Hypocrisy, the greatest problem of our country

HOTSPOT - Mocha Uson - The Philippine Star

"But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.” –James 1:22-25 (NLT)

Our country is considered to be the “only Christian nation in Southeast Asia.” However, if you are to look deeper, and given what is happening today, it seems like this isn’t true. Perhaps it is better if we first define the word “Christian.”

The simplest definition of the word would be people who believe and follow the teachings of Jesus Christ. Christianity started back in the first century AD, with Christ’s disciples spreading the word about his works during the time when he was still alive. And while the teachings of Christ have been passed over from generation to generation, it is quite saddening that despite being held on to by various sects and religious groups today, many of us have failed to live up to His lessons. Even then, many were claiming to be followers of Jesus, but were otherwise embracing rather worldly virtues. Hence, what James was saying is clear, that we should not only listen and learn the teachings of God, but follow them as well.

But what does this have to do with our country? In case you haven’t noticed, the Philippines is home to the intelligent and erudite. Many of us are highly opinionated, and these resonate on social media. A lot of us are putting our best two cents on a certain issue, just like in the recent basketball brawl fiasco. Everybody chipped in their opinion and were quick to judge, and others just chimed into the conversation with nothing significant to say.

The same can be said with our government officials. Just look at what is happening at the Senate. Every week there is a Senate hearing, which has since become a gathering of the so-called learned to engage in a debate over a certain topic, but end up resolving nothing. These hearings are supposed to be in aid of legislation, are conducted for the purpose of leading our country to the right direction.

But where is our country now?

Let’s face it: aren’t we feeling sorry for our country every time we see our neighbors such as Japan, China, Singapore, South Korea, and many others enjoying progress and development, to think they are not Christian nations?

Ours, however, is a Christian nation. We are known to be very religious. We celebrate feast days of saints and practice rituals as prescribed by our faith for a long time now. We pride ourselves to be a God-fearing nation, and yet we are among the most corrupt states in the world. But why are we in this state? We are in this state perhaps due to two reasons, either we have a wrong god or we have a wrong perception of God. I personally lean toward the second reason – that we are seeing a wrong image of God. It’s because even Christ himself said that there will be a day when he will call out those who claim that they believe in God and tell them these words: “I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!” (Matthew 7:21-23)

In a nutshell, I will most likely agree when our nation would be called the “most hypocrite Christian nation” in Southeast Asia, mainly because it is the picture of the Philippines. Many of us are skilled, smart, and at the same time flaunting charlatans. And yet, only a few sincerely care and love the country. Let’s not further digress. Some of our Senators are condemning President Duterte because of his alleged hidden wealth, but how many of them are accepting PDAF? They are condemning President Duterte because of so-called extrajudicial killings but how many of them kept mum about the casualties of Dengvaxia?

The CBCP is one of the most hypocritical institutions in our country today. They are so critical of the President’s statements and actions, yet there are also at the same time several reported cases of priests abusing children and youth. Did we hear anything from them with regards to sanctioning or imposing disciplinary actions on these priests? Hence, as Matthew 7:3 says, “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?”

This is a very good example because if for others it’s only sawdust that’s in their eyes while a plank is blocking your own eyesight, yet you are able to see the flaws of your brothers. The Philippines is exactly like this. We easily criticize the flaws and errors of other government officials but in truth, we are the ones not obeying the law. A case in point: we have many sensible LGU and MMDA traffic enforcers, and yet we are quick to judge whenever they commit a slight mistake. We are angry at the traffic situation and yet not all of us are following traffic rules, such as crossing in designated pedestrian lanes. We are angry at the government whenever there’s flood, but do we segregate trash to reduce the volume of garbage? No. Some of us even throw our excesses just about everywhere and anywhere. These may be just small instances, but they resonate what we are as a nation. However, if we love our nation then it’s not the smarts, not the opinion, and not even the grandstanding that we need. What we need are doers. Those who act and not just speak. Those who walk the talk.

Let me just make this clear: it’s not bad to be smart. What I am saying is that you should not just dwell with plain smarts. Move. Act. Help your nation. And put an end to whining.

If we really are God’s people, then let’s be truthful to ourselves and to each other, and not just speak in tongues. This is the very caution of Titus 1:16 –“They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work.”

Let us not be godly only in words, but more importantly, in our actions. I still believe that our nation will progress if we become “doers, not just hearers” (James 3:13). Just like what is said in Psalm 33:12, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people he chose for his inheritance.”

Let me end this with a message: let us not use God for our advantage and at the expense of others; rather, allow God to use us. Let Him bless our country and help our nation rise up again.



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