|The image of Felix Manalo erected at the grounds of Central Temple of the Iglesia ni Cristo in the Philippines.|
INC Minister "readme" tried to justify the presence of Felix Manalo's statue at their Central Temple in Diliman, Quezon City (Philippines). Below is his apologetical article on the subject:
|As I always having a research about the INC, I notice that Catholic defenders criticize, malign, and give different meaning to the images/statues in the INC. Because they say the INC always attack them by having such statues/images in their church somehow they say they just venerate/adore/respect and whatever their explanations they maybe those but not worship it and trait it as another God. Then, they turn backs that truth to the INC and make some lies so that people would think that INC is the one who worship such images/statues, by the way, what’s their accusations? Here:|
* we worship Bro. Felix Manalo/Bro. Erano Manalo as they were sometimes in the front cover of our pasugo magazine issues.
*why our ministers criticize Catholic Church for having images somehow we have pictures of our parents, friends and whatsoever.
*the remains of Bro. Erano Manalo is at the tabernacle.
*we have statue of Bro. Felix Manalo inside the INC Central complex
So, what are the differences of the statues/images of the Catholic Church to the statues/images not only in the INC but also to other ordinary images/statues?
*We do not kneel to it.
*We do not bow down to it.
*We do not pray for it.
*We do not lit candles to it.
*We do not treat it as mediators to God.
*We do not swept it with towel and believe that it will heal our diseases.
*We do not think it is miraculous.
*We do not make feast for it and offer foods or something.
What is the reason again? I will quote the author..
“the temporary interment of the remains of Ka Erdy at the tabernacle (while his mausoleum is not yet finished)…”
Everybody gets the point? Or do I need to repeat it again?^_^
Nobody knows when will a person die, and making a mausoleum is not just 1 or 2 days to be make. So, where would be the remains of Bro. Erano put if the mausoleum is not yet finished? Just everywhere? Huh? That’s why I think Bro. Eduardo just decided the remains be in the tabernacle TEMPORARY for the other brethren who wants to see it just go there and not in the chapel.
I know Catholic Defenders still cannot understand this, maybe we just understand them! For having low memory or maybe evil mind by making such lies^_^
By the way, what really was the teachings of God according to these bowing down, and making act of worship (even deny it and make other meaning of the word ‘worship’ so it not make it to a point and show that they really don’t worship those) and etc? Click on the links.
OK, let’s analyze how members of the Iglesia ni Cristo's stiff thinking operates and apply it to our common sense.
The Founding of the Iglesia ni Cristo in the Philippines
When Felix Manalo established his Iglesia ni Cristo sect (or CULT) prior to registering it in 1914, he was ABSOLUTELY 10000% in OPPOSITION to having IMAGES in his newly founded church (cult). Because for him ALL IMAGES are abominable—pagan in origin which the Iglesia ni Cristo SHOULD NOT have and according to its Fundamental Teachings, they SHOULD NOT duplicate any of Catholic practices including having images and “worshipping” them. Only to carve his own STATUE at Central 30+ years after his death.
And because the Catholic Church has a lot of sacred images like that of the great Temple of Jerusalem, he said, this ISN’T anymore the Church of Christ established IN the first Century (though he acknowledged that the Catholic Church WAS Christ’s ORIGINAL CHURCH [PASUGO April 1966, p. 46] which Christ himself established in the first Century).
Instantly his inflexibility attitude eventually paved the way of CREATING an image for himself and PROCLAIMING himself as the “ANOINTED RESTORER” of the “Church”.
And so he REGISTERED a Corporation Sole named it “Iglesia ni Cristo”® entirely in TAGALOG with HIMSELF as the FOUNDER, Creator, Initiator, Originator etc.
Of course it would be ridiculous if he would PROCLAIM another Church when the ORIGINAL CHURCH is still THERE existing.
His idea of re-establishing a “church” would sound hilarious and less appealing to many BADLY INFORMED informed Catholics (like Manalo himself) whom he was aiming to proselytize so carefully and meticulously he planned it and so the fairy taled stories circulated within the Iglesia.
According to third sources and existing biographies and legendary fairy-tale style stories about his “angelic vision” which is only circulated within the Iglesia ni Cristo, they say that he hid himself (daw) in three days inside a dark room while “praying and fasting” then emerging one day, he preached that this Felix Manalo is NO LONGER the same Felix Manalo for he “RECEIVED” a mandate from God (according to himself) that he’d be “God’s LAST Messenger” (again according to himself), an “angel from the East” or “ANGHEL” because he’s a “MESSENGER”—again and again and again according to himself.
And because he’s “God’s Last Messenger” he is bounded to “re-establish” the Church?
Since there could be ONLY ONE CHURCH legitimately, rightfully and historically recognized by distinguished historians there could be NO two Churches existing. The solution? He, by his own authority despised the ORIGINAL and HAILED his own founded church.
