ABSOLUTE SUBMISSION AND OBEDIENCE TO THE IGLESIA NI CRISTO ADMISNISTRATION

To demand absolute submission  and obedience is tantamount to a leader proclaiming his ABSOLUTE AND DIVINE POWER.  Who has been given the ABSOLUTE POWER, that no one, not even Jesus Christ claimed to have possessed?

Religion is supposed to direct us and lead us to act or behave in ways pleasing to God. It taught us to love the Church Administration and respect their decisions.   When God asked Abraham to offer his first born, he didn’t hesitate binding him and raising a knife in an of act of murder. Do you know why?   Because for Abraham this is his act of Love for God.  His Absolute Obedience was guided by his Faith in God.

Absolute Submission and Obedience by THREAT IS  TYRANNY IN  ITS PUREST SENSE. To name a few:  Hitler, Stalin, Castro, Mussolini, Mao, Gadhafi, etc.

Open your history books one more time. These leaders deceived their subjects, and they all fell in ruins, along with their followers.

You might have silenced and suppressed the people for now.  If you are deeply convinced this is the result  of absolute submission and obedience reigning in the Church, you’re better off taking your minions to join the Disney characters in Disneyland.  You ain’t fooling anyone.

Hebrews 13:17

Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

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ISAIAS SAMSON, JR. – THE MYSTERY AND THE COMEDY OF ERRORS BY THE IGLESIA NI CRISTO

News of a lengthy interview with Isaias Samson, Jr. hit the news yesterday.  As we all know, Mr. Samson is the Editor in Chief of the PASUGO, the Iglesia Ni Cristo newspaper, which my sisters and friends purchase in multiple copies and stash in their closets.

Mr. Samson was accused of being Antonio Ebangelista, the man responsible for publicly exposing the misappropriation of funds of the Church.  He was one of the victims of the witch hunt the Church Council conducted to flush out the suspected ministers and members.  However, the confiscated computers and cellphones, belonging to him and his family yielded no evidence that he is the mysterious and elusive  Antonio Ebangelista.

How did he end up being expelled?  Mr.Samson alleged that he was held under house arrest, refused communication with the outside world, and was interrogated at length.  Subsequently, Mr. Samson and family managed to escape with his family but went on hiding for fear of his life. Did Mr. Samson fear for his life because he has knowledge of this alleged unlawful church activity committed inside the church?  To date, the Church has not issued any statement that they have positively identified Mr. Samson as the Antonio Ebangelista.   AE remains a hidden mystery.

Fast-forward…..  Members were summoned by the Church Administration to join a peaceful rally in the streets, blocking motor vehicles and pedestrians to fight for SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE.  For a moment here, I want to point out without prejudice, that most of the church members did not attend Law School.  This is not the kind of issues they discuss while sharing meals with their families.

However to clarify this matter, the separation of Church and State has long been part of the Philippine Constitution.  In Article II “Declaration of Principles and State Policies”, Section 6, the 1987 Constitution of the Philippines declares, “The separation of Church and State shall be inviolable.” This reasserts, with minor differences in wording and capitalization, a declaration made in Article XV, Section 15 of the 1973 Constitution.[52][53] Similarly, Article III, Section 5 declares, “No law shall be made respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination or preference, shall forever be allowed. No religious test shall be required for the exercise of civil or political rights.”; echoing Article IV, Section 8 of the 1973 constitution verbatim. (the Amendment 1973 Constitution Retrieved March 22, 2015, 1987 Constitution of the Rep. of the Phil. -Article III Retrieved March 22, 2015.  This should have been the highlight of the lesson in the pagsamba before the members were summoned to the rally.

Needless to say, the Church’s actions did not earn support from the community, instead, it earned the title “CULT.”  A title so vile which made the church an object of intense humiliation and ridicule.

IGLESIA NI CRISTO – THREAT OF APOSTACY AND REFORMATION

I was approached  by some INC family members, asking me  why I’m blogging about a Church I have no affiliation with.  Good question!  Reasons dictate that if you are sick, you go to a doctor.  When you have a legal issue, you go to a lawyer. Does the doctor or lawyer have to be your family or friend to be credible or worthy of merit?  How often does a dying person ask someone who is trying to save his life if he’s an INC?  Or a Muslim? Or, perhaps, an Atheist?  Do you reject your teacher’s instructions or your chef’s food for the mere lack of affiliation to your Church?

I started taking a keen interest on the issues surrounding the Iglesia Ni Cristo when I participated in Jun Castillo’s Facebook Page.  For a brief introduction, Mr. Castillo was the Head of Legal Department of the INC under Ka Erdy.  He is a lawyer and a Minister.

