Synod Update for Tuesday - Is the Ambiguity in Synod Documents Intentional? by Robert L. Kinney II, Ph. D., of Crisis Magazine Diverse Synod Groups United in Concern Over ‘Gender...
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|From left: Felix Manalo (founder), Eduardo V. Manalo (grandson), Angel Manalo (brother of EVM), Cristina "Ka Tenny" Manalo (widow of Eraño G. Manalo) Photo Source: Rappler|
Carolyn Bonquin, ABS-CBN News
But INC lawyer Cuevas says restrictions needed to ensure security in compound
MANILA - A petition for injunction filed by the Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) abridges the personal freedom of Angel Manalo and Lottie Manalo-Hemedez, the Manalos' lawyer Trixie Angeles said.
The INC filed a petition on September 23, asking the court to prohibit unknown individuals from entering the premises of the INC compound in 36 Tandang Sora Avenue Quezon City where INC Executive Minister Eduardo Manalo's siblings are staying.
The petition was filed before the Quezon City Regional Trial Court after CCTV footage of people entering the compound was discovered.
INC legal counsel Atty. Serafin Cuevas Jr. said the INC deemed it necessary to petition for the restrictions to ensure the security of the occupants.
Cuevas also added that the INC may ask for the restrictions as the owner of the property.
READ: INC wants expelled members out of Manalo residence
In the hearing on the merits of the case on Tuesday, Cuevas asked for the names and pictures of all the occupants.
He also asked before the court to disallow visitors from staying in the compound overnight.
"It's their [Angel and Lottie's] right [to have visitors], you see. The only people who are not allowed visitors are people who are detained. This [petition] amounts to restriction of their personal freedom," said Angeles.
Both parties agreed to meet halfway while the case is being heard.
Included in the temporary agreement is the submission of all the occupants' names and pictures, as well as the list of all their visitors.
Meanwhile, guards will be posted in a public area outside the compound to ensure the security and to monitor the visitors.
The next hearing is set on Monday, October 5.
|Eduardo V. Manalo (EVM), the son of Eraño G. Manalo and Cristina "Ka Tenny" Villanueva Manalo. EVM expelled his own mother, brothers and sisters from INC™ Church, therefore sending them to the "Lake-fire hell". Eduardo V. Manalo and his chosen Ministers to head the notorious Sanggunian were accused of embezzling millions of dollars from the INC™ treasury. [Photo Source:http://www.eaglenews.ph/iglesia-ni-cristo-evangelical-campaign-intensified-worldwide-as-its-centennial-nears/]|
On the INC Prophecy, Part One
[Source: Musing of An INC Member]
The suit winds its way uncertainly through a prejudiced political minefield as the advocates for truth tirelessly navigate the system, struggling to cast a final irrepressible light on the shadows of corruption, ceaselessly seeking both restitution and reformation, even as the hope for either grows increasingly slim.
Half a world away, in places far removed from the epicenter of the religious unrest, the remaining publicly vocal pockets of resistance are methodically and systematically silenced.
Amidst it all, the propaganda machine continues to churn, consistently albeit less vehemently, as it met and now maintains its purpose in deliberately shaping the perception, manipulating the cognition, and directing the behavior of our brethren.
Whether we acknowledge it or not, it seems we are inexorably fated to be ‘one with EVM’ and with a corrupt administration, left with little choice but to subvert our own conscience and understanding in order to blindly obey and submit, lest we and our loved ones incur dire consequences.
And yet many of us still persist in our pursuit of truth, even as our inquiries are met with faulty logic and irrationality, as the responses run the gamut from “because the Bible prophesied it” to “brother/sister, you and your household are now expelled.”
Consequently, a growing number of brethren are now asking an evolving series of questions that inevitably lead to an inquiry into the veracity of the church itself.
“Can our leaders become corrupted and lose God’s favor?”
“How exactly are the recent church events prophesied in the Bible?”
