The Divinity of Christ was long been believed by early Christians. It's biblical! From the time of the original 12 Apostles, Jesus was perceived to be as such ever since. If we go back to the reason why he was condemned by the Jewish High Priest was because he was found guilty of "deeming to be God"- a blasphemy which is punishable by death alone.
Did Christ recant or correct his accusers if he knew he wasn't God himself?
What the Catholic Church did was to simply AFFIRMED this truth against those who deny it. That in the year 325 A.D. the Council of Nicea was convened. This laid to rest the influence of Arianism who denied his divinity and is now revived by the anti-Christ.
Catholic Converts (you can listen to converts here) stories ranges from a simple to a more dramatic story that led them to the Truth of the Catholic Church, it's liturgical beauty and it's perpetual existence from the time of the Apostles to this day and onwards.
It is undeniable that the Catholic Church IS the original Church which Christ founded and not even an inch can the Iglesia ni Cristo match those historical facts written in volumes.
Here is a conversion story of a certain Ka Joven, a former Catholic as he's claiming who abandoned Christ's original Church and joined the cult of the Iglesia ni Cristo. Just like Ka Joven, their founder Felix Manalo was baptized in the Catholic Church, named "Felix" in his baptismal records which he retained all throughout his life and was never baptized in his cult.
Despite the abundant biblical evidences about the Divinity of Christ (see Christology), they selectively quote few biblical passages that confirms only one aspect of his true self and that is his humanity. Although what they knew about Christ is doctrinally acceptable to all Christians and the Catholic Church it doesn't negate Him being in the Divine state.
So far, as I have challenged many Iglesia ni Cristo members, they CANNOT provide not a single verse that says Jesus is "NOT" God simply because they cannot find it there.
And most certainly NO ONE cannot deny something which doesn't exist. That's absurd!
This convert's story is simple, nothing spiritual in substance. He doubted the Trinity and so he became an Iglesia ni Cristo. While reading notice the words "Iglesia ni Cristo", why he's not translating it to English as he's writing in the English language? Why he's keeping the "Tagalog" name? Use your common sense:
"When I graduated from the University of Sto. Tomas, I thought I knew religion well enough to parry questions from anyone and wiggle out any issue brought to me. I had two friends, Rufino Coronel and Perlas Caramat, members of the Iglesia ni Cristo. Both of them invited me to attend worship services but I always declined.
After graduation from college, I taught in a public school in Manila. In the summer of 1972, I graduated from Far Eastern University in Business and Finance. I worked during the day and studied at night for a Master's degree in Public Administration at the University of the Philippines. Expressing my gratitude for God's blessings, I made it a point to always attend Mass on Sundays and even everyday during the Misa de Gallo at the university chapel in observance of Christmas.
On July 31, 1976, I came to the United States hoping for a better life and opportunity. I tried to preserve my Catholic faith although I no longer believed in confession and in the infallibility of the Pope. I felt that confession to a priest was a futile exercise in reconciling myself to my Maker and I considered the infallibility of the Pope as a mundane display of arrogance. Later, I began to question the rest of the teachings of the Catholic Church.
He no longer believed in the "infallibility of the Pope" but he absolutely believed in the infallibility of Erano Manalo as his "little pope". Perhaps, he thought that the Pope was infallible when in fact the Pope's infallibility is only in matters of faith and morals, not his personal aspect. (see Infallibility of the Church)
In September 1982, I went home to the Philippines to visit my wife and my parents. I was terribly shocked when my sister-in-law, Marlene, told me that Boying became an Iglesia ni Cristo member. I wanted to talk to him but I never had the chance because he was always away from home, being a navy serviceman.
When I returned to the United States, I went to Chicago to visit my older brother, Manong Tante and his family. During my stay with them, for some strange reason, we ended up talking about the true nature of Christ and the Trinity. We toyed with the idea that Christ is not God. Our discussions led me to search for a deeper understanding of the topic for I became totally lost!
On January 2, 1983, my wife joined me here in the United States and, shortly after, I was blessed with my children, Patrick and Abigail. Boying sent me a videotape of the debate between Brother Jose Ventilacion of the Iglesia ni Cristo and Pastor Andrian Anderson of the Worldwide Apostolic Ministries of Jesus Christ. I watched Brother Ventilacion defend the doctrines of the Iglesia ni Cristo with ease to the final verse.
On December 31, 1994, I decided not to go to church anymore. Almost a year before this, I had already sent letters to my family informing them that I was no longer a Catholic. I knew this meant a struggle toward the unknown and the uncertain but I was ready to investigate other churches.
One Sunday morning, my son, Patrick, and I attended a worship service in a church in Farmington, Connecticut. We found out the following week that it, too, believed in the Trinity. So we ruled out this church. Although the Iglesia ni Cristo was way down my list of the 17 churches I planned to investigate, I called Boying to inquire where I could find an Iglesia ni Cristo house of worship without revealing my intention.
