I was affiliated with a religion without hearing anything at all
By Mary Grace Los Baños Buena
I am Mary Grace Los Baños Buena. That must be one of the first basic truths that I have known and learned to speak of. I was three years old. That was the truth – twenty years ago. Now it isn’t anymore.
A lot of information have been introduced to us since time immemorial. The Solar System consists of nine planets; breast-feeding is best for babies up to two years; the current president of our country is President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo; I am wearing black. Truths, some are inconsistent; most are irrelevant to salvation.
The word “truth” is frequently used in religion. Preachers, priests, so-called apostles and even evangelists here and there claim that they speak of the truth. I have heard and seen lots of them where members say they had decided to join because they heard the truth. And then it hit me, I was affiliated with a religion without hearing anything at all!
With the Roman Catholic Apostolic Church, I don’t know when I was baptized there or what the priest said or who were present. They only told me I was baptized. I just woke up one day doing the sign of the cross, attending mass, praying the rosary – because they said so. I went to Christmas parties, confessed to priests and received the “Holy Communion” at the Catholic school I was attending.
I was introduced to countless practices, made to believe in superstitions, participated in sacraments and ceremonies. I did it all without questions, objections, and without really believing in it at all. I was driven not by faith but by tradition and lack of choice. That was my life. We believed in God, prayed and relied on Him. Only, we were inside the wrong congregation – until my parents came across Bro Eli Soriano on television. Then everything changed.
Whatever they were thinking when they first heard him was something I don’t know – I never asked. What I do know was that they were convinced by his teachings, were indoctrinated and then baptized. That’s one great factor why I am here right now with the Members, Church of God International (MCGI) – with my parents.
I am very grateful that He called them into the Church. I was thirteen years old then, and somehow, I was able to understand Bro Eli’s teachings. That was when I realized what the real meaning of truth was – the word of God.
Of all the youth in the world, I count myself blessed that I was born with loving and God-fearing parents. Being inside the Church of God is more than I can ask for.
In the Church, what seem to be mysteries to most people are being revealed to us. The essentials of salvation are being taught here. We are being fed with the truth that not all people have the privilege of knowing. It’s all because of our Father’s mercy and love.
I believe that was how we all came to know the truth. And that’s what drives us to live on despite the fact that it is also the reason why we are bound to face enemies. We fight for that truth.
Inside the Church, we have a lot of chances to take part in the fight for truth. I saw that when my parents decided that we move here in Apalit last 2000. As time moved on, I became more aware of the gravity of the war being fought by the Church against false religious leaders. They have been misleading people by claiming that their teachings are the truth.
We, too, were once misled and we know how it feels upon knowing that we were deprived of the truth. Biblically, we are obliged to join the war and share to as many people the truth we have come to know. We must not be contented that we were affiliated and then just stop there.
As it was written in the Bible, it is God’s will that all men be saved. He sent a preacher in our time, in the person of Bro. Eli Soriano. But he must not work alone. He cannot work alone. That’s why we were called into one body – to act as one. We came to know the truth; we must work for others to know it too.
In our lives here on earth, there are many truths introduced to us. Some are inconsistent; most are irrelevant to salvation. What we know is neither of the two, for it surpasses all common truths in the world. For though the heavens and the earth shall pass away; the truth we know – the word of God – will forever remain.