PROFILE OF CONQUERERS IN CHRIST/ NEW LIFE IN CHRIST MINISTRIES AND PASTOR BLASIOUS ROGERS TASOBYA

CONQUERORS IN CHRIST MINISTRIES

NEW LIFE IN CHRIST MINISTRIES

pastor rogers tasobya and wife faith1

  • IS A BISHOP (PASTOR OVER OTHER PASTORS) AND A SENIOR PASTOR AT “NEW LIFE IN CHRIST” IN BWEYOGERE, UGANDA
  • WAS PRIVILEGED TO BE ABLE TO VISIT/SPEAK AT PASTORS/LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE AS MAIN SPEAKER, AT SCHOOLS, ORPHANAGES, SLUM CITIES, AND PREACHING AT 2-3 CHURCHES EACH DAY
  • RUNS MINISTRIES INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO:
    • ORPHANAGE (housing, feeding children)
    • BRICK MAKING FACTORY (Make sell bricks, create employment use it to bring workers to Christ, give employment to inmate)
    • WORKS IN CONJUNCTION WITH LEADERS OF TOWNSHIPS CITIES, AND COUNTRY TO SOLVE ISSUES OF POVERTY, HUNGER, UNEMPLOYMENT, AND OTHER ISSUES
    • TRAINING EQUIPPING GIVING GUIDANCE TO LOCAL PASTORS
  • NEEDS OF PASTOR AND MINISTRY

    • FINANCIAL NEEDS FOR RUNNING OF ORPHANAGE, COST OF UTILITIES

    • CARE OF CHILDREN, (FOOD 3X’S A DAY, CLOTHING, HEALTH CARE FOR THE CHILDREN, MAINTENANCE OF ORPHANAGE  AND OTHER BUILDINGS IN THE COMPOUND WHICH ARE DETERIORATING BADLY

    • MONEY FOR UPDATING BRICK FACTORY 

    • MONEY FOR VARIOUS MINISTRY PROJECTS THAT THEY ARE DOING

    • MONEY FOR FIXING UP THEIR CHURCH/PREVENT WEATHER DAMAGE

    • MONEY FOR NOMAVE PROJECT -SEWAGE, WATER, HOUSE REPAIRS FOOD, SHELTER, NUMEROUS OTHER THINGS

PROFILE OF: SAMBOU JAITEH AND FAMILY

LOCATION: THE GAMBIA

FAMILY MAKE-UP: Sambou,  is a 17 year old youth who’s parents are both deceased and He takes care and tries to support his elderly grandmother, Sister, a younger brother and an evsambou jaiteh and family1en younger baby sister.  A Lion ate the youngest girl.

sambou school1I happen to come across this young man via messenger and the story seemed so outrageous that I couldn’t help but think that perhaps this was some sort of scam.  As I do with anyone that is requesting financial assistance or help of any type, I do an excessive search online and investigate through various means the claims made to substantiate or disprove any claims made.  I checked with his doctor, his school, his pastor, and a missionary that is over there that happened to know the pastor who knows the family. IT ALL CHECKED OUT.

 

As it turns out both parents over a span of fewer than ten years both passed away, (wasn’t able to determine why) and left all the children and the grandmother without any resources to support themselves.  They used the rental housing for as long as they could but, then the landlord kicked them out, and they ended up moving into a bushy area where they would have a little bit of shade and protection from the weather and other things.  As they were out there a lion, (almost extinct in that area but not totally extinct) got a hold of the baby sister, and ate it. They go from one place to another one situation to another, just trying to survive.  The pastor wants to support them but is himself poor and cannot support them. For a short time SAMBOU and his sister were in school but then it got too expensive and they had to pull out. They as of the last report have no housing, no food to speak of, no

medical care (the grandmother has had serious medical issues) and have been living off the money that we had been sending them. THIS IS A VERY DESPERATE CASE AND NEEDS URGENT HELP. PLEASE HELP US HELP THEM

 IMMEDIATE URGENT NEEDS OF THE JAITEH FAMILY

  • FOOD FOR EACH MONTH

  • MONEY FOR RENT EACH MONTH

  • SCHOOL FEES FOR EACH OF THE KIDS INCLUDING EXAMS ETC.,

  • CLOTHING FOR THE FAMILY

  • MEDICAL EXPENSES FOR THE FAMILY ESPECIALLY FOR THE GRANDMOTHER WHO IS ELDERLY

PROFILE ON BLESS MINISTRIES AND PASTOR ADISON ANAND


  • IS A BISHOP AND PASTORpastor Adison Anand and family1
  • HAS A WIFE AND 3 CHILDREN
  • RUNS AN ORPHANAGE
  • IS A BISHOP OVER 11 CHURCHES
  • PASTOR ADDISON ANAND HAS PUT ALL 11 CHURCHES IT’S PASTORS AND THE ORPHANAGE UNDER COMEC MINISTRIES INTERNATIONAL
  • ARE ALL CHURCHES THAT ARE MADE UP OF FORMER HINDUS AND NOW REACH OUT TO THE COMMUNITIES AROUND THEM –MADE UP OF ALL HINDUS
  • ARE PERSECUTED AS INDIVIDUALS AND A CHURCH BECAUSE OF THEIR NEW FOUND FAITH IN CHRIST, AND THEIR EFFECTIVE OUTREACH AND CONVERSION OF PEOPLE FROM HINDUISM TO CHRISTIANITY
  • HINDUS PERSECUTE, KILL, AND SHUN ALL CHRISTIANS FIRING THEM IF THEY ARE WORKING FOR A HINDU RUN COMPANY, WON’T HIRE CHRISTIANS, WON’T ALLOW THEM INTO STORES ETC. TO BUY FOOD, CLOTHING OR OTHER THINGS THEY NEED.
  • EVEN FOREIGN MISSIONARIES ARE BEING BURNED ALIVE IN THEIR CAR (FATHER TWO SONS FROM AUSTRALIA) BECAUSE THEY WERE A THREAT TO THE HINDUS.
  • THEIR PLAN OF OUTREACH TO THE HINDU? SHOW THE LOVE OF CHRIST TO THEM, FIND THINGS THAT THEY CAN DO FOR THEM TO SHOW THAT LOVE. AND WHEN THE TIME COMES SHARE THE GOSPEL MESSAGE WITH THEM.

