Vice Ganda’s Challenge: A Lesson to be Learned
By Editorial Team
About This Post
So, if you are wise, it is always good to plant good seeds. Good seeds so that when the Day of Reckoning comes, it will come back to you and will bless you. That is the lesson there.
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It was more than just a cruel joke. It was mockery meted out by a well-known TV personality against one appointed by the all-powerful Creator of all.
In his daily noontime program “It’s Showtime” in November last year, TV host Vice Ganda challenged Pastor Apollo C. Quiboloy to stop the popular and long-running TV show “Ang Probinsyano”, the action-drama featuring actor Coco Martin.
Ganda also called for Pastor Apollo to stop traffic in EDSA, Metro Manila’s most-congested thoroughfare. With thoughtless disregard, he taunted the Appointed Son, “Cge nga, patigilin mo nga ang trapik sa EDSA, eh apaka yabang mo pala!” (Go ahead, let us see you stop traffic in EDSA, what a braggart you are!)
The cross-dressing TV host was poking fun at Pastor Apollo’s revelation a few days before that he had prayed for the earthquake swarm that hit parts of Mindanao to stop and that it did. The seisms devastated thousands of homes and livelihoods while killing and injuring hundreds of people.
Pastor Apollo’s Spotlight program went live on the same day. Thousands of viewers waited in suspense for the tough pastor’s answer to Ganda’s goad.
But with his usual calm and lightly humorous manner, Pastor laughed off Ganda’s dig, though he did not back down. With infinite clarity and confidence, he declared, “Challenge accepted!”
During the program, the televangelist addressed the TV host, “When do you want it to stop? One month? Two months? Three months? Four months? You choose.”
Pastor Apollo also told him, “I will say nothing more, I will just wait for what will unfold. But challenge accepted!”
Yet he issued a warning to the entertainer, “Maybe not only Probinsiyano will stop, but your entire network may also come to an end.”
Barely four months after Pastor Apollo took up the gauntlet, ABS-CBN ceased airing its TV dramas and noontime shows due to the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the county and the world.
Traffic in EDSA also came to a halt. Streets were emptied of vehicles as the nation locked down industries, travel, and business to limit the spread of the killer-virus.
What’s more, in a ruling released on May 4, 2020, the National Telecommunications Commission issued a cease and desist order against the network giant as their 25-year congressional franchise came to an end on the same day.
The order forced 21 radio and 38 television stations off the airwaves within 24 hours – scenarios never imagined by anyone.
As early as a month after the Philippines went on lockdown, netizens recalled Vice Ganda’s careless dare against Pastor Apollo. Videos on YouTube spread across social media, conversational threads run long and acerbic.
Their judgment: Pastor Apollo Quiboloy’s prophecies have come true. Karma to Vice Ganda.
As one netizen succinctly wrote in a comment, “The joke is on you! Who’s laughing now?”
Another carefully put forth, “If Pastor Quiboloy is praying to the Living and Most High God, if God is for Him, who can come against His praying people? Surely God will defend His people.”
One summed it up with a moral: “Huwag kang magmayabang at mapanghusga dahil lang sa kasikatan. Respeto ang paniniwala ng bawat isa.” (Do not be boastful and do not judge for the sake of fame. Respect the faith of every man!)
So, what is the lesson to be learned in all these?
While humility, or the lack thereof, has plenty to do with it, Pastor Apollo presents the deeper spiritual perspective of cause and effect.
In a recent episode of his TV program Give Us This Day, he explained the reason for the things that are happening in the world today.
“Natural and carnal people only understand the effect of things; they have forgotten that there is a cause for the things that happen,” he asserted. “That is why we have the Word of God – to warn us, to advise us, to instruct us, to correct us and to give us the right way to deal with our lives and to deal with the lives of others.”
He reminded viewers that the Word of God, the commandments, were given to be a guidepost for our daily living. “These guideposts should be followed because it will not only protect us and save us, but it will help us avoid the judgment of God.”
Pastor Apollo compared the phenomenon to a disease that could be prevented from happening if one knows the cause. “So, before the disease happens, you should have already prevented it,” he said.
He made a guarantee that these spiritual perspectives do not come from his own thinking, or from his own mind, but comes from the Word of God, which is the Word of Life.
“Let us not forget these spiritual guideposts so that the effect in our lives will always be good,” he stressed. “God wants us to live happily and peacefully; He wants us to live in a manner that is prosperous with our loved ones and our families.”
He then sternly reproved those who are careless with the words that come out of their mouth, calling them heedless and unwise.
“Man has forgotten that one of the guideposts in heaven is that every idle word that men shall utter, they shall give an account thereof in the Day of Judgment. (Matt 12:36-37).” He reasoned that this guidepost is permanent, whether one faces it in judgment today or in life eternal.
Pastor Apollo then pointed out that the Day of Judgment is already here.
“Since April 13, 2005, I have been blowing the trumpet message to the whole world that the Day of the Lord has come! The days of man doing his own will are over. Now, it is God’s will that will be done and man can do nothing to stop it!”
He urged humanity not to forget that there are watchers in heaven, holy ones assigned by God to look at what is happening on this earth.
“There is a power greater than all of us. We do not see them, but they are sent so that the living may know that the Most High rules over the Kingdom of men,” he revealed.
He likened the watchers to the Supreme Court of the land – the final decision-making body in the court of human law.
“In heaven, there is also a Supreme Court. When I feel oppressed by what man has done to me and there is none to help, that is where I go. I call out to God and ask for a decision from heaven. I pray, ‘Father, if I am in the wrong then I accept Your punishment, but if they are in the wrong, I would like to see justice against them,’” he said.
He disclosed that as a servant of God, and as the Appointed Son, heaven listens to his grievances. “And when God judges, his decision shall stand!”
Pastor Apollo recalls how in Psalms 140:1-5, King David beseeched God for protection against evil men who have “sharpened their tongues like serpents” and have “viper’s poison on their lips”; evil men “who devise ways to trap his feet.”
“Deliver me, O Lord!” David had cried out. “They have hidden a snare for me and have set traps for me along the way!”
Pastor Apollo asserted how people are doing the same to the Appointed Son today – twisting his words, bashing his name, challenging every teaching that comes from his mouth, which are words revealed to him by the Almighty Father.
He said that this is the mistake of evil men. “They think that they will always prevail over the righteous, but no, because there is a heaven that weighs our every move. God’s judgment will fall upon those who speak evil.”
And this is the heart of Vice Ganda’s iniquity – idle words spoken from an unrepentant heart, a spiteful mouth, set out to trap a man of God, to ridicule him and prove him false.
Pastor Apollo counsels the reckless speaker, “If you are a wise man, you will have a care for what comes out of your mouth, because it will come back to you, either to bless you or to punish you.”
He unraveled the causal effect of words in the Supreme Court of heaven: “Words are like seeds. When you blurt them out, whether they are pleasant to the ears or not, if they come out from your heart and through your mouth, they are like seeds sown on the earth that will bear fruit. And you will be the one to harvest the fruit because you are the one who planted them.”
“So, if you are wise, it is always good to plant goods seeds. Good seeds so that when the Day of Reckoning comes, it will come back to you and will bless you. That is the lesson there.”
The Day of Reckoning had come to the proponents of this vain and senseless challenge, in a manner that only God can orchestrate.
In that unforgettable Spotlight episode, Pastor Apollo gave a fair warning to Vice Ganda, “It is not only I who has heard your challenge, the God in heaven has heard it too. But I will not judge you, I will just wait.”
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