Editor’s Note: This is reblogged from the Filipino Catholic Apologetics WordPress blog. I do not mean to rudicule the faith, since I do believe in the idea that there is one God with different names. I also do not want to offend my INC friends, since I share a house with a member of the said faith. And if you were offended, I sincerely apologize.
Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) is a local cult that originated from the Philippines. It was founded by Felix Manalo a former Catholic who left the Church and joined other Protestant denominations until he decided to found his own Church. Majority of the members of the Iglesia Ni Cristo are former Catholics and Protestants who have fallen to the tricks and deceptions used by INC ministers to make the people believe that they are truly Biblical. If ever you or one of your friends and family members are thinking of joining this local cult it is better to know what this cult really is and why it is a bad idea to join them.
1. The Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) was founded by Felix Manalo, not by Jesus Christ
The Iglesia Ni Cristo apologists rely on a single Bible text to prove that INC is the true Church of Jesus Christ. According to them since the name of their Church is “Church of Christ”, and in Romans 16:16 we can read “Churches of Christ” therefore, theirs is the true Church of Jesus Christ since the name of their Church can literally be found in the Bible. This argument cannot hold water for two reasons,
1. If the name of the Church is the basis of it authenticity then the INC have to accept that other Protestant denominations that got its name from the pages of Scripture must also be a true Church of Jesus Christ.
2. The authenticity (or being the true Church) relies not on its name but whether it is personally of historically founded by Jesus Christ.
The first one is a pill that is hard to swallow by INC apologists because they truly believe that they are the true Church of Jesus Christ. The reason that the INC holds on to their name game argument is that they cannot prove historically that their Church was personally and historically founded by Jesus Christ. If Christ is not the founder of INC then who is? Where was it founded? And when was it founded? The founder of INC is Felix Manalo, it was founded on July 27, 194 at Punta, Sta. Ana, Manila, Philippines.
If you truly want to follow Christ would join a Church which claims authenticity, yet, its origin can only be traced back into Felix Manalo rather than Jesus Christ?
2. The INC teaches that Felix Manalo is the last messenger of God, not Jesus Christ
One of the primary teachings of INC is that Felix Manalo is the restorer of the apostatized church and that he is the last messenger of God not Jesus Christ. This belief is what makes INC more of a cult than a mainstream religion, Felix Manalo being a last messenger is contrary to the teaching of the Bible. Nowhere in the entire Bible ever mentioned his name nor made any reference to him. This belief is not akin to INC in fact Felix Manalo simply copied this belief from Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons. The Scripture is clear whom God sent in the last days to tell us His ways, it is Jesus Christ not Felix Manalo.
In time past, God spoke in partial and various ways to our ancestors through the prophets; in these last days, he spoke to us through a son, whom he made heir of all things and through whom he created the universe. Heb.1:1-2 NABRE
This son whom this passage is speaking about cannot be Felix Manalo since God did not create the world through him. The footnote of the Christian Community Bible explains that the Son in this passage is Jesus Christ.
The starting point of his argument is the unique dignity of Jesus, not a prophet or a supernatural personage like so many others, but rather, the Son of God. Every word of this verse asserts that Jesus is unique, God born of God. Christian Community Bible, Footnote on Hebrews Chapter 1
Despite of the preponderance of evidence that Jesus Christ is the last messenger that God sent to us, INC ministers still insists that it was Felix Manalo not Jesus Christ. This is a blatant disregard of the word of God contained in the Bible.
3. INC believes that Felix Manalo is an angel, but Jesus Christ is just a human being
The INC ministers and followers prefer to believe, accept and preach that Felix Manalo is an angel of God but Jesus Christ is just an ordinary human being. Despite of no biblical support for their claim they accepted this doctrine without hesitation. On the contrary the evidences for Christ’s divinity is overwhelming. There is no question whether Christ is human or not for the Bible tells us that Jesus Christ is truly human and truly God. In proving Christ divinity we have to first visit the Gospel of saint John which beautifully sums up Christ divine nature.
In the beginning was the Word. And the Word was with God, and the Word was God. All things were made through him and without him nothing came to be. John 1:1-3
This passage demonstrates the dual nature of Christ, that He is both true God and true Man. There is no question whether Christ is a man or not for the Catholic Church accepts and profess Christ’s humanity. The controversy begins when the cultic INC assail the divinity of Christ even if it is obvious that the Scriptures is telling us that Christ is also a God.
