Tuesday, January 10, 2012

THE IGNORANCE AND ARROGANCE OF ABBEY B. CANTURIAS REGARDING THE BLACK NAZARENE

As expected, anti-Catholic sentiments attacked in the Internet in the feast of the Black Nazarene. One of the cases is the person refuted in this repost from Atty. Llasos' blog:

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Tuesday, January 10, 2012
THE IGNORANCE AND ARROGANCE OF ABBEY B. CANTURIAS REGARDING THE BLACK NAZARENE

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THE IGNORANCE AND ARROGANCE OF ABBEY B. CANTURIAS REGARDING THE BLACK NAZARENE

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Viva Nuestro Jesus Padre Nazareno!!! 

            
            A former Catholic named ABBEY B. CANTURIAS, managing director of Campaigns and Image Group based in Cebu City, recently posted in his Facebook wall the following scathing indictment of the Filipino masses:

“The Black Nazarene represents God? Who says so? Not even a bishop or the pope will tell you that. But the Filipino masses, so accustomed with pagan practices, wanted a spectacle of a grand parade to honor the Lord they thought to dwell in a black, sculpted image of a bruised and wounded son of a carpenter which has ears that cannot hear, eyes that cannot see, and a form that is so helpless and powerless that it has to be wheeled around on a device that's meant for the injured and the dead. You think God is honored with such a degrading act? Haven't you realized that He is a spirit (John 4: 23-24), and that He is to be worshiped in spirit and in truth? That God dwells in a stone image? That's a lie. That God should be served with human hands? Another lie. How much longer must this pagan nation do comic things in its desire to worship the God they don't know who? Blame it on ignorance, spiritual blindness, and a religious hierarchy that must foster ignorance to keep its hold on people.”[1]  

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Abbey B. Canturias insults the Filipino masses and calls the Philippines a "pagan nation"

            This profile was referred to me by a Facebook friend for comment. I believe that as a Christian Mr. Canturias wants to know the truth, I will make my comment public so that more people will know the truth that sets men free (cf. Jn. 8:32).

            Mr. Canturias’ comments are in red while mine are in blue.

The Black Nazarene represents God? Who says so? Not even a bishop or the pope will tell you that.

Mr. Canturias is aware that not even a bishop or the Pope says that the Black Nazarene represents God. If that is the case, what is he then trying to refute? It is foolhardy on Mr. Canturias’ part to refute a non-issue.  He is going after the wind which will get him nowhere. Given that it is not the Pope’s or any bishops teaching that the Black Nazarene represents God, all the subsequent comments of Mr. Canturias have been rendered irrelevant.

But the Filipino masses, so accustomed with pagan practices …

I love the Marxist touch here of Mr. Canturias. This eerily sounds like Marx’s “religion is the opium of the masses.” Notice the condescending, elitist attitude of Mr. Canturias to the “Filipino masses.” Notice, too, the sweeping generalization and indictment of the Filipino masses as being so accustomed with pagan practices. Where is Mr. Canturias’ proof for his judgment that the Filipinos are so accustomed with pagan practices? Thank you, Mr. Canturias for insulting the masses of our Filipino people.

… wanted a spectacle of a grand parade to honor the Lord …

How does Mr. Canturias know that the Filipino masses want a spectacle to honor the Lord? Did he do a headcount? Those who attend the Black Nazarene procession do not represent the entirety of the Filipino masses who Mr. Canturias label as “so accustomed to pagan practices.”

By the way, Mr. Canturias uses the word “parade.” I think that is deficiency in vocabulary. Well, the proper term is “procession.” If Mr. Canturias has the habit of reading his Bible, he would have known that religious processions are grand. Psalm 64:24-27 states –

“Your procession, God, has come into view, 
 the
 procession of my God and King into the sanctuary. 
In front are the
 singers, after them the musicians; 
with them are the young women playing the timbrels.
 
Praise God in the
 great congregation; 
praise the LORD in the
 assembly of Israel. 
There is the little tribe of Benjamin, leading them,
 
 there the
 great throng of Judah’s princes, 
 and there the princes of Zebulun and of Naphtali” (NIV).

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The Ark of the Covenant with the two images of cherubims in procession

I wonder if Mr. Canturias has ever read that passage. The religious procession depicted there is grand – with singers and musicians – attended by a great congregation and great throng. Perhaps Mr. Canturias should also consider God’s people in the Old Testament as “accustomed to paganism” for having that spectacular and grand parade to honor their Lord.

