I believe that this article is very timely especially since now that “asking questions about the church” can either get somebody put in the “watchlist” or expelled from the church. I believe that the reason why many people resorted to pseudonyms in social media is because the church drastically promoted the “TOTALITARIAN RULE”. Thus began the age of the church when “questions” about the church, the Family of Bro. Eraño G. Manalo, the finances, the Sanggunian or anything that will require the Ministers to answer, which is simply equivalent to giving the “official statement of denial” of the Church Administration and making the brethren sign a scripted-salaysay of complete submission to the Executive Minister, making sure to include the robotic-passcode “I AM ONE WITH EVM”… OR ELSE!
This is clearly the changing of the tides. Gone were the glory days of the church when everyone is encouraged to ask ANY questions they may have about anything about the church. Because back then, the INTEGRITY of the church and its Administration was beyond reproach and the Ministers, or even the brethren can openly defend the reputation of the church. But now, the brethren are afraid to even ask question without realizing that the fact that they are afraid or even hesitant to inquire for fear of persecution is PROOF ENOUGH that there is indeed something terribly wrong in the church today. Wake up brethren, see the signs, look at the symptoms of the church and it’s Ministers today. When you seek answers, their initial defense mechanism is ANGER and IRRITATION (totally unbecoming of a Minister) and when they can no longer put up with it, they just turn their backs and recommend you for expulsion or social castration.
When the church you belong to, prevents you from asking questions and seeking for answers, it only proves that they are hiding something from you.
This is an article from my good friend Sebastian Rauffenburg and this is what he has to say on how asking questions and the church-promoted concept of infallibility of the current Executive Minister and The Unforgivable Sins of rebellion in the 21st century.
~ Antonio Ramirez Ebangelista
Greetings from Sebastian Rauffenburg,
Recently, I was asked by Jethro Samson, to listen to an audio clip of the late Brother Eraño G. Manalo, wherein he says, “”LAHAT NG AALIS SA IGLESIA, ANTI-CRISTO rin.” in English “ALL who will leave the church are also antichrists”
Jethro concluded based on the audio tape, ALL those expelled are antichrist. I questioned him on this notion of his; because the complete context was not provided by Brother Eraño G. Manalo to give us a definitive biblical definition of antichrist (small “a”).
During my challenge to him, I followed the time tested advice of the Holy Scriptures and searched to see if what Brother Eraño was preaching was in accordance to the Bible. I came to the final conclusion based on a 4-5 minute audio clip that I only partially agreed with Brother Eraño G. Manalo due to lack of additional information not found in his homily. Perhaps he included it in another homily, but based on this specific audio clip, it was not there.
I came to conclude, the biblical definition of an antichrist are ALL those either left the IGLESIA at nag sinungaling kundi ang tumatanggi na si Jesus ay siyang Cristo or ay ang mga hindi nangagpapahayag na si Jesucristo ay napariritong nasa laman. (1 John 2:19, 22, 2 John 1:7)
I partially agreed, based on the description given by the Apostle John in the Holy Scriptures, because Brother Eraño Manalo doesn’t read 1 John 2:22 or 2 John 1:7 which explains the criteria of antichrists.
I was instantly insulted and called names by Jethro and his FB followers. Claiming I was wrong for not being in full agreement with Brother Eraño G. Manalo. Not one individual in the 75+ insulting comments that followed challenged my decision with Scripture, so that we may learn together.
I kindly asked Jethro, whether Brother Eraño was speaking of the human definition of antichrist or the biblical definition. This was pertinent because the audio clip was a reading of passages from the Bible not Websters dictionary.
Was I wrong for my decision to verify the authenticity of the teachings made by Brother Eraño with that of the Bible? Based on the little evidence presented to me on a 4-5 minute audio clip to conclude a partial agreement? No, I am not.
(First priority will always be to the Words of God to verify truth, no ifs, and’s, or buts about it.)
Acts 17:10-11 states:
“The brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived they went into the Jewish synagogue. Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.” (Acts 17:10-11 )
Why were the Berean’s more noble than those in Thessalonica? 2 reasons:
1) They received the word with all eagerness.
2) They went back home and examined the Scriptures to see if what Paul and Silas preached lined up with the word of God.
The Apostle Paul didn’t mind that people checked to make sure what he was teaching was true. He called the Bereans “noble minded” for doing so. The Bereans has always been a positive example of how we members of the Church of Christ, servants of our Lord Jesus Christ should respond to biblical teaching. We are called to eagerly learn from God’s Word and, no matter who the Church Administration is, to investigate doctrine and new teachings in comparison with the Bible to strengthen and edify our faith is Christ Jesus. The practice of the ancient Bereans is a superior model for all of God’s children who desire to grow spiritually today.
We should always receive God’s word preached to us with all eagerness. We shouldn’t sit there, arms crossed with an “He was chosen by God, therefore it must be true” attitude. At the same time that doesn’t mean we must accept everything the Church Administration says without question. We can be both eager to hear God’s word preached, yet at the same time be discerning.
It’s not wrong to verify if what the Church Administration teaches lines up with the Holy Scriptures? A pulpit doesn’t make you infallible.
