Monthly Archives: May 2009

Impact: Doc Norman and Young People of BFHCF

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I was the Vice-President of Education of our Young People group at BF Homes Christian Fellowship. With Pastor Rey Domingo as the VP for Activities and Pastor Edwin Puzon as the President.

Doc Norman was new then. Coming from a baptist background, and trained by the Campus Crusade for Christ especially in the “4 Spiritual Laws” -he was eager to train us in combat evangelism. We were Calvinist-and knows our theology -but we are not practical nor good at training others in the field of evangelism. But base don what we read from Ernest Reisinger “The Carnal Christian” we cannot accept a gospel presenattion that teaches a half-Jesus. Savior only-but not Lord. This was the Lordship Controversy that Dr John Mcarthur and the Free Grace movement had fought about. But it was still a new controversy then.

My mentor -Pastor Ric was bale to harmonize our concerns-and Doc Norman was able to teach us evangelism -while we hold to our confession that Jesus is both Savior and Lord. As we know-the Reformed wing is always for “sanctification through the law”-in  a simplistic manner.

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Later he also became a convinced 5-pointer Calvinist himself-and even wrote a manual for BFHCF.

Through Doc Norman we were also able to have a Young People Summer somewhere at Batangas-near Bauang-and the place is secluded and conducive to learning. You can hear the rooster crow-for miles-so to speak.

Later Doc Norman became the best man in my wedding with Belle. And we kind of meet once a year -because he is also the godfather of one of my sons. But Pastor Edwin had a falling out with him-for reasons that I am no longer sure if it is worth fighting about. But he remains as one of my friends.

Chastity is still a Winner-Carelessness is the Loser

1 Timothy 2:9-10

9 likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire,10 but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works.

2 Timothy 3: 5-7

5 having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.6 For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions,7 always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth

In these two weeks controversy in the Philippines showbizness-nothing really beats chastity and purity. It will avert all scandal. Women and men should only experience intimacy and sex within the bounds of marriage. Growth,maturity and sensitiveness should be discovered, nurtured and reached in such settings only.

Of course-we do know forgiveness and understanding of those who have fallen. If they also have repented of what they have done.

It is not the mere distribution, the video capture of the act that is morally wrong. It is the sexual act outside the bonds of marraige. It is plain fornication.  Unmarried men and women should refrain from any physical initimacy when they are not yet married.

In fact the music they sung or dance to-sort or presage their situation now-they should not have done it.

Picture is from http://s.mehdi-he.ws

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 I Feel So Unsure
As i take your hand
And lead you to the dance floor
As the music dies
Something in your eyes
Calls to mind a silver screen
And all its sad goodbyes

(Chorus)
I’m never gonna dance again
Guilty feet have got no rhythm
Though it’s easy to pretend
I know you’re not a fool
I should have known better than to cheat a friend
And waste a chance that i’ve been given
So i’m never gonna dance again
The way i danced with you

Time can never mend
The careless whisper of a good friend
To the heart and mind
Ignorance is kind
There’s no comfort in the truth
Pain is all you’ll find

(Chorus)
I’m never gonna dance again
Guilty feet have got no rhythm
Though it’s easy to pretend
I know you’re not a fool
I should have known better than to cheat a friend
And waste a chance that i’ve been given
So i’m never gonna dance again
The way i danced with you

Tonight the music seems so loud
I wish that we could lose this crowd
Maybe it’s better this way
We’d hurt each other with the things we want to say
We could have been so good together
We could have lived this dance forever
But now who’s gonna dance with me
Please stay

(Chorus)
I’m never gonna dance again
Guilty feet have got no rhythm
Though it’s easy to pretend
I know you’re not a fool
I should have known better than to cheat a friend
And waste a chance that i’ve been given
So i’m never gonna dance again
The way i danced with you

Now that you’ve gone
Now that you’ve gone
Now that you’ve gone
Was what i dïd so wrong
So wrong that you had to leave me alone

George-Michael-Careless-Whisper-354456

They did not only cheated against each other-but they sinned against the Lord and His goodness-and put their future relationship into peril.

Sons and daughters beware of what you are getting into. Though there is always forgiveness in the blood of our Savior-it is us we put ourselves in peril.

Impact: Vacation with the Vanderbilts

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I was called by some former members of BFHCF as “Maas Jr”- since the Vanderbilts  kind of bring me to vacations or ministries and such. I was able to go with them to Hundred Islands, Pangasinan. We took a boat three of its main island and snorkel a bit-since I am not a swimmer. We were able to attend a wedding and a baptism also at Pangasinan that Ps Maas officiated. Ps Maas also traced for me the Death March track along Tarlac, Nueva Ecija and Pampanga.

Last Resort, Hundred Islands

During one summer-they also include me as one of the camp’s asistants for the church kids at Batulao, Batangas. It was two nights stay there-walking, hiking, and studying the Woord of God. I was also able to fire blanks from M-16 rifle from one of the security personnel.

Gulod sa Batulao

It was a blessed time-in fact part of my dreamy past. No problems-always secured with them. I don’t need to prove anything- I just need to experience and read all I want.

