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Saturday, July 26, 2008

Iglesia Ni Cristo Founded

27 July 1914. Felix Ysagun Manalo officially establishes the Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church of Christ) about nine months after he supposedly received divine revelation to found "the true church." Earlier, he forsook his Catholic roots and successively became an active member among the Methodists, Disciples of Christ, and, finally, the Seventh-Day Adventists. Among the cardinal doctrines of this sect are (1) Felix Manalo is "God's Last Messenger" for the last days, he being the fifth angel from the "east" (i.e. the Philippines, according to the Iglesia) in Revelation 7.2 and he being the fulfillment of the prophecy in Isaiah 41.9; (2) the Iglesia is the only true church; and (3) Jesus is not God. The Iglesia has been known across the archipelago for its monolithic structure, ubiquitous church buildings, aggressive proselyting, discipline in formal assemblies, civic outreaches, and political clout.

Suggested Readings/References:

Official INC Publications: Adriel O. Meimban, "God's Last Messenger," Pasugo September-October 1988, 10-14; Bienvenido C. Santiago, “What We Believe and Why,” Pasugo: God’s Message, September-October 1988, 3; Feljun B. Fuentes, “Remembering God’s Messenger in These Last Days,” Pasugo: God’s Message, May 1994, 4; Antonio E. Bocobo, Jr., “Brother Felix Y. Manalo: A Brief Biography,” Pasugo: God’s Message, May 1994, 5-8, 10, 16; Nicanor P. Teosen, “‘Come to Me,…’: An Invitation to Salvation,” Pasugo: God’s Message, September 2007, 8-11.

Critiques/Doctrinal Reviews: Platt, Donald. Counterfeit. Manila: OMF Literature Inc., 1981; Ruivivar, Tino C. The Absurd Claims and Biggest Mistakes of the Iglesia Ni Cristo. Quezon City: Evangelical Life Publishers, Inc., 2005.


Related Articles: "The Language of Exclusivism," "ABS-CBN vs GMA; ADD vs ATD," "The Iglesia's Exclusivist Discourse"

26 comments:

pacute said...

Don't forget to watch the Live Video COnference 2morrow, July 28, 8:30 am @ Net 25, GEM Tv, and Iglesia Ni Cristo Channel.

jenny rose baldonado said...

just read God's Message (pasugo) and watch On Net 25!!!

scott saboy said...

I read the Pasugo from time to time, Jenny, and I do find myself watching some INC TV programs. Your church has got great talents and there are lots of good community relations that you do, I can see. But I still find the rehashing of the same old topics on "We are the only true church," "Jesus is not God," "Felix Manalo is the Last Messenger for the Last Days," etc. tiring, shallow, and pathetic. I have just gotten out of a sectarian church system (the Church of Christ, a part of the so-called "American Restoration Movement" which had three ecclesiastical offshoots one of which was Disciples of Christ with which your founder Felix Manalo was once connected). Sorry, but I still think Mr. Tino Ruivivar's broadside against the INC (The Absurd Claims and the Greatest Mistakes of the Iglesia Ni Cristo) ungetoverable by you guys. :) I am firmly convinced that salvation is not dependent on one's membership to a particular sect. The CHURCH OF CHRIST is far larger than what the Philippine-born Iglesia Ni Cristo or the sectarian American-born Church of Christ or any other exclusivistic church group would have us believe...

May we all continue to seek a broader -- and more intellectually, spiritually and morally fulfilling -- perspective in life.

"You cannot speak of ocean to a well-frog -- the creature of a narrow sphere; you cannot speak of ocean to a summer insect -- the creature of a season." Zhuang Zhu

kcjacinto89 said...

if salvation is not dependent on one's membership in a sect - then you are saying that some bible teachings should not be regarded.

i am not a preacher or a minister, but ..

in the bible GOD chosen the Israelites to be his people, so, those who are not born Israelites are not His people.

another.. Noah..God told Noah to call people and tell them about the great storm and asked them to ENTER the boat he was asked to make. People didn't want to ENTER the boat..and so, only Noah's family was saved, and some few creatures..

if you have any questions, feel free to ask..

scott saboy said...

