Religion .

Pagkakatiwala ng Pamilyang Kristiyano Para Itaguyod ang Misyon ni Kristo

Ito ang pagninilay mula sa isang layko na kanyang ibinahagi sa naganap na Family Festival noong December 1, 2018 sa PASEO Rizal, Morong, Rizal.

Siya ang napiling magbahagi ng Biblico-Theological Reflection sa harapan ng mga tagapakinig na mahigit limang daang katao galing sa mga Iglesia Lokal, Nananambahang Kapulunga, at mga Mission Outreaches mula sa probinsiya ng Laguna, North Quezon at Rizal.

Si Noel Duhaylungsod ay isang kilalang scientist na naglilingkod sa Institutional and Policy Development Expert at Government of the Philippines/United NationsRegion IVA – Calabarzon, PhilippinesEnvironmental Services

Family Festival 2018: “Pagkakatiwala ng Pamilyang Kristyano para Itaguyod ang Misyon ni Kristo” [Ang Sambahayang Kristyana ay Mabuting Katiwala ni Kristo: Isang pagninilay ng tema ni ncduhaylungsod 011218]

“O gracious God, behold your people. You have called us to remain in covenant with you and with one another. From the beginning, you have always been the solid foundation of the Church. Your providence has been our shelter in the storms of life; your strength our stay as we pursue the vision of our founding parents for a united and uniting, reformed and transforming Church.

You have given us a diversity of heritage in our union – which has enriched our capacity for witness and reconciliation as a community of faith.
As we renew this covenant, may your Spirit guide us into greater sensitivity, openness of hearts and minds, and a truly creative response to the challenges of our time; may the guidance, blessing and the empowering presence of your Son, Jesus Christ, be upon us, even as we strive to be faithful to the true spirit of the covenant we today have forged anew.

Grant, we beseech you, O God, that this symbol of our resolve for greater service may be accompanied by your most assuring love and mercy. To you alone we give glory and honor, knowing you are the Author of all perfect wisdom and truth. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen. (CBL, 2015)” 1.0

1.0 Introduction

Noong ako ay pinadalhan ng paanyaya-text ni Pastor Jimmy ng UCWO ay tulad ng dati ay excited ako at sinabi kaagad na okay sa kanya. Pagkalipas ng ilang sandali ay bumalik sa akin ang mga pagkukulang ko bilang katiwala kung kaya ay nagbuo ng text na uurong sa invitation.

Ngunit naisip ko rin ang trust at confidence ng UCWO sa akin na dapat kong pagkatiwalaan. Hindi na natuloy ang pagpadala ng agam-agam sapagkat ibig kong maging public confession din ang pagninilay na aking gagawin.

Sa maraming pagkakataon ay napapatingkad na institutsyunal ang pagiging katiwala bagaman ito naman ay bahagi ng tipanan ng pagkakatiwala. May mga pundamental na mga detalye ng tipanan ng pagkakatiwala na naisasantabi dahil sa pamamayani ng pansariling pagtutuwid ng kamalian o pagpupuno ng kakulangan.

Sa konteksto, may pauna akong pagtanaw na simula’t sapul ay naituring ng Diyos ang kanyang katiwala na mabuti at ang Kristyanang Sambahayan ay palagian na napapanahong pagkakatiwala. Mula sa paglikha ng mundo ay naroon na ang panahon ng pagkakatiwala.

Samakatuwid, ang Katiwalang Kristyana ay hindi maging mabuti upang isagawa ang misyon ni Kristo bagkus ay ito ay isang worldview o spiritual state of being in Christ as indwelled by the Holy Spirit. Isang spiritual at banal na tipanan ang ating response sa panawagan ng Diyos na ang mga magkaibang Kristyanang tradisyun ay maging isang Sambahayang Kristyana noong 1948.

Sa unahang panalangin ng ating CBL ay dama ang presensya ng Diwang Banal. Subalit sa loob ng maraming taon ay may nawalay sa panalangin ng Sambahayang Kristyana ni Kristo. Hindi utilitarian ang tingin ko sa pagiging katiwala sa unang aklat na Genesis at patuloy itong pinayabong sa Leviticus 27:30 at sa Matthew 23:23-24 na mga teksto natin ngayong Family Festival.

Kaya kung inyong mamarapatin ay binigyan ko ng tweaking ang tema na “napapanahong magsisi, humingi ng tawad, magtuwid, at magbago ng pagiging Katiwalang Mabuti ang Sambahayang Kristyana ni Kristo.”

2.0 Pundamental na Biblical stewardship

Ang malimit na pagkaunawa ng pagiging katiwala ay budget ng Iglesya, pang tustos ng programa, church building construction, transporation cost, atbp. May paglalagom na ang pagiging Kristyanang Katiwala ay may batayang prinsipyo1 na sumusunod:
 Ang lahat ng naroon sa sanlikha ay sa Diyos (Awit 24); pinapagamit at pinapamahalaan sa atin ang mga ginawa Niya para sa kasiyahan ng mananampalataya. Wala tayong kapangyarihan o karapatan na maipamahagi (appropriate) upang maisulong ang pansariling kapakanan. Bagaman ang sariling lakas ay makakagawa ng kayamanan ay alalahanin natin na ang Diyos ang nagbigay ng lakas upang makagawa ng yaman (Deuteronomy 8:17-18);

 Responsibilidad natin kung paano gamitin ang sanlikha. Ating responsibilidad din ang sumunod sa tipanan ng responsableng pangangasiwa;

 Pananagutan (accountability) natin ang kahinanatnan ng pangangasiwa ng sanlikha. Ang Kristyana ay katiwala ng mga likas yaman, kapasidad, at mga pagkakataon na ipinagkatiwala ng Diyos. Tiyak na darating ang oras ng pagtutuos ng pananagutan kung paano napangasiwaan ang inihabilin na sanlikha kabilang na rito ang ating oras, pera, abilidad, impormasyon, karunungan, relasyon, at kapangyarihan; at

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1 Whelchel, H. 2018. ‘Four Principles of Biblical Stewardship.’ http://tifwe.org/how-to-be-productive-in-2014/. Institute for Faith, Work & Economics, IFWE Blog citing B. Peel, ?. ‘Leadership is Stewardship.’ The High Calling.? (there is so much informalities and arbitrarinies in internet citations, sorry; but the idea is good).
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 Ang pabuya (reward) na mana ay mula kay Hesus (Mateo 25:21), samakatuwid ay pangunahin ang pabuyang kasiyahan na kaisa natin siya pagkaraang manilbihan sa nakakarami na kamanlikha ng kaharian ng Diyos. Ang magkakawing na batayan mula sa Bibliya ay malawak ang saklaw ng kahulugan ng Mabuting Katiwala ni Kristo. Pakatandaan na dalawa ang tungkol sa focused participation natin bilang katiwala, ang maging responsableng katiwala at katiyakang magbibigay tayo ng tuos ng ating pangangasiwa sa Diyos na maghuhusga kung kaisa natin siyang kamanlikha ng kanyang Kaharian.

Sa pagpipinu ay isang bahagdan lamang ang ‘utilitarian message’ ng isang Kristyanang Katiwala. Kung ang kalooban ng nangangasiwang katiwala ay mabuti ay tiyak na siya ay kamanlikha ni Kristo. May kahalintulad (parallelism) ito sa mga developmentalists, na ang imeno-modelo na kaunlaran ay yaong mga taong nagkaisa na gumagampan para sa kabutihan ng nakakarami at hindi ang teknolohiya o kita ng kaunlaran.

Ang moral formation ay foremost sa mananampalataya. Dumako tayo sa isang buod ng pagninilay, ang Mabuting Katiwala na Sambahayang UCCP, ang Iglesyang pinagkaisa ng Diwang Banal.

3.0 Sambahayang UCCP: Moral Formator ng Pagiging Katiwala ni Kristo

Ang Iglesyang UCCP ay tipanan ng moral servitude sa iisang Diyos ng buhay. Ibinigay niya ang UCCP at inaasahan na ating alagaan at payabungin upang maisagawa ng masinop na may kasiyahan ang misyon ng Hesus.

Sa pamamaraang consistent o alinsunod sa pamantayan ng tipanan ng stewardship ay aalalayan tayo ng Diwang Banal upang ang mga ito ay bumunga na mas marami pang Katiwalang Kristyana. Ang pagiging katiwala ay isang moral servitude na ipinapaloob natin ang sarili sa institusyong nangunguna ng paghubog ng moral values ng kasapian.

Magagawa ito kapag ipinagpaloob ang sarili sa Kanyang kapangyarihan na patuloy na paglikha ng bagong langit at lupa.

(a) Tipanan ng Paghubog ng Moral Stewardship
Ang paghubog ng moralidad ay tungkol sa pagpalaki o pagpalago ng karakter at pangasiwa na may kinalaman sa katauhan (being) at paggawa (doing) tulad ng paano mag decide at ano ang gusto na maging at kung paano gawin. Proseso ang kailangan nito kung kaya ay mahalaga ang palagiang pagaruga at pagpalaganap ng Iglesya ng moral values ng kaaniban bilang Sambahayan ng Mananampalataya na isinasabuhay ang Kristyanang values sa pamayanan. Sa ganitong pagtanaw, ang “ethos of the household of faith … is the way of life, the distinctive patterns of thinking, feeling and acting.” Ilang karakter ng Sambahayang Kristyana ay nakalista:
 Lokal na Iglesya, kongregasyon, outreach, at ang kalakhang ecumenical at universal catholic church na nakapaloob sa Tatlong Personang Diyos.

 Ang Sambahayan ay saksi sa reyalidad ng ekonomiya, politika, ekolohiya, at pamamalakad ng lipunan na namamayani ang kahirapan, panggigipit, pangexpolit, at karahasan na taliwas sa kaharian ng Diyos.

 Kontekstong sosyal at cultural na siyang substrate ng paghubog ng moralidad ng kaaniban. Ang mga pamilya sa Iglesya ay ang pinagkukunan nitong paghubog ng pananampalataya at kaayusan.

 Ang Kristyanang ethos ay nangangahulugan na ang relasyon ng mga kaanib ay covenantal na makita sa kanilang pakikibahagi sa buhay at misyon ni Kristo; ang estrukura at proseso ng pangangasiwa ng kaaniban ay tukoy nito upang magkaroon ng oportunidad na lumago ang mga talento ng bawat isa.

Ang alagad ng Diyos ay namumuno sa paghubog ng Moral Stewardship sa kaniban ng Iglesya at ng pamayanan. Ibig sabihin na may moral leadership ang Iglesya. Sa patuloy na pagninilay tungkol sa Mabuting Katiwala ay makita sa Luke 12:42-48 ang ilang kasagutan (read). Sa teksto sa Greigo ang katiwala ay ‘oikonomos’ o ekonomista. Siya ay housekeeper, administrador, at manager ng ekonomiya ng sambahayan. Ang katangian ng Mabuting Katiwala na habang responsable ay ‘theonomous’ na ibig sabihin ay nakuha siya ng responsibilidad, respeto, at dignidad mula sa pagiging alagad ng Diyos. Mas dumarami ang kanyang makayanang gampanan sapagkat siya ay responsableng katiwala. Ganito ang ipinamuhay ni Kristo.
 Responsable siyang mapanatili at mapayabong ang sambahayan sa ngalan ng mayari.

 Tapat ang katiwala sapagkat inaaruga ang mga taong nasa kanyang responsibilidad; binibigyan nito ng pagkain, seguridad, at yaman sa takdang panahon.
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2 Best, T. and M Robra (eds.). 1994. Ecumenical Ethical Engagement, Moral Formation and the Nature of the Church. ‘Costly Commitment.’ Tantur Ecumenical Institute. Ecclesdiology and Ethics. Israel. p43.
3 Stückelberger, C. and J. Mugambi, 2007. Responsible Leadership: Global and Contextual Perspectives. Globetthics.net Series No.1. Geneva.
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 Mabuting pinuno siya na may karakter na magsilbi, masipag, at isang ehemplo ng natatanging work ethic.

 Matalinong alagad na responsableng gumagawa sa bawat aspeto at oras ng kanyang buhay; alam nito na ano mang panahon ay darating ang kanyang Panginoon; ang kanyang tugon sa Diyos ay naka integrate sa araw araw ng buhay.

Tayo ang mga bisita na inimbitahan ng Diyos na mayari ng sanlikha. Dangan nga lamang ay ang negatibong attitude ng sanlibutan ay humahantong sa kasiraan at kamatayan. Ang alay sa sanlibutan ay ganap at kasiya siyang buhay. Ito ay pangako na ang pinakamainam na response ay kasiyahan, pagpupuri, at pasasalamat bilang imbitadong bisita. Ang pagiging bisita sa sanlikha ay magamit na pundasyon ng pangkomunidad na kaunawaan ng responsableng pamumuno. Ang hospitalidad na mayron ang sanlikha ay nagsasaad ng response na ayon sa inog ng kabutihan.

