Bible exposition / bible verses as proof / Catholic idols / Debate / experience leading to calling / Former Catholic / meaning / transformation / true religion / Understanding

I found out that feasts dedicated to saints were false and meaningless

Though what he said were painful to us, my family and I had the growing interest to listen more to what Bro. Eli was talking about. Perhaps because we wanted to listen more of his attacks that we could study and desperately hope to rebut fully.

By Clavelyn Domingo

I grew up in a family that was not truly devoted in the Catholic faith; but then we all believed it to be the true church that would save us.

My grandma would strictly enforce us to believe in what the catholic priests were preaching; be it miracles, superstitions, or whatever. Lola was her mother and she would often ask why one had to believe in those. “Basta…sumunod ka na lang” (Just follow), was the order.

My mama wanted a sound basis or proof for everything, just like in mathematics (her field of expertise). That explains why mama was not a devoted catholic, though she followed the rituals and sacraments of the Catholic Church.

My papa, on the other hand, is a protestant. I don’t know much of this faith but when I was young, whenever we visited his parents, they sang whenever they prayed during meals which were odd for a little girl like me. Papa was a protestant, but he had converted into Catholicism when he married mama. But he wasn’t a devoted catholic believer either.

As a family, every Sunday, it was a habit for us to attend the mass. The mass wasn’t for me; it didn’t give me any joy. However, after that, my parents would treat us to Jollibee. This was what I wanted.

As I grew up, during my elementary years, I was able to slowly shape down my catholic faith. It started when I had my first communion when I was in the 2nd grade. Since I could participate in the Holy Communion, I liked the idea of attending since I could stand and line up with those being fed the host. Again, that was the part I liked. I was too young to understand what the priest was blabbering about during homily, so my friends and I ended up chatting instead.

All throughout the years, my state of religion was like that until I stepped on my 5th year in the elementary grades. (This is it!)

All of us in the family were avid watchers of the popular gag show in the Philippines, the BUBBLE GANG. Every Friday, we all gathered around the TV to watch the program. This show was very funny, that’s why. It was a time for family bonding for us too. We laughed and laughed. We really loved this show. In fact, we had memorized all that they did, including how they mimicked commercials and made fun of them.

We were just puzzled why the show was titled “ANG DATING DOON.” We were wondering what that was all about. The actors’ lines and actions were funny but we were wondering which commercial or TV sitcom they were spoofing.

I didn’t think we were alone in wondering like that. There were others like me who wanted to know the mystery. Thus the show decided one day to reveal who they were spoofing. It was the “ANG DATING DAAN” hosted by Bro. Eliseo Soriano. We didn’t have much reaction then.

Oh, that? Just that?

That was the first impression we had regarding the program of Bro. Eli. We didn’t mind learning more of it until such time that my dad opened the television and eventually scanned all the TV channels. Whenever papa scanned each channel, he would spend 30 seconds to a minute checking on what is currently shown. As he paused on IBC 13, he was able to watch Bro. Eli’s program, the ANG DATING DAAN.

Since it was what the BUBBLE GANG show impersonated, Papa had the interest to listen and watch. He even called us and invited us to listen. We began searching for the things being mimicked by Bubble Gang that made them funny. We paid attention to details and compared them.

But our attention was eventually diverted to what Bro. Eli was saying. At that time, Bro. Eli was discounting some beliefs of the Catholics especially kneeling before images. When I heard him saying that the images and saints of the Catholics are not true, inside of me, I honestly was very much angry.

What was he saying? Why was he telling us that what we are worshipping aren’t true? He’s out of his mind!” I then wanted to change the channel but the remote control was in Papa’s hand.

So, there, I was forced to listen also to the points Bro. Eli was making. I have then observed that for every point he has, he has basis from the Bible and even scientific and historic facts. Whenever he mentioned a verse and explained what the Bible meant, I would tremble because I knew my catholic beliefs were slowly crumbling into pieces.

You see, whenever I listen to the arguments of Bro. Eli, in my mind, I would also be searching for what to say and constructing rebuttals for him. But magically as if he could read my mind. He automatically blocked my rebuttals. It’s as if we were having a mind debate if ever there was such.

But truthfully and with all honesty, in my heart, I know that all he was saying were true. I just had the fear to accept the fact that the religion I was in isn’t the truth at all.

