Priest in a roofless church: They lost everything but not their faith

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BAGANGA, Davao Oriental—The façade looks like a place of worship for antichrists—a leaning statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and a hanging, almost falling, inverted cross.

Inside the church, on an elevation are a fit-for-royalty chair, a vigil candle, a rostrum and the purple-curtained tabernacle. Looking up, one would see the blue sky and clouds—as the ceiling had parted.

These scenes have nothing to do with good versus evil but rather with the wrath of Typhoon “Pablo” coming down on the Sacred Heart of Jesus church in Barangay Lambajon here. Half of its roof was blown off. The walls cracked; some parts had collapsed. The pews, like debris, are scattered all around.

Yet the faithful continue to come. And they are expected to be there when parish priest Darwey Clark celebrates Mass on the first of nine mornings that Filipinos call Simbang Gabi on Sunday.

“They may have lost their homes, everything, but they don’t have to lose their faith,” Clark, 43, said of his decision to celebrate Mass despite the fact that the church is barely there.

“This is where we will hold it,” he said, pointing to the hallway, with tent as ceiling, just beside the ruined church.

The hallway is filled with people, lining up for medicines and treatment being offered by volunteers of the private organization Operation Smile. People sat on pews as they waited for their names to be called—some needed paracetamol, antitetanus shots and treatment for more-than-a-week-old wounds.

 

Isolated town

It has been almost two weeks since Pablo struck this town but little help has arrived, thanks to a collapsed bridge that isolated it from the municipalities of Boston and Cateel.

“I was supposed to say Mass today (Friday) but the medical volunteers arrived. This (medical mission) is more urgent,” Clark said.

It was also on Friday that donated rice came in. In the middle of the open-air church, men repacked the grain but there is not enough for the village’s 7,000 residents.

“Please tell them (residents) to wait, we expect more help to arrive in the coming days,” Clark told the men as they leave to deliver the prepacked rice to Purok Dos, one of the 28 sub-villages in Lambajon.

But Clark said the situation is getting better.

“Immediately after Pablo hit us, people were down. You can see the pain in their faces. I myself could not afford to smile. Two or three days later, people were already smiling. That’s when I decided to say Mass,” he said.

Last Sunday, Clark celebrated Mass, not expecting people would come. They did.

 

Giving till it hurts

“During the offertory, I did not expect them to give anything since there was nothing to give but they still did. Somebody had found the sibot (collection bag) among the debris and passed it around,” he said.

But the Lambajon parish priest of two years should not have been surprised of the Lambajonons’ selflessness. When the first batch of relief goods arrived, some residents, after lining up under the scorching heat of the sun, went to the church and gave him his “share”—a pack of rice, noodles and canned goods.

“I was so touched,” he told the Inquirer.

So, in his homily during last Sunday’s Mass, Clark told his parishioners that despite what had happened, there were still reasons to be happy.

“Only three persons were killed by fallen trees here. We showed community spirit by helping each other. We pull strength from each other. And, we learned we have hidden talents,” he said, adding that some residents were forced to do carpentry to rebuild their homes.

Life after Pablo

“From nipa huts, they now have multicolored roofs,” said Clark now smiling, referring to the recycled GI sheets that residents use for their new homes.

Clark said life after Pablo would have been easy for him. “I could have stayed at the Clergy House (also known as Bishop’s House in Mati City) but I could not. I owe it to the people of Lambajon,” he said.

“The residents of Lambajon are very religious,” he added.

Clark was right.

Parishioner Emma Castillon, 39, said even if the church had been destroyed, she will continue hearing Mass, especially with the start of Simbang Gabi at dawn Sunday.

“Nakatagilid man sya, naandyan pa rin si Hesus (Jesus may be leaning but He’s still there),” Castillon said as she looked up at the bent Sacred Heart of Jesus statue above the entrance of the church.

This year’s Simbang Gabi in Lambajon would definitely be different. There will be no pealing of the bells. There will be no hour-long “wake-up” Christmas songs playing on loud speakers prior to the Mass.

“We still don’t have electricity. Besides, the speakers were broken beyond repair,” Clark said.

Where sunrise is first seen

To make up for the continued power outage, Simbang Gabi here will be held at 5 a.m. instead of the customary predawn Mass. It will be celebrated as the sun rises. Baganga is the next town to Caraga, where the sunrise is first seen in the country.

For Jing-Jing Panawayan, owner of a sari-sari store in front of the church, not having electricity during Mass or the lack of a beautiful church to go to is not important.

“Wala na ang simbahan pero naandyan ang tao, naandyan ang pari, naandyan ang Diyos (The church may be gone but the people are there, the priest is there, God is there),” she said.

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  • http://profile.yahoo.com/MJW2CHZBIO7YZ6MK3KVALX4VM4 Jhonny

    Don’t worry Father, the CBCP belongs to the Millionaire’s {or Billiionaire’s}  Club. They can easily ask someone to repair it.

