To commemorate the Centennial Celebration of the Iglesia Ni Cristo, the Church Advisory Council (Sanggunian) embarked on a masterplan to create the world’s biggest domed arena, a befitting beacon of success for the church on it’s 100th year. Bro. Glicerio “Jun” B. Santos Jr. spearheaded this colossal project after securing the approval of our beloved Executive Minister , Bro. Eduardo V. Manalo. Bro. Jun Santos handpicked all his trusted people to oversee the project, and when I say trusted people, it means his whole household, his wife Annie and all his children Serge, Jet, GP and True got a piece of the action. They hand-picked all the people who got involved from the planning stage, construction stage, marketing and financing stage, even the STAGE itself was handpicked by Ka Jun Santos. This huge structure became one of the highlights of Ciudad de Victoria, a massive 75-hectare complex constructed in Bulacan. The complex actually spans 2 towns in Bulacan – Bocaue and Sta Philippine Arena was so massive that it was featured in Discovery channel’s Manmade Marvels (Watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BZdAoei1fBw) Indeed the Philippine Arena was a sight to behold…
The Philippine Arena was made possible first and foremost, by the powerful grace of God and thru our voluntary offerings. Let us take pride knowing that every single brethren in the world, who gave church offerings during worship services, is instrumental in making the Philippine Arena possible. And we also take pride knowing that Philippine Arena was constructed without any monetary donations from outside sources like politicians or other institutions and that it is not intended for business and profit-making an article published by the Philippine Daily Inquirer, a source from Iglesia ni Cristo claimed that the Philippine Arena was built “not to make a profit.” In fact, “it is not even commercialized nor aimed at making money.” The Philippine Arena is intended to become “a wholesome gathering place for people and an entertainment venue for the whole family, serving as a venue for religious, cultural and sporting events.” (http://sports.inquirer.net/13449/biggest-sports-dome-not-for-profit) The early calendar of activities of the Philippine Arena reflected the kind of activities that this arena was intended for:
Unfortunately as the days go by, it is slowly deviating from it’s sacred purpose… Many of us remember the Year End Celebration that we looked forward to, only to find out that the main performer, the highlight of the Year End Celebration is none other than the notorious Chris Brown, described online as: “… the bad boy of R&B, chiefly famous for beating up Rihanna. They would probably describe the singer as a former teen sensation who tried to cheat his way out of his community service sentence for the assault, two-timed Rihanna when she briefly took him back, and smashed up a TV studio dressing room just because the presenter asked about their relationship. He’s the thug with a short fuse who picked fights with A-list rappers Frank Ocean and Drake, the misogynist responsible for lyrics such as, “I super soak that ho/Show ’em no love/Just throw ’em a towel” and the Twitter loudmouth who responded to one woman’s critical tweet with “take them teeth out when u Sucking my dick HOE” (http://www.theguardian.com/music/2013/oct/04/chris-brown-rihanna-interview-x). That’s when everything went sour. Imagine, many brethren are “instructed” to buy the tickets being advertised during worship services and Visitations in order for the tickets to be sold. The Central Office employees are ordered to “mandatorily” attend the Year End Celebration, and it was automatically deducted from their salaries/honoraria. Tickets flooded the Districts and locales to the point that Ministers and church officers became sales agents for the Philippine Arena, and anybody who dared or was stupid enough to return the tickets, learned a lesson they never forgot. I can’t believe that worship services schedules were “changed” so that the brethren from different locales will be able to go to the Philippine Arena and spend the year end, not in reflection nor family togetherness and bonding but on worthless merrymaking. So on that special night when all the brethren usually go to the chapel with their whole family to have a solemn devotional prayer before the ending of the year, became a mandatory attendance to a concert that had nothing to do in giving solemn thanks to our Lord God, and to think that this is the performer that the Sanggunian picked to perform: Chris Brown