NEEDS OF PASTOR ANAND, HIS PASTORS, AND  ORPHANAGE 

  • EXTREME AND URGENT NEED. NEED MONEY FOR FOOD, CLOTHING, AND OTHER BASIC NECESSITIES

  • NEED MONEY TO PAY TAXES ON ORPHANAGE SO IT DOESNT GET SHUT DOWN

  • MONEY FOR PAYING OVER-DUE FOOD BILL

  • MONEY FOR BIKES FOR PASTORS TRAVELING CITY TO CITY PREACHING SO THEY DON’T GET KILLED ALONG THE WAY

  • MONEY FOR CHURCH REPAIRS MANY OF WHICH ARE HALF-BUILT, UNSAFE AND NOT SUITABLE FOR HABITATION

  • MONEY FOR THE DISTRIBUTION OF SAREES, FOOD, BLANKETS AND OTHER THINGS FOR WIDOWS ORPHANS AND OTHERS

HOW YOU BE INVOLVED AND BE A VITAL PART OF COMEC MINISTRIES INTERNATIONAL (C.M.I.)

PLIGHT

a dangerous, difficult, or otherwise unfortunate situation.

“we must direct our efforts toward relieving the plight of children living in poverty”

synonyms:

predicamentquandary, difficult situation, dire straits, troubledifficultyextremitybind;

Help us relieve the PLIGHT of those without Christ, Those in desperate need, and those that desperately need advocacy, encouraging, equipping, teaching, challenging, and discipleship.

PRAY.

Pray  and seek god about What Part God would have you do with us as a ministry but also overall as a follower of Jesus Christ who is privileged with the responsibility of helping with God’s Kingdom work

LEARN.

LEARN ABOUT US AS A MINISTRY, WHAT WE DO, WHAT OPPORTUNITIES ARE AVAILABLE, AND HOW YOU CAN BE A PART OF THE WORK THAT GOD IS DOING IN AND THROUGH US.

INVOLVEMENT.

THERE ARE MANY AREAS WHERE YOU CAN BE INVOLVED IN MINISTRIES WITH CMI. HERE ARE JUST A FEW SUGGESTIONS

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

  • ADMINISTRATION
  • AS BOARD MEMBER
  • STREET MINISTRY TEAM MEMBER
  • WEBSITE/NETWORK ADMIN
  • OVERSEAS MISSIONS TEAM MEMBER
  • VIP CUSTOMER RELATIONS ASSOCIATE
  • PRAYER WARRIOR
  • OTHER AREAS AS REQUIRED

GIVE.

CONSIDER GIVING TO CMI A ONE-TIME, MONTHLY, OR ANNUAL GIFT TO HELP WITH THE MANY EXPENSES WITH THE MINISTRY, AND FOR THE MANY CHURCHES, MINISTRIES AND OTHERS WHOM WE HELP.

HELP.

HELP GET THE WORD OUT ABOUT COMEC MINISTRIES INTERNATIONAL, WHAT WE DO, WHY WE DO IT, AND THE MANY NEEDS THAT WE HAVE AS A MINISTRY.

TEACH.

HELP US IN THE AREAS OF TEACHING, CHALLENGING, ENCOURAGING, EQUIPPING AND MAKING DISCIPLES OF OTHERS, AND THEN TEACHING THEM TO DO THE SAME.

AREAS AROUND THE WORLD WE WORK

WE HAVE SINCE OUR INCEPTION IN 1993 HAVE HAD CONTACTS FROM 22 DIFFERENT COUNTRIES AROUND THE WORLD

  1. AFRICA

  • WE DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY MINISTER IN 12+ DIFFERENT COUNTRIES IN AFRICA INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO KENYA, UGANDA, GHANA, GAMBIA
  • WE FIND THAT HUNGER, DISEASE, POVERTY, CLEAN WATER ARE THE BIGGEST NEEDS MENTIONED AND MANY DESPERATELY NEED OUR HELP AND SUPPORT.
  • THEY ALSO HAVE A LOT OF WIDOWS AND ORPHANS IN THE AREAS WE WORK AND PROVIDING FOR THEM IS A MONSTROUS TASK.
  • BECAUSE OF OUR LIMITED FINANCIAL RESOURCES, WE HAVE TO TRY TO FIND WAYS TO RAISE MONEY OR ENCOURAGE OTHERS TO GET INVOLVED.
  • CERTAINLY, WE ENCOURAGE THEM TO RELY ON THE LORD AS THEIR JEHOVAH-JIREH (PROVIDER), IT IS, HOWEVER, LITTLE CONSOLATION TO THOSE THAT ARE STARVING AND DYING.
  • THE CHURCHES OVERALL ARE QUITE CONSERVATIVE IN DOCTRINE, ALTHOUGH MORE OF THE NAME IT AND CLAIM IT, HEALTH AND WEALTH GOSPELS, AND OTHER “PROCLAIMED” GOSPELS WHICH ARE NOT SCRIPTURAL ARE BECOMING MORE PREVALENT
  • . THEY ARE IN MANY PLACES EXTREMELY ACTIVE IN EVANGELISM, TEACHING, PREACHING, AND CHURCH PLANTING AND WE TRY AND HELP THEM IN THE EFFORT IN ANY WAY POSSIBLE
  • WE SUPPORT THE NUMEROUS PASTOR THAT ARE OUR CONTACTS THERE IN WHATEVER WAY WE CAN.
  • OUR STRATEGIES ARE VARIED WITH MANY THINGS NEEDING TO BE DONE

