Monthly Archives: August 2009

A Week of Fellowshipping

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It started with a lunch due to some unexpected blessings from the PSE. Our Standards team went to Dampa, Libis and ordered some shrimps, liempo, clamps, squids and leche plan. The Lord answered my family’s prayer that the price of the stock be a little bit higher.

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Then Ps George Gerard also came  by Thursday and we have a brief 30 minutes talk with Elder Vic Mitra of San Pedro Christian Reformed Church. Ps George is willing to help them in any way way regarding the church. Then as a family we went to Alabang Town Center and ate pizza and sundae at California Chicken Pizza. We saw Robin Padilla and ex-Senator Ramon Magsaysay Jr also inside the restaurant.

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By Sunday-we went to Greenhills Christian Fellowship, Sucat to be with my mother and eldest brother as they celebrated my parent’s wedding anniversary there. We ate lunch at Serye. We ordered kare-kare, Sweet Chicken, Chicken Bbq, Sisig, lumpiang shanghai. We were full and thankful.

 

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Afterwards we went to Loyola Memorial Park and put some flowers at my father’s tomb. He died last March 19, 2009. And then went home to San Pedro, Laguna by @ 3PM

TGIF: Matthew 15: 1-20 “Washing the Dishes”

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Matthew 15: 8 “This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me”

Originally the Pharisees wants to do the Law of God meticulously-and so they out a fence or hedge around this . This is in their mind would make sure that before you violate the Law-the fence will prevent you. It was in good intention-and it enlarges the number of Laws that affects men. However to our Lord-it does not protect it-in fact it violates it.

Sometime we worry a lot -and we thought that we can do better with what God had done-and it really does not. It makes it worse and we are set on edge against our Maker and Savior instead.

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What God intended for those commands-like that of supporting your parents when they were old-the traditions regarding vows now takes precedence. But the Law of honoring our parents is in the Ten Laws and clearer in the covenant-whether it is in the Old and the New!

The issue with ceremonial washings -required by the Pharisees from Jerusalem was that Jesus’ disciples are violating it-and want to appear obliquely that Jesus is lax and is tolerating such flagrant display of rebellion to the tradition of the elders. But No! Jesus faced them head on and point out that their starting point is all wrong. They treat the Law as if its Maker and Enforcer is already dead. That they are not its custodian and interpreter of such code.

Jesus is the Lord of the Law-he can make those laws pass into oblivion -since it will be fulfilled in him. Here -he utterly disregarded the dietary laws-right in the middle of Gentile country-Galilee and Gennasaret.And in front of those supposed protector of the tradition of the elders.They are concerned with externalises and thus not conscious of the deeper problem of their hearts. These things defiles us-and hurt us deep within.

Increasingly, Jesus is having a lot of enemies from important places. This is making his disciples concerned and nervous. Thus even if they already know what Jesus meant -they still questioned Him. They are so dull because their hearts will not let them go where freedom leads. They will forever in bondage to man made Laws until they finf their freedom in the Lordship and Saviorship of Jesus.

TGIF: Matthew 14: 22-36, Jesus Walks on Water

Matthew 14: 27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them: “Have courage! It is I. Do not be afraid.”

Jesus was preparing his disciples for the ministry. He taught them during the parable of the loaves and the fishes that He-Jesus, is not just able to make a miracle of creation-but that as they asked his help-they -his disciples-are also able to do their own too. This is shown by the excess 12 baskets.

Here-after deciding that his disciples have to cross the Sea of Galilee towards the northwest portion of the lake, he went up to pray and remain until there evening.

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The apostles-who were trained fishermen-and now not fishing but trying to sleep-was beeing bothered by the water and the wind. Who can sleep in such a situation? Drowsiness and listlessness is the common malady of people caught in this kind of situation.

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In this situation-Jesus came-amidst the storm and the waves. And true-We would have shouted also that he is also a ghost! Walks on water? Who has done this in history? Maybe in Anime or movies-but they are not real-but special effects only. But here is someone who can walk above fresh water and not sink. Was there a trick? a invisible foot path? Icy steps? No-for Peter sunk when he was distracted by the waves.

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He is also stilled the waves by enetering the boat. He is the “It is I” -ego eimi-The “I am what I am” of Old Testament. Thus it is significant that the disciples responded with faith and adoration. They worshipped him. Who can say that this is not an acknowledgment of divinity-deity? The disciples should know by now and shopuld always expressed their trust on him after shown by the Lord of His simple power.