you missed my point, 'igan. There is no argument about the Israelites and the survivors of the Noahic Deluge. The issue is whether the Iglesia Ni Cristo and all other exclusivistic groups in Christianity are right in claiming that their respective groups alone comprise the One, True Church. My point is that this arrogant claim is false, for the true Church transcends sectarian and denominational boundaries. The Church is composed of all the saved, and the saved are not made so by virtue of their affiliation with a particular sect in Christianity, but by virtue of their relationship with Jesus Christ who has made all his people one in His body, the (universal, invisible) Church. What you have to prove is whether your sect can indeed claim to be THE ONLY people of God (or, if you please, whether your sect solely comprises the True Israel and is the Genuine Lifeboat which all people should be in to be saved from damnation.

Rock_88Gr said...

AWn lAnG........

kcjacinto89 said...

I see. So the argument here is that an individual can be saved just by believing that Jesus Christ is his Savior and just all about the relationship built with HIM? And that the affiliation of a person with some church is not that of significance?

Our church had already discussed that argument, and it was written in the BIBLE that there is only ONE TRUE CHURCH that a person has to enter to achieve salvation. Jesus Christ had sacrificed his blood and died in the cross for ALL of us to be GIVEN A CHANCE to achieve salvation. And only if we entered the church that he built. (i'm sorry, i forgot the verses of these statements, but if you ask i could someone to give it to you)

The BIBLE is written in mystery. The words are not what they seem to mean when we read it, it has deeper and complex meanings, which only the God's chosen people can truly understand.

kcjacinto89 said...

Well, yes, THE BIG FOUR..you are right on that, we just actually discussed that yesterday. The "4 angels were actually referring to the "BIG FOUR"...

GOD Also gave the earth an hour of peace which equals 41 years and 8 mos. on earth, before the 2nd world war came. And it is on the bible that in the 2nd world war, "the IBONG MANDARAGIT" will come which we believe refers to

Bro. Felix Manalo(the 5th angel). And there GOD's true church will be build again.

There is only ONE TRUE CHURCH because there is only ONE true GOD. GOD gave regulations and rules on how HE wanted us to worship HIM. So even if an individual worships for HIM and all what he does is for HIM(GOD), if he is not doing it right , or the way how GOD wanted to be worshiped , his sacrifices will be disregarded. So we can't say that whatever church you are in, if you think it is for HIM anyway, it is still not regarded.

ARE WE GOING TO WORSHIP HIM THE WAY WE WANTED TO?

OR IN THE WAY GOD WANTED TO BE WORSHIPED?

*which religion are you in?

john jacinto said...

the sugo doctrine is pure bull____.

Catholic Defender said...

The Sugo lies profited the Manalos. That's more certain than what they're teaching.

kcjacinto89 said...

Hello:D

I would like to apologize for late reply.

I just wanted to say that first of all, I would try to answer the questions that you raised -one by one. . .

And I do respect your opinions and I do appreciate your answers with references (you are right. I have to show evidences or references).

As you called “question barrage” - i didn't mean to use it as a tactic for a correspondent who is easily swayed by emotions. WELL, AT LEAST NOW I KNOW THAT IT WAS A TACTIC TO SWAY MY EMOTIONAL OPPONENTS. :D (maybe i could use that sometime)

"the ravenous bird did not come during WWII, but during WWI."

YES, I WOULD LIKE TO RECTIFY THAT, I was too eager to reply tht I hadn't look or review my references.

Let us start with the Ravenous Bird in the Far East.

I will post verses in Filipino because all I got here is a Filipino translated Bible and our PASUGO magazine.


ISAIAS 46:11-13
-Calling a bird of prey from the east, The man who executes My counsel, from a far country. Indeed I have spoken it; I will also bring it to pass. I have purposed it; I will also do it. "Listen to Me, you stubborn-hearted, Who are far from righteousness: I bring My righteousness near, it shall not be far off; My salvation shall not linger. And I will place salvation in Zion, For Israel My glory."

We, INC Members believe that this "BIRD OF PREY" is Brother Felix Ysagun Manalo.

Far East - (we believe) refers to a country in the Far East which is the Philippines.

