than Famous Academic Or Person In Power

Unimportant, Unknown Christian More Glorious To God Than Famous Academic Or Person In Power

        So many people in Christian culture today seek approval of men and affirmation. They want to be considered an important person in Christian thought or academics or current theological trends. This is my opinion, and I believe it to be true that this issue has caused many false teachers and/or weak teachers who are regressing the faith of the Church. Whoever comes up with a new idea or a new concept is boosted to the highest seat of authority within popular church by the evangelical consensus. I have met people who’s entire sole purpose seems to be the approval of other Christians, to have them think of them as very intelligent and academic people. To be considered men of a wealth of knowledge we should listen to. They seek and find those who are impressed and will bow to their “wisdom” and seek more. If one thinks of them as not very knowledgeable or somewhat immature or new, or that they are trying too hard to impress and gain accolades they will ditch them and seek those weaker minded people out who will gently brush their egos. They may or may not understand they have a smug arrogance, or selfish desire to receive praise. Some are simply immature and delusional people, and some simply know what they want and seek it out. Either way both of these types end up with the same result. Often times they become liberal and speak whatever gives them praises and bow to heresies, or they turn off genuine humble Christians and relationships are destroyed. I believe a high degree of seminary students fit this label. I find them pretentious and annoying.

        I was reading “Strengthen My Spirit” which is a book that compiles lightly edited portions of sermons by C.H. Spurgeon. Page 12 is titles “Enduring Trials for God’s Glory” and mentions 1 Peter 1:6-7,

“Now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that our faith of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire-may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” (NIV)

Many Christians who are lowly, unknown, and humble or suffering people going through very trials whether it be physical, mental, or spiritual give God glory more so than the typical popular Christian leader. Or those considered important academics by the evangelical consensus. Often these new seminary students are seeking accolades to become the next John Piper or Al Mohler, or whatever name you want to throw out there. Or at least be on equal terms with these “men of distinction.”

        This behavior can make individual Christians feel inferior or less spiritual. Being around such young Christian guys who are talking theology and talking about whatever books they just read or who will explain a theological point at the drop of a hat can often reek of arrogance or a prideful attitude. As long as you listen to them and think they are future important evangelical superstars they will be your friend. But once you start showing you are unconcerned with their opinion or even feel the need to correct a false biblical idea, or some bad life choices they will slowly become less fond of you until they move on in life and reject you. Do not let such immature boys who want to be big strong theological giants because they seek approval harm your faith. These people are seriously immature and have low self esteem and try to build themselves up by doing what they can to show off, pretend to be independent thinkers who don’t need your input, seek accolades and affirmation up until they feel they surpass the need for your individual praise (because you stopped praising them). If they do this to you just move on and just keep being humble and try to grow your faith. The point of life is God’s grace and approval by Him because of His work to give God the glory. A humble and unknown Christian life is better than one full of nice treatment and a comfy professor job at whatever Christian university or seminary.

        Spurgeon expresses,

“I think that in my own soul that a believer in a prison reflects more glory on his Master than a believer in paradise, that a child of God in the burning, fiery furnace, whose hair is yet unscorched and upon whom the smell of the fire has not passed, displays more the glory of the Godhead than even he who stands with a crown upon his head, perpetually singing praises before the Father’s throne.”

It brings more glory to God to be suffering on earth in trials and be lowly than it does if you were in heaven singing before God praises. Part of why you are here on earth according to Spurgeon seems to express we must suffer and be lowly and give God glory on earth until the full measure of glory is received by God before you need to go to Heaven. I believe it also to be true that a lowly, unknown, unimpressive person who is a Christian gives God more glory than those seeking approval of academics who want to be popular authors, speakers, pastors, professors, and more. If one becomes such a popular teacher hopefully they are true to God’s Word and have come there because of God’s direction and calling out of “nothing” and not simply a selfish desire who works hard in order to get what they want, which is to say they want certifications, ranks, accolades, accommodations, affirmation, and other things that puff up pride and self righteousness. Some cases these types become the new pharisees of our day within the bounds of accepted theology. They can work theology or the bible to approve them.

* Note, I am not saying there should not be any popular Christian leaders. There are, and there should be, as long as they are true to God’s word and received their positions because they are full of Christ’s humility and honestly called from nothing to be int hat position, and do not give in to be approved by popular ideas not found in the Bible. Many leaders and historic preachers are only known or popular because of this. Whereas many also are self promoted and popularized by the world.