This is what they want to….? And to add insult to injury, Chris Brown was a NO SHOW. He was paid handsomely, BUT breached his contract by not showing up, and no refund was made for the money used to pay him, yet refunds were demanded by paying non-INC customers, and they were refunded, but the brethren were only just advised not to ask for a refund anymore and just consider it as a way of helping the church administration. That really threw me off! With this, we can now imagine the kind of events we can expect to be showcased in the once-sacred place called Philippine Arena that is known all over the world as the Arena that the IGLESIA NI CRISTO built for it’s activities inside the church and is now swiftly being degraded into a money-making scheme. Desecration of the church’s offering to God. Here are some examples of the events that transpired:
SPORTS THAT ARE WELL KNOWN TO BE ALWAYSASSOCIATED WITH GAMBLING
CONCERTS/EVENTS THAT PROMOTE PROMISCUITY AND UNCHRISTIAN CULTURE
Asked if they’re open to the idea of letting other religious groups/organizations use the Philippine Arena, INC spokesperson Bro. Edwin Zabala said that their officials “will cross the bridge when we get there.” Can you believe this, for the sake of LUCRATIVE BUSINESS, they don’t even have the backbone to state firmly our stand on the issue whether other religions can use our Philippine Arena? Using our arena TO WORHIP FALSE GODS??? Common sense is not as common as it used to be… He added: “Basta ang rule namin ay dapat di nakaka-offend sa katotohanan at mga pangaral ng Diyos sa Bibliya ang anumang activity na dapat gawin doon.” (Can you scroll up again and look at all those events and ask ourselves… What part of this do they not understand?) I can still remember how diligent Ka Bienvenido Santiago was before, he would scrutinize every proposed event, every script, every lesson to be preached, every article to be published, every commercial endorsement that will run on NET25, every project we will embark on, every words in the lyrics of a christian song to be adapted, every TV program that INCTV will show, every program of activities of the church, AND HE WILL STRICTLY ENFORCE THE CHRISTIAN VALUES AND DOCTRINAL STANDPOINT OF THE CHURCH. ANYTHING THAT DEVIATES FROM OUR DOCTRINES OR VALUES EVEN TO THE SLIGHTEST DEGREE WILL BE DISAPPROVED. NO BUTS, NO EXEMPTIONS. What happened Ka Bien? Who or what covered your eyes, your ears, your mouth? WHO SILENCED YOU??? The church is being desecrated in front of your very eyes, yet you did nothing. You have the authority to advise the Executive Minister, yet you stayed “safe” and did not “rock the boat”. You became a shameless hypocrite with utter disregard for the welfare of the Executive Minister and the whole church. Where do you get the audacity to stand infront of the congregation and still be called the GENERAL EVANGELIST OF THE CHURCH? You cannot play safe and say that this is no longer in your hands, because IT IS. YOU SWORE AN OATH! YOU SWORE TO GOD! TO PROTECT THE CHURCH ADMINISTRATION AND WHOLE CHURCH FROM ANYONE OR ANYTHING THAT WILL LEAD US ASTRAY FROM THE HOLY TEACHINGS IN THE BIBLE. Isn’t this a glaring example of a church being led astray. If not, then you truly are already blind, deaf and mute, and if you have any honor left in you, have the dignity and the courage to RESIGN as an Advisory Council member. You bear a proud and honorable surname SANTIAGO, such a proud history of a line of Ministers in the church of the olden days, only to be cowardly corrupted in the end. This is a bold call to all Sanggunian. And I say this with all due respect… You have disgraced the Ministry and the whole church. You were supposed to advise Ka Eduardo wisely, yet you only worked for your own glory and for worldly benefits. You were supposed to lead us to holiness in giving glory to our Lord God, yet you lead us astray and into an UNCHRISTIAN CULTURE. The arena was made to be a shining beacon of our holy worship to God, yet you transformed it to a massive golden calf worthy of ungodly activities. Since it was made as a beacon, its glare magnified to the whole world, the Sanggunian’s utter disregard for what is holy and sacred in the Iglesia Ni Cristo.
As for me and my family, we will no longer be instruments of the Sanggunian in their money-making scheme. Even if they force us to buy tickets for the Philippine Arena which they have desecrated so many times, WE WILL NOT BUY IT, WE WILL NOT SELL IT, WE WILL NOT USE IT! Then try and tell us again that famous line of “Walang sapilitan sa Iglesia”. Yeah, that may be true then but not anymore. I hope and pray to God, that He protects His anointed Executive Minister, Bro. Eduardo V. Manalo from these corrupt Ministers surrounding his Administration, who feed on the weak, abuse the innocent, persecute the righteous and plunder on His wealth. Expose these evil-doers and return Your Church to its clean and unblemished state.
“They tried to bury us…they didn’t know we were seeds”
Official Website: http://www.iglesianicristosilentnomore.org
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“Unlike you, I don’t have power or money, but what I do have is a very particular set of skills, skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you tell the truth now, that’ll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don’t, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will expose you.” – AE