Friday, August 19, 2011

*The fullness of time has come for us to organize (last of the series)

Movement for Change Initiatives

Our gathering today is not the first effort for change. There has been attempts in the past mostly initiated by younger ones. Unfortunately, seldom has been sustained. I could still recall there was movement of progressive pastors in 1980’s, some seminarians in Panay in 2000. In Negros, a movement of young pastors showed their consolidated strength by daring to challenge the veteran leadership in Negros and foretasted success when they captured the leadership in Kasapulanan in 2006.

After the CPBC election in 2006, kasapulanan presidents also organized themselves to protest the fraudulent election practices. Even the whole assembly has made resolutions to review, redefine, reorganize the CPBC structure, relationship, programs and services as contained in the 2005, 2006 Assembly Resolutions. However, while there are few who patiently continued, many were either coopted of gave up due to the hassles encountered, being vulnerable to institutionalized repression, retaliation and black propaganda from the notorious Dirty Tricks Department used by various groups.

Personally and through the CBMA, I attempted to present the agenda for change entitled IMPROVED MINISTERS: DEVELOPED CPBC (I'M D CPBC) during the CPBC Board of Trustees (BOT) Meeting in 2006 but it was laid on the table. Revised, presented and subsequently endorsed by the CBMA BOT, it was presented again during the February 2009 meeting for CPBC BOT action. Part of the document was also used during the Round table discussion during the 69th CBMA Assembly. But two CPBC administrations have gone, the documents are still kept in the archive.

The situation calls for a deliberate and sustained organizing effort to consolidate the gains
and coordinate/synchronize other initiatives for change and set the principled direction to break the cyclic bondage. There is a need for revival of the original purpose and focus of the CPBC. The call to Reclaim the Visionary Intentions and Value system (REVIVAL) represents the aspiration of pastors, as well as lay leaders and youth. The direction is to reclaim the inherent CPBC avowed purposes chartered by our founders.

The call for solid organizing and coordinated network

The REVIVAL Network will advocate to reclaim these as priority concerns for the CPBC, as well as the value system based on Jesus declaration in John 14:6 – His being the way, truth and the life. This value system was exemplified by our forefathers/mothers in faith and pioneer leaders who have the spirit of missionaries not mercenaries, truthful and transparent in their service not for personal gain or profit. They served as shepherds, not hirelings, that are concerned with life and not destruction. Truly, they were leaders not dealers who led properly and in right way, not by manipulation. By reclaiming this value system, we will put an end to patronage politics, as those in the leadership positions will truly serve to attain the CPBC tripartite avowed intentions. These are (1) train the Filipino ministers and lay leaders in Christian leadership; (2)organize and establish more Baptist churches of good standing; (3) establish charitable and religious institutions such as schools, hospitals and Christian centers.

Apparently, the CPBC was organized not only for the work of churches but also for the development of ministers and lay leaders, as well as for the establishment of other institutions. Let us emphasis the seemingly neglected CPBC purpose (Article II, Section 1e): “To work with member churches and related institutions in securing the well-being of all its ministers for strengthening of the pastoral ministry and missionary work.”

However, we know that this is not an easy task. The system has been perpetrated for decades. It will take probably equally same length of time to change the system. Hence, the network will be known as REVIVAL 1020 to emphasize a decade of protracted struggle.But we should not forget that successful movements worldwide started small but with sustained commitment. Our Christian faith is a concrete example of this. Moreover, to be specific, we have also experienced success story through the Katipan Hall in Camp Higher Ground. At the start only few believed the possibility to finish the project while more had reservations. But in the process of campaign and construction, the participants have experienced God’s power and provision as church leaders, members and even the public gave their support. Also we realized the beauty of restoring trust and confidence and the power and strength in unity.

With these experiences and many more, we know we can if we will. Because our motives are not selfish. Our basis of unity is in line with God’s will and purpose for the CPBC.

REVIVAL 1020 Network is basically an advocacy network to consistently push for the REVIVAL agenda thru the following: CPBC

Consciousness raising thru information-dissemination of Revival Network’s existence, thrusts and direction, as well as the significant historical role of pastors, lay and youth in the life of CPBC and related institutions and the current realities and trends in CPBC.

Prayer and participation in various groups and CPBC related activities including electoral exercises to support principled leaders for the CPBC Board and Corporation of related institutions who subscribe the principles of the REVIVAL Network

Building of network to coordinate various initiatives for change and development and provide support system for the Network members and others who are persecuted for truth and advocacy work.

Call for transparency and participatory governance in CPBC and related institutions/organizations.

From here, we will take action, strengthen our network, expand our reach and expect REVIVAL in the CPBC. "For if God is with us, who can be against us?"

*Opening Statement during the Organizational Meeting of REVIVAL 1020 Network, April 19, 2010

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