….the Lord they thought to dwell in a black, sculpted image of a bruised and wounded son of a carpenter which has ears that cannot hear, eyes that cannot see, and a form that is so helpless and powerless…

How does Mr. Canturias know that the Filipino masses think the Lord dwells in a black sculpted image? Does Mr. Canturias have the power to read the mind of each and every person who attends the Black Nazarene procession? Mr. Canturias is clearly playing God. For him to judge that the Filipino multitudes who flock to the Black Nazarene procession really think that Jesus Christ dwells in the image smacks of arrogance and delusion. He is in fact usurping the prerogative of God. It is God alone who is privy to our innermost thoughts. He alone can see what is in our mind and in our heart. Mr. Canturias simply does not have that power. Mr. Canturias, in his rash judgment on other people, has conveniently forgotten the Biblical teaching that that “man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Sam. 16:17).


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The Ark of the Covenant carried on the shoulders
  
… it has to be wheeled around on a device that's meant for the injured and the dead.

This clearly betrays Mr. Canturias’ gross ignorance of the Bible. Where in the Bible does it say that carts are meant only for those who are injured or the dead, Mr. Canturias? Chapter and verse please? I am sure that he cannot give any, given his palpable illiteracy of Scripture.

Because Mr. Casturias seldom reads his Bible, he doesn’t know that carts (karo in Tagalog), far from merely being used for the injured and the dad, are used also for religious processions involving a sacred image. Will Mr. Canturias bother to read this passage:

“David again brought together all the able young men of Israel—thirty thousand. He and all his men went to Baalah in Judah to bring up from there the ark of God, which is called by the Name, the name of the LORD Almighty, who is enthroned between the cherubim on the ark. They set the ark of God on a new cart and brought it from the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill. Uzzah and Ahio, sons of Abinadab, were guiding the new cart  with the ark of God on it, and Ahio was walking in front of it.  David and all Israel were celebratingwith all their might before the LORD, with castanets, harps, lyres, timbrels, sistrums and cymbals” (2 Sam. 6:1-5).


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The Ark of the Covenant with the images of cherubims in the cart during procession

Perhaps, Mr. Canturias would better understand Tagalog:

At pinisan uli ni David ang lahat na piling lalake sa Israel, na tatlong pung libo. At bumangon si David at yumaon na kasama ng buong bayan na nasa kaniya, mula sa Baale Juda, upang iahon mula roon ang kaban ng Dios, na tinatawag sa Pangalan, sa makatuwid baga'y sa pangalan ng Panginoon ng mga hukbo, na tumatahan sa gitna ng mga querubin. At kanilang inilagay ang kaban ng Dios sa isangbagong karo, at kanilang inilabas sa bahay ni Abinadab na nasa burol: at si Uzza at si Ahio, na mga anak ni Abinadab, ay siyang nagpatakbo ng bagong karo. At kanilang inilabas sa bahay ni Abinadab, na nasa burol, pati ng kaban ng Dios: at si Ahio ay nagpauna sa kaban. At si David at ang buong sangbahayan ni Israel ay nagsitugtog sa harap ng Panginoon ng sarisaring panugtog na kahoy na abeto, at ng mga alpa, at ng mga salterio, at ng mga pandereta, at ng mga kastaneta at ng mga simbalo” (2 Sam. 6:1-5).


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The Ark of the Covenant encircling the walls of Jericho

If that is not enough, here is the Cebuano translation to help Mr. Canturias understand the passage even more:

“Ug si David nagtapok pag-usab sa tanang mga piniling tawo sa Israel, katloan ka libo. Ug si David mitindog, ug miuban sa tibook katawohan nga didto uban kaniya, sukad sa Baal sa Juda, aron sa pagdala gikan didto sa arca sa Dios, nga gitawag sa Ngalan, bisan sa ngalan ni Jehova sa mga panon nga naglingkod sa ibabaw sa mga querubin. Ug ilang gipahaluna ang arca sa Dios sa ibabaw sa bag-ong carromata, ug gidala kini gikan sa balay ni Abinadab nga didto sa bungtod; ug si Uzza ug si Ahio, ang mga anak nga lalake ni Abinadab, nagtulod sa bag-ong carromata. Ug gidala nila kini gikan sa balay ni Abinadab, nga didto sa bungtod, uban sa arca sa Dios: ug si Ahio miuna sa arca. Ug si David ug ang tibook balay sa Israel nanaghoni sa atubangan ni Jehova sa nagkalainlaing mga tulonggon nga binuhat sa kahoy nga haya, ug uban ang mga alpa, ug uban ang mga kinuldasan nga tulonggon, ug mga pandaretas ug uban ang mga castañetas ug mga piyangpiyang.”

