SOCIAL DEVIANCE AND FAMILY STRUCTURE

SOCIAL DEVIANCE AND FAMILY STRUCTURE
The family is the primary social institution in every community. Families make up communities, and communities make up a nation. I remember quite well when my sons took their pet hamsters to school for the “show and tell” portion of their class, and the Mommy Hamster started giving birth, and in sheer horror started eating her babies in front of the other school children. I ended up having to pick up the hamsters and my kids. I can always say, “What’s your problem with an animal eating its young, right?” They are animals. Certain species do that.
In real human societies, eating our children is taboo. It’s a social deviance. Social norms dictate that as families, we have stay together and help one another. We take care of our sick and our elders and we nurture our relationships with each other no matter how challenging it may be, and that’s the reason for our progress and civilization. At least, that’s what I believe.
We make our choices in life. If you can live with the choice you’ve made, alienate your family and put them in dire situation, that‘s perfectly OK with me, I will not judge you. They will fight you if they want to. Some people are sad because they have lost connections with their friends and families. We love our families and friends. I don’t care about your plane or your money. I can’t take all that with me in my grave. Spare those of us, who value families and friendships. Those memories are more important to us.

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EVM’S CURSE – THE BIG SHOES TO FILL

EVM’S CURSE – THE BIG SHOES TO FILL

Never in my wildest imaginings did it ever cross my mind that the church will be in its current state of affairs.  There was no way I could have ever conceived it will happen to the church.  Sometimes, I ask myself why I even care since I left the church a long time ago but somehow, I keep going back to that reality that when I left the church, I never left my friends and my family and the respect for the church I once belonged to.

Like most of you, I question the same things.  How could Eduardo treat his legacy with indignation?  How could he ever watch the church divided in state of chaos?  What could he have done better?  I guess we will be wondering about the answers until all the dust settle, or maybe, we will never know.   So for now I would just like to share with you my observations and analyses as objectively as I can to make sense of what motivates someone to act or not to act in any manner predicted by the general population.

No member of the Iglesia Ni Cristo, will ever question the unprecedented success of the Iglesia ni Cristo under the leadership of Ka Felix and Ka Erdy.   Both of them are recognized as “RESPECTED RELIGIOUS LEADERS.”  INC under Ka Felix stood the ravages of war.  From a handful of listeners, after 49 years of existence, the INC had 1,250 local chapels and 35 large concrete cathedrals. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Felix_Manalo

After the death of Ka Felix, people predicted the failure of the church when Ka Erdy took leadership.  Contrary to what critics predicted, Ka Erdy led the church to achieve global expansion.

Enter Eduardo…  He has 2 big shoes to fill.  Imagine the mounting pressure to live up to or exceed his grandfather’s and father’s legacy.  That’s mind-blowing.  He has to re-invent himself.  Lacking the qualities of a competent leader, he has to RE-INVENT THE CHURCH by the introduction of a “new culture” to disassociate himself from the historical and epic achievements of Ka Felix and Ka Erdy.   In an effort to cement his name in the history of the church, he has to SHRINK those big shoes to fill.  He, not only attempted to shrink those big shoes, but he also tried to destroy and bury them.

Consumed with his delusional portrayal of himself as the “BELOVED” and the “WAY TO SALVATION,” EVM has a very deep desire to go down in history as the one who “revolutionized” the church.  He created an institution that preyed on the weak, the poor, and the socially and economically disadvantaged.

EVM created a religious institution resembling “Corporate America,” where the CEO and high ranking officers and their families get the perks and the treats.  EVM capitalized on the previous years of financial success of the church to extend its economic and political control as far as encroaching on the Philippine government, and at the same time callously using the same money given by the members to subdue them with threats of expulsion or being cast in the lake of fire.

Next time you think this is all about faith, total submission and obedience to God, think about the BIG SHOES EDUARDO HATES TO FILL!

