Friday, April 08, 2005

True Arrogance

Last night and early this morning, Dad had been trying to convince people not to opt for Affiliated Autonomy. He may have made a lot of mistakes in his impassioned speech (I wouldn't know, I wasn't there). He may have tried to appeal through nostalgia again (you know, his "I became a Christian in the UMC and so I am remaining in the UMC, and therefore so should all of you"—very weak argument; just imagine the other side making that ploy—"I am losing my Christianity in the UMC and so I am leaving, and therefore so should you"—to see how weak it was), or he tried arguing from a political perspective. Well, the Autonomists certainly turned it into a discussion in the political arena, so I guess I can hold blameless Dad here for thinking that, if he had turned it into a discussion on polity, he may convince them of the folly of it. My Dad is an imperfect man, but he does not merit being thought of as arrogant.

The reason my Dad can't discuss the true nature of the move for autonomy is because the leaders of the movement for autonomy have carefully disguised their true intentions from their minions. Dad cannot, of course, suddenly accuse them of wanting homosexuals to be ordained, or accuse them of promoting liberal theologies (like liberation theology and feminist theology, amongst others). No, he can't, without seeming to be a raving madman; he had to seem like he still had some sense. But they (these Palpatines who seem to be instituting reforms but are in reality lobbying for power) know that Dad knows, or at least suspects their true intentions.

But Dad was called "arrogant"— arrogant because he dares question their motives, arrogant for causing "division" because he abstained from voting for the ratification of the move for autonomy (who knows what threats were levelled at those who abstained, that the only thing they can do is abstain and not vote nay). He was told that his arrogance was clouding his judgement. He was told to shut up and sit down, and just let the destruction of the Jedi happen.

True arrogance, unfortunately, is when they who claim to make the Philippine Methodist Church more "Christian" would call into question the veracity of the Holy Scriptures themselves, vaunting their own philosophies, theologies (if it can still be called such) and doctrines as higher and much more relevant than those words God himself inspired.

It is true arrogance when these who claim to hold the interests of the Filipino Methodist at heart would knowingly and deliberately sabotage the structure to which they were elected as leaders, just so that they can point to it and say "See, not working. When Autonomy comes, just see the money flow!"

It is real arrogance when they who claim to speak for God denigrate and call into question the Apostles Paul, Peter, James, and all the Gospel writers, claiming that whatever writings are left to us are mere patchwork copies of what was originally written, and therefore cannot be trusted, yet in the same breath claim that they are the holders of God's revelation to the Philippines, and that they can be trusted.

It is genuine arrogance when they who claim to respect our God in all His three persons go on to say that God is both masculine and feminine (therefore, the revisionist phrase "Our Father/Mother God"), that Jesus was either a woman or was homosexual (they don't seem to have to agree on this, as long as they agree to be as unorthodox as possible), and that the Scriptures as inspired and preserved by the Holy Spirit is not inspired or preserved and can, as their whims dictate, be modified to suit their tastes and beliefs.

But, it is simply arrogance when they, who know so well the sort of liberties they taken and the arrogance they truly have, would deliberately mask all of this, and say that the movement for Autonomy is really about "Filipinizing" the church and freedom from colonialism; they have yet to show how the UMC is not a Filipino church or that the UMC in the Philippines has no freedom. How could they? The only "freedom" denied us by the Global UMC is that our statement of faith, precisely what the Palpatines want to change but cannot tell the rest of their minions the true nature of it. They just keep on shouting "Our Doctrine, not Theirs!" as if it meant anything. "Our Church, not Theirs!" yet they would invite Swedes over from their empty churches in Europe to tell us how we must conduct our worship.

It is arrogance when they accuse the "child" of arrogance because he would dare point out that the Emperor actually has no clothes.

Yet people, some of them our friends, want so much to be counted as heroes and revolutionaries, as fighters of colonialism and promoters of freedom that they would rather look the other way and opt for Autonomy. They have just sold themselves to dominineering force more insidious than they imagine, for the only reason people like our current Bishops and the faculty of UTS are allowed in the UMC is because Wesley once said "Think and let think". Yet, just last night, they were already verbally abusing those who would dare defy and disagree with them. Who can go against them now?

When I watch the Revenge of the Sith in the following month(s), I can now fully appreciate the tragedy and the believability of someone as evil as Emperor Palpatine somehow being able to grab power and wipe the Jedi out. When people are encouraged to look the other way, even the Sith can win. Even when the Shroud of the Dark Side can now be lowered without resistance, while those who see and those who fight for the Light are labelled, merely, as Rebel Scum.

forged in

Gryphon Hall
(google branch)