This was also the first time we talked about our disagreements in matters of religion. The locale of Long Island City in New York is about a two-hour drive from my home, not including the normal traffic situation in the heart of the city of New York.
I thought about the logic in exchanging the convenience of attending Mass at a chapel just a stone's throw away from our house with several hundreds of miles of traveling just to attend the Iglesia ni Cristo worship service. We were faced with an entirely unique situation that involved our time and current work schedules, along with our children's academic schedules, and other commitments that were already arranged at that time.
When the St. Dunstan Church bells rang across the street from my house that Sunday morning on January 22, 1995, I, together with my wife, my children, and my mother-in-law, were about to leave for Long Island City, New York for our first worship service in the Iglesia ni Cristo. We prayed to the Lord God to guide us through with our decision. During the worship service, we were impressed by how the members conducted themselves throughout the service. It was the most solemn and fulfilling event we had ever experienced in our lives.
The lesson was very appropriate and inviting. Brother Felix Lim, Jr, asking questions and reading the answers from the Bible, delivered a very spiritual sermon.
On that day, we decided to undergo Bible Study on the doctrines of the Iglesia ni Cristo. After proving our sincerity to become members of the Church, we were scheduled to be baptized on December 2, 1995.
As we waited for that day, I received news on November 27, 1995 that our house in the Philippines was destroyed by fire. This tragedy was a test of our faith. We decided to stay for our baptism instead of being with our parents in their trying times. It was a decision compelling us to bear the pains and the thought of our parent's plight because we believed that, at that time, our baptism into the true religion was the most important thing.
We were able to pull through this test along with the persecutions that followed. There were six in my household who were baptized on that day in Long Island City, aside from myself - my wife, Mila, my mother-in-law, Ana Rabanal, Annabelle Cauile, Edwin Rabanal, and Julian Rabanal.
After I withdrew my children from their Catechism classes and membership in the parish choir, the director of religious education in our parish, Mr. Ivan Hawk, challenged me to a discussion. Just like Boying, I was waiting, armed with a list of topics that I wanted him to explain.
Unfortunately, our meeting never materialized because Mr. Hawk was transferred to New Hampshire for another assignment. Our friends and acquaintances no longer saw us attending Christmas parties as we had been used to. Consequently, we experienced persecutions from them and from those who are close to our hearts. It was not easy - the road sometimes is too difficult to tread.
We are now registered in the extension of Norwich, Connecticut. My wife, who has been very supportive in all the decisions we both made, is a deaconess and also serves in the secretariat. Patrick and Abigail are both in the choir. I am blessed with the office of second head deacon.
We are all active in our respective duties and very thankful to God that we were called into the true Church. Despite the worries and trials we experience in this life, we remain strong in our faith and pray earnestly to the Father in heaven that He continue granting us the grace to serve Him until the very end.
There is a reason why the Iglesia ni Cristo cannot be translated independently to English language as "Church of Christ." The simplest explanation to this is because the "Iglesia ni Cristo" and the "Church of Christ" are two distinct registered trademark protected by the Republic of the Philippines and that when you say "Iglesia ni Cristo" it refers to a sect founded and registered by Felix Manalo as a Corporation Sole and when you say "Church of Christ" we refer to a sect founded and registered by Helen G. White, an American.
What kind of a powerful God would be willing to limit the name of his "church" to tagalog language and would face a legal problem if it's translated to the English language? Think about it. Isn't all languages belong to God? Where is it's universal characteristic? Isn't God wills everyone to be saved without racial or lingual restrictions? Dito pa lang hindi ka pa ba magtataka?
They called themselves "Iglesia"? Did God commanded his new "church" members to call themselves "Iglesia" (which means church from the Spanish word Iglesia or Yglesia?) Where can we find that in the Bible? At this point you must be thinking.
Ka Joven said "We prayed to the Lord God to guide us through with our decision."
Have you noticed the words "Lord God" and that they prayed to him? Would it mean another thing if they would pray to the "Lord Jesus" to guide them through their decision? If they do, then they're worshipping two Lords: One Lord God and one Lord Jesus a man (only). Have you noticed the complexity of this new Gospel preached by a fallible Felix Manalo?
Didn't Ka Joven thought of considering the pages of history and how history had judged its founder Felix Manalo about his sexual minconducts while preaching he's the "Last Messenger"?
Maybe Ka Joven failed to see the similarity of his church' founder to that of the LDS Joseph Smith? Both claimed to re-established Christ's Church to its pristine beauty and both claimed to have a mandate to re-establish it.
The only difference? One claimed to be the "LAST PROPHET" while the other one claimed to be the "LAST MESSENGER (Angel)".