Thursday, October 25, 2007

Ministerial Ethics 101 or why Pastors should not enter politics

Imitate me, then, just as I imitate Christ. 1Co 11:1 (The Good News Bible)
I was (not) surprised when a Reverend cum Pastor of a Fundamentalist Baptist Church cum politician cum congressman of the Philippine congress admitted pn TV to having accepted money from Malcanang Palace (the snakepit of the Philippine government). The Reverend cum Pastor of a Fundamentalist Baptist cum politician cum congressman of the Philippine congress even have the gull to say that now that what he has done was out, he now felt good! He even tried to justify the money! It’s a gift he said…(Pastor haven’t you heard of deontological ethics, or Kant’s Categorical imperative, or the ten Commandments, or what our mother told us when we were young: do not accept candies from strangers, or how about the Scout’s honor?)

This Reverend cum Pastor of a Fundamentalist Baptist church cum politician cum congressman of the Philippine congress was known for barricading cinemas when the Da Vinci code was shown in the Philippines. He “was” the powerful voice of God and of morality and of holiness in the Philippine government, yet he admitted to accepting gifts from Malacanang. Why I even saw him on TV condemning “Desperate Housewives” and how ladies dress (talk about T-backs!)

His admission was halfhearted and forced because a Catholic Priest turned Governor earlier beat him to the…err…media attention. The good Father turned governor of Pampanga admitted to receiving five hundred thousand pesos (around 10,000 USD) from Malacanang and the good governor exposed the money to the press. (I say Amen to that Father! I wonder if the good Father did not expose this to the media how long would have that …you know he is…benefited from these “gifts.” Hmmm…I wonder why this Reverend cum Pastor of a Fundamentalist Baptist church cum politician cum congressman of the Philippine congress did not exposed the “cash gifts” in the first place. I really, really wonder why? This reminds of the Adam when God caught Adam eating the “cash gifts” err... I mean the forbidden fruit… Adam’s excuse was, “t’was not me, it was the woman in the Malacanang...errr…t’was not me, t’was the woman that you gave to me.” ) See what the Reverend cum Pastor of a Fundamentalist Baptist Church cum politician cum congressman of the Philippine congress had done is that by keeping silent about it, he is already part of it (Guess money is the best way way to make allies). And that’s what made it so, so, so horrible. My gulay! He has been in Congress for how long and how long had he been receiving money! And now he is in the bandwagon doing admitting receiving cash gifts. How traditional and unbiblical.

The Reverend cum Pastor of a Fundamentalist Baptist church cum politician cum congressman of the Philippine congress did not want not to be out-“moraled” by the “pagan-idolater Roman Catholics.” He held a press interview of his own. While I was listening, I was wondering where the thundering condemnation of corruption was! Where the thundering condemnation of the blasphemy of the Da Vinci Code was! This time, the thunderous voice and the machine gun Bible verses has become nothing more than a melodious fart of a little bad boy caught with his hands inside the money jar. Why, I wonder why he spoke with such a soft voice. (I say what’s the problem with you Pastor…err…congressman! See the problem! Can’t differentiate between the two now.) The tribes of these reverends cum politicians are increasing. Why, one even tried to run for the presidency of the Philippines complete with the prophecies of his sycophant prophets, when he lost—he was cheated. (Better than calling the prophecies and the prophets and the supposed sources of their prophecies, the infallible God according to them, and their hand laying a disgraceful farce. Where is that guy and where are his court cases now.)

It’s sad how “men of God” with all the bravado, and all the Bible verses, come charging into the corrupted halls of government to change it, to condemn it and in the end, end up being one of them—rotting and now rotten!

I have seen pastor like this and they make me mad! They spread their theology and ethics like viruses to unsuspecting churches. They like to hide behind 1John 1:9 (If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.) Talk about license. (During one of our devotions I told my students not to memorize this verse. I told them that in times of temptation instead of hearing the Holy Spirit saying “Don’t” they will instead hear Satan and his cohorts quoting this verse and saying. “Hey, remember what the preacher said about 1 John 1:9. Go ahead, null problemo there’s always 1 John 1:9 Go ahead!)

(When Jesus saw the condemned woman about to be stoned, he wrote on the sand: “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” What would have Jesus written on the sand if this pastor cum congressman (and his tribes) were hauled out of congress for accepting bribes and was about to be stoned… (I’m using my imagination here) “Shoot him! He’s had classes on theology, church ethics, ministerial etchics, business ethics, missiology, New Testament Studies, Old Testament Studies, counseling, ecclesiology, Christology, soteriology, Church History, apologetics, eschatology, he wrote papers, he preached, he condemned other people’s sin, why shoot him (them). He (they) fell short of the measures he (they) used for other people! He (they) are as guilty as hell! He (they) put God’s name in vain! Shoot him (them) with a submarine launched inter-continental ballistic missile with a carabao dung warhead. He (they) should have known better, much, much better than better!!!!” Or Jesus would have gently and kindly said, “Let them be, forgive them for they don’t know what they are doing. They suffer from spiritual down syndrome.” Or Jesus would have just walked away and say, “I have nothing to do with these sons Sceva.”)

It is not up for me to judge the soul of this Reverend cum Pastor of a Fundamentalist cum politician cum congressman of the Philippine congress (or his ilk). That is outside of my prerogative but it is for me as a saved sinner, to react, to judge and to discern what he has done (or what pastors like him had done) and that is to put the name of God and of the hardworking pastors and workers of God from other churches and from other denominations into shame.

Apologies are good and they should be accepted, but the consequences and the loss of integrity is unfortunately, unforgettable. They have stood up and recovered from their sins but the people they have brought down with them are still flat on their faces in offense. Sometimes people don’t understand that, like these Reverend cum Pastor of a Fundamentalist Baptists church cum politician cum congressman of the Philippine congress.

I sure would like to hear him preach on morality, on clean living, on holiness, on cinemas, on underwear, on honesty, on Desperate Housewives, on government corruption, on evangelism, on counseling, on good stewardship etc. I’m sure it would be fun to listen to him—and his stand up comedy.

Imitate me, then, just as I don’t imitate Christ. 1 Col. 11:1 (The Bad News Bible)

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