    • blainz

      Maybe they can ask Bishop Pabillo to repair it personally. After all, according to him, it was God that took the roof away.

      I hope the town recovers fast from this tragedy, but I wish the people there would be more impressed by warnings from meteorologists and less on assurances of priests.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_JLN7DWHPJSNQZQJKZQ4LEU4VKE LabuyoB

        No, contribute for rehabilitation blainz, you bring condoms and pills there, those will really address devastation and poverty!

      • humberto45

        ISA KA PA BLAINZ, AROGANTE!

      • bugoybanggers

        Mga AMERICANO ito. Mga sumasamba sa kanilang PASTOR.

  • johnlagrimas

    It’s only the devil who always devices to create something bad out of all events/stories no matter how good or inspiring those events/stories are.

  • Jomex

    stupid story! there is no devil or antichrist! this is just the creation of the church to keep the people in fear. if god is willing, he will help the people from the storm. but god is unable to help, so where is god?

    god does not exist, god is just an imagination of those people who dont know better!

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_JLN7DWHPJSNQZQJKZQ4LEU4VKE LabuyoB

      You just wait for you to meet God, I even dare say not even before you face death, maybe in a second or two, a day or years to pass you will meet Him, let us know here on the web when that event will take place!

      • Jomex

        bakit kayong mga believers, every time someone criticise your stupid beliefs you threaten them with damnation. ganun ba kayo ka-insecure? if your imagined God is real, just tell him to show himself! anyway, afterlife is not real. no proof there too hehe! we have each other. no need to invent some bad place so that people will be pressured to do good. hehe

    • mang_empoy

      Jomex maybe God is just an imagination for you but not for these people. God for them is very real and not a stupidity as you say.

      If you consider yourself to be smarter for not believing in God, why not show respect and tolerance to persons who have a different mind set? I thought non-believers have an open mind and modern approach to a multi-form society? Your unkind and intolerant words remind me of a backward and medieval mentality.   

      • Jomex

        i didnt say the people are stupid, i said the story is stupid.

        God is an imagination and creation of our mind.  I can create a god too…i create a Flying Spaghetti Monster circling the planet Uranus. i saw him in my dreams, therefore FSM is real. he performed miracles too, he is everywhere, he answered my prayers..if you deny him in your life, you will go to that dark place where there is no meatballs.

    • humberto45

      SOMEDAY YOU TOO WILL CRAWL ON THE GROUND … KISS THE GROUND… KAWAWANG TAO KA JOMEX… YES WE PITY YOU!

      • Jomex

        no I pity those people who are so gullible they easily believe in god claims without asking for evidence. start thinking for yourselves. dont let religious leaders, even the meek ones, lead you to close your minds.

    • Kamoteng_Dilaw

      A COMMENT FROM IDIOT DEVIL LIKE YOU IS NOT NEEDED. YOU JUST SHUT YOUR  FOUL MOUTH ATHEIST DICK HEAD.

      • Jomex

        ad hominem is the last ditch defense of the losing side.

    • johnlagrimas

      …and your comment is just your creation. I would rather believe to a magician than you. Bitter!

      • Jomex

        you believe in magicians? no wonder your so gullible! if you believe in magic, its easy to believe in superstition and myths.

        ad hominem is the last ditch defense of the losing side.

    • xrisp

      Dont let that moment come when you will bend on your knees and learn to call on the name of God.

      • Jomex

        awwww…really? you know simple lang ang requirement, just show us proof of your God. dont resort to fear mongering and faith crap.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WT5ZX5O7ZBC6Z3LXFA4UIQZC3I emajega

        sige biyakin mo ulo mo, pagwala kang nakitang utak na nagpapatakbo sa  isip suguro nga tama ka wala nga.

      • Jomex

        no proof of god? just keep quiet!

      • xrisp

        Putok lang pala sa buhok itong si Jomex.  

      • GKLer

        basahin mo post ni jin2012 sa taas para masagot ka, at manahimik na buhay mo

      • Jomex

        really? you think you can show proof of god by prophecies, artifacts and bible? wow! how arrogant!

      • GKLer

        arrogant?  LOL, and now comes the weak rebuttals.  You are predictable. 

      • GKLer

        basahin mo post ni jin2012 sa taas para tumahimik ka na

      • Jomex

        sinagot ko na at fyi mababaw ang explanation na binigay mo, read more…

  • Jomex

    The only reason the people were able to pull through this mess is themselves, not a god.

    • blainz

      It was very dispiriting to read that one of the items rescued from the debris was the collection bag…

      • mang_empoy

        Far more dispiriting to read is your comment, putting malice on a collection bag that these people consider a symbol for sharing and heroic generosity.

        In case you did not get the story, it is not about collecting money but preserving faith in God and wanting share the little they have to fellow calamity victims.

