On Shamcey Supsup's Q&A

I'm not a fan of beauty pageants but this time around I find the Q&A portion of Miss Universe very interesting. I want to focus on the question given to Miss Philippines Shamcey Supsup and her answer.

Here is a transcript of the question from Vivica Fox and Shamcey's answer:

Vivica Fox: "Would you change your religious beliefs to marry the person you love? Why and why not?"
Miss Philippines: "If I had to change my religious beliefs, I will not marry the person that I love because the first person that I love is God, who created me. And I have my faith, my principles, and this is what makes (stet) me who I am. And if that person loves me, he should love my God too."

Shamsey gave a very brave answer, knowing that perhaps most of her judges belong to the liberal mindset of the West where a person's self-fulfillment takes precedence over anything, even over God.

It was a difficult question and no answer will please everyone in the crowd. This is generally true when we start talking about religion. But I affirm Shamcey because she moved from the man-made institution to focus on the heart of every faith-system, God.

And in her case, I have a feeling (this also comes from testimonies of Shamsey's friends and media interviews of people close to her) that the God she was referring to was the God of the Bible. It just saddens me that she may have yielded to ecumenical pressure by not specifying the God she was referring to.

Despite, this, however, I find her stand very bold as it spelled out her life's priorities. How many people can say to the world that God is number one in their life? Though it's difficult to gauge the veracity of Shamcey's answer, I think the fact that she dared to answer the way she did before an unbelieving world should be taken into account.

After all, she could have chosen to be inclusive by saying-- like the universalists --that all religions lead to the same God, so changing one's religion is a non-issue. But she did not choose this path, and instead,  stood on the exclusivity of her belief and faith, which she said defined who she was.

But I want to take this discussion further. I find it fitting to clarify that Biblical Christianity is not really about religion. This will sound cliche for believers but I'll say it nonetheless, "It's about relationship."

In a way, one's religious background doesn't really matter when he or she's confronted by Jesus' Gospel of grace. God will not ask, "What is your religion?" before deciding whether or not you enter heaven. Instead, He'll inquire in the book of life if you belong to those whose lives were surrendered by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.

Yes, there is truly exclusivity in the Christian faith, one that makes other belief systems cry out, "Legalism!" But when you try and study Biblical Christianity from the Scriptures firsthand, you will see that it is the most reasonable belief system.

It tells us that God, in His love and mercy, sent His one and only Son, the man-God Jesus, to fulfill what we cannot do on our own-- paying for our sins for our salvation. Upon His completion of this great task, a way was opened for everyone to have a personal relationship with God. This relationship is by grace through faith in Jesus alone, not by good works.

But faith is not just head knowledge, but a total surrender of the person's life, a turning away from sin through repentance and a yielding of the self to the One True God by faith.

I would have loved it if Shamcey was able to include these words in her answer. :)
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  1. Catholic kanu isuna, Ading. But as you said, han met about religion.