When Mr. Canturias criticizes Catholics, it is his own Biblical illiteracy that is exposed. And by the way, God’s people had a spectacular grand parade in that passage. Go ahead, Mr. Canturias, accuse David and the people of God of being accustomed to pagan practices, too.

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Exuberance of emotion: King David dancing before the Ark of the Lord

You think God is honored with such a degrading act?

Degrading is a conclusion. What makes the procession degrading, Mr. Canturias? Procession per se is not degrading as we see in the verses above. I think Mr. Canturias must justify his asseveration.

As far as the Bible is concerned a religious procession to honor God by itself is not degrading, otherwise why would He allow it in the first place in 2 Samuel 6:1ff.? In the passage, the ark of God, which is called by the Name of the LORD Almighty, was placed in a new cart and carried in a cloud, celebratory, spectacular and grand procession.

Haven't you realized that He is a spirit (John 4: 23-24)

Of course we do.

… and that He is to be worshiped in spirit and in truth?

Again, yes of course.

Now it’s my time to ask Mr. Canturias. Where in Catholic doctrine does it say that a religious procession is a form of worship? Where in the Bible does it say that procession is a form of worship? I am sure Mr. Canturias can find nothing in Catholic doctrine or Sacred Scripture that teaches that a procession is a form of worship. As far as we are concerned, it is merely a form of devotion.

Does Mr. Canturias really think that a procession is worship? If he does, then let me ask him this: does he ever carry his God in procession? If he doesn’t, then Mr. Canturias is not worshipping God. That, a folk, is how flimsy Mr. Canturias’ argument is. It falls flat on his face.

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Abbey B. Canturias likes Jesus Daily which has pictures of Christ like this one

That God dwells in a stone image? That's a lie.

The one lying here is Mr. Canturias in insinuating that Catholics believe that God dwells in a stone image (by the way, the Nazareno is wood, Mr. Canturias). I challenge Mr. Canturias to come out with an official doctrine of the Catholic Church that says that God dwells in a stone image. If Mr. Canturias can’t, that simply means that he is making a false accusation against us. Here in fact is painted in bold relief Mr. Canturias’ self-contradiction. Has he not earlier said that not even the Pope or a bishop says that the Black Nazarene represents God? If the Black Nazarene does not even represent God, how much more could God dwell therein? This is how shallow Mr. Canturias’ reasoning is.

That God should be served with human hands? Another lie.

Again, it is Mr. Canturias who is lying. Can’t we not serve God, the one true God, with our human hands? Of course we can! We must serve God with the entirety of our being – our hearts, our minds and with our bodies, our hands included. Has it not been commanded by God to “love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength” (Dt. 6:5, NIV)? To love God is to serve Him – with all our strength. Which part of the body best symbolizes strength if not our hands? The apostle Paul tells us in 1 Thessalonians 4:11: “Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you.” If we work with our hands for God’s glory, is it not serving the Lord God with our hands? When we are “lifting holy hands” (1 Tim. 2:8, Ps. 134:2, NLT) in prayer to praise the Lord, are we also not serving Him with our hands? Mr. Canturias certainly errs because he does not know the Scriptures or the power of God (cf. Mk. 12:24).


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Nazareno devotees lifting their hands 

How much longer must this pagan nation …

This is sheer arrogance. I resent this slur against our country and people. The Philippines a pagan nation? Excuse me. No self-respecting Filipino must allow this insult from a modern day Makapili like Mr. Abbey Canturias. The warped thinking of Mr. Canturias puts the Filipino people with the same level as savages. How can a Filipino ever say such a thing against his own country and countrymen? Well, we still have collaborators in our midst. Makapili, anyone?

… do comic things …

Comic? I don’t find the Nazareno procession comic. If Mr. Canturias find it comic, that’s his perception. Imagine the warped sense of humor of Mr. Canturias. He laughs at the religious expression of other people. Does he also laugh when some people get hurt in melee? Mr. Canturias can laugh all the way he wants.

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Abby Canturias likes Jesus Daily with this picture of Christ

… in its desire to worship the God they don't know who?

The nerve! How is Mr. Canturias able to say that we don’t know God? How presumptuous is this fellow named Abby Canturias.

