"The Christianity of history is not Protestantism. If ever there were a safe truth it is this, and Protestantism has ever felt it so; to be deep in history is to cease to be a Protestant." (-John Henry Newman, An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine).

"Where the bishop is, there let the people gather; just as where ever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church". -St. Ignatius of Antioch (ca 110 AD)a martyr later thrown to the lions, wrote to a church in Asia Minor. Antioch was also where the term "Christian" was first used.

“But if I should be delayed, you should know how to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of truth.” 1 Timothy 3:15

"This is the sole Church of Christ, which in the Creed we profess to be one, holy, catholic and apostolic." -CCC 811

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Being Christian is Exclusively Born-Again, Is that So?

I’ve met an Indian national recently at our jobsite. I noticed he was reading through a website with a big caption in it “Prayer Request”. I suspected him as “Catholic” after I notice a picture of Mama Mary and the child Jesus stuck on his side wall right website He was If you are Catholics reading this blog, I have a question for you: Have you ever asked yourselves why you called yourselves “Catholics” as a substitute of “Christians”?

Or which is more appropriate, to call yourselves “Christians” or “Catholics”? Or you doubt you’re an indisputable Christian?

Would you believe both represent the same? (Read Are Catholics Christian?)

In fact, when you say, “I’m a Catholic” you imply you’re originally Christian and it doesn’t reduce you as “pagans” or “idol worshippers” or Mary fanatics. Catholics should be humbled with such a mockery for even Jesus was mocked and died for our sakes. The truth is that we Catholics are the bona fide Christians in its truest sense. We have history to back us up.

Ok so let’s go back to the pages of history.

This is what I know. The early Christians never like St. Paul and other Apostles of Jesus Christ never called themselves “Christians” as their official name. In fact, it was the nonbelievers and the pagans in Antioch who came to call them as such (Acts 11:26). That’s according to the Holy Scripture. Possibly early believers were deliberately named “Christians” to distinguish them from others who followed great philosophers and thinkers in Greece. Or perhaps it’s used as a mockery in opposition to the new circulated teachings about monotheism against their pagan beliefs.

From the time of the apostles who preached in Antioch, there was only ONE Church, not two or more. It was ONE! (Read Here)Soon, there came dissenting ideas and teachings which were not according to the apostolic teachings handed down through mouth or by deed for there wasn’t a Bible yet during those time. And the name of that only Church was “Church” with a capital “C” in it. There’s no need of registering it because everybody knows Jesus founded the true ONE Church upon the rock of Simon who was named Cephas, Petrus, Rock (or rock if you prefer it that way, if you mean “Rock” with a capital letter “R” solely for Christ.)(Read Four Marks of the Church).

That’s why when early dissenters in the Church led by Arius and Nestorius, immediately, the only true ONE Church condemned their teachings so as to protect the genuine teachings from the fake.

As a means to safeguard the authentic Church’ identity from the fake ones, early Church Fathers liek St. Ignatius of Antiochissued a letter addressed to the Smyrnaens to the only ONE true Church and called it “Catholic” meaning “Universal” not local, not global, not national, not international, but it’s UNIVERSAL as against those dissenting local churches claiming to be true (but not historically rooted to the time of the Apostles).

In the year 1054 during the East-West Schism the Eastern churches (Greek Rite) had doctrinal dispute over the Filioque Clause in the Nicene Creed and so it dissented from the Western churches (Latin Rite) from Rome. And because of this huge breaking up of the two great and apostolic churches, the Latin Church (Western) upheld its unique role as the absolute authority from solving any doctrinal disputes. Such authority was exercised by the See of Rome because of Papal authority (conferred by St. Peter as the first Pope) given to the Church of Rome, acknowledge by Church Fathers even before the split. (see the Primacy of Simon Peter).

The Church which was named Catholic—Universal, not local) as oppose to those local dissenting Protestant churches which were founded by men and women in the early 18th-19th century, some claimed to be prophets (like Joseph Smith, some angels (like Felix Manalo and some as “son” of god (like Apollo C. Quiboloy), whose faithful were identified as “Christians” by pagan Antiochians in Greece whose roots directly from Apostolic Tradition.

