Everybody is Prejudiced

Prejudice, Common to All

prejudice
Dr. C. Baxter Kruger wears a very thick eyeglass to illustrate how our worldview has distorted or has blinded us about who God is and who we humans are in Jesus Christ.

Back in 1985, one of my mentors told us, “Don’t kid yourselves, everybody’s prejudiced. No one is exempted.” I remember him telling us that somehow we are all biased and we have our own presumptions or presuppositions about the way things are.

That is our worldview — that is the way we look at everything. This is somehow influenced by our background, our education, our environment, our upbringing, etc. Whatever the topic or issue may be at hand, we judge or we label people, things and situations based on our own bias. And sometimes we can judge others harshly. We do make this mistake once in a while — or maybe often — of being too harsh in criticizing people, their culture or maybe their beliefs.

Somehow, we always tend to think of ourselves as being fair and just but I have learned over the years that it’s a good idea to think twice because maybe I’m wrong after all.

Worldviews Can Change

Thankfully, over time, our worldviews can change when we grow up to maturity, when we learn more, when we gain  more knowledge, more understanding, more experience in life and when we gain more wisdom.

One view for me that has changed since about the late 80s and early 90s was my view about the Trinity. I grew up with a Catholic background but the Trinity was just a mere doctrine which was taught to me as a young boy in a Catholic school — nothing more. The Trinity doctrine really had nothing to do with my life.

I began to understand it better and better as God opened my mind to who he really is — the Father, Son and Holy Spirit — through his revelation of himself in Jesus Christ.

The Father, Son and Holy Spirit has included me into their inner circle of life and love. I now know that I have been created to enjoy fellowship with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit beginning now, at this present time and for all eternity. The Triune God is a God of relationships. He is interested in having a relationship with me and all of humanity.

Surely, we will continue to grope in the dark and live miserable lives  had not God in his amazing grace, opened our minds to know the truth about who God really is and who we really are in Jesus Christ. Thanks be to the Lord.

Featured photo above: What’s on your mind when you see young Cosplayers nowadays? Do you get annoyed?

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Advent of Christ

Advent in Pampanga

AdventYesterday, I attended a worship service at the local church of the Grace Communion International (GCI) in Bacolor, Pampanga—my home church. It was the second Sunday of Advent and the sermon speaker gave a message about peace. As part of his sermon, a ceremonial lighting of the second candle by the senior pastor and his wife was done. It was actually an electric light bulb which looked like a lighted candle but it was symbolic and meaningful.

Traditionally for some Christian churches, they light one candle for each of the four Sundays just before Christmas. For some, they light a fifth candle during Christmas day itself. All these candles symbolize Jesus Christ who is the Light of the world (John 1:9) who has come to earth through his birth (incarnation) in Bethlehem some 2,000 years ago. The four Sundays before Christmas symbolically pictures the excitement and anticipation for the coming (Advent) of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

At Ortigas Center

AdventLast week during the first Sunday of Advent, I had the privilege to be invited to speak for the first time at Crossway, a GCI local church meeting regularly at the Home Depot at the Ortigas Center. It was a great opportunity for me to preach to the local church about Advent and what it means. I explained to them that during this season, we were actually celebrating not only the first coming (Advent) of Jesus Christ some 2,000 years ago but also anticipating and excitedly waiting for his second coming or second Advent. And thirdly, I also explained to them that we were also celebrating the fact that he has already come and is with us and one of us!

Jesus is Immanuel

Thomas F. Torrance
Jesus is Immanuel! This the Christmas message according to Thomas F. Torrance.

I then explained the Christmas message that Jesus is Immanuel. In one of his books, Thomas F. Torrance opened my eyes to the truth that there were two names given to the promised Messiah that was to come. He was to be called 1) Jesus which means “the God who saves” and he was also to be called 2) Immanuel which means “God with us.” In other words, “Jesus is Immanuel” means “The God who saves” is “God with us!” He is not far away billions of galaxies away and looking at us from a distance. He is with us and one of us! That is the Christmas message according to Torrance. I knew about these two names but I didn’t realize its significance until Torrance showed it to me.

As we celebrate this season, let us give thanks to God the Father for giving  us Jesus Christ. Let us also rejoice in the fact that Jesus did come (first advent), Jesus will come again (second coming or advent) and let’s not forget that Jesus has come into our lives right now and is with us and one of us even right now!

Vigan: “New7Wonders Cities of the World”

Vigan

Vigan Voted as World Wonder

Wow! Isn’t that amazing? Vigan was voted as one of the New7Wonders Cities of the World!” Isn’t that great? It was a great blessing that my family and I lived in Ilocandia for some 5 years and I had the privilege to visit Vigan so many times. Every time I passed by that place on my way from San Fernando, La Union to Laoag City and back, I was really fascinated to see the place. It’s always like going back in time. It’s like going back a couple of hundred years ago during the Spanish times when they had cobbled streets for horses and calesas.

Vigan

A Tourist Destination

Despite the passing of many centuries the local Vigan folks have preserved its old buildings dating back to the Spanish times. Many buildings of course were already destroyed and even a few decades ago, some were gutted by fire. But I’m glad that many old buildings are still there. I was even surprised that some old buildings have been transformed into cozy hotels where I and my family were able to sleep overnight in one of the inns at one time. There was even a parking space for my car!

Vigan Museums

Aside from old Spanish buildings and a cathedral, there are also several museums where tourists can go and visit. One is the Crisologo Museum and the other one is the Burgos National Museum, the ancestral home of Fr. Jose Burgos, one of the Gomburza martyrs and one of our national heroes. It is fascinating to go back in time learning about history and learning about how people lived in the past, looking at old photos, old items like old telephones, beds, pots, pans, furniture and other interesting items of the past. Quite exciting and interesting for folks like me haha!

I remember that during my 5-year stay in Ilocandia, I always saw to it that I brought my visitors—visiting friends and relatives—to Vigan to see the place and be amazed. Hopefully, with this new recognition for Vigan, more and more tourists will visit the place and benefit the local community as well the whole country.