Lord Jesus Christ's last commandment given to His disciples was to "love one another as I have loved you"

As a Christian born in the only Christian country in Southeast Asia, I came to a point of realization since 1988 when I was baptized in the Holy Spirit. It was then that I began questioning the relevance of the fraternity system and its culture, proven to be violent all these years, to the development of man in particular and the Filipino people in general. With a despicably awful track record of deaths due to hazing and fraternity wars, it is therefore important for men, especially my countrymen, to find time and reflect on the relevance of this brotherhood system especially in relation to their coexistence with other sectors of society and to their spirituality.

I dedicate this blog to the victims of all these mess all these years, to all the people especially the love ones of the victims affected by it and to all fratmen who honestly and sincerely desire for genuine change.

This is a challenge to all fratmen. If you so desire to be real men let's therefore face the real problem squarely and act to find the real remedy to it. And since the reasons behind all these conflicts is hatred, it is therefore right to start forgiving because after all most of us are Christians and because it is the right thing to do.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

The Role of Artists and the Importance of Art

In the previous posts there were significantly relevant videos presented. Three have shown scenes from the Mel Gibson movie the Passion of the Christ in contrast with the scenes of modern day frat-related violence. Another was about the poor children of the slum areas of the Philippines joining Lord Jesus Christ in supper. These young souls, if left uncared for by an insensitive privileged class, could someday become the next wave of young warriors of warring gangs as depicted in the Filipino movie Tribu. Yet another video has shown the efforts initiated by Gawad Kalinga to help solve this problem along with the culture of violence among fraternities by allowing fratmen to immerse themselves and help the poor in the real-life situation in slum areas where grassroots-gangs usually thrive.

The first person to be gravely affected by tragedies befalling children is the mother. In one video the mother of Cris Mendez was seen grieving for the death of her son. Just like Blessed Mary and any mother for that matter who had seen the doom of their children as a result of all forms of life's excesses the mothers of the victims of frat violence experience deep sorrow and pain. A mother's tears paint the picture of the loss of a son and the long years of hardships endured since the baby was conceived in the womb to mold the child into a young adult..

It is my desire to present these recorded images from the past and present realities to knock on the hearts and conscience of violent fratmen and those who are content of doing nothing to help solve these problems. Some of them who are still locked in the continuing culture of violence, as presented by the I-Witness Documentaries series - Brod Is Thicker Than Water , (watch more related videos on the links provided on the right-hand side of this page) lamented about the sad effects of frat violence and hatred and expressed helplessness in their captivity to the kind of culture of hatred that they have inherited from their frat elders forcefully instilled into them during initiations and indoctrinations.

To me they, who are still captives of this evil part of their tradition, need to see the bigger picture of society to be able to desensitize themselves from their violent culture and open their hearts and minds to the spiritual, social and moral problems at hand and to help and work to find genuine solutions.

Movies and multi-media are vehicles for works of art. And artists have a role to play as expressed in the following quotes:

When power narrows the areas of man's concern, poetry reminds him of the richness and diversity of his existence. When power corrupts, poetry cleanses. For art establishes the basic human truth which must serve as the touchstone of our judgment.-- John F. Kennedy

To the artist is sometimes granted a sudden, transient insight which serves in this matter for experience. A flash, and where previously the brain held a dead fact, the soul grasps a living truth! At moments we are all artists. -- Arnold Bennett

In a certain sense every creative person is a reformer, but this does not mean that he must be in his work a propagandist for good roads, shorter hours, and a low tariff. All these are excellent things, but they need not be the concern of the artist. -- Heywood Broun

The artist has one function--to affirm and glorify life. -- W. Edward Brown

The defining function of the artist is to cherish consciousness. -- Max Eastman

In the artist's recreation of the world we are enabled to see the world. -- John W. Gardner

Human life itself may be almost pure chaos, but the work of the artist is to take these handfuls of confusion and disparate things, things that seem to be irreconcilable, and put them together in a frame to give them some kind of shape and meaning. -- Katherine Anne Porter

The artist should be a seeing-eye dog for a myopic civilization. -- Jacob Getlar Smith

I am an artist. I am here to live out loud. -- Emile Zola

If art is to nourish the roots of our culture, society must set the artist free to follow his vision wherever it takes him. John F. Kennedy


President John F. Kennedy: Remarks at Amherst College, October 26, 1963

The following is an excerpt from a speech given by President John F. Kennedy on October 26, 1963 at Amherst College in Massachusetts, in honor of the poet Robert Frost...