Such was the authority of this ONE, Holy, Universal—Catholic and Apostolic Church that it conferred in 393 at the Synod of Hyppo and put an end to the disputed New Testament books, and was repeated at the Councils at Carthage in 397AD and 419AD. The full articulation of the canon was confered on 1546AD at the Council of Trent 46 OT Books and 27 NT Books.

This same ONE true Universal—Catholic, Holy and Apostolic Christian Church which set the final canon of the Bible, made official the long been belief that Jesus was true God and true Man, which formulated the Apostole's Creed according to the writings of early Christians and members of the ONE true Universal Church which is Holy and Apostolic; that Mary, Christ’s mother was immaculately conceived and that during her last breath, she was assumed taken body and soul to heaven as the new ark of the new covenant.

In October 31, 1517, another dissenter Martin Luther broke from the ONE, true Holy, Universal Apostolic Church because of scandals he himself witnessed and made himself Lord over his newly founded protesting church. He was excommunicated by the Vicar of Christ (the Pope). By his own authority, he translated Lutheran Bible and removed 12 books from the original canon of the Bible and named it “Apocryphal” or “hidden” (Deuterocanonical). He wanted to hide the truth from his lies like the Church’ teachings on Purgatory (which is found in one of the books he took away -- 2 Mac. 12.43–46). He almost does away with Catholic Epistles like James, Jude, Letter of Peter, and Revelation because according to him, he found it to be less important and therefore should be removed. But God was protecting his Holy Word; he didn’t allow this dissenter to decide by his own authority that one of his words would be labeled “lesser”.

Because of him and other schisms, today there are more than 3,000 churches popping rapidly like mushrooms Christian Denominations and still continues to divide constantly and called themselves as “Born-Again” and tried to patent the word Christian as solely to them! All of them profess being Christians. Everyone use the Bible (the incomplete Protestant canon)! Everyone quoted the Bible as their sole authority!

But historical facts remain; that the present Catholic Church traces its root from the time of the Apostles to this present age; that the present Pope Benedict XVI is the legitimate successor of St. Peter, the first Pope of the Universal Church; that the Bible was a collection of books by Catholic Church Fathers sealed its canon and named it “Biblia”.

That the Catholic Church labored so hard to divide the Holy Book by Chapters by the then Archbishop of Canterbury Stephen Langton and Verses by a dominican biblical scholar Santi Pagnini.

That the Protestant Church simply took the freedom to copy and translate them without proper authority of the ONE, Universal, Holy, and Apostolic Church established by Christ through St. Peter, which have caused division among its own members and churches.

As I’ve mentioned earlier about the Indian national I’ve met, he was quick to answer that he’s a Christian and not a Catholic which only shows his immense historical ignorance about Christianity and Catholicism (are one and the same). Apparently he fell short in his understanding about the faith. When I asked him if he’s a Catholic, what I actually suggest is that “Is he a genuine Christian whose roots is Apostolic?” In fact, St. Thomas brought the faith in India so he must have known that Catholics are originally Christians.

Most of “Born-Again” groups sprouting from Protestant circles exclude Catholics from being called “Christians”. In my thoughts, I should be smiling and bless God for giving me this Church Christ built on a solid rock, which is genuinely ONE, HOLY, CATHOLIC and APOSTOLIC!

Whatever angle you may want to start, from History of Christianity to Timeline of Christianity, the Catholic Church is present! Therefore we are historical!

So with firmness, I say 'yes'! I am Catholic and I trace my roots to the times of the Apostles!

And Yes! I am 100% Christian!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Wrong Path of Iglesia ni Cristo (Ang Maling Daan ng Iglesia ni Cristo)

Iglesia ni Cristo (as a Trade Mark) Ministers are very quick in their judgment for non-members of their cult founded in the Philippines on July 27, 1914. In their TV Net23 program "Ang Tamang Daan" their hatred against the Catholic Church in particular and to other non-believers who oppose their un-Christian cristology are evident.

Yesterday, I was up late till almost midnight. Switching from channel to another channel, I get hooked with Net23 Channel aired by the Iglesia ni Cristo (Trade Mark as per their registration at SEC). The topic? "Ang Karapatan ng Mga INC na tawaging 'Mga Anak ng Dios' Ayon (daw) sa Bibliya." (The right of the INC members to called 'children of God' according to Bible).
Hmm... I just don't trust their gullible tones and facial expression. Wolves in sheep's clothing (Mt. 7:15)! A lot of them in there.

