Posted by jayvee on November 22nd, 2006 at 02:15pm
Couples For Christ and Gawad Kalinga
Working Through the “Contradictions”
Our work in the next 25 years will greatly manifest the power and majesty of God. Because we are poised to do even greater works by the power of the Spirit, the enemy will intensify his attacks. One of his greatest aims is to cause disunity at the top. If there is disunity at the top, since a house divided against itself cannot stand, then our whole work is threatened.
God developed the life and mission of CFC patiently through 25 years, step-by-step. Now the fullness of our life and mission for the third millennium has been established. A significant element of what God has given us is GK. GK is God’s work through CFC. GK is God’s blessing to the life and ministry of CFC.
Ironically, the enemy can use GK to cause division in the body. We are all serving God and wanting to do His will, but this is not about our purity of heart, but about the designs and machinations of the evil one.
The CFC brethren must be of one heart and mind regarding the place of GKÃ¢â‚¬â€in CFC, in the nation, in the world. We must all confidently move forward without disagreement, without reservation. As such, since there can be potential areas of conflict, we must resolve some “contradictions” and answer some provocative questions.
Pillar vs movement
Seeming contradiction: GK is one of the 7 pillars of CFC, thus an integral part of CFC. On the other hand, GK has become a movement of nation building that engages everyone and not just CFC, and is said to belong to everyone and not to CFC.
Reality: GK indeed is one of the 7 pillars of CFC. This is not about ownership, but about stewardship. God gave GK to CFC in order for CFC to do its work of renewing the face of the earth, according to God’s plan. All the 7 pillars constitute one holistic and integrated work of God in and through CFC. At the same time, GK indeed is for everyone, and everyone is welcome to participate.
CFC is not complete without GK. One corollary of this is that all CFC members should be GK advocates/heroes. In like manner, GK is not intended by God to be without CFC. Otherwise it would be just one other nice successful social development work. And ultimately, without the base and blessing of faith, it will not renew the face of the earth according to God’s design.
Anonymity vs prominence
Seeming contradiction: CFC has always been faceless, and even for GK we speak of the many faceless workers. But GK now has a very prominent face, that of Tony Meloto. He has been called the face of GK.
Reality: CFC indeed remains to be the unseen leaven that builds up the dough (society and the world). Leadership in CFC remains to be anonymous. There are no spiritual superstars. Only Christ is glorified. On the other hand, GK as a movement needs prominence to gain widespread acceptance. Creative “marketing” inspires people and helps create a groundswell of support. To achieve its goal of being a strong national movement, and eventually a global one, such prominence for GK is necessary. Putting a specific face to GK is one aspect of such prominence.
Catholic/Christian vs non-sectarian
Seeming contradiction: CFC is a Catholic organization promoting Christian renewal. GK is non-sectarian, engaging everyone irrespective of religion or belief.
Reality: CFC indeed is God’s work, and embraces the one true faith, that of Christianity, and is established within the fullness of that one true faith, that is, Catholicism. However, such does not preclude engagement of non-Catholics or even non-Christians. Such in fact is very much a part of the Catholic Church’s workÃ¢â‚¬â€that of ecumenism and inter-religious dialogue. GK, as a movement that will be used to build one nation under God, should indeed embrace people of all faiths. “Under God” means a nation that will reflect the kingdom of God that is in our midst, that is, that will manifest the values that reflect on such a kingdom. These are love, caring and sharing, selflessness, stewardship, solidarity, heroism, hope, justice and peace. Thus it does not mean that everyone should become Christian.
GK needs CFC vs CFC needs GK
Seeming contradiction: Who needs whom?
Reality: Both need each other and cannot do without the other. CFC needs GK as a vital component of its living out of the very mission of Jesus, the work for total human liberation, thus allowing it to proclaim the full gospel. Further, GK enhances CFC’s evangelization. Still further, GK helps deepen CFC’s spirituality and brings its members to greater commitment. On the other hand, GK needs CFC-for its renewed and committed caretakers, for its massive membership and wide territorial presence, for its financial support, for its integrity and prominence, and most especially, for its spiritual grounding. GK is not just a social work but the very work of God. GK is blessed because God intends it to be a vital element in His plan for the life of the world.
Will GK be bigger than CFC?
GK can never be bigger than CFC, since GK is an integral part of CFC, and so the growth of GK is the growth of CFC. In fact, Christians involved in GK should be offered the fullness of what God offers, including the renewal program of CFC, ultimately leading to CFC membership. Thus, as far as Christians are concerned, the growth of GK advocates should translate to the growth of CFC membership.