      • Kamoteng_Dilaw

         BLAINZ PA KANDE NAMAN…

      • xrisp

        Blindz…itulog mo nalang yan mas makakatulong pa sa iyo imbis na pagaksayahan mo ng oras magbasa ng ganitong balita.

      • bugoybanggers

        Wag kang makialam, nagpapasikat ka ba?

      • Jomex

        boo hoo, there is no God bugoy, square with that!

      • bugoybanggers

        Wag mo akong pag sabihan niyan JOMEX! PAtunayan mo muna. Magpakamatay ka ngayon, kung may kaluluwa ka balikan mo ako okay? Sabihin mo sa akin ng harap harapan na WALANG DIOS! Hindi sa pa type type lang sa keyboard mo. Wag kang mag alala, alam ko naman na (may) TAMA ka. Samakatuwid, alam ko din na nagsimula ang lahat sa PAGKA-KATOLIKO sabay baling bilang KULTO (lahat ng may ngit-ngit sa Katoliko) at kapag hindi parin nakuntento magiging ATHEISTA/SCIENTOLOGY, iyon na ang daan para maging SATANISMO. Mabuhay ka Jomex  na LIKE kita. BAsta wag mong kalimutan okay? PAKAMATAY ka na ngayon at patunayan mo na walang dios, balik ka agad okay kung may kaluluwa ka!

      • Jomex

        pero wala akong kaluluwa, in english “no soul”. there is no proof of afterlife. ikaw meron kang kaluluwa di ba? kaya ikaw ang mag pakamatay dyan at multuhin mo ako. pero kelangan sa harap ng KrisTV show complete with full audience at LIVE ha?

        my parents religion was Catholic. gaya ng ibang Catholics, i was indoctrinated into my parents religion and I had no choice as a child. but now, i think for myself, i challenge all believers to show empirical proof and evidence of god. its not much of a request, is it? besides if God can create a universe, God can surely show himself before a KrisTV show, hehe!

        Hoy mag-aral ka nga at magbasa ng marami. pag sinabing atheist (i am very proud of that name by the way), hindi naniniwala sa supernatural. Ibig sabihin including Satan, so no gods, no devils, no angels, no fairies, no Santa, no Thor, no Zeus, no Yahweh, no Allah, no Manalo, no Shiva, no Krishna, etc. Unless meron kang katibayan, pakita mo sa akin.

        para matapos na tong usapan natin, ipakita mo na kasi si Lord mo

    • humberto45

      WHAT! IT IS GOD’S SPIRIT WHO GAVE THEM THE STRENGTH, COURAGE AND WISDOM TO PERSEVERE… AND FAITH!!! 

      • xrisp

        Walang mangyayari sa iyo brod kapag si Jomex ang pinatulan mo. Walang alam sabihin yan kundi pagngingitngit sa puso nya. Galit na galit sa mga Katoliko. Tingnan mo imbis na matuwa sa balita ididiscredit pa ang source ng nagpapalakas ng loob ng mga tao doon. Hindi nya alam ang Diyos ang dinidiscredit nya sa kamangmangan nya sa pagsasalita.

      • Jomex

        God is just an imaginary being, dont fool yourself xrisp!

        I just love it when believers are confronted with questions about the existence of their god, they resort to ad hominem arguments instead of answering them. i mean if God is real, he would have protected the people from the storm, instead he killed them. what kind of a god is that? pathetic God.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WT5ZX5O7ZBC6Z3LXFA4UIQZC3I emajega

        pagpatay ka na saka mo maiintindihan ang mga sinabi mong mali.

        btw, bilang palipas oras sa buhay mo bumunot ka ng sanga ng ilang-ilang, ilagay mo sa paso, diligan mo, alagaan mo ng mga isang buwan, pagmalaki na at namulaklak na at mabango na ang halimuyak saka mo bunutin at tapakan then sunugin mo, saka mo ianalisa kung may Diyos nga ba o wala. 

      • Jomex

        if afterlife is real, why dont you kill yourself right now? di ba mas maganda sa heaven? do you want to go there right now? get a knife and slit your throat!

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WT5ZX5O7ZBC6Z3LXFA4UIQZC3I emajega

        after life is real. pagpinatay ko sarili ko sa impierno punta ko tulad mo hehehe

      • Jomex

        you just “assumed” an afterlife. you have not shown proof of it. theres the difference. think first before you comment.

      • GKLer

        you go first since you want to know that badly

      • Jomex

        i dont believe in afterlife. i care about THIS life than the one after it. that is why atheists are loving this life more than believers! believers cannot wait for this life to end, so they can go meet their god. well…if you’re so keen in meeting your god, why not kill yourself now?

      • GKLer

        you go first nga eh.  kulit mo.

      • xrisp

        When you approach God it is through faith and not through your intelligence because no amount of human intelligence can fully understand GOD!  So no amount of explanantion even from the most gifted of all humans could satisfy your kind. Pity yourself Jomex!!!