I was late for that program, a quarter maybe so I got to start with John 1:12 as they qouted "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name." According to their Minister, believers can have the right to become "sons of God" only when they become beleivers of Jesus. Which of the many false believers they are referring to? Definitely, they're far from the real believers of the real Christ. Poor memory, they forget that in Chapter 1 of John, it deals mainly with the Word (Logos), the true Jesus whom Christians should worship! The Word God who became flesh, God Jesus in the form of flesh.

Trying hardly to prove their assertions having the exclusivity of being "sons of God" they quoted Dueteronomy 32:5-6: and was badly interpreted. Those who disbelieve (as the verse was written) have lost that previledge. In their quotation, they reduce the Bible as merely servant to their evilness, not the Bible serving man's purpose. It has no direct subject on that matter, just to fit their lies so they qouted Deutoronomy.

Trying hard to make their very superficial and small-minded explanation understandable, they quoted John 3:16 as his basis that they are the believers who has the (sole) right to be worthy of being called"children of God." Desperatedly they qouted Romans 8:16: "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God." Make no confusion with the pronoun "we". It didn't spell out their Trade Mark "Iglesia ni Cristo." The Letter of St. Paul to the Romans was addressed to Christians in ancient Rome and their churches are still standing to this day, bearing witness to Paul's zealous missionary activities! Compared to their newly built Catholic copied Gothic-styled temples.

Just like a boxer who is desperate in winning the fight, the Iglesia ni Cristo's Ministers will find every word that may sound siding with their point. Take for example Colossians 2:6-7 . "As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him. Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving."
They say, this verse clearly states that those who walk in him (Jesus) are rooted and was built up in him have the rights to be called "sons of God". Narrow it down they claim that its members are the real inheritors to this previledge. Playing amnesia, this letter of St. Paul to the Colossians was addressed its citizens in the Lycus Valley in Asia Minor, east of Ephesus when they " have been under pressure to adopt the false doctrines, they have not yet succumbed." (Introduction to St. Paul's Letter to the Collosians) This has nothing to do with their claims. What a poor interpretation...

Believe me. They even have the nerve to quote Matthew 16:18 but with twisted interpretation to suite their lies. Here's the whole story in Matthew 16:14b-19
When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi he asked his
disciples,"Who do people say that the Son of Man is?" They replied, "Some say
John the Baptist, 10 others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the
prophets." He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?"

Simon Peter said in reply, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God." Jesus
said to him in reply, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood
has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father.

And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon (you) this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.

I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."

The Ministers didn't keep focus on this Chapter rather they jumped to another book of the Bible proving that "the Rock" in Matthew 16:18 wasn't Peter but Jesus and quoted furtherActs 4:11 which says "He (Christ) is 'the stone rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone.'
In Matthew 16, Jesus must have said "You are Peter and upon my Rock I will build my Church." Jesus is not stupid to mean nothing when he meant it. He cannot be fooled, his words cannot be twisted. Our words may be of error but with due respect, Christ's words shouldn't be changed, altered, or corrupted with our evil interpretations. These Ministers will have to answer to God in the last days.

No doubt, the Rock in Acts 4:11 is Jesus Christbut let's not forget that in Matthew 16:18, Jesus was talking directly to Simon, whom he called Peter later on. According to Fr. Paul Kaiparambadan in his magazine "Know the Truth" he said: "Jesus spoke Aramaic and nicknames Simon "Kepha" (Cephas) which means "Rock."

Anti-Catholics are too quick to disprove the "Rock" wasn't Peter but Jesus himself. In this particular Biblical verse, Jesus wasn't speaking to himself. That could be rediculous if he would be calling Simon "Cephas" (rock) when he was referring to himself as the Rock. Really that's stupidity! He was speaking to Simon 'YOU are Peter (the Rock)' and that through this Peter he'd build his (Christ's) church. Notice, Jesus was conversing with Simon Peter, not to himself. According to Fr. Paul Kaiparambadan, "the next sentence clarifies this: 'I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.'" Isn't that something clearer to understand than to qoute Acts 4:11 to answer Matthew 16:18? What a shame for their Ministers!

"The "true" Church must have a name" as they insist. It's Romans 16:16! There we go again in circles!

Is it?

According to Romans 16:16, the name is a common noun "iglesia ni Cristo" not "Iglesia ni Cristo" as proper noun. He never said in that verse to name his Church as "Iglesia ni Cristo". Nor he commissioned someone from the Philippines to register his Church subject to human government under its existing trademark laws. That's more ridiculous to think, aren't they? Rather Jesus left us Four Marks of the Church (Further Reading here from EWTN) that we can use as a guide to differentiate false churches like the Iglesia ni Cristo founded by Felix Y. Manalo in the Philippines to the real Church he founded.

The INC Ministers may try and try to confuse nominal Catholics and other further confuse other Christians however their lies will never quench the TRUE CHURCH, the One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic Church which Christ have built upon the rock of Simon Peter whom he promised that the "gates of hell will never prevail against it"; not even the lies of Felix Manalo's Iglesia ni Cristo!
An INC Minister in "Ang Tamang Daan" TV Program

Ms. Miriam Isla - a new convert from the Catholic Church

In between the program, they featured a new convert. Her name is Ms. Miriam Isla, a Medical Doctor, resident of De Castro Locale in Southern Metro Manila.

According to her, she's baptized Catholic (infant baptism in the Trinitarian way). Nothing to do with her being a member of Manalo's cult, she said "miyembro pa nga ako ng Legion of Mary' (I was even a membef or the Legion of Mary).

Uncertain of her faith (as a nominal Catholic), she was drifted afar until she found herself being with Protestants and was baptized there. Still doubtful of their beliefs, she had a dorm mate who happen to be a member of this cult and successfuly convinced her to become its new convert.

What convinced her to join Manalo's cult was their opposition against the teachings of most Christians that Jesus is God. She failed to understand "Cristology" for that reason. She must hav tried to read extensively as a Medical doctor with that kind of keenness in balancing knowledge.

Perhaps, these INC members qouted John 8:40 where He said: "But now you are trying to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God". Yes, he said he's human but he never denied being God in this verse.

In fact, there are more Biblical passages that says he is God. Consider these chapters and verses:

(1)John 1:1-3 - "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. He made not any thing made that was made... and the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us."
(2)Matthew 1:23 - "Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel," which means "God is with us."
(3)John 8:57-59 - "Then the Jews said to him, 'you are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?' Jesus said to them: 'Amen, amen, I say to you, before Abraham came to be, I AM'". (see Exodus 3:14-17).
(4)John 8:24 - "That is why I told you that you will die in your sins. For if you do not believe that I AM".
(5)John 13:19 "You may believe that I AM".
(6) John 5:17-26 - Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill him, because he not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God is his father, making himself equal with God. (And Jesus never recanted that fact!)

(7)John 10:28-39 - "The Father and I are one".
(8) John 14:189 - "Whoever have seen me has seen the Father."
(8)Matthew 4:7 - "You shall not put the Lord your God to the test." (Because Satan was tempting him in the wilderness.)
(9)Philippians 2:6-11 "Though though he (Jesus) was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance,he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross.Because of this, God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth,and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, 9 to the glory of God the Father."
(10)Revelation 21:6 - "I (am) the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end" says Jesus. (see Isaiah 44:6).

And the list goes on...

Due to her belief that Jesus is not God, she was found accusing those who teaches otherwise that God will punish anyone who adds or takes away from Scripture (Revelation 22:18-19) . Poor soul, she never realized it was the cult of Manalo who added and subtracted the Scripture to suit their lies!

She was baptized in the cult on October 6, 1990 in the Trinitarian way.... hmm... very ironic!

We shouldn't forget that they too accept the fact that the Catholic Church is the true Church Christ founded in Jerusalem"

PASUGO Mayo 1964, p. 15:
Tinatanggap halos ng lahat na sa Dios at kay Cristo ang INK na itinayo ni Cristo sa Jerusalem noong unang siglo
. Datapuwat ang INK sa huling araw na ito na lumitaw sa Pilipinas noong 1914 ay hindi nila kinikilalang sa Dios at kay Cristo. Ito ay nagpapanggap lamang na INK ngunit ang totoo raw ay Iglesia ni Manalo. Walang katotohanan ang kanilang palagay na ito sapagkat walang Iglesiang kanya si Kapatid na Manalo."

PASUGO Mayo 1954, p. 9:
"Alin ang tunay na Iglesia? Ang Iglesiang itinayo ni Cristo sa Jerusalem."

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