A few days ago, an instructor in UP Los Banos allowed a Christian organization to do “Classroom Evangelism” (CE). The CE was documented, and photos of it were uploaded on the Christian org’s official FB page.
Another instructor saw the online evidence, took screenshots of the FB page and posted it in his timeline, saying that according to UPLB policies, such activities are illegal. Last I checked, the Christian org who authorized the CE, was reported to UPLB authorities.
In a matter of hours, this particular Christian org drew bashers.
And in a few days, similar hostile posts, not necessarily pertaining to this particular CE), were resurfaced and bumped back to the FB newsfeed.
Like this one.
[EDIT: I was told that this post on The Elbi Files was posted before the CE event referred to at the beginning of this blog. In any case, it does not affect the points I tried to make below. My apologies for overlooking this fact and for any misunderstandings I might have caused.]
At this point, my reaction to the bashing is… sadness. Yes, the post reeks of fallacies and generalizations, but the accusations!
I am terribly sickened and saddened and frustrated and embarrassed… and altogether grieved at the fact that this anonymous poster makes these statements as fact, as something from his/her own experience and observation.
But here are some of my initial thought on the issue (not necessarily ordered in a progressive manner):
The hostility of some of the UPLB students and faculty is fascinating. It somehow confirms what I’ve been telling my international friends this whole time — that just because we Filipinos are outwardly polite doesn’t mean we are listening to you. Case in point: this anonymous poster. His/her message is a very vilifying one, and yet he/she posted anonymously! The anonymous poster could be anyone; in fact, he/she could be someone in the CE class, listening quietly.
The anonymous poster makes references to some questionable (immoral?) org practices that apparently Christian students participated or engaged in. The anonymous poster criticizes these Christian students, calling them hypocrites, even (fascinatingly) quotes Bible verses! The anonymous poster seems to know what Christians should not participate in — such as stripping, or sleeping around.
This is our reality, and it should sober us: while not everyone here in the Philippines possesses a Christian worldview, many do have an idea of Christian morality. And how could they not know? We stop strangers and talk to them about the Bible. We post about our Christianity online. Christian TV networks freely do broadcasts. They know, they are exposed… and they hold us to that standard.
I hope this incident makes this particular Christian org (and all other Christian orgs and affiliations) rethink or evaluate the current evangelism methods and approaches they practice. Yes, evangelism still must happen. But I believe we need to be more creative, discerning, and wiser about this.
I hope this incident causes Christians to really think of our convictions regarding contemporary issues such as the LGBTQIA. EVEN MORE IMPORTANTLY, I hope we are convicted to express and live out these convictions in a relevant, but also loving, and humble way.
I truly am grieved with this situation. I, too, am sobered by the reality that at any given moment, without God’s grace and power alone, I could be one of those who compromise my faith. Really, the ease with which I can fall into temptation frightens and frustrates me. And yes, I have been a hypocrite more times than I would care to admit.
Whatever the turnout of this situation may be, I hope we as a Christian community learn from this. And also repent. Oh, we must. After all this, we must.
[EDIT: I was told that this post on The Elbi Files was posted before the CE event referred to at the beginning of this blog. In any case, it does not affect the points I tried to make. My apologies for overlooking this fact.]