 2.    INDIA

  • AS IN AFRICA THE REGIONS THAT WE ARE WORKING IN HAVE A MASSIVE NEEDS FOR FOOD, SHELTER,
  • AND LIKE AFRICA ALSO HAVE ENORMOUS AMOUNTS OF ORPHANS, AND WIDOWS.
  • ONE OF THE BIGGEST REQUESTS WE GET FROM HERE IS FOOD FOR ORPHANS IN THEIR ORPHANAGE,
  • HELP FINANCIALLY WITH BUILDING, UPKEEP AND MAINTENANCE OF THE ORPHANAGES,
  • HELP WITH PAYING FOR SAREES AND OTHER NEEDS THE WIDOWS MAY HAVE.
  • THEY TOO ARE EXTREMELY AGGRESSIVE IN DOING GOD’S KINGDOM WORK DESPITE THE SEVERE PERSECUTION OF THOSE WHO ARE KNOWN TO BE CHRISTIAN.
  • MANY OF THE BELIEVERS IN THE CHURCHES WE WORK WITH IN INDIA, WERE CONVERTS FROM HINDUISM
  • NOW AS CHRISTIANS, ARE PERSECUTED, HARASSED, PREVENTED FROM BUYING THINGS THEY NEED, PREVENTED FROM GETTING HIRED (OR IF ALREADY HIRED) WILL BE FIRED BECAUSE THEY CONVERTED.
  • MANY CHRISTIANS WORRY THAT THEY WILL (AS HAVE OTHERS, INCLUDING FOREIGN MISSIONARIES) BEEN KILLED.
  • THEY ASK FOR BIKES TO GET FROM TOWN TO TOWN TO GET PAST THE BAD AREAS AND INDIVIDUALS WHILE DOING EVANGELISM AND OUTREACH.
  • THEY ARE EXTREMELY EVANGELISTIC BUT HAVE TO USE EXTREME CAUTION AND DISCRETION SO THEY DO NOT GET HURT OR KILLED

 3. PHILIPPINES

I AM VERY FAMILIAR WITH THE PHILIPPINES AS I HAVE MY WIFE AND CHILDREN LIVING THERE

    • I HAVE LIVED THERE IN TOTAL JUST A LITTLE OVER 3.5 YRS. SINCE 2011.
    • THE PHILIPPINES IS MADE UP LARGELY OF CATHOLICS, CHRISTIANS, AND IGLESIA NA CRISTO (CHURCH OF CHRIST) A CHURCH THAT BY EVANGELICAL CHRISTIANS THERE IS CONSIDERED A CULT BECAUSE OF IT’S TEACHINGS AND PRACTICES..
    • THEY CONTRADICT THE WORD OF GOD, FOLLOWERS ARE NOT ALLOWED TO HAVE BIBLES, THEY CANNOT QUESTION, CONTRADICT, THE PASTORS OR OTHER LEADERS ON THREATS OF EX-COMMUNICATION FROM THE CHURCH
    • MANDATORY GIVING IS DICTATED.
    • THERE IS A GENERAL LEVEL OF POVERTY IN MANY BARANGAYS, AND IN SOME AREAS THE POVERTY IS EXTREME.
    • CHURCHES ARE FOR THE MOST PART MORE CONSERVATIVE IN DOCTRINE THAN THOSE IN NORTH AMERICA,
    • AND MUCH OF WHAT WE DO THERE IS TO ENCOURAGE, TEACH, PREACH, AND FIND WAYS TO ASSIST THE PASTORS, LEADERS AND LAY-LEADERS TO HELP THEM DO GOD’S KINGDOM WORK.

      4. PAKISTAN

  • OTHER THAN INDIA, PAKISTAN IS ONE OF THE COUNTRIES WHERE WE HAVE BEEN WORKING THE LONGEST WITH UGANDA AND KENYA COMING IN NEXT
  • THERE IS STILL LOTS OF UNREST IN PAKISTAN, WITH CERTAIN PARTS BEING HOTSPOTS FOR TERRORIST ACTIVITIES.
  • WE HAVE TWO PASTORS THERE WHO ARE OUR MAIN CONTACTS.
  • THEY NOT ONLY RUN THEIR CHURCHES BUT ALSO HAVE MINISTRIES THERE, RUNNING SCHOOLS, AND ORPHANAGES, DOING EVANGELISM AND HOLDING LARGE TENT MEETINGS.
  • HERE WE REALLY ENCOURAGE THE PASTORS AND TRY AND FIND WAYS THAT WE MIGHT BE A BLESSING AND A SUPPORT SYSTEM TO THEM.

  1. NEPAL

THIS IS A BRAND NEW FIELD. WE HAD CONTACT FROM A PASTOR THERE THAT WORKS ALONGSIDE NUMEROUS OTHER PASTORS. THEY HAVE ASKED US IF WE WOULD MINISTER TO, EQUIP AND ENCOURAGE THE PASTORS THERE MINISTER THERE IN PERSON.

 

  1. THE MIDDLE EAST

  • ALTHOUGH THIS WAS NOT AN AREA WE HAD PLANNED TO GET INVOLVED WITH WE HAD INDIVIDUALS STUMBLING ACROSS OUR WEBSITE OR FB PAGE AND ASKING FOR ASSISTANCE.
  • OTHERS JUST CAME ACROSS MY PAGES AND WANTED TO FRIEND. OPPORTUNITIES AROSE FROM THAT.
  • WE HAVE CONTACTS IN EGYPT, AND OTHER PARTS.
  • BECAUSE OF THE SENSITIVITY OF THESE AREAS WE ARE EXTREMELY CAREFUL WHAT WE SAY, WHO WE SAY IT TO,
  • MOREOVER, TRY NOT TO EXPOSE BELIEVERS WITH FB, EMAILS, OR OTHER MEDIA.
  1. CANADA AND THE US

AS A MINISTRY WE HAVE DONE:

  • STREET MINISTRY
  • EVANGELISM
  • MINISTRY ONLINE CHALLENGING THE THINKING OF ATHEISTS, AGNOSTICS,  SKEPTICS AND OTHERS
  • WE ENCOURAGE, TEACH, EQUIP, CHALLENGE ETC.
  • WE WORK WITH INDIVIDUALS/COUPLES WITH PHYSICAL/MENTAL HANDICAPS,
  • ADVOCACY WORK
  • WORK WITH THOSE WITH MENTAL ILLNESSES,
  • WORK WITH THOSE ON THE FRINGE OF SOCIETY NEEDING ASSISTANCE,
  • AND OTHER THINGS AS WE ARE ABLE AND AS IT RELATES TO OUR MINISTRIES NON-PROFIT PURPOSES AND OBJECTIVES
  1. OTHER COUNTRIES AND OPPORTUNITIES

  • WE HAVE HAD OPPORTUNITY TO MINISTER SOUTH KOREA, BRAZIL, AND OTHER AREAS BUT NOT TO A LARGE EXTENT

Do You Know? BIBLICAL FOUNDATIONS FOR NAME COMEC MINISTRIES

Did you know that the name Come Center Ministries Canada (Later to become Comec Ministries International) was based on Numerous Scripture Passages? Each Passage with the Word “Come” in it directly or indirectly relates to the Centers Purposes Directions goals and Objectives.  Check it out! Come “C” what the Lord is doing around the WORLD through Comec Ministries International.

