Carlos Celdran, Religious Offenses and the Gospel
This is an updated blog with the recent conviction of Carlos Celdran.
A Manila court has found Manila tour guide and RH advocate Carlos Celdran guilty of “offending religious feelings” for disrupting an ecumenical service at the Manila Cathedral in September 2010 in protest of the Catholic Church’s opposition to the then Reproductive Health bill.Celdran, then dressed as national hero Jose Rizal, held up a placard with the word “Damaso” before the Papal Nuncio, Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales, several bishops and other religious, a reference to the villainous friar from Rizal’s novel “Noli Me Tangere.” – from GMANEWS
Now the battle between two camps continue to heat up even with the passage of the RH Bill which is now a law but here is the interesting part:
Both sides may have different views on the RHBILL and on SAME SEX MARRIAGE but what they don’t know that they are on the same side.
- Moralism or Legalism (religion, intolerant)
- Relativism (irreligion, tolerant)
Moralism stresses truth without grace. Relativist stresses grace without truth.
Jesus was full of grace and truth.
According to Tim Keller, here is why both moralist and the relativist are on the same side.
Moralism is the view that you are acceptable (to God, the world, others, yourself) through your attainments. Their religion is conservative and filled with rules. Sometimes moralists have views of God as very holy and just. This view will lead either to a) self-hatred (because you can’t live up to the standards), or b) self-inflation (because you think you have lived up to the standards).
Relativists are usually irreligious, or else prefer what is called “liberal” religion. On the surface, they are more happy and tolerant than moralist/religious people. Though they may be highly idealistic in some areas (such as politics), they believe that everyone needs to determine what is right and wrong for them. They are not convinced that God is just and must punish sinners. Their beliefs in God will tend to see Him as loving or as an impersonal force. They may talk a great deal about God’s love, but since they do not think of themselves as sinners, God’s love for us costs him nothing. If God accepts us, it is because he is so welcoming, or because we are not so bad.
What do both religious and irreligious people have in common?
They are both ways to avoid Jesus as Savior and keep control of their lives. Irreligious people seek to be their own saviors and lords through irreligion, “worldly” pride. (“No one tells me how to live or what to do, so I determine what is right and wrong for me!”)
But moral and religious people seek to be their own saviors and lords through religion, “religious” pride. (“I am more moral and spiritual than other people, so God owes me to listen to my prayers and take me to heaven. God cannot let just anything happen to me–he owes me a happy life. I’ve earned it!”)
The irreligious person rejects Jesus entirely, but the religious/ moral person only uses Jesus as an example and helper and teacher–but not as a Savior.
Moralists, despite all the emphasis on traditional standards, are in the end self-centered and individualistic, because they have set themselves up as their own Saviour.
Relativists, despite all their emphasis on freedom and acceptance, are in the end moralistic because they still have to attain and live up to (their own) standards or become desperate. And often, they take great pride in their own open-mindedness and judge others who are not.)
The irreligious person loses sight of the law and holiness of God and the religious person loses sight of the love and grace of God, in the end they both lose the gospel entirely.
Only the gospel–that we are so sinful that we need to be saved utterly by grace–allows a person to see God as he really is. The gospel shows us a God far more holy than the legalist can bear (he had to die because we could not satisfy his holy demands) and yet far more merciful than a humanist can conceive (he had to die because he loved us).
Matthew 22:10 10 So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, the bad as well as the good, and the wedding hall was filled with guests.
Both need the grace of God. Both need Jesus. Who doesn’t???