- Category: Teachings & Articles
- Published: Monday, 25 September 2017 04:30
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By Augusto A. Kho
September 3, 2017 (Sunday); 7:30 PM
Unlike movies, we act according to what we believe in hoping for a future that can outlast anything.
My theatre life was short-lived. I have had my first audition with ABS-CBN at age 14 when something has gone wrong. Not until during my college years that theatre had opened its doors again. I became a member of Far Eastern University Dance Group followed by Psychology Department Dramatic Guild. Stage fright comes naturally like any other actors or dancers but it will soon disappear as you get yourself acquainted with the stage.
My most promising piece was when I play Serapio myself in “Paglilitis Ni Mang Serapio,” where I played the lead role despite of many who have auditioned on the said project. A tabloid columnist Diovanni Calvo personally watched my performance and he gave me a hard punch left and right with his sinister-like review. Even when I finished my college degree and started working with the secular job yet I didn’t given up my stage career. But when I left the country for overseas work my stage life vanished on a thin air.
This teaching is derived from our tour experiences in Turkey recently. Despite our heavy and tight schedule, our tourist guide Meltem insisted to bring us to Hagia Irene (Peace Church) in the old city of Constantinople (now modern Istanbul) on June 11, 2017. She said, “This is a very important place for you to know as a Christian.” Hagia Irene is a Christian Orthodox Church but when the Ottoman Empire conquered Constantinople, all the Christian edifices, buildings and churches were converted into mosque except one – Hagia Irene. But Hagia Irene was finally converted into Concert Hall to this very day. And I realized that this could be the very reason why some churches of the Lord Christ looks very theatrical or show-biz like.
The next day, we went to the ruins of Pergamon Theatre.
Dr. Mark Fairchild ushered us to the peak of the Pergamon overlooking the Aegean Sea. He pointed where the city ancient theatre and amphitheatre were exactly located. .There you can watch plays, theatrical acts, games; and discourses. And that what make Greeks famous for – their verbal discourses. the like of Plato, Aristotle, Socrates and others. Verbal discourses as Paul mentioned in 1 Corinthians 1:20 when he said, “Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?”
Disputer in Greek “suzetets (sood-zay-tsy-tace) as “learned disputant” or “sophist’ i.e. a philosopher.
The world sees you and me as Christians who are fools in the worldly standard but Paul lamented that pity on them rather than to us when he said, “For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent,” (1 Cor. 1:19).
Pergamon is Asia Minor, the modern Turkey today, but their culture is very much Greek.
Despite of our very hectic tour schedule, Ms. Emile Meltem, our lady tourist guide in Turkey have not given up Hagia Irene from the tour itinerary. She said, “This is very important to you as a Christian.” She said that while she took us around the massive former ancient church ground since the day of Emperor Constantinople who first declared Christianity in the ancient Roman Empire.
Ms. Meltem said the following:
“There is active social life here. It is a church building before but now a very good Concert Building.
Why we included this despite with high entrance fee? Because this is very important church. It is as old as Hagia Sophia. It was first built by Constantine in 14th century. Then it was destroyed and rebuilt by Emperor Justinian in 32 AD. This is very historical and very beautiful. The first Ecumenical Service was held here that came from the by various Ecumenical Councils. This is an extremely important place and this has never been changed.
The 310 members from the Christian world gathered here in 7 A.D. and met right here. The Building at Atrium is open area with two equal corridors, with pillars and with a cross. That is during the 7 A.D. It’s original. Some paintings were on those walls before. Can you see the traces where they were mounted? But we never seen those paintings anymore because they were destroyed by an earthquake And these has never been recovered.
By the 6th century A.D. the mosaic there is not fancy stuff or decor. But it speaks of originality and simplicity. They are impressive in fact. Here, you can hear its wonderful acoustic even without microphone and speakers. You can talk or shout and make any sound that you wa nt to create , yet it will just reverberates, echoing like music.”
(PEPS: The group requested if we could sing a hymn. The tourist guide asked the Italian Administrator of the said Concert Building and he smiled in agreement. We sung "How Great Thou Art" followed by " Majesty," until the Muslim guard from the rear came forward and had verbal argument with our tourist guide. We presumed the Muslim security forbade her for us to sing. From there we left and we went back to our hotel for 3:00 PM pick up. In other words, this once a Christian Church is converted into a Concert Building but not meant for a Christian Worship Songs).
