By NELLY FAVIS VILLAFUERTE
The Holy Bible is full of stories and lessons on leadership. It is considered by many to be the greatest collection of leadership case studies ever written at its best and at its worst. The lesson in the Bible does not only deal in politics but in other areas of endeavor like business, economics, education, and yes – even religion.
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Late last year, a book titled “Shapat (Principles’ from God’s Law for Governance)” by Dr. Grepor “Butch” Belgica published by Rex Book Store was out in the market. Shapat means to judge or govern not only in the legislative and judicial fields but in the executive field as well. The book Shapat is a compilation of articles by Dr. Belgica and other God-fearing men who believe that the Bible is the Word of God, that God is in control of all nations and all peoples, and that Biblical wisdom on leadership has immense impact and relevance in our lives. The wonderful and inspiring stories of leaders in the Old and in the New Testament (like stories of the prophets, kings, warriors, and visionaries in the Bible) have not lost their luster. Today the qualities of leadership demonstrated by the Biblical figures are amazingly alive. They are incredibly applicable to our modern times.
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President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, in his foreword to the book Shapat, said:
“In today’s society, we are beset with contentious issues surrounding politics. Dr. Grepor Belgica’s book commendably gives insightful and enlightening points on the value of righteous leadership in government. This important work presents a clear and comprehensive perspective on what it means to be a leader of character in accordance with the teachings of the Bible.
“As public servants, we are duty-bound to conform to the highest standards of accountability and integrity. With this book, we are presented with scriptures that uncover the core of Christian leadership founded on principles affecting the different institutions of the state.
“What Dr. Belgica did is truly noteworthy as it straightforwardly and substantively discussed crucial matters in governance that are relevant to our nations. Shapat is, truly, a useful and valuable source of wisdom for the trailblazers and citizens alike as we face significant changes in modern society.”
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The life testimony of the author of Shapat never ceases to amaze people. Simply because our Lord God who transformed lives (from sinful men to God-fearing Christians) during Biblical times continues to transform lives today. The case of Dr. Belgica is a living example of God’s divine power to change the lives of people.
Dr. Belgica (Brother Butch to his friends) figured in a celebrated homicide case, aside from other troubles; and was convicted and spent 12 years in the National Penitentiary. One wonders how a young boy raised in an exclusive religious school whose mother was a devout Catholic and whose father was a Baptist preacher – and who as a young boy (11 years old) wanted to be a priest turned out instead to be a juvenile delinquent whose life had been controlled by vice, violence, and crime. Butch’s life changed on March 1, 1968, when he confessed and sincerely repented his sins and accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior while in jail. On June 12, 1976 (8 years after he surrendered his life to Jesus), he was miraculously pardoned by the then President of the Philippines Ferdinand Marcos.
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Brother Butch, the former prisoner at the National Penitentiary was at one time in the past the national president of the Prison Fellowship Philippines; formerly an undersecretary, Office of the President Dangerous Drugs Board (2010-2012); Commissioner, Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission (2008-2010); and president of Kill Droga at NCR.
Today, Bro. Butch is a pastor, lecturer, author, and a preacher whose greatest passion is to share the Word of God.
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Let me share with you excerpts of some articles appearing in Shapat, as follows:
“The wicked and the nations ‘forget’ God in that they deliberately push Him from their minds. They know that there is one true and living God who created all things and that He is righteous and will punish their sins. But since they are evil, they do want to retain such knowledge in their minds so they actively seek to forget God (cf., Rom. 1:17ff). To forget God is to actively suppress the knowledge that we have of His existence, power, and righteousness. It is rebellion, and it carries an awful price – being turned into hell.
“What does it mean for a nation to forget God? A nation forgets God when it attempts to drive God from its national consciousness and seeks to carry on its political life without reference to Jesus Christ (the divinely appointed Ruler of the nations) or to the law of God (the only true standard of justice). A nation forgets God when it ignores Him, neglects His law, and slights His honor. A nation forgets God when the people and their magistrates suppress the truth that God places men into positions of civil authority, and that all judges and rulers are God’s ministers who are to be a terror to evil-doers and a blessing to those who obey God and His law. Such a ‘forgetful’ nation will be visited by the righteous judgment of God.
“The party in power ought to deeply ponder the truth of Psalm 9:17. To forget God is the path of political and national destruction.
“Our humble advice to the majority, then, is simply this: Remember that God is sovereign and that He has appointed His Son Jesus Christ as Ruler of the nations; remember that the Bible reveals God’s law and this law is the standard of justice by which you must govern and by which you will be judged; remember that all magistrates are ministers of God who are to rule in the fear of God; and remember that national righteousness brings national blessing while national sin brings national judgment.” (To be continued)
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This column continues to give out copies of the Holy Bible for free to those who cannot afford to buy their own copies. If interested, please send your letter-request to Ms. Nelly Favis Villafuerte, 5233 LRV Building, Fahrenheit St., Palanan, Makati City. Kindly mention if it is the Tagalog, English, Cebuano, or Ilocano Bible that is preferred.
Be joyful and forgiving! (Comments may be sent to Ms. Villafuerte’s email: [email protected])