"The man who executes My counsel" - This we believe is the biblical prophecy where and when will GOD send his MESSENGER in these last days."

APOCALIPSIS 7:2-3
-"At nakita ko ang ibang anghel na umaakyat mula sa sikatan ng araw, na taglay ang tatak ng Dios na buhay at siya'y sumigaw ng tinig na malakas sa apat na anghel na pinagkaloobang maipahamak ang lupa, kahit ang dagat, kahit ang mga punong kahoy, hanggang sa aming matatakan sa kanilang mga noo ang mga alipin ng ating Dios."

The Big Four were the countries that were there to discuss the Treaty of Versiles the countries were the
1. United States,
2. United Kingdom,
3. France and
4. Italy.
The countries were represented by Woodrow Wilson(United States), David Lloyd George (United Kingdom), Georges Clemenceau (France), and Vittorio Orlando (Italy).

The four angels referred to THE BIG FOUR.

And there is also the 5th angel - “called out in a loud voice to the four angels” - in which we believe is Brother Felix Ysagun Manalo.

July 27, 1914 - is the date when Bro. Felix Ysagun Manalo registered the Iglesia Ni Cristo in the Philippines and also the date (which we believe) that the WWI was officially declared.

later, i will answer and rectify the HOUR OF PEACE. I sincerely apologize for my non-evidence answers. And Thank You.

Good Day! :)

kcjacinto89 said...

any evidence?

"People damn what they don't (and don't want) to understand."

scott saboy said...

Hi ading KC,

It's good to hear from you again! Re: "question barrage," I'm sure you didn't mean to try to trick me into being swayed emotionally so if I came close to accusing you of consciously using this type of propaganda, I would like to apologize. :) It is good to be aware though of our need to be conscious of the religious environment we belong to and within which we are conditioned to automatically employ certain rhetorical techniques or tactics in exchanging ideas with others.

In regard to the Sugo doctrine, I would like to refer you to my other article, "The Iglesia's Exclusivist Discourse," since what you posted here is simply a claim or assertion and not really a set of evidence. Simply citing verses and claiming these to confirm a truth-claim does not constitute real proof -- one needs to explain how a particular interpretation fits into the immediate and remote contexts of these scriptural texts.

I look forward to hearing more from you. Good day to you too, thanks for taking time to write! :)

Michael said...

let me just ask isn't the job of the 5th angel is to stop the first 4 angels? so do you mean Mr. Felix Manalo had stopped those BIG FOUR on their works?

naru said...

the last part cought my attention that says... Obey what is written and commandment. Who are they to dispute the scriptures they didn’t even write a single verse? We cannot command the scriptures to only pick what is applied to one’s faith but believing all that is written and be your faith by prayer even though its hard and painful BECAUSE IT IS WRITTEN. No one can change what is written

---------------------------------------

question

are you sure that the reference you have is correct ? have you asked yourself the question

Why are there so many copies of the bible yet some words have already been change? does that follow the command where you cannot change what its written, are you a hundred percent sure that the translation you have is correct ?

tasyongtambay said...

Many of the INC doctrines are heretical. That's why they were labeled as a "cult".

As an INC for seven years, I can say that INC is a real cult of Christianity. You can see for your self if you got a Bible in your palm.

Jo said...

As a member, indeed I have seen other members whose faith are merely on the shallow level I could say....However as I grow older, I myself should not judge nor follow them, sabi nga huwag kang maging ipokrito dapat tignan muna ang sarili......from Jesus' teaching itself....I am a very open in other teachings even Islam and Buddhism I admire their teachings of living a good life....I also listen to and observe other sects, however, the mere point of teaching the holy trinity makes me think already...how come in John, Luke it clearly states that Jesus is "SON", saviour, mediator..and not God..then here comes Christmas, a pagan festival, to celebrate Christ's birthday...Is this not an insult to Jesus....and those sculptures being prayed from (idolatry)....I dont use my being member to proudly boast my salvation but I am humbled by it, as there are times when I think I am not a deserving individual and yet I am in the INC churh...This makes me feel really lucky I could say but I know also that I need to think, speak and act like a true member and true Christian...until the day I die, I need to work for my salvation and not merely relying in my membership as that would make me more of a Hypocrit....For other condemning INC,you could go on and keep this debate over and over, there would be no solution....Why dont we reflect on ourselves first them maybe we can become a better person and have better judgement not only as a Follower of Christ but also as a good citizen in our own countries....For tasyong tambay, I guess cult is a very big word.....maybe you met some members who may weaken your faith in the church,,,like I said why do you look at them and not look at yourself first....for seven years it is not the years that God would judge but It si how we act as a true member...I myself is still struggling to be honest but as I have said the mere fact I was brought up as an INC makes me feel so grateful....For those INC members who are very brave in politely defending and propagating our faith I salute you all.. For non-members, I am not asking you to join I just want to say that we all have obligaition as a creation of God to search for truth just like we have obligation to our society...