Whammmm! That came like a bullet in my head. A historical church founded by the early apostles but it was converted like a theatre? I found that very, very frustrating that a church becomes a theatrical stage of actors.
Theatrical (adj) means “of or relating to the theatre; behaving or done in a way that is meant to attract attention and that is often not genuine or sincere; relating to the theatre or the presentation of plays; marked by pretence or artificiality of emotion.” (Webster)
Theatre is an outdoor structure for dramatic performance or spectacles in ancient Greece and Rome; a building or area for dramatic performances; a place of sphere or enactment of usually significant events or actions; the theatre of public life.” (Webster)
What is theatre is to a Greek?
“Masks and ritual”
The Greek term for mask is persona and was a significant element in the worship of Dionysus at Athens, likely used in ceremonial rites and celebrations. Most of the evidence comes from only a few vase paintings of the 5th century BC, such as one showing a mask of the god suspended from a tree with decorated robe hanging below it and dancing and the Pronomos vas, which depicts actors preparing for a Satyr play. No physical evidence remains available to us, as the masks were made of organic materials and not considered permanent objects, ultimately being dedicated to the altar of Dionysus after performances. Nevertheless, the mask is known to have been used since the time of Aeschylus and considered to be one of the iconic conventions of classical Greek theatre.
Dionysus is the god of the grape harvest, winemaking and wine, of ritual madness, fertility according to Guy Michael Hedreen (1992). He is also the god of theatre and religious ecstasy in ancient Greek religion and myth. Wine played an important role in Greek culture, and the cult of Dionysus was the main religious focus for its unrestrained consumption (Gately, 2008).
Dionysus is patron god associated with Jews and Christians. Lion, wine, intoxication, violence, and others are associated with him so he was banned in the city of Rome.
Dionysus is associated with the name of Bacchus. Once you are intoxicated, your sexual morals are loose. It cropped into theatrical production. As a consequence, the traditional Christians discourage theatrical production.
And you will soon find those myths and historical facts are still very much alive today in “different forms” as you will see them in the form of recent photos of “politicians-actors” or “actor-politicians” like Nero aka Augustus Caesar.
You see plenty of Pinoy politicians who act, sing and dance like an actor on the stage just to gather support for the position they are campaigning for.
I saw the former President Ferdinand E. Marcos and the First Lady Imelda Marcos singing “Dahil Sa Iyo” at the Estrella Compoun in barangay Carmen East, Rosales, Pangasinan in 1966. I was 10 years old then. Their lives were put into film, “Iginuhit ng Tadhana.” Their life story was shown to cinemas prior to his bid for presidential elections of 1966 and perhaps it gave a big boost for his electoral campaign.
Ferdinand Emmanuel Edralin Marcos, Sr. (11 September 1917 – 28 September 1989) was a Filipino politician and kleptocrat according to “The Economist” (2016). Kleptocrat is derived from two Greek words, “klepto” and “kratos” i.e. thief and rule i.e. ruled or governed by thief or
According to Pliny the elder, Nero is actor-emperor. He is an actor, poet, musician and a charioteer. Nero or Nerō Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus) became emperor at age 16 in 54 AD Seneca was the first one who wrote Nero’s speech before the Senate.
The Bosporan Kingdom was briefly annexed to the empire, and the First Jewish–Roman War began according to Talmudic sources (Gittin 56 a) say that Nero refrained from attacking Jerusalem, and even converted to Judaism.
Nero is associated with tyranny and extravagance according to Sibylline Oracles 5.490–520. So when a particular politician is drunken with authority and manipulative as “abusive in power” then he has this “Nero-complex.”
Nero is branded as one of the most notorious Roman Emperors and a drunken megalomaniac (a person who is deluded and obsessed with power).
According to March 2017, National Geographic “Rethinking Nero,” Nero killed two of his wives and possibly his mother. He may have presided over the burning of Rome. But he never fiddled, and now some scholars say he wasn’t all bad as reported by Robert Draper.
Will it be possible that some of our public servants are like Nero, a politician-actor? Our pastor acting like a real one or a pretending Christian? Will it be possible that some so-called “Christian Church” yet simply pretending the Church of Church but where in fact, a” Church of Satan?” WHY NOT? You don’t believe that?