      • Jomex

        “no amount of human intelligence can fully understand GOD!”  but you can??? because you have faith???

        by saying that we cannot “understand” God by human intelligence, that God is already out of the argument! you reduced faith as a process of NON-THINKING. Faith is now an excuse you make when no explanation is required. It is mental surrender and slavery. And I dont want to live life like that. Even if I allow that a God like that exists, would not that God be kind enough to let me think for myself? Think about it.

      • GKLer

        basahin mo post ni jin2012 sa taas

      • Jomex

        sinagot ko na

      • Jomex

        show proof of your God then! if you cant show proof of God, its useless to refer to “its” spirit.

        faith is what people use when evidence is lacking.

      • GKLer

        basahin mo post ni jin2012 sa taas

      • Jomex

        sinagot ko na

    • johnlagrimas

      …even God cannot rescue your crooked English. Mag tagalog ka na lang kung taga sa’ng bundok ka.

      • Jomex

        ad hominem is the last ditch defense of the losing side.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WT5ZX5O7ZBC6Z3LXFA4UIQZC3I emajega

      hahaha tama si johngrimas magtagalog ka nalang hahaha.

  • mang_empoy

    An inspiring story about a people’s faith and determination to overcome obstacles!

    But it also amazes me how some persons keep on commenting negative things and even injecting malice and biases on an innocent story such as this. 

    • xrisp

      What will we expect from these non-Catholic brothers?  Nagngingitngit sila sa mga inspiring stories katulad nito. Bakit kaya?

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/276L22SZM5ZUQGV24IL4ZEF6UA Edward

        very well said…

      • niceguy60

        They are lost sheep. Just pray for them.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/276L22SZM5ZUQGV24IL4ZEF6UA Edward

      dre, just ignore them.. they are born to destroy the peoples Catholic faith…They are anti-catholic…You cannot expect them to see goodness in other’s faith…

      Remember, these people from different cult groups spend millions of pesos and maintain tv stations, magazines like the watchtower, pasugo, etc. which sole purpose is to destroy the Catholic Church…They are free to post anything they want against the Catholic Church just to fulfill its cult groups mission….

      Luke 23:34 “Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”…..

      • Jomex

        but i dont believe in any gods! why do catholics think their god is better than any other gods? to me all your gods are just pigment of your imagination. if your god is real, show him to us then! if you cant show, why insist to everyone that your god is real? why go to great lenghts to push your beliefs to everyone? and if we criticise your beliefs, you go say bad things about us! religion is your toy and i dont want to play with your toy! just keep your toy to yourself. dont force it on us! dont bring your toy to other people’s houses or lives. is that clear?

      • GKLer

        basahin mo post ni jin2012 sa taas.

      • Jomex

        sinagot ko na

  • bugoybanggers

    Tama nga naman, iyan ang determinasyon para mabuo ang tunay na pagmamahal sa kapwa. Ang sakripisyo ang kailangan ng lahat. Ang Katoliko nag simula sa sakripisyo at babangon ito dahil sa sakripisyo. Hindi tulad sa ibang KULTO na aani nalang dahil sa paninira. Walang kahirap hirap basta magaling daw at saulado ang Bibliya akala mo kung sino na. Ingat mga KAtoliko, maraming ahas ang nakamatyag sa inyo.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_U62PHGMKO4RK7BLMC4ACA4EG5A EREC

      Ang mga komento ko ay hindi laban sa mga katoliko dahil isa rin akong katoliko subalit ang binibira ko ang liderato ng katolikong simbahan…. dahil may paniniwala akong maykarapatan akong tingnan ang kanilang kawalanghiyaan gaya ng pang momolistiya ng inosenteng bata, ang paglalapit nila sa mga santo kaysa kay Kristo Hesus, ang kakulangan sa pagtutuo ng Bagong Tipan na siyang dapat na centro…. nuong bata pa ako pikit matalang akong sumunod dahil hindi pa siguro kaya kung umintindi ng lahat ngayon matanda narin ako may karapatan akong magsalita dahil isang kasalanan sa akin kung ako ay mananahimik.

      Ang simbahan katolika ay kailangan reporma…kilangan ang pari ay mag asawa at magkaruon ng pamilya para hindi sila kawawa at isang tabi nalang ng pamunuan ng simbahan pagmatanda na. Ang simbahan katolika huwag makialam sa estado, kilangan nilang irespeto at galangin ang KONSTITUSYON NG PILIPINAS.

