Speak Up

Here in the Philippines, politics has already become a steaming topic especially on social media. And no amount of foodporning or eSports or whatever else under the sun can block that topic from gaining everybody’s attention. I don’t know why.

Let me state up front that as a Christian, I believe that reviving death penalty is wrong, as well as condoning extrajudicial killings. I don’t know how other Christians read the Bible in a different light, but I don’t see why God would approve of such killings in today’s setting. I know American Christians have that similar dilemma, as there are as many supporters of Trump as there are detractors, maybe even more. But I already have a lot of things on my plate here in the Philippines, so yeah, I’ll let you, my American friends, deal with it.

One thing I don’t understand, though, is that many of my Christian friends hate it whenever I speak my mind on the topic. They think that just because I’m criticizing our president already means that I am opposing him. And they think it’s bad and unbiblical. I don’t get that.

If anything, I think being passive at this critical moment is what is wrong. Why, what would have happened if Adam spoke up when Eve was being tempted by the serpent at the Garden of Eden? According to the Bible, Adam was close to Eve when that happened. But he kept silent. And look at where we are now.

And then there’s Martin Luther King Jr., who initiated a peaceful revolution against the unfair white supremacy in the US. Had he not been outspoken about it, we would never see any black person in the NBA, or the Major League, even in Hollywood. None. They would never have the appreciation that they have now. And even though there’s still racism in America right now, but you are light years away from what King and his associates had experienced before.

There were the prophets, who wept and tore their clothes and prayed for fire, just to speak up against the injustices happening that day in Israel and Judah. I have this favorite scene wherein Jeremiah was prophesying ruin, and he put on a yoke on his back for a colorful imagery, then there’s this false prophet Hananiah who prophesied that in the same way he broke the yoke on Jeremiah, God would free His people from slavery and danger. Yes, it was Hananiah who spoke about good things, but which message really did come from God?

And then there’s Jesus, who dared challenge every man-made tradition at his time. He redefined a lot of things, and he set a new example. He introduced a new and better way at looking at things. Many people would have put him into the pharisaic category, but those were whom he broke away from and argued with most of the time.

But a word of caution, and based from my own experience: let your words achieve the purpose for which you said them, and make sure you won’t be misunderstood. Should they misunderstand you, let the blame be on them, not on how you constructed your sentence and on your choice of words. Let your words be graceful and respectful of their position on things. I made a lot of enemies by speaking out, but thank God I made a lot of valuable allies during those times as well. Be humble, and acknowledge their opinion. You cannot be right all the time, so learn to listen and compromise if you can, because that’s what you want from them as well.

So speak up, and win them over to your cause. To His cause.

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