Jesus Christ said to Pergamon Church “And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges; I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan's seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth., “ Rev 2:12-13 ).”
Transformation vs. Conform
Transformation according to Thayer Definition, Greek “metaschematizo” i.e. “to change the figure of; to transform.” Strong Definition: to transfigure or disguise. Origin: Greek “meta” i.e. “behind.” Shall we say, “Who is behind the mask?” ( 2Cor. 11:14). Are today’s politicians and Christians as well as ministers and pastors act as if they pretenders or good actors?
Conform is defined by Thayer in Greek “summorphos” i.e. having the same form as another’ similar; conformed to. Strong definition: jointly formed, that is similar; fashioned like unto.
Scribes and Pharisees
If you will read Matthew 23:13-15 and Matthew 23:23-29 in King James Version (KJV) what is the most noticeable phrase there that has been repeated over and over again? Yes, 7th times it was mentioned. Perfect! Seven is complete or perfect.
Notice that Christ did not accuse them. In fact, He rebuked them sharply without battling an eyelash. The word,”hypocrites” was used 7 times. To whom? Scribes and Pharisees. So Jesus said this 7 times to them, “Scribes and Pharisees hypocrites!”
The word “hypocrites” in Greek “hupokrites” means “one who answers, an interpreter; an actor; stage player; a dissembler; pretender; hypocrites.” It derived from the root word, “hupokrinomai” i.e. “to take up another’s statements in reference to what one has decided for one’s self to reply or answer; to impersonate anyone; play a part; to simulate; feign; pretend “ –Thayer Definition. “That is to act under a false part” – Strong Definition.
Congregation of hypocrites
Job made mentioned of “congregation of hypocrites.” In full it says, “Job 15:34, “For the congregation of hypocrites shall be desolate, and fire shall consume the tabernacles of bribery.”
Hypocrites in Hebrew “chaneph” (khaw-nafe) means “hypocritical, godless, profane, hypocrite, irreligious.” Strong says, “soiled with sin” and “impious.” It is derived from Hebrew root word, “chaneph” i.e. “defiled; profaned; polluted; corrupt; soiled in moral sense.” Sad, it is individual but as a group or corporate. Congregation in Hebrew “ edah” (ay-daw) means “congregation, gathering, assembly, family.” Originally from word “ed” i. testimony, recorder or evidence of things or people.”
Look at the word, “Tabernacles” which means “the sacred Tent of Jehovah” from Hebrew word, “ohel”. The word Ohel also means “dwelling, home, habitation.”
But such Dwelling Tent of Jehovah is associated with a filth word, “bribery” which reads “and fire shall consume the tabernacles of bribery.”
Hypocrisy and Acting in various forms
Hypocrisy in various forms is Scriptural. It could be acting in the form of giving (Matthew 6:2); or in prayer (Matthew 6:5); in fasting (Matthew 6:16); in faith relating to the signs of God (Matthew 16:3); with the Herodians-like in public service to the public servants; religious hypocrisy (Matthew 23:14); doctrinal hypocrisy (Luke 12:1; 1 Tim. 4:2); verbal hypocrisy (1 Tim. 4:2); human knowledge (James 3:17).
Above photos are taken from the internet
Ms. Meltem narrated, “This is the only Orthodox Church (referring to Hagia Irene) that was never converted into Mosque during the invasion of the Ottoman’s Turk. Unfortunately, it is converted into a Concert Hall up to this very day.”
A concert hall is a cultural building with a stage which serves as a performance venue and an auditorium filled with seats which designed for classical orchestra, concerto and opera concerts and ballet performances especially during the 19th and 20th century (Wikipedia definition).
I love watching theatrical performances like operas, ballet, etc. I remember that my father brings me in a cinema In Ongpin, Manila watching Chinese operas. In my high college days, I don’t simply watch but perform as well in Meralco Theatre, Cultural Center of the Philippines, Folk Arts Theatre 5-star hotels like Hilton Hotel, universities’ gymnasium halls and open fields
I watched Italian opera in Rome, Liza Minneli’s live show in London, if not in Radio City of Manhattan, New York BUT TO GOD, we don’t perform in His Presence but we worship Him in Spirit and in Truth (John 4;23) . We should be free from malice when our church choir or band “performs” the so-called Worship Service. It is sacred.
