Other christian denominations: What they do on Lent-A A +A
By Riz P. Sunio
Sunday, April 20, 2014
WHILE majority of the Filipino Catholics commemorate Jesus Christ’s passion starting with Palm Sunday to Crucifixion and then the Resurrection, the other Christian denominations honor His passion in different ways.
It’s business as usual for the missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints: to continue to spread the Word. “Wala kaming holiday, so continue pa rin ang work (We do not have holidays, that is why we continue with the work),” said Bronson Dulam, an elder of the church’s Philippines Cagayan de Oro Mission Office.
“In our Sunday service, inaalala namin ang atonement ni Jesus Christ (We always remember Jesus Christ’s atonement),” he added.
But since the Holy Thursday and Good Friday have been recognized by the government as national holidays, members of the church allot the holidays for family time and bonding. Elder Dulam said that they encourage the members to focus more on the life of Christ and study more the bible. However, he said that they do respect the practices of others for the Holy Week.
Iglesia ni Cristo
Philippine-founded religion Iglesia ni Cristo also continues with their daily activities such as bible studies and also considers the non-working holiday as a chance for their members to give more time for their families. “We commemorate (the death of Jesus Christ) but not the way the Catholic churches commemorate it,” said Bro. Ermie Jaime, District Minister of Iglesia ni Cristo church in Burgos St.
They believe that “Ibinigay niya ang buhay niya para sa Iglesia (Christ gave his life for the Iglesia), according to the book of Ephesians. Thus, they continue to spread this message.
They have a thanksgiving commemoration they call The Holy Supper where there is breaking of the bread but with a drink.
“We SDA, we really acknowledge the death of Jesus Christ. We remember it, but we don’t have a specific date to observe,” said Dr. Rofely Dummpasan, Director of the Women and Children’s Ministry of the Seventh-Day Adventist-Northern Mindanao Church Conference.
Like the order of the national government, office attendance was also off for the holidays for their ministry.
They perform the Feet Washing as their way of remembering Christ’s death. “Because if Jesus had not died on the cross, there would be no salvation. Because he was resurrected when he died on the cross and we have to tell the people that He died on the cross for his love to us,” she said.
Lapasan Bible Church’s Summer Youth Camp has always been scheduled in this time of the year for 25 years now where they have daily devotionals, preaching, and sports for the youth. The church has been busy preparing for the camp, said Pastor Dimver Andales, a senior pastor.
“It’s good to remind others about the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, but we believe that it only happened once. Christ had already completed the sacrifice,” he said. “It’s not about the wooden cross, but the Man who died on the cross.”
Born Again Christians
Singing, dancing, and praising, these activities continue on the scheduled days for Divine Healing Life Changing Church. A member of the church said “Dili ang relihiyon ang makaluwas sa ato, kung dili pina-agi sa pag-tuo na si Jesus Christ nagpakamatay sa atong tanan (It is not religion that will save us, but through faith that Jesus Christ died for all of us).
She said that no sacrifice or self-infliction can save a man but only through faith in Jesus Christ. “Dili na lagi mag-antos kay human na mag-antos (si Jesus) (Suffering is no longer needed because Jesus had already finished his suffering).”
On the other hand, Victory Chapel Christian Center performed a street drama, its own version of the Stations of the Cross. This year, their 50 cast drama composed of the members of the church performed in Carmen and Bulua markets and at Patag terminal, telling the life of Jesus Christ and the miracles he performed. Part of the program was interviews with ‘modern sinners,’ asking how well they really know Jesus. The street drama has been a yearly activity for 10 years now by the Victory chapel.
They also held a preaching session on The Seven Last Words where seven speakers explained on Jesus’ last words before he died. Topics on forgiveness and forgiving others were discussed.
“Ang vision ng Church namin is evangelism (Our church’s vision is evangelism),” said Pastor Ramon Junco of Victory Chapel in Carmen.
It is “preaching the Word of God so they’ll have a chance to hear the Word.” The street drama “is one way to catch the attention of the people,” especially for the Lenten season.
Respect is needed to understand diversity. Differing viewpoints. Differing beliefs and practices. Each denomination may be different, but there is one God they worship and one death they owe: Jesus Christ’s sacrifice for humanity.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on April 20, 2014.