Faith : Misconceptions of Christianity

misconceptions of christianity

I’ve intentionally prepared this blog for Easter Sunday!

When everyone else thinks of Easter egg hunts and parties or just simply going to church and complete an obligation, I on the other hand – have been contemplating another “faith-based” post that I haven’t done for a while.

A week ago I had a chance to deliver a talk (for the 2nd time with this topic) – CLS Talk #2 – What it means to be a Christian.

I want to focus more on the facts of misconceptions for all Christians/Catholics that many of us fall into the trap of understanding barely the actions, without contemplating what it really meant. So, the talk enumerates four (4) of them as follows:

[MISCONCEPTIONS] – Christianity is a:

  1.  A mere Religious system
  2. A mere Moral system
  3. A Social/Humanitarian system
  4. An Escape

Above misconceptions have been misunderstood, misjudged or shall we say a wrong thought that needs to be corrected.

Let me start by explaining why these are incomplete notions of our faith:

First, Religious System.

Majority of Christians nowadays think that our faith is a set of doctrines to believe in, some thing that requires memorization such as the Apostles Creed, Our Father, Hail Mary, etc. Sets of religious practices like going to mass, doing novenas, rosaries. Others do readings about God. Gaining knowledge about the religion or some do a lot for God. But the real question is, while all of these are correct and there is no wrong about them, do we actually understand why we are doing them? When we memorize a prayer yet not applying them in real life, knowledge becomes only up to our intellectual level. When we go to mass, yet an hour later we find ourselves angy, disappointed and wants to start a fight because of taxi or bus problems.

How do we align ourselves into this trap? These are incomplete labels for us – followers of Christ, that what we believe/do should be translated into our lives. These religious practices are ought to be “expressions of our faith” and not just a mere religious system. We do them, because in every relationship we have ways express that love. In our relationship with God, we pray, go to mass, do something for God because that is our expression of faith.

Second, Moral System.

People think of what is right or wrong. Don’t do this or that; do this, do that! Thou shall not kill, thou shall not steal, thou shall not lie – – – and the list goes on and on. When we look at our religion into this image – we see it as a legalistic faith. But it should not be! We do what is right and wrong because we are “expressing our love for God and His people”. Our religion should be life giving. That we do what pleases God and/or what makes our family, friends and brethren happy.

Third, Social/Humanitarian System.

Christianity most of the time is equated to being Humanitarian [Humanitarian – people/system that works to make other people’s lives better]. Also equals to people are good, kind, never get angry, all smiles and pleases everyone. While it is true, that Christians posess those qualities, we are also just human. Yes, we envisions our people to be better in all aspects of our lives and be able to claim that we are happy, good, kind people – we also have our own limitations that sometimes we fall into sin and not being able to cope up with this misconception and thus needs the Holy Spirit to guide us. We are not only the faithful in this earth, other religions or shall we say non-Christians are also good. Infact for us OFWs who have faced many different nationalities/religious people – they too are good.

Finally, an Escape.

Christianity is an escape in the realities in life, that this kind of faith is only for the poor, the weak and those who couldn’t cope up with life. But the truth is, we Christians are the strongest among many faithful, because our identity comes from someone who is indeed tough and faithful. That is none other than our Saviour Jesus Christ who has won our salvation right before we asked for it!

“This Easter, let us recall why we become Christians. Let us go deeper on meanings of these rituals/religious practices and understand that there is mission at hand. This reminder applies not only in this season but at all times, especially when we claim to be a follower of Christ. We are His warriors – His missionaries in helping our fellow Christians.”

Get a copy of my talk’s slide on this link: CLS Talk # 2.

God bless!!!


SCG3 – Serve with Perseverance

CFFL 3rd Senior Core Group (SCG)

