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Religion and Faith in the Philippines – A Few Thoughts

“If you can’t show the difference between religion and the gospel, people will confuse morality with a changed heart.”

~Tim Keller 

When I stepped into my chaotic first home after several years, I gained a fresh perspective on the Philippines. I was filled with both nostalgia and sadness. Like many Filipinos, I’m longing for a time when the country will improve its political and economic structures, reduce and eliminate poverty, and most importantly, show the world the kind of leadership that inspires others to make the world a more loving place and one that upholds the morals that came from God. With a new group of leaders in power, I am more concerned, but still hopeful.

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Writing to inform and inspire others to be a blessing in the world. Always exploring ideas, listening to music, and seeking the truth.

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What does it mean to be a Christian and to follow Jesus Christ/Yeshua?

Christ Crowned With Thorns (1621-22) by Dirck van Baburen

The Christian mandate to love your enemies is one of the hardest to follow, especially in our chaotic world that is escalating in more confusion and hate. The global events during these past two decades have prompted me to reflect more deeply about the meaning of being a ‘Christian’ and what makes Christianity unique among other worldviews.

The term ‘Christian’ is loaded with a mixture of misconceptions and has incurred examples of ‘unChristian’ and hypocritical behavior. Despite the different denominations and viewpoints, what is crucial to keep in mind is that the heart of what we call Christianity is the person known as Jesus Christ/Yeshua, who I believe is God incarnate and that He rose from the dead. [Check out some of the resources on this debate at the end of this post.] To truly follow Christ is to “sanctify the Lord God in your hearts” (1 Peter 3:15) and walk in humility and love even (and especially) amidst trials and persecution.

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Writing to inform and inspire others to be a blessing in the world. Always exploring ideas, listening to music, and seeking the truth.

Queen for Seven Days posters

Purpose and Calling

road-sun-rays-path

Purpose is indispensable. When we apply for college, grants or jobs, we typically submit a statement of purpose or talk about our reason for applying during an interview. When we continue a particular activity, we normally have a reason for doing so. Purpose in those scenarios is easily identifiable; however, when we are asked about our ultimate ‘why,’ many of us have trouble articulating our response. As Os Guinness says, “the trouble is that, as modern people, we have too much to live with and too little to live for. Some feel they have time but not enough money; others feel they have money but not enough time. But for most of us, in the midst of material plenty, we have spiritual poverty” (2003, p. 4). Abundance, material wealth, and accessible pleasures have generated a hunger for meaning.

“What is my purpose for living?” I assume many of us have asked a variation of this question at some point in our lives. We seem to have a feeling that we are meant to do more with our lives, but we do not always know what path to choose. We seek to identify and understand our ‘calling.’ Continue reading “Purpose and Calling”

Writing to inform and inspire others to be a blessing in the world. Always exploring ideas, listening to music, and seeking the truth.

Queen for Seven Days posters

Development Work and Postmodernist Thinking: Is there no absolute right or wrong?

This is a short reflection that I wrote for one of my courses during grad school:

 

“At the heart of postmodernism lies a patent self-contradiction. It expects us to accept, as absolute truth, that there are no absolute truths. We should note this common, fatally flawed characteristic of relativistic thinking: it tries to exclude itself from its own pronouncements” (Lennox, 2015, p. 39).

 

Relativism is an interesting and alluring thought, particularly for us who work in diverse settings. We see more gray areas than perhaps any other color in the spectrum of life. The temptation is to say that one can never truly know what is right or that there is even such a thing as a right action. This thinking will inevitably stumble upon a dead end.

Continue reading “Development Work and Postmodernist Thinking: Is there no absolute right or wrong?”

Writing to inform and inspire others to be a blessing in the world. Always exploring ideas, listening to music, and seeking the truth.