      YES to HB4244, I prefer to turnback from my religion than my faith for good of my countrymen that has sole right for support and have the right of choice.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/276L22SZM5ZUQGV24IL4ZEF6UA Edward

        weh..palusot ka pa …katoliko daw siya???? dre, tell that to the marines…lahat ng mga hinaing nyo at hinanakit nyo sa Inang Simbahan ay asal o gawain ng Isang kultong grupo…Kung Katoliko kau sana alam nyo kung ano gawaing Simbahan ? Anong tinutukoy nyong reporma? nakakatawa ka nmn…

        Isang hamak na layko ako pero alam ko ang mga gawain ng Inang Simbahan…kasi d kau Katoliko ..nagpapanggap lamang na isa kayong Katoliko..Sabi nga nila ang tupa ay tupa..hindi maaaring ang tupa ay maging lobo…

        Christ knows His flock…If you pretend u r one of them…isip isip kasi hindi tanga ang mga kapatid nating Katoliko…

        Kasalanan ang magsinungaling…

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/OGZA2YXEEXH3JF4NM22KYGOULI Ed Esmi

        Sobra ka namang magsalita brod. Para kang hindi Kristyano. Para rin sa iyong kaalaman, ang Diocese of Mati na syang sumasakop nitong simbahan na to sa probinsya ng Davao Oriental ay mahirap lamang na dyosesis dahil mahihirap lamang ang karamihan sa mga parokyano nito. Please lang, huwag mo namang isubsob sa iyong galit ang lahat ng simbahang katoliko. Karamihan dito sa Mindanao na kaanib ng Simbahang Katoliko ay mahihirap. Hindi kami katulad ninyong taga Maynila. Be charitable in your speech naman, for the love of Jesus and for the love of the Church of the Poor. Magpapasko na!

      • xrisp

        Tibayan mo ang loob mo brod pag nagbasa ka sa comment section na ito lalo na kapag ang issue ay may kinalaman sa mga Katoliko at sa paniningigan ng mga totoong Katoliko. Napakaraming galit na galit sa mga Katoliko dito.

      • niceguy60

        In other words you become a fundamentalist. One characteristics of a fundamentalist is they become bigots of other religion. Just like fundamentalist Muslims who hates the non believers so much they would behead anyone if they had their way.

        Priest makes mistakes just like people. But that is personal weakness of the person. Not the instititution of the whole Catholic church.

        The church give people hope and solace in times of good and bad. Aren’t you surprised people go to church even if the church is almost no longer there?

        RH or no RH people will not stop going to church. Yes, there must be separation of church and state. But it does not mean the church should just shut up. There must be a common ground for existence.

        The victims of typhoon Pablo are poor yet their conviction and beliefs remains intact.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WT5ZX5O7ZBC6Z3LXFA4UIQZC3I emajega

        Kailangan kamong mag-asawa? Para ano, matulad sa mga pastor mo na ang pinakakain sa pamilya at paaral sa mga anak ay galing sa ikapu ng mga myiembro, na ang iba ay mahirap pa sa mahirap na daga.

        Sino ka para sabihin na kailangang ireporma ng simbahan? Mahigit 2,000 years old na ang simbahang Katolika at yung mga aral mula ng umakyat si Jesus sa langit ay di parin nagbabago hanggang ngayon.

        Ayan ang kaibahan ng katolika sa ibang sekta, hindi namimilit ng myembro. Kung ayaw mo na eh di hwag!, Gud luck nalang.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_U62PHGMKO4RK7BLMC4ACA4EG5A EREC

    Why not ask your bishops for support financial or medical and foods. Tell them to withdraw some hundreds of thousand pesos for help to your area not to depend from government and public support.
    Before and aftet the typhoon Im very sure the people of that had been praying already.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WT5ZX5O7ZBC6Z3LXFA4UIQZC3I emajega

      why not ask your pastors/ministers to help the victims of Pablo, since it was written in the bible to love thy neighbors. why wait for the catholic hierarchy. 

    • bugoybanggers

      Sira ka ba? Kontribusyun namin wag kang maki alam! Ano ang paki mo? Hindi mabubuhay ang KULTO mo kung hindi ka pwersahang aambag ng 10% sa buwanang KITA mo. Mabuiti pa kami hindi sapilitan. Wag bumunganga KULTO!

  • catmanjohn

    Very moving story… Now pass the RH Bill. 

  • $25214711

    Hindi nasagip ng dyos mo yung mga namatay. Ano yun pagsubok ng dyos o gawa ng kalikasan? Lumala pa gawa ng naputol na mga puno.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WT5ZX5O7ZBC6Z3LXFA4UIQZC3I emajega

      antay ka lang kapag nasa kabilang buhay kana at makita mo ng harapan ang Diyos saka mo sabihin ang mga sinabi mo.

      • $25214711

        Sure..why not!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WT5ZX5O7ZBC6Z3LXFA4UIQZC3I emajega

    Ito ang nagpapatunay na ang mga Katoliko ay hindi sumasamba sa mga rebulto na sinasabi ng mga ibang sekta laban sa mga katoliko.

    Masunog man ang simbahan, mabali man ang Krus, bumaksan man ang mga imahe ok lang yan sa mga Katoliko dahil ang Diyos ay higit pa sa magagarang simbahan, matatag pa sa mga naglalakihang krus at maaasan sa kahit ano mang imahe.

  • GKLer

    Hoy Jomex, para masagot na mga tanong mo:

    I quote Jin2012’s post.


