Ezekiel: A Warning to Priests of Little Humility

Ezekiel’s Vision by Raphael

Good day dear friends of the Church of Man, welcome to the Society of Honor Bible Study Group on this bright Philippine day. 

No attack from China today. The priests are off doing whatever priests do. Manila is a beehive of activity, taxi drivers switching plates so they can keep the income in-coming whether the day is odd or even. Typhoons are tucked in hibernation for later in the year. The politicians are in the back rooms chewing on cigars and smoking gum trying to figure out how to make more money by serving us poorly. The more chaos they can project, the more they can argue that we need them.

I rather think the world would perk along quite nicely if they all just rowed into the cave of the underground river and kept paddling.
Have you read your bible lately? Picked up a word of warning or wisdom?

Pastor Joe is here to lead you through one of the most vibrant and colorful books of the Bible, that of the Prophet Ezekiel, who testified that God is indeed awesome. “Zeke”, as I prefer to call him, is the Van Gogh of religious writing. It is hard to determine if what he penned is art work or lunacy, truth or allegory, brilliant expression or the work of a demented soul who deals in visions because he knows not how to deal any other way.

Read this description

 

  • [1.4] And I looked, and, behold, a whirl-wind came out of the north, a great cloud, and a fire infolding itself, and a brightness was about it, and out of the midst thereof as the color of amber, out of the midst of the fire.

 

 

Whoa, Bubba, that ain’t no typhoon there, that’s God come down to visit. Spielberg used this scene in “Close Encounters of the Third Kind“, but his clouds were gray and his creatures were alien. Zeke’s vision is out of this world, for sure:
  • [1.5] Also out of the midst thereof came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance; they had the likeness of a man.
  • [1.6] And every one had four faces, and every one had four wings.
  • [1.7] And their feet were straight feet; and the sole of their feet was like the sole of a calf’s foot; and they sparkled like the color of burnished brass.
  • [1.8] And they had the hands of a man under their wings on their four sides; and they had their faces and their wings.

 

  • [1.9] Their wings were joined one to another; they turned no when they went; they went every one straight forward.

 

  • [1.10] As for the likeness of their faces, they  four had the face of a man and the face of a lion, on the right side: and they four had the face of an ox on the left side; they four also had the face of an eagle.

 

Boy howdy, and it gets even wilder. Soon Zeke is attaching wheels and rings to the creatures and there is a “likeness of the firmament” on the heads of the creatures and a voice came from the firmament and fire and loins came on stage and brother, glory hallelujah, even you and I would fall to our knees in awe.

 

  • [1.28] This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord, and when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that spake.

 

 

Then God sets out to give Zeke his charter. “Zeke, my good man, head forthwith to Israel, which is getting a little unruly, as those middle-easterners are inclined to get, and become My spokesman.” I paraphrase, of course. That’s rather like President Aquino has press people and administrative aides to front for him. God also delegated, and Zeke was stuck with a nasty job.
What is interesting is that Zeke does not say God physically appeared in that vision, but, rather that a “likeness of the glory” of God appeared. Zeke acknowledges this is his imagination at work and he takes it as meaningful, as a directive from God. He feels compelled to go to Israel and face the unruly tribes and represent God and God’s will.
Possibly Martin Luther King or Jose Rizal or Ninoy Aquino had similar imaginative drives. Maybe even powerful visions. Because otherwise their bravery makes no sense. Why walk directly toward hell when you don’t have to? What FORCE is it that impels risky good deeds, for the betterment of mankind?
Dep. Press Sec. Abigail Valte

In Chapter 2, God gives Zeke a book and  [2.10]”there was written therein lamentations, and mourning, and woe.” In Chapter 3, God feeds Zeke and gives him instructions on how to deal with the Israelites.  Zeke is told to tell the Israelites that God says [3.27]”they are a rebellious house.” Hah. And President Aquino’s Deputy Press Secretary Abigail Valte thinks SHE has it tough explaining President Aquino’s position on FOI!