And by his OWN AUTHORITY in Sitio Punta, Santa Ana, in the city of old Manila, in the Philippines HE PROCLAIMED that the ORIGINAL CHURCH OF CHRIST in the first century, the Catholic Church COME TO AN END (PASUGO August 1971, p.22) and that he is the LAST MESSENGER called by God to RE-ESTABLISH it, registered it to be entirely TAGALOG, not English, not Spanish, not Italian, not Latin, not Chinese, not Greek, not Aramaic, not Hebrew, not French, not Russian--- ONLY in TAGALOG.
And behold it is called the…….. “IGLESIA NI CRISTO!
And irrespective of race, ALL non-Iglesia ni Cristo members, un-babtized in the cult DO NOT SHARE any inheritance in the Kingdom of God according to Felix Manalo and his Ministers! Therefore from Adam to until Felix Manalo founded his church ALL were DAMNED to eternal fiery furnace (dagat-dagatang apoy) for not being members of the Iglesia ni Cristo!
PASUGO Agosto 1966, p.13: (sinulat ni Tomas C. Catangay)
“Totoo na kailangan ng tao ang pananampalataya upang maligtas, ngunit kung siya'y hindi Iglesia ni Cristo, tiyak na hindi siya maliligtas’ [It's true that men need faith for salvation, however if one is not Iglesia ni Cristo, surely he's not saved.]
PASUGO Hunyo 1967, p. 16: (sinulat din ni T.C. Catangay)
“Ang may karapatan na tumawag sa Dios, humingi at bigyan, tanging tayo lamang na mga Iglesia ni Cristo." [There's only one who has the right to call on God, asking and receiving, only us the Iglesia ni Cristo.]
PASUGO Pebrero 1966, p. 18: (sinulat ni Benjamin Santiago)
“Sa panahong ito'y ang Iglesia ni Cristo lamang ang may karapatang gumamit ng pangalan ni Cristo. Maliban sa Iglesia ni Cristo na lumitaw sa Pilipinas noong 1914, ay walang may karapatang gumamit sa mahalagang pangalang ito." [In these times only the Iglesia ni Cristo has the right to use the name of Christ. Aside from the Iglesia ni Cristo which emerged from the Philippines in 1914, no one has the right to use this important name.]
Which is contrary to Acts 10:34-35 which says:
At binuka ni Pedro ang kanyang bibig at sinabi: 'Tunay ngang natatalas ko na hindi nagtatangi ang Dios ng mga tao; kundi sa bawat bansa siya na may takot sa kanya, at gumawa, ay kalugud-lugod sa kanya." [Then Peter proceeded to speak and said, "In truth, I see that God shows no partiality. Rather, in every nation whoever fears him and acts uprightly is acceptable to him.]
Iglesia ni Cristo's ABSOLUTE REJECTION of IMAGES!
According to the Fundamental Beliefs of the Iglesia ni Cristo, No. 6, it says:
"The apostasy of the Catholic Church from the Church established by Christ in the first century took place with their turning away from the teachings of God taught by Christ and His Apostles (Worship of Images, Mass, Popes and Priests as vicars or successors of Christ, Mediator Saints, Purgatory). Therefore, the apostasy takes place whenever there is a teaching of God the Catholic Church violates. In view of this, all the doctrines and practices of the Catholic Church should be rejected.
Here are some of the Biblical passages the Iglesia ni Cristo used against the Catholic Church on Sacred Images:
The images of their gods you shall destroy by fire. Do not covet the silver or gold on them, nor take it for yourselves, lest you be ensnared by it; for it is an abomination to the LORD, your God.
Thou shalt not have strange gods before me. Thou shalt not make to thyself a graven thing, nor the likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or in the earth beneath, nor of those things that are in the waters under the earth. Thou shalt not adore them, nor serve them.
You shall not have other gods besides me. You shall not carve idols for yourselves in the shape of anything in the sky above or on the earth below or in the waters beneath the earth; you shall not bow down before them or worship them. For I, the LORD, your God, am a jealous God, inflicting punishments for their fathers' wickedness on the children of those who hate me, down to the third and fourth generation.
But the same BIBLE approves the USE of SACRED IMAGES in temples. If God allowed it for religious purposes, who are the Iglesia ni Cristo to be better off than God himself?
Make two cherubim of beaten gold for the two ends of the propitiatory, fastening them so that one cherub springs direct from each end. The cherubim shall have their wings spread out above, covering the propitiatory with them; they shall be turned toward each other, but with their faces looking toward the propitiatory.
…the refined gold, and its weight, to be used for the altar of incense; and, finally, gold for what would suggest a chariot throne: the cherubim that spread their wings and covered the ark of the covenant of the LORD.
As high as the lintel of the door, even into the interior part of the temple as well as outside, on every wall on every side in both the inner and outer rooms were carved the figures of cherubim and palmtrees: a palmtree between every two cherubim. Each cherub had two faces...