 

  1. Matt 11:28 Come to me all you who are weak and burdened and I will give you rest

  2. Matt 4:19 Come Follow me and I will make you fishers of Men

  3. Matt 24:14 and this gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in the whole World then the end will Come

  4. Matt 24:5 For Many will Come in my name claiming I am in the Christ and will deceive many

  5. Matt 19:21 Jesus answered, If you want to be perfect, go sell all your possessions and give to the poor and you will have treasures in heaven. Then Come follow me.

  6. Matt 19:14 Jesus said, let the little children Come to me and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.

  7. Matt 18:20 For where two or three Come together in my name there I am with thee.

  8. Matt 16:24 Then Jesus said to His disciples if anyone would Come after me he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.

  9. Isa 1:18 Come now Let us reason together saith the Lord: Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool

 

May we apply these truths to our hearts and live them each day.

WHO IS TELLING WHO WHAT TO DO

WIN_20170422_03_28_12_ProMy Daughter Hannah is three years old and Bing and I love her to death. She is such a character. She is cute and she knows it. She has over the last year, been told by so many people, that she is pretty and cute and they make comments and get her to pose for pictures as though she were a model. We then are having to take some countermeasure to remind them and her that beauty is all fine and good,  but it doesn’t last and we are trying to instill values in her like godly Christian character that are so much more important than inward beauty.

I have to admit however she is talented. She is so animated with her voice, her hand gestures and body language that we cannot help but laugh (though most of the time we try and do it without her seeing we are laughing at her.) She is just a riot. SWhat I haven’t mentioned, however, is that even at 3 her language has really not developed as it should for a 3-year-old. She does these long animated stories, or is complaining to us about Jerome, or is trying to get us to understand something she says with long animated and often hilarious speeches.   She will also go into these animated long stories that she tries to relate to us;  though most of it is just babble

Well, today was no exception.  We had a bad thunderstorm with heavier rains, thunder, lightning, and as is normal here the streets and the yards flood for a bit and leave pools of water. Because we often lose both power and water often with thunderstorms, I put out some buckets to catch rain water. Well after the storm she and I were out on the front step and she started aggressively trying to convey to me what I could only assume has something to do with emptying the buckets or cleaning up the yard. I told her not to worry about it and to let mommy worry about it. I had told her that she is not to tell daddy what to do, and reiterated again that she didn’t have to worry about it, that we would take care of it. She just continued to go on with this comedic animated (but not angry) rant. If it wasn’t so hilariously funny I would have been perhaps a little more upset with her. I at one point, however, had to walk away from her because I was starting to laugh so hard. It wasn’t jus a snicker or a mild laugh but an all-out gut wrenching laugh and I didn’t want her to see me laughing at her.

It was a little while later while I was resting in the early evening, that It occurred to me.  Aren’t we sometimes like that ourselves with God? We Get all worked up and animated trying to tell God our problems or what we want. God is saying to us ” Hey I’ve got it covered, everything is worked out just let me handle it” and yet we go on and on with our rant despite God reassuring us again that he has everything under control, and that we only need to trust him and let Him deal with the problems or needs. Other times we babble on and on talking incessantly without even listening to the reply that God has for us. Sometimes we need to stop all the drama and put it before the Lord God and then leave it for him. Really, there are only two options: 1. We can take it back, animate it, get all emotional, and make the problem so much bigger than it really is, or 2.we leave it at his feet and give all the worry and stress to Him. It’s amazing some of the lessons that children can teach us even if much of it is in “Babbel” and outrageous comedic antics. Blessings

kids they grow up so fast

It seemed like only yesterday when Bing and I went to the hospital and Bing had Hannah Pauline Belcher. It was very special to both of us because it appeared that we were unable to have chreceived_1144753675613205ildren.We had been trying to have a child for over a year and had not been successful. So When She at a Bible study just prior to giving her devotional announced to everyone that she was pregnant and then presented to me a pregnancy test strip that was really big news. Hannah was our miracle baby. Hannah is my first child (Jerome is a stepson but I love him as my own) and will likely short of another miracle be our last. But God has blessed us, and we are both grateful for the kids even if my level of patience is not necessarily and always were it ought to be. I can’t speak for Bing but I find that for myself I learn lots of life lessons through my children and through that am developing character. Hannah has so many characteristics and features from me it is entertaining to watch. I am constantly seeing things in her that are so much like me including her tendencies in things to be a perfectionist like me. Jerome is coming more and more out of his shell and developing his character. As he is discovering the things he enjoys doing and is good at, we find ourselves constantly giving direction and guidance so as to keep him from pitfalls and avoid things that and people that will pull him away in his relationship with the Lord. It is a fine line that has to be walked I find.  All in all, It is a blessing to see them all growing up so fast but also a responsibility that I’m finding that we have to take seriously so that they grow up, follow and serve the Lord all the days of their lives.  All prayers are appreciated and certainly, anyone that is experienced we trust that you will share with us here your experiences and ho you dealt with everything that goes part and parcel with parenting.