    To the atheist.

    Proof of God is in prophecy.

    If the Bible were myth, why then are there so many archaeological artifacts from the historical accounts found in the Bible? (ref: en . wikipedia . org/wiki/List_of_artifacts_significant_to_the_Bible)

    There are 2000 prophecies out of 2500 that have already been fulfilled. Some of them in the last 100 years. Here is -one prophecy to note (Matthew 24) that is already about half fulfilled:

    The Roman Catholic Church banned, burned Bibles and the Believers who read it or had a copy for 600 years (~1200s to 1800s), and used an army to murder 50-100 million people in its ~2000 year history. Despite all that power, the Bible did spread, and today it is estimated that 7.5 billion Bibles have been printed since 1816 and are in circulation in 2370 languages. 100 million are being sold per year, not including electronic copies. Compare it with the prophecy below written ~2000 years ago:

    Matthew 24 (Jesus speaks)
    “14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”

    Tell me how “any man” can make 2000 prophecies come true across 6000 years of Biblical history?

    The Book of Isaiah was written in ~700BC. The oldest copy mankind has is dated ~300-120BC thanks to the Dead Sea Scrolls.

    Isaiah:
    9:6-7 [born as a human male]
    7:14 [born of a virgin]
    37:31 [from the House of Judah]
    11:1-10 [from the root and stump of Jesse]
    16:5 [from the House of David]
    9:1-2 [from Nazareth of Galilee]
    49:6, 42:1-6 [mission included the Gentiles]
    29:18, 35:5-6 [ministry included miraculous healings]
    61:1-2 [ministry would deliver spiritual captives]
    53:3 [despised and rejected by men]
    49:7 [hated without cause]

    So what are the mathematical odds of ALL that (and more) coming true at the right time and place in ONE man?

    In fact you just helped make the prophecies in Isaiah 53:3 and 49:7 come true.

    Next the atheist says, even Christ never existed.

    The Sanhedrin executed Jesus. He is recorded in the Talmud. Sanhedrin 43a – “Eve of Passover, Yeshua was hanged etc..” The Talmud also refers to 5 disciples of Christ, it states how old he was when he died, and how the Romans got involved.So the question to the atheist is:Why would the Sanhedrin document a “mythical” enemy?That’s like saying the CIA is documenting mythical enemies rather than real terrorists.

    Thallus wrote about the execution of Jesus, his writings date up to 52AD.

    Flavius Josephus, a member of the Pharisees and court historian to Emperor Vespasian made references to Pilate, Caiphas, Jesus, James – brother of Jesus. So why would he risk the ire of the emperor in reporting several mythical figures?

    Artifacts (physical evidence): There is Pilate’s Stone, the Ossuary of James that states: James – Son of Joseph, Brother of Jesus. There is also the Ossuary of Caiphas, where his body was found including coins dated to 42AD.

    Tacitus wrote about the burning of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70AD.

    Jesus prophesied about the destruction of Jerusalem in Matthew 24. Myths do not prophecy. Matthew was written in 41AD. Jerusalem was destroyed in 70AD by Rome.

    Reader’s Digest, Encyclopedia Brittanica lists Christ as FACT. Even Einstein believed Jesus Christ existed.

    Finally, a question to the atheist, name me just one movement in history that has 100,000 followers and has survived for at least 300 years without a real leader.

    • Jomex

      oh please!!! masyadong mababa ang requirement mo! if you think 2000 year old prophecies, artifacts, and the bible are enough proof of the existence of your God, then think again! if you want to know how religion works, just look at any modern day religions like Mormons and Scientology. They can conjure up the same BS like you did!

      Besides using prophecies, artifacts and bible is a circular argument. And even if Jesus is a real historical person, so what? Many people in history claimed they were gods too! What makes your Jesus special?

      Besides also, 1st century literature are well known among historians as unreliable and many were forged! many were destroyed too, by the church i might add.

      • GKLer

        LOL you haven’t improved your level of discourse, not one bit.

        This is you:

        GKLer:  We found a solid red marble here.  Look here we have evidence.
        Jomex:  Nope, I don’t see a red marble, that’s unacceptable, it’s a fake.
        GKLer:  Where is your evidence it is a fake?
        Jomex:  Moves on to a new topic, or refuses to answer any questions.

        Basically all you do when presented with evidence that you cannot counter, you ignore it.  You are a sad man.  

        And now everyone else can see it.

      • Jomex

        you compared god to a red marble?

      • GKLer

        you have reading comprehension problems too? It’s called metaphor (figurative language), taught in grade 4.  marble = solid artifacts. 

        It seems I will need to discuss this at your current level of skill.

      • Jomex

        it was meant as an insult when i said “you compared god to a red marble”

        why dont you discuss the properties of your god?

      • GKLer

        1.  God is a spirit.

        Now you tell me what are the physical properties of a spirit.

        BTW, you just proved my point.
        “Jomex:  Moves on to a new topic, or refuses to answer any questions.”

