The ‘Accidental’ Truth
by Robin P. Wenceslao
To begin with, the truth came to my attention on a rather odd manner, in a drinking session.
I play tennis in a club and after playing we usually engage in drinking sessions and discussions on anything under the sun that would liven up the gathering. In one such session, a co-drinker opened up a topic regarding the predestination of men. Are we predestined to be somebody or are we ourselves masters of our own destiny? That sparked a very lively discussion without a clear direction of what really is the answer to the very intriguing question.
It was a few days or a week later that I found out that the person who raised that question was getting religious topics from the program, “Ang Dating Daan” (The Old Path). This immediately aroused my curiosity and I began searching for the TV program.
At first glance, Bro. Eli looked as if he was “Mr. Right,” all the other preachers are wrong or other religions are wrong and only he (Bro. Eli) is right. For me then, Bro. Eli was arrogant and without respect for the beliefs of others. Maybe that triggered my curiosity to watch the program more, even as “pulutan” while drinking liquor or as a tripping subject when smoking marijuana.
But the undeniable fact is that I am finding out little by little that what Bro Eli is saying was based on the Bible and he is the one telling the truth, that he is not arrogant but brave enough to expose the lies, false doctrines, rituals that are not based on the Bible being practiced by other religions.
My watching “Ang Dating Daan” regularly led me to seek for a locale near our place in Sta. Mesa, Manila. It was at the Quiapo Locale where I first saw Bro. Eli in a Bible Exposition or Bible Study.
However, I felt insulted when I saw a note on a wall, “III JN 7 – Hindi po kami tumatanggap ng tulong sa hindi pa kapatid…” (We do not accept alms from those not of our faith.)
Although I was not yet a member, I felt that I want to help. In retaliation to what I felt was an insult, I intentionally did not accept the “meriendas” offered to visitors of the program. Surprisingly, my interest in the program and Bro. Eli did not waver but grew to a point that I preferred watching the program than to engage in non-sense talk or to kill time unproductively.
After a year, my wife (who is also an “Ang Dating Daan” follower) and I decided to undergo indoctrination. The first hurdle to overcome was that we were staying with my in-laws and they were “saradong Catolico” (Catholics through and through), so we had to go to another place for indoctrination and underwent baptism without telling them.
Only months after we were baptized, my mother-in-law died while sleeping with no known symptoms or ailment. I believe early on, we both were put to the test. Because of the incident, relatives blamed us for having left the Catholic faith, causing shame and sorrow in the hearts of my in-laws.
It was nine years since we were baptized. The day I felt a miracle happened, the day I understood the meaning of my being.
Was that an accidental truth?