If sometimes our great artists have been the most critical of our society, it is because their sensitivity and their concern for justice, which must motivate any true artist, makes him aware that our Nation falls short of its highest potential. I see little of more importance to the future of our country and our civilization than full recognition of the place of the artist.

If art is to nourish the roots of our culture, society must set the artist free to follow his vision wherever it takes him. We must never forget that art is not a form of propaganda; it is a form of truth. And as Mr. MacLeish once remarked of poets, there is nothing worse for our trade than to be in style. In free society art is not a weapon and it does not belong to the spheres of polemic and ideology. Artists are not engineers of the soul. It may be different elsewhere. But democratic society--in it, the highest duty of the writer, the composer, the artist is to remain true to himself and to let the chips fall where they may. In serving his vision of the truth, the artist best serves his nation. And the nation which disdains the mission of art invites the fate of Robert Frost's hired man, the fate of having "nothing to look backward to with pride, and nothing to look forward to with hope." Continue here....


Additional thoughts...(in 2010)

The above quotes are from people whose beliefs vary. Spiritual beliefs and doctrines and the basis of each of these could affect people's mindsets that lead to their actions and therefore it is very important that they need to be discerned. People may try their brand of solving many of the worlds problems by utilizing art and art forms guided by man's philosophies yet all these will fall short if they remove the Source of True Wisdom from the scene and the reality of the sinful nature of man.

Artists must have deep discernment especially about spiritual matters. A true Christian who happens to be an artist must work under the guidance of the Almighty God the Father through the Holy Spirit and grow in the true Christian faith through time with the help of the real brothers and sisters in Christ who possess the gifts of the Holy Spirit especially, in this case, about spiritual discernment.

Since time immemorial artists and craftsmen used their talents not only in every day matters but also in practices involving religion. But in true Christianity deep discernment is very important in obedience of the 2nd Commandment , a very important teaching in the Holy Bible supported by the many verses warning against the sins of idolatry.

As an example, I mentioned the movie
the Passion of the Christ by Mel Gibson in my articles here just to drive my point regarding the sacrifice and death of Jesus Christ for our redemption and the extreme difficulties he went through for our sake in stark contrast to the fraternity culture of hazing and violence (as a means to assure the loyalty of would-be members to their brotherhood). The movie the Passion of the Christ showed too much torture and blood yet this portrayal is just to show, in my opinion, that Lord Jesus Christ's sufferings, the torture he went through, his death and resurrection have the holy reward waiting in the Eternal Kingdom while the frat culture of violence of all forms have nothing holy and life in eternal happiness, peace and contentment to promise.

Yet, in my journey in deeply discerning this importance of art and the role of artists I did deep research regarding the evangelical Bible-based Christian faith and have came across the following writings:

1. The Poison in the Passion by Terry Watkins
Problems With The Passion of The Christ
The Passion of the Christ — a Film by Mel Gibson
5.The Passion of Christ: Mel Gibson's Vivid Deception

In much deeper analysis, the practice of idolatry and the deceptive means by which doctrines of men are promoted to mislead the multitude of people to deviate from true Biblical teachings that would eventually lead them into the sins of idolatry inevitably spawn spiritual blindness the product of which are all forms of iniquity and confusion about right and wrong including, in this case, the fraternity culture of violence.

It is therefore very important to view the current problem of society (in my country the Philippines) regarding fraternity culture of violence in the light of the Holy Bible as the real source of Wisdom and Truth that will effectively and genuinely set the captives free. It is therefore necessary for young people to give time and study the Holy Bible seriously and deeply and, with the guidance of the Almighty God the Father with His grace, discern all things.

"31Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; 32And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."

"4And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God."

"28For they are a nation void of counsel, neither is there any understanding in them.

29O that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end!"

104Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way.
Psalm 119:104

10A reproof entereth more into a wise man than an hundred stripes into a fool.
Proverbs 17:10

TRIBU goes to Baguio City!!!

Monday, October 8, 2007

The Reason - Hoobastank - Passion Of The Christ

Psalm 103:8-17 says, “The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever. He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him. For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust. As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth. For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more. But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children's children.”