"I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life"

Father God, thank you for the love of the truth you have given me. Please bless me with the wisdom, knowledge and discernment needed to always present the truth in an attitude of grace and love. Use this blog and Northwoods Ministries for your glory. Help us all to read and to study Your Word without preconceived notions, but rather, let scripture interpret scripture in the presence of the Holy Spirit. All praise to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

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Saturday, July 7, 2018

‘Take a Selfie with God and I’ll Resign,’ says Duterte

There is a lot to like about Rodrigo Duterte, and a lot to hate. His efforts to clean up the Philippines drug culture is both laudible and horrifying, but I wish he would extend his enthusiasm to cleaning up the rampant child sex abuse that makes the Philippines the world's premier hotspot for child sex tourism and child pornography. 

One good thing about Duterte is that Christians don't have to apologize for him. We do have to pray for him because he has the most pathetic grasp of theology of almost any world leader.

© Romeo Ranoco / Reuters

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has promised to resign immediately – if a Christian can show him any proof that God exists. It comes just weeks after he outraged religious groups for calling God “stupid.”

The outspoken leader made the vow on Friday during one of his signature freestyle speeches. Duterte said if anyone can say that they have either “been to heaven, talked to God [or] saw him personally,” he would resign as president “tonight.”

“I just need one witness who will say, ‘Mayor, those fools at the church ordered me to go to heaven and talk to God. God really exists. We have a picture together and I brought a selfie,’” he added, during the opening of a science and technology event in southern Davao city.

I would like to introduce you to Someone called Jesus. Have you heard of Him as other than a curse word? I dare you to find out Who He is.

Duterte then hit out at the Catholic Church by asking why followers are required to donate money to the Church. “If you are really helping people, why do you ask money from them?” he questioned.

This isn’t the first time the 73-year old has criticized Christian groups and their ‘God.’ In June, Duterte called God “stupid” during a discussion about the Biblical story of creation. In response, Christian groups accused him of insulting God and demanded an apology, to which the president replied: “Not in a million years.”

You might get a million years to change your mind! But I don't think it will take that long.

Duterte's tirade against God started, at the beginning, with Adam and Eve. With God allowing them to choose to sin and thereby contaminating every human being born after them, except Jesus, with their sin. Duterte called it stupid, and at first glance, in fact after several glances, it still appears pretty stupid from the view of an extremely limited human mind.

But what was God thinking? He didn't have to allow Satan into the Garden of Eden, did He? He threw him out of Heaven after he sinned against God, but threw him to earth where he could tempt and infect all of mankind. How bright was that?

One of the erroneous assumptions we make as human is to think that this life that we are living is all there is, or is the whole purpose of our existence. But, contrary to some weak theological theories, God did not create us and put us on the earth for the purpose of just enjoying our lives and avoiding suffering. We may have those opportunities, but most of us struggle through life suffering in a myriad of ways.

What was God's purpose in creating us and putting us on a planet with demonic spirits, with evil personified? God created us to love and enjoy Him forever. But love is a funny thing. You may 'fall' in love with someone but that almost invariably fades over time. True love, the love that God showers upon us and the love He hopes to get from us is deeper than that. It includes a decision to love, a choice. 

Our lifetime on earth is an infinitely small fragment of forever, but a vital one. For it is here that God determines those who shall go on to enjoy Him forever, and those who will not. Those who will go on to be in God's presence are those who choose to love God. They are those who choose good over evil - not what they think is good, man cannot make his own definition of good or evil. One evil that God consistently hates is man's desire to be his own god. To ignore what God says and to ignore the phenomenal sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ. 

But choosing good over evil requires that there be evil to choose! If there was only good and no evil, man would have no choice but to 'love' God. Such love would ultimately fail as it did in Heaven where there was no evil and therefore no real choice to make. Satan's love for God faded and he decided to put himself on the throne. Many of us are still doing that today - Duterte is one of them.

So earth is a testing ground, a boot camp almost, where those committed to God are taught and tested to determine if their commitment, or faith, is real and will last through Eternity.

God shows Himself to believers in many ways. He has proved Himself to me many, many times. He will not prove Himself to unbelievers, generally speaking, because we have to come to Him in faith. If God could be seen by unbelievers, there would be no need for faith, and without faith there can be no lasting, pure love, and no hope for an Eternity with God.

Duterte has just celebrated his second year in office but critics cite his verbal war with Christians as one of the many reasons he has “become isolated domestically and internationally,” and may not see the end of his six-year term.

“Duterte’s tirade against God and the Bible reveals again that he is a psychological freak, a psychopath, an abnormal mind who should have not been elected as president of our civilized and Christian nation,”  Catholic Bishop, Arturo Bastes

Unfortunately, the Bishop doesn't seem to understand that it is God who places Kings, Queens, Prime Ministers and presidents. His purposes are not always what Christians might want or hope for. Sometimes it is to clean up messes that religious people have created or have allowed to exist.