NOTE: I am narrating these things so that those still left in JLOAPC will have all the facts for them to make inform decision. Not for gossip or maligning their pastor-but so that what is still fresh in my mind will be recorded immediately of what really happened . If only I am allowed to record it –I would have doen it.
I prepared the following questions yesterday January 1, 2009. I texted Pastor M last December 31, 2008 for a meeting. He answered me after almost 1 hour later. And he asked if it is about the church-he is not willing to talk to me, but if it is a personal matter-he is willing. I told him in the vernacular ‘Ikaw ang pakay ko lamang’ (You are my objective only). And so he agreed. And it is true. This is the first time we met since I told him by text that I no longer believe in infant baptism-last July 2, 2008.
Before going to JLOAPC, I passed by the Ranara’s and Sardino’s to deliver my Christmas gifts to my ‘inaanak’ around 5:45 pm. Then we met by 6:00pm. We started by talking about my work and he apologize for the way we parted ways. I said that my family is already aclimatize to our new church home at Powerhouse and that my mission now to is cheriah and value my new church. I even mentioned the names of our brothers at Powerhouse- Val, Celso , Wilfred and Pastor Maroi and Abet. But I said that I still have one more responsibility to him. And since the others church mate I already informed -like Gerwin,Jaymee,Rovic and Sis Tess had already chosen to remain in the church because of the memories there-I don’t need to prod them anymore. I still have to ask the questions that was bothering me to him. And he immediately said that if these are regarding what happened before-he will not answer it.
These questions are as I felt, is needed so that Pastor M will face up tho his sins-if he accept it as one. I am responsible to tell him-since he maybe only hearing it from others-or worse, no one is telling him all the wrong things he had done. In the morning of January 2, 2008-I felt maybe I can leave this out-I know in my gut that nothing substantial will really happen.But I know it is my duty for him to hear it from me.
I told him that I still will ask him these questions whether he will answer it or not. So here is the list:
1. Why , after we , the elders, made agreement after we talked with Bro Elmer-that we will ask the Family P regarding the issue of insulting Bro Elmer by saying within his earshot publicly, that no one is tithing anymore. We-elders made agreement that we will ask the P family after their membership interview. And after 3 times of reminding Pastor M that we need to made inquiries to P family- Pastor M just said that he will not do it because he felt we made a mistake in the first place in listening to Bro Elmer. To him it is a private matter (?).
I told him that night (Jan 2) that I already interviewed the P family when I said goodbye to them-and Sis N lied to me by denying that it was public-then somewhat make a turnaround at the end before I left-but it is unclear to me if she did confessed. However, Sis Carmen corroborated with Bro Elmer that P family publicly said those words. So it is a public matter.
2. Why did Pastor M suspended me witin 5 minutes after I told him through text that I no longer believe in infant baptism. (this is after I questioned him why backout in interviewing the Family P) -and that when I reminded him on July 4, 2008 that since it is already Friday-His brother elder wont be able to prepare a message- I told him that I am willing to do preach since I will not be discussing baptism since my text is Matthew 9. I also told him that night (Jan 2) that he is really the rebaptizer since last summer outing he really wanted to baptized at least 2-3 covenant chidren -just so they can have an experience of it .In fact he still was able to baptize one covenant children-the daughter of Ranara.
3. Why he did not allow an elder’s meeting when we have a previous understanding that we must always make decision together. This, after repeated request through text to him and through his brother-elder, through a voice call, and then a letter.
*Here he accuses me going house-to-house to his brother-elder, Elder S, and the Libaos-where Geordel was the board secretary. And yes he also reminded that I went ot Sis Tess (after their July 17 meeting)-but I did not give her a copy of any letter. Only those 3 persons (and the P family which he did not mentioned) has a copy of my 2 letters. I told him that Elder R & S are elders-and they need to know the issue. And the board secretary must have it for file purposes-and yes I did mentioned what is bothering me to the Libaos-and receive some emotional support and advice where to transfer (Lord Reigns) . I did mentioned baptism and tithing but it is not elaborate like a doctrinal class. It was more spontaneous-just like when my wife and I went to Sis Tess who invited as for a dinner when we told her we will be leaving. These 2 families were close to me since I spent a lot teaching and discipling them when they were just starting in their christian life.
*During that time (July, 200 I believe that elders must decide questions regarding doctrine and how to discipline members. I no longer believe the second part of it-I am now a baptist and believes that the congregation has a say in the discipline process based on Matt 18:17. So I held my peace then.
4. Why write a letter to the whole congregation and reading it in front regarding my suspension and exclusion from any contact or conversation-when the elders were not even willing to hear me and my side.
*Here he answered that he did not alowed it because ‘ipipilit ko lang ang gusto ko’ and that ‘I have a problem with infant baptism and not them’. I told him ’sino kaya ang nagpumilit dito? and why did he not allow to discuss this matter with an open bible and see where it leads? He said ‘can all presbyterians be wrong?’-And I said-‘how about calvin and servetus?, Zwingli punishing Anabaptist with drowning-and that Presbyterians are allies of the King during the English Civil War-while the baptist were treated as criminals? He also asked me if I had taught infant baptism from the Scripture before (As if he did not know that I am the one who taught the church many times regarding reformed doctrine from Heidelberg Cathechism)-and I said that it is based on the covenant with Abraham-and that it expanded to include the Gentiles in the NT. But there is a discontinuity there similar to tithing and sabbath. In John 1:12-13-it is no longer “the will of man or will of flesh” that one becomes a child of God, and that in Galatians -the spritual children of Abraham-are those with faith in Christ-and this is borne out by the Newness of the New Covenant as mentioned in Jeremiah 31.
* He asked me that does Presbyterians taught me that baptism saves- and I said no!-and countered that “why in adult baptism-we always look for faith-and then make an exception for children?” . (Why is it that with reformed christians-covenant does not mean salvation?- only possible salvation-when in Jeremiah 31-to be in covenant-is to be saved-that is to know the Lord and be forgiven.)
5. Why say in the letter read in the congregation that I preached against tithing without his permission when in fact before -a few years ago-I preach a series in tithing-and yet he did not rebuke me then ? and that during an elder’s meeting -Bro Vic even countered him-and we thought he was convinced then by his arguements. I also told him (Jan 2) that Elder S even told me (july 22) to write a letter countering his letter but I said I will abide with the elders’ decision.
6. Lastly-I told him why he deliver the general suspension letter to my house when I already left for the office. He answerd that I left for the office early-which he knew. So i said-why not deliver it in the evening where I ma there personally, so that he can fulfill his promise to 2 deaconesses that he will deliver it in person so that we can have a talk.
I left the JLAOPC by 6:30pm -since he keep saying that “nagpupumilit ako katulad ngayon”. I told him that I must ask my question-so that I can discharge my responsibiity. He said that I am the same-that I keep insisting my way. I told him I expected this-not answering my question.I said finally ‘Sige pastor’
*I am disappointed since he stills pastor people I cared about and since he is blind to his sins-and keeps insisting that he is responsible to God on thesematters. I told him-to whom this church belongs? the denomination or the Lord-He said the Lord. I countered then-“Why not resolve this with an open bible. He also said that “Di niya kailangan magpaliwanag ng kanyang dahilan” (especially with regards to my questions) and “at walang na ikaw na karapatan para tanungin ako”. I told him -’wag siyang magpakataas’ because “we are both elders-kapantay ko lang siya”.
And so during the same night of January 2, 2009 I penned this when I can still remember what happened during our conversation.