Recently, the Church Administration has been giving us the impression that to question Him is complete insubordination. Yet, we all know Brother Eduardo V. Manalo isn’t a different breed of Iglesia Ni Cristo, but sinners just like the people they preach to.
In late July of 2015, I heard the saddest most unimaginable circular ever, Sister Cristina V. Manalo, Brother Angel V. Manalo, Brother Marco V. Manalo, Sister Lottie-Hemedez Manalo” were expelled from the church followed by these words, “If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine [is disloyal to what Jesus Christ taught], do not receive him [do not accept him, do not welcome or admit him] into [your] house or bid him Godspeed or give him any encouragement. For he who wishes him success [who encourages him, wishing him Godspeed] is a partaker in his evil doings.”- 2 John 1:10-11 Amplified Bible
What? If we even so as much as wish them well, we are partakers of evil? Many of the brethren sadly just sat there, just as I did, but most didn’t go home and examine the Scriptures to see if what was written was true and applicable to Brother Eraño Manalo’s widow and children. Come to find out, it does not apply to Sister Cristina and the others. Not at all.
In this short letter 2 John, John the Apostle warns the lady and her children about false teachers “who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh or bodily form” (2 John 1:7),
What is Apostle John’s instructions in the letter? He instructs them not to offer hospitality to these false teachers (2 John 1:10-11).
It simply does not apply to Sister Cristina and the others unless it is proven they did not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh or bodily form” (2 John 1:7)
This portion of the expulsion letter, should no longer be included unless it applies specifically to the expelled such as:
1) Teofilo Ora
2) Januario Ponce
3) Basilio Santiago
All who left the Iglesia Ni Cristo in 1922 denying that Christ was a man and taught a false teaching that Christ was God incarnate.
There are qualifications for leaders in Scripture. They must lead their families, be husbands of one wife, be above reproach and have good reputations. This means we can examine their lives. But even the Church Administration can sin, drop the ball, make mistakes, and make poor decisions at times. No Church Administrator should ever say, “Who are you to question me?” Otherwise we would have seen this reaction from the Apostle Paul towards the Bereans.
Brother Joe Ventilacion made this remark about the Executive Minister on a August Facebook post,
“We do not teach that Brother EDUARDO V. MANALO is infallible and is without reproach. We don’t have a belief that he is incapable of human error.”
If Brother Joe Ventilacion were living during the time of the Apostle Paul, I am positive he would claim the same of the Apostle Paul.
I am 100% positive Bro. Joe would say, “That the first century Church of Christ does not teach that Paul the Apostle is infallible and is without reproach”
Paul the Apostle didn’t mind that the members questioned and checked to make sure what he was teaching was true. So, if verification and asking questions were allowable in the first century of Apostle Paul, then why does our current Church Administration call us, “rebellious” for asking sincere questions in the present day?
WHAT IS REBELLION?
(I was inspired to go over this subject briefly as a result of this weekend’s lesson in the worship service re: unforgivable sins)
But let’s ask ourselves, if the current Church Administration preaches something contrary to God’s Word, what are we to do? The answer is we can reject the contrary or false teaching in favor of the higher authority without rejecting the person. It is rebellion if we try to displace the person.
Rebellion is any attempt to usurp authority. In the Old Testament we can read about Miriam and Aaron, who were entitled to their opinions about Moses’ wife. But they crossed the line when they spoke against Moses and challenged his call to be God’s representative (Numbers 12:1-2).
TAKE NOTE: It is also noteworthy how a true man (appointed) of God responds when his authority is being undermined – he prays for the guilty ones and leaves it up to God (Numbers 12:13).
A very much downplayed aspect of rebellion is that of anointed or appointed chosen authorities rebelling against God. It is one thing to disobey man because he can be wrong. Disobedience to God is always rebellion. There were two incidents where King Saul disobeyed God. In 1 Samuel 13, Saul impatiently offered burnt offerings when he should have waited for Samuel to do so. This could be considered an abuse of power.
In 1 Samuel 15, he failed to kill every living thing as was commanded, choosing to save some good animals for sacrifice. He stated that he listened to the people rather than God (verse. 24). Leaders have a greater responsibility before God. They have to strike a balance between pleasing the crowds and abusing their power. Many leaders tend to be either over domineering or too soft. Saul was guilty on both counts. Both render someone unfit to properly represent God.
Rebellion against God’s delegated authority is rebellion against God himself. However we are not guilty of rebellion when we disagree with or disobey that person, only when we attempt to usurp his authority.
Ministers or the Church Administration are in rebellion when they fail to properly represent God, by either abusing their power or trying to please people rather than obey God.
May God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace in truth and in spirit,
Baruch Atah Adonai (Blessed art thou oh God)
“They tried to bury us…they didn’t know we were seeds.”
This is my STAND: “Let me Make Myself Clear”
Our Standard: Let this be a CLEAN FIGHT even if THEY FIGHT DIRTY
Philippine Daily Inquirer Article: “Antonio Ebangelista writes Philippine Daily Inquirer, Warns Iglesia Elders”
Para sa lahat ng mga MINISTRO: FOR IGLESIA NI CRISTO MINISTERS
The CHOICE is always UP TO YOU : “The Red Pill. The Blue Pill”
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