faith-alone+grace-alone said...

This blog is a great one! Mr. Felix Y. Manalo's unbiblical teachings must really be exposed all over the world. Pity on those people who were brainwashed and continued to be fooled by this false prophet. Its next to impossible that those inside the INC would be able to get out of this well-organized cult. Why? INC authorities have perfected the art of mind conditioning. Its only thru God's grace that an INC member, who is deeply rooted with its devilish, unbiblical teachings would be able to get out and run away from its 'spell'.

Consider what I found: "He whom God has chosen or taken from the ends of the earth, the fulfillment of which is undoubtly Brother Felix Manalo, is the seed of Abraham" (Pasugo, Nov., 1976, p. 14). Pay close attention to the article "the". The statement in red doesn't say FYM is "a" seed of Abraham. Furthermore, the statement is not in the beginning of the sentence.

So what does the INC meant when the pasugo wrote FYM is THE seed of Abraham?

Check this out people... this is one website INC authorities are 'commanding' their members to stay away from. Please check it out and see why.

http://www.examineiglesianicristo.com/

As expected, INC authorities just tried to brush all the contents aisde by saying/insisting these are just bunch of lies put up to discredit the INC. Really?

This site (http://www.examineiglesianicristo.com/) is an eye-opener. I heard many INC members were awakened after reading this site.

May God have mercy to all those INC members who are sincerely seeking God's face and wanting to be saved from eternal damnation. May God open their spiritual eyes and ears and touch their hearts so they may know God's truth! Amen!

God bless you sir for this wonderful blog.

scott saboy said...

thanks for enriching the discussion kapatid :)

faith-alone+grace-alone said...

A litmus test for any religious group is the credibility of its founder in making his claims. Felix Manalo’s credibility and, consequently, his claims, are impossible to take seriously. He claimed to be "God’s messenger," divinely chosen to re-establish the true Church which, according to Manalo, disappeared in the first century due to apostasy. It was his role to restore numerous doctrines that the Church had abandoned. A quick look at Manalo’s background shows where these doctrines came from: Manalo stole them from other quasi-Christian religious sects.

Manalo was baptized a Catholic, but he left the Church as a teen. He became a Protestant, going through five different denominations, including the Seventh-Day Adventists. Finally, Manalo started his own church in 1914. In 1919, he left the Philippines because he wanted to learn more about religion. He came to America, to study with Protestants, whom Iglesia would later declare to be apostates, just like Catholics. Why, five years after being called by God to be his "last messenger," did Manalo go to the U.S. to learn from apostates? What could God’s messenger learn from a group that, according to Iglesia, had departed from the true faith?

The explanation is that, contrary to his later claims, Manalo did not believe himself to be God’s final messenger in 1914. He didn’t use the last messenger doctrine until 1922. He appears to have adopted the messenger doctrine in response to a schism in the Iglesia movement. The schism was led by Teogilo Ora, one of its early ministers. Manalo appears to have developed the messenger doctrine to accumulate power and re-assert his leadership in the church.