In the beginning was the Word
This passage points not to the time wherein the world was created but on the time before the world was created, this tells us about the preexistence of the Word. Jesus Christ on the other hand manifest his existence before the world was created in John 17:5 Jesus Christ said,
Now Father give me in your presence the same glory I had with you before the world begun. John 17:5
Jesus Christ is speaking here in the past tense which means that he was already with God before the world was created. This is a very clear and explicit words from Christ that he himself confess that he was with the Father before the world begun. So who are we to believe? The INC ministers or our Lord Jesus Christ himself? St. Paul in his epistles also affirms this truth, in his epistle to the Colossians he speaks about Christ preexistence.
He is the image of the unseen God, and for all creation he is the first-born, for in him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, thrones, rulers, authorities, powers all was made through him and for him. He is before all and all things hold together in him. Col.1:15-17
St. Paul is telling us that it was through Christ that everything was created and this would only be possible if Christ has a preexistence. But on the same passage Christ’s preexistence is affirmed with the words “He is before all”.
And the Word was with God
This statement tells us of the distinction between the Father and the Son, some pseudo Christians believe that the Father and the Son are one and the same, this is a serious error concerning the relationship of the Father and of the Son. Since Christ has a preexistence as proved by the passages we quoted above this brings us to a logical conclusion that Christ is distinct from the Father. This distinction was already been prefigured in the Old Testament when God showed himself to Abraham under the appearance of three men.
Yahweh appeared to Abraham near the oak of Mamre. Abraham was sitting at the entrance to his tent, in the heat of the day, when he looked up and saw three men standing nearby. Genesis 18:1-2
In this passage we are told that Yahweh appeared to Abraham under the appearance of three men. But why three men? Because it is a revelation that there is one God in three distinct persons. In like manner Christ was with God in the beginning because they are distinct yet shares that nature of God. In the Gospel of Matthew such a distinction is also mentioned by the Gospel writer in Mt.28:18-19, Jesus Christ said,
Go therefore, and make disciples from all nations, Baptize then in the Name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Mt.28:19
Notice that the Gospel writer wrote “in the name” not “in the names” which is plural, because the Gospel writer is referring only to one God in three distinct persons which is the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
And the Word was God
St. John when writing his Gospel carefully wrote “Word was God” and not “Word was a god” which would imply that Jesus Christ or the Word is a God lower than the Father as what the Jehova’s witnesses believed. He did not also write “Word was the God” because it would mean that the Father and the Son are one and the same. What St. John wrote was crystal clear “And the Word was God” referring to the nature of the Word which is divine. In St. Paul’s epistle to the Colossians he is telling them that Christ possess a divine nature, hence Christ is truly GOd.
For in him dwells the fullness of God in bodily form. Col.2:9
Such a fact is irrefutable but the INC ministers will surely find a way to beat around the bush and raise hilarious and illogical explanations regarding this passage. In Hebrews chapter 1 verse 8 it is no longer the apostles who professed Christ divinity but it was already the Father who is telling us that Christ is God. Who then shall we believe the INC ministers who are famous for deceiving people of God?
But of the Son we read this: Your throne, O God, will last forever and ever; a rule of justice is your rule. Hebrews 1:8
Beyond any reason of a doubt it is quite clear from the passages of the Holy Scripture that Jesus Christ is God. Any person who deliberately refuses to believe such truth will have nothing in the end of times but the fires of Hell.
4. The Iglesia Ni Cristo is not a Church nor a faith, it is a corporation solely owned by the Manalo family.
Ever wonder why INC’s executive ministers were all members of the Manalo family? Because the Iglesia Ni Cristo was registered as a Unipersonal Corporation owned and managed by Felix Manalo. Even their official publication “Pasugo” attests to this.
“…In the Philippines, the Iglesia Ni Cristo was registered with the Philippine government. but even before the documents of the Articles of Incorporation were filed with the office of the Division of Archives, Patented Properties of Literature and Executive Office of Industrial Trade Works. . . A Glimpse into the history of the Church, Nicanor P. Tiosen, Pasugo Special Edition, p.16, 2014
“Articles of Incorporation” is defined as:
A set of documents filed with a government body legally document the creation of a corporation. Articles of Incorporation must contain pertinent information such as the firm’s name, street address, agent of service process, and the amount and type of stock to be issued.http://www.investopedia.com/terms/a/articlesofincorporation.asp
Clearly the INC is a corporation under the pretext and guise of a religion. Their reason for doing so is only known to themselves. As far as we know it is morally wrong for a Church to have an identity of a corporation while preaching the Gospel.
If you are planning to join the Iglesia ni Cristo for whatever reason you should think twice and know more about them, don’t be a victim of their false faith because your salvation is at stake. Be with the Church that Jesus Christ himself personally and historically founded not the ones invented by mortal men.