(To be published on #TVM12)
You’re so “maingay!” (You’re so noisy!) – I shouted these words to the fellow attendees during a “crucial” start of a team game that we played for the 3rd SCG at St. Paul’s Church room FFO2. Then I heard the crowd laughing!
I was focused; I was on a game face and turned on my leadership skills. Our target is to beat 2 minutes and 47 seconds to accomplish the task at hand.
The crowd starts to speculate what the game was all about.
Group 1 – did it in 7 minutes
Group 2 in 3 minutes
Group 3 in 2.47 minutes
Me in action with my team mates…
Everything went smoothly until it’s time to put down the ball on the top of the bottle. Spectators were curious, all eyes are on the ball and when it hit the tip of the bottle . . .  my team mates tend to hear the outside noise that somehow the web moved a bit that the ball was off! (Oh no!!! worry strikes, I can hear a bell – like that of the end sound of a boxing match! – A losing feeling inside me. . ) . . .
The ball went outside its ring for around 2 inches. How do we go? My mind screaming, ashamed, afraid of judgment, afraid of losing… Out of shame (without my team mates knowing it, I “innocently” asked Sis Mavic, can I move it back? (…to its ring) – And I can loudly hear her say “NO” it sounded like a rejection! Then she said, “Kaya pa yan” – just continue.
The crowd speculating,
The crowd was getting noisier than ever.
I look around, my teammates – clueless.
I see familiar faces, I see strangers, and I see fellow servants…
I look around, I see my teammate – having no idea what’s happening. I pursue! I hear the people around, go do it! I see myself battling like a life and death situation…
The next thing I know, the ball is back into the ring! Yeah!!! I can hear the crowd cheering like that of a basketball game when a player shoots 3 points. I hear victory even if the ball wasn’t on the tip of the bottle yet. I pursued the journey together with my mates and ends up with the ball on the tip of the bottle in a split of a second and then another victory sound is what I hear! My team mates hurriedly took off their blindfolds and the fell off! 
What did I learn?
This game is a representation game.
·         The ball is God.
·         The tip of the bottle is heaven.
·         I was the servant.
·         My teammates were my members.
All of us aim to be in Heaven with God; inside each individual is the desire to walk with Him. In that game, my mates are the people with the desire to be with God (ball) yet somehow, they walk in the dark (blindfolded) like a sheep that needs a shepherd. I was the privileged to be the shepherd (servant) anointed to help them, guide them to the goal.
As we walk, the noise of the world distracts us (observers & other group members). As we go closer to heaven (bottle tip) which usually happens to all of us – we are being harassed! A challenge came up (ball being out of its ring). In our spiritual journey as servants, often we see the pictures of our members are having a hard time – the fact is:  Servants as well go through it.
As I lead the team and faced the test, I found myself weak – when Sis Mavic’s “NO” sounded like a rejection (the things we thought we can do, but the world limits us) the more I found myself fragile. Nevertheless amidst the boisterous world (crowd) I hear positive people, people who somehow said that I can still go on (this could be fellow servants, friends, encouraging scriptures, posts, talks, praise songs etc.) that says “Don’t Give up!”
Once again I look around, I see my team mates, having no idea, smiling yet felt & heard the pressure of the crowd and I feel the need, the responsibility, and so I responded to the call to bring them up! I took the leap and continued the battle!
As Vivian Greene’s quote says:
Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass. It’s about learning how to dance in the rain.”
Finally, the most important lesson of the day :
 Let us all choose to Remove the Give up button 

Photo credits to : Bro Royelle & Sis Ruby!


Coming & Going – CFC-FFL Nat’l. General Assembly

CFC – FFL National General Assembly
September 09, 201121st Century Private School

 “How awesome is the Lord most High” … this line keeps resounding in my head & became my LSS (Last Song Syndrome) right after the National Assembly. It makes me believe that I was so high with the music of the Lord. Not just me, but I think everyone else in the event was taken by storm with this assembly. Such a wonderful feeling, such a lovely day, such a rewarding moment it was! 

 Awesome is the Lord most High! The 188 attendees & counting, all Praised to the Lord almighty for arranging our entire schedule in this memorable gathering of Coming & Going in Christ.
Coming & Going

This was the topic on this day. Our speaker, Tito Raymon presented these two ways that our faith has to go through, he then presented the subject in a manner easily understood & reflected.
Let’s start with “Coming”; Sub-topics are: Coming to Christ, Following Christ, Resting in Christ & Faith in Christ are the factors that has left everyone into the thought of why are we coming to Him. To pursue Him is to give up all our comforts, to deny & willingly submit or surrender our self to the Savior. Jesus said in Luke 9:58 “Foxes have holes and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to rest”, it makes me reflect that we, as his servants ought to follow his ways as we aim to be Holy like Him. Thus following him entails a lot of prayer, personal relationship & an expectation that with his grace may our faith be greater than anything else in life. May we have that expectant faith of moving mountains, of walking into the sea like Peter or that of a child.

Commitment to Service, Work of Evangelization & Work of Formation, these are the 3 that comprises our “Going”. Often we compare ourselves to a glass, we fill our lives with our “coming” and when we are full, it is worth enough to do our “Going”. This is the time when we give back what we have gained. “Without cost we receive, without cost we have to give”. As reiterated by our speaker (Tito Raymon) “We are not friends, we are more than that, we are Brothers & Sisters in Christ.” And as a family we experience the normal process or relationship each family has been through. At one time were bonded, at one time we are happy, at one time we also have our misunderstandings, but then at the end of the day, we still run into each other, as we know that no one else better but those who are members of our family. May we instill in our hearts that being in this community is not about seeing the negative things of our neighbors, but the focus should only be to our Savior.