My presence in his threads was not well received by members of the church, due to the fact that I hold the status “EXPELLED,”  a word most often capitalized by the few self-righteous and judgmental members. I was hurled some unkind and un-Christian words, but  Mr. Castillo, a true Minister,  welcomed me in his wall. His Editorials are so mind boggling that one has to apply good analytical skills in solving his puzzles.  Neither I, nor Mr. Castillo made claims that the conclusions are the absolute truth.

Who is the real Antonio Ebangelinsta aka AE?  For lack of solid proof and evidence, I can not identify him, but I can only speculate who he is by uncovering his motives.

In the Editorials, Jun Castillo used the famous Broadway Show, PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, to uncover who is playing the PHANTOM role, and identify his motives.  From there, we concluded that PHANTOM is deeply embedded in the organization, and his motive is to introduce reforms by splitting the church (separate the followers from the resistance), eliminating the ranks of succession and oppositions, and eventually eliminating the Church Council.  

Antonio Ebangelista publicly admitted in his writings that he is not just one individual.  They are seeds, and one can safely assume,  these seeds had already sprouted and have already proliferated relentlessly like weeds.   Like new seeds, they represent new growth and new ideas.  In AE’s  own words, A.E. is ‘ANOTHER ERA.”  Doesn’t that sound like someone is trying to fix a bridge that is not broken? Or someone needs to break the bridge first, so they will have reasons to fix it?

AE is the threat to the Church that is already divided.  Further failure to reunite the Church will allow these seeds to flourish and introduce new disciplines, as already evidenced by what we are witnessing today –  it’s OK to take your protest in public against the government, cause civil unrest, dance in public, humiliate and use profanities, etc.  Whoever follows him will be the REFORMISTS.  As many already know, these are the members who will follow this group to the deepest and darkest valleys.

There will be members who will uphold the traditional disciplines and resist reforms. These member will be persecuted, and subsequently, expelled.  There’s also a possibility that these members will unite, and declare ‘THEY ARE AFRAID NO MORE.”  and renounce their faith.

THE GREAT RIFT AND DISINTEGRATION INSIDE THE INC

Despite external persecution and criticisms of its doctrines, the IGLESIA NI CRISTO flourished for 101 years . It was admired for its unrivaled unity and brotherly love between members.  Recently, the once secretive religion found itself disintegrating in the public eye.  How could this have happened to the once peaceful religious organization?

The rift started internally when one anonymous person, known as Antonio Ebangelista aka AE, took his exposes to social media.  His exposes centered around misappropriation of church funds, and the lavish lifestyles of  some of the members of the Church Council.  In an effort to quell the negative impact of his exposes, the Church Council implemented a “witch hunt” of suspected ministers and members, and subsequently  expelling them. Let’s playback from here.

As an expelled member of the church (although mine is not a result of the witch hunt,) along with the expelled Ministers and members, we are considered to be of the “Dark”, short of saying, we are the Devil’s Advocates. These expelled Ministers and members, as a result of the “witch hunt,” were publicly shamed and demonized by some members of the Church.  Their faces were stamped on caricatures of Satan or evil biblical characters and circulated in social media, as other members watched in horror and disbelief.

The Church started disintegrating when its members broke out in 2 camps, slinging mud back and forth.

Camp 1 – I AM WITH EVM AND THE CHURCH ADMINISTRATION.  These are the members who believe in the infallibility of their Executive Minister, Eduardo V. Manalo, and the Church Council.  Their commands are the truth and can not be questioned.  Doing so would be questioning God’s will, a heresy worthy of church expulsion.  They uphold the expulsion of the Executive Minister’s mother and siblings, at times, demonizing them publicly.

Camp 2 – I AM WITH GOD FIRST.  These are the members who believe in the infallibility of their Executive Minister, but firmly believe the Church Council needs to be accountable for its misappropriation of church funds and the use of the church coffers to support their lavish lifestyles.  These are THE ANONYMOUS NAMES IN FACEBOOK and other social media, the SILENT AND/OR DISGRUNTLED, who would dare not express their views for fear of expulsion. They are the supporters of the Ministers and members who were expelled during the “witch hunt.”  They question the expulsion of Executive Minister’s mother and siblings, without due process.

Never in the history of this Church had crime, civil disobedience and disunity been preached and tolerated. Never has the Gospel been used in this church to attack its own members. Never has this church used a public podium to attack State Officials and citizens with obscene profanities.  Yet the Church continue doing so, further widening the gap between the 2 camps . Now, it’s Brothers against Brothers, Sisters against Sisters, and Brothers against Sisters. TRUST inside the Church had been breached.

The Church is in the process of disintegration caused by its own Administration and some members, sadly, from both camps.  If this Church fails to re-unite its members, this disintegration will further lead to either APOSTASY OR REFORMATION.

Follow my next blog on APOSTASY AND REFORMATION