TOYS

TOYS, TOYS AND MORE TOYS. Toys are constantly being left on the floor despite mt repeated caTOYS1lls for her to pick up her toys. There is, in fact, nothing worse than walking on the floor to go to the CR (what we call the bathroom in Canada, and you step on a sharp toy. that urge comes upon you to scream out and say something one would regret saying but yelling out in extreme pain will have to suffice. ” I  know she is only 3 years old but could she not learn to put her toys away when she’s done with them.” I think to myself. I brew in my thoughts thinking about all the reasons and arguments why she should be cleaning up after herself at her age.  Then as if I had some mind blowing awakening I look to see all my computer, cell phone and other gadgets besides and on couches  tables and the like only to realize that I’m like the man in Matthew that Jesus was talking about in that I had a beam in my eye while trying to get splinter out of my daughter’s eye. In humbleness, I realized that I wasn’t being, and still am on occasion, not a real good role model. And though my wife has not ever said anything to me It likely isn’t pleasing her much either. As a father and husband, I am learning that I really have to watch what I say, because they pick up on not JUST what I say but what I do. It’s a full-time job with life-long consequences. share with me your experiences and how you dealt with this if you are a parent.

WHEN CULTURAL PRACTICES ARE NOT ALWAYS RIGHT OR BIBLICAL PART 2

Thank you for joining us again reading this blog as to When cultural practices are not always right or Biblical,  This will be part 2 of a 3 part series,

Summary of part 1

In part 1 we quickly mentioned some of the false premises that people have. (we will be discussing this in detail later)

1. The false premise about cultures and them being outside the confines or morals,
2. how they believe that if a belief has been around for a long time then it justifies and authenticates that belief.
3. The false premise that if a belief had it’s “root” in Christianity that all the other beliefs it holds must be correct as well.
4.That truth is relative, not absolute and there are no real truth; there are no rights or wrongs
Continue reading

So proud of my Son

received_923705351051373Jerome just finished grade 5 and I couldn’t be more proud of him as I am now. He has done well with his classes and got good grades. He has also been involved in extra-curricular activities including playing the lyre in the schools’ drum and lyre band and has been also been part of the school’s swim team competing for the school. Needless to say, i am very proud of Jerome.

One day, this old weary body will give way to death, but my soul will go to be with the Lord. I look forward to that day when my father God looks at me and says “Well done thy good and faithful servant.”

Daddy Daddy Daddy

It is amazing what we learn from our children, and how the Lord can use the simplicity of Children to speak to our hearts.  I was in the Philippines where when I’m taking time off work I live, alongside my Filipina wife Bing and two kids Jerome and Hannah-Pauline.

I was out watching and taking pictures of all the Catholic Easter Festivities here in our Barangay (village/suburb) and when done I returned home my daughter Hannah comes running out of the house ” Daddy, Daddy, Daddy” and comes open arms, quickly giving me a hug and just holding me. Despite it only being a short time away from her, she missed her father and was excited to see me again.

I got to thinking about this and about how our relationship with Christ should be just like this.  Everyday in prayer we ought to be going to him a like a childlike faith and attitude and  Someday, we will be going to be with our Lord.  I hope to be running into my father God’s arms saying”Daddy, Daddy Daddy” and giving Him a big hug and just holding Him tight as we are finally home, and we missed our daddy

DSC_00115

When Cultural Practices are not always Right or Biblical

INTRODUCTION

There is a false premise throughout much of the world that cultural practices and beliefs, are amoral (they are not within the confines of morals) and should be free from scrutiny, critique and evaluation by others outside or even those within that culture itself. They believe that because a belief or practice has been around for a long period of time, that gives it an authenticity and it justifies that belief. There are those that believe because a belief has it’s roots in Christianity that means that the whole belief is correct, and others yet would argue that there are no real defined terms of what is right or wrong; or in other words “truth is relative not absolute” and that you can believe what you want but that is not my truth. (or I don’t hold that to be true)

In this post I would like to look at the Filipino cultural practice of Salibatbat (Self-flagellation, carrying of crosses, severe self punishment to make atonement for sins) occurring the week prior to Easter Sunday.  This is a practice done and held sacred by most Catholics in Central Luzon, Philippines. Interestingly enough

salibatbat1

Catholic Parishioners practicing Salibatbat

I tried to  find documentation on the origin, the purpose, the beliefs behind the practice etc, but was unable to find any documentation online. At best there are a multitude of videos from all around central Luzon showing the somewhat brutal practice. I want to address these cultural beliefs and these presuppositional beliefs mentioned above  and show from both a scriptural point of view and a logical one, why these arguments do not hold any water and are clearly wrong.

A LOOK AT WHAT I UNDERSTAND THE HISTORY, CULTURAL CONTEXT, AND RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS FOR THE PRACTICE.

This is a practice that to my knowledge was founded and practiced in Northern Central Luzon and was a teaching and practice that came out of the Catholic Church. While there may be other place that the practice immigrated to outside the Philippines, My understanding is that this practice originates in the Philippines and came out of the Catholic Church. There seems to be some suggestion that this practice was started around the time of the Death March when during World war two Japan captured the Philippines and marched numerous Filipinos and Americans from Bataan to the O’Donnell Camp just outside of Capas, Tarlac.  This however has been unsubstantiated by this author. When exactly this practice was started is unknown by this author as there is almost no documentation as to the background, the cultural and spiritual foundations of this practice. In fact all that could be found online was large numbers of video’s from current practices in numerous cities and barangays’ throughout central Luzon like the one above.

As for the belief itself, As mentioned it comes from Catholic beliefs and Christian beliefs and traditions about the Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ.We see that Jesus the Christ, who was fully man and Fully God, was without sin; He has done absolutely nothing wrong. He was born and lived among the people for 33 yrs. and it is widely held that he started his ministry at the age of 30 yrs of age. He did Miracles and many other great things and his teachings were like nothing ever heard then or to this day. He was considered a threat to Rome and to the religious  local rulers, the Sanhedrin (which was made up of Sadducees, Pharisees, the Essenes and the Revolutionaries) Daily, there were people following not just the teachings of Christ, But following Him as the Messiah believing that He was God incarnate. Though they were not understanding at that time the full gospel message and what was to come (death and resurrection from the dead) he was gaining more and more of a following the the Jewish people who were converting from Judaism. In The Bible Matt 26-28:20; Mark 14-16; Luke 22-24  we see that Powerful people in the Sanhedrin planned to take Jesus out.  Christ knew what was coming and used his death and resurrection as the means through which he would redeem all of mankind and bring them back into right relationship with God. He was tried, wrongfully convicted, through much lies and cunning, and was sentenced to death by crucifixion on a cross. He died. He took all of mankind’s sins upon himself, taking their death penalty himself and paying that high price that only he could pay. He was buried in a sealed tomb, guarded by Roman soldiers because they thought someone might attempt to steal the body and make a  claim of the resurrection of Jesus the Christ. The precautions taken by Rome and the Sanhedrin were substantial. They did not want any uprisings or false claims. They went above and beyond to make sure that there would be no problems. Please refer to  More proofs for the resurrection of Jesus the Christ.