Concert hall or theatrical hall is not meant to worship the Lord but people go there simply for an entertainment. House of worship are not meant for theatrical acrobats and not a display of preaching flawless prowess. We assemble ourselves corporately to strengthen one another in our faith to Christ (Hebrews 10:25). We come together because God inhabits the praise of His people.
A house of worship is converted into a Concert Hall is very ironic and it speaks of profanity. Is it
the church have gone into showbiz? Real or reel. Either you make it or mess up.
Psalm 90:8 says, “Thou hast set our iniquities before thee, our secret sins in the light of thy countenance.”
Can the Church last in this Last Days?
Herodians. Herodians from the word “Herod” i.e. “heroic” refers to the name of a roal family that floiurished among the Jews in the times of Christ and the Apostle. Herod the Great was the son of Antipater of Idumaea who was appointed king of Judea B.C. 40 by the Roman Senate at the suggestion and Antony and with the consent of Octavian. Herod’s surname is Antipas. (Thayer)
Bosphorus. The Bosphorus's English name comes from a Greek legend: Zeus had an affair with a beautiful women named Lo. When Hera, his wife, discovered his infidelity, she turned Lo into a cow and created a horsefly to sting her on the rump. Lo jumped clear across the strait. Thus bous = cow, and poros = crossing-place: Bosphorus So it may well be that the Bosphorus is the source of Noah's flood and the legend of Noah's Ark! (Mount Ararat is also in Turkey.)
Hagia Irene. Peps’ Diary dated June 12, 2017, Constantinople (modern Istanbul). Ms. Emile Meltem, the lady tourist guide narration which are as follows, “Hagia IreneThere is active social life here. It is a church building before but now a very good Concert Building. Why we included this despite with high entrance fee? Because this is a very important church. It is as old as Hagia Sophia built in 14th century by Constantine. It was first built by Constantine. Then it was destroyed and rebuilt by Emperor Justinian in 32 AD. This is very historical and very beautiful. The first Ecumenical Service was held here that came from the by various Ecumenical Councils. Extremely important place and this has never been changed.he 310 members from the Christian world gathered here in 7 A.D. and met right here. The Building at Atrium is open area with two equal corridors, with pillars and with a cross. That is during the 7 A.D. It’s original. Some paintings were on those walls before. Can you see the traces where they were mounted? But we never seen those paintings anymore because they were destroyed by an earthquake And these has never been recovered. By the 6th century A.D. the mosaic there is not fancy stuff or decor. But it speaks of originality and simplicity. They are impressive in fact. Here, you can hear its wonderful acoustic even without microphone and speakers. You can talk or shout and any sound you create will reverberates, echoing like music.
At the Concert Hall of Hagia Irene. (PEPS: The group requested if we could sing a hymn. The tourist guide asked the Italian Administrator of the said Concert Building and he smiled in agreement. We sung "How Great Thou Art" followed by " Majesty," until the Muslim guard from the rear came forward and had verbal argument with our tourist guide. We presumed the Muslim security forbade her for us to sing. From there we left and we went back to our hotel for 3:00 PM pick up. In other words, this once a Christian Church is converted into a Concert Building but not meant for a Christian Worship Songs).
Pergamon. Peps’ Diary on Dr. Fairchild; Pergamon, June 11, 2017. Dr. Mark Fairchild now speaking: This is altar of Zeus is overlooking the city. This is 8 km away from Aegean Sea. This is the place where the German excavated the area and shipped away what they have found here and brought them all to Germany. This is the Athena Temple with 3 shaped layers of foundations with library. There are arches built by people to create platform to build a huge temple. Zeus down there is 2 year BC. Athens is built on a higher peak.. You see down there is the steepest theatre all over Turkey. In fact, all over the world during that time.
Dionysus is patron god associated with Jews and Christians. Lion, wine, intoxication, violence, and others are associated with him so he was banned in the city of Rome. Dionysus is associated with the name of Bacchus. Once you are intoxicated, your sexual morals are loose. It cropped into theatrical production. As a consequence, the traditional Christians discourage theatrical production.
Kleptocrat. "Hail to the thief: The Philippine government offers a hero’s burial for a murderous kleptocrat". The Economist November 12, 2016.