|Corruption in the Philippines|
REAL PROBLEMS IN THE PHILIPPINES
In the Philippines some brethren, notably Jim McDonald, Ron Halbrook, "and company," have made much of Marriage-Divorce-Remarriage (MDR). This is an 86% Roman Catholic nation whose constitution specifically forbids divorce. No one can get a divorce in the Philippines, period! So it is a false issue.
Since 1995 there, Ron Halbrook particularly has been denouncing those who disagree with him on MDR, labeling them false teachers because of their doctrinal position is not his. He used this to condemn these by name, beginning a division among brethren which has not yet run its course. When I objected that MDR was a false issue because of the constitutional prohibition against divorce, he claimed THE FAMILY CODE OF THE PHILIPPINES allows for four exceptions. I ALSO have a copy of this.
It does have exceptions. They are, ONE:---Annulment. There are two varieties. The first is ecclesiastical, which is very expensive and after a four year wait, requires the signature of the top Roman Catholic official there. He signs two or three a year. In 34 years of going to the Philippines to preach, I know of only one claiming to be a Christian who has ever gotten one. He did so years after leaving the faith, and by getting his wife's testimony they had never consummated their marriage. The other annulment is similar to US law. If a spouse has been missing for seven years, the remaining member may, and with proper proof, have a court nullify the marriage.
TWO:---The tribals (NOT tribes). These have operated under their own laws since before the Spanish conquest 400+ years ago, have consistently rejected any integration in Philippine society, and turned down all government offers to help them. They function under tribal laws. The only way to stop this would be "ethnic cleansing."
THREE:---The Muslims act according to their law, claiming these are from the Koran. The government has been in an on-going war with them for about 40 years, and has not been able to suppress them yet.
FOUR:---Divorce in a different legal venue. The rich, movie stars, professional sports figures, and such like can move to Japan, Canada, England, US, etc, establish residency, and get a divorce there. The Philippine government recognizes these. Without conquering these other nations, it has no other choice.
Halbrook's exceptions are exactly that: EXCEPTIONS! All they are is the Philippine Government acknowledgment of situation that are beyond their ability to change or control. Citing them, he is blowing smoke. So why do Halbrook and others press this? It is plainly an attempted power-grab. They have declared a doctrinal issue established, proclaimed all who disagree as false teachers, created their following on this, and use it as their means of becoming "Big man on campus" in that work. They see me and others who refuse to bow our knees to their Baal as competitive, even though we are not, and act accordingly. Through this, they managed to get stopped the support of many faithful Filipino preachers who also refused to bend to them.
So, let's examine the real world in the Philippines, and see if Halbrook's emphasis on MDR fits the pattern of valid need for teaching. For all who want to prate about MDR, I offer you a small peek at the real subjects needing teaching on here.
SOME OF THE REAL MORAL AND SOCIAL PROBLEMS IN THE PHILIPPINES:
ONE:---Couples including brethren, living together for years and having children, without marriage, but no serious social stigma even among brethren. TWO:---Babies, early teenagers, having babies, with no possibility of getting a husband. THREE:---"Curing" marital problems by one partner simply getting up and walking out on spouse and kids, and taking up "residence" with someone else. Both men and women do this. FOUR:---Government tourist officials arranging sex tours for vacationing Jap businessmen until public outcry stopped the more blatant instances, but didn't put much dent in the practice, now only more hidden; lagay-bribery works "wonderfully" well. These events include young boys as well as girls. FIVE---Recruiters going to the provinces and offering attractive young girls "good jobs" in Japan. When they get there, the escorts take their passports, and dump them into Japanese brothels. SIX:---In Manila in 1980, police reported at least 6000 registered "hospitality girls." Today the figure is closer to 15,000. Do I have to spell this one out? SEVEN:---Some parents, including "saints," urging their daughters to go to Japan to "work," so they can send money back to these "wonderful" parents. EIGHT:---For beautiful young girls, employers making the "casting couch interview" a condition of employment. NINE:---In one case I know of personally, a "preacher" made such an arrangement for the daughter of a friend to be "interviewed" for a "job." TEN:---Parents deliberately maiming their babies, to make them objects of pity for begging purposes. ELEVEN:--- These parents, plus those of children with natural birth defects, renting out their deformed children to a professional beggars' organization for "so much" per day. TWELVE:---Filipino "preachers" lying to their supporters, especially on numbers taught and baptized, in order to get exorbitant levels of support. THIRTEEN:---These causing God's people to be known as "The Church Of Prize," or alternately, "The Church Of Price," or "Church Of Money" because of Americans lavishly spreading around money to "preachers." In the context of the Philippine culture, are buying loyalty, buying souls. FOURTEEN:---Homosexualism at a known level three times that in the United States. FIFTEEN:---Filipino Christians INCLUDING some preachers turning their backs on these situations, with no effort to protest them, not even preaching on them, much less working to stamp them out.
I ask: Which of these pressing needs should I ignore in order to have the time to prate on MDR? Which of these real moral needs is less important than the non-existent MDR situation in the Philippines?
Especially in view of the last paragraph above, the ignoring of the real needs, and harsh, unloving drive of pushing MDR here by over-zealous Americans on MDR makes me want to barf!
May God help their souls!
Wallace H. Little