“Do these events possibly indicate that we are actually not the ‘one true church’?”
The one seemingly incontrovertible defense the church has consistently used to respond to every allegation and accusation, other than outright denial, is simply this:
“We are the one true church prophesied in the Bible. Therefore, we are the only means to salvation. If you do not obey and submit to our authority, you won’t be saved.”
As I stated in a previous entry, our pursuit of the truth is akin to arguing at the point of a gun, since it matters little whether they’re wrong or right- either way, you’re still getting shot (in our case, expelled) if you continue to persist.
But, what if we can prove that the gun was never loaded to begin with? Or that it doesn’t work?
Or that the gun itself isn’t even real?
In the same manner, for argument’s sake, what if we can prove that their expulsions have no merit? That their threats don’t work? Or that the church isn’t “real”?
This brings us to the fundamental inquiry many of us have already explored in our membership, an inquiry I recommend every active member pursue (ideally with an open-minded reasonable minister, if you’re fortunate enough to know one) in order to truly explore and ascertain the basis of one’s faith.
And so we come to that inevitable fundamental inquiry, which is simply-
“Is our church, the Iglesia Ni Cristo, and the last messenger, Brother Felix Manalo, truly prophesied in the Bible?”
Since the administration continues to employ the church’s divine prophecy as an all-encompassing defense that excuses whatever questionable actions they may take, be it their alleged financial misappropriation and questionable financial practices, their purely profit driven pursuits, their peculiar preoccupation with world records and entertainment, their embarrassing and immoral responses to the crisis, etc, then I feel that a simple inquiry and revisit into this prophecy is justifiably merited.
So let’s continue.
According to the doctrine, our church, which emerged in the Philippines in the Far East, was established in 1914 by virtue of the fulfillment of the prophecies of our Lord God (as per Isaiah 43:5, Moffatt translation) and of our Lord Jesus Christ (as per Acts 20:28, Lamsa translation) through the commissioning of the last messenger, Brother Felix Y. Manalo (as per Isaiah 46:11).
For today, I will primarily address the three verses used in the previous statement which are most frequently used by our ministers as prophetic biblical proof of our church and of the last messenger, namely:
1) Isaiah 43:5
2) Isaiah 46:11
3) Acts 20:28
First, let’s look at Isaiah 43:5.
On Isaiah 43:5 – “East, east and afar of, and the Far East”
Isaiah 43:5-6 in the New King James Version reads:
“Fear not, for I am with you; I will bring your descendants from the east, and gather you from the west.”
Isaiah 43:5 in the Moffatt translation reads:
“From the far east will I bring your offspring, and from the far west I will gather you.”
The Old Testament, including the book of Isaiah, was originally written in Hebrew. In the original Hebrew translation of Isaiah 43:5, the church claims that the Hebrew word “mizrach” refers to the geographic term “Far East” and therefore consequently refers to the Philippines. The church uses Smith’s Dictionary of the Bible, authored by bible scholar William Smith, to interpret the Hebrew word “mizrach” to mean “Far East.”
This is what our church claims Smith’s Dictionary says:
“While both terms, “kedem” and “mizrach”, can be translated as “east”, “kedem” is used in a strictly geographical sense to describe a spot or country immediately before another in an easterly direction, whereas “mizrach” is used of the far east.”
Essentially, the church claims that “mizrach” means “far east” according to Smith’s Dictionary.
Let’s examine exactly what it states:
“East. The Hebrew term, kedem, properly means that which is before or in front of a person, and was applied to the east, from the custom of turning in that direction, when describing the points of the compass, before, behind, the right and the left representing respectively east, west, south and north. Job 23:8-9.”
|Council of Nicea (Source: Shoebat)|
Believe the Bible, not detractors, Iglesia leader exhorts members
BOCAUE, Bulacan [Inquirer.net] —Iglesia ni Cristo executive minister Eduardo Manalo has urged church members not to believe allegations against the INC, saying that it is the Bible, not other people, that speaks the truth.
