A matter of faith


    FOLLOWING the twin quakes that hit Mindanao last week, a lot of social media attention was focused on a clip of Pastor Apollo Quiboloy speaking to his flock and talking about the earthquake.

    What made the clip controversial was that the Pastor claimed that by telling the earthquake to stop, it stopped. He had witnesses around him, he said, when he raised his hand as the chandeliers were beginning to sway. “I said stop, and it stopped!” the Davao-based Pastor said. He even added that people owe him because if he had not commanded the earthquake to stop, many more would have died.

    In the clip, the camera pans to his seated audience, men and women who were eagerly clapping at the word of the man who claims to be the “Appointed Son of God,” not to mention the “Owner of the Universe.”

    Many people commenting on social media asked: “Do people believe him?” One or two even imply that the Pastor sniffs something that causes such thoughts to cross his mind, while others go so far as to say that in fact he is just out of his mind.

    I actually commented myself. I said that maybe we’ve found the one person who can put a stop to climate change. Don’t you think so? Perhaps an invitation to speak at the UN should be worked out – if the issue in Hawaii has not resulted in the cancellation of his US visa.

    Seems even the “Owner of the Universe” needs a visa to enter some of the countries on this planet.

    But back to Quiboloy. It is not surprising that none of his followers have mocked him for his comments about the tremors. And I am going to bet that most (if not all) of those who reacted negatively to his words were Christian, most probably Catholic, because the majority of us are.

    But think about it: what’s so funny about what Pastor Quiboloy said in comparison to what we are supposed to believe in our own religions ourselves? He told the earth to stop shaking and it did; someone in our own faith did so many similar things, from raising the dead to feeding the multitude to walking on water. Pastor Apollo claims he had witnesses; we in contrast put our trust in stories that have been handed down for generations and are told in a book which has undergone so much editing and so many editions depending on the interpretation that this or that group of believers want to propagate.

    Honestly – try to read the foundational stories of religions other than your own. Aren’t they (choose one) funny, weird, crazy, wild, unbelievable? Aren’t the claims of the religious founders – all of them – out of this world?

    All of them!

    In the end it is just a matter of faith and faith means believing in something/someone on the basis of spiritual rather than on something empirical.
    Which is why Quiboloy’s believers clapped wholeheartedly hearing how the Appointed Son of God spared the rest of Mindanao greater damage when he told the earthquake to stop.

    To them it is just a matter of faith.

    But it sounded strange, even stupid, to us who do not take his word by faith, and who perhaps were thinking more along the lines of science and geology and all that.

    Bottom line is, anytime we judge religion on the basis of science then all religion begins to sound strange, even stupid.

    All of them.