Most of us, wants to see a proof to have the assurance in getting something, even in our faith, we ask for signs & ways to fully grasps what is being written in the holy book. Jesus said: I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to God except through me. So here are some of those of have come to Him & has been guided:

Our Sharers: Brother Aladin, Sister Cecille, Brother Gerome & Sister Jenny, Brother Paul & Sister Vidalyn had their moments in inspiring & sharing their lives to inspire more people!

One of the most exciting parts of every General Assembly is the Praise & Worship time. The time when our limited words are transformed into music and lyrics that simply represents our thoughts & emotions. The time when we can express everything that we would want to say to Him, the time when we sing, dance, cry, laugh, smile in our heart & become Crazy for Christ! The time when the Holy Spirit praises with us all for His Glory!

Praise Feast Moment: Ignoring the heat, our Hearts Rejoicing, Praising, Glorifying, Honoring HIM!

ABU DHABI Music Ministry: His majesty has bestowed upon these servants the grace & blessing of the talent of singing, not only that, He has also blessed CFC-FFL Abu Dhabi with the new instruments. May we use these blessings all in exulting Him glory!

This event was hosted by the energetic couple Brother Manny & Sister Jacque. A group sharing was also done in discussing our “Coming & Going” in the community. While in my group this line from Brother Mervin (SFL-AUH) has struck me “Service is the Rent we pay for our life on Earth” Indeed so true! There is nothing else we can do to surpass God’s gift of life to us, but simply by following & serving him, in our case, Evangelization is the best way to serve him & spread his good words! I do believe that during that sharing we all have our own lines/statements that somehow affix in our mind & heart.

Birthday celebrants & Couples celebrating their anniversaries have been prayed over & some additional announcement has been advised by our Country Servant Bro. Luis Portugal.

May every Assembly be an inspiring day to each member & be an event to look forward to for more Spiritual blessings! May the Almighty God, Awesome & Great be praised!

Blog post by : JM Kayne

“To whom much is given, much is Expected”

Servant Leaders Meeting
25th March 2011
Grand Flora Hotel, Dubai. Today marks another day of Soul Nourishment building for the Servant Leaders.  Servants from Southern Emirates (Abu Dhabi & Al Ain), and Northern Emirates (Dubai & Sharjah) have gathered for the first meeting this year.
But don’t get me wrong this isn’t just a meeting, but a good time to enliven our service, our commitment our love all for HIS glory.
Couples For Christ Foundation for Family & Life. Then here is another meaning for our community.
C – Centered on Christ
F – Faithful to Covenant
C – Carrying the Cross
F – Faith
F – Family
L – Life
The crowd rumbled as our Country Servant Bro Luis asked what qualities a Servant Leader should have. Some enumerated Honest, Patience, God Fearing, Open Minded, Generous & a long list, even physical attributes count! Though it seemed simple, but at the end of each sharing, we come up to a fact that in reality we need to be Adaptable in each circumstance. For some would say be firm or others will say be flexible.
A sharing or reaction/feedback has been done to know our stand for this meeting & below are some of them:
In our commitment to serve this community, we sometimes make some other priorities taken for granted or left out… I sometimes do, especially with my family. But then God First, as he said
“Seek He first the kingdom of God & the others shall be done unto you” (—-). With verging tears on his eyes, he praises God for the many blessings he has now! – Brother Aladdin of Sharjah shared.
 “It is good to be a listener but in some ways to which I enjoy most in the later year of my service is to be in front as a sharer & be a living testament of the changes I have in my life since being a part of this community”, Bro Dodi, a SvFL from Abu Dhabi shared.
An answered prayer! Says Sis Ashe (SFL Abu Dhabi). All the while we are the once nourishing our members’ souls, this meeting is our turn to be nourished! The crowd replied in chorus: AMEN!
While another SFL, Sis Amie has these following lines that has given much impression & inspiration to me & I believe to others too.
“To whom much is given, much is expected”
“I can’t delay my Salvation”
“The more we serve, the more blessed we are”
      “Faith enable us to continue, we need to keep moving & steadfast and render our service unconditionally”
More of our Brothers & sisters have taken the centre stage to share their part. And they have their own stories to tell.
To wrap it up, this is I guess the first short gathering of the community, but worth attending. For it has freshened up our souls! For all of this, To GOD be the Glory!
Blog post by : JM Kayne

The Parents are out & the children are IN!