In Chapter 4, God gives Zeke the power to bring down the walls of Jerusalem by putting his face on an iron pan. But He’s only getting warmed up. He instructs Zeke to lay siege to the city by . . . yes . . . by lying down for 390 days. Then, God gives Zeke cow’s dung instead of man’s dung and instructs him to make bread out of it and feed Jerusalem. You think I make this stuff up?
  • [4.15] Then he said unto me, Lo, I have given thee cown’s dung for man’s dung, and thy shalt prepare thy bread therewith.
In Chapter 5 there are more bizarre acts, and if you ever doubt that the Christian God is a God of vengeance, read on:

 

  • [5.11] Wherefore, as I live, saith the Lord God; Surely, because thou has defiled my sanctuary with al thy detestable things, and with all thine abominations, therefore will I also diminish thee; neither shall mine eye spare, neither will I have any pity.

 

 

  • [5.12] A third part of they shall die with the pestilence, and with the famine shall they be consumed in the midst of they; and a third part shall fall by the sword round about thee; and I will scatter a third part into the winds, and I will draw out a sword after them.

 

  • [5.13] Thus  shall mine anger be accomplished, and I will cause my fury to rest upon them, and I will be comforted; and they shall know that I the Lord have spoken it in my zeal, when I have accomplished my fury in them.

 

Well, you know, this is so powerful, is it not?
So today’s priests wield this power. They claim they represent God and whip their wisdom and fear upon our poor innocent souls. We fall to our knees in obedience. The Pope is a prophet is he not? His admonitions strike fear and obedience in millions. And reverence, yes, that too.
Well, the book goes on to recount how God and Zeke work together to raise havoc with Israel. There are more astounding visions, they keep rolling in.
I tell you, if Zeke was smoking dope, it was powerful stuff.
Ahhhh, but read on, dear friends, to get to the meaning of this lesson.

  • [13.1] And the word of the Lord came unto me saying,

 

 

 

  • [13.2] Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel that prophesy, and say thou unto them that prophesy out of their own hearts, Hear ye the word of the Lord;

 

 

  • [13.3] Thus saith the lord God; Woe unto the foolish prophets, that follow their own spirit and have seen nothing!

 

  • [13.4] O, Israel, thy prophets are like the foxes in the deserts

 

And God rips on the prophets for a few verses.

 

  • [13.23] Therefore ye shall see no more vanity, nor divine divinations: for I will deliver my people out of your hand: and ye shall know that I am the Lord.

 

 

The Vanities of the prophets. The vanities of the priests.

Today’s Catholic Church remains political. Politics is divided, one for this law, one for that. One for this candidate, one for that. When the Church is so stridently AGAINST half the people, and against the President of the Philippines, one must ask how can the priests nurture ALL the people of the land in the ways of the Lord?

To gain acceptance to heaven one must vote against President Aquino?

The  Book of Ezekiel continues, more visions, more anger and punishment, more lessons. After ripping Israel to shreds with disease, war and famine, God puts everything back together again. Chapters 45 through 48 report on the reconstruction of Israel, defining the boundaries of the lands of the various tribes as well as the division of Jerusalem and the establishment of the city’s various gates.

 

  • [48.35} It was round about eighteen thousand measures; and the name of the city, from that day shall be, The Lord is there.

 

 

No book in the bible portrays “awesome” quite as colorfully or powerfully as the Book of Ezekiel.
And no book in the bible is more clear in holding priests accountable for being obedient themselves to God’s demands.
I raise this point in a context that perhaps even priests understand. They will be held to account, as Israel was held to account, when they engage in vile acts, in lies and deceit and the grabbing of power for the sake of the Church, rather than ministering to mankind in the ways of the Lord. Rather than ministering to the Philippines.
I can read the Ten Commandments. And I can tell when Philippine Priests are cheating on it.

I’ve studied Jesus, and I know when the Priests are consumed with acts other than the healing and teaching of mankind. These are political acts. They divide they do not join. They do harm, they do not heal.