THE CASE OF THE BAD APPLES AND THE MINISTERS OF THE CHURCH

Have faith that there are still ministers out there looking out for the flock. One case of a few rotten apples can rot a whole barrel of apples.  However, your ministers are not apples.  They are humans, and capable of thinking what environment is conducive to the survival of the flock.

I have decided to take a scientific analysis on this matter, so as to avoid having to come up with my own EVIDENCE.

What causes the decay in fruits?  Blame it on ethylene.

Ethylene is a small hydrocarbon gas. It is naturally occurring, but it can also occur as a result of combustion and other processes. You can’t see or smell it. Some fruit will produce ethylene as ripening begins. Apples and pears are examples of fruit that produce ethylene with ripening. http://postharvest.tfrec.wsu.edu/pages/PC2000F

Ethylene is manufactured and released by rapidly growing tissues (i.e., meristems) in roots, senescing flowers, and ripening fruit.  For example, the darkened spots on a ripe banana release great amounts of ethylene.  Ethylene has many effects on plants including being responsible for the stunting of plants in high winds or when repeatedly touched.   In addition, ethylene promotes fruit ripening.  Like many hormones, it does so at very low concentrations.  Apple growers take advantage of this by picking fruit when it is not ripe, holding it in enclosed conditions without ethylene, and exposing it to ethylene right before taking it to market.  This process is why we have newly ripened apples grown in temperate North America even in the spring and summer (apples ripen in the fall).http://botany.org/bsa/misc/mcintosh/badapple.html

I know… you’ll ask me what the hell does ethylene got to do with the ministers.  Well… I really don’t know.  I’m just trying to stay away from being too upset reading my FB account so I thought about writing a Fairy Tale, which goes:

Once upon a time..

The God of Apples picked out all the good ministers before they get infected.  HE set them aside, and puts them in the Fairyland where there is no ETHYLENE.  From here, I don’t see a happy ending.  Maybe those apples didn’t get rotten, but I can’t end my story there.  Maybe you can finish the story for me until the point when everyone lived happily ever after.

THE SORRY STATE OF THE IGLESIA NI CRISTO

I have never been the “religious” type of person by any book.  I remember how my parents used to reprimand me (I’m the leader, of course!)  and my siblings whenever we to talk about how many fish died during the the Great Flood.  To this day, I’ve always wondered why Noah allowed the fish to die, or maybe he didn’t.  Maybe, someone just forgot to write it in the Bible.

The church members are empowered by their belief, regardless of any moral implications, that their obedience will take them to their Heavenly Abode, just like trying to keep a kid quiet, hence, the noisy kid can’t go to Disneyland to see Mickey.  If someone assures me of my salvation at the expense of depriving people their BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS, condoning treachery, misleading people, hating people who are opposed to my ideas, Heaven has no meaning to me.

Is it ignorance that led this church to its “sorry state?”  Highly unlikely. The new breed of the INC takes pride in its “force by numbers.”  They take pride in the glory of the magnificent Philippine Arena, the luxury cars and businesses owned by their leaders and their lavish lifestyles. The once oppressed church, is now a powerhouse and a power broker.  The church that was once an icon of persecution and poverty had evolved.  The members are now solidified by their affiliation to a church that wields its influence in the economy and politics of the Philippines. The church reached its highest glory.  Praise the Almighty!

What is SO WRONG, then?

The church members still remain living in sub-standard conditions despite the riches of the church. Majority of church members could barely afford to put food on their table.  This is not a story anyone can spin.  I’ve been around those families more than you can imagine.  They have no money to take care of their sick, or at worst, bury their own dead.  I’m sure even the Sanggunian members can bear witness to my story.  The Sanggunian members didn’t come from royal families.  They are from happy and underprivileged families, who were respected by church members. How could this have happened?  Have they been deprived of the material things in the past?  Did they just suddenly wake up from that deprivation and realized that material things can be easily obtained by a little craft?  Ask yourself this – Did you want a career or you want to take care of the church?  Fair warning, don’t use the church as a vehicle to achieve your personal and career goals.

