Friday, December 30, 2016

Is Duterte anti-Christ? A reply to Mocha Uson



A. WHAT IS AN ANTICHRIST?

In her Philippine Star article, Is CBCP anti-Christ?, Mocha Uson used the word anti-Christ loosely as to mean something opposite to what Christianity teaches:
Christianity is founded on love. It espouses the doctrine of loving thy neighbor, not judging others, and forgiveness.  However, the way the Philippine Catholic Church has been acting is the total opposite of what Christianity preaches.
This is a very loose definition of anti-Christ, so I simply titled my previous article as "Is CBCP against Christ?" Even though "anti" is the same as the word "against", the term antichrist has biblical connotations, as written in the letters of St. John the Apostle:
Children, it is the last hour;* and just as you heard that the antichrist was coming, so now many antichrists have appeared. Thus we know this is the last hour.n19 They went out from us, but they were not really of our number;* if they had been, they would have remained with us. Their desertion shows that none of them was of our number. 20 But you have the anointing that comes from the holy one,* and you all have knowledge.o 21 I write to you not because you do not know the truth but because you do, and because every lie is alien to the truth.p22* Who is the liar? Whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Whoever denies the Father and the Son, this is the antichrist.q23 No one who denies the Son has the Father, but whoever confesses the Son has the Father as well.r (1 Jn 2:18-23)
Beloved, do not trust every spirit but test the spirits to see whether they belong to God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.a2 This is how you can know the Spirit of God: every spirit that acknowledges Jesus Christ come in the flesh belongs to God,b3 and every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus* does not belong to God. This is the spirit of the antichrist that, as you heard, is to come, but in fact is already in the world.c (1 Jn 4:1-3)
So the antichrist is someone who denies that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God Who became Man. The Catholic Church as a whole (the CBCP is included here) does not deny Jesus is the Christ. In fact, every Sunday Mass, Catholics recite the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed:
I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages. God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father; through him all things were made. For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven, (At the words that follow up to and including and became man, all bow) and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate, he suffered death and was buried, and rose again on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead and his kingdom will have no end.

B. ANTICHRISTS IN HISTORY

Throughout history, there have been many antichrists. We shall only list them down in 3 periods divided by approximately 666 years.

1. Saul and Judaism (~33 AD)

In the Acts of the Apostles, we read about the man Saul, a Jew who was out to destroy the Christians in 33 AD. The stoning of Stephen before his eyes was just the start of the wave of persecutions led by Saul:
On that day, there broke out a severe persecution* of the church in Jerusalem, and all were scattered throughout the countryside of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.* 2 Devout men buried Stephen and made a loud lament over him. 3 Saul, meanwhile, was trying to destroy the church;* entering house after house and dragging out men and women, he handed them over for imprisonment. (Acts 8:1-3)
Now Saul, still breathing murderous threats against the disciples of the Lord,a went to the high priestb2 and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, that, if he should find any men or women who belonged to the Way,* he might bring them back to Jerusalem in chains.3 On his journey, as he was nearing Damascus, a light from the sky suddenly flashed around him.c4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?”d 5 He said, “Who are you, sir?” The reply came, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.e6 Now get up and go into the city and you will be told what you must do.”(Acts 9:1-6)
The curious thing here is that by persecuting the Christians, Saul is actually persecuting Christ. The Christians who make up the Church, therefore, is the Mystical Body of Christ. Saul, after his conversion in the road to Damascus, talks about the Church as the Body of Christ:
As a body is one though it has many parts, and all the parts of the body, though many, are one body, so also Christ.g13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free persons, and we were all given to drink of one Spirit.h...Now the body is not a single part, but many....But as it is, God placed the parts, each one of them, in the body as he intended.19
If they were all one part, where would the body be?20 But as it is, there are many parts, yet one body....If [one] part suffers, all the parts suffer with it; if one part is honored, all the parts share its joy.
This explains why if one part of Christ's body suffers from persecution, the whole Body of Christ feels the pain, so that Christ would say, "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting." Until today, the Jews still deny the Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah promised by God in the Old Testament.

