Does God Need Defending?
by Dennis GALOLO
Philippine President Duterte landed in hot water after characterizing God as “stupid” at a recent summit in Davao. His words riled up the powerful Catholic Church and its many pious parishioners, including even his staunchest supporters who by now are used to the president’s unscripted, often vulgar comments.
Duterte’s comments are blasphemous in a deeply-religious country like the Philippines where well over 80 percent of its citizens identify themselves as staunch Roman Catholics, while others are Protestant, Muslims, Iglesia ni Cristo, etc. For these Filipinos, faith and family top the list of core traditional values; everything else is secondary.
Not surprisingly, many Filipinos rushed to God’s defense. Some issued public statements condemning Duterte, while others took to social media to express their displeasure. Duterte certainly deserves to be reprimanded but when looking at the bigger picture, the question needs to be asked—does God really need our defense? After all, He is God!
When looking at the Scriptures, we read in Psalms 2 that wicked nations are opposing God and plotting to overthrow His anointed. God sits in the heavens, calm and unthreatened. The Almighty’s response? He doesn’t even rise from His throne but instead laughs in derision at mankind.
The God who is described in the pages of the Bible is so awesomely powerful that the English language does not have the words to adequately describe Him. The finite human brains cannot even begin to comprehend the awesomeness of Almighty God. In comparison, Duterte is smaller than the proverbial flea—he is a microscopic speck on an amoeba on a flea. The fact that Duterte has not been struck dead, which has happened to blasphemous individuals in the Bible, is a testament of God’s love and mercy.
Did you ever consider that we are at times as guilty as Duterte? When you really think about it, every time we willfully sin—whether we lie, cheat, steal—we are essentially telling God “Your way is stupid, so I’ll do it my way instead.” Thank God that we are still drawing breath and that He does not treat us as we deserve!
So Filipinos, chill out. The Big Guy can take care of Himself. Rather than work ourselves up in a religious fervor over Duterte’s comments, we should spend our time and energy loving God with all of our heart, soul, mind and body—and to love others as well. We would do well to remember Micah 6:8 which instructs us to “act justly, love mercy and to walk humbly” with God.
Most importantly, continue to pray for Duterte. Whether or not you agree with his administration’s policies, we are to pray for Duterte and others in authority. He may be deeply flawed but he is still the Philippines president.