Though what he said were painful to us, my family and I had the growing interest to listen more to what Bro. Eli was talking about. Perhaps because we wanted to listen more of his attacks that we could study and desperately hope to rebut fully.

From there started our habit of listening to and watching Bro. Eli’s programs every night on IBC 13. And every night then, all my rebuttals ended up to nothing. Since then, I had the notion that Bro. Eli is not just an ordinary person. He is extraordinary and very much, much, much, different from all other preachers I’ve heard. But still, I had retained a small portion of trust in my catholic belief that it is the true church. That’s how stubborn I was.

I refused to follow them because just like the others, I didn’t like so many prohibitions. I was even angry because when there was a fiesta in our barrio, I had expected that as we customarily did, we prepare much food and invite people. But since they were already affiliated with the Church of God, they learned that it was wrong to get involved in these feasts, that it should not be done. I was angry; I was thinking of what the neighbors would say since we had no visitors and no food being served.

On that day, the house was quiet. There was nothing prepared whatsoever so I locked myself in my room hoping my frustration would fade away. Another thing that I was pissed off was when I was being prohibited to have my hair cut. I usually had long hair since I was a child but I always wanted it trimmed or have some layers and curls. But since they became members of the Church, they learned that cutting the hair for women is a no-no. Since I was just a 10 year-old kid then, I didn’t have that much freewill to decide on my own. Everything was subject to my parents’ approval.

Those were the instances that led me to hate what they believed in. I was so stubborn and hard headed. In fact, I was the hardest to convince by my parents to join them go to gatherings, more so with thanksgiving. Every Saturday, they would coax me to come along. My other siblings were already members and they have been baptized actually. It was just me that was not.

Hence, papa finally gave up his patience on me. One day, he told me that he won’t give me allowance anymore if I didn’t come along with them; therefore, I went with them. The moment I stepped in the locale, I had that certain feeling of shame. The people around me were so good to me and I felt so welcome. What I did was just to observe and listen to the preaching. Since I was a 10-year old, I belonged to the category of KAWAN NG CORDERO or KNC. My mama introduced me to another child named Clariza Oquias who was of the same age as mine.

I was a bit shy but I followed her to the KNC room. There I saw all the other kids. They were just seated and listening to the KNC Worker teaching them. Along with that, they have this Bible Quiz, seeing who would be able to open to the right verses the fastest.

Since I didn’t have any Bible that time, Clariza lent me hers. Together, we flipped the pages of the Bible quickly. Since I knew nothing of the arrangement of the books in the Bible, I could not help. Clariza was good in searching for the passages. I was amazed. I then wished I could be like that. Eventually, I enjoyed being at the KNC. I really had fun learning with the other kids so the next Saturday, Papa did not have a hard time convincing me to come along. I went with them willingly.

That started my journey in faith. I actively participated in all KNC activities. I even won first place in Bible preaching during the Zamboanga KNC Competition in 2003. What I did was just to wait for the right age fit for me to be baptized. As 2005 came, Clariza and I decided to undergo indoctrination. We were both 14 years old that time. But with God’s mercy, we were qualified to be baptized on January 18, 2005 at 4:09 PM.

That’s how I entered the true Church of God. Looking back, it all started with a gag show. It was a great instrument used by God to call me and my family to the one and true church. Every time I think of this, I cry. I have nothing else to say, but thank you Lord. The feeling of endless gratitude is unexplainable. The feeling is that every second, I would always want to thank God forever.

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21 thoughts on “I found out that feasts dedicated to saints were false and meaningless

  1. All I can say to Ms. Clavelyn Domingo is that, we have the same experienced wherein we refused the invitation to attend the gatherings of the Ang Dating Daan every Saturday in Apalt, Pampanga. My classmates (member) did not stop inviting me to listen to Bro. Eli Soriano, host of ‘Biblia ang Sasagot, Itanong mo kay Soriano’ (Ask Bro. Eli, The Bible Answer) but, I never did. Until such time when my professor, also a member, personally inviting me to attend the Indoctrination session. At first, I was thinking if I will accept her invitation because my professor and I aside from being her student we were also very closed friend. That’s the time I was forced to attend, however, after the first day of the Indoctrination I was thinking that all his saying were true. And it came into passed that I was being baptized. Thanks be to God! May God bless you.

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