2. Muhammad and Islam (~666 AD)

After the death of Muhammad in 632 AD, Islam became an established religion that denies the divinity of Christ:
Islam is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion that upholds that God is one and incomparable[7] and that the purpose of existence is to worship God.[8] Muslims consider Muhammad to be the last prophet of God...Muslims also believe that Islam is the original, complete and universal version of a primordial faith that was revealed many times before through prophets including Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus. As for the Quran, Muslims consider it to be the unaltered and final revelation of God.  Religious concepts and practices include the five pillars of Islam, which are obligatory acts of worship, and following Islamic law, which touches on virtually every aspect of life and society, from banking and welfare to women and the environment...Islam is often seen as having the simplest doctrines of the major religions.[3] Its most fundamental concept is a rigorous monotheism, called tawḥīd (Arabic: توحيد‎‎). God is described in chapter 112 of the Quran as: "Say, He is God, the One and Only; God, the Eternal, Absolute; He begetteth not, nor is He begotten; And there is none like unto Him" (112:1-4).Muslims repudiate polytheism and idolatry, called Shirk, and reject the Christian doctrine of the Trinity and divinity of Jesus. In Islam, God is beyond all comprehension and Muslims are not expected to visualize God. God is described and referred to by certain names or attributes, the most common being Al-Rahmān, meaning "The Compassionate" and Al-Rahīm, meaning "The Merciful" (See Names of God in Islam)(Wikipedia: Islam)
By claiming to be the last prophet of God, Muhammad fulfills the words of Christ regarding false prophets and messiahs that would come after him:
If anyone says to you then, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24 False messiahs and false prophets will arise, and they will perform signs and wonders so great as to deceive, if that were possible, even the elect. 25 Behold, I have told it to you beforehand. 26 So if they say to you, ‘He is in the desert,’ do not go out there; if they say, ‘He is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it.*27k For just as lightning comes from the east and is seen as far as the west, so will the coming of the Son of Man be.28 Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather. (Mt 24:23-28)

3. John Wycliffe and Protestantism (~1332 AD)

The history of Protestantism began with Wyclife, Hus, and Luther:

One of the early Protestant reformers was John Wycliffe, a theologian and an early proponent of reform in the 14th century. He influenced Jan Hus, a Czech priest from Prague, who in turn influenced German Martin Luther, who sparked the Protestant Reformation. The Protestant Reformation began as an attempt to reform the Roman Catholic Church. (Wikipedia: History of Protestantism)
Let's check out some Protestant doctrines of Wyclife:
Wycliffe had come to regard the scriptures as the only reliable guide to the truth about God, and maintained that all Christians should rely on the Bible rather than on the teachings of popes and clerics. He said that there was no scriptural justification for the papacy.[20]
Theologically, his preaching expressed a strong belief in predestination that enabled him to declare an "invisible church of the elect", made up of those predestined to be saved, rather than in the "visible" Catholic Church.[21] To Wycliffe, the Church was the totality of those who are predestined to blessedness. No one who is eternally lost has part in it. There is one universal Church, and outside of it there is no salvation.
His first tracts and greater works of ecclesiastical-political content defended the privileges of the State. By 1379 in his De ecclesia ("On the Church"), Wycliffe clearly claimed the supremacy of the king over the priesthood.[22] He rejected the concept of purgatory,[13] and disapproved of clerical celibacy, pilgrimages, the selling of indulgences and praying to saints.[20] (Wikipedia: John Wyclife)

If Muhammad is an antichrist by removing the divinity of Christ, Wyclife and Protestants are antichrists by chopping the Body of Christ, the Church, into pieces, through their doctrines of "Faith alone" and "Bible alone". Like a wooden ship that hits a rock, after being tossed to and fro by endless doctrinal disputes, Protestantism split into thousands of sects:
While the World Christian Encyclopedia does refer to "only" 9000 or so denominations as "Protestant" the source also includes 22,000 or so denominations as "Independent" and if you look at the names of these "Independent" groups above, you'll see most of them are clearly Protestant (the "Apostolic", the "Charismatic", the "Full Gospel", the house or home churches, the pentecostals, probably all the TV/radio Christians, and all the independents of other Protestant denominations listed, etc). None of these are Catholic or Orthodox, but there appear to be some renegade Orthodox, Anglicans, and schismatic Catholics among the "Independents." The largest of these Independent Christians are "White-led charismatic" (17,478,000 members [year 1995], in 2856 separate denominations [year 2000]), "African independent pentecostal" (18,943,000 members [year 1995], in 5385 separate denominations [year 2000]), and "African neocharismatic of mixed traditions" (1,500,000 members [year 1995], in 3333 separate denominations [year 2000]). These three are all Protestant (neither Catholic, nor Orthodox) and account for more than half (53%) of the 22,000 "Independent" denominations. (Philvaz)
The Church is the Body of Christ. Outside the Church there is no salvation, so there is no refuge in Protestantism. As Christ said:
 I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing.6* c Anyone who does not remain in me will be thrown out like a branch and wither; people will gather them and throw them into a fire and they will be burned. (Jn 15;5-6)
4. Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, and Communism (1848~Present)