(b) Ang UCCP ay tipanang institusyunal ng moral stewardship

Ito ay nakalahad sa Sections 2,4,9 & 12 ng Article II CBL. Apat ang direktang tinukoy na pangasiwaan,
(i) Pamanang Protestante,
(ii) Pahayag ng Pananampalataya,
(iii) Responsableng Kristyanang Katiwala ng ikapu, oras, talento, ari-arian, at ang
(iv) Ekolohiya.

Section 2. The United Church of Christ in the Philippines affirms its Protestant heritage as a reformed and reforming church. (GA 2002-41, Baguio City, 20-26 May 2002).

Section 4. The doctrines and beliefs of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines are based on the Word of God as revealed in the Holy Scriptures and articulated in the historic Christian creeds, expressed in the diverse heritage of faith and practice brought into the union by its uniting Churches, and embodied in its Statement of Faith.

Section 9. The United Church of Christ in the Philippines advocates vigorous Christian stewardship expressed in the cheerful giving of tithes, time, talents and possessions. The United Church of Christ in the Philippines shall observe responsible Christian stewardship by utilizing the properties under its care towards self-reliance and support of its various ministries. (GA 2002-42, Baguio City, 20-26 May 2002)

Section 12. As steward of God’s creation, the United Church of Christ in the Philippines shall protect, promote and enhance the ecological balance and the integrity of creation, (Article II, CBL, 2015).”


(i) Pamanang Protestante4
Ang prosesong kasaysayan na dinaanan ng UCCP bago pa man naging kaisahan ay nagsimula noong 1898 ng idaos ang unang Protestanteng pananambahan. Mga Metodista at Presbyterians ang nagumpisa ng Protentastismo sa Pilipinas mula ng sinakop ng USA ang Pilipinas.

Sunod sunod na rito ang pagpasok ng mga Iglesya at misyonero na sa karamihan nila ay nakita na kailangang pagisahin (union, 1901) upang suminop ang pagkumberte ng mga Pilipino sa Protestantismo. Ang usaping pagkakaisa ay bumunga ng dokumentong Batayang Kaisahan (Basis of Union) noong 1924-1929 at itinayo ang unang nagkaisang mga Protestanteng Iglesya.

Dumaan pa ang 14 na taon (1943) bago mabuo ang kaisahang Protestante na pinangunahan ng mga Pilipino. Subalit, inabot pa ng apat na taon muli ng pinagkaisahan ang 1947 Batayang Kaisahan na naging tipanan ng 1948 UCCP. Hanggang 1956 ang mga programa ay misyon, ebanghelismo, medical, pampublikong welfare at edukasyong Kristyana.

Binalangkas at pinagkasunduan ang CBL 1956-1960 ngunit naribesa ito ng 1972-1974 upang paghandaan ang mawawala na banyagang suporta.
Nakakapanghinayang lamang nitong karanasan kasi ibig sabihin ay mula 1900s hanggang 1970s ay hindi tumining sa Iglesya ang usaping kasarinlan.

Ang 1943 na effort ay limitado ang saklaw ng kasarinlan ng pamamalakad. May pagkukulang din ang 1972 na pagbabago ng CBL dahil lamang wala ng suporta mula sa banyaga sapagkat mas theologically founded pa dapat ang batayan ng pagbabago.

Sa pagwawasto ay itinayo ang 1978 Faith and Order Committee at ito’y nagpatuloy kung kaya ay 1982-1986 Statement of Faith ay nabuo at pinagkaisahan ng lubusan. Nabuo din ang lehitimong doktrina ng UCCP.

Fast track: 2015 CBL at mga amendments until 2018; 1992 SOF; bureaucracy Alam natin ang aktibong pagganap ng Iglesya sa iba’t ibang larangan ng lipunan at consistent na pinamumunuan ang pagtuwid ng kamalian at pagpigil ng kasamaan.

Baligtad nga ang argumentong balakid ang kasalatan sa materyal dahil sa kasapatan at kasiyahang isinasagawa din ang misyon ni Kristo ng Sambahayang Kristyana. Ganito maisalarawan ang pamanang Protestante na ating pagkatiwalaan.

Hindi theologically archaic ang dalanging “give us this day our daily bread” sapagkat kailanman ay walang napapabayaan na mananampalataya. Ang materyalismong lumalaganap ay transitory ng pagdausdos ng pananampalataya.
4 A Historical Sketch of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines. 2018. UCCP website.
7/11
(ii) Ang Pahayag ng Pananampalataya Ang Mabuting Katiwala ay pinangangasiwaan ang spiritual resources ng Iglesya. Pangunabing papel sa responsibilidad ay ang mga Pastor bagaman ay hindi magagawa kung wala roon ang integral role ang kaaniban na kabalikat sa pangangasiwa. Ang spiritual stewardship5 ay handog at talento dahil:

 Inaalagaan ang tapat na interpretasyon ng Bibliya at huwag gawing instrumento na maisulong ang ilang kaisipan at interes;

 Inaalagaan ang nanglulupaypay dahil sa institusyunal na rekisitos;  Inaalagaan ang mahihina upang hindi maisantabi;

 Patnubay sa komunidad sa paghubog ng prophetic sensitivity upang malaman ang mabuti at false prophets, mabuti at masamang espiritu, buhay at mapanira ng buhay;

 Maipamuhay ang kaayusan batay sa ethos ng Iglesya;  Magsilbi sa pagkakaisa ng kumonidad ng mananampalataya;

 Magbahagi ng espirituwal na kakayahan sa pamamagitang pagtanggap na ang Diwang Banal ay nasa kalagitanaan ng lahat.

Ang doktrina ng UCCP (Pahayag ng Pananampalataya) ay tipanan natin sa Diyos at sa bawat isa. Ito ang nagbubukod sa atin bilang Iglesya na pinamamahalaan ng isang kaunawaan sa Diyos, paninindigan sa buhay, at paggawa ng bagong langit at lupa, bilang Sambahayan ng Mabuting Katiwala ni Kristo. Nakabatay sa Bibliya at sa Pahayag ang pagkakabuo ng UCCP CBL na requirement bilang Iglesyang institusyon sa lipunan. Sa Pahayag din nagmula ang VMG ng Iglesya. Tuwi tuwina ay kolektibong binabago ang mga patakarang nagpapatupad (kasama ang proseso) ng goals depende sa pangangailangan ng panahon. Ang kahalagahan nitong Pahayag ng Pananampalataya ay pangita sa pagbigay ng tatlong taon (Phase 1) na lingguhang pagaaral nito simula 2018. Isinasabuhay at inaangkop ang
kahulugan nito sa kaaniban at sa pamayanan. Liban sa pagtangkilik ay pinagkatiwalaan natin ang ating pananampalataya sa Diyos.

(iii) Responsableng Katiwala6 May partikular na kahulugan ang maging UCCP na Responsableng Kristyanang Katiwala dahil may pinagkasunduang Pahayag ng Pananampalataya.

Ang doktrinang ito ay nagkaroon ng mga institusyunal na mga pagkaunawa na inakong patakaran at pamamaraan ng Iglesya. Halimbawa, ang teksto sa Leviticus 27:30 [“Lahat ng ikasampung bahagi, maging binhi o bunga ng pananim ay nakalaan kay Yahweh”] ay may expanded na patakaran na ang bawat Iglesya Lokal ay maglaan ng 22% ng kanyang ikapu at iba pang handog (liban sa ilan) para sa sumusunod: Asembliya Heneral (9%) at Kumprensya (13%).

Ibig sabihin nito ay ang ikapu sa bawat lingguhang alay ay 22% nito ay kakaltasin para sa AH at K, respectively. Responsableng gamitin ng Iglesya Lokal ang 78% ng ikapu para sa kanyang pagsagawa ng misyon ni Kristo. Pananagutan nito kung paano pinangasiwaan ang 78% ng ikapu.

Ganon din ang inaasahan sa AH at K. Mayron man o walang Biblical na batayan ang ganitong patakaran ay hindi na isyu sapagkat ito ay napagkasunduan ng mananampalataya. Tungkol sa hindi natitinag na pagaari (real property) na ibinigay-in-trust ay kailanman ay hindi puedeng ma appropriate. Ang Biblical tenet para nito ay ibalik sa nagbigay kung wala na sa kasunduang paggamit ang property o pagkalipas ng 50 years ng gamit ay magkasundo muli.

Ang CSRD manual of operations, at Finance accounting at management manual ay may takdang pamantayan at proseso ng pangangasiwa ng mga properties ng Iglesya. ‘Foul’ na legalidad na pamamaraan na karakarakang baguhin ang nakasaad sa mga manual sa pamamagitan ng ultra sentralismong pagkilos ng pamunuan para isulong ang maisipan.

Ang AH at K ay manguna sa pagsunod sa patakaran at proseso ng paggamit ng ikapu at ibang yaman. Akma sa theolohiyang Kristyana na ang UCCP ay mag organisa ng pamamaraan ng pangangasiwa tulad ng CSRD at Church finance cccounting and management manuals.

Inihahanda ang taunang Financial Report upang ibigay sa kung sino mang UCCP na kaanib na ibig magkaroon ng kopya. Ang dokumentong ito ay hayag sa lahat ng kaaniban. Pananagutan ng bawat isa lalo’t higit ang pamunuan na manguna sa responsable at bukas (transparent) ng lahat ng pangangasiwa.

Ang Sambahayang UCCP na inaasahan na Mabuting Katiwala ni Kristo ay matuwid na nagtakda ng proseso ng pangangasiwa ng ipinagkatiwalang alay ng kaaniban. Ang mga prosesong ito ay nagtitiyak ng tamang gamit ng yaman ng Iglesya. Kailanman ay hindi maaring baguhin ang proseso na walang pahintulot ang kaaniban. Malaki ang pagkukulang kung impormasyon lamang ang ipinapaabot sa kaaniban sapagkat sa mga prosesong ito ay kasama ang sanggunian ng mga kaaniban sa gawain ng pangangasiwa.


(iv) Katiwala ng ekolohiya
Kasama sa pagiging Mabuting Katiwala ay ang pangasiwa ng likas yaman ng mundo (enerhiya, tubig, hangin, lupa, gubat, ecosystem goods at services, financial resources , capital, administrative, at human resources).

Ang mga ito ay handog mula sa Diyos para sa kasalukuyan at sa darating pang henerasyon. Matandaan ko na may binalangkas ang Laguna 2 District na programa subalit ay hindi naisakatuparan.

May ilang proyekto na nauna na pangkumperensya subalit ay ipininid na walang gasinong malinaw na impact at aral na natamo. Parang putol putol ang kilos ng Iglesya sa usaping proteksyon at pagpaunlad ng ekolohiya.

Mabalikan ko rin na late 1990s ay nagusap ang pamunuan na sinupin ang climate theology ng UCCP at magpatupad ng pangmatagalang pagkilos dahil sa ang isyung pagbago ng klima ay lalampas sa susunod na henerasyon at sa susunod pa.

Ang disaster management ng mga kalamidad at sakuna ay sa kalakhan ay dulot ng pagbago ng klima kaya mas proactive ang position ang pagfocus sa climate change. Tila hindi profoundly na nakikita ang confessional character ng Iglesya sa usaping ito.

4.0 Magkumpisal, magsisi, humingi ng tawad at magbago

Hindi lingid na sa ating kasaysayan ay may pagkakataong tumingkad ang kamalian ng pangangasiwa ng Iglesya. Natuto tayo sa pagkukulang at kamalian, subalit, may mga bagay na tila patuloy na sumasalungat sa pundamental na prinsipyo ng pagiging Mabuting Katiwala ni Kristo.

Sa panahon ng Propetang Ezra sa kalagitnaan ng kamalian at kasamaan, siya ay nagkumpisal, nagsisi at humingi ng tawad sa Diyos na nagbigay sa kanya ng kapangyarihang mangasiwa. Sinundan nito ng aksyong pagbabago. Malaki ang pagasa ng pagbabago ng Iglesya dulot ng pagtangan natin ng katotohanan.

Ang sabi ng isang manunulat ay active hoping is a practice… “First, we take a clear view of reality; second, we identify what we hope for in terms of the direction we’d like things to move in or the values we’d like to see expressed; third, we take steps to move ourselves or our situation in that direction.”

Sa unahan ng pagninilay ay tumbok ang saklaw ng Mabuting Katiwala ni Kristo. Huwag nga tayong bulag na taga akay. Mabigat ang tungkuling pagbabago na nakasaad sa Mateo 23:23-24 ng sabihing “Kahabag-habag kayo, mga tagapagturo ng Kautusan at mga Pariseo! Mga mapagkunwari! Ibinibigay ninyo ang ikasampung bahagi ng naaani ninyong yerbabuena, ruda, linga, ngunit kinakaligtaan naman ninyong isagawa ang mas mahahalagang turo sa Kautusan: ang katarungan, ang pagkahabag, at ang katapatan. Huwag ninyong kaligtaang gawin ang mga ito kahit na tamang gawin ninyo ang pagbibigay ng ikasampung bahagi ng ani. Mga bulag na taga-akay! Sinasala ninyo ang kulisap sa inyong inumin, ngunit nilulunok naman ninyo ang kamelyo!”