Impact: First Elder and Corporate Election

It is easy to learn the five points of Calvinism-TULIP-you can even memorize it due to the mnemonic device first used by Boettner. You can be its prime evangelist of and then  try to convert everybody to its tenets. It is also easy tod dismissed it and say that it is an error straight from hell -meant to portray and evil -and all-controlling God. That is the twin errors -Scylla and Charybdis-the devil and the deep blue sea of ancient myths. Hyper-Calvinism and Arminianism.

But it is not easy to act as the elect of God. See this:

12 So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience;13 bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.14 Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. (Colossians 3:12-14)

or this:

.5 For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge,6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness,7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.9 For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins.10 Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall.(2 Peter 1:5-10)

To see God as He is-and to see ourselves-as lowly and impure as we are-that is true Calvinism-in fact it should not be called Calvinism. This is true biblical picture of what the real status of man in front of a Holy God.

So sometime in the late 1980’s- Ps Rey Domingo, Ed Puzon and I were overwhelmed with this greatness-and our sinfulness that we just cried all afternoon just outside of our church at BF Homes Christian Fellowship, Tirona St., BF Homes, Parañaque.

It is also through this experience that we are able to withstand the controversy that made us confront the prime candidate for eldership-and possible successor of Ps. Maas Vanderbilt at BFHCF-Ps Dick Mirpuri.

He is an erudite and clear speaker. Through him a lot of believers were saved and accepted the Lord. He also graduated from Asian Theological Seminary-with flying colors. With background from secular business-there is now way his pastorship will be derailed.

But he is an Arminian. believing in election based on the foreknowledge of faith of believers-and that election is merely corporate i.e. the church is the elect vehicle of those who wants to be saved.

So we (Ps Edwin and I ) blocked his nomination-In fact it almost infuriated Ps Maas that we are trying to. We have a close door meeting-but the issue was not resloved. SOme church members have some problems with his methods and rode onto to our issue-and so at the day of nomination for Elder position-Ps Maas did not mentioned his name.

dick mirpuri

We sort of win at that time -and have some reconciliation with Ps Dick later in life with Ps Dick (he was later ordained with the Methodist church, I think-and now related to CAMACOP-or the Alliance Church) but the local church did not remain as pure in doctrine as we wish to-but that is another story-and might not be under my watch. Someone else might tell the  story. But during then-true gospel of grace was protected and preserved.

I am just sad that we have to confront  him so that truth can be maintained.I was hoping he would see it himself. But that is the way it was. And yes you cannot put a good man down-he will try to find a way to be used by God again.

Weightier Matters of the Law

tithe fullMatthew 23: 23-24

“Woe to you, experts in the law and you Pharisees, hypocrites! You give a tenth of mint, dill, and cumin, yet you neglect what is more important in the law — justice, mercy, and faithfulness! You should have done these things without neglecting the others.24 Blind guides! You strain out a gnat yet swallow a camel! (ESV)

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others.You blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel! (NASB)

I have not understood why preachers, after reading these passages and yet still conclude and emphasize that in the New Testament- we ought to tithe, i.e. to give our tenth percent.

Clearly -the Lord just rebuked them and sort-of allow them to be so conscientious in tithing the smallest herbs and spices in their garden. Tithing laws commanded only the produce of the land. Land which is their inheritance. Inheritance that the Levites do not have. But they are all Jews and are living in sacred space still. The Temple is still there -and the nation of Israel is not yet formally divorced as ahown in AD 70. If only they will think the historical and theological context of this verses.

The scribes and Pharisees are not good models for teachers-fir verse 24-they are judged to be blind! They have filtered out of their heart the minutiae of tithing but they have neglected their greediness and heartlessness in their hearts which had incapacitated them in beng kind and gentle to thier fellowmen. Clearly-this is more serious defilement.

And what are the weightier matters of the Law-judgement, mercy and faith. These should not be neglected and cast aside. In the New Covenant-these shall remain and in force even when Jesus already return to His Father in heaven.Giving people their due-and being kind and helpful to others while retaining a living relationship with God-should have been their priority and focus.

But where are their vision directed? Being hypocrites and self-righteous -in elevating themselves in outward behavior of tithing. This should have been a ever present warnig to those who tithe and also teached tithing. But they don’t-in fact-they just keep on beating the ears of their congregation-when the do not have anything more to give. What a situation.

Jesus does not condems tithing-but he also did not elevate it as what modern preachers are doing so that they can have illegal source of income. The tithe are for Levites. Ministers of the New Covenant should receive their honorarium or salary. Not tithes.

But -yes, members or Christian should be generous in their giving -not thinking if they are seen by their deacons or treasurers-but their Father in heaven.

Movie Review: Angels and Demons

Angels_and_demons (poster
This synopsis is about the book from> http://fratres.wordpress.com/2009/03/25/angels-demons-joseph-dias-separates-truth-from-lies-in-the-book-joins-the-catholic-league-in-calling-for-boycott-of-the-catholic-bashing-film/

“The protagonist in both, Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons is Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon. In Angels & Demons, (the movie based on the novel by the same name opens worldwide on 15, May 2009), Langdon is recruited by CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research) to investigate what happened to one of its top physicists: he was found dead with a mysterious symbol seared into his chest. It was the symbol of a secret society, long thought moribund, the Brotherhood of the Illuminati.