So, did the fish really die during the Great Flood.  It doesn’t matter to me now. I just believe.  Besides, there are no moral issues involved why Noah didn’t save the fish, or did he?  Maybe, I should blame my unlucky stars for being too inquisitive, as the old saying goes, “Ignorance is bliss.”

WHAT’S SO BAD ABOUT ABOUT BEING A PROTESTANT?

Mr. Joel San Pedro, an INC Minister bashed expelled INC Ministers in an article he wrote.  In his effort discredit their own Ministers, he called out the Protestants.  Wrong comparison!  Mr. San Pedro just showed his lack of knowledge of historical facts.

CAPTION FROM JOEL SAN PEDRO’S ARTICLE:

“These Fallen Angels sound very Protestant. No wonder God has no place for them in the Church Of Christ. Those who listen to people outside the Church will also end up outside the Church. If you listen to satan’s instruments leading you to no longer follow God’s will, can you expect them to bring you into God’s heavenly Kingdom?”

THIS IS HISTORY:

The Protestant Reformation was the 16th-century religious, political, intellectual and cultural upheaval that splintered Catholic Europe, setting in place the structures and beliefs that would define the continent in the modern era. In northern and central Europe, reformers like Martin Luther, John Calvin and Henry VIII challenged papal authority and questioned the Catholic Church’s ability to define Christian practice. They argued for a religious and political redistribution of power into the hands of Bible- and pamphlet-reading pastors and princes. The disruption triggered wars, persecutions and the so-called Counter-Reformation, the Catholic Church’s delayed but forceful response to the Protestants. (history.com

So, what’s so about about being a Protestant?

THE ECHO OF APPEALS TO EVM – THE PRINCE BY MICHIAVELLI

Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527) is a diplomat, historian, and a political theorist.  He authored a political treatise titled “THE PRINCE.”  The book is based on true characters and current political situation during his time. Published five years after his death, The Prince garnered both criticisms and recognition.  Its worst assailants are religious organizations, calling the book “diabolical, unethical, and immoral.”  However, the book earned recognition for its realism on how rulers (PRINCES)  acquire their principalities and how to effectively hold them, and if necessary, ruthlessly eliminating any individuals who stand in the way to achieve autonomy.

In the book, Machiavelli referred to REPUBLICS, which are governed by their citizens, and PRINCIPALITIES, which are governed by a single, strong ruler, which is the prince. According to the book there are various ways states can be acquired, however, I will only discuss the states that apply to the topic of this discussion, namely:

The HEREDITARY, in which rule is passed down among members of one family and the ECCLESIASTICAL, which is believed to be ordained by God.  Machiavelli considers these 2 principalities easy to hold.  In the former, the subjects are accustomed to the family of their prince that it is only sufficient that the prince upholds the institutions he inherited.  In the latter, such principality is upheld by the powers of God. The prince is Divinely appointed. 

EVM acquired his Principality by mere good fortune (Hereditary and Ecclesiastical.)   Due to the Divine nature of his Principality, the Church had given EVM ABSOLUTE IMMUNITY in the Court of God.  He is the central and absolute power of the Church.

It’s been noted in the treatise, that the most difficult and perilous task for a prince to undertake is the introduction of a new order of things because he will make enemies of the people used to the ways of the old prince.  Having enjoyed the old conditions, they will come together in support of their lost freedom and privileges. However, if the family of the old Prince is exterminated, the subjects, now without a ruler, and not knowing how to govern their state, will be disunited, and will have a slow resistance to the new order.  Why would EVM listen to your appeal to re-unite with his mother and siblings?  Would it make sense to maintain the “anchors” to the old ways, and let the subjects rally behind them? Doing so, will defeat his purpose to introduce a new order of things, like “express tiwalag,” rallying to air your grievances against the government, public humiliation, festive dancing in public, etc.

In conclusion, Machiavelli posed the following question:  “whether it be better to be loved than feared or feared than loved? It may be answered that one should wish to be both, but, because it is difficult to unite them in one person, it is much safer to be feared than loved .”