Sa ganitong konteksto ng pagasa ay kinakailangan ang sumusunod na gawain:
Ibalik o’ bawiin ang mga taong pinagkaisahan ng UCCP para sa kasalukuyang kaaniban dahil sa naagnas na ang Batayang Kaisahan – Pahayag ng Pagkakaisa ng limang Iglesya na nagkaisa upang buuin ang UCCP.

Kung nawalan na ng saysay ang Batayang Kaisahan-Pahayag ng Pagkakaisa ay inihiwalay na ang theological connections natin sa kasaysayan at tradisyun mula 1948. Huwag payagang manaig ang pagagnas ng mga tradisyun ng UCCP. Malaking pagkakamali ang pagpayag sapagkat humihiwalay sa panalangin ng kaaniban na;

O gracious God, behold your people. You have called us to remain in covenant with you and with one another. From the beginning, you have always been the solid foundation of the Church. Your providence has been our shelter in the storms of life; your strength our stay as we pursue the vision of our founding parents for a united and uniting, reformed and transforming Church.
You have given us diversity of heritage in our union – which has enriched our capacity for witness and reconciliation as a community of faith…”

Itatag ang dating kaayusan ng awtonomiya/kasarinlan ng Iglesya Lokal na siyang prinsipyo ng buhay, ministeryo at misyon ng Iglesya. Ang pamunuan ng Iglesya ay dapat nasa loob ng demokratikong sentralismo. Namamayani sa kalakhan ang Iglesya Lokal sa pag desisyon, pag plano, pag budget, pagsakatuparan ng programa ng UCCP.

Samakatuwid ay huwag payagan ang ultra-sentralismo o ultra-demokratismo sa Iglesya. Ang awtonomiya ng Iglesya Lokal ay respetuhin sapagkat nasa kanila ang locus ng ministeryo at misyon ni Kristo. Supilin natin na humantong sa usaping “ma assert ang karapatan ng Iglesya Lokal na humiwalay sapagkat ang estado ay nawalan na ng effort na pagsilbihan ang kaaniban at ibinabale wala ang kapakanan at pamantayang tipanan.”

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7 Macy, J. and C. Johnstone. 2012. Active Hope: How to face the mess we’re in without getting crazy. New World Library, Novato, CA 94949.
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Ibalik at itayo muli ang mga estruktura at proseso ng Iglesya na batay sa tradisyun at kasaysayan ng Protestantismo sa Pilipinas. Ang pagiging theologically consistent sa nakaraan ay mapapayabong ng spiritual wisdom at correctness ng mga ninuno at naunang mananampalataya ang mga pagkilos ng Iglesya.

Ang isang balakid sa pagbabalik ay ang kiling sa burokratismong pamamaraan na tinutulad ng Iglesya ang gobyerno.
Ang mas demokratiko, simple, efficient, madali at makamasang pamamaraan ang dapat tularan na estruktura at proseso. Walang hierarchy ang UCCP.

Binaklas ng protestantismo ang episcopalian hierarchy. Ito ang konteksto na ang Reverendo, Obispo at Conference Minister ay pangunahin na mga Pastor natin. Sila nga lamang ay may ehekutibo na tungkulin. Masarap nga na marinig na Pastor ang lahat at wala na iyong titulo. Kaya huwag ninyo akong tawagin na ano pa man. Ako ay si Kapatid Noel ninyo.

Panumbalikin ang alab ng ministeryo at misyon ng Iglesya Lokal upang ang kabuuang UCCP ay dumako sa mga intensyon ng pinagkaisahan noong 1948.

Ang ating mga pastors, theologians, priests, diaconal ministers, lay preachers, at administrators ay umangkin ng marahil na 90% ng kanilang panahon at gawa sa kongregasyon ng mga Iglesya Lokal.

Napakaliit kong alagad. Patawad po Panginoong Hesus. Ako ay iyong gamitin. Amen.

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Adopted from Anti-Duhring. ?
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Lay Formation Program Syllabus-Church Doctrines

Diagnostic Activity (Ipaliwanag sa pamamagitan ng hindi hihigit sa 10 salita):

  1. Ang Dios ay nahahayag sa tatlong Persona.
  2. Si Hesukristo ay kapahayagan ng Dios na nagkatawang-tao.
  3. Sa Banal na Hapunan, maaaring makisalo pati ang mga bata.
  4. Sa bawtismo ng bata, ito’y kapahayagan ng pagtanggap sa kaniya sa pamayanan ng pananampalataya.
  5. Ang tao ay naligtas sa kasalanan dahil sa kagandahang loob ng Dios sa pamamagitan ng kanyang pananalig.
  6. Ang paghahari ng Diyos ay mararanasan kung saan pinapakain ang mga nagugutom, binibigyang liwanag ang nasa kadiliman at pinalalaya ang mga bilanggo at sinisiil.

 

Part 1 – Doktrina, Iba’t Ibang Kredo, Bawtismo, Banal na Hapunan

1. Mga Kahulugan

Doktrina – mula sa salitang Latin: doctrina, ito’y tumutukoy sa mga simulain o itinuturong prinsipyo, teoriya o paniniwala. Maaari  itong may kaugnayan sa katuruan ng Iglesya na siyang pinanghahawakan o pinaninindigan upang hindi magkaroon ng pagkalito sa kaisipan ng kaaniban, kung ano ba ang dapat na paniwalaan.

Dogma-Mula sa wikang Griyego na dokein na mga katotohanang itinakda sa pamamagitan ng hindi magkakamaling kapangyarihan ng Simbahan sa pagtuturo na ipinahayag ng Diyos, at sa gayon ay kailangang tanggapin ng lahat ng mananampalataya bilang aral ng pananampalataya.

Creed (kredo)

  • any system of principles or beliefs
  • the written body of teachings of a religious group that are generally accepted by that group
  • A definite summary of what is believed; esp., a summary of the articles of Christian faith; a confession of faith for public use; esp., one which is brief and comprehensive.
  • Paniniwala, pananampalataya
  • Statements of faith o mga pangungusap ng pananampalataya

2. Saan matatagpuan ang doktrina ng United Church of Christ in the Philippines

Declaration of Principles (Article II of the Amended UCCP Constitution)

Section 4. The doctrines and beliefs of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines are based on the Word of God as revealed in the Holy Scriptures and articulated in the historic Christian creeds, expressed in the diverse heritage of faith and practice brought into the union by its uniting Churches, and embodied in its Statement of Faith.

Samakatwid, ang mga doktrina ng UCCP ay

  • Nakabatay sa salita ng Dios na nahahayag sa Bibliya at ipinapahayag sa pamamagitan ng mga Credo ng Iglesya (Apostles’ Creed at Nicene Creed)
  • Isinasabuhay sa pamamagitan ng iba’t ibang pananampalataya at tradisyong minana
  • Pinag-ugnay at binuo sa pamamagitan ng Kapahayagan ng Pananampalataya o UCCP Statement of Faith

3. Mga Kredo

Bakit nagkaroon ng mga kredo sa Iglesya? Bakit ito binuo ng mga pinuno ng pananampalataya sa Iglesya? Masasabing ang pangunahing dahilan ng pagkakaroon ng mga kredo ay ang pag-iral ng hidwaan o pagtatalo hinggil sa kung ano ang dapat paniwalaan sa usapin ng Dios at katangian ng Dios.


Ang kaisipan mula kay Arius
.

Lay Formation Program-Church Doctrines-Arius

Si Arius, ay isang presbyter ng Alexandria noong 318 A.D.  Ang kanyang pananaw sa relasyon ng Dios Ama at ang Anak na si Kristo.  Sa kanya, si Kristo ay likas na mas mataas sa pagiging tao ngunit hindi kapantay ng Dios, may pinagmulan at hindi mag-pasawalang hanggan ang buhay (Christ had a beginning, and was not eternal in existence).

Kontra sa kaisipang ito, may isang taga Alexandria din na nagngangalang Athanasius, siya’y isang deacono lamang at nanindigan na may pagkakaisa ang Ama at Anak, na si Kristo ay Dios at siya’y walang hanggan.  Ang bangayan ay kumalat sa buong Iglesia at di nakayanang isaayos ng emperador Constantino kaya tumawag ng pulong ng mga Obispo sa Nicea sa Bithynia noong 325A.D.   Nabigyan ng pagkakataon si Athanasius na manindigan at nakumbinsi niya ang karamihan sa konsilyo upang tutulan ang katuruan ni Arius.  Dito nabuo ang isang credo (Nicene Creed).

Si Arius ay malakas sa politika at ang kanyang kaisipan ay tinangkilik ng marami sa “upper class,” isa sa kanila ang anak ni Constantino.

Limang beses na itinapon (exiled) si Athanasius at maraming beses din pinatawag.  Siya’y namatay noong 373 A.D.  Ang kanyang pananaw ay naging batayan ng Iglesia, parehong east at west.  Ang pananaw niya ay nasulat sa Athanasian Creed ngunit sa ngayon di-pinaniniwalaang sinulat mismo ito ni Athanasius.

a. Nicene Creed

I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all the worlds; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made.

Who, for us men for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary, and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; He suffered and was buried; and third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and sits on the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end.

And I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of Life; who proceeds from the Father [and the Son]; who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; who spoke by the prophets.

And I believe in the one holy catholic and apostolic Church. I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; and I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

b. Apostles’ Creed

            Tinawag ito na Symbols or Creeds of the Apostles, ito’y unang nailathala noong 390 A.D. at maaring si St. Ambrose (Arsobispo ng Milan) ang siyang nagbuo nito. Isang kredo na tanggap ng mga Arian (o tagasunod ni Arius) dahil ito’y madaling maunawaan.  Nakapaloob dito ang pananampalataya hinggil sa Dios Ama na makapangyarihan sa lahat, kay Jesu-Cristo na bugtong na Anak, at ang Espiritu Santo. Gayon din ang pagkakaisa ng mga mananampalataya sa pamamagitan ng Iglesya, ang kapatawaran sa kasalanan, at ang buhay na walang hanggan. Ang nasabing kredo ay mas pinalaganap noong ika-5 siglo sa bansang Roma.

I believe in God the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth;  And in Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son, our Lord, who was conceived of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crtucified, dead and buried; He descended into hell; the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Christian Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.  Amen.

Sumasampalataya

Sumasampalataya ako sa Dios, Amang makapangyarihan sa lahat; lumalang ng langit at lupa, at kay Jesu-Cristo na Anak ng bugtong Niya, Panginoon natin; na sa hiwaga ng Espiritu Santo, ipinanganak ng Virgen Maria; nagdamdam ng hirap sa kahatulan ni Poncio Pilato; ipinako sa Cruz; namatay at inilibing; sa ikatlong araw nabuhay sa mga patay; umakyat sa langit at umupo sa kanan ng Dios Amang makapangyarihan sa lahat; doon magmumula at paririto upang humukom sa mga buhay at mga patay.

Sinasampalatayan ko ang Espiritu Santo; ang banal na Iglesyang laganap; ang pagkakaisa ng mga banal; ang kapatawaran sa mga kasalanan; ang kabuhayan ng katawan at ang buhay na walang hanggan. Siya nawa.


c. Athanasian Creed

            “And the Catholic faith is this:  That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity; neither confounding the persons, nor dividing the substance.  For there is one Person of the Father; another person of the Son, and another of the Holy Ghost.  But the God-head of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, is all one; the glory equal, the Majesty co-eternal. . . So the Father is God: the Son is God: and the Holy Ghost is God.  And yet there are not three Gods: but one God. . . The Father is made of none: neither created, nor begotten.  The Son is of the Father alone: not made, nor created: but begotten.  The Holy Ghost is of the Father and of the Son: neither made, nor created, nor begotten: but proceeding. . . And in this Trinity none is afore, or after another: none is greater, or less than another.  But the whole three persons are co-eternal, and co-equal.  So that in all things, as aforesaid:  the Unity in Trinity, and the Trinity in Unity, is to be worshipped.”

Bagaman at hindi si Athanasius ang nagbuo nito, kundi mga manunulat sa panahon ika-4 hanggang ika-5 siglo, partikular sa Council of Chalcedon (AD 451), ang nasabing kredo ay kapahayagan ng paniniwala hinggil sa Dios at Hesukristo (katulad din lamang ng nakasaad sa Nicene Creed at Apostles’ Creed). Binigyang diin ang katuruan ng patas na pagkilala sa Tatlong Persona na siyang dapat sambahin.


Mga Sakramento na Itinatag ng Panginoong Hesukristo


Ano ang sakramento?

Sacrament—a rite considered to have been established by Christ as a channel for grace: the Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox sacraments are baptism, the Eucharist, the anointing of the sick, confirmation, holy orders, penance, and matrimony; the Protestant sacraments are (1) Baptism and the (2) Lord’s Supper.


