This is a reply to a comment made by a certain Mr. Renato Salvador on my article posted last October 24, 2007 entitled “The Origin of Humankind”. His comment is as follows:
In every way normal for a person who is an admirer of a person, it is hard not to share your testimony and sentiments toward someone you believe is worth the praise. And that is me for Bro. Eli Soriano. I don’t know but it may be too much already to speak this way or even dull the readers of my true positive feeling toward you Bro. Eli. Before, I dismiss those comments and praise I was reading here about you because there are marks that I believe are testimonies of members from your organization. Now, I believe, I cannot blame them. If it is really worth the praise then there is no way I should object that. In reading some of your most personal sentiments here like this recent article you’ve written, it was so clearly written, vivid and probing. It gives me a whirlwind of thought how you’ve come up with such amazing simple story about a piece of your life, and turn it into some kind of miracle, that touches inside of me. Yes, while writing this comments, tears are streaming down my face. I could not stop it. And I believe, only a person sincere enough could move me to tears like you do.
Dear Brother Renato,
It is never a sin to praise and honor anybody to whom praises and honor is due.
(Romans 13:7) Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.
Even the inspired writers of the Holy Scriptures like the evangelist Luke used terms in praise to erring man.
(Luke 1:1-3) Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us, Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word; It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus…
Certainly, Theophilus, as the name denotes, is a Gentile, to whom, by Hebrew standards, does not merit any praise or honor at all, but the evangelist called him “most excellent”. The “most excellent” here certainly does not mean most excellent of all human being, but, maybe among his peers. Respect and honor is due to all men by Christian standards.
(1 Peter 2:17) Honor all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.
In the Old Testament, respect and honor was commanded by God to be given to parents.
(Deuteronomy 5:16) Honor thy father and thy mother, as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee; that thy days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with thee, in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
Obviously, this commandment was changed when the apostle Peter wrote to the Hebrews, observer of the Old Testament laws, to “honor all men”, not only parents.
(Hebrew 8:13) In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.
(Hebrew 7:12) For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.
I can not see any reason why it will be a sin if members of the Church of God International will honor and respect the person of Brother Eli Soriano.
(Hebrews 13:7) Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.
(Hebrews 13:17) Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.
Now, I am obliged by the situation to teach this part of truth in the Christian doctrine! Never in my forty-three years in the ministry did I teach nor encourage anybody to treat me like somebody; for the fact remains until now, (this is my belief and God is my witness) I am nobody.
(Ephesians 3:8) Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ…
If the great apostle Paul believed that he is less than the least of all saints in his times, I believe that I am less than the least of all saints of all times.
My conscience is guided by the meekness taught by the Lord Jesus.
(Luke 17:10) So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.
If after doing ALL, a servant must confess that he is an unprofitable servant, then after having just started doing what I ought to do, I can say that I am even less than an unprofitable servant. Most of the times, I refused to be called ‘sir’ as other religious leaders love to hear from their members. Sir is an old archaic word which means ‘lord’.
transitive verb (past and past participle sired, present participle sir·ing, 3rd person present singular sires)
father offspring: to father young, especially animals
noun (plural sires)
1. male parent of four-legged animal: the male parent of a four-legged animal, especially a domesticated animal such as a stallion or bull
2. Sireaddress to king or lord: a respectful form of address for a king or lord (archaic)
[12th century. Via French < Latin senior]
The whole congregation to whom I speak weekly is the witness to this fact.
When I started writing articles for this blog site, letters with praises keep pouring in, whose writers I do not know personally. I do not even know if they are members (or not) of the Church of God, International. I have always wanted to forbid them to neither thank me nor honor me in any manner. I do not feel comfortable being praised or honored by men who look up to me as their leader; but verses in the Scriptures have held my hands to write anything to stop them. For years, I have been practicing to incline my conscience towards the Scriptures.
(Acts 24:16) And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offense toward God, and toward men.
It is God who said that a Christian must honor all men. I am a man, although ‘nobody’, but the least, still is a man. I do not want (nor ever will want) to have a conscience of offense towards God who permits any man to be honored. God is not a God that grabs all honors. He even knows how to honor and respect man.
(Psalms 138:6) Though the LORD be high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly: but the proud he knoweth afar off.
But after all things have been said and done, it is our duty as erring human who know our own infirmities and shortcomings to give back to God all praises, honor, and glory forever. Amen.
(1 Timothy 6:16) Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honor and power everlasting. Amen.
To my readers, may I advice you once and for all to always thank and honor God for whatever truth or wisdom you may learn in reading the articles of this blog site, after all, this is the conscience of the great “men of faith” from whom I have learned this virtue of regarding myself as nobody!
(Acts 13:14-15) Which when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of, they rent their clothes, and ran in among the people, crying out, and saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein…
It is vanity to honor and deify mortal men!
Sincerely in Christ,
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