Novus Ordo Aeternum, Applicari // Playing Catch-Up, Part II (127-128/365)

I count two of my friends – They’re my friends in real life, and on Facebook – posting something to the lines of, ‘I can’t believe I have Christian friends who will be voting for a liar and a thief tomorrow.’

Their posts looked familiar, and it looked like they were initially copy-pasted, and I guess they customized it so it looks like it came from them. Which I think is much more dismaying. More triggering. Hence this post.

I lie. I steal.

Sometimes I don’t tell someone the entire truth. Well, I say sometimes I don’t, because really, who does know the entire truth? But sure, much as I try to stay consistent with the validity and integrity of the words that are coming out of my mouth, I can’t say that I never lie.

Sometimes I lie by way of withholding words, because in my finite perspective I realize that I would be hurting people more that helping them if I do. Sometimes I lie by way of constructing words to get people to focus on one fact over the other, just to communicate that I’d rather be talking about something else.

Or, hell – I can’t give you any recent examples, but sure, I lie out of malice as well. I’m not going to sit here and tell you that I don’t lie without selfish intentions… sure I do. I’m flawed that way. Compared to 5, 10, 20 years ago I may have seemed to clean my act, but I still use words as a tool to my advantage. And that does include lying.

I’ve lied, I lie, and I probably will lie in the future.

I’ve stolen in the past. I’ve taken cash out of my Dad’s wallet. I found all of my Mom’s secret hiding places for quick money. I’ve stolen post-its, ballpens, lighters. There’s no justifying this – I took from others because of my own selfish intentions.

And that’s not all I did. Gosh, I could probably fill an entire book, I could easily burn through my 1000-word a day requirement if I was to talk about all the shit I’ve done. And, mind you, people call me a Pastor. Sure, among other titles, self-proclaimed or tagged on me, I’m a pastor. I’m a pastor that lies, and steals, and does all sorts of other messed up things – all sorts of filth that you probably wouldn’t imagine, to fulfill fantasies, lusts, and curiosities.

And this is just stuff that I REMEMBER doing. If God was just as Jack Chick portrayed in those wonderful little tracts he started making decades ago, and if God was going to flash my life before me, only to cover not only the sins I was aware of, but ALL of the sin and filth I’ve been doing ever since I was born, man… Look at it this way. If we were to plant a pine tree seedling for every hour we’d be watching, we may have already planted enough for the Cordillera Administrative Region of the Philippines, and we’d probably still be planting!

*Take note, we haven’t even talked about all the sinful IDEAS that I thought of doing. And also, this is just ME. What if we put the rest of our favorite people to hate and add their ‘films’ to this wretched (and freaking LONG AF) playlist!

Damn right I lie. Damn right, I steal. And the only reason why I am so open about saying all this, the only reason why I’m so confident if sharing this to anyone and everyone who reads it, is because we have a God who has known my sin, your sin, and ALL our sin, and He thought that we were STILL worth reconciling.

Jesus Christ saw ALL sin – from the littlest of white lies to the most horrific of mass genocides – and He STILL thought we were worth Him. He didn’t have to deal with our mess. He could have snapped His fingers, and ALL of us, not just half of us, but ALL of us, including Thanos and every other construct of our imaginations – ALL of us would have ceased to exist. Or He could have toyed with us, prolonging our pain, stopping time and rewinding it to torture us in all aspects of our beings in every sort of method imaginable.

I share all that as well, only to say that He DIDN’T look at us that way. He CHOSE to see us in His everlasting love, for that is who He is. He stepped out of heaven, out of infinite and eternal heaven. He stepped into finite time and space by way of being born of the virgin Mary – breathing air that was only 99% pure, stepping on mud, eating food like the rest of us. And it wasn’t disgraceful enough for unlimited God to be limited. For see, in the fullness of time according to His infinite wisdom, He lay down His life – His entire body crucified as if to say that He was giving ALL – not just some of Himself, but more than all He possessed, ALL of His body; His blood gushing out of His flesh from all the wounds, the final one being from a spear thrust to His side, offered up as the blood of animals were offered, not only to take the sins of the nation of Israel for a season… but to totally separate sin – and not just ‘sins’ but ‘sin’, meaning ALL sin in ALL forms – from us, as the east is absolutely separated from the west.

And how do I know that He died for us? Well, this may sound funny, but I know He died, because He came back to life. His resurrection was the receipt of all He accomplished in His death. More importantly, we see His resurrection as our coming back to life as new creations as well.

ALL of my being was saturated in sin. It was so ingrained in all of my being that if we were to somehow annihilate all of the sin to save what was left behind, I’d imagine NOTHING would be left behind. But that’s the thing. One of my (obviously) favorite verses, very close to me, is 2 Corinthians 5:21, where it states that God made Him (Christ) who knew no sin to BE (not ‘to take’, but to BE) sin (not ‘sins’, but sin in ALL of its entirety and existence), so that in Him we might BECOME THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD.