ANG BAWTISMO

Lay Formation Program-Church Doctrines-Jesus' Baptism

Ang bawtismong Kristyano ay nakaugat sa ministeryo ni Hesus ng Nazareth, sa kanyang kamatayan at pagkabuhay na muli. Ito ay isang paglahok kay Kristo, ang Panginoong napako at muling nabuhay. Ito’y isang pagpasok sa isang bagong pakikipagtipan sa pagitan ng Diyos at ng kanyang sambayanan. Ang Bawtismo ay isang kaloob mula sa Diyos at isinasagawa sa pangalan ng Ama, Anak at ng Banal na Espiritu. Itinala ni Mateo na ang nabuhay na Panginoon, nang sinusugo ang Kanyang mga alagad sa sanlibutan ay nag-atas sa kanila na magbawtismo (Mateo 28:18-20). Ang pandaigdigang pagsasagawa ng bawtismo ng Apostolikong Iglesya mula noong una pa ay pinatutunayan sa mga liham sa Bagong Tipan, ang mga Gawa ng mga Apostol, at ang mga sinulat ng mga Ama. Ang mga iglesya ngayon ay nagpapatuloy sa pagsasagawa nito bilang isang ritwal ng pagtatalaga sa Panginoon na nagkakalob ng kanyang biyaya sa kanyang sambayanan.

 

Kahulugan ng Bawtismo

Ang bawtismo ay ang tanda ng bagong buhay sa pamamagitan ni Hesukristo. Pinag-iisa nito ang binawtismuhan kay Kristo at sa mga tao. Ang Bagong Tipan at ang liturhiya ay nagbubukas ng kahulugan ng bawtismo sa iba’t ibang anyo o larawan ng ipinahahayag ng kayamanan ni Kristo at ang mga kaloob ng Kanyang kaligtasan. Ang mga anyo o larawang ito kung minsan ay iniuugnay sa mga simbolikong gamit ng tubig sa Lumang Tipan. Ang Bawtismo ay “pakikilahok sa kamatayan at pagkabuhay na muli ni Kristo (Roma 6:3-5; Colosas 2:12); isang pagbibigay liwanag ni Kristo (Efeso 5:14); isang pagbibihis muli kay Kristo (Galacia 3:27); isang pagpapanibago ng Espiritu (Tito 3:5); ang karanasan ng kaligtasan mula sa baha (I Pedro 3:20-22); isang paglalakbay mula sa pagkaalipin (I Corinto 10:1-2) at ang kalayaan tungo sa bagong katauhan na kung saan ang mga hadlang ng paghahati-hati, maging kasarian o lahi o katatayuang panlipunan ay naiigpawan (Galacia 3:27-28; I Corinto12:13). Ang anyo ay marami ngunit ang katotohanan ay iisa.

 

  1. Pakikilahok sa Kamatayan at Muling Pagkabuhay ni Kristo

Ang bawtismo ay nangangahulugan ng pakikilahok sa buhay, kamatayan at muling pagkabuhay ni Hesukristo. Si Hesus ay lumusong sa ilog ng Jordan at binawtismuhan sa pakikipagkaisa sa mga makasalanan upang matupad ang lahat ng kabanalan o katuwiran (Mateo 3:15). Ang bawtismong ito ay nagbunsod kay Hesus tungo sa landas ng pagiging Nagdurusang Lingkod (Suffering Servant) na ipinahayag sa kanyang paghihirap, kamatayan at muling pagkabuhay (Marcos 10:38-40, 45). Sa bawtismo, ang mga Kristyano’y inilulubog sa mapagpalayang kamatayan ni Kristo kung saan ang kasalanan nila’y inililibing, kung saan ang matandang Adan ay ipinako ni Kristo, at kung saan ang kapangyarihan ng kasalanan ay sinisira. Kay yaong mga binawtismuhan ay di na alipin ng kasalanan, kundi malaya na. Ganap na nakaugnay sa kamatayan ni Kristo, sila’y inililibing kasama Niya at iniaahon dito at ngayon sa isang bagong buhay sa kapangyarihan ng muling pagkabuhay ni Hesukristo, nagtitiwala na sila rin sa katapusan ay magiging isa sa kanya sa muling pagkabuhay ng tulad sa kanya (Roma 6:3-11; Colosas 2:13; 3:1; Efeso 2:5-6).

 

  1. Pagpapanibago, pagpapatawad at paglilinis

Sa bawtismo, kung saan ang bawat Kristyano ay nagiging kabahagi sa ministeryo ng kamatayan at muling pagkabuhay ni Kristo, nagpapahiwatig ito ng taimtim na pagtanggap sa kasalanan at pagpapanibago ng puso. Ang bawtismong isinagawa ni Juan ay bawtismo ng pagsisisi para sa kapatawaran ng mga kasalanan (Marcos 1:4). Nakasaad din sa ibang mga talata ang simbolikong implikasyon ng bawtismo bilang paglilinis sa pamamagitan ng dalisay na tubig, isang paglilinis ng puso sa lahat ng kasalanan upang mamuhay sa katuwiran (Hebreo 10:22, I Pedro 3:21, Mga Gawa 22:16; I Corinto 6:11). Kaya, yaong mga nabawtismuhan ay pinatawad, nilinis at pinaging-banal ni Kristo, at binigyang pag-asa na mamuhay sa kabanalan at katuwiran sa ilalim ng paggabay ng Banal na Espiritu.

 

  1. Pagkilala sa Kaloob ng Espiritu at Pagpapaloob sa Katawan ni Kristo

Ang Banal na Espiritu ay gumagawa sa buhay ng mga tao bago pa at matapos ang kanilang bawtismo. Ito rin ang Espiritu na nagpapahayag kay Hesus bilang Anak (Marcos 1:10-11), nagkaloob ng panibagong lakas (empowered) at nagbigkis sa mga alagad sa Araw ng Pentecoste (Mga Gawa 2). Ang Diyos ay nagkakaloob sa lahat ng nabawtismuhang nilalang ng biyaya ng Banal na Espiritu, nagtatanda sa kanila ng tatak at nagtatanim sa kanilang mga puso ng unang bugso ng kanilang pagmamana bilang mga anak ng Diyos. Ang Banal na Espiritu ay nangangalaga sa buhay ng mga mananampalataya simula sa kanilang pagkilala sa Panginoon hanggang sa kanilang buhay tungo sa kaluwalhatian ng Diyos (2  Corinto 1:21-22; Efeso 1:13-14).

Ang bawtismo ay tanda at tatak ng pagiging isang tagasunod ng Panginoon. Sa pamamagitan ng bawtismo, ang mga Kristiyano ay dinadala sa pakikipag-ugnay at pakikipag-isa kay Kristo, sa isa’t isa, sa iglesya, at  sa buong sangnilikha. Ang iisang bawtismo na nagbubuklod sa atin kay Kristo sa pananampalataya ay iisang bigkis ng pagkakaisa. Tayo ay iisang sambayanan na tinawag upang tanggapin at paglingkuran ang isang Panginoon sa buong sanlibutan.

 

  1. Pagsaksi at Paglilingkod

Ang bawtismo ay kaugnay hindi lamang ng panandaliang karanasan, kundi ng panghabangbuhay na paglago kay Kristo. Yaong mga nabawtismuhan ay tinawag upang magbulay sa kaluwalhatian ng Panginoon habang sila ay binabago ng kapangyarihan ng Banal na Espiritu, na maging tulad Niya, na mayroong palagiang kagandahan (2 Corinto 3:18). Ang buhay ng Kristyano ay marapat na maging isang nagpapatuloy na ugnayan, datapwat isa ring patuloy na karanasan ng biyaya. Sa bagong ugnayang ito, ang nabawtismuhan ay namumuhay para sa kapakanan ni Kristo, ng kanyang iglesya at ng buong sangnilikha (Roma 8:18-24; I Corinto 10:22-28, 49-57).

Habang sila ay lumalago sa buhay-pananampalataya, ang mga binawtismuhan ay nagiging kabahagi sa buhay ng pagsaksi at paglilingkod bilang pagtupad sa misyon ng pagpapalaganap ng Ebanghelyo ni Kristo. Sila’y nagtatalaga ng buhay sa pagsaksi at paglilingkod para sa buong sangnilikha sapagkat kinikilala natin na maliban sa tao, kasama ang ibang nilikha ng Diyos (environment o ecology) sa kanyang pagliligtas mula sa pagkawasak hanggang sa makamit ang ganap na pagpapalaya nito (Roma 8: 19-22).

 

Ang Gawain ng Bawtismo

  • Pagbabawtismo sa mga Mananampalataya at mga Sanggol

Sa daloy ng kasaysayan, ang pagsasagawa ng bawtismo ay nahubog sa iba’t ibang kaanyuan. Ang ibang mga iglesya ay nagbabawtismo ng mga sanggol na dinadala ng mga magulang o ng tagapangalaga na handang dalhin ang mga bata sa pananampalatayang Kristyano ng iglesya. Ang ibang iglesya’y sarilinang isinasagawa ang pagbabawtismo ng mga mananampalataya na personal na nagpapahayag ng kanilang pananalig kay Kristo. Ang ilan sa mga iglesyang ito ay hinihikayat ang mga sanggol o bata na ihaharap at pagpapalain sa isang gawain na kadalasa’y kinapapalooban ng pagpapasalamat para sa kaloob na sanggol at gayundin ng mga pagtatalaga ng ina at ama sa pagiging Kristyanong magulang.

Ang pagbabawtismo sa mga mananampalataya at sa mga sanggol ay kapwa ginaganap sa iglesya bilang pamayanan ng pananampalataya. Kapag ang sinoman na makatutugon para sa kanyang sarili ay nabawtismuhan, ang isang pansariling kapahayagan ng pananampalataya ay isang mahalagang bahagi ng gawain ng pagbabawtismo. Kapag ang sanggol ay binabawtismuhan, naniniwala tayo na ang biyaya ng Banal na Espiritu ang siyang pumapaloob sa buhay ng bata at ng kanyang mga magulang bilang tagapag-akay tungo sa kaganapan ng kanyang pagkilala kay Hesukristo. Inaasahan na sa kanyang pagtanda, siya na mismo ang tutugon upang ipahayag ang kanyang pananampalataya at pagtatalaga ng buhay ng pagkabawtismo.

Ang binawtismuhang tao ay dapat lumago sa pagkaunawa sa pananampalataya. Para sa mga sanggol o mga bata, malaki ang tungkulin ng sambahayan ng mga mananampalataya upang maturuan at gabayan sila sa kanilang buhay.

Paalala:  “Ang bawtismo ay isang di-mauulit na gawa.”  Ano mang gawi na maaaring matawag na “muling pagbabawtismo” ay dapat iwasan.

 

  • Ang Pagdiriwang ng Bawtismo

Ang bawtismo ay isinasagawa nang may tubig “Sa pangalan ng Ama, ng Anak at ng Espiritu Santo” (Mateo 28: 19).

Sa pagdiriwang ng bawtisimo, ang simbolikong paglalarawan sa tubig ay dapat seryosong tingnan at hindi pinabababa. Ang gawa ng paglulubog ay malinaw na maipahahayag ang katotohanan na sa bawtismo, ang Kristyano ay lumalahok sa kamatayan, paglilibing at muling pagkabuhay ni Kristo.

Tulad ng kalagayan sa unang mga siglo, ang kaloob ng Espiritu sa bawtismo ay maaaring magtanda sa mga dagdag na pamamaraan; halimbawa, sa tanda ng pagpapatong ng mga kamay, at sa pagpapahid o “pagtatalaga.”

Ang bawtismo ay karaniwang isinasagawa ng isang lisensyado o ordinadong ministro bagamat sa ilang mga pagkakataon ang iba’y pinahihintulutang magbawtismo (halimbawa sa Church of Christ Disciples).

Yamang ang bawtismo ay malapit na nakaugnay sa kabuuang buhay at pananambahan ng Iglesya, ito ay dapat normal na isagawa sa panahon ng pangkapulungang pananambahan, upang ang mga kaanib ng kapulungan ay mapaalalahanan ng kanila mismong pagbabawtismo at tanggapin sa kapatiran yaong mga binawtismuhan at kanilang pinagtalagahang pangangalagaan sa pananampalatayang Kristyano.

 

Pamamaraan ng Bawtismo (Modes of Baptism)

1. Buhos (pouring) – isinasagawa sa pagbinyag o pagbawtismo ng isang sanggol o bata

2. Lubog (immersion) – isinasagawa sa isang kabataan o nakatatanda

Naniniwala ang sambahayang Kristyano na hindi makapagliligtas ang bawtismo sa ano mang kasalanan. Maski ang pamamaraan (mode) ng bawtismo ay hindi katiyakan ng kaligtasan. Kundi dahil sa kagandahang loob o biyaya ng Diyos ay naligtas ang tao sa pamamagitan ng pananalig kay Kristo (Efeso 2: 8-9). Magkagayon man, kinikilala ng ating Iglesya ang dalawang uri o pamamaraan ng bawtismo na siyang naging kaugalian ng ating mga ninuno sa pananampalataya.


ANG BANAL NA HAPUNAN

Lay Formation Program-Church Doctrines-Banal na Komunyon

Batayang Teksto:

1Corinto 11:23  Sapagka’t tinanggap ko sa Panginoon ang ibinibigay ko naman sa inyo; na ang Panginoong Jesus nang gabing siya’y ipagkanulo ay dumampot ng tinapay:

1Corinto 11:24  At nang siya’y makapagpasalamat, ay kaniyang pinagputolputol, at sinabi, Ito’y aking katawan na pinagputolputol dahil sa inyo: gawin ninyo ito sa pagaalaala sa akin.