Prophets and priests who go astray are not immune to the wrath of God.
The prophet Zeke makes this awesomely clear.
Comments
35 Responses to “Ezekiel: A Warning to Priests of Little Humility”
  1. Edgar Lores says:

    1. Indeed powerful stuff.2. I trust, JoeAm, you are not partaking of that mind-bending, consciousness-altering potion that drives Zeke’s visions. (Skotch!?).3. The lesson is crystal-clear. It drives home Celdran’s one-man stand against the befuddled Damasos.4. I cannot imagine any Filipino taking to the pulpit to preach so eloquently against the pulpit.5. One wonders, although one need not do it so deeply, why the clergy who purportedly claim to speak of God for His sake, who claim to care for His creatures, act in direct and wilful opposition to their claims.5.1 Now in an apparent move to appear progressive, the CBCP has adopted a stance against political dynasties. This is a religious dynasty – of the Catholic kind – seeking to preserve their power by denouncing another type of dynasty.5.2 The deviousness of the move is so lacking in deviousness, is so transparent that no doubt it would leave Zeke open-mouthed and shaking his head.6 The priests, unlike Clinton, must be inhaling. They do not realize that no one is listening anymore. They are spitting against the wind.6.1 As Zeke, the man, says in verse 37:9: “Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.”6.2 The wind here is a symbol of the soul, and as long as the priests prophesy AGAINST the wind – and not UNTO the wind – the Filipino slain will not live.

  2. Certainly Zeke's imagination runs riot, a man's conscience in full bloom, I think. I imbibe not (well, little), and smoke not, and chew not, that which is hallucinatory. I have trouble enough holding everyday visions in check. These blogs are actually the restrained version, for the conservative Philippines. Angry Maude tends toward the middle of the road.The priests are a huge disappointment to me, for I seek in worship the wholesome submission of self to a Greater Mystery. When the teachers and preachers are engaged in the deceits and dirts of political posture, it is hard to get right with God or anyone else.If the priests are against dynasties, they would have to oppose Binay, who is squarely for them. I think they are lying through their teeth on that one. Too . . .

  3. Anonymous says:

    Many priests in the philippines are so vain and hypocrites but only in the Philippines we can observe such bad behavior of luxurious lifestyles. As if everyone has to outdo each other in terms of number and classy cars, frequent travel abroad and lately owning tracts of farm land in the province. Priesthood in the Philippines is no longer a vocation, it is a profession with license to hide sexual affairs. They have the best of both worlds, tax free and free from adultery charge.

  4. Attila says:

    The spirit of Pope Leo X lives in the Philippines?

  5. I had to read up on Leo X. Yes, similar tones of greed and politics. From Wiki:"Leo's lively interest in art and literature, to say nothing of his natural liberality, his alleged nepotism, his political ambitions and necessities, and his immoderate personal luxury, exhausted within two years the hard savings of Julius II, and precipitated a financial crisis from which he never emerged and which was a direct cause of most of what, from a papal point of view, were calamities of his pontificate. . . .He sold cardinals' hats. He sold membership in the "Knights of Peter". He borrowed large sums from bankers, curials, princes and Jews."He was elected pope at age 37.

  6. I fear the main descriptor of the political priests is "crass, not class". Many local priests I think (hope) walk a little closer to the spiritual heart of Jesus.

  7. andrew lim says:

    It can be argued that political family dynasties was helped along with the implementation of the encomienda system by the Spanish authorities/friars. Large tracts of land distributed to their cronies, these eventually changed ownership to Filipino-Spanish/Chinese families, but the structure remained. Thus, wealth and power got concentrated in a few families. Obviously, easy to run for positions for them. Couple this with the strong pro-family, pro-large family stand of the CBCP and you have well-entrenched political family dynasties.Of course, land reform is now our burden and responsibility, but we should remember it was the Spanish civil and religious authorities who messed it all up in the first place!

  8. Yes, so true. History turns on certain moments. One of them was the Tready of Paris when American Catholic bishops inserted themselve forcefully to get concessions for the Philippine Catholic Church, saving the Church from the path it was on, certain death. The US is the third partner to the "landed families" along with the Church. When the powerful collude . . . the powerless suffer big time . . .

  9. Anonymous says:

    That was wonderful Reverend Joe. Can you spare a room for one more exile (not Bierce's definition)?