Karl Marx wrote the Communist Manifesto in 1848, with Friedrich Engels as co-writer. The Communist Manifesto replaced the Salvation History whose apex is Christ with a materialist historical framework based on class struggle theory:
The first section of the Manifesto, "Bourgeois and Proletarians", elucidates the materialist conception of history, that "the history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles". Societies have always taken the form of an oppressed majority living under the thumb of an oppressive minority. In capitalism, the industrial working class, or proletariat, engage in class struggle against the owners of the means of production, the bourgeoisie. As before, this struggle will end in a revolution that restructures society, or the "common ruin of the contending classes". The bourgeoisie, through the "constant revolutionising of production [and] uninterrupted disturbance of all social conditions" have emerged as the supreme class in society, displacing all the old powers of feudalism. The bourgeoisie constantly exploits the proletariat for its labour power, creating profit for themselves and accumulating capital. However, in doing so, the bourgeoisie serves as "its own grave-diggers"; the proletariat inevitably will become conscious of their own potential and rise to power through revolution, overthrowing the bourgeoisie. (Wikipedia: Communist Manifesto)
While Islam denies Christ's divinity and Protestants deny the unity of Christ's Body the Church, Communism denies religion as a whole:
Question 22. Do Communists reject existing religions?
Answer: All religions which have existed hitherto were expressions of historical
stages of development of individual peoples or groups of peoples. But
communism is that stage of historical development which makes all existing
religions superfluous and supersedes them. (Communist Manifesto)
But Engels, the co-writer of the Manifesto, originally conceived of Communism as a religion with a Creed or a Profession of Faith:
In spring 1847 Marx and Engels joined the League of the Just, who were quickly convinced by the duo's ideas of "critical communism". At its First Congress in 2–9 June, the League tasked Engels with drafting a "profession of faith", but such a document was later deemed inappropriate for an open, non-confrontational organisation. Engels nevertheless wrote the "Draft of the Communist Confession of Faith", detailing the League's programme. A few months later, in October, Engels arrived at the League's Paris branch to find that Moses Hess had written an inadequate manifesto for the group, now called the League of Communists. In Hess's absence, Engels severely criticised this manifesto, and convinced the rest of the League to entrust him with drafting a new one. This became the draft Principles of Communism, described as "less of a credo and more of an exam paper."
....In all, the Manifesto was written over 6–7 weeks. Although Engels is credited as co-writer, the final draft was penned exclusively by Marx. From the 26 January letter, Laski infers that even the League considered Marx to be the sole draftsman (and that he was merely their agent, imminently replaceable). Further, Engels himself wrote in 1883 that "The basic thought running through the Manifesto ... belongs solely and exclusively to Marx." Although Laski doesn't disagree, he suggests that Engels underplays his own contribution with characteristic modesty, and points out the "close resemblance between its substance and that of the [Principles of Communism]". Laski argues that while writing the Manifesto Marx drew from the "joint stock of ideas" he developed with Engels, "a kind of intellectual bank account upon which either could draw freely."[2] (Wikipedia: The Communist Manifesto)
Communism overthrew the government in Russia in 1917 and that of China in 1949. The red flag of Communism was raised in Russia and China creating a Red Dragon hostile to the Christian faith. In 1991, Communist Russia collapsed, but China still remains, persecuting the faithful Chinese Catholics, destroying Church buildings, and installing new bishops without the approval of Vatican. Let us pray for the conversion of China and Russia to Christianity, just as Saul was converted by Christ on the road to Damascus.

C. IS DUTERTE ANTICHRIST?

1. Like Antichrists in History


Since Mocha Uson proposed the thesis that CBCP is anti-Christ, let us also make the counter thesis that Duterte is antichrist. To prove our thesis statement, we shall show how Duterte is similar to the characteristics of antichrists we discussed earlier.
  • Like Saul, Duterte wishes to destroy the Church: "I will destroy the Church and the present status of so many priests and what they are doing." (Inquirer)
  • Like Luther, Duterte wishes to establish his own Church: "“There is something new these days. Iglesia ni Duterte naay bag-o. Walay bawal-bawal puwede lima ka asawa. Pero saw-a ang problema (Iglesia ni Duterte, where there is no prohibition, you can even have five wives. But make sure you are responsible for your problems). (The Philippine Star)
  • Like Muhammad, Duterte believes in Allah and the use of violence in his war against the infidels (drug addicts): //Duterte also said that he believes there is a God and he believes in Allah, but he does not believe in religion, particularly the Catholic Church because it is sowing fear among its faithful about the existence of heaven and hell. “Do not believe it. That is what that religion is all about, they are instilling fear that you will go to hell if you are a sinner. But you will only know if there is indeed a hell if you die,” the President said. // (The Philippine Star). //“Hitler massacred three million Jews ... there’s three million drug addicts. There are. I’d be happy to slaughter them.”// (The Guardian)
  • And like Marx, Duterte leans towards Communism: //"I heard the entire communist hierarchy wanted to talk to me in Davao, but I was short of time, sabi ko dito na lang (so I said better to have it here). So this would really be the first time that the enemies of the state are here for what you would call civility. Just because we are in a war, it doesn’t mean to say that we have to be at war at all times. We can always talk and maybe it will bring peace to the land.// (The Philippine Star) "Hoy! Wala nang komunista! That is an ideology that is long gone." "Wala nang komunista ngayon," Duterte added. "The communist party is just for control, para hindi sasabog. There are billions of them. Kung sabihin mo na sa commune na magtrabaho tayo lahat, those were the propaganda days of the Americans during the Cold War." (ABS-CBN) Sounds good to be true, except that the Communist Party of the Philippines is still alive and he is talking with the party's chief officers.
The similarity between Duterte and other antichrists is unsettling.