1Corinto 11:25  At gayon din naman hinawakan ang saro pagkatapos na makahapon, na sinasabi, Ang sarong ito’y siyang bagong tipan sa aking dugo: gawin ninyo ito sa tuwing kayo’y magsisiinom. Sa pagaalaala sa akin.

1Corinto 11:26  Sapagka’t sa tuwing kanin ninyo ang tinapay na ito, at inuman ninyo ang saro, ay inihahayag ninyo ang pagkamatay ng Panginoon hanggang sa dumating siya.

 

Mga Kahulugan ng Banal na Hapunan

  1. Pagpapasalamat sa Diyos

Sa Banal na Hapunan (o Eukaristiya) ang Iglesia ay nagkakaroon ng pagpapasalamat sa kabutihan ng Diyos at sa pagpapasalamat ay tinatanggap ang pagpapala na nagmumula sa Diyos na hindi kayang punuin sa sariling lakas. 

Marami tayong dapat pasalamatan sa Diyos.  Sabi nga ng manunulat ng Tesalonica “Sa lahat ng mga bagay ay magpasalamat kayo sapagka’t ito ang kalooban ng Dios kay Cristo tungkol sa inyo” (1 Tesalonica 5:18 .)

Mahirap magpasalamat sa Diyos sa mga karanasang mabibigat na nagbibigay sa atin ng maraming katanungan.  Kung ikaw ay dumaan sa isang malubhang sakit at halos naubos ang inyong  salapi.  Kung ikaw ay kailanma’y hindi pa napapagaling sa iyong karamdaman sa tagal ng panahon.  Kung ikaw ay ninakawan, pinagsamantalahan, nasunugan, pinagsarhan ng bangko,  at iba pang kagaya ng mga ito, marahil magdadalawang-isip kang magpasalamat.

Madali at mabilis magpasalamat kung tayo ay nakatatanggap ng pagpapala.  Kadalasa’y napapaawit ka, napapangiti, maaliwalas ang mukha at hindi maipinta ang kasiyahan o kaligayahan sa buhay.

Datapwa’t kung tayo ay kabahagi ng komunyon ng Panginoon ay nalalagpasan natin lahat.  Unang-una ipinagpapasalamat natin ang ating buhay dahil mayroon pa tayong hininga, humahakbang pa, humihinga pa, at nakakakain pa.

Ito’y isang pagkakataon din na ating kilalalnin ang kadakilaan ng Diyos sa kanyang hangarin na maipagkasundo ang nagkasala sa kanya at sa kanyang kabanalan.  Masarap damhin na tayong dating palaboy ay may tahanan na tutuluyan at tayo’y tuluyang tinatanggap.  Tayong dating suwail, rebelde sa Diyos ay ipinagkasundo na at tayo ang nagsasalita sa kapakanan ng buong mundo.

Ang Banal na Hapunan ay isang kapahayagan ng biyaya ng Diyos na lipos ng kahabagan.  Ang Diyos ay kumilos para sa ating ikabubuti at ikararangal.

Sa ating pagsasalo-salo sa Banal na Hapunan, iniuukol natin ang pagpupuri at pasasalamat sa mga bagay na hindi natin magawa sa ating buhay ngunit ito’y binigyang pansin at halaga.

 

  1. Isang Pag-alaala kay Kristo

Sa salitang English ay “remembrance,” ano ba ang dapat nating bigyang alaala?  Di kaya dapat alalahanin ng bawat isa na may isang Kristo na nakipamuhay sa sanlibutan, napako sa krus, at muling nabuhay.

Ngunit ito’y hindi lang pag-aalaala kung bakit humantong sa kamatayan si Jesu-Kristo.  Kailangang maitanong natin ang ating sarili, bakit kaya namatay si Jesu-Kristo?  Dahil walang kabuluhan ang pagsasalu-salo kung alam natin na may namatay sa krus, hindi talos kung bakit siya namatay.

Ang Banal na Hapunan ay isang pag-aalaala at ito’y nangangahulugan ng pagbabalik-tanaw sa kahabaghabag na kalagayan ng tao na gustong baguhin ng Dios.  Ang taong nagkasala ay hinahango ng Dios mula sa kanyang kinasadlakan upang siya ay magsisi.  Dahil sa kanyang kalagayang papunta sa kapahamakan, ang Dios ay nagpadama ng kanyang pagmamahal para bumalik ang tao sa dati niyang kalagayan na noong pa bago siya maging tao ay iniangkop na ng Dios ang katangian at pagkatao na kawangis niya.

Tayo ay nagkatipon upang bigyang diin ang ating sarili sa harapan ng Dios na banal at mapagmahal.  Ang pag-aalaala ay tinatanong din sa ating sarili ang, “Sino tayo sa nakaraan at sino tayo ngayon? Ano tayo noon at ano tayo ngayon?”

 

  1. Isang paghibik ng Espiritu

Tuwing tayo’y nagkakatipon ay nagbabahaginan ng tinapay at saro.  Ito’y nangangahulugang humihibik ang Espiritu ng Dios.

Ang paghibik sa English ay “groan,” na ang ibig sabihin, “to make a deep, inarticulate sound expressive of derision or disapproval.”

Ang humihibik ay may malalim na paghinga dahil sa isang kalagayan.  Ang kalagayang ito ay maaaring para sa tao at para sa buong sangnilikha.  Ang Espiritu ay humihibik dahil hindi sumasang-ayon sa kalagayan ng tao at sangnilikha na patungo sa pagkawasak.  Ito ay kanyang ikinalulungkot; ito’y kanyang iniiyakan dahil ito’y hindi kalooban ng Tagapaglikha.

Sa kabilang banda, ang paghibik ay isang pakikipag-ugnayan, pakikiusap, at paghingi.  Sa Roma 8:26, nakasaad: “At gayon din naman ang Espiritu ay tumutulong sa ating kahinaan: sapagka’t hindi tayo marunong manalangin ng nararapat; nguni’t ang Espiritu rin ang namamagitan dahil sa atin ng mga hibik na hindi maisasaysay sa pananalita”.  Ang Espiritu ay nakikiusap sa Diyos para sa ating kalagayan, kapakanan.  Siya ang namamagitan para sa atin. Kung magkagayon, nakikiusap siya sa Ama, at nakikiusap din sa atin. 

Sa pamamagitan ng Banal na Hapunan, ang Espiritu ay nakikiusap sa bawat isa sa atin na magpatuloy tayo sa kabanalan kung saan tayo tinawag ng Dios sa pamamagitan ng dugo ni Kristo.  Gayon din nakikiusap ang Espiritu sa Diyos na marapatin niya tayong maging katanggap-tanggap sa kanya. Marapat lamang na ating pakinggan ang paghibik ng Espiritu sa atin sa pamamagitan ng ating pagtanggap ng tinapay at alak.  At ating italaga ang sarili sa pamamagitan din ng ating paghibik sa Espiritu.

 

  1. Pagsasama-sama ng mga Mananampalataya

Sa isang tahanan, ang dulang ay napakahalaga.  Dahil dito nagkakatipon ang magkakasambahay.  Dito nila tinatamasa at pinakikinabangan ang anumang pagpapala na pinaghirapan ng buong sangbahayan.  Ang kabawasan ng kaanib sa dulang ay nangangahulugang may nanghina, marahil sa kalusugan, sa aspetong psychological o anumang bagay na bumabagabag at humahadlang sa pakikisalo at pakikisalamuha. Ang mga malalang karamdaman ng mga mahihina ay dapat tugunan ng malalakas.

Dito rin nila maisasaayos ang anumang gusot o sigalot ng sinumang kaanib.  Sa dulang kahit may nagtatampo ang mahalaga ay makisalo sa anumang pagpapala.  Sa dulang kahit may hinanakit sa kasambahay ang mahalaga ay makisama sa ikasusundo ng buong sambahayan.

Ang Banal na Hapunan ay isang larawan ng pagsasamasama ng mga mananampalataya sa kabila ng kanilang individual differences. Sa kabila ng magkakaibang paninindigan at pagtingin sa isang bagay, sa kabila ng pag-aalilangan sa isa’t-isa, ay magagawang magkaisa ang Iglesia upang isulong ang mga layunin.  Ang sambayanan ay maaaring magkaisa para sa ikauunlad at ikalalakas ng bawat kaanib.  Sa dulang ng Panginoon, ito’y larawan ng paghahari ng Diyos at ng isang bagong pamayanan kung saan naroon ang pagkakasundo at pagkabuklod ng pag-ibig ng Diyos.  Ang dating pagkatao na puno ng pagkakahati-hati at pagkamakasarili ay binago at patuloy na binabago ng Diyos para sa isang pamayanang aktibong namumuhay para sa buhay na ganap at kasiya-siya.

Masasabi nating ang Banal na Hapunan ay patikim (foretaste) ng kaharian ng Diyos kung madama natin ang kahalagahan ng bawat isa.  Ang narating natin sa kaalaman, mga kasaganaan natin sa mga materyal na bagay, mga lahi natin, ang mga katanyagan natin ay hindi hadlang sa malaya at makabuluhang ugnayan; bagkus ang mga ito ay kasangkapan ng Diyos upang ang mahihina, ang mga walang kaya sa buhay, ang mga taong hindi pinapansin ay mabibigyang puwang at halaga.  Ang iisang uri at lasa ng tinapay, ang iisang uri at lasa ng alak para sa lahat ng nakibahagi o nakisalo ay kapahayagan ng pantay-pantay na pagtingin ng Diyos sa lahat. 

 

LEARNERS’ ACTIVITY:   Magsagawa ng repleksyon hinggil sa dalawang sakramento na kinikilala ng UCCP

           

PART 2 – A Study on the UCCP Statement of Faith

Ang Kapahayagan ng Pananampalatayang UCCP

SUMASAMPALATAYA KAMI
Sa IISANG DIOS: Manlilikha, Tagapagligtas at Gabay na siyang nagkakaloob ng kaayusan, layunin, kahulugan at kaganapan sa sangnilikha.  Na kay KRISTO JESUS, ipinanganak ni Maria, Dios na nagkatawang tao at siyang makapangyarihang Panginoon ng buhay at kasaysayan.  Na sa BANAL NA ESPIRITU ay naririto sa sanlibutan, nagbibigay kapangyarihan at gumagabay sa mga mananampalataya upang maunawan at maipamuhay ang pananampalataya kay Kristo.

SUMASAMPALATAYA KAMI
Na ang TAO ay nilikha sa larawan ng Dios, itinalaga sa pamayanan kasama ng Dios, ng kaniyang kapwa at ng sangnilikha.  Na sa pagsuway ay naging makasalanan, sa biyaya dahilan sa pananampalataya kay HesuKristo ay iniligtas.  Na sa pagkakatiwala ng Dios sa sangnilikha ay tinawag na lumahok sa pagtatatag ng isang makatarungan at mahabaging kaayusang panlipunan.

SUMASAMPALATAYA KAMI
Na ang IGLESIA ay isang katawan ni Kristo, ang pamayanan ng mga taong ipinagkasundo sa Dios sa pamamagitan ni Kristo Hesus at pinagkatiwalaan ng ministeryo ng Dios.

SUMASAMPALATAYA KAMI
Na ang BANAL NA KASULATAN ay matapat at kinasihang saksi ng Dios sa kanyang pagpapakilala sa pamamagitan ni Kristo Hesus at sa kasaysayan upang magbigay liwanag, gumabay, magtuwid at magturo sa mga mananampalataya sa kanilang pananampalataya at pagsaksi.

 SUMASAMPALATAYA KAMI
Na ang Dios ay kumikilos upang gawing isang bagong nilalang kay Kristo ang bawat tao at ang buong daigdig na maging kanyang kaharian kung saan ang pag-ibig, katarungan at kapayapaan ay naghahari. 

Ang KAHARIAN NG DIOS ay naroroon kung saan ang pananampalataya kay Kristo Hesus ay ibinabahagi, ang pagpapagaling ay ibinibigay sa mga may sakit, ang pagkain ay ibinibigay sa nangagugutom, ang liwanag ay ibinibigay sa mga bulag at ang kalayaan ay ibinibigay sa mga bilanggo at inaapi.

SUMASAMPALATAYA KAMI
Na sa PAGKABUHAY MULI ni Kristo Hesus ay nagapi niya ang kamatayan at nagbigay katiyakan sa mga mananampalataya ng buhay sa kabila ng kamatayan.  At tumitingin kami sa hinaharap sa kanyang PAGBABALIK ng buong kaganapan at kaluwalhatian upang gawing bago ang sangnilikha at tipunin ang lahat ng mananampalataya sa ilalim ng kanyang paghahari.Amen.

(Revised in 1992 by the UCCP Faith and Order Committee)

WHY WE ARE UCCP
(Song)

We believe in one God, Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer of everyone’s life
In Jesus Christ, God became human and rules as Lord of lords
In Spirit, God guides us all along.

