This is a guest post by Derek Ross, National Director of True Love Waits Philippines, whom I had the privilege of meeting in person last month during a conference on SSA. To find out more about his ministry, visit www.wagmuna.com.
There is a prevalent idea that the cause of Filipino's moral decay is Western influence largely that of America. McDonald's, Starbucks, Krispy Kreme, hiphop, Levi's, Microsoft or Mac, Hollywood and MTV, are some American things that influence us.
To prevent moral decay some people avoid every kind of American brand of influence. But do we really want to throw out all things that America has influenced us? Not really, because cars and airplanes were invented in the U.S.
If we think about it, our TVs are not only filled with Western influence but our Asian neighbors also influence much of our youth culture today. Singaporean, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean youth cultures have impacted the way Filipino youth dress, talk, and act. But which culture should we choose as a standard among the nations when it comes to purity?
Being "more conservative" in some ways than the West, we have the propensity to uplift ourselves by saying,
"We are purer than they are."
"We're not like them when it comes to premarital sex."
"Our purity campaign is better than theirs."
When we do this, we're not really any better because we're only measuring ourselves to a standard where we can feel better than them. There is really no such thing as 'more righteous' or 'lesser evil', only what is good and evil. We have taken upon ourselves the measuring and removed God as the standard.
Our aim should not become better than other nations. At life's end there will not be a panel of Western people sitting with 1-10 scorecards to grade us. The final decision of whether we are pure or impure will not be based on some kind of sliding scale comparing ourselves to others. What we need is an unshakeable and unchanging standard, something absolute.
Standard: A rule or principle used as a basis for judgment.
Absolute: Free from imperfection; complete; perfect: absolute liberty.
Purity can either be Absolute or Relative. Absolute Purity is God's unchanging standard throughout time, while Relative Purity is that swaying standard that we can always tailor to fit our needs.
We all make mistakes that go against God's word, so how can we live an absolute life of purity? A wise man once said, "Nothing is more satisfying than doing what your heart desires and knowing that what your heart desires is right. But nothing is more destructive than doing what your heart desires and knowing that what your heart desires is wrong."
What the Filipino people need is not a better heart but a new heart.
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. I will place My Spirit within you and cause you to follow My statutes and carefully observe My ordinances. - Ezekiel 36:26-27
Derek Ross, National Director, True Love Waits Philippines
True Love Waits Philippines is a non-government organization that is committed to helping Filipino youth live a life of purity. Our heart is to help equip the youth of this nation to live a pure life both now, and in the future as they help lead the Philippines. We are an organization that is solely supported by concerned individuals and groups.
See our website (http://www.tlw.ph/support-tlw/) for information on how you can
invest in achieving purity in the lives of Filipino youth.
(P.S: TLW Leader's Guide and Purity resources coming out on January 2012! Be sure to check www.wagmuna.com for updates.)