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.”

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.

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.

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.