 Refrain:
That’s why we are UCCP
It taught us just what the Lord had said
To live a life in community with God and all
Assured of life even after death
No more sorrow and no more defeat
There’s only love, justice and peace—all creation new.

 The kingdom of God is present where faith in Christ is shared
Where healing is given to the sick;
Where food is bestowed to the hungry and light is to the blind;
And freedom for captives and oppressed.

(Repeat Refrain)

 There’s only love, justice and peace… UCCP!

 

 

========================================================

 

 

References:

 

Dingayan, Luna L. “A Catechetical Guide on the UCCP Statement of Faith.” Baguio City: Ecumenical Theological Seminary.

 

Faith and Order Commission, UCCP. Unless a Seed Falls and Dies: Commentaries on the UCCP Statement of Faith. Manila: UCCP. 2010.

 

Manwal Para sa Kumpirmasyon, South Luzon Jurisdiction, UCCP.

 

Niguidula, Lydia N. Celebration: A Sourcebook for Christian Worship. Quezon City: New Day Publishers, 2004.

 

 

 

———————-

1Inihanda nina Rev. Jimmy Dolo at Rev. Leiza Dolo

Revised September 13,  2018

 

Lay Formation Program Syllabus-Bible

TOPIC:          BIBLE

 TITLE:         “THE BOOK OF ALL BOOKS”

Lay Formation Program Syllabus-Bible

 DESCRIPTION:

Ang pag-aaral tungkol sa Bibliya ay tumatalakay sa Banal na Kasulatan bilang aklat na kinasihan ng Banalin na Espiritu at nagpapahayag ng ugnayan ng Diyos sa tao sa pamamagitan ng kasaysayan ng mga Israelita bilang baying pinili ng Diyos hanggang sa pagtagos ng ugnayang ito maging sa mga taong sumampalataya kay Kristo.


OBJECTIVES:

General:

Matutuhan, maunawaan at maisapamuhay ang pag-ibig at pagliligtas ng Diyos sa sangkatauhan sa pamamagitan ng Banal na Kasulatan.

 

Specific:

  1. Maunawaan ang Banal na Kasulatan sa kanyang orihinal na konteksto mula sa kasaysayan kanyang pagkabuo hanggang sa kanyang pag-aangkop sa kasalukayang panahon.
  2. Makaugalian ng mga mag-aaral ang magsaliksik, magbulay ng Banal na Kasulatan tungo sa pagbabago ng indibiduwal na buhay, buhay ng sambayanan, Iglesya at pamayanan.
  3. Maging kagami-gamit sa ministeryo ng Iglesya sa pamamagitan ng pagtuturo at pangangaral.

 

OUTLINE:

  1. Nature and Characteristics of the Bible
  2. Stages in the Development of Bible Writings
  • Three-Way Understanding of the Bible
  1. The Biblical Writers
  2. The Biblical Story
  3. The framework of Social Analysis Applied to Biblical Studies
  • Understanding the Philippine Historical Context of Biblical


Interpretation

 REQUIREMENTS:

Magsulat ng isang reflection paper ( minimum of 150 words) hinggil sa makahulugang kaalamang natuklasan ng mag-aaral hinggil sa Bibliya.

 

REFERENCES:

Capulong, N. C.  “We believe … in the Holy Bible”. Reprinted from Like a

        Mustard Seed: Commentaries on the UCCP Statement of Faith, 1987.

 Capulong, N. C. “Like a Two-Edged Sword”.

 Dingayan, L. l. Bible in Context (12 Modules).

Edwards, B. Library Forms and Biblical Interpretation.

Harper and Row. Introduction to the Bible.

 

THE BIBLE:  THE BOOK OF ALL BOOKS

 

I. NATURE AND CHARACTERISTICS OF THE BIBLE

1. Living Word of God

The Bible is the Word of God, but it is not the words of God. Within its words is housed the Word, which is changeless and eternal.

2. Affirmation of Faith

The Bible is a book of history but it does not claim to be objective history, with its primary focus on the covenantal relationship of God with people. It, therefore, views and interprets historical events from within the context of that faith relationship.

3. Protest Writing

It is a written record of protests against the abuses and oppression of empires (Exodus 3), the idolatry and apostasy of the monarchs (Micah 3), the hypocrisies of the political-religious leaders (Amos 5; Matthew 23), and so on.

4. Minority Report

It is written from the point of view of a persecuted minority, who are struggling to be faithful to their God in the midst of powerful empires that dominates their land and people.

5. Library

The Bible is a library. A literal meaning of the word “bible” is “book of books”.  It is 66 books for Protestants, 73 for Catholics.

The 39 books of the Old Testament tell the story of God’s dealings with Israel and the 27 books of the New Testament tell the story of Jesus and the church that followed Him.

To call the Bible a “library” means that there are different types of literature between its two covers. There is drama, history, law code, song, and poetry. There are gospels, parables, letters, and more.

6. Language of Relationship

The Bible is more concerned with “the why” questions of life than “the how” questions. Thus, it is not a science book. It is written from within the worldviews of its writers, a worldview quite different from that of the present day. Nonetheless, it claims that God is God of all creation, that Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection have cosmic implications, and that people are an integral part of creation, as well as called to be stewards of it.

7. Product of Life Experience and Faith

The Biblical people lived their religion within the drama of life, long before there was a written Bible. Out of this, lived faith inspired writers to put together their traditions and wrote books which became their sacred Scriptures.

 

II. Levels or Categories of the Word of God

Capulong, in his “Two Edged Sword”,  enumerated the following levels or categories of the Word of God:

  1.  The Creative Word (Genesis 1 – The Creation Story)

When God speaks the Word, “Let there be light, and so on …” then it  become so. Our life, our environment, our world, the whole universe, our total existence have all come to be mainly because of the Word of God that creates and now sustains us. This is the Word that creates and gives life and sustains it, as we can see in the creation story in both Genesis 1 and 2. Without this creating, sustaining Word of God, we are nothing,.

  1. The Prophetic Word

The Hebrew term for the “word” that is uttered by God to create through speech (dabhar Elohim – word of God) is actually the same term used in creating events in history and judging it. When the prophet makes the announcement, “Thus says the Lord … !” (kho dabhar YHWH), the prophet in effect becomes the very mouthpiece through which the Lord speaks. The announcements can be in terms of judgment, or salvation, condemnation or forgiveness, denunciation or restoration, punishment or assurance of hope and comfort. These  can very well seen in the books of Hosea, Micah, Habakkuk and others.

  1. The Wisdom Counsel (hokmah)

This is the word spoken through the wise men and women as seen in the Books of Proverbs, mainly addressed to the young, to train them proper manners, values and priorities and mature decision making. The goal is for the attainment of life that is at peace with each other in the community and with their environment. This is the word that teaches various community affirming values such as respect for elders, frugality, true friendship, and proper moral conduct, kindness and compassion towards the poor. It teaches also the traits of a good leader, the fear of the Lord as the real beginning of wisdom.

  1. The Word of God Revealed in Person, Jesus Christ (Logos)

Thus, Jesus Christ, for all believers, becomes the most complete, most authentic, most profound word by God. Jesus Christ is the Word of God, that has become flesh (John 1: 1, 14). This is also very eloquently stated  in John 1: 1-3  “We declare to you what was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the word of life – this life was revealed, and we have seen it and testify to it, and declare to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed to us” (NRSV). He is the Word that was not only uttered and heard but has been seen, and encountered concretely, and faithfully witnessed to by His disciples.

 

III. STAGES IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF BIBLE WRITING

1. Oral Tradition

The Bible did not miraculously fall down from heaven; it is a product of a long process of development from the oral stage to its present form. It started as stories of people’s encounter with the living God, preserved in the collective memory of the community. These stories were orally transmitted from one generation to another. They were remembered, especially in celebrations (Deuteronomy 26: 4– 10; Luke 22: 14-23), in the preaching, teaching or in responding in the community of faith.

2. Written Tradition

The stories of faith now recorded in the Old Testament, which were handed down from one generation to another, were finally put down into writing: firstly, in very crude forms, like in  tablets of stones, barks of trees, skins of animals or papyrus sheets. Later on, they were preserved in scrolls. The stories were written independently from each other. These independent writings were then compiled, edited and formed into books.

3. Canonization

Canon comes the Hebrew word Kaneh, which means a reed. A reed can be used to measure something. The Greek word for it, Kanon, means a measuring rod. Applied to the Bible, the term canon refers to a norm of revealed truth, a rule of faith.

4. Translation

The Old Testament was written, for the most part, in Hebrew. A few sections were written in Aramaic, a sister language of Hebrew. Some of the later books of Apocrypa were composed in Greek. The whole of the Old Testament was translated into Greek about 200 years before Christ. It was known as Septuagint. It literally means seventy, the number of Jewish scholars who, according to an ancient legend, did the translation.

The Septuagint was used by Christian missionaries, such as Paul, among Greek-speaking non-Christians.

The whole New Testament, on the other hand, was written in Greek.

 

THREE-WAY UNDERSTANDING OF THE BIBLE

 1. The Bible may be understood on the theological level as the Word of God, and as a witness to an affirmation of faith in the God who is revealed in its pages. The Bible is understood in primarily theological concepts. The Bible is a document that records the deep theological reflections of the people of God, their confession of faith in this God whom they recognize, from Genesis, as the sole Lord ofthe creator of the heavens and the earth, to Revelation, as the great judge and re-creator of all that is. Through the pages of these documents, God’s people are also making the confession of their faith in a God who acts in history in order to save and liberate the oppressed,  and who came to identify himself with His own people. The Bible easily becomes the source of the most profound theological expression of God’s people.

2. The Bible may be understood on the textual level, as literature, that is as the word that is expressed and recorded by his people in typical literary forms of expression, such as historical narrative, poetry or song, prophetic oracle or sayings, or proverbs, parables, epistles, and many others. Each literary form reflects a particular cultural background and historical situation to which the Word of God is initially addressed. The form of the literature of Biblical material also provides a very important key in understanding the original cultural and historical background of the material and in eventually at arriving the message of the text.

3. The Bible on the historical level, being the Word of God that is incased in a particular culturally bound literary form, may also be understood as a record of history. It records the history of Israel as a nation and as people of God. As such Biblical literature, even as it contains the Word of God, also contains records of events portraying the origins, the rise, fall, and the reconstitution of Israel as a nation, and the birth of Christianity as a religion. The Bible presents itself as a history of a people, even as it may also be seen as a history of ideas and of faith, as well as a collection of varied forms of literature.

 

THE BIBLICAL WRITERS

Old Testament or Hebrew Bible

  1. Yahwist (from Yaweh) – 950 – 920 BCE
  2. Elohist (from Elohim) –  875 – 800 BCE
  3. Deuteronimist (from Deuter meaning second & nomos meaning law)

– 700 – 650 BCE

  1. Priestly (from Priests) – 580 – 540 BCE (Babylonian Exile)
  2. Wisdom Writers – 538 – 333 BCE
  3. Apocalyptic Writers – 330 –    63 BCE (Greek period)
  4. Prophetic Writers

New Testament or Christian Testament             

  1. Paul – 50 – 70 CE
  2. Mark – 70 CE/Rome
  3. Matthew – 80 – 90 CE
  4. Luke – 80 – 90 CE
  5. John – 95 – 100 CE
  6. Writer of Peter – 64 CE
  7. Writer of Hebrews – 70 CE
  8. James – 60 – 80 CE
  9. Jude – 80 – 90 CE
  10. Writer of Revelation – 96 CE
  11. Writer of the Johannine Letter  (I, II, III) – 100 CE
  12. Writer of II Peter – 100 CE

 

  1. THE BIBLICAL STORY

Genesis- A pre-historical set of tales and sagas.

  • Creation stories; Pre-Israel Sagas; Noah; Abraham; Jacob; Isaac; Joseph to Egypt

Exodus– Calling of Moses; Exodus from Egypt; Journey in Wilderness; Receiving the Law

Leviticus– Levitical laws (laws of the Levite priesthood)

Numbers– In the wilderness (40 years of wandering and the sending of 12 spies into Canaan

Deuteronomy– The Second Law, a re-interpretation of the events of the Exodus,the Law, the wilderness and settlement in a way that supported a centralized location for worship- the temple.

Joshua– The settlement of Canaan

Judges– Stories of tribal heroes and how they held unto their territory

Ruth– The story of David’s ancestry from a Canaanite grandmother

1 Samuel– The story of the prophet Samuel and the rise of Israel’s first king, King Saul.

II Samuel– The story of David’s unification of the 12 tribes and his protection of the nation against invaders.

I & II Kings– The story of Solomon through the civil war that divided the kingdom. It continues of the history with the destruction of Israel’s northern kingdom by Assyria (721 BCE) and the exile of the southern kingdom to Babylon (586 BCE). With Elijah and Elisha as prophets.

Chronicles– Tells the stories of Israel from the creation of the world down to the beginnings of the Persian Empire, with special emphasis upon the rise of the Davidic Kingdom, Solomon’s rule, the divided kingdom and the exile until the Persian King, King Cyrus, allows them to return.

Ezra & Nehemiah– Tell the building of the Jewish culture around the temple, following  the return of the exiles to Judah.