In time Langdon becomes convinced that the Illuminati have returned. According to Brown, the organization, which numbered Galileo among its members, was founded to assert the superiority of science over the irrationality of religion, especially Roman Catholicism. It now seeks revenge, having captured antimatter, a dangerous substance discovered by the scientist who was assassinated. Langdon’s mission is to stop the Illuminati before it blows up the Vatican with a time bomb procured from the antimatter.”

This is from the wikipedia regarding the movie>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angels_%26_Demons_(film)

“Angels & Demons is a 2009 film adaptation of Dan Brown’s novel of the same name, released on May 15, 2009. It is the sequel to The Da Vinci Code (2006), another Brown film adaptation, although the novel Angels & Demons was published and takes place before the novel The Da Vinci Code. Filming took place in Rome and the Sony Pictures Studios in Los Angeles. Tom Hanks reprises the lead role of Robert Langdon, while director Ron Howard, producer Brian Grazer and screenwriter Akiva Goldsman also returned.”

angels_and_demons

This is second book of Dan Brown to be made as a movie. It is not as controversial and as hard-hitting as the first one. But it is fast, violent and suspense filled.

Dan brown’s agenda is different here. It is not feminist-or free sex for all. But this is about freedom to be an atheist. Freedom for science to be free of a religious body control -which is the Catholic Church here. This is clearly an assault against the authoritarianism of the Curia and the supposed irrelevance of the said body.

There are scenes that emphasize the works the Catholics are doing the world for those who are poor, dying, abused or forgotten. There are also scenes where officials of the church that repented of what the church had done in history against its enemies. Though if it is true in the time of Pope John Paul II but now Pope Benedict is at the helm-it needs to be verified.

Whether Galileo or Bernini are real members of Illuminati-as Newton or Da Vinci are not real members of Priory of Scion in the Da Vinci Code –must still be verified. If this movie or book will confirm that Brown is a really good researcher and not a weaver of myths only-remains to be seen. Does he really made the necessary research and consulted the experts regarding the meaning, location and orientation of the symbols? Or did he rely again to his imagination and did not care for the proper historiagraphy. Please check the above site : http://fratres.wordpress.com for its rebuttal of Brown’s historical views.

The character of the Pope’s assistant highlighted some of the conflict within the church or religious bodies-whether catholic, protestant or whatever. Will they just protect the institution even when it conflicts with the truth? Will they act as hireling-or true shepherds called by Jesus? Will their good works be the height of their hypocrisy?

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My question for Dan Brown is- if there is no God-or if your God is impersonal, deistic or dualist, and there is really no grand eternal plan prepared by Him-then on what should the human race stand on –on what to do-and what to decide? Science? It is not a neutral tool.

This is indeed a revolutionary film.

Movie Review: Star Trek

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The synopsis at Wikipedia is really almost complete. I would just like to comment on the movie.>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_Trek_2009

“Star Trek is a 2009 science fiction film directed by J. J. Abrams and written by Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman. It is the eleventh film based on the Star Trek franchise and features the main characters of the original Star Trek television series, who are portrayed by a new cast. The film follows James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) and Spock (Zachary Quinto), before they unite aboard the USS Enterprise to combat Nero (Eric Bana), a Romulan from the future who threatens the United Federation of Planets. The time-travel story establishes an alternate reality[3], freeing the film and the whole franchise from continuity constraints.”

It is new –and it might reinvent the whole Star Trek universe-with its destruction of Vulcan at the beginning of the original series timeline. The presence Spock Prime is also a sort-of threat of what we already know about it.

The death of James Kirk’s father in the beginning is really gut-wrenching. It is really fast and emotional at the same time. The next two scenes- young Kirk racing with a police officer and then the teen Kirk trying to make a pass with Uhura (yes she is sexy and very visually stunning) and being bashed by a group from Federation’s academy. These two are also fresh interpretation of what happened with young Kirk and other Star Trek personnel.

One scene I really like is when Sulu and Kirk went down to the rig’s seismic cannon to save Vulcan from imploding in itself due the red matter from the future. In the original series-you will not think that they are action heroes-but here in the movie-it is now changed. They are like Indiana Jones or Han Solo.

Spock here is still trying to find a grip on his emotions-and that he really loves his mother-especially when he refused his call from the Vulcan Science Academy because they commented on his Terran side as a disadvantage. This is the weakness that Kirk used so that he can be the captain of Enterprise in the final phase of the movie.

star_trek_mirror_images

Basically, the old Star Trek-tries to balance rationality with the emotional side of McCoy and have it synthesize it with the pragmatism of Kirk. But the commanding presence of Kirk and the regrets of Spock Prime might quench the reason and logic of the young Spock. I hope they did not replaced the modernism of the old series with the post-modernism of the new one. Reason, emotions and need of the moment must be still be weighed.