B. Devil's Advocate

Duterte is also a liar and a murderer:
MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday said only fools would believe his “joke” that God talked to him and made him promise to stop cursing. “Ang mga buang, naniwala rin. Hindi naman ako Bar topnotcher pero di naman ako ganoong kagago,” he said in a speech during an event hosted by the Integrated Bar of the Philippines. (Those fools fell for it. I'm not a Bar topnotcher but I'm not that stupid.)  “Ang paborito ko sa Davao magbiro ng kung ano-ano." (ABS-CBN)
"I killed about three of them... I don't know how many bullets from my gun went inside their bodies. It happened and I cannot lie about it.... In Davao I used to do it [kill] personally. Just to show to the guys [police] that if I can do it why can't you.... And I'd go around in Davao with a motorcycle, with a big bike around, and I would just patrol the streets, looking for trouble. I was really looking for a confrontation so I could kill." (BBC)
Liar and murderer. Haven't we heard those two words before? Ah, yes. They were spoken by Christ Himself:
If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and am here; I did not come on my own, but he sent me.z43 Why do you not understand what I am saying? Because you cannot bear to hear my word. 44You belong to your father the devil and you willingly carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in truth, because there is no truth in him. When he tells a lie, he speaks in character, because he is a liar and the father of lies. (Jn 8:42-44)
C. Duterte's Blasphemy

The Church is the Body of Christ, as we showed in the story of the conversion of St. Paul. The Holy Eucharist that priests consecrate during each Holy <ass is also the Body of Christ, but much more:
1374 The mode of Christ's presence under the Eucharistic species is unique. It raises the Eucharist above all the sacraments as "the perfection of the spiritual life and the end to which all the sacraments tend."201 In the most blessed sacrament of the Eucharist "the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ and, therefore, the whole Christ is truly, really, and substantially contained."202 "This presence is called 'real' - by which is not intended to exclude the other types of presence as if they could not be 'real' too, but because it is presence in the fullest sense: that is to say, it is a substantial presence by which Christ, God and man, makes himself wholly and entirely present."203
1376 The Council of Trent summarizes the Catholic faith by declaring: "Because Christ our Redeemer said that it was truly his body that he was offering under the species of bread, it has always been the conviction of the Church of God, and this holy Council now declares again, that by the consecration of the bread and wine there takes place a change of the whole substance of the bread into the substance of the body of Christ our Lord and of the whole substance of the wine into the substance of his blood. This change the holy Catholic Church has fittingly and properly called transubstantiation."206
1377 The Eucharistic presence of Christ begins at the moment of the consecration and endures as long as the Eucharistic species subsist. Christ is present whole and entire in each of the species and whole and entire in each of their parts, in such a way that the breaking of the bread does not divide Christ.207 (Catechism of the Catholic Church)
But what does Duterte say of the Body of Christ?
“Body of Christ sa inyong igit (in your poop), (The Philippine Star)
The Spirit that drives Duterte is nothing less than diabolic---spirit of the antichrist, the spirit of rebellion against God.

CONCLUSION

Since Mocha Uson proposed the thesis that CBCP is anti-Christ, let us also make the counter thesis that Duterte is antichrist. To prove our thesis statement, we shall show how Duterte is similar to antichrists in history. Like Saul, Duterte wishes to destroy the Church. Like Luther, Duterte wishes to establish his own Church, Iglesia ni Duterte. Like Muhammad, Duterte believes in Allah and the use of violence in his war against the infidels (drug addicts). And like Marx, Duterte is a Communist. Duterte is diabolic: he is a liar and a murderer, like Satan himself of whom Christ said: "He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in truth, because there is no truth in him. When he tells a lie, he speaks in character, because he is a liar and the father of lies."

May God rebuke Duterte for his blasphemy. May God grant him the grace of conversion on his deathbed, like the repentant thief beside Christ on the cross. All these we ask through Christ, our Lord. Amen.