Esther– A tale of Esther who protests the Jews from persecution during the reign of the Persians.

Job– Its setting is “in the land of Ur” (Job 1:1), which probably means the great Syrian desert east and northeast of Palestine. It deals with the timeless, universal problem of human suffering. In literary form, it is a majestic drama addressing the lofty subject of God’s dealings with men.

The Psalms–  Sort of hymnal for the Israelites. About half of the 150 psalms are attributed to David, but most of the others are anonymous.

The Book of Proverbs– A collection of collections of wisdom , sayings written by Solomon gathered over a considerable period of time.

Ecclesiastes, The Preacher– Is credited to the “Son of David, King of Jerusalem” (1:1). Its  main is sounded at once: “Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity” (1:2). “Vanity” literally means emptiness.

Songs of Solomon- Commonly referred to as Canticles. It is also attributed to this king (1:1). In typical Oriental language, it describes the joy of marital love.

Isaiah– The ministry of Isaiah is dated from about 740 BCE. He prophesied in the southern kingdom of Judah and presumably wrote his matchless book near the close of this period. There is little doubt that most of the first 39 chapters come from the mouth of the prophet Isaiah who advised King Hezekiah during the Assyrian attacks. Chapters 36 – 39, consist largely of historical records of the invasion and Hezekiah’s response to it. Part of Chapters 40 – 66 deals with the exile of Judah in Babylon and the rest addresses the Jews in Judah.

Hosea– Contemporary with Isaiah (750 – 736 BCE) who prophesied in the northern kingdom of Israel. He made a dramatic plea to the Lord’s wife, Israel, to return to her rightful husband, leaving the false gods. But it was in vain.

Amos– Maybe the earliest of the writing prophets; he is perhaps to be dated around 760 BCE. His emphasis was on social righteousness. He preached in North Israel, especially in Bethel.

Micah– The date of the ministry of Micah is the same as that of Isaiah (740 – 700 BCE). He, too, prophesied in the southern kingdom of Judah. In common with Amos, he struck out vigorously against the oppression of the poor. Also included as contemporaries are Joel, Obadiah and Jonah in this period.

Jeremiah– Prophesied during the last 40 years of the southern kingdom of Judah (626 – 586 BCE). He is called “the weeping prophet” (9:1). The prophet’s visions and messages were written down and the result is the largest book in the Bible.

Ezekiel– He was the Lord’s prophet to His people in Babylonian captivity. Taken in an early deportation, he apparently ministered 22 years (593 – 571BCE). Described a future ideal state of Israel. The book is highly apocalyptic.

Daniel– Prophesied in Babylonia (606 – 536 BCE). The book of Daniel is the apocalypse of the Old Testament though there are apocalyptic elements in other books like Ezekiel.

Joel- 3rd or 4th century. Vividly described a terrifying plague of locusts. Then he makes a two-fold application to the coming punishment of Judah and to “ the day of the Lord”. The latter expression is the key phrase of this book.

Jonah– Ministered during the reign of Jeroboam II of Israel (787 – 747 BCE). Told to warn Nineveh of its impending doom, he tried to run away. When Nineveh repented, he complained. The book shows the folly of racial pride, and also God’s love for humanity.

Nahum– Generally between 663 – 612 BCE. He predicted the destruction of Nineveh, which took place in the latter year. Israel’s ancient foe, Assyria, was finally punished for her sins when her capital city fell.

Habakkuk– Prophesied in the same 7th century, near the end (603 BCE). He foretold the coming punishment of Judah by the Babylonians.

Zephaniah– About 625 BCE, he blasted out against the idolatry of Judah.

Haggai & Zechariah– Both began their ministry at the same time (520 BCE).

Malachi– Around 450 BCE. It is the last book of the Old Testament. The name means “my messenger”. Looking across the four centuries ahead, he predicted the coming of the Messiah.

The Jews arranged their sacred books into three groups: the Law, the Prophets, and the Writings. The Law consisted of the Pentateuch, the five books from Genesis to Deuteronomy. The Jews attached great importance to this section because it contained the laws given by God to Moses and also the record of Israel’s early history.

The Prophets is divided into two groups, the “former” and the “latter” prophets. This section contained messages of men like Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel, as well as historical books of Joshua, Samuel and Kings.

The Writings included some later books of history (Ezra, Nehemiah, Chronicles), the Psalms, the apocalyptic Daniel and the wisdom books of Job, Proverbs and Ecclesiastes.

We cannot know for certain how the Old Testament Books were collected into their present order. It is possible that the scribe Ezra, whose story is in the biblical book Ezra, or other people during his lifetime (the 5th century BCE) were engaged in arranging  and collecting these sacred books together. This is strongly held in Jewish tradition. But collections of parts of Pentateuch, some of the messages of the prophets and some psalms and proverbs are known to have existed much earlier than this.


Between the Testaments, the following took place:

  • The rise of Greece (336 BCE)
  • Judah under Ptolemies (323 -198 BCE)
  • Judah under the Greeks (175 -163 BCE)
  • The Maccabean Revolt (167 -142 BCE)
  • The Conquest of Galilee (104 BCE – 76 CE)
  • The Roman Influence (63 CE)
  • The Zealot Movement (66 CE)
  • The Destruction of the Temple (70 CE)
  • The Defeat of the Jews (73 CE)

For 500 years, the Jews have rarely been their own masters in the land of Israel. Even when King Cyrus of Persia had released them from captivity in Babylonia, they were soon subject to the Greeks and the Romans. The nation groaned under the burden of taxes paid to a foreign power and of being forced to take part in activities reflecting an alien culture. During the 200 years before Christ,  came stirrings of hope for a Messiah who would deliver them from the oppressors but when Jesus was born, He was not recognized as the deliverer He later claimed to be. He was crucified as a blasphemer for he claimed to be able to release people from the greater oppression of their own failure to live as  God had intended they should. But from that event has sprung the Christian faith, and the claim that Jesus, though crucified, still lives on.

 

The Birth of Christianity

 1. Jesus and His World

  • Jesus’ birth
  • Jesus in Nazareth
  • Jesus, the teacher in Galilee
  • The road to Jerusalem
  • The resurrection

2. The First Christians

  • The Christ is born
  • The Church begins to grow
  • Jews and Christians

3. Paul, the Traveler

  • Saul at Tarsus (CE 1)
  • The first journey (CE 46–47)
  • The second journey (CE 50–52)
  • The third journey (CE 52–56)
  • Jerusalem in Rome (CE 60–61)

Just as the Jews believed that God had uniquely inspired their Scriptures, so the first Christians attributed a similar quality to some of their writings. By CE 200, all the churches recognized the Four Gospels as the official records of Jesus’ life and teachings. Some of Paul’s letters to individual churches  had also come  to be recognized as being necessary to the development of the whole church. It was only later that the remaining books of the New Testament became generally accepted.

The book of Revelation, for instance, was known in the 2nd century but not widely used by Christians until the 3rd century. The letter to the Hebrews was not generally recognized as “scripture” by the churches in the west (Italy and parts of Europe) until the 4th century, partly because of doubts as to whether Paul wrote it. After some three centuries of discussion, during which writings had a unique authority for Christian faith and conduct, the “canon” or list of accepted books was confirmed by meetings of church leaders. The Council of Laodicea (CE 363) accepted the New Testament as it now stands with the exception of Revelation. In CE 367, a letter from Bishop Athanasius of Alexandria cited a list of books identical to our New Testament, and the list was officially recognized at the Council of Carthage (CE 397).

FRAMEWORK OF SOCIAL ANALYSIS APPLIED TO BIBLICAL STUDIES

I. Importance of Social Analysis in Biblical Study

  1. Relevance of Biblical Interpretation

A biblical interpretation should be relevant to people’s life situations. It should respond to their needs, hopes and aspirations. Social analysis helps the interpreter make relevant connections between the biblical reality and the present reality.

  1. Missionary Imperative

The goal of studying, interpreting, and proclaiming Biblical truths is no other than the  transformation of persons and communities. Hence, it is important to seriously study what needs to be transformed. Social analysis guides the interpreter in discovering what needs to be changed, not only in the human person but in society, as well.

  1. Human Beings as Social Beings

Human things are created to live alone by themselves, but to live in community with God, with their fellow human and with the rest of God’s creation (Genesis 1). It is our right relationship with our fellow human beings that our humanity find meaning and fulfillment. Hence, it is important to study human relationship in society.

  1. Steps in Analyzing Society
  2. Standpoint/Perspective

From what/whose standpoint are we looking at society? Is it from the perspective of the powerful or from the perspective of the powerless? Our standpoint affects very much the results of our social analysis, as well as the solutions we are to propose. We must be clear and sure of our standpoint at the very start.

 

Illustration 1

Standpoint Jesus’ Time Our Time
Powerful Romans, Herodians, Religious leaders, rich landowners, etc. MNC’s, landlords, political and religious leaders, etc.
Powerless Poor, beggars, sick, prostitutes, etc. Peasants, workers, urban poor, tribal people, etc.

 

Questions:

  • From what/whose standpoint did Jesus view his own society? Examine Jesus’ life and ministry. Take note that Jesus’ preaching is like a two-edged sword, good news to poor and powerless (cf. Matthew 11), but bad news to the rich and powerful (cf. Matthew 23).
  • From what/whose standpoint are we looking at our own society? Try to examine our own life and ministry.

2. Facts

Our standpoint should be based not on hearsay, but on solid facts. Facts can be verified by experience or research. In Biblical terminology, they can be “seen and heard” (cf. Exodus 3:15; Acts 4:19-20). Sometimes, our standpoint changes due to our encounter with the facts in life (e.g. exposure to concrete life situations). Many rich or middle class people have opted to deny themselves, carry their own cross, and follow the path of servanthood for the poor and powerless due to their encounter with the facts of life.

Illustration 2

Standpoint Jesus’ Time Our Time
Hearsay Matthew 11:4-5

Jesus is not the Messiah

Globalization is good news to the poor
Facts What people are seeing and hearing:

·         the blind can see

·         the lame can walk

·         the sick are cured

·         the deaf can hear

·         the dead are brought back to life

·         the good news is preached to the poor

Effects of globalization:

·         liberalization

·         deregulation

·         privatization

Effects to the poor:

·         massive land conversion

·         displacement

·         high prices

·         etc.

 

  1. System

The interrelationship of facts constitute a system. There are at least three systems operating in a given society, namely: economic, political, and cultural. Some social analysis would separate religion from the cultural system and consider it a superstructure.

  1. Economic

Questions to be asked

  • Who owns the wealth or material resources of a given society?
  • How is the wealth distributed?

This is the determinant factor in a given society. It determines society’s

situation and destiny.

 

Illustration 3

Economic System Jesus’ Time Our Time
Indicators Poverty Poverty
Immediate cause Sin Laziness
Root causes Jewish law

Unequal distribution of wealth

Roman imperial rule

Corruption in the bureaucracy

Unequal distribution of

wealth

Foreign domination

 

  1. Political

Questions to be asked:

  • Who controls the state machinery?
  • Who is in power?
  • Who defines who is in and who is out?

This is the dominant factor in  a given society.

 

Illustration 4

Economic System Jesus’ Time Our Time
Who is in control? Obedience of the law U.S., traditional politicians
Worst expressions of control Crucifixion,  stoning Summary execution, name calling

 

  1. Cultural

Questions to be asked:

  • Who directs?
  • Who justifies?

 

This is the justifying factor of a given society. It provides justification for the

economic and political systems through education, mass media, and religion – the three vehicles of culture. Take note that those who own are the same people who control and direct the destiny of a given society. A cultural system, however, has also progressive elements in it. Education, mass media, and religion can be used to justify or change a status quo.

 

Illustration 5

Cultural System Jesus’ Time Our Time
Value Obedience to the law Obedience to authorities
Vehicles of culture Religion Religion, mass media

 

  1. Structure

The interrelationship of the social systems constitutes a social structure. This is controlled by the political system, determined by the economic system, and justified by the cultural system. Now, where does social transformation come from? How can Christians be instrument of social transformation?

 

  1. Process of Transformation

 

  1. Source

Transformation comes from the people themselves, the victims of the social structures. They are the ones opting for change. To establish God’s kingdom, Jesus went to the people.

 

  1. Process

In order for the people to be a strong force for social change, they must be aware of the “truth that will set them free’, bond themselves together in unity and love and do something to bring about genuine change.


UNDERSTANDING THE PHILIPPINE HISTORICAL CONTEXT OF BIBLICAL INTERPRETATION

Brian Edwards, in his “Library Forms and Biblical Interpretation, states that the Bible is a box of treasure. It is full of things of great value, but it requires a key to unlock it. The key to unlock the Bible is within the reach of everyone and not just a special group of people with expert training – although training and experience certainly help us to use the key with greater ease and accuracy. This key is knowing the principles of interpreting the Bible, or hermeneutics. Hermeneutics comes a Greek word meaning “interpreter” .