        You have moved to a new topic…just as I predicted you would.

      • Jomex

        NO GKLer, you tell me the “physical properties” of a spirit (really spirit has “physical” properties??? lol)

        You’re the one making a claim about God is a spirit, therefore you tell me what it is. You have the burden of explaning to me what it is! If you cant understand that, then its hopeless.

        Also define spirit please.

        I didnt move to a new topic, or refuse to answer your questions. I just flatly refute your argument from authority, and argument from ignorance. You started your argument by stating that prophecies, artifacts and the Bible are outright true. Well, how do you know?

      • GKLer

        NO.  I have already given you enough answers, yet you just ignored them (that is how you do your discourse), because anyone here can see, you cannot counter them.  

        Why are atheists so dense?

        Let me repeat for the second time.

        Follow this carefully:
        1. Seemingly unbelievable prophecy written down by Prophets who said it is from God.

        ** At this point you doubt they are true, authentic or real.

        Fine…
        2. BUT Hundreds of years later, it comes true in great detail.  We can verify using historical accounts.

        *** So -one- example out of 2500 are the ISAIAH prophecies.  We know the oldest copies (Dead Sea Scrolls) are 300 BC vintage.  That’s 300 years before Christ was born.
        3. There you have it – simple proof, because no man could have made them come true.
        **** Your reply?  WALA.Then as I have predicted above, you move on to a new topic (red herring fallacy), and ignore all questions you cannot answer.  You have already admitted it.quid pro quo.

        At this point, just answer the questions I quoted from Jin2012, stop beating around the bush, and counter it.  Because you haven’t. …and I doubt you have the ability to do so.  Because as I have predicted, all you do is ignore things you are unable to answer or counter.

      • Jomex

        your argument is like this: prophecies, artifacts and bible are true; therefore God is real. wow…just wow! your god is an assumption.  

      • GKLer

        No.  It seems I have also have to spell it for you as well.

        Follow this:
        1. Seemingly unbelievable prophecy written down by Prophets who said it is from God.
        2. Hundreds of years later, it comes true in great detail.  We can verify using historical accounts.
        3. There you have it – simple proof, because no man could have made them come true.

        Now, there are some prophecies that came true just this century.  Which YOU can verify.  We all know the last entry in the Bible was written 2000 years ago.  So…. there is your proof.  If you want more, then keep an eye on the remaining 500 prophecies that have yet to come true.  Maybe a few will come true while you are still alive.

    • Merle Guzman

      JOMEX, just stop arguing or having a ‘useless’ discourse with this faithless poor soul.  to those who believe, proof is not needed.  to those who don’t believe, nothing will convince.   just  move on, and pray for the faithless that GOD will touch their hearts and open up to accept the Good News of Salvaton 

      • GKLer

        Excuse me, but who are you to question my faith?  Are you God?  Are you the risen Christ who has come to finally judge me?

    • bugoybanggers

      Ano ito? The Roman Catholic Church banned, burned Bibles and the Believers who read it or had a copy for 600 years (~1200s to 1800s), and used an army to murder 50-100 million people in its ~2000 year history. Pakiliwanag nga?

      • GKLer

        I quote jin2012.

        “The Synod of Verona in 1184 AD was under Pope Lucius III.
        Anything it did or didn’t do, was under his watch and blessings and his apparent infallibility.

        Definition:
        Canon – laws and regulations made by or adopted by the Church.

        I quote:
        In 1184 the synod of Verona cursed all heretics and their shelterers, ORDERED relapsed persons to be handed over to the secular arm for CAPITAL punishment, confiscated their property, and clearly indicated that the new Inquisition would go far beyond the older Episcopal function. The synod did not hesitate to threaten easy-going bishops, urging them to more frequent and more searching visitations, standing over them as a superior power.- 1902encylopedia . com on Inquisition

        I quote:
        “In 1184, the Roman Catholic Synod of Verona LEGISLATED that BURNING was to be the official punishment for heresy” – wikipedia Death_by_burning
        I quote:”In 1184AD the Roman Catholic Synod of Verona DECLARED that heretics were to be BURNED” – Darryl Eberhart, Editor ETI & TTT, Handout#18, Nov 15 2010

        I quote:
        “The DECREE of Pope Lucius II Against Heretics.  In 1184 Lucius III issued a BULL against heretics, which would later establish many of the principles of jurisprudence adopted by the Inquisition.  Such as – anyone that shielded heretics would be liable to the same punishment, and that “relapsed” heretics should receive steeper sentences including confiscation of property.  To abolish the malignity of diverse heresies…….we declare all Catharists, Paterines, Poor of Lyons, Passignes, Josephists, Arnoldists to lie under perpetual anathema….. as for the layman found guilty of aforesaid crimes we decree him to be left to the sentence of the secular judge….”