Then the people came to Moses and said, "We have sinned in complaining against the LORD and you. Pray the LORD to take the serpents from us." So Moses prayed for the people, and the LORD said to Moses, "Make a saraph and mount it on a pole, and if anyone who has been bitten looks at it, he will recover."
You see? God instructed the Israelites on how they are to make the IMAGES to be put inside the Temple!
And here is a lengthly but very helpful explanation of why we Catholics have Sacred Images in our Churches:
As readme bulleted his opposition to any images, here’s our bulleted OFFICIAL agreement on having them:
- "It is forbidden to give divine honour or worship to the angels and saints for this belongs to God alone."
- "We should pay to the angels and saints an inferior honour or worship, for this is due to them as the servants and special friends of God."
- "We should give to relics, crucifixes and holy pictures a relative honour, as they relate to Christ and his saints and are memorials of them."
- "We do not pray to relics or images, for they can neither see nor hear nor help us."
Taken from Do Catholic Worship Statues?
Felix Manalo DESPIESED having IMAGES, why did Eraño, his very own son broke his father's stern command?
We have images of many heroes. Say for example Jose Rizal the Philippines’ National Hero who fought against the tyranny and abuses of Spaniards in the Philippines who offered his life for the sake of FREEDOM. The USA has Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the USA who is known for abolishing slavery in his country. Both are accepted by Filipinos and Americans worthy of our respect.
Many countrie knew how to render respect to great men and women in history. As a tribute they immortalized their memories in images, in paintings and statues displayed in government parks and buildings. Their memories were even celebrated with funfare and feasting.
If the secular world rightfully emulates the legacy of its fallen heroes, how much more the Church of Christ which has existed for more than TWO CENTURIES now? We too HAVE our own HEROES (the SAINTS) that we have to celebrate.
The Catholic Church also immortalize the memory of our Christian Heroes. We celebrate their heroic virtues with joy and feasting. How could we be sad when heaven celebrated their martyrdom. If ordinary folks know how to celebrate political heroes how much more the Church of Christ which has existed for more than TWO CENTURIES now and has produced thousands of named and unnamed saints?
Let’s get FACTS.
Out of 6.9 billion people on earth more than 1.2 billion people believed Christian heroes’ should be immortalized in images.
Less than 0.001% of world’s population believed Felix Manalo was God’s Last Messenger.
More than 17.45% of world’s population believed Saints are Christian Heroes.
More than 300 million people on earth believed Abraham Lincoln’s legacy should be immortalized in images.
More or less than 0.03% of Filipinos living in the US who believed Felix Manalo’s memory should be immortalized in images.
More than 92 million people on earth believed that Jose Rizal’s should be immortalized by images.
More than 90% of Filipinos do not believe that Felix Manalo should be immortalized and there are only less than 10 million Filipinos who believed that he should have images at Central.
Getting straight FACT from these figures, there are more people who believed that there is a right place for Christian Heroes in our Churches. That’s because they didn’t die in vain.
These Christian Heroes died, NOT for THEIR sake BUT for the sake of our Lord JESUS CHRIST and his Universal Church.
Just like our secular heroes, Christian Heroes have the CHOICE to spare their lives if they RENOUNCE Christ and his Church. However they CHOSE to DIE for the sake of CHRIST and his CHURCH rather than to deny Christ the Lord.
That made them our CHRISTIAN HEROES, friends of Christ, according to Revelation.
". . . I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne; they cried out with a loud voice, "O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before thou wilt judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell upon the earth? " (Revelation 6:9-10, RSV)
FELIX MANALO falls short of these heroic virtues that his memory should be immortalized in images.
Just as our secular societies offer flowers before the images of our secular heroes, we Catholics put much amount of reverence to these Christian Heroes (Saints) for they have fought a good fight and sowed the seed of their blood for the propagation of our Catholic faith. In persecution, they chose to face death rather than to give up their faith.
I am sure, even the most notorious Iglesia ni Cristo believer still believs that the Blessed Virgin Mary, the mother of our Lord is worthy of our respects.
[Read the LIVES of the SAINTS and tell me why we should not respect them?]
FELIX MANALO falls short of these saintly courage, much that he had to admonish his members to be submissive to the Japanese Government during the Second World War and relinquished his “angelic office” just for pleasing the Japanese.
So the Iglesia ni Cristo has no reason why should they offer flowers or candles or much respect to Felix Manalo for he died just like any other ordinary person. The only difference is that he made himself Lord over his church, and his children as heir to his corporation sole.
[Important: Had anyone of the Iglesia ni Cristo members knew where the children of the Manalos are studying? And how they’re living? What lifestyles do they have?]
The saints washed their garments in the blood of the Lamb. During their lifetime, God listened to their prayers on behalf of the suffering humanity, how much more now that they have shared in the vision of God's glory?
Felix Manalo have NONE of those virtues. Therefore his image in Central is an abomination image unworthy of our reverence.
All PASUGO quotations were excerpts from Mr. Julian