On a different plane, since all CFC members should be GK advocates and since GK will engage many non-CFC as well, then in that sense GK may at some point be bigger in number of advocates than CFC’s membership.
Does CFC have cause to be envious of GK?
CFC cannot be envious of itself. CFC as a parent can only be proud of its child. And just like our personal posture, we should look to the next generation being even more capable and committed than ourselves, and rejoice if that is so. CFC works hard and prays for the immense success of GK.
Is CFC a partner of GK?
CFC strictly speaking is not a partner of GK. A part of a body cannot be a partner of the whole body. Thus it is improper to refer to CFC as being a partner of GK, which makes CFC a partner of itself.
One corollary of this is that CFC members should not have to look to being credited or acknowledged for its work in GK. In fact, we do our work anonymously, and our work in GK is not an exception.
Will CFC survive without GK?
CFC will survive even without GK, because its thrust of personal transformation and family renewal are crucial works of the Spirit. However, now that God has revealed the true mission of Jesus and the fullness of the gospel, then CFC cannot fulfill the fullness of its call without GK. CFC is incomplete without GK.
Should we not mention CFC in GK events?
At the start, there were those who considered the mention of religion or spirituality as an obstacle to acceptance of GK. Thus there was an unofficial policy of not mentioning CFC at all. However, this belief has been proven to be without solid basis. Indeed, while CFC members do not mention CFC, it is our non-CFC partners who do! There is the Muslim mayor, the RMAF President, the evangelical bishop, the various government officials, the Chief Justice, etc., who all speak enthusiastically about CFC during GK events.
Further, it is the connection to Christ, through CFC, that makes GK a work of evangelization. Evangelization is proclaiming the good news of Jesus to others. When people know we do our work because we are CFC, that is, for Christ, then that is evangelization. When they do not connect our work to Christ, then our work is just some humanitarian work, no matter how great it is.
Thus, while CFC does not have to be mentioned all the time, we should not lay down a rule of not mentioning CFC. On the other hand, indeed there is no need to mention CFC, just as we can present our work in prisons as just “Isaiah 61:1″ or our work with women as just “Teodora.” However, we must not deliberately hide our CFC identity.
Might we endanger GK by certain CFC advocacies?
Since GK endeavors to bring in everyone, there is a certain posture that desires to shield GK from anything CFC does that might alienate some people. For example, when we do pro-life legislative advocacy, we might alienate pro-choice legislators; when SIBOL children praying the rosary in public, we might alienate non-Catholic partners.
The danger in shielding GK from any CFC advocacy that might adversely affect it is that GK may become an end in itself, apart from the fullness of the mission of CFC. In fact, one thing GK ought to do is to enhance the opportunities for CFC to carry on the fullness of its mission. For example, pro-choice legislators will ordinarily simply dismiss CFC as the other side; but if they know CFC does GK, which they see as very good and want to participate in, then perhaps they will be more open to dialogue and will try to understand our advocacy.
Thus we should not lose sight of the fullness of God’s work in and through CFC and GK. Part of why God gave GK to CFC is precisely in order to enhance its work of evangelization and renewal.
Should there be integration between GK and the CFC Family and Social Ministries?
CFC is a total work, and all its 7 pillars are supposed to complement each other. While there will be challenges, we should work at integration and synergism.
We are learning much in GK and GK’s work is expanding fast. There is a temptation to move by itself, and to set up ministries which we already have-youth, education, economics, environment, etc. However, this is divisive, and does not tap on to the resources already in place in the Family and Social Ministries. While the creativity and new discoveries of GK should not be stifled, we should look for a way by which we can synergize through integration across ministries.
We in CFC and GK are all part of a larger work. We must patiently work with others in order for all to move forward in unity. We must educate those who need to see things in a new light.
Should GK deal with anyone and everyone?
Indeed, GK should be open to dealing with everyone, since in the work of nation building, we look to engaging everyone. This includes overt sinners, since they will have something to contribute to the movement, and since GK can help bring out the good in them. However, while remaining open, we should also be discerning.
Since for us the spiritual and social dimensions constitute the one full gospel, we need to be particularly discerning about those groups that can draw people away from the one true faith, and especially those groups that proselytize. We must be mindful of the reality that if we eliminate poverty but lose people to non-Christian sects or cults, then we would not have achieved Jesus’ mission. Thus we must be innocent as doves but wise as serpents.
Thus, while we engage everyone, it must be clear that there is no proselytizing allowed in GK communities, and that GK has its own values formation program and will not allow any other spiritual program that contradicts GK values and spirituality.
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