By the way, let me ask again: Is a procession a form of worship? Does the Catholic Church ever teaches that procession is worship? I challenge Mr. Canturias to come out with church doctrine that says it is. If he can’t then I’d say it is Mr. Canturias who is attacking something that he does not know. He is maligning something that he thinks to be our doctrine when it is not. Mr. Canturias speaks evil of something he does not know or understand. The words of the apostle Peter suit him:

“But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption” (2 Pet. 2:11).

Similarly, the apostle Jude has this to say to Mr. Canturias and people like him:

But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves” (Jude 10).

Now that’s what I find comical. A man like Mr. Canturias who thinks that something is a Catholic doctrine but is not. Mr. Canturia is shadowboxing with a non-existent opponent. Isn’t that funny?

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These are the ignorant, pagan and spiritually blinded Filipino masses according to the Pharisee Abbey Canturias

Blame it on ignorance …

Sure, go ahead. Blame it on ignorance. Isn’t that what you are good at, Mr. Canturias? In blame game? But look who’s ignorant here? Mr. Canturias, look at yourself closely – your ignorance of Sacred Scripture, basic common sense, love of country and good manners stare at you in the face.

Now that’s what I find comical. A man like Mr. Canturias who thinks that something is a Catholic doctrine but is not. Mr. Canturia is shadowboxing with a non-existent opponent. Isn’t that funny?

Blame it on … spiritual blindness …

Who is spiritually blind here but this Pharisee? Look at the monumental spiritual blindness of this holier-than-thou Mr. Canturias but whose grasp of Sacred Scripture is almost nil.

… a religious hierarchy that must foster ignorance to keep its hold on people.

Excuse me, are you referring to the Iglesia ni Cristo, the Ang Dating Daan or any of your sects?

The Catholic Church has fostered education in our country more than any of your never heard schools. The University of the Philippines excepted, the best schools in this country are Catholic schools. I doubt it very much if Mr. Canturias can pass the entrance examinations of Ateneo, La Salle and UST. Well, he can try and I wish him luck.

In conclusion, Mr. Abbey B. Canturias said that he lived for 38 years for that lie of carrying images. If carrying images in procession is a lie, then David and the people of God in 2 Samuel 6:1-5 were all liars. According to Mr. Canturias, there was nothing true and defensible there. That’s expected of him to say that given his gross ignorance of Sacred Scripture on religious processions and images. He said that he realized he never worshiped the true God with those sacrifices. It is his concept of worship that is dead wrong! Since when did the Catholic church that going to a religious procession is a sacrifice to worship God? I wonder if Mr. Canturias was really Catholic because how could he be so ignorant of Catholic teaching? Any Catholic of reasonable mind, even those in grade school, would know that our sacrifice is the Holy Eucharist – the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the self-same sacrifice of Christ Himself made present at the altar. That is the clean oblation prophesied by the prophet Malachi (1:11). Mr. Canturias self-righteously told his Facebook friend to read 1 Samuel 15:22-23 so that he may find freedom from ignorance and pull himself out of spiritual blindness. But what does 1 Samuel 15:22-23 state? Mr. Canturias should read it for himself: “And Samuel said, hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because though has rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king.”

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The Lord Jesus Christ gives the keys symbolizing the authority to bind and loose to St. Peter

Who is the one disobedient but Mr. Canturias himself? It is clear from God’s Word that the Lord Jesus established a Church with the authority to bind and loose (Mt. 16:18-10). Also according to the Word of God, that Church is the pillar and foundation of truth (1 Tim. 3:15). Mr. Canturias sets himself against that Church. Mr. Canturias’ rebellion against the Church is as the sin of witchcraft and his stubbornness against it is as iniquity and idolatry. By the clear verdict of Scripture, it is Mr. Canturias who is guilty of witchcraft, iniquity and idolatry. Mr. Canturias is correct on one point, that obedience to God’s word is what He wants from you and me. Yet, it is God’s Word that reveals that the Church has the authority from its founder Jesus Christ (Mt. 16:18-19, Mt. 17-18) which Mr. Abbey B. Canturias stubbornly resists. “But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector (Mt. 16:17, NKJV).

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For rebelling against the Lord's duly constituted authority, Mr. Abbey B. Canturias follows the example of Lucifer, the father and leader of rebels and protesters against God's authority



[1] https://www.facebook.com/abbey.canturias. Abbey B. Canturia’s Facebook account is public.

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My only wish, though, is that the people who mob this procession be educated, hopefullly by this Year of Faith. 

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