Thursday, April 02, 2015

Lent: Healing, Spirits,Amulets and the weirdness of it all...

I was watching TV. 


Well, I was watching TV passively since I was engaged on the computer FB-ing, surfing and looking at some bonsai pictures for ideas on how to developed my bonsai materials when my attention was caught by a TV news feature about a man who allegedly can heal people's sickness through the power of a spirit that possessed him.

This has started a series of crazy thoughts.

Of course the Church is quick to announce a caveat about the phenomenon saying that people should be careful about the healing and they should discern whether the spirit is from God or from the enemy, Satan (by the way "Satan" means the enemy).


Holy week is a special day for spiritist/faith healers in the Philippines. Good Friday and Black Saturday is the most potent day for their rituals and prayers. They believe that they have access to powers and spirits in the belief that God is dead during this period. 

As to they do prayers and rituals during periods when they believe that God is dead is itself a telltale sign that they are dealing with different spirits other than the Christian Holy Spirit.

This belief in the multitudes of spirits is inherent among the Filipinos who were originally animists; they believed in multitudes and hierarchy of nature spirits. This animistic worldview has changed very little even with the introduction of Christianity to the islands in the 1500's. 


Many Christian traditions and holidays are infused with indigenous animistic elements while many indigenous animistic beliefs are infused with Christian elements hence there is no polarization between two different world views. in fact they co-exist harmoniously in the Filipino's belief system. Instead of delivering the Filipinos from animism and converting them into Christianity, what resulted was the fusion of both faiths into one belief system that resulted in Folk Christianity, which is very different from the theological and philosophical Christianity of the west.

But what do I have to say about this?

Well, this primitive belief in the spirits and amulets only show the psychology behind it: primitive, unschooled, heretical...etc. No one should believe that there are power in amulets, incantations, trees, spirits, ghosts, mountains. Hell, all these beliefs are alike to believing in Santa Claus, St. Valentines, The Greek Mythology...

The true faith is this: God, the father in Heaven, created humanity. But humanity sinned against God, the father. God the father loves humanity so much that he gave his Spirit, who is God the father himself but not God the father himself, to a virgin woman so that he could go down on earth as a man, God the son himself but also God the father but different from God the son but the same as God the Father but different: God the Father is God the son Himself but they are two but one.  To offer his death as a propitiation to God the Father, who is God the son himself, for humanity's sin and transgression against  God, who is himself  God the son, so that humanity will be saved from the punishment of God the father, who is also God the son. 

Hmmm. Theology sucks.

On second thought...the weirdness of it all. Santa Claus seems more comprehensible. Anyway, we are just human beings seeking trying to understand powers and realities that are beyond us. 

So...let's eat.


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