Sunday, December 8, 2013

Manong Bel: Revising the Dream

Yesterday, my former college organization, State Varsity Christian Fellowship, celebrated its 60th year with a reunion dinner. There were alumni from as far back as, well, sixty years ago. And, of course, Dr. Isabelo Magalit was there.

It's always a pleasure to hear Manong Bel speak, but to be honest I felt just a twinge of apprehension. Maybe it was the environment I had come to associate with SVCF gatherings, where people laud the para-church organization and insist on greater commitment and support of this ministry, while all but overlooking the importance, potential and needs of the local churches.

But I was greatly relieved (and not a bit surprised) when Manong Bel spoke on the "primacy of the local church." He took a little time to explain the high view of the church taught in Ephesians. He even went as far as to say that if he were to change his old and still well-known "I have a dream" article (he acknowledged his debt to MLK Jr.), it would be to emphasize the primary role of the local church in sending out young men and women to influence the world for Christ.

"If you share my dream," he concluded in front of generations of SVCF alumni, "then I hope you will also share my revision." That was like music to my ears. It was only the beginning of the night, but as far as I was concerned, it was already a success.

1 comment:

  1. An IVCF worker's report of the event gives the following account of Dr. Magalit's speech:

    "Dr. Bel Magalit revisited the IVCF Dream that he had articulated as the IVCF General-Secretary in the 1970s. He noted some of its fulfillment particularly in the many IVCF alumni working with and leading NGOs."

    Notice that Manong Bel's revision has been conspicuously overlooked. Now, I'd like to believe there wasn't any biased involved, but I just can't imagine that anyone could listen to that speech and miss out on the most outstanding point.