I, therefore, conclude that “BEING ONE WITH EVM,” assures him that his subjects will not be hostile, or will not conspire against him.  As for being feared, it is more than enough that members of the church live in constant fear of God’s retribution for speaking against the Divinely appointed. With that being said, his princely state is well-secured.

THE EXPULSION OF THE FAMILY AND THE SILENCE OF THE FLOCK

It’s been such a long time since I’ve been searching for answers as to how a You Tube video could have lead to the expulsion of the Manalo Family, along with numerous ministers and members.  I played so many dynamics in my head, looking for any social, political, or historical relevance of the many events to follow.

It all started that one fateful evening when a couple of my friends from the East Coast sent me text messages alerting me to watch Angel Manalo and Ka Tenny, appealing to the members of their church for help because their lives and some abducted ministers’ lives were in danger.  There was no way I could believe what I was reading from my friends’ messages.  I called my immediate family, and much to my surprise, no one knew anything so we checked out the news, and there it was, in plain sight.  That was one sleepless night for all of us.

Part of us were in denial that there’s truth to what we were reading in social media. It was like a CIRCUS, and at the center of the pandemonium was the Church under fire.  What was to follow next was unprecedented in the history of the Church.

We all have moved on from that denial to acceptance, but yet no one has ever spoken as to what happened prior to that viral video.  Until someone in the FLOCK breaks his SILENCE, we will all be in limbo, hopefully, not forever.

As to what I had written earlier, I have played many conflicting scenarios in my head.  I have argued with my own thoughts and theories, and the only rational thing that stood out the most is the theory that the move is not religious, but rather, political in nature. History reveals that some leaders like Stalin, implemented the Purge, and Mao Zedong used the Hundred Flowers Campaign to get rid of their oppositions to push their own agendas, and the list goes on. Likewise, consider how many nobles and rulers, were murdered by their own families. I am not suggesting someone wants the family killed. This is just my THEORY, as evidenced by HISTORY.

The next question is – What is the agenda?

THE REFORMED CHURCH AND THE CAT-AND-MOUSE GAME

Cat and mouse, often expressed as cat-and-mouse game, is an English-language idiom dating back to 1675 that means “a contrived action involving constant pursuit, near captures, and repeated escapes.”[1] The “cat” is unable to secure a definitive victory over the “mouse”, who despite not being able to defeat the cat, is able to avoid capture. In extreme cases, the idiom may imply that the contest is never-ending. The term is derived from the hunting behavior of domestic cats, which often appear to “play” with prey by releasing it after capture. This behavior is due to an instinctive imperative to ensure that the prey is weak enough to be killed without endangering the cat.[en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cat_and_Mouse]

What does a church got to do with cats and mice?

Yesterday, I got a call from a very good friend who was deeply concerned about his weakening faith in the Church. He started his story with an instruction he received in the worship service stating that should any member hear someone speak against, or question the Church administration, it should be duly noted and reported to the Elders of the Congregation. Please take note that “speaking against” the Church administration has no borders.  The offense could be as simple as liking or sharing a post in Facebook. Or it could be as simple as someone hating the blue dress you wore at the church service.

One might ask how such instruction can benefit the church, other than silencing the opposition, while the rest of the “not targeted group” can have a field day on anyone in opposition, either inside or outside the church.  Is this a willful and malicious act to further disunite members?

What happened to the days when the goal of going to church is to seek spiritual guidance and seek peace in the midst of life’s difficulties and challenges?  Why is the Church overemphasizing unity with the Church Administration, instead of UNITY WITH GOD?  Why are members set in opposition or combat, against one another?  Is the Church starting to lose its grip on its members?

The IGLESIA NI CRISTO holds many traditional beliefs, and the members obey rigid disciplines. It’s a very STRUCTURED organization that existed seamlessly for over a hundred years.  Those long time beliefs and traditions are now being challenged, causing the church to fracture under the weight of opposing views.

