MANILA- Christian leaders in the Philippines want President Rodrigo Duterte to apologize for offensive remarks he made recently about God.
Brother Eddie Villanueva, founder of one of the largest Christian churches in the Philippines, and other church leaders, have made an appeal to President Duterte to make a public apology to God for committing the highest form of blasphemy by mocking and cursing God. He said it is part of correcting the president in love.
“We make an appeal to the president to reconsider his statement against God and apologize to God because mocking God would invite the wrath of God not only for himself but for the nation - being the head of the country,” Villaneuva explained.
Aside from the scandalous “stupid God” remark by Duterte, Pastor Villanueva also expressed concern over ungodly policies approved by the Duterte administration.
He said, “When the policy of the government is right, we are obligated to support it, but when policy is anti-God like the extra-judicial killings, absolute divorce, and the deliberation now of same-sex marriage, no genuine Christian should support this.”
While President Duterte’s remarks about “a stupid God who allowed sin to destroy his creation…” has caused an uproar from the Christian community, church leaders are now seeing something good come out of the Duterte controversy.
For the first time, a team formed by President Duterte had a dialogue with leaders of the evangelical churches. The leaders are happy because they see this as a reconciliatory effort on the part of the president.
Although it’s been said that Duterte will not make any public apology, Undersecretary Foreign Minister Ernesto Abella believes that “it is vital that there should be some form of an acknowledgment of guilt and asking for forgiveness and a giving of because at the end of the day this is what Christianity is all about. "
He said, "To be in Christ is not about religion or doctrine. It’s about restoration of relationships. Maybe what the president was looking for is a manifestation of the spirit of Christ.”
Bishop Efraim Tendero, secretary general of the World Evangelical Alliance, suggests the president should have a regular consultation with the group of leaders from different religions.
Tendero said, “There is the separation of state and church but we cannot separate the state from God. And the president needs to interact with the religious leaders in order that we can chart the better future for this nation.”