Idolatrous ‘Black Nazarene’ festival in the Philippines

‘Black Nazarene’ (Constantine Agustin)


One of the world’s largest idolatrous religious festivals has been going on in the Philippines:

10 January 2017

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Approximately 22 hours after leaving the Quirino Grandstand, the image of the Black Nazarene reached its home, Quiapo Church, escorted by hundreds of thousands of devotees who defied a terror threat Monday, January 9.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) has not released the final figures of devotees who joined the Feast of the Black Nazarene on Monday, but the PNP said the number of devotees reached 1.4 million at one point.

The procession began at around 5:28 am at the Quirino Grandstand, around 30 minutes earlier than in previous years.

The image of the Black Nazarene arrived at the street in front of the gate of the church 21 hours later at around 3:10 am of Tuesday morning, January 10, and the gate was opened at around 3:20 am.

9 January 2017

Thousands of security forces stood guard as the huge procession made its way through the Philippines capital on Monday in a massive display of Catholic devotion. The event is one of the largest religious processions in the world.

Police estimated that at least a million people took part in order to touch, or at least glimpse, the Black Nazarene, a statue of a dark-skinned Jesus Christ believed to have miraculous powers. Devotees believe that touching the statue will grant them good fortune or relieve them of ailments.

In what was the centerpiece of the ceremony, revelers braved the heat to take part in a day-long procession in which they traversed 6 kilometers (3.7 miles) across the city barefoot.

Philippine Red Cross staff said they’d treated more than a thousand people for dizziness, fainting and wounds on their feet, although there were no fatalities. Last year, two people died from heart attacks and seizures during the procession.

The idea of intentionally afflicting oneself with pain is pagan, but has been part of the beliefs of many in the Church of Rome for sometime. The ‘Lady of Fatima’ encouraged such demonic behavior (cf. Matthew 5:2-5; Mark 9:22).

Here is some of this ‘Black Nazarene’ idol’s secular history:

The statue was made by an anonymous Mexican sculptor, and the image arrived in Manila via galleon from Acapulco, Mexico, sometime in the mid-1600s. Traditional accounts attribute the colour to factors such as votive candles offered before the image, although the most widely held belief is that it was charred by a fire on board the galleon that brought it from Mexico.

Monsignor Sabino A. Vengco, Jr. from Loyola School of Theology meanwhile noted that the image was not charred but in fact dark through to its core, as it was carved from mesquite wood.(Black Nazarene. Wikipedia, accessed 01/10/15)

The truth is that Jesus did not have long hair, look like the ‘Black Nazarene’ image, nor did He ever carry a cross looking like that. The idea that touching idols is good is certainly not from the Bible.

People may be surprised to learn that a while back, the BBC addressed the fact that the commonly seen pictures claimed to be Jesus are false, but instead are a Byzantine version of Zeus:

Everyone knows what Jesus looks like. He is the most painted figure in all of Western art, recognised everywhere as having long hair and a beard, a long robe with long sleeves (often white) and a mantle (often blue).

Jesus is so familiar that he can be recognised on pancakes or pieces of toast.

But did he really look like this?

Probably not.

In fact this familiar image of Jesus actually comes from the Byzantine era, from the 4th Century onwards, and Byzantine representations of Jesus were symbolic – they were all about meaning, not historical accuracy.

They were based on the image of an enthroned emperor, as we see in the altar mosaic of the Santa Pudenziana church in Rome. …

Jesus is dressed in a gold toga. He is the heavenly ruler of all the world, familiar from the famous statue of long-haired and bearded Olympian Zeus on a throne . . . Byzantine artists, looking to show Christ’s heavenly rule as cosmic King, invented him as a younger version of Zeus. What has happened over time is that this visualisation of heavenly Christ – today sometimes remade along hippie lines – has become our standard model of the early Jesus. December 24, 2015

From the above, we can also conclude when we have reports of people who claim to have seen Jesus in various ways, those who claimed He had long hair, etc. clearly were not seeing Jesus.

Whatever healing powers are claimed for the ‘Black Nazarene,’ they do not come from the God of the Bible.

It is a version of the pagan deity Zeus that many people are bowing down before or otherwise venerating.