Addressing INC members in an evangelical mission at the church-owned Ciudad de Victoria complex on Saturday, Manalo said accusations putting the 101-year-old church in a bad light should be spurned by its followers.
“If what they say is true, you should not be seeing what is happening now. That is proof that this church has a God, (that) God is with us in this activity,” Manalo said.
Controversy has hounded the INC after some of its officials exposed alleged corruption in the church. The exposé linking some members of the church’s powerful governing council came after Manalo’s mother, Cristina “Tenny” Manalo, and brother, Felix Nathaniel “Angel” Manalo, were expelled.
The church was founded by clan patriarch Felix Manalo in 1914.
Expelled minister Isaias Samson Jr., an expelled minister and former editor of the INC publication Pasugo, sued eight church leaders after he and his family were allegedly held under house arrest. Samson said the INC leaders suspected him of publishing a blog criticizing the church.
Manalo, in his address that was broadcast to other INC venues, said: “If there’s a truth that you should believe in, it is what the Bible says, and not what people say.”
“The INC is the church which has hope … this church will inherit the Kingdom of Christ on the day of judgment because our church has a connection with God,” Manalo said.
“God has been fulfilling His promise to His messenger (‘sugo’) from the start… the Iglesia ni Cristo will be saved, God said it Himself. It came from the Bible, not from me,” Manalo said.
The venues—the 55,000-seat Philippine Arena and the 25,000-seat Philippine Sports Stadium—were filled before the event started at 7 p.m.
|Pastor Rick Warren|
VATICAN CITY – Following more than five hundred years of separation, American and European Protestant leaders met with Pope Francis last week to finalize the reunification of the two churches under the Holy See. The historic agreement is the result of a year’s worth of unpublicized talks between Protestant leaders and the Vatican.
Prominent American pastors Joel Osteen and Rick Warren, respectively, as well as Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, were among the Protestant delegation that met with Pope Francis last week. Pastor Warren, founder of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California, spoke with members of the international press in St. Peter’s Square, saying, “Protestants, as a people, have a long history of heresy. The time for reconciliation is now in order to ensure a full and dogmatic transition into the folds of the Church.”
Moments before meeting with reporters, the entire Protestant delegation, for the first time ever, entered the confessional to take part, individually, in the Sacrament of Penance. “It’s important that we participate in these sacred rituals before asking our congregation to do the same,” Pastor Osteen said, adding that his time in confession was “an immensely moving experience.”
As Protestants around the world make the transition to Catholicism, many are wondering what, exactly, that means for them. “First and foremost we acknowledge the Pope’s infallibility with regard to universal moral declarations, the authority of Church magistrate, faith, and ex cathedra,” said Father Cliff Brogan, a former Protestant pastor who was the first of the delegation to be ordained as a priest at the Vatican. “Secondly, we participate in the sacrament of the Eucharist by accepting the actual body and blood of Christ, an event known as Transubstantiation, at the conclusion of the holy mass.”
As part of their induction into the Catholic faith, all Protestants above the age of fifteen are required to undergo a Catholic Confirmation, one of three sacraments of initiation, out of seven total, which Catholics can receive. “Most, if not all, of us have been baptized,” said Father Brogran. “However, without formal Confirmation, our Protestant baptisms will be null, thus preventing us from entering the Kingdom of Heaven.”
Additionally, during the transition period, American Protestant families whose children attend Sunday School are to receive vouchers allowing them to participate in CCD programs at area Catholic churches.
In a show of support for the reunification under the Holy See, the United Kingdom announced Wednesday that it is taking steps to reunify Northern Ireland with The Republic of Ireland. The government of the UK has acknowledged the stark differences between the two countries, but according to one official, “We are, for the first time, one people, united under the Bishop of Rome, acting together as the bride and servant of Christ.”