Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Soriano's Ass-umptions

I once chanced upon Eli Soriano arguing with a young man on TV while I was scanning channels for something to watch. It caught my attention mainly because they were talking about God.

Back then I had little knowledge of Mr. Soriano and his ministry (if you can call it that), aware of only minor details and ashamedly only because of the comedy show Bubble Gang where Brod Pete parodies Soriano's broadcasts. This was back in the late 90s or early 2000s. I had no inkling as to the kind of person Soriano was at that time. I never thought a preacher, one who's on TV, could be so fundamentally wrong.

I only caught the end part, but fortunately the channel (owned by Soriano) airs reruns throughout the day. So I got to see the whole thing again.

He begins by citing that God appeared as a man several times in scripture. He says God spoke to Abraham and Moses "face to face". He also mentions Jacob uttering the words "face to face".

"Face to face" in the Biblical sense means "in close communion". Moses conversed with God as if He was physically present. Abraham and Jacob saw angels. The latter even wrestling with one. Yet these instances does not show God but representations of God only. God appears to us in ways that we will be able to comprehend. This is why all appearances mentioned have the words "looked like", "appeared like", "likened to a", etc.

The same can be said when Soriano presented passages from Ezekiel and Revelations saying the images are more detailed in description. He negates the word "like" and all conjugations of it in the passages he read. Furthermore he opines that a throne is seen in Heaven, and God sat on it. Then assumes "God MUST have a behind then". My sixth grade English teacher would have picked him up by his ear for not being able to discern between literal and figurative sentences. "Ruling with an iron fist" must mean a ruler with a fist made of iron, the way Soriano inteprets scripture.

The highlight of the exchange was Soriano's call for the reader to read out Genesis 1:24, "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness". Then he looks at the crowd as if to signal that the debate was over, because the Bible has spoken. Turning to the young man he snarlingly says, "If you believe you were created in the image of God, and you have a behind, God has one too!" The crowd erupts in cheers while the poor kid was both shocked at the assertions he hears from a supposed preacher and from the adoration of the crowd who were oblivious to the unbiblical stance their prophet promotes.

The Bible nowhere states that God has a behind. All of Soriano's supposed proofs rested on his ASSUMPTIONS, nothing more. Unknowingly, he openly displays his ignorance of scripture! The Bible has spoken indeed, but Soriano's interpretation is NOT what the Bible meant.

I'll explain.

The Bible tells us in John 4:24 that "God is a spirit". So to worship God, we should worship IN spirit. What is a spirit then? According to Luke 24:39, "a spirit hath not flesh and bones". Our physical bodies have flesh and bones but our spirit (which we cannot see) has none of these. The Bible further clarifies in Colossians 1:15 that God (who is a spirit) is invisible. These are back-to-back passages telling us the Biblical FACT that God is an invisible spirit having no flesh nor bone.

It is true that God made us into His own image (spirit). Our spirit is what identifies us with God. We are LIKE God because of our spirit. This is why the Devil is so angry with us. Every time he sees us, he sees God!

Soriano uses scripture to excite his listeners. They are in awe everytime Soriano pulls half-truths left and right. All are shallow, face value interpretations a gradeschooler may forgivably commit. But for such assertions to come from a so called leader, is no laughing matter. Especially with people's souls at stake.

In the end God Himself declares the answer to this with finality in Exodus 33:20, "And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live."

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Eli Soriano And Satan Use The Same Words

In the Garden of Eden, man fell from grace and was separated from God after disobeying the only prohibition ever given in paradise. That he was not to eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. He can eat of any tree except from this particular tree. We all know the story of how the serpent beguiled (tricked) Eve into eating the fruit from the said tree, and then made her husband Adam do the same.

It can be said that the fruit itself did not contain any knowledge, and that it was placed in the Garden to test man. Moreover, Adam came pre-programmed straight from the highest intelligence there is. There was nothing in the fruit that would have improved his already stellar intellect. I think Adam may have had an IQ of 1000 or more. Can you name anybody who can walk, talk, and get married all in one day? I'm just trying to paint a picture of Adam and Eve that will make you agree to the fact that they were perfect, they were in paradise, and they were with God.

What is it then that could have trumped their dreamy situation? How about, becoming like God themselves? That would have certainly had their minds picturing things far better than what they already possessed. Enter the serpent (Satan), the father of lies. He whispered THAT very notion into Eve's ear. First by making her doubt God "hath God said...?", then by denying God's very words. "ye shall not surely die", and the rest is Biblical history. Adam and Eve ate of the fruit because they listened to their desires of becoming like God. One bite, and they lost their innocence, they lost paradise, and most of all their communion with God. Sin entered into the world, and by sin came death (separation from God). Satan's words messed up everything for man.

Guess who is using the same words nowadays. Yes, Eli Soriano in his program, Ang Dating Daan (The Old Path). He's telling listeners the same thing Satan told Eve back in the Garden of Eden. "Ye shall be as gods". He cites verses from the Bible that in a very shallow way, supports his perverse doctrine. He argues that in John 10:34-35 where Jesus himself referred to men as "gods". We know that Jesus meant "men of higher stature" but for Eli Soriano, the word 'god' is 'God'. Then he'll point you to Webster's definition for confirmation of the word. A secular dictionary, imagine that! Doesn't Soriano have access to any concordance?Another passage he cites is Psalms 82:1, "God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods." Here David refers to the same people Jesus meant. Men of high stature such as priests, prophets, kings, and rulers. But as with the first, 'god' is 'God' in Soriano's interpretation.

He further builds on these passages and even starts introducing himself as a god. Moreover, he goes on to convince his followers that they can attain godship themselves by citing yet another verse Ephesians 5:17 "Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord [is]", interpreting it as God wishes for them TO BECOME like God. This goes back to his principal doctrine that there are MANY gods, and NOT just one God. An example of which he says is Exodus 7:1 "And the LORD said unto Moses, See, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh..." without taking into account that God was using an analogy of Himself and Moses, as Moses and Aaron.

How shallow can Soriano get? He actually doesn't need to go any deeper because he's catering to people who don't know better. People who cannot tell between right and wrong interpretations. People who are innocent. It's Adam and Eve all over again! I would give anything to have been in the Garden of Eden to stop the serpent from whispering in Eve's ear. I would have dashed in, took the serpent by the tail, spun all subtilness from his head, and flung him to a bunch of cacti. What's done is done and we can't do anything about it. But we can help prevent it from happening again. We can help save people from Hellfire by exposing Soriano's heresies. Let's not keep to ourselves and do nothing. By doing nothing, we are helping evil triumph. Let's shut this serpent up.