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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Charismatic Episcopal Archbishop versus Media Bias and the RH Bill

The passage below is from last Sunday's sermon (May 22, 2011) by Archbishop Loren Thomas Hines, the Charismatic Episcopal Church's Archbishop of Manila and Primate for the Philippines and Asia (underlining is by CAP). CBCP News has also just published an article on Archbishop Hines' statements in Mindoro versus the RH Bill and Business Mirror has published an article on his opposition to the RH Bill: Episcopal Church joins Catholics in rejecting RH bill

(NB: the Charismatic Episcopal Church is not to be confused with the pro-RH and theologically liberal "Episcopal Church in the Philippines".)
We are given the hope of Easter. Jesus speaks to us, “Truly, truly…” It is not just one, “truly”. “Truly, truly I say to you.” He is verifying the fact that this is a truth that comes from the very heart of God; a truth that no one can change. Christ said that He is the Way, and the Truth, and the Life.” Why do we live in despair and in anxiety? Why do we pay attention to what men speak to us? Do we not understand that many times the things they say come out of their desires, their anxieties or their agendas? They do not necessarily speak to us the truth; but they speak to us what they want. They speak to us as how they want us to think. When someone of importance makes a speech internationally, as soon as they finish, the news people will follow and they will say, “We will explain to you what they said.” It is as if we were so ignorant, so dumb that we could not understand their words. We couldn’t interpret what they speak. We have to be told what to believe. We are told what they meant, things supposedly underneath what they said. Who knows what is there? That these news people have special gifts of understanding? Do they have these crystal balls? How can we interpret what someone else says? They do this to us so that they control our thoughts. 
In Saigon, I was listening to an Asian news broadcast. They were interviewing a personality from the Philippines and they were talking about the RH Bill. As I listened, I was shocked and amazed at the twisting of truth, of the blunt lines that were spoken, of things that were not true. I thought, “Why can we not tell the truth? Why are so weak in our personalities, in our own securities that we have to exaggerate and twist thoughts in order to have people think the way we think?” I was shocked and amazed and I was talking back to the television, “It is not true. That is a lie! Why do you go on international connections and say things that tear our people apart and take away our recognition, our reputation from the whole world as if we were barbarian – people who were hating one another and pulling one another down?” I was grieved! I was upset, and probably, angry. 
This is how we find society today around us. We cannot speak the truth. We are afraid of the truth. If you listen to the debates on the RH Bill, they do not discuss the provision of the bill. They attack the personalities. They put people down and they try to say that others have this agenda. Why can we not be human and be rational as though we have lost our security and our own identity in the world we live in today? 
Jesus speaks peace, “Let not your heart be troubled; believe in God.” After all, this universe belongs to Him. It doesn’t not belong to these different groups and organizations and governmental structures. These people don’t own this world; it belongs to God. God says in the Old and the New Testament, “I am your God and you are My people.” We belong to Him. 
In the Garden of Eden, the enemy took away the commitment of Adam and Eve to God so that they would question the truth and the accuracy of what God spoke. As a consequence, life became miserable and sad. Before, as Adam and Eve would walk in the Garden in the cool of the evening with God, there was peace. There was no such thing as sin. There was no shame because everything was perfect the way God intended it. Does it not speak very loudly to us today as a thinking people and a people who rationalize and analyze circumstances? At that time when people were walking with God, things were at peace. Would it not draw us to that because when man separated from God, all hell broke loose in their lives? Does it not wake us up to the fact that as Jesus speaks and says, “I am the Way?” He calls us to be His people. 1Peter2 says, “Called, chosen to be a holy nation, a royal priesthood; God’s people for His possession.” Should not our loyalties and our commitments be unto Him? Should they not be that which speaks loud and clear unto His being? Should they not be that which challenges us to look at the Way and find out how Christ prepared the way for us to walk in? He did not only prepare the way for us to walk in, but He filled it with good deeds. 
I was awakened in the night by a thought that was in my mind. I was recalling the news of a week ago where that over 2.6 billion pesos that had been given to the Department of Health was missing. This amount was meant to be used in distributing contraceptives to the people. The thought in my mind was, “Why do we need an RH Bill when we are already distributing contraceptives to the people? Is this not something strange? Is this not something out of order?” The amount has not been accounted for, but it was designated for contraceptives. My mind went even further and I thought, “If only we could have taken away the 2.6 billion and maybe several other billions that have been used for this bill, we could have set up training programs for those who are “poor” and we would train them.” I remember before that we used to have cottage industries. We could train the people in order that they could take care of themselves and be creative and productive on an individual scale so that everyone was producing something out of their own talents and abilities. We would not need to control population. We would not need to be taking care of other things if everyone was supplying his own needs. If we would use these funds to raise people up and to give them confidence in their own abilities, would it not then bring to this nation a credibility of overcoming poverty by developing individuals rather than destroying them? 
I have realized that part of that thought came from the time when I was in Vietnam because the people are so creative and industrious in that nation. There was the cleanliness of the city; the manicuring of the gardens and the many parks with huge great trees which are a hundred years old reaching to the sky. You do not drive down the streets without these trees that bring the coolness, the cleanliness of the air. The people are busy and creative. If they are not a gardener, they are doing something else. They have come up with so many unique things so that they could take care of themselves. Could we not be training our people too? Could we not give of ourselves? If only we could stop the corruption, which is in the billions or trillions of pesos that are stolen by government officials. Could we not bring this nation to a prosperity that would make us glorious in Asia? 
If only we could stop the corruption, we don’t need to control the population. We need to control the corruption in the population. If we would do this, we would find that we have more than enough to meet our needs. We could be a nation that would be proud of who we are. We would not be ashamed and we would not be tempted to send our women into other countries where they are abused, beaten and raped, and we do nothing about it at all. What a shame upon us that we would this to our own and put them into slavery as such. 
God has given us ability. Jesus says, “I am the Way.” We did not see Jesus sending people into such things. Jesus met their needs. Jesus supplied the hope and the joy to them. He delivered them from their bondage and slavery. He fed the hungry, healed the sick, and raised the dead. 

What a challenge for Christianity today. Do not look at the world because the world is dark and self-centered – thinking of its own. God put His people in the midst of these things - to be a witness, to be a light, and to proclaim the greatness and the provision of God. Jesus said, “I have prepared a place for us.” Not only has He prepared a place for us, but He has prepared us for the place, to be the ministry, and us to be that which God has given us to do. 
Jesus speaks to us, “Truly, truly, the things that I have done, you shall do.” Can we see that ability? I get tired of hearing people say, “I can’t do this. It is too expensive. It is too hard.” I don’t believe these things are truth; these things are excuses. God has given to us grace, power, and authority. He says to us, “All things are possible.” There are no exceptions. We are God’s people. He has chosen us to declare and demonstrate His excellencies – not to murmur and to complain; not to attack and put down; but to lift up, to bring hope and life and joy.


  1. This is so neatly delivered...

  2. Let's not just be a passive listener and cheerer to this. Even a small voice through short and simple comments here, we can be one in letting them know our stand that...

  3. I agree Tchr. May! We should share this to others to have a change of heart and to awaken their minds of the TRUTH that JESUS is the only way!