Despite all their efforts three days later he rose again, not only fulfilling what He prophesied, but also proving He was who  said he was. Prior to going back up to being with God, himself he appeared to hundreds of witnesses; both believers and unbelievers.    Both those that were followers of Jesus Christ and those that were not such as, Josephus, Julius Africanus and other secular writers  (all contemporaries of Jesus)  write about this Jesus the Christ, and His trial, his death and resurrection. Extra-Biblical Secular Witnesses and Historians Reinforce Claims of Bible.   Though not all were followers of Jesus they testified to a historical fact that can be verified. This is only a small portion of the evidences but here is insurmountable proofs for the foundation of The death and resurrection of Christ Jesus, which Christians, Catholics and others all celebrate around April/May each year.  Filipino Catholics reenact the death and resurrection in remembrance of what Christ did on our behalf.

WHERE CATHOLIC BELIEFS AND PRACTICES DIFFER FROM THAT OF CHRISTIANITY AND AFFECT THEIR PRACTICES

CATHOLICISM AS PART OF IT’S BELIEFS, BELIEVE THAT SALVATION IS NOT JUST FAITH THROUGH CHRIST AS EVANGELICAL CHRISTIANS BELIEVE ROM:3:21-31; ROM 4:1-5; ROM 4:13; ROM 10:2-4; ROM 10:9-13; EPH 2:8-9; NOT GRACE THROUGH FAITH PLUS WORKS.

HERE ARE SOME OF THE OTHER DIFFERENCES BETWEEN CATHOLIC AND CHRISTIAN BELIEFS THAT CAN OR DO AFFECT THEIR TRADITIONS AND BELIEFS