Event: Mini KIDS Assembly
Date: 10-11 February 2011
Venue : Tito Bonnie/Tita Weng’s House

The Parents are out & the children are IN!
This weekend (11 March, Thursday Night) is scheduled for their Parents’ Marriage Encounter Retreat. So this time the kids are IN for a short Retreat too, we call it KIDS’ Assembly.

It’s an overnight event, 5 kids or shall I say almost youth + 2 toddlers with 5 of their Ates & Kuya from  the Singles for Family & Life ministry.

Brother Darrelle, Sisters Amie, Ash, Lou & yours truly were assigned to be their service team.
We had a long list of events that was not totally covered for some reasons but then it was somehow a great sleep over.

Jon, Maynard, Bench, Dave, and Daniel- the all boys group plus Benz & Bea! These kiddos have rocked our world more than we have rocked them!

Letters to GOD. The main event of the night was a movie for them to reflect on. We have them engrossed watching it, even the toddlers! At the end of the movie, we found some of them or us with a teary eye. As part of the activity, we had them wrote their own letters to GOD & a separate one for their parents.

All 5 of us were happy to see them all willingly & seriously writing their letters, with matching arts & for sure a heart warming thoughts inside.

They have kept us awake all night after the activity, played their gadgets or even just bumped each other on their bed till dawn of 2 AM. They requested for some Philippines Scary stories. So Ate Lou & Kuya Darrelle gave them some and when the lights off, they were all behaved & have fallen asleep.

It was short, Friday morning was spent for a brief breakfast & the kids have gone to the church for their Catechism class. We hope to have a bigger group next time so we could explore more with the activities & have a stronger bond with these fellows.

Finally have realized one special thing: That they aren’t the normal stereotype personalities of “Laking Abroad” children who are difficult to handle. To our surprise they were very cooperative & interested in doing the activities we have in line.

Hats off to the parents of these kids that in God’s Grace these children are well raised.

Blog post by : JM Kayne


When I first arrived here in Abu Dhabi, one of the things I have written in my diary was to achieve something about my spirituality.

I went to a church here… and a part of me had this feeling of “dejavu” the place was sooooo familiar.  
Along the bible studies I have learned how to communicate with GOD, though I have been with him, since he is my best friend… but in every Friday 11AM session I have gained something…But somehow fate leads me to another group, still for Christians…

They are the CFC-FFL… Couples For Christ, Foundations for Family and Life.

Here I met mostly couples and few of us are singles… it’s also like a BB but it differs in a way that there are talks and at the end of every talk there comes the group sharing.

On the first week, what made me feel good being there was that because I have this opportunity to share my life to “strangers”…

Slowly as the weeks and days passed by, with the two one-on-one sharing, it made me feel closer,,, days and weeks of talks and sharing go along the way. I have found myself new friends, new kuya and ate.

On the 5th week, we had our pray over, they call it BAPTISM– the second one. I mean in one of the sacraments of Christianity is this one, but it was given to us when we were younger, when we are not aware. But with this one, we are at the right age, we are aware, we can make our own decision and we know what we are up to.

I was prayed over by 3 of my older sisters… Sis Amie-my single’s leader and two others Sis Weng & Jean.

To go into details may give me a hard time, then let me just describe it this way… I don’t know if it was because of the AC that along the way of the pray over, I chilled… as I utter “Alleluyah” I can hear the three pouring the words of God, I feel like a white blanket was covered me and something seemed to be cleansing me. At the end of that, I found myself shaking and that I needed sometime to recover enough strength to stand.
It feels good, strange, clean and it feels that it has given me spiritual strength!

While hearing the prayers it left me smiling for it had made me realized how WELL BLESSED I am.

  • to have a very good family (praised to God)
  • friends I feel like family.
  • I do not have grudges/hurt feelings to the people I am around.
  • I am blessed to have a good job, to be one of the chosen people to be here in Abu Dhabi.
  • Blessed to  experience this.
  • How blessed I AM to be WHO I AM.

To God, my saviour, my strength, my best friend, my father, my redeemer…
I love you! Thank you and I’m sorry.


For the record, being a Catholic is one thing I am sure I wouldn’t change. I closed my door to some other religion for I have believed in Jesus. I respect all the other religions. I’m willing to listen a few but, In God’s will, I will remain who I am.

Lord Jesus, please continue being with me, with my family and friends and to the people I know, be with them… guide them and be their light like you are to me. =)