"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

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

IGLESIA NI CRISTO: Who are they?

[From Catholic-Answers permission was granted me to post Iglesia ni Cristo article in series. Thanks to the whole staff of Catholic Answers. Thanks to Mr. Karl Keating and his Production Manager Mr. Jon Sorensen. You can contact them at (619) 387-7200 (USA)].

Admitedly, one of the most powerful religious cult in the Philippines today is the Iglesia ni Cristo. During elections political candidates line up for an audience with it's Executive Minister Erano Manalo, the son of its founder and have his political blessings. Once candidates were chosen by Mr. Manalo, their names "are written in a sample ballot paper to be distributed in the Committee prayer meetings of Iglesia ni Cristo groups. The sample ballot is secretly brought by the member to be copied into the official ballot inside the voting booth. Members who don't unify with the chosen candidates are warned of expulsion from the church" according to INC in a Nutshell.

Who are the Iglesia ni Cristo? Catholic Answers has the answer:

"The Iglesia ni Cristo (Tagalog, "Church of Christ") claims to be the true Church established by Christ. Felix Manalo, its founder, proclaimed himself God’s prophet. Many tiny sects today claim to be the true Church, and many individuals claim to be God’s prophet. What makes Iglesia ni Cristo different is that it is not as tiny as others.

Since it was founded in the Philippines in 1914, it has grown to more than two hundred congregations in sixty-seven countries outside the Philippines, including an expanding United States contingent. The Iglesia keeps the exact number of members secret, but it is estimated to be between three million and ten million worldwide. It is larger than the Jehovah’s Witnesses, a better known sect (which also claims to be Christ’s true Church). Iglesia is not better known, despite its numbers, because the majority of Iglesia’s members are Filipino. Virtually the only exceptions are a few non-Filipinos who have married into Iglesia families.

The organization publishes two magazines, Pasugo and God’s Message, which devote most of their energies toward condemning other Christian churches, especially the Catholic Church. The majority of the Iglesia’s members are ex-Catholics. The Philippines is the only dominantly Catholic nation in the Far East, with eighty-four percent of its population belonging to the Church. Since this is its largest potential source of converts, Iglesia relies on anti-Catholic scare tactics as support for its own doctrines, which cannot withstand biblical scrutiny. The Iglesia tries to convince people of its doctrines not by proving they are right, but by attempting to prove the Catholic Church’s teachings are wrong.

Read the whole article Iglesia ni Cristo.
Or visit
www.catholic.com or join Catholic Answers Forums
Alo read an article from
This Rock Magazine.

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Mr. Karl Keating is the founder of Catholic Answers, a lay apostolate of Catholic apologetics in spreading the "Splendor of Truth" of the Catholic Church and evangelizing non-Catholics and Catholics at the same level.

Other Links: Iglesia ni Cristo from Answers.com.

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