  1. LITURGY- THERE ARE MANY PRACTICES AND BELIEFS IN THEIR LITURGY (READINGS, PRACTICES, PRAYERS,  MASSES THAT REFLECT THEIR BELIEFS OF “WORKS AND WHAT THEY NEED TO DO “EARN THEIR SALVATION” RESULT: MAN MADE TRADITIONS AND PRACTICES ARE HELD ON EQUAL PAR WITH THE WORD OF GOD
  2. THEIR VIEW ON SIN IS SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT CLASSIFY SIN MORTAL OR VENIAL SIN RESULT: THIS AFFECTS HOW THEY VIEW GOD’S WORD (INTERPRETED DIFFERENTLY OR THROUGH LENSES OF CATHOLIC DOCTRINE AS WORD NOT WHAT GOD SAYS AS TRUTH.
  3. FALL OF MAN VIEW ON ORIGINAL SIN DIFFERS RESULT: AGAIN THIS SKEWS OVERALL HOW THEY VIEW MAN KIND IN THAT SIN DID NOT AFFECT MANKIND DOWN THE LINE. TRUTH AGAIN IS DISTORTED THUS GOSPEL SITORTED
  4. BELIEFS  ON GRACE AND FREE WILL DIFFERS RESULT: AGAIN GOSPEL IS DISTORTED
  5. VIEWS ON FORGIVENESS OF SIN DIFFER IN THAT VENIAL SINS CAN BE ATONED FOR EVEN AFTER DEATH RESULT: THIS CERTAINLY DISTORTS THE GOSPEL AS THERE IS NO URGENCY TO FOLLOW GOD, SOME SINS CANS BE DEALT WITH IN THE AFTERLIFE AND ONE JUST GOES TO PURGATORY
  6. FORGIVENESS OF SINS NOT JUST IN THIS LIFE BUT IN THE AFTERLIFE IN CATHOLICISM. RESULTS: AS ABOVE
  7. THEIR VIEW ON BAPTISM AND SECOND CONVERSION DIFFERS SUBSTANTIALLY. THEY SEE BAPTISM AS ACTUALLY WASHING AWAY THE SINS AND THE NEED FOR BAPTIZING INFANTS. RESULTS: THERE IS ACCORDING TO THEM FORGIVENESS THROUGH BAPTISM AND THUS DISTORTS THE WHOLE MEANING OF FORGIVENESS AND BAPTISM. NEVER WAS INFANT BAPTISM EVER MENTIONED IN SCRIPTURE BUT RATHER IT WAS A DECLARATION OF FAITH IN CHRIST WITH THE PERSON FULLY UNDERSTANDING WHAT HE OR SHE IS DOING. IT IS A DECLARATION TO THE BODY OF CHRIST THAT YOU ARE DYING TO SELF AND LIVING FOR CHRIST JESUS
  8. THEY BELIEVE IN A SECOND CONVERSION RESULT: ANOTHER SICKNING TWIST ON SCRIPTURE TOTALLY CHANGING THE GOSPEL WHICH IS REALLY VERY SIMPLE AND STRAIGHT FORWARD AND MAKING IT A LEGALISTIC NIGHTMARE. IT IS PICTURESQUE OF THE PHARISEES IN BIBLE TIMES
  9. THEY HOLD THAT THEY HAVE TO DO PENANCE AS A MEANS OF OBTAINING FORGIVENESS OF SINS AND GETTING ABSOLUTION FROM A PRIEST. THEY BELIEVE THAT PRIESTS CAN NOT ONLY HEAR BUT FORGIVE SINS (AN ACT ONLY GOD CAN DO)RESULTS: SAME AS NUMBER 8. NOWHERE IS PENANCE AND FORGIVENESS SUCH AS THE WAY CATHOLICS STATE IT HAS TO BE DONE IS  EVER MENTIONED IN SCRIPTURE. RETRIBUTION SUCH AS MONEY  TAKEN BY TAX COLLECTORS (ZACHEUS) WAS DONE WHEN HE UNDERSTOOD THE GOSPEL AND THE IMPLICATIONS OF IT. OUT OF LOVE/GRACE/THANKSGIVING NOT LEGALISM
  10. THEY HAVE A DIFFERING VIEW ON THE AFTERLIFE BELIEVING NOT JUST IN HEAVEN BUT ALSO PURGATORY ALONG WITH HELL  RESULTS:NEVER DOES SCRIPTURE EVER MENTION OR EVEN HINT AT A PURGATORY. IT IS A BLATANT CHANGING OF THE GOSPEL MESSAGE WHICH ULTIMATELY PUTS PEOPLE NOT JUST INTO SLAVERY TO THE CHURCH BUT TO THE FATHER OF LIES AND RISKS THE SOULS OF MANY FOR A LIE.
  11. THEY BELIEVE IN DOING PRAYER AND INDULGENCES FOR THE DEAD TO SPEED UP TIME IN PURGATORY. RESULTS: AS ABOVE IN #10 BUT ALSO IT TWISTS THE CONCEPT OF ETERNITY BY SAYING THERE IS ALWAYS AN OUT AND THAT PEOPLE CAN BE PRAYED OUT OF THIS “HALF-WAY HOUSE” BETWEEN HEAVEN AND HELL.
  12. THEIR VIEW ON SALVATION IS DIFFERENT IN THAT THOSE NOT REALLY KNOWING OR HAVING THE OPPORTUNITY TO CHOOSE CAN STILL GO TO HEAVEN RESULTS: THIS DIRECTLY CONTRADICTS SCRIPTURE JOHN 14:6; HEB 9:27
  13. VIEW ON THE CHURCH DIFFERS IN THAT THEY BELIEVE THAT THE CHURCH EXISTS SIMULTANEOUSLY, ON EARTH (CHURCH MILITANT),  IN PURGATORY (CHURCH SUFFERING), AND IN HEAVEN (CHURCH TRIUMPHANT) MARY AND OTHER SAINTS ARE PART OF THE LIVING CHURCH.
  14. PROTESTANTS REJECT THE CATHOLIC CHURCH’S DOGMA THAT JESUS CHRIST ESTABLISHED “ONLY ONE CHURCH”, WHICH THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IDENTIFIES AS ITSELF
  15. THEY ALSO REJECTED THE DOCTRINAL STATEMENT ISSUED BY POPE BENEDICT XVI, WHICH STATES THAT ONLY THE CATHOLIC CHURCH COULD BE CALLED THE “CHURCH”.[158] PROTESTANTS ARGUED THAT THE POPE IS WRONG, AND THAT THEY WERE LEGITIMATE CHURCHES AS WELL
  16. THEY DEVOTE THEMSELVES TO MARY, PRAYING TO HER TO INTERCED ON BEHALF OF THE CHURCH. CONTRAST THAT WITH WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS THAT CHRIST HEARS OUR PRAYERS AND INTERCEDES ON OUR BEHALF. THOUGH THEY CLAIM THAT THEY DO NOT WORSHIP HER PRAYERS TO HER, LITURGY ABOUT HER, HOLD LITURGICAL FEASTS TO HER. SHE IS PRACTICALLY WORSHIPED LIKE A LESSER “GOD”.  RESULTS: THOUGH THEY CALIM NOT TO WORSHIP HER, BY THE VERY NATURE OF THE THINGS THEY ARE DOING SUCH AS SETTING UP STATUTES, PRAYING TO HER FOR HER TO INTERCEDE ON THEIR BEHALF, SETTING UP SPECIAL DINNERS FOR HER, AND THEY WAY THAT THEY TALK ABOUT HER AND TO HER AS THOUGH SHE HAS SOME SPECIAL STATUS AND POWER THEY ARE TREATING HER LIKE  A GOD LITTLE “G” . FURTHERMORE, I HAVE AN ISSUE ANYTIME THOSE THINGS THAT ARE ATTRIBUTED TO GOD OR JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF AND THEY ARE THEN “DELEGATED” TO MARY SIMPLY BECAUSE SHE IS THE BIRTH MOTHER OF JESUS CHRIST. CHRIST NEVER GAVE HER EXTRA HIERARCHY OR STATUS WHEN HE WAS ON EARTH BECAUSE SHE WAS HIS MOTHER, NEITHER SHOULD WE ASSUME NOW THAT SHE HAS SOME.
  17. THEY BELIEVE IN CLERICAL CELIBACY

THESE ARE BELIEFS THAT INFLUENCE AND AFFECT THE PRACTICES OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH AND CAN,AND DO SKEW THE PRACTICES EVEN IF ONES NOT HELD BY THE MAIN BRANCHES OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCHES.  LET’S LOOK WITH A LITTLE MORE DETAILS AT SOME OF THE ASSUMPTIONS THAT ARE GENERALLY HELD THROUGHOUT THE WORLD INCLUDING BY THOSE THEMSELVES THAT HOLD TO CATHOLICISM, AND LETS SEE HOW HOLDING SUCH VIEWS ALONG WITH THE TRADITIONAL CATHOLIC VIEWS COULD SKEW THE GOSPEL MESSAGE.

A QUICK AND VERY IMPORTANT CLARIFICATION

Before we begin, I need to make it abundantly clear, I AM ALL FOR CULTURAL PRACTICES AND TRADITIONS,   i LOVE LEARNING ABOUT THEM, EXPERIENCING THEM AS i TRAVEL, AND DOWN TO MY VERY BEING, I BELIEVE THAT IS WHAT MAKES US VERY UNIQUE AND DIVERSE. this is NOT,  REPEAT NOT AN ATTACK ON CULTURES THEMSELVES. NEITHER IS IT ANY ATTACK ON THE PARISHIONERS OR EVEN THE CHURCH ITSELF AS I HAVE NOTHING AGAINST THEM PERSONALLY. EPH 6:12.   Rather it is a frank discussion without all the political correctness about how individuals and groups adamantly stress and get downright ornery if you suggest that the cultural practice contradicts the Word of God. What I am against  is when those inside our outside a tradition hold the opinion that these things are somehow sacred and do not fall under the scrutiny of the God and His word. It is as though they think that somehow God has given them a “get out of jail” (monopoly terminology) card that says ” I know you are a special group so we will overlook those practices beliefs and traditions that contradict my Word, and just let you continue to believe that you are without sin and guilt”  WHAT I AM AGAINST IS WHEN SATAN USES EXTREME TACTICS TO LIE, DECEIVE, KILL AND DESTROY THOSE WHO SHOULD BE IN GOD’S KINGDOM AND SERVING HIM BUT ARE INSTEAD “THROWING THEM IN THE LOBSTER POT”. THEY ARE THROWN IN WATER THAT IS WARM AND TEPID. THEY BELIEVE WHAT THEY THINK IS RIGHT BUT BEFORE THEY KNOW IT, THE POT IS BOILING HOT AND THEY FIND THEMSELVES IN HELL’S FIRES BECAUSE THEY HAD A RELIGION BASED ON WORKS RATHER THAN A RELATIONSHIP AND FAITH THAT WAS GRACE BASED