        Timeline
        385AD Spanish heretic Priscillian executed by Emperor Maximus
        529AD Justinian code against heretics
        1022AD King of France condemns heretics to burning at stake.
        1028AD Mob in Milan burn heretics over objections of a local bishop
        1143AD Cathars are burned at the stake by the locals in Cologne
        1184AD Bull of Pope Lucius III against heretics, Waldo and Cathars
        1199AD Bull of Pope Inocent  III specifies lands of heretics be confiscated.
        1209AD Pope Inocent IIII launches crusades against Albigensian Christians, Cathars, Beziers
        1215AD 4th Lateran Council in Rome declares heretics be excommunicated and turned over to authorities for punishment.
        1217AD Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor makes canon laws against heresy, heretics be burnt.
        1227AD Gregory IX starts Papal Inquisition
        1229AD Council of Toulouse declares no lay people should possess scripture except for Psalms and Hours which must be in Latin.
        1252AD Bull of Innocent IV authorized torture.
        – refer to The History of the Christian Church, Robert Jones, p23

        I quote:
        The Synod of Verona (1184) IMPOSED on bishops the duty to search out the heretics in their dioceses and to hand them over to the secular power. Other synods, and the Fourth Lateran Council (1215) under Pope Innocent III, repeated and enforced this decree, especially the Synod of Toulouse (1229), which established inquisitors in every parish (one priest and two laymen). Everyone was bound to denounce heretics, the names of the witnesses were kept secret; after 1243, when Innocent IV sanctioned the laws of Emperor Frederick II and of Louis IX against heretics, torture was applied in trials; the guilty persons were delivered up to the civil authorities and actually BURNT at the stake.” -refer to newadvent . org  Catholic Encylopedia.

      • GKLer

        I quote Jin2012:

        “300 AD Rome (Emperor Diocletian) started burning Bibles and their Believers. However Emperor Constantine put a stop to this.
        1184 AD Synod of Verona – Declared heretics be burned (Bible groups, Catholics who questioned the power of the pope).
        1199 AD Pope Innocent III – Burned French Bibles, and did not permit the people to have more.
        1203 – 1808 50+ million people are estimated to have been murdered and tortured by the RC Inquisition for crimes including possession and reading the Bible in English, French, Spanish, German etc.
        1208 – 1226 The RC army was sent to kill Albigenesian Christians.
        1215 AD Lateran Council declared heretics be burned and property taken.
        1229 AD The RC Inquisition executed and confiscated the property of 32000 Al bigensian Christians in Toulouse France.
        1229 AD Canon 14 – Church Council of Toulouse – We prohibit the laity to have OT and NT, and their translation of these.
        1234 AD Pope Gregory IX ordered Bible burning.
        1234 AD Council of Tarragona – No one may possess OT and NT, you must turn them over to the local bishop with 8 days, so that they may be burned.
        1408 AD Synod of Oxford – Declared “heresy” to posses an unauthorized English Bible (a Bible not approved by the Roman Catholic Church).
        1559 AD Pope Pius IV – Index of Trent 1559 – Index of Librorum Prohibitorum – Whoever reads or has a translation cannot be absolved from his sins until he turns in his Bible. All unauthorized Bible are forbidden.
        1525 AD 6000 Tyndale NT burned.
        1600 AD 10000 Bibles burned by order of Ferdinand II.
        1713 AD Pope Clement II – Condemned reading the Bible.
        1844 AD Pope Gregory – Declared those favoring Bible societies were guilty of the greatest crime against God and Church.”

  • Jomex

    very insecure talaga ang mga believers, tanungin mo about God, magagalit agad. it only shows that god is not real! if god is real, he wont let these ignorant and angry believers of his do the talking for him. this God will have to do it himself to spare the rest of us.

    • chibert jala

      please google the word “freedom”. merry christmas.

    • GKLer

      nagtanong ka ba ng maayos, oh gaya ng dati na bastos?  i think you know the answer to that question.

      ps. don’t bother answering this. just answer the few questions I quoted from Jin2012.

  • GKLer

    Eto JOMEX, so that you don’t have a super hard time with the post I quoted from jin2012.

    Follow carefully….read carefully…

    1.  This prophecy was written looooong ago, about ~2000 years ago.

    Prophecy in Matthew 24 (Jesus speaks)
    “14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”

    2. “TODAY it is estimated that 7.5 billion Bibles have been printed since 1816 and are in circulation in 2370 LANGUAGES. 100 million are being sold per year, not including electronic copies.”

     Ayan, malinaw, half fulfilled na siya, despite Rome’s (the most powerful nation in the world for almost 1000 years) attempts to execute Christians for 300 years,
    and the Roman Catholic Church’s attempts to suppress the Bible and execute those who read it for 600 years!

    3.  So ayan, ang -one- proof out of 2500 prophecies na madaling i-verfiy, kahit ikaw magagawa mo.

    Kung gusto mo pa ng more proof, e mail ko si Jin2012, kayo mag-usap, kung kaya mo siya.

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