Someone, somewhere on X (formerly Twitter) could be saying right now, “Jesus stans are one of the worst fandoms in the world.”
That statement, which has the potential to illicit some violent reactions from traditionalist thinkers and believers, might be true in some cases. Though hot as a take it is, many people also believe it to a valid one. Why? Well, here’s one reason: A very recent event on social media has triggered Filipino X (Twitter) users, and somehow validated their belief that the church could be toxic.
If you’ve already seen the viral video, then you know what we’re talking about. Let’s try to deconstruct what we’ve seen in the video.
The video takes on a kind of meme format that could be seen on TikTok, where a person acts like a museum guide and the rest are museum-goers. The meme usually begins with the person at the forefront describing the viewer of the video as some things, with the people at the back taking their cameras and acting like they’re taking photos.
See, the thing is with this meme format, people usually do it to playfully call out people for their “apparently not unique” experiences or to complement them. In the case of the video of the female Pastor and her church employing the same format, it just garnered the opposite reaction.
For good reasons, actually.
First, it highlighted how terribly arrogant and conceited these self-proclaimed Jesus lovers are towards others. Did you also see how those followers were acting when the Pastor was saying, “Ang sabi niya, lilipat lang daw siya ng church…magde-devotion pa rin naman daw siya” [He said he’s just going to transfer to another church, he’ll still continue with his devotion]?
Talk about overbearing, no?
Second, those people just showed how some allegedly devout Catholics and Christians are typically hypocritical. Would Jesus be angry just because you left the church? Would God be that version we all read about in the Old Testament where He had a couple of fits because His people were being…human?
Would Jesus condescendingly call you out for not being a follower just like his “stans?” Personally, I don’t think so. In fact, I believe Jesus would literally tell these people to cut it out because that’s not what He’s teaching. Like, at all.
Third, would you really want to be with this kind of church? The kind where they talk jack sh*t about you for the simplest reasons? For not being as “holy” as them? For not wanting to get manipulated by a painfully toxic “preacher”? For not wanting to be gaslighted for how you profess your faith? Newsflash to those people who still can’t believe it: people can have a relationship with God outside of church circles. The church is only a tangible symbol of the Catholic faith and shouldn’t be the only way to measure how deep your faith is in God.
Just like what my former Theology and Christian Living Education teachers have said in the past, having a relationship with God is yours and only yours alone to keep, and that sometimes, seeing God’s presence in other people can already be enough.
Now, do I see God in that so-called preacher and her cult? Hell no.
There is absolutely no way in heaven or hell that I would want to be associated with these kinds of people. And to echo the sentiments of others, they’re the reason I would rather stay agnostic than actually be a part of any religious thing.
Would you, personally, want to mingle with them?
A lot of people on X don’t. Oh, and others actually found some of the Pastor’s “preaching” videos, and not are happy with them. And because it’s X (Twitter), people just have a lot of time in their hands that they start going through the Pastor’s life and activities.
In conclusion: Come on, be kind. Like Jesus.
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