John, the last apostle believed to have died, wrote:

1 Little children, keep yourselves from idols (1 John 5:21).

14 But I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam…to eat things sacrificed to idols (Revelation 2:14).

20 Nevertheless, I have a few things against you, because you allow…My servants to…eat things sacrificed to idols (Revelation 2:20).

20 But the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, that they should not worship demons, and idols of gold, silver, brass, stone, and wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk (Revelation 9:20).

8 But …idolaters…shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death (Revelation 21:8).

15 But outside are…idolaters (Revelation 22:15).

Unless they repent, idolaters will be outside the Kingdom of God.

Many in the Philippines and elsewhere who profess Christianity should pay more attention to what God inspired the Apostle John and the others in the New Testament to write.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

What Did the Early Church Teach About Idols and Icons? Did Catholic and Orthodox “saints” endorse or condemn idols and icons for Christians? A related sermon is available: The Second Commandment, Idols, and Icons.
Jesus: The Son of God and Saviour Who was Jesus? Why did He come to earth? What message did He bring? Is there evidence outside the Bible that He existed? Here is a YouTube sermon titled Jesus: Son of God and Saviour.
Jesus: Married with Children?
Was Jesus the Christ married? Did He have two children as some claim the so-called “Lost Gospel” teaches? Was He married to Mary Magdalene as the “Da Vinci Code” and others have stated? How many gospels are there? Are the supposed ‘historical records’ that Jesus was married, simply false? When were the gnostic gospel accounts written? Did Polycarp of Smyrna list any of the extra or so-called “lost gospels” in his letter? Does the Bible clearly contract the assertions of the book “The Lost Gospel”? This is a video.
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God This free online pdf booklet has answers many questions people have about the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and explains why it is the solution to the issues the world is facing. Here are links to three related sermons: The World’s False Gospel, The Gospel of the Kingdom: From the New and Old Testaments, and The Kingdom of God is the Solution.
What Does the Catholic Church Teach About Christmas and the Holy Days? Do you know what the Catholic Church says were the original Christian holy days? Was Christmas among them? Is December 25th Jesus’ birthday or that of the sun god? Here is a link to a related sermon: What do Catholic and other scholars teach about Christmas?
Did Early Christians Celebrate Birthdays? Did biblical era Jews celebrate birthdays? Who originally celebrated birthdays? When did many that profess Christ begin birthday celebrations? A related sermon video is available and is titled: Birthdays, Christians, and December 25th.
Mary, the Mother of Jesus and the Apparitions Do you know much about Mary? Are the apparitions real? What happened at Fatima? What might they mean for the rise of the ecumenical religion of Antichrist? Are Protestants moving towards Mary? How do the Eastern/Greek Orthodox view Mary? How might Mary view her adorers? Here is a link to a YouTube video Marian Apparitions May Fulfill Prophecy. Here is a link to a sermon video: Why Learn About Fatima?
Fatima Shock! What the Vatican Does Not Want You to Know About Fatima, Dogmas of Mary, and Future Apparitions. Whether or not you believe anything happened at Fatima, if you live long enough, you will be affected by its ramifications (cf. Isaiah 47; Revelation 17). Fatima Shock! is a highly documented book by Bob Thiel for those interested in the real truth about Fatima and how future apparitions may affect the future. In addition to the print version, there is a Kindle version of Fatima Shock! which you can acquire in seconds.
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy? Here is a link in the German language: WO IST DIE WAHRE CHRISTLICHE KIRCHE HEUTE? Here is a link in the French language: Où est la vraie Église Chrétienne aujourd’hui?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries and Continuing History of the Church of God: 17th-20th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, French: L’Histoire Continue de l’Église de Dieu and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.
The History of Early Christianity Are you aware that what most people believe is not what truly happened to the true Christian church? Do you know where the early church was based? Do you know what were the doctrines of the early church? Is your faith really based upon the truth or compromise?
Asia in Prophecy What is Ahead for Asia? Who are the “Kings of the East”? What will happen to nearly all the Chinese, Russians, Indians, and others of Asia? China in prophecy, where? Who has the 200,000,000 man army related to Armageddon? A YouTube video of interest may be Is China THE Threat to the United States of America?
Islands and Bible Prophecy What’s ahead for islands? What does the Bible prophesy about them?
PNIND.PH Patuloy na Iglesya ng Diyos. This is the Philippines website Continuing Church of God. It has information in English and Tagalog.

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