This poses a problem for Iglesia, because if Manalo had been the new messenger called by God in 1914, why didn’t he tell anybody prior to 1922? Because he didn’t think of it until 1922. His situation in this respect parallels that of Mormonism’s founder Joseph Smith, who claimed that when he was a boy, God appeared to him in a vision and told him all existing churches were corrupt and he was not to join them, that he would lead a movement to restore God’s true Church. But historical records show that Smith did join an inquirer’s class at an established Protestant church after his supposed vision from God. It was only in later years that Smith came up with his version of the "true messenger" doctrine, proving as much of an embarrassment for the Mormon church as Manalo’s similar doctrine does for Iglesia.



http://www.catholic.com/library/Iglesia_Ni_Cristo.asp

faith-alone+grace-alone said...

An Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) Writer Misrepresents Dr. Charles Caldwell Ryrie

The Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) ministers are very deceiving in their presentation, whether they speak about their founder, quote the bible, book references, and bible scholars. They are devoted to bring all Filipino people into their religious fold even if they had to lie about many things. Even the famed scholar of Dallas Theological Seminary, Dr. Charles Calwell Ryrie, did not excaped the fangs of the INC ministers when one of their writers wrote in their very own Pasugo magazine,

"In the annotations of his Ryrie Study Bible he had this to say about the phrase in John 1:1 'and the Word was with God.'

'In this verse the Word (Christ) is said to be with God (that is, in communion with and yet distinctfrom God) (p. 1599).'

"Therefore, when Dr. Ryrie says, that the Word is distinct from God he is saying the Word is notthe same, but rather separate or different from God." (PA1984, 14, 15)

This INC writer wanted to show the reading public as if Dr. Ryrie agreed with their Unitarian
understanding. Fortunately, one religious researcher named Robert Elliff discovered how this INC writer misrepresented Dr. Ryrie in his Ryrie Study Bible concerning John 1:1. Immediately, he wrote Dr. Ryrie about it and the latter wasted no time to respond last July 23, 1988 to his letter (TOTC, 82),

Dear Mr. Elliff,

Thank you for writing about Iglesia ni Cristo. Anyone can look in my Study Bible and see
how conveniently (for them) this author omitted the last phrase in the note on John 1:1The
full note reads: “In this verse the Word (Christ) is said to be with God (i.e., in communion
with and yet distinct from God) and to be God (i.e., identical in essence with God).” If that is
not clear enough to say that I believe in the full deity and equality of Christ, let anyone read
the notes at John 10:30 and 20:28. The doctrinal summary in the back of the Bible
under Trinity is also quite clear.

I don't know what English dictionary the author used to substantiate the idea that distinct
means different in nature or quality, but my webster gives no such meaning.

Such lack of integrity in quoting me or lack of scholarship in the misuse of words scarcely
requires responding. But if you have any opportunity to respond and correct what this author has said in quoting (partially) me, please do so.

Sincerely in Christ,

Charles Ryrie (sgd)

If you don't believe this, why don't you start comparing their very own Pasugo quotation in that article with the whole context of John 1:1 commentary on the Ryrie Study Bible?

scott saboy said...

Such a misrepresentation underscores how genuine scholarship suffers within a exclusivist religious discourse. Sectarian discourse thrives in the marriage between the pursuit of Truth and the practice of intellectual dishonesty. Let's keep the discussion going! :)

scott saboy said...

Such a misrepresentation underscores how genuine scholarship suffers within a exclusivist religious discourse. Sectarian discourse thrives in the marriage between the pursuit of Truth and the practice of intellectual dishonesty. Let's keep the discussion going! :)

faith-alone+grace-alone said...

INC authorities are cunning...very deceitful... and brazen liars. They have purposely distorted the Bible. All their wiles and schemes are of the devil. Pardon me for these sharp and harsh words but I find these words truly fit for these people.

They find the Filipinos an easy prey. Gullible and unsuspecting, their converts were made to believe that what were preached on them, and continued to be preached (they dont seem to notice the repeatition) are twisted, out of context and actually unbiblical.

It's Mr. Felix Ysagun Manalo's gospel that's being propagated...not the Gospel of Jesus as preached by the Apostles.

Take note: "His mission was specific: to preach the Iglesia ni Cristo." (Pasugo, May/June1986, pg. 8 )

Imagine, Felix Ysagun Manalo's mission is to preach the "church" and not the Savior of the Church! That's mockery of our Lord Jesus Christ who died for everyone.

