Tuesday, October 07, 2008

"He doeth everything immoral and staggereth like a drunkard, slipping on his own vomit." - Isaiah 19:14

Drunkenness is a serious social, health, moral and credibility problem. It breaks up families, it ruins careers, it destroys bodies and it tears friendships apart. Sometimes, it even cuts short a person's life. Today, many Christians conclude that moderation is good - but abstinence is much better, especially in view of the clear dangers inherent in drunkenness. Alcohol is a mind-altering drug that if taken frequently and repeatedly can be psychologically and physically addicting. Drinking may fall into the category of an act that is permissible, as evidenced by some church leaders, but certainly not beneficial. If questionable behavior such as drinking alcoholic beverages (like San Miguel Beer, Lites included) controls the drinker, hurts the body, numbs sensation, dulls the mind, makes one susceptible to immorality and other sins, causes harm to other people, or makes another believer stumble and fall, then such practices should be avoided and abandoned. Most times, believers, and most especially pastors and church leaders must choose to use self-restraint because this will be for the good and growth of the church. However, there are times when a pastor thinks he is indispensable, incorruptible, indisputable and unpenetrable. Instead, he goes on to penetrate other people's lives - literally and figuratively. I just had an interesting meeting with my friend who, again, had quite a mouthful to share, including the story of a helpless 15-year old girl our subject wolf molested some years back, and the equally disturbing story of a 17-year old female food attendant this drooling dog preyed on. I am told by my friend that this girl could be coming out in the open soon to tell all, and consecutively other victims as well. But that, among others more will be for future dark prosperity series. Several weeks ago, before our subject wolf was relieved from the church he prostituted, he haphazardly started a 'weekly singles meeting' aimed to tackle the usual expectations of a normal youung single adult. This sounds perfectly fine except for the fact that he had originally planned this to cater only for the young female single members of the church. The reason? He wanted to share some 'secrets' to these lasses for them to learn to deal with pressures from their boyfriends. What a perverted intention. I think this is clearly a sinister way to 'round up the sheep' and 'check them out' to see who among them would make it in his little book under the entry 'future victims.' That's why I have always believed that as real as Moslems have one God and three wives, Christians on the other hand must have three Gods (Father God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, all three in one) and only one wife. My friend goes on to share something that was a major turn-off for me. Subject wolf's original plan concerning church membership, if he had it his own way, would only be for a select group of people who would pass his criteria in economic status, financial soundness, etc. In short, if you're poor, his church doors are only a few centimeters open, thus making it impossible for you to enter, but only for your head to take a quick peek. On the other hand, if you're rich, then the doors are wide open exclusively for you with a matching red carpet and rose petals scattered all over to make you feel instantly welcome. This clearly fits perfectly with his self-serving cultish ideology that prosperity is simply just all about money and material wealth, such as numerous bank accounts, a big house (but not a home), and the latest gas-guzzling Euro-Am imports. The other blessings like a healthy body, long life, sober children (not drug addicts), a happy marriage, a good night's sleep and true friends who remind you when you're over-sinning are only secondary. Meaning, to be truly favored by the Almighty, "you need to be prosperous and rich and materially endowed, otherwise, it would be impossible for you to help others in need if you too are in lack." Now, can't the poor help the fellow-poor in several other ways besides financial dole-outs? What happens now to good deeds and neighborly love? Is this all about just money now? Yes, sad to say it is for him. He would rather rub elbows with the powerful and the wealthy instead of the unwashed and the inadequate. But not even God would be in his shoes! For in God's church, the doors are wide open 24/7 for all who wish to enter - especially the poor and the lost. In fact, not everybody is called to be rich and prosperous, otherwise, what need does man have for God if he has everything on Earth? The poor are still closest to God's pure heart, but the false teachers are somewhere under His feet. When prosperity has a dark purpose, it does not wish to know anything about God's law intended to be engraved in the hearts of all men. It does not listen to the voice of conscience and it turns against humanity and society, and to God as well. Now, on the subject matter, and if there is anyone I put my trust next only to God in all its true meaning, I put that on my grandfather, the late Jorge Bocobo, church-builder, moral crusader and author of the Civil Code of the Philippines and the entire brown race, who fervently said in one of his lay sermons, "True prosperity is worthy of honor and respect. It is living out God's will for your life....It should measure success not in terms of lands, houses, material wealth and a large bank account, but by helpfulness to others, by having rendered service to the poor, by having stood for righteousness at any cost. It fights wrong and oppression in every form." Here, he speaks of the noble and inherent character of prosperity, perhaps knowing that a few decades after, some egotistical pretender would be preaching on the other kind of prosperity - the ersatz and shallow kind he subscribes to. Well, for me, I believe that drunkenness and sexual immorality are a perpetual pair. Somewhat like a Tom and Jerry duo. One makes it easier for the other to accomplish its dark intentions. Or perhaps like the caped crusaders Batman and Robin? But our guy has no cape but a hood to conceal his true identity, a seasoned con-artist, and the best solution to this is to gag him for good, lest he misleads a multitude again to eternal damnation. Let all those concerned with this guy's well-being defend him and find solace and comfort with each other, contradicting all accusations hurled at their boy and finding them preposterous, "exaggerated and unfounded," for after all, even a felon has every right to a counsel - wise or otherwise. Remember cult leader Jim Jones and his People's Temple in Jonestown, Guyana, when after he was convinced by his dark intentions that he had a good number of blind followers who would do absolutely anything he would tell them to do? Well, that's exactly what he did soon after. The day came for him to put their fanaticism to the test, and after delivering what would be his last sermon, instructed his accomplices to distribute to everyone Dixie cups containing Kool-Aid mixed with Cyanide. He told them it was poison and that it was time for all of them, himself included to "move on to the afterlife." And soon after he gave the signal for all to drink the contents in their respective cups, close to a thousand of his fanatics (many children) were all dead in an hour. Jim Jones may be long gone, but our anonymous 'John Doe' is alive and well somewhere in Metro Manila on the prowl to recruit his own set of fanatics. Just a word of caution: next time he offers you a violet-colored drink from a styro cup in a "happy fastfood outlet," make sure it's just plain old grape juice, and not the same liquid Jim Jones concocted for his fanatics. It's really sad to know that there are still individuals who are trapped in his net but have also chosen to stay in that same place somewhat comfortably. Individuals who would rather look blindly at the preacher of the Word and would refuse to see clearly the wrongdoings of the latter, and would not do anything to correct them, for when sin is not followed by repentance, it will surely be followed by judgment. I challenge them now to look clearly at the Author of the Word instead of the preacher of the Word. Believe me, it's good medicine from God and not from some vacuous and temporary relief from an 'albularyo' pretending to be a man of God. May the very same God deliver us from the cowardice that dare not face new truths, from the laziness that is content with half-truths, and from the arrogance that thinks it knows all truth.

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