  10. J says:

    Mayor Robredo was fortunate to have supportive prelates. Too bad the good ones are always marginalized.

  11. Anonymous says:

    @marianoAnswer to your question on the previous blog Bierce denouents:It was more intentional on my part to part ways because I had it on insults thrown to other commenters by the other owner of the blog. He could not take criticisms but he was hurling them thru his lousy non comical senseless writeups at ABS online. Maybe there is some professional fame rivalryin the nest causing the more famous half to endorse his stupid blogs. When you had your long running arguments, I intentionally stopped participating and devised a plan to bait him with criticisms of the blogs. He swallowed every line and sinker I posted piercinghis heart making him write insensible reasonings like saying Celdran case was worst than martial law of Marcos and if Filipinos would not act in unison Aquino would turn Into a dictator. Very dumb comparison but actually also saying it just to have a reason to say that his father inlaw was a lawyer of activists arrested by Marcos. Totally irrelevant to Celdran case and unnecessaryto ay because the fact was already written quite a few times before by the daughter which was relevantWhen someone can throw insults especially to you, jcc and Eric but could not take it himself, its time to cut the cord and let him drink his own medicine. In my view it was intentional on his part to stem the flow of success and fame of partner because of jealousy. What else to conclude? A partner would always want glory and success to the partnership but his actions were contrary to normal. And I did it as payback to all the others he insulted for a long time now.He he he

  12. Anon. Lots of room here. Welcome.

  13. Anonymous says:

    It's Eric, glad you're here.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Thank your Reverence.

  15. Ha. Wait until I do the fire and brimstone stuff.

  16. Anonymous says:

    That'll be a sight, a read. @Johnny anymore exiles in here? As I've said glad you're here.

  17. Anonymous says:

    We can always share opinions intelligently anywhere, as long as the environment is friendly. Arguments between commenters is natural but a host insulting the commenters is no brainer,extremely counter productive to the blog when it's main topics are about righteousness, fairness and equal justice. Blog Owner has a sensitive balancing act, better to stay away frothe fray of commenters but insult them on their free speech is for the pits. Even in human body when the host is weak and suppressive, even good medicine is wasted. He he heJohnny Lin

  18. J says:

    Even the Cardinal seems marginalized. In fact, he's drawing flak for his failure to join the anti-RH rally in Congress. My suspicion is that he's a closet pro-RH fellow.

  19. You raise a good point. It's like the Cardinal and the CBCP mouthpieces are going two different directions, one for crass political gain, the other to try to lay some humanity and humility on the priests. I guess the CBCP bishops don't report to the Cardinal in an administrative sense. They have certainly undercut his argument for humility. The suspect rule within the Church is not to criticize a fellow priest. If I were the Cardinal I'd be livid. He'll never get to Pope if the rabble rouser bishops ignore him.

  20. J says:

    Bishops are answerable to no one but the Pope. The Cardinal is not the leader of the Philippine church, nor is the CBCP the "congress" of sorts. The latter is just a symbolic leader while the former is just a loose conference. Hence, many bishops didn't heed Arguelles' call to come to Congress during the RH deliberations.

  21. J says:

    You will notice, for instance, that prior to his appointment as Manila archbishop, Bishop Tagle was the head of the CBCP's congregation for the doctrine of the faith, which was supposed to defend the Church's doctrines. But I've never heard him speak out against the Bill in that capacity. In contrast, Pia Hontiveros was elated when she learned of his elevation to Manila, because she knew him as very reasonable and level-headed in debates. She apparently thought the Cardinal would set the tone for the Church's engagement in public sphere; she was wrong. The wonderboy couldn't rein in the old zealots.