Finally, before my friend and I parted, he made a very serious statement – THIS IS NOT THE SAME CHURCH  I KNEW BEFORE.

THE HORROR OF FACEBOOK OBITUARY

I was overjoyed to be reunited with my brothers’ Facebook friends after his passing from a short battle with lung cancer  His friends from many years back,found me when I posted my appreciation for sharing my family’s grief in several pages of his close friends’ Facebook accounts.  I was excited to put new faces in the names familiar to me when I was growing up.   There were exchanges of life experiences, plans for meeting, and promises to keep in touch.  For that I, am grateful because I discovered my brother’s life in the eyes of many strangers.

Facebook is my  travel book.  I go to my Friends’ accounts to check out their travels.  It also serves me as  biographical books, as I watch my friends’ kids get married and raise children.  I can visit their homes and gardens with just a few clicks of my finger, or check out new cuisine, or visit them at the hospital when they are ailing.  I also enjoy flipping through my friends’ accounts and watch parties and wedding happen simultaneously.  Facebook is my virtual world of flowers and cakes, hugs and kisses, joys and sorrows, etc.

However, there are days when I have to gather my composure before I open my Facebook.  As much as I accept and embrace our mortality, there’s a big part of me that can’t let go of life.

A few days after I returned to the US, after my brother’s internment, I was shocked to learn from my Newsfeeds  that 2 of my brother’s friends and my nephew passed away.  I guess there will be no more reunions with them when I return to the Philippines. Dealing with death is like losing something you know you will never find again.  It is not just a painful experience, but rather one that is lasting; something you will take with you until you see your own last light get snuffed out.

As I approach 60, a great deal of  my friends can surely relate to my battles with aging.  Needless to say, everyone can contribute to the long list of health issues associated with aging.  Issues, which I wish they have better names for.  Remember the last heartburn you had that mimicked a heart attack?

The fatigue, the lack of energy, the restlessness, the over excitement which I used to associate with my hard partying life in my youth, are now what I call  “TERROR FACTORS,” enough to drive me to an emergency visit to the hospital.

Many must be wondering where this chat is going to?  Well….. Just keep posting!   I’m waiting for your next post.

-IN MEMORY OF SUSANA BENITO MENDIOLA, A BEAUTIFUL PERSON FROM GRADE SCHOOL

THE FEAR OF EXPULSION AND BEING CAST INTO THE LAKE OF FIRE AND BRIMSTONE

What is behind the silence of most members of the Iglesia Ni Cristo, despite the overwhelming evidence of corruption, and injustice inside and outside the church?  Is this silence motivated by FAITH or FEAR?

There is growing tension between members inside the church, most akin to the RIGHT WING AND LEFT WING, or the REPUBLICANS and the DEMOCRATS.  This is evidenced by the prevalence of mud-slinging by both factions in social media.   While some vehemently deny the validity of any corruption or injustice, some choose to stay silent.

Is it FEAR, or FAITH, or BOTH that makes one turn a blind eye to moral and social injustice?

‘EXPULSION’ is the most feared word for any IGLESIA NI CRISTO member, and the only fate that awaits an expelled member is being cast into the Lake of Fire, most commonly known as “Hell.” To make sense of this, I consulted with a former INC member, who is a Behavioral Therapist.

She explained a few theories to me to better understand the underlying motivation behind the silence.  She discussed  how such fear can be cultivated through Reinforcement, Shaping, and Conditioning.  One of the church’s core beliefs is that anyone outside the church will be condemned to the Lake of Fire. That’s how “EXPULSION” became the most feared word to any member.  Love for the Church Administration is fostered in the church.  Thus, questioning their appointment or decisions is similar to going against the Words of God.  Members  were shaped and conditioned from childhood or from indoctrination to follow these beliefs. This to them, became a self-fulfilling prophesy.

How long will this fear or faith reign?  Some members choose to just pray for God’s will, while the Church Administration continue to do their will.

2 Timothy 1:7 King James Version (KJV)

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.