Cant blame those 'obedient, church-abiding' members. INC authorities have mastered...perfected the art of mind conditioning. With the bible as their bait, all those religious, wanna-be-saved, once-in-a-blue-moon bible-reading people were made to believe all those Manalo gospel. These people fell into INC's bait. A lot of them were initially invited to a 'bible study' (INC euphemism forINDOCTRINATION)and little did they know that it was a well planned trap...a set-up...an ambush. During a 'bible study' , number of INC members would be invited as well and and would actually serve as 'cheerers' who would agree to all of the INC minister's preaching or teaching. And then the prospect would be invited/challenged to attend a 'pagsamba' for 6 months to 'further' understand' all the INC doctrines. This brings the 'prey' or prospective member deeper into the INC's web of deception... no more escaping...its like jumping in a 'kumunoy'.

But praise be to God! For he truly answers and makes Himself known to all those who seek Him earnestly. My wife who's actually a 'handog' was taken out of the 'kumunoy' by our dear Lord. All glory belongs to God alone!

We dont need to be a bible scholar... Greek or Hebrew-speaking individual (as some of the INC ministers brag)...or at least a bible-school attendee to be able to discern these INC ministers' deceptions. We just need to pray fervently and ask the Holy Spirit's leading as well as protection in discerning all of INC's lies and cheats.

May we all be reminded by what the bible says:

"Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many. -- Matthew 24:11

"Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.-- 1 John 4:1

faith-alone+grace-alone said...

Will the Internet Slay the Dirty Cult of Manalo?

The truth about Felix Manalo has been one of the world’s best-kept secrets. For decades it has been virtually impossible to raise objections about the character of Felix Manalo in the Philippines, for anyone who raised such objections would (following the example set by Felix himself) immediately be rebuked, humiliated, threatened, intimidated and excommunicated or even killed. Outside the Iglesia world, there has been little interest in this cult. But things have changed. Now many people are curious of this cult and members aren’t able to silence everyone. Moreover, with the rise of the Internet, it is now impossible to keep Felix’s life a secret. The facts about the founder of Iglesia are spreading very rapidly, and members are frantically scurrying to defend their faith. But the information superhighway is paving over the ignorance that has for decades been the stronghold of their cultic dogma. In the end, this cult will fall, for the entire structure is built upon the belief that Felix Manalo was the last prophet of God in history, and this belief is demonstrably FALSE.

Yes, the Internet is important in this struggle, but it is at least as important for informing non-Iglesia about the true nature of this cult as enlightening members, many of whom will be mentally immune to criticism of Iglesia. Some of them, however, can be reached. There are approximately 4-6 million nominal members in the world. How many of these are secret ex-Iglesia? Many has estimated that 20% – 30% of the members in the Philippines are actually apostates. Although only a growing minority of members around the world have access to the Internet, simple mathematics indicate that there are already hundreds of thousands of ex-Iglesia in cyberspace. This, as well as additional millions of members who already have at least some doubts, is the soft underbelly of this cult.

We’re now stuck in a race against time, and members know it. That’s why they are working so hard to shut down freedom of speech (Pls. google Ross Tipon’s case) and any mockery or rational criticism targeting Iglesia everywhere. Will Iglesia totaly take away freedom of speech in the Philippines before we spread the truth underneath this cult’s feet? Every time they threaten us with litigations, we should respond by increasing the volume of criticism of Iglesia in circulation on the Internet. Some would claim that this isn’t our fight. We are no longer just fighting against Iglesia ni Manalo but for our own freedom of speech, and thus democracy itself. Maybe we cannot slay this dragon, but we can certainly help the people who can.

Felix and his thugs went to great lengths already in the early days of his cult to shut up critics. We know the punishment fo leaving or even criticizing Iglesia, a fact which has largely kept organized groups of ex-Iglesia from forming. Until now. With a significant Iglesia presence in the Philippines, we see elements of such groups forming for the first time in history. Secret ex-Iglesias around the world are quietly watching these developments.

Some are stepping forward.

(post courtesy of arloguevarra@yahoo.com)

scott saboy said...

May more and more members of sectarian, exclusivistic groups in the country and elsewhere break free from their intellectually, psychologically, socially-crippling theological systems...