October 28, 2013

I can't change ---> The point exactly

I can't change
Even if I tried
Even if I wanted to

   --- "Same Love" by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, ft. Mary Lambert
(More lyrics from the song appear in purple italics below)

So goes the chorus from a beautifully haunting song, which is also a strongly-worded crusade on one of today's most controversial issues: homosexuality.

This seems like the next revolution, after the abolition of slavery, women's liberation, and the civil rights movement for African Americans. But in today's issue, the bad guys are (again?) the Christians: 

It's the same hate that's caused wars from religion
Gender to skin color, the complexion of your pigment
The same fight that led people to walk-outs and sit-ins
It's human rights for everybody, there is no difference!
Live on and be yourself

When I was at church they taught me something else 

I love your Christ,
but I dislike your Christianity.
   - Mahatma Gandhi

How many people have been rejected, oppressed, even killed in the name of Jesus? It is so grievous to see the hate in action perpetrated by the followers of "God is Love". (Here's a healthy reminder.) These days, it's Christians vs. Homosexuals.

When everyone else is more comfortable remaining voiceless
Rather than fighting for humans that have had their rights stolen
I might not be the same, but that's not important
No freedom till we're equal, damn right I support it

Damn right I support that too: freedom and human rights for everyone.

I've often thought of what I would have done in William Wilberforce's time, when he fought for the freedom of slaves because of his faith in Jesus Christ. I could have easily ignored Wilberforce, saw a culture built on slaves as a blessing, and even cite the Bible ("submit to your masters") as a stand for slavery. Of course, centuries later, we thank Wilberforce, King, Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy, and other freedom fighters who did what they did because Jesus did what He did. 

Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.
   --- Martin Luther King, Jr.

The right wing conservatives think it's a decision

And you can be cured with some treatment and religion
Man-made rewiring of a predisposition
Playing God, aw nah here we go
America the brave still fears what we don't know
And God loves all his children, is somehow forgotten
But we paraphrase a book written thirty-five-hundred years ago 

One says homosexuality is a choice; another says it's hard-wired. One says it's immoral; another says it's no big deal. How can we reach a resolution when our starting definitions are already conflicting?

We can start with mutual respect, and a willingness to listen to the other side of the issue. (As a firm believer of "One Truth" and the goodness of every person, I believe we can reach a resolution.)

Like the song says, yes, the Same Love is available to all of us (God loves all His children). But it's the Same Truth that convicts us all (we are all sinners who deserve hell) and it's the Same Power that can save us (to bring us back towards Him).

When it comes to marriage, the full realization of Jesus as the Heavenly Bridegroom and His Church as His Bride would only make sense with the union of a man and a woman. The anatomy and psychology of the human male and female would attest to this. Jesus is always the Initiator and the Giver; the Church is always the Responder and the Recipient. 

So, now what? 

As a Christian, I need to regularly check if I am practicing what I am preaching: If God is really Love, does it show in my life? Does it show in my relationships to everyone: Christians and non-Christians, homosexuals and heterosexuals and bisexuals?

As a Christian, I will also uphold the original Biblical definition of marriage as a union between one man and one woman.

BUT... Also because I am a Christian, I will:
   - value the dignity of every person;
   - uphold everyone's rights; and
   - respect other points of view.

I disapprove of what you say,
but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

   - Evelyn Beatrice Hall

And a certificate on paper isn't gonna solve it all
But it's a damn good place to start

No law is gonna change us
We have to change us
Whatever God you believe in
We come from the same one
Strip away the fear
Underneath it's all the same love

"I can't change." 
That's the point exactly. 
It is God who can change us.
If we wanted to. 


Full disclosure: 
I am a sinner. I sin in desiring people I am not married to. This is lust and adultery, even if it's "only" in my thoughts, even if it's heterosexual. Sin is sin. God already loved me in my sins, but He also loved me enough to rescue me from them.

Even though homosexuality was not really an issue for me, I know of people who have acknowledged this issue before God, and have been truly and completely changed. They now honor their Creator
as they live according to the gender He ordained for them.

October 15, 2013

Thank You for You


Did I finally run out of things to ask from God? ... or run out of things to thank Him for?

This afternoon, I just got my "new" salary from work, and a friend paid back a loan. So, I'm feeling *financially relieved*...

In addition, my brother just came back from his first trip outside the country, so I'm proud and happy for him, and thankful that he's back safe and doing great...

Also, I'm having a loong weekend --- four days of no school/work, which gives one much peace. Except when I remember my to-do lists (yes there's more than one)...

Interestingly, I found myself writing this to God:


Hello po Lord. ♥

Thank you po for everything.

But most of all, thank You for

     not my money

     not my ministry

     not the (my?) _____

     not my work, studies, friends, family

Thank You for


It's not that I've already achieved god-hood (hahaha) or even the pinnacle of human perfection. But just some thoughts:

How many times have we thanked Him (instead of asking, complaining, or rebelling)?

How many times have we thanked Him because of Who He is (instead of what He has done, or what He will do for us)?

Isn't it time we seek God's face (His very self) and not just His hand (His blessings)?

Have a great day, and God be with us all.

October 7, 2013

God > science

"I only believe in science." 
- Esqueleto, from the movie Nacho Libre

I found myself browsing through Zen Pencils this weekend and resolving to read each inspirational-quote-turned-comic. I already have some strips or their original sources reposted on my Facebook and Twitter. I also have some strips that I'm excited to show to my new students next week.

And then I reach this

Which led me to respond with the following comment:

There are many scientists who are Christians too, myself included. I decided to go into physics after reading Carl Sagan's books and watching Cosmos (and the X-Files). Sagan also led me to become an agnostic/passive atheist, but after a life tragedy I found myself reading the Bible with one -- nay, two -- eyes open.

Christianity makes sense to me in the same way that physics does. Of course, God is way more complicated - but what relationship isn't? We sometimes cannot figure out ourselves, how much less the people around us, and how much less a *supreme being*? This reasoning does not automatically prove there is a God, but I'm just saying there are a lot of things that are beyond science.

Science gives a lot of benefits but also has a lot of limitations. Science demands repetition and predictability and numbers -- does art have this? Do we then say that art is foolishness, or that art does not exist? Wouldn't that be the foolish thing to say?

The wonder and awe for the universe that Carl Sagan gave me is still there. But in my humble opinion, it has now matured to include the Creator. Sagan hastily dismissed all world religions as superstitious falsehood and wishful thinking, yet was quite convinced of the existence of extraterrestrial life even though he had no proof himself (it's easy to give equations, but somebody please show me one alien being now). If one applies scientific skepticism to reject deistic/theistic beliefs, it is but fair to apply that same skepticism to one's own pet beliefs too.

On the other hand, Christians nowadays do tend to ignore the *first* commandment to love God with our mind (as well as heart, body, and soul). But I'm proud to say that I know many people who use science to honor God and even know Him more. As for me, I write a Bible verse on the board before beginning my college physics class.

God be with you more Gav! I share your admiration for Sagan but also for Christian authors like CS Lewis and Marianne Williamson. I hope you find Him as you seek and share even more inspiration to the world.