Thursday, February 18, 2016

More than common sense

Photo from the PBA
SO... It took a statement from Manny Pacquiao for me to make a comeback at TLIMC. After checking my Christian blog,... lo and behold, my last post was barely seven months ago!

Anyway, let's jump straight to the issue in question. The former boxing champ drew flak from the LGBT community and even some straight guys who also advocate the LGBT rights when he reiterated his stand against same sex marriage in the most awkward of explanations.

Pacquiao, currently a congressman and a senatorial aspirant, likened human relationships to that of animals and said that romantic relationships among two men and two women are nastier those of animals as per mere common sense.

Well-known personalities known to be gays publicly cried foul over Pacquiao with TV host Boy Abunda, despite the boxing legend's apology hours earlier, venting ire on live television.

Before I continue, I made sure that the next words you will see will not hurt my LGBT friends, but I just wanna say sorry in advance if there will be any LGBT member or pro-LGBT rights advocate who may get offended with this post.

Now, here's my take on the issue. First, I agree with most of you that Manny Pacquiao indeed made a wrong analogy of things during that interview with TV5. While I got his point, he simply used the wrong words.

Next, his Instagram post that followed the release of the controversial video interview quoted a Scripture which said, "Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men..." (1 Corinthians 6:9 NIV). I admire Pacquiao's decision to stand firm in his faith for God, but Paul's message to Corinth about that did not end there. Apparently, Pacquiao did not add Verse 10 which says, "nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God," and the most pivotal verse of the said Scripture part, Verse 11 that says, "And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God."

Manny was somewhat wrong when he ended his statement with the "masahol" part (or probably his video was cut by TV5 at that part if Pacquiao continued after it). Many interpreted that part as if Pacquiao was saying people who will do same-sex marriage will go to hell. But here's the thing: we are now at the New Testament era, or what Bible scholars would call the "time of grace".

The law says, "If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them, (Leviticus 20:13 ESV)" but that was the Old Testament days or the so-called "time of law". Like I said, we are now at the time of grace. God knows that everyone will fail to follow all of His commandments because sin has already been part of our lives since the time of creation. While God is just and does not want sin to be ignored, He loves us so much being his most special creation. That's why He sent His Son Jesus Christ to earth to take the punishment we deserve, including the punishment for homosexuality. Because of Jesus' sacrifice on the cross, "sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace (Romans 6:14 ESV)."

While I felt the irony, I find it a good move that some members of the LGBT community sympathized with Pacquiao. After all, Pacquiao did not say that he hates the homosexuals but only the homosexuality. That's what God is telling us. Hate the sin, not the sinners. In fact, He said, "Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you... (Matthew 5:44 ESV)" Yes, Pacquiao may have sinned more than the mistakes the LGBT members committed as what they brought up, but one should remember that regardless if we sinned only once or more, we are still sinners who have fallen short of God's glory (Romans 3:23) but was given eternal life through Jesus (Romans 6:23). All we need is to believe in Jesus, and we will attain that gift from God (Acts 16:31).

If you want someone who is now feeling the confusion about his gender to realize who he or she really is according to what God said, start by building a deeper friendship. Once he or she feels the love of God in you, then you may start telling him or her what God thinks he or she is.

For the new Pacquiao haters from the LGBT side, I want you to discontinue the bashing. Yes, he may have hurt you a lot, but revenge is not the answer. While I still hope that you will meet God, if you're happy with your life right now, just enjoy it and make the most out of it.

I did not make this post in full support of Pacquiao's senatorial campaign (if you really wanna know my stand on whether to vote for Pacquiao or not whether from a sportswriter's standpoint or not, my Facebook, Twitter, and Ask.FM handles are open 24/7), but I'm here to tell you that God has already forgiven Pacquiao and the LGBT community. Yes, homosexuality is not in the Lord's vocabulary, but He loves us so much that "while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8 ESV)." And it's not just common sense. It's the truth. God really loves us regardless of our identity.

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