I could talk a good deal about my sin because I know I have an infinitely SUPERIOR Salvation, not in the form of me not lying, not stealing, not sinning – Bro, I’m SAVED.

This potty-mouthed, lazy-assed, arrogant and cocky horndog is SAVED and I’m not about to brag about what I’ve done, but because of what CHRIST has done for me. Christ paid such a HUGE price to declare – above all that I think of myself, and above all that others think of me – Bro, I’m RIGHTEOUS.

I had to think twice about actually going through with ‘potty-mouthed, lazy-assed, arrogant and cocky horndog’, and I could tone it down a bit, but call it the JBLSV of 1 Timothy 1:13-17, which reads as follows:

“…though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save SINNERS, OF WHOM I AM THE FOREMOST. But I RECEIVED MERCY for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life.

To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.

You can berate me for who I’m voting for tomorrow. You can go as far as killing my physical body, my reputation, and that of my family and friends, erasing all possible records of my existence in this reality… but that’s as far as you can go.

The Joker was captured, restrained, and locked in a room alone with the Batman. He was helpless, and Batman was beating the holy hell out of him. Yet in this apparent defeat, he was roaring in laughter, telling this man who had ‘power’ over him:

“You have nothing, NOTHING to threaten me with. NOTHING to do with ALL of your strength!”

Christ has SAVED ALL of me by way of making ALL of me RIGHTEOUS, and NOBODY can ever take that away.

All that being said, I have to apologize. I know Christ keeps me together, and so far He has and will continue to do so. It’s just sad that we live in a world where there are people who call themselves Christians but apparently still subscribe to works and self-righteousness over Christ’s work and His righteousness.

I know I used to think that way once. I probably still have some aspects of my being still infected with that way of thinking. Here’s the thing. I’d excuse anyone else who hasn’t heard the Good News of Christ, because they don’t know any better.

But dude, don’t expect me to be as gracious to my so-called ‘brothers and sisters in Christ’ for stepping on His finished work by way of reckless gaslighting and short-sighted virtue-signaling, ESPECIALLY if they’re on my ‘friend’ list.

This is an open rebuke, and I believe this is the one time it’s absolutely better than hidden love.

I’m voting for Bongbong Marcos. Why? Man, where do I begin?

For thirty years the people who had power had the upper hand in accusing his father and their entire family for being the sole/chief perpetrators of human rights abuses at a time of literal war, when the country was in real threat of falling into chaos by way of insurgency. They had their way with them – ridiculing them, questioning their continued right to live, accusing them again, and again, and again. They had the chance to bring them to justice, but for some reason, they were never placed behind bars.

Other people were jailed for far less with no problems. Why couldn’t anyone put them in jail for the crimes they were accused of?

And all this time that they were being mocked and shunned, not only did they continue to survive, but they thrived – maintaining and elevating their influence. And there may have been some machinations in the background that could have ‘boosted’ said influence, just as we would do in social media marketing… But as in ALL marketing, it’s only SECONDARY to the product.

Put it this way: You can spend all the money in the world to sell shit, but it’s still going to be shit. Mr. Marcos displayed himself, not only during the campaign period but far, FAR before we ever thought he would be running for President, as a competent product. You can see it in his calmness, you can see it in his choice of words and actions… But more than any of this, you can see it in the fact, the observation that he’s real. If there’s anyone who has the most human touch of anyone in the race, it’ll have to be him.

Everyone else was triggered by him running, and they tried all they could, spent all they could, to tear him down. But even through all the mudslinging, he maintains such a significant lead over everyone else. You can tell someone’s goodness, not out of how others speak praises of him or her, but in how he acts and reacts – I can’t tell you if he’s going to heaven, but I can tell you that he believes in something more than himself, and I see this in how he acts and reacts.

The other candidates may have better plans and thoughts than he does (but I seriously doubt it). The people who hate him may be right in all their accusations – but if we’re to be talking standards, my standard is how a man moves after being knocked down, again, and again, and again.

The way one candidate acts, its as if he/she was never knocked down.

Another candidate hasn’t been knocked down enough.

Yet another candidate has been knocked down a lot – apparently too much, because the person shows he/she couldn’t handle it.

Still another candidate has been knocked down, but it seems like he/she knocked others down, paying it forward.

I think Bongbong Marcos handled it above and beyond anything else. He could be extremely shrewd and/or extremely genuine, but he played his cards right.

There, I said it.

I said it all. Streak be damned, I wanted to share all of it, and I wanted to share all of it the best way I could.

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