Sunday, January 15, 2012

A Feast That Will Go Down The Fiery "Pit"

Excerpt from Walking Away from Rome, Chapter 8 - A Mystical Faith:

I watched her kneel, dressed in white all over, in front of the altar. Her long, black curls covered most of her shoulders as she bowed and prayed. The adults in the family were told beforehand that she would need to pray before the Santo Niño would grant us the dance. 

The statue she was invoking that day was a large image in the middle of the altar. It was carved out of wood and was formed as a little child with curly hair. One would immediately notice its dress of white and a red velvet cape adorned with gold trimmings. It was the dress of royalty. Golden embroidery was elegantly sewn all over.
Ornate decorations also adorned the statue. A little metal crown was sitting on its head. Likened to a king’s crown, miniature jewels were attached to it. A gilded chain was suspended around its neck with a little pendant. A little scepter hung from its right wrist looking like a gold staff, its right hand raised as a gesture of blessing. 

There was a little golden ball, the replica of the world, topped with a miniature cross on its left hand. Its shoes were of shiny metal made to look like little golden boots. Everything about the Santo Niño was elegant and very regal.

It was crafted to look that way and was finished off with its own round pedestal. It stood there on the altar with the grandeur of a king on his throne—bold and requiring honor.

The Santo Niño became one of the well-loved figures in Filipino culture. Its initial arrival on Philippine soil dates back to 1521 when the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan bequeathed the
wooden image to the wife of Rajah Humabon, Cebu’s chieftain, during his arrival. It became an emblem of friendship with and allegiance to Spain, as well as a symbol of the natives’ conversion to
Devotion to the Santo Niño didn’t spread until its re-discovery in 1565 by the mariner, Juan de Camus. He arrived in the Philippines under the second generation of the Spanish colonial campaign of Don Miguel Lopez de Legazpi and he found the image of the unscathed Santo Niño inside a pine box. When Camus presented the image to Legazpi, who was a devotee of the Child Jesus; and to the Augustinian priests, they were so humbled by the significance of the finding, that
they solemnly carried the image in a procession to a tentative chapel. Legazpi later ordered the creation of the Confraternity of the Santo Niño de Cebu and installed a festivity to commemorate the finding of the Holy Image. This celebration survives today, on the Third Sunday of January.


The Sinulog festival is one of the grandest and most colorful festivals in the Philippines with a very rich history. The main festival is held each year on the third Sunday of January in Cebu City to honor the Santo Niño, or the child Jesus, who used to be the patron saint of the whole province of Cebu (since in the Catholic faith Jesus is not a saint, but God). It is essentially a dance ritual which remembers the Filipino people’s pagan past and their acceptance of Christianity.

The festival features some the country’s most colorful displays of pomp and pageantry: participants garbed in bright-colored costumes dance to the rhythm of drums, trumpets, and native gongs. The streets are usually lined with vendors and pedestrians all wanting to witness the street-dancing. Smaller versions of the festival are also held in various parts of the province, also to celebrate and honor the Santo Niño. There is also a Sinulog sa Kabataan, which is performed by the youths of Cebu a week before the Grand Parade. Source -

This festival has become more than a religious commemoration. The entire city of Cebu, Philippines becomes a rich market that brings tourists and natives together in a big shindig. It has become commercialized more than anything as street fairs, sports tournaments, cultural and art shows, as well as the extravagant street parade fill the entire month's schedule of activities.

Although this feast is a celebration of the Roman Catholic statue of the Child Jesus which Roman Catholics venerate, and although the people would shout and cry "PIT SENYOR!" as a chant calling out to the Santo Niño as the Child Jesus, this celebration is an abomination to the One True God of Heaven and Earth.

"Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me..." 
(Exodus 20:4-5)

 There is no excuse for breaking this commandment, nor will there be an excuse for anyone to be ignorant of the Truth in God's Word. We ought to encounter and embrace what is TRUTH in the Word of God because going against it will have us end up in the fiery pit. 

"Turn you not unto idols, nor make to yourselves molten gods: I am the LORD your God." 
(Leviticus 19:4)

"'Do not make idols or set up an image or a sacred stone for yourselves, and do not place a carved stone in your land to bow down before it. I am the LORD your God."
(Leviticus 26:1)

"Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves; for ye saw no manner of similitude on the day that the LORD spake unto you in Horeb out of the midst of the fire: Lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female, The likeness of any beast that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged fowl that flieth in the air, The likeness of any thing that creepeth on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the waters beneath the earth: And lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them, and serve them, which the LORD thy God hath divided unto all nations under the whole heaven."
(Deuteronomy 4:15-19) 

To whom then will you liken God? or what likeness will you compare unto him? 
(Isaiah 40:18) 

 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
(Revelation 21:8)

That is pretty much the only "PIT" that people will cry about in the end.The Word of God is very clear to those who heed it's warning. There should NOT be any kind of image to represent ANYTHING that people should bow down to. God is Spirit and we only should worship Him in Spirit and in Truth (see John 4:24). Anything PAGAN that we try to Christianize is nothing but an old trick that the devil uses to deceive many. 

May we be very careful to heed the Word of the Lord God Almighty. No excuses... No buts... No compromises...

I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images. (Isaiah 42:8) 



  1. Paul was a pagan, Christian murderer and he was touched by God and became one of His greatest disciples. We were all pagans before God touched us. If we dedicate a feast to God or relic or celebration, then it will become His. Isn't it true that it's not how you are made or how you began matters but how you changed and lived your life that truly matters? Paul was born in the dark and became a champion of Christianity. While Satan was born of light, the morning son, and he became the greatest deceiver of all time. That's why I don't judge by who is somebody or something as it is created but by what or who has it ultimately become :)

  2. I'm not saying at all that Catholic festivals are perfect. I personally think the idea is right, just that the execution is horrible. A lot of other cultural traditions that mix with it that do not glorify the feasday in the first place.

  3. The Christmas holiday is similar. The cultural traditions don't all celebrate the true meaning of Christmas but we still should celebrate it as it should be. Same great idea, horrible execution.

  4. "If we dedicate a feast to God or relic or celebration, then it will become His." NOT TRUE. Even in the beginning, God has commanded His people to be SEPARATE FROM THE WAYS OF THE WORLD. A great number of Israelites perished at one time because they made a golden calf and "worshipped it as God". Have those people turned their backs at the God of Moses because his servant was gone for too long? I believe not. They instead ask Aaron to make a golden calf as their God. They were MAKING a god according to what they believe is right. That is just the same concept as "dedicating a feast" or "dedicating a relic" and calling it "christian." God is NOT MOCKED. What you sow, you reap.

    God's Holiness and Righteousness has NOTHING to do with idols being paraded in the streets, worshipped and bowed down to and prayed to by many. If ONLY we read God's Word like we should, so that our lofty imaginations will be brought down to the obedience of Christ Jesus alone and be washed and renewed by the Word.



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