The Bible can be a foundation for unity and transformation if not used as 'deodorant' says…
The Bible can be a foundation for unity and transformation
if not used as ‘deodorant’, says church leader
“God’s Word can be a foundation for unity and transformation,” stated Pastor Ed Lapiz, founder and head pastor of Day by Day Christian Ministries during the Philippine Bible Society’s 106th Anniversary Thanksgiving Service on November 23, 2005 at the PBS Ministry Facility in Sta. Mesa. Pastor Lapiz spoke on the theme, “God’s Word: Foundation for Unity and Transformation.”
“To realize this theme and this goal, (we must) stop misusing the Bible in divisive debates and pursuits… as a deceptive cover for ungodly agenda… for personal gain or worse, as deodorant for stinking persons, stinking institutions, and stinking systems,” said Pastor Lapiz, addressing about 250 guests composed of church leaders, PBS members and partners who come from various sectors of the society. “We study the Bible not to increase our knowledge, but to change our hearts unto godly unity and transformation.”
Such strong reminder was prompted by the reality that even after 106 years of Bible work in the Philippines and with the availability of Scriptures in various languages and formats, professing Bible readers “have barely made a dent in the society.” The challenge today was no longer making the Bible accessible and understandable by Filipinos as institutions like the Philippine Bible Society has made God’s Word understandable, reachable and available. The present need is to see God’s Word being lived out.
“As Bible Societies produce more and more Bibles, let us be more and more biblical in our thinking, in our deeds, and in our lifestyle. Indeed we have done good work to propagate God’s Word, let us do better work… of obeying what it says,” encouraged Pastor Lapiz.
“Then we won’t need themes like this,” he added. “I wish we did not have this theme – Unity and Transformation – because that means that the goal of the Scriptures would have been accomplished.”
Two-day open house
Pastor Lapiz was guest speaker during the Thanksgiving Service that opened the two-day Open House in celebration of PBS’ 106th Anniversary. To educate members and guests on the ministry of the Bible Society, PBS also lined up meaningful activities that would suit the interests of target audiences.
The Bible Society hosted a Bible forum on the topic, “The Role of the Bible in National Transformation”, with guest panelists Pastor Ed Lapiz, Dr. Jonathan Exiomo, President of Alliance Biblical Seminary, and Dr. Ricardo Jumawan, former PBS General Secretary and current Board Member.
PBS also brought home the Basic Translation Seminar, which was being taught in the provinces. Members and guests had the opportunity to listen to Dr. Anicia del Corro, Translation Consultant to the United Bible Societies (UBS), and Pastor Noli Mendoza, Tagalog Bible Translator. The audience also had the opportunity to get answers to Bible related questions.
Art enthusiasts likewise found their spot in a workshop conducted by Artist Arlene Villaver. Participants from seven to seventy-year-old learned some pointers in drawing as well as the responsibility that goes with the knowledge, in the light of God’s Word.
Dr. Daniel Arichea, Jr., former UBS Translation Consultant and Bible scholar, and Dr. Annie del Corro were featured in a Bible Clinic where they answered questions related to Bible translation and other issues. “The Bible Clinic” is a Q&A section at the Bible Society’s website and quarterly newsletter, The Open Word. A fun Bible quiz was also inserted during the three-hour session.
True to its mission to reach all sectors of the society, PBS also prepared activities for children in a story-telling session with guest storyteller from Alitaptap Story-telling Association. The two-day Anniversary celebration was capped with a non-stop praise and worship led by Verbo Youth Band, and participated by young people mostly students from nearby colleges and universities.
Celebration for Ilaw
The two-day celebration not only commemorates 106 years of formal Bible work in the Philippines but also to raise funds for Ilaw sa Tahanan, a program aimed at providing a copy of the Bible to 150,000 poor families relocated by the government. About 40,000 copies were already distributed since 2002. Photos of Bible recipients as well as documents of distribution activities were showcased in a photo exhibit dedicated solely for the program.