  22. J says:

    "He'll never get to Pope if the rabble rouser bishops ignore him."That's the thing. He seems uninterested in the papal position. He's a theologian and hands-on pastor, not a politician.Plus, in the Vatican spectrum, he's a leftist. He believes in collegiality of bishops, hence his timid attitude. So unlike Cardinal Sin, whom Samuel Huntington once described as the most politically-important prelate anywhere in the world since the Renaissance.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Problem with our bishops after Cardinal was the dearth of a qualified respected titular head. Everyone was looking for their own personal interest corrupted by GMA or condoned by her administration. Rosales with his age despite lack of courage was supposed to be the catalyst but he could not rein his fellow senior bishops. Tagle was appointed but his youth is his weakness. Vatican is hoping the senior bishops would retire soon. Their timetable is 10 years when Tagle could govern like Sin and new young bishops come into the fold. Purging has started,retiring the old and sickly bishops as well as reassigning parish priests so soon from their assignments. The last reassignment was only two yrs ago which makes the new reassigning quite unusual.Johnny Lin

  24. But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them–bring them here and kill them in front of me.'" – Jesus (Luke 19:27) WORD FROM GOD THE MERCIFULbenign0 Aquino, Senate, Congress and all pro-RH pro-benign0 Aquino will face before Jesus Christ and be killed. ALL OF THEM."'If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads. – Leviticus 18:22 GOD HATES HOMOSEXUALSGays and Lesbians will be put to death on top of those pro-RH pro-benign0 Aquino.One smart Filipino told me, "God can do whatever God wanted to do may it be cruel and unusual extermination because God made man, therefore, God has all the right because we are made by him". Cool. Brilliant. Hip. Genius.

  25. Guys, this does not mean the Filipinos will be on religious killing frenzy …I SO LOVE THE CHURCH. I feel like picking up my double barreled shutgon and go skeet shooting with Obama.

  26. Many people IMAGINE that belief in the end of days the idea that Jesus is, in this generation, likely to come down from the clouds and save the day. The Rapture in the Bible in the first Thessalonians Chapter 4:16-17 as being when Jesus comes back to earth and takes up his church to heaven. The church is all the people that are believers in him and not the buildings.- 22% of the Americans claim to be certain that Jesus is going to come back to earth the judge the living and the dead sometime in the next 50 years. Another 22% he probably will. That is 44% who are basically convinced that Jesus is coming back in our lifetime.When you unpack what that conviction entails it is perfectly maladaptive to plan for sustainable sustainable future for the human race.WHY BOTHER ABOUT SPRATLEYS AND SCARBOROUGH WHEN THE WORLD OF THE FILIPINOS IS NEAR?Be reminded those will be taken to heaven are the believing 98% of Filipinos and the Chinese will have taken over not only the Spratleys and Scarborough but the whole of the Philippines.God must be in favor of the Chinese.GIVE IT UP !!!!! I am destined for heaven. That is why I do not bothered about Chinese excursion in the Spratleys.

  27. Global conflict, specifically Chinese-Filipino conflict is the precursor of Jesus coming back and give these two rocks to non-beliving Chinese.I AM LOVING IT. GOD IS GREAT !!! LIFE WILL BE GOOT FOR THE CHINESE.

  28. Mr. J, Robredo was soooo goot. God doesn't want Goot people to make the world peaceful. Global conflict has silver lining. Mushroom clouds over at the U.S. will appear Jesus. God appears only out of violence and global conflict so religious apologist say. God cannot appear during peaceful times.God is like police. They only appear when there is mayhem. No mayhem. No police.So, Robredo gotta go !!!! People only believe if they are in dire strait. People do not believe in God if they are happy. Take heart my brethren out of violence Jesus comes out of the ashes.

  29. @Johnny, those people there are religious zealots. We can be religious. They cannot see the other side of the fence because of the high walls they have erected among themselves.

  30. J, thanks for the review of our good but shy Cardinal. So the only administrative organization here is the CBCP and it is run by the political priests. Such a burden this must lay on the everyday local priest who is just doing his job. I had hopes for Cardinal Teagle, too, based on his early words. But he seems to have sat down and shut up, rather than create controversy within the Church. I wish the other guys had sat down and shut up.

  31. "The church is all the people that are believers in him and not the buildings."Nor is it the organizational structures, like the CBCP, that go to heaven. Loyalty to a structure is not a free ticket to ride. It is each man on his own. Alone.

  32. @Johnny, helpful point of view. The only way the church can change is slowly, one lifetime at a time. Sigh. It's hard to be patient with the loud political priests making trouble.

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