Many people forget that the Bible, like any other book, must be understood according to certain rules. We are using most of these rules everyday when we read books, letters, or even newspaper. When a friend tells us that she “cried all night”, or the radio claims that “ the whole town was angry”, we do not seriously imagine that our friend sobbed without interruption for eight hours or that there was not even one person in the town who was not pleased with the news that annoyed most of the citizens. We have used the key of hermeneutics to unlock the statements made.

The Bible as a book must be interpreted sensibly, and as God’s book, it must be interpreted spiritually. Many of the attacks made upon the Bible by its critics are due to a misunderstanding of proper interpretation. An obvious and simple example is when people criticize the Bible for being unscientific when it speaks of the sun rising and setting (for example, Genesis 15:12, 17; 19:23). We all know that this is a convenient expression that is used the world over, or it is not intended as a scientific description of the relationship of the sun to the earth. Even the weather forecasters refer to sunset and sunrise.

The interpretation of the Scripture is a vital subject. It is important as the doctrine of verbal inerrancy itself. There is no value in being able to say, “These are the Words of God”, if we proceed to interpret them in a way directly the opposite of God’s intention. We are answerable to God if we abuse His Word in this way. In the history of the Christian church, there have been many leaders who have interpreted the Scripture in a fanciful or even ridiculous fashion and, as a result, have completely missed its clear teaching. The Reformers looked first for the literal or historical meaning of Scripture and only for an allegorical interpretation where this was allowed by Scripture itself.

Hermeneutics is not a matter of theory; it always has a practical application. Hermeneutics follows exegesis. Exegesis comes from another Greek word meaning “to explain”. The preacher and Bible teacher must be an exegete in order to understand the meaning of the text before he can interpret it and apply it to the lives of those listening. But he cannot explain or apply the Scripture unless he has clear principles for interpreting it.

Much of the Bible is plain, and anyone with a little common sense can understand it, but some of it is hard to grasp; at times there is a fuller or deeper meaning that is not immediately obvious. Both the prophet Isaiah and Jesus himself reminded us that it is one thing to hear the Word of God, but quite another to understand it (Isaiah 6:9-10; Matthew 13:13-15).

The Bible is God’s book, and it has its stamp of authority across it. His Word is authoritative – not our particular interpretation of it. God has given us rules by which we can rightly understand His Word. They are not hard to follow and they are within the reach of everyone who prayerfully and carefully uses them as a key to interpret this treasure box. Interpret the Bible sensibly and spiritually. Make it relevant; not ridiculous. Ask for the help of God’s Holy Spirit because He is  the reliable interpreter of His own book.

Concerns Over the UCCP Articles of Incorporation, Constitution and By-Laws

The Congregational Perspective for Church Governance

  • Matthew 18: 18-20
  • God is Sovereign; Christ is Head of the Church
  • Direct Relationship with God and with one another; flat organization;
  • Authority of leadership by consent of the Congregation;
  • Free, independent and self-sufficient Church;
  • Diversity in unity; fellowship
  • Authority is given to Christ’s gathered people;
  • Agreement of the Gathered People (or unity in the righteousness of Christ);
  • Authority and autonomy of the Gathered People;
  • Vicinage, Confederacy or Federal;
  • Locally developed programs customized to local demands with the effect of empowered and distributed learning and knowledge in the membership.


The Basis of Union & 1949 Articles of Incorporation

  • Christ centered unity
  • Autonomy to Local Churches
  • Limited or nominal role of Bishops
  • Call of Pastors exclusive right of the Local Church
  • Properties held by institutions and churches with option to keep or transfer property to the UCCP
  • No end or dissolution is envisioned in the Church
  • The General Assembly (GA) is the highest policy making body


Kahangulan Sa Gahum

Bishops in the UCCP are creating a Roman hierarchy and are accumulating powers, betraying the Reformation and the Basis of Union:

1.Amendments making the Bishops in the National Council the Policy Making Body as well as the Executive Authority over the UCCP;

2.The Executive Council is now controlled by the Bishops;

3.With the General Secretary as head of National Council and the Executive Committee, the UCCP has now a Supreme Pontiff;

4.Discipline over clergy taken away from the NCDCR into the hands of the CM and Bishops via the Magna Carta of Church Workers;

5.Subjection of the Conferences to the Bishops;

6.The CM has now powers similar to the Bishops;

7.Bishops and CM’s have now Roman type of control over the pastors away from the Local Churches.


Fake Autonomy

The following amendments have castrated the Local Church of its autonomy:

1.Restriction of involvement in wider mission work (By-Laws Art III Sec. 27i);

2.Subjection of pastoral call to the assignment rule of the Settlements Committee (By-Laws Art II Sec 10a; and the transfer of procedures for the call of Church Workers away from the Local Church to the Settlements Committee By-Laws Art II Sec 10d);

3.Subjection of the Local Church to the stipulations of the Magna Carta of Church workers (Amended Constitution Art V Sec. 8d);

4.Subjection of the Local Church to the program thrusts of the General Assembly (By-Laws Art III, Sec 2c);

5.Subjection of Local Church property decisions to the General Secretary (By-Laws Art III, Sec. 24d).

6.Demanding idolatry by requiring allegiance and subscription to the Statement of Faith and By-Laws of the Church (By-Laws Art III Sec. 27a).


Legislation of Faith and Idolatry

The following amendments are forcing the Local Church to follow the dictates of idolatrous doctrines:

1.Demanding idolatry by requiring allegiance and subscription to the Statement of Faith(SOF) and By-Laws of the Church (By-Laws Art III Sec. 27a).

2.That one is to subscribe to the Statement of Faith, is to make an understanding of the faith into a law.

3.The combined effect of all the amendments is to glorify episcopal and clergy power being cast  over the people of Christ.


Castrated General Assembly

  • Amendments to the Articles of Incorporation, Constitution and By-Laws are no longer brought to the General Assembly for ratification, because the power of the National Council to do so is just as good (Art X Sec 1).
  • Fake ratification at the Conferences. Ratification at the Conference is nothing of the sort expected in a ratification process. It is bereft of information as not all the amendments are discussed.  Often, no ratification actually takes place and the membership are totally ignorant of the changes being made.
  • The changes in the Articles of Incorporation, Constitution and By-Laws are now concocted by the leadership in the National Council. One should note that the majority of the amendments introduced are now coming from the National Council.
  • Art V Sec 29 declaring the National Council as the Board of Trustees of the Church to comply with law, means it is now the National Council not the General Assembly as the true “highest policy making body” of the UCCP.


The Expanded Powers of the Bishops

  • In the Basis of Union the Bishops were “administrative officers in their respective areas; and shall have joint general oversight over the entire Church; each one, more specifically, over a jurisdiction…”
  • Today, however, the Bishops have the following powers: 1. Pastor of pastors; 2. To have administrative oversight over the Conference Ministers; 3. They are now the majority in the Executive Council; 4. They constitute the inner sanctum of the National Council; 5.  They are also the officers of the UCCP Resource Development Foundation

Note:  They are copying from Christ as King of kings and Lord of lords.  They are starting to think like Roman Pontiffs (a little short of making themselves as gods and lords of the UCCP).  The Pastor of pastors is Jesus Christ as the Good Shepherd.


The Expanded Powers of the General Secretary

  • In the Basis of Union the General Secretary did not have specific powers directly associated with the Office; suggesting that there was no hierarchy, the General Secretary was just the presiding officer of a collegial body.
  • Today, the General Secretary has the following powers: 1) Spiritual leader; 2) Executive Officer; 3) Spokesperson; 4) Head of the National Secretariat; 5) Custodian of land titles, minutes and all other important documents of the Church; 5) Presiding officer of the Council of Bishops; 6) Corporate Secretary of the Church; 7) Apparent head of the Board of Trustees of the UCCP Resource Development foundation (Art V Sec. 12, Sec. 22).
  • This makes the General Secretary the Pope of the UCCP as the


Subjection of the Clergy to the UCCP Papacy via the Magna Carta of Church Workers

  • While Magna Cartas declare freedom, the Magna Carta of Church Workers declare the rule of the Bishops over the Clergy;
  • The Clergy is now subject to the discipline of the Conference Minister and the Bishops.
  • It seems that only expulsion proceedings will be brought to the NCDCR. In the meantime, a pastor could arbitrarily remain suspended. It is not clear here if the discipline and suspension can be done while the pastor is still connected to a Local Church; in which case it should only be the Local Church who can initiate a complaint against their Pastor.


The Expanded Powers of the Conference Minister

  • In the Basis of Union the power of the Conference Moderator was only one: “who shall be the Administrative Officer of the Conference”… “receive petitions from…Church Councils”
  • Today: 1) Spiritual Leader; 2) Shepherd of the flock; 3) Chief Executive of the Conference; 4) administrative overseer of church workers (Art IV Sec 8) 5) power to admonish and suspend Church workers (Art II Sec 6);
  • However, these powers are now subordinate to the the GA as the CM is now the planner “who has to be consistent with the directions and orientation of the General Assembly (actually National Council).”
  • Instead of the Conference serving the Local Churches, the Conference and the Conference Minister is now a servant of the Bishops.
  • While the powers of the Conference Minister is increased, he is subordinate to the episcopal hierarchy. (Art V Sec 28g).

Note:  These expansion of powers was done through amendments during the Magugpo, Tagum, National Council.


Abandonment of Christ Centered Unity

  • The NCDCR has ruled that the Basis Union is no longer the basis for unity in the UCCP; it said, “The truth of the matter is the current Constitution has replaced or has taken over the Basis of Union as the legal and valid document to preserve and maintain the unity of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines.”
  • What is the fundamental declaration of the Basis of Union that is abandoned by this NCDCR ruling?
  • The common declaration of the uniting denominations that “We do preserve all the heritage of faith brought into the Union by each of the constituent Churches and hereby declare our common faith and message: Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God, our Lord and Savior”.


Betrayal of the Churches and the Basis of Union

The UCCP Bishops have betrayed the uniting Churches and the Basis of Union (BU).  The BU has promised and guaranteed the following:

1.Preservation of the heritage of faith.  Today it is being homogenized;

2.Autonomy of the Local Churches and the keeping of traditions by the uniting denominations. Now, instead the “wider mission” (WM) has arrogated upon itself rulership over the local churches and have made itself the “higher mission” (HM) by isolating the local churches from its work;

3.The BU has promised the use of Church properties for the basic missions of the denominations; instead HM has diverted properties from the mission to for-profit institutions to acquire pecuniary gains for the benefit of the Bishops and the clergy.

4.The BU and the 1950 Executive Committee promised that the call of pastors shall rest on the autonomy of the Local Church; now it is made to rest in the assignment authority of the Settlements Committee.


Conversion of the UCCP Protestant Polity into Episcopalian-Roman-Babylonian Polity

  • It was an insult to have the delegates of the Local Churches of Davao City expelled from Conference proceedings in front of two bishops, the Bishop of the Jurisdiction and the General Secretary no less; this is a show of episcopal power over the Local Churches in the area of historical Congregational Church development.
  • There were no apologies. The Conference obstructed justice by refusing to submit the minutes of the Conference proceedings to the Faith and Order Commission (FOC).
  • Based on the CBL, the UCCP is no longer Protestant, it is already Roman and Babylonian. Bishops are wearing purple characteristic of English and Roman imperial churches. Pastors are starting to adopt Roman Catholic practices, some even suggesting adoption of the forehead ash marking practice of the Roman Catholic Church.


Dissolution Envisioned by the Bishops

Articles of Incorporation Paragraph No. 11 (Amended by NC Action, UCCP West Triangle Cathedral, Quezon City, Jan 12, 2018):  “In the event of a dissolution, the assets of the organization shall go to an accredited NGO/Foundation…”

The Corporation Code do not require that Churches will have a limited corporate life.  The law recognizes that Churches can operate in perpetuity.

The Bishops however have contemplated the dissolution of the Church and preferring to transfer properties to an “accredited NGO or Foundation” instead of returning the properties and denominational legacies to the Local Churches; for it does not follow that the Local Churches will be dissolved in the event of the dissolution of the UCCP.


Non-Legally Binding Constitution

  • The Constitutions developed by the Church were not submitted to the SEC, therefore, the Constitutions are null and void;
  • Only the By-Laws were submitted, therefore, only the By-Laws matter legally.
  • With the By-Laws the General Secretary, the 15 Trustees become the policy making and executive group of the UCCP. The Local Churches, the Conferences and the General Assembly have been rendered of no consequence to the actions of the Bishops.

 

Tunay Ka at Tapat-UCCP AKO

Tunay ka at tapat aming pag-asa,
O Dios sa “Yoy walang lungkot dusa
Di ka nagbabago sa “Yong paglingap,
tunay Ikaw Ama, di lilipas

Chorus:
Ang Dios nati’y wagas!
Tunay S’ya at tapat!
Araw-araw aming namamalas;
Sa Iyong pag-ibig maaasahan
Ang aming hihingin ay kakamtan.

Kahit na taglamig o tag-araw man,
araw, buwan, tala ay sisilang
Hindi nagmamaliw maaasahan,
O Dios Ika’y tapat walang hanggan.

Salang taglay namin napaparam
sa awa Mo’t habag ay nakamtan
Maghahari galak sa aming buhay,
pagkat Ika’y tapat sa ‘yong hirang.