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Not only He can walked on water-which is already a miracle-but that He can also came for them from the mountains when they are buffeted by the winds and that when Peter needed hep-He is just beside Him to give His hand! How fast was He? And yet when unbelieving people were asking for miracles-He seems powerless. That truly is a privilege of deity. He is truly Sovereign Lord-a Lord of His people.

Eating My Humble Pie

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I would like to express my deepest regret for being wrong about my fellow Reformed Christians. Though the doctrine of infant baptism or credo baptism is significant to both of us- It is not the Galatian heresy I thought a year ago. We may disagree about it and make it a test of membership-but to me it is no longer a matter of fellowship.

I just learn that after a year being a member of a fundamental baptist church-that I have more in common with Reformed Christianity than with a regular Baptist.And the issue I raised a year ago regarding believer’s baptism-whichI still hold especially from a new covenantal view -is in fact unknown from regular baptist. It does not even register on them. They don’t see the bible as a covenantal document! Thus the traditional covenant view maybe flat line-the regular baptist is non-existent. I rather based my hopes on the view of Geerhandus Vos or Meredith Kline to explain the progressive nature of biblical covenants than to wait for baptist christians to awaken from their stupor.

If a Christian parents wants to baptize his child-I am open to it as long as he understand it as a way to acknowledge Jesus lordship on his life and his family and that grace is always primary-and not our works or even faith. But yes -faith is important-that is why if someone, baptized in his infancy,-wants to rebaptize in his adult years-I will not posed any objections-as long as he believes that this is his response to Jesus’ Lordship and will not be repeated again in his adulthood.

Is this based on the covenant of Abraham? Yes- for faith always works outside -by showing works that prove his faith is real. Whether it is  in his life or those he loves. Is this disobedience to the precise command of our Lord? -No- for there is no direct command not to baptize children-and there is also no direct command that adults who were part of the covenant when they were children-not to be baptized anymore when they reached the age of reason. Our turbulent history bears witness to the injustice done by our Reformed forefathers to the Anabaptist and Baptist brethren. It also bears witness to the lack of steady doctrinal stand and clarity amongst baptist church which goes against confessional Christianity.

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Is this a novelty? I think the elders of Bethlehem’s church also thought about this but did not push through at the last minute. Better to raise the Reformed flag (chastised by history on its narrowness) than to raise a Baptist flag that has  no historical roots. Later post will provide the details of what I missed on being Reformed.

Cory Aquino: Leader of the Filipinos

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We were awaiting for the funeral casket at my parent’s house at Sucat Road, Parañaque City around 9 AM. It was good that my parents lived there -so we can monitor first where The funeral cortege where before braving the rains and the waiting. The funeral cortege left Manila Cathedral around 11:20 AM. And was at Bicutan interchange by 5:30 PM.

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My eldest son and I left my parent’s house by then and waited at the Sucat Exit for the casket truck of the late president ot pass by. There were many Filipinos waiting-but not as large as her husband when it passby Espana Road, Manila in 1983. I was still a student at UST then when her husband died.

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She is not a saint-nor the economically brilliant president. We have our rotating brownouts and failed peace missions then. She was not able find justice for her husband and the hundreds of those who died during the misrule of Marcos. We never became a tiger economy then.

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But what she did was precious to the soul of the nation. Restoring our faith in the democratic process, civility, trust of our soldiers and military, truth, honesty, sacrificial living, and uncorrupted government officials-no one can equal her. I was a hesistant martial law baby then in 1983 and 1986. We don’t trust the Aquinos then-but we don’t love the Marcoses (with their excesses) either. But her unfailing determination and simplicity strikes as somewhat quixotic and fairy-taleish. We begin to believe the impossible. True-we started believing that God is not only involved and concerned with us personally -but as a nation.

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My son and I son followed her casket ruck as well as the van of Kris anf the three busses bearing the Cojuangcos and their friends.

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I did not felt the tiredness for the 2.3 km we walked but around 7:30 PM the casket was brought in the Manila Memorial Compound-and so we started the trek back to Sucat Interchange. We ate dinner at Chowking Sucat-and was home at San Pedro, Laguna by 9 PM.

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According to  http://blogs.inquirer.net/beingfilipino/2009/08/04/who-president-cory-was-to-this-martial-law-baby/– “She was history’s special child—an accidental hero, a reluctant leader, but by many accounts, a stubborn president.”

And based on a comment on the same blog- "I don’t think she failed us, in fact she did more than what can be expected from anyone. She stepped down as she was supposed to, and it meant we have to continue the task of dismantling the monsters of the dictatorship. As we can see from our currently history, the monster is very much alive lurking in the shadows, pretending to be populists, buying shallow leaders. We have a number of promising leaders losing their ideals seduced by money and power, but it doesn’t mean we have to give up."

Will you want our P 500.00 bill bear the face of Cory and Ninoy? Pass the word:

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I will add more thoughts on this later…

Movie Review: Transformer 2-Revenge of the Fallen

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Synopsis from Wikipedia:

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is a 2009 American science fiction action film which was released on June 19, 2009 in the United Kingdom and June 24, 2009 in North America. It is the sequel to 2007’s Transformers and the second film in the live action Transformers series. Michael Bay and Steven Spielberg return respectively as director and executive producer, while Shia LaBeouf reprises the role of Sam Witwicky, the human caught in the war between Autobots and Decepticons. The film introduces many more robots and the scope has been expanded to numerous countries, most notably France, Jordan and Egypt. The plot revolves around Sam, who has been having visions of Cybertronian symbols, getting hunted by the evil Decepticons under the orders of their long-trapped leader, The Fallen. The Fallen seeks to get revenge on Earth by finding and activating a machine that would provide the Decepticons with an energon source, destroying all life on the planet in the process.

My Take:
I really waited for a month or so before commenting on these violent, sex-angst laden film. It is more than 2 hours long-and filled with mythological (as in Von Danikennish myths) references to Egyptian gods and symbols. The difference is that they did not pursue the line that we were experiments of an alien race. However, it also put a doubt on our uniqueness as a creation of our God. In fact it posits a theory that the Primes are even much much older. There is also a ‘dream-vision’ portion field with the Primes-but no heaven.

The first movie was much fun-cartoon tv series turn into a movie. But it is no longer. You might even mistake it for  a continuation of “Black-Hawk Down” for the ferociousness of its battle scenes. And yes-we know Megan Fox is “hot”-but why emphasized it a lot. And the parents-they were fumbling in the first movie-but now-they are sex-crazed. Some people do not know when to stop. They had it going great the last time. They could have been on it instead of making a monster out of the transformers

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Will the real Semi-Pelagian please stand up.

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As per Wikipedia:

Pelagianism is a theological theory named after Pelagius (ad. 354 – ad. 420/440). It is the belief that original sin did not taint human nature and that mortal will is still capable of choosing good or evil without special Divine aid. Thus, Adam’s sinwas “to set a bad example” for his progeny, but his actions did not have the other consequences imputed to Original Sin. Pelagianism views the role of Jesus as “setting a good example” for the rest of humanity (thus counteracting Adam’s bad example) as well as providing an atonement for our sins. In short, humanity has full control, and thus full responsibility, for obeying the Gospel in addition to full responsibility for every sin(the latter insisted upon by both proponents and opponents of Pelagianism).

While Semi-pelagianism is a Christian theological understanding about salvation; that is, the means by which humanity and God are restored to a right relationship. Semipelagian thought stands in contrast to the earlier Pelagian teaching about salvation (in which man is seen as effecting his own salvation), which had been dismissed as heresy. Semipelagianism in its original form was developed as a compromise between Pelagianism and the teaching of writers such as Augustine of Hippo, in whose work salvation is seen entirely as the free gift of God. In Semipelagian thought, therefore, a distinction is made between the beginning of faith and the increase of faith; while the latter is the work of God, the beginning of faith is an act of free will. It too has been considered a heresy by mainstream Christianity since the Second Council of Orange in 529.

 My Take:

As fars as Wesleyans-they believe in prevenient grace and the second work of the Holy Sprit-thus they are far from being Pelagians. While most evangelicals and baptist-will emphasize the convicting work of the Holy Spirit-in presenting their gospel-it will sound like that -it is based on man’s decision and faith alone that rebirth and conversion happens. Here they re semi-pelagian. However when it comes to eternal security-It was the Wesleyans who will emphasized man’s will to remain faithful to the Lord -that will secure his salvation forever. This too sounds semi-pelagian-except a Calvinist will insist that -(with the proper internal motive or state of the Christian)-a true Christian will remain faithful to the end. Thus echoing the Wesleyan insistence of not being self-deluded to destruction by remaining in sin while proclaiming oneself as Christian.

Here the common evangelical or baptist is truly remiss. He is semi-pelagian at the start of the work of salvation-and antinomian and easy believism at the end. Which is worse? Wesleyans or common evangelicals/baptist?  I am not prepared to decide on this.

And for clarification -being a dispensational-does not immediately mean being antinomian. Maybe -anti Mosaic law. Is the doctrine of Free Grace as espoused by Zane hodges and company -antinomian? I think not-since they just want to emphasized that there is no sub-puritan preparationism in justification of faith. It is real trust in a real Savior. But more to this later.