FALSE ASSUMPTION #1 THAT CULTURAL TRADITIONS, PRACTICES, AND BELIEFS ARE AMORAL (a view held mostly by those outside faith groups but also by those in faith groups especially corresponding more to the traditions cultures and practices themselves rather than the doctrine as such)

GETTING A LITTLE PHILOSOPHICAL

Let us assume that their premise is correct. There are many cultural religious and other practices that could then argue that they too fall under that category. Lets for the sake of argument say that we have three groups that consider their practices customs and beliefs amoral. the first a catholic church with all it’s traditions, the second a first nations native band that practices traditional Native Religions (Animism), and a third a group that is a sect off of Christianity that would by most be considered a cult. each groups traditions practices and customs are different; each one sincerely believes that what they believe is right moral and just. BUT UNDER WHAT GUIDELINES THEN CAN THEY MAKE THAT ASSUMPTION. Lets assume this cult group decided to do something similar to the Jim Jones thing in Guyana. (under the guise OF THE WHOLE WORLD WILL TURN AGAINST THEM BECAUSE WE ARE THE TRUE RELIGION FOLLOWING THE MESSIAH JAMES JEREMIAH )They poisoned all their parishioners causing them to die) Was what they did correct? was it right, moral just? under what standard can we make a determination of right or wrong if there is by your own admission no absolute truth? it would stand to reason that the same leader could say i want to marry your 13 yr old daughter. if there is no absolute truth in this world then the father has no recourse to say no because according to that cult leaders “truth” its OK and despite the father saying otherwise it would be one “truth statement against another. the world would  be turned upside down and would be in utter turmoil if this was the case. Police, army, governments, schools, and so many other things could not function without law order but more importantly absolute truth which comes from the author of truth -God himself.  What many fail to recognize is that they aren’t rejecting absolute truth because they seek disorder(though some do want that too) but rather because they have a bent and perversion that is anti God, and refuse to be under the authority and rule of Christ Jesus.

Lets however get back to the scenario. Let’s look at this native group. they live out a ways from any town or city and have traditions and practices religious and otherwise that have been passed down from their grandfather and he got it from his father and grandfather and so on.  their beliefs derive from animism; that is the worship all off living and no-living things.  They worship the rocks, the trees, all the animals the sun and the stars. they sincerely believe that each has a spirit and that these are spirit guides to guide them on life’s right path. they practice other traditions like sweat lodge ceremonies, Ghost dances, and use other methods through which they conjure up their dead ancestors.  they claim to have been practicing it for “millions of years”.  Is it beyond the realm absolute truth? For something to be true then there must be other contradicting beliefs that are false. According to logic if “A” is truth and “B” is contradictory both “A” and “B” cannot both be true. the opposite is also true. If “A” is false and “B” is contradictory to it  then Both “A” and “B” cannot both be false.  Also truth “A” or Truth “B” cannot be both truth and false at the same time. now We have a native group that claims that they hold truth and that every living and non-living being is a spirit guide to bring them closer to nature and to their “god”. While Christianity and the Bible recognize that their are many religions they say that there is one true God, They say that there is only one way to God through Jesus Christ. Furthermore it specifically says that the worship of any other god is wrong. It says that the animism they practice, the spiritism they practice is all wrong. So … Who is right? Both are opposites; both cannot be true. One has to be true and the other false. Both cannot be false and both cannot be both true and false. There is only one logical answer one must be true and the other false.

please read when cultural practices are not always right or Biblical PART 2 to hear further arguments as to why according to God’s Word not all cultural practices like Salibatbat are .right or Biblical. Happy Reading. Lets hear what you think

Up Up and Away

airbusI consider myself to be a fairly seasoned traveler. I’ve traveled large swaths of Canada, parts of America have been to Brazil twice the Philippines four times and Uganda once back in 2010. In my travels I have, courtesy of the airlines visited both Peru and Argentina for a day each, and have through my travels come to know the Manila, Clarke, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Seoul, Vancouver, Edmonton, Entebbe, Peru, Argentina, Sao Paulo, Toronto, Seattle, Los Angeles, Mexican, Amsterdam, and Fort St. John Airports. (I probably missed a few). So with all my travel experience and being a “seasoned traveler” especially to my other home in the Philippines, you would think that I would have everything conquered. Well …. Not quite. Despite having been here approx 3.5 years  + and off, I’m finding that one’s body does not ever totally adjust to things like the hot temperatures or vast changes in diets. It doesn’t matter how many times one has been to the Philippines and other places and experienced real hot temperatures, it still feels hot and one still needs to take 2-3 showers daily minimum to keep cool, let alone to keep the people around from passing out due to the intense smell emitting off one’s sweat-soaked body. Though It is getting easier to adjust to the change of diet, occasionally the body will send a volcanic signal letting you know that your body is not adapting to certain foods or drinks and that the mount Pinatubo aka(also known as) your body will erupt at any second. Adapting to the cultural differences while it can be fun, can also be challenging as the very basics like showering, toileting, washing dishes, eating, dealing with garbage and other things are all different from North American culture. Some of them daunting, others not so much but all of it takes a lot of flexibility, an understanding of the culture, (As backwards as it may seem to be at times) and a willingness to learn and do things without fully understanding or agreeing with the cultural practices of that area.

I will end the blog with this thought. Despite finding so many cultural differences that bend and twist the brain into odd ways of thinking and doing, there are other things that I find are better than in North America. That will have to be for a later blog. take care always.