METRO MANILA, Philippines — Reports of denunciations by a Jesus is Lord (JIL) position paper read last year deploring the the historic Protestant doctrine of T.U.L.I.P. have re-surfaced and they have gone viral. According to eyewitness reports, Shirley Bernardo and Bobot Bernardo who is known in JIL as “the most brilliant theologian in the Philippines” both read the position paper of JIL against TULIP in last year’s October 2013 Pastors Congress at the Crowne Plaza Galleria in Manila. JIL has refused to confirm or deny these reports.
TULIP is acronym for the historic Protestant teachings (Total depravity, Unconditional election, Limited atonement, Irresistible grace and Perseverance of the saints) as affirmed by the Synod of Dort that convened in Dordtrecht, Netherlands in 1618-1619. This teaching continues to be affirmed these days by a good number of Philippine evangelicals that hold to Reformed-Protestant teachings. Among the famous proponents of TULIP in the US are John MacArthur, John Piper, The Gospel Coalition and many others. The view also had a emergence in young evangelicals since the publication of Collin Hansen’s Young, Restless, Reformed: A Journalist’s Journey with the New Calvinists.
Former JIL members who frequent the Facebook group Jeremiah 5:31 Ministry testified that they were in attendance at that gathering. One witness said, “Yes, im a witness dun sa sinabing “demonic teaching called calvinistic theory na galing sa singapore”…i saw and heard DJV [Dory J. Villanueva] say that statement via live web stream ng anniv ng JILHK.”
This viral resurgence in October marks the first anniversary of the event. Former JIL members who left questioning many scruples in JIL brought this issue up with a meme showing in quotations “‘TULIP and cessationism are heretic [sic]. TULIP is demonic.’ — Position Paper Jesus is Lord Church Worldwide, October 2013 Pastors’ Congress, 1st Year of Celebration of the Declaration of TULIP as demonic.”
This has prompted the ire of many while some issued invitations for public debate or dialogue. Academics and non-academics alike have issued their challenge for a debate. A Christian lawyer issued this invitation
To Whom It May Concern in J.I.L. church
Did someone from your leadership really say that TULIP is demonic, and Cessationism is heretical?
If yes, this Forum issues a formal invitation to a public debate on your view that TULIP is demonic, and Cessationism is heretical
If that view is correct, then you could be doing the wider Body of Christ a big favor, as a public debate is a form of educating the brethren
Kindly signify your agreement, then we’ll discuss the details (venue, date, format etc) later
A good number of small movements are pushing for dialogue or debate to happen. Some have echoed the above-mentioned letter in terms of its purpose of informing people. “It will be good for JIL to have the courage to explain this damning statement,” said one.
On a March 11 2014 report by RR.com, JIL also condemned the Facebook group Anti-Modern Pharisees Movement (AMPM) for the demonic manifestations in their language and behavior. You can check the RR.com report here to see screenshots of a barrage of F-words from AMPM
The said denunciations or anathemas were carried out in a span of a few months.
On a lighter note, the Garden Lovers Association of Davao (GLAD) has expressed support for this dialogue in protestation to JIL because, as Lorie Sadla said, “As a transgender, I am frequently aware of what bad publicity does. Most especially to this flower that we have come to love. The tulip is a beautiful flower. It is not demonic because bongga it is heavensent.”
Reporting for RabashikaRabakanda.com I am correspondent Siri Miranda Silimanda.