Baptism among the Seven Sacraments, (read Wikipedia here) is the first and foremost Sacrament to be performed before one considers himself / herself a Christian. Sometimes, it's called the "Initiation" by the very fact that it's the first ritual to be performed.
Baptism can be applied to children preferably after 8 days (just as Jewish children are to be circumcised after 8 days). This is mostly practiced among Catholics and Orthodox Churches (and Anglicans) without any problem according to the deposit of Faith in the Sacred Tradition of the Church (read Wikipedia here and read Catholic Encyclopedia here). Or it can be applied to adult catechumen, either by sprinkling, pouring, or complete immersion (like Jesus' baptism in the Jordan River) depending on the accessibility of water as prescribed in the Canon Law (read here or the Catechism of the Catholic Church here).
In general, baptism is "the rite which admits a candidate into the Christian Church, and is considered a sacrament by most denominations" (emphasis mine) including the cultic sect Iglesia ni Cristo founded by Felix Manalo in the Philippines. Althouth strongly denied, the Trinitarian formula in Matthew 28 used by all Christians who believed in the Trinity is being used also by the Iglesia ni Cristo. Hence the constituent elements of the baptismal rite are water and a Trinitarian formula: candidates are baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. According to Matthew's gospel, Jesus commanded his disciples to baptize thus in his post-resurrection appearance to them in Galilee."
"Baptism was quickly seen as necessary for salvation and as the initial Moment of redemption; many passages in Acts teach that baptism must be preceded by faith and the confession and renunciation of sins. Paul developed a theology of baptism in which believers, being baptized, come to union with Christ, share in His death and resurrection, are cleansed of their sins, and incorporated into the body of Christ. The believer's sins are metaphorically washed away in the rite. The water is the visible sign of God's grace. "(Read more in Wikipedia about baptism)
Since the Iglesia ni Cristo of Felix Manalo has no available official website or any official book, teachings, guidelines etc, available in leading bookstores, we have to rely on Wikipedia as our main source to study their doctrinal position regarding baptism.
According to the Fundamental Beliefs of the Iglesia ni Cristo, No. 22, drafted and promulgated through its Executive Minister, the son of the owner and founder of that Corporation Sole:
"The Church of Christ (they mean Iglesia ni Cristo) believes that baptism is necessary for one to become a disciple of Christ and for the attainment of eternal salvation. But this should be done in accordance with the teachings of the Bible."
Since Felix Manalo was NEVER BEEN BAPTIZED in his founded Church that preaches the importance of baptism in order to be saved, I have some questions addressed to their Ministers and apologists that would be helpful for those who are undergoing "indoctrination" (or I call it "brainwashing"). Before you blindly accept their teachings, you need to throw them intelligent questions and demand from them Biblical passages that supports their stand. Here are some:
- Jesus, who is "a man without sin" submitted himself to the Baptist's baptism,
what made Felix Manalo exempted? What is the biblical verse that makes him
- If Jesus was baptized while Felix was NOT, does it mean Felix is superior to
- If baptism is "necessary.. for eternal salvation" does it mean, Felix Manalo was
- If Felix Manalo was not baptized in his church, does it mean INC approves his
Catholic Baptism (or his protestant Baptism) as binding and legitimate so as to
make him illegible for salvation (according to the commandments of Christ)?
- Was Felix exulted himself more than Jesus that he's not subject to baptism as
one of the pillars in the INC teachings?
(You can read some other questions addressed to their Ministers from another denominational sect here)
I am sure, any thinking Catholic and non-Catholic has more intelligent questions than what I have just posted. I hope through these initial questions, our ignorant Catholics and separated brethren in the Protestant churches think, pray and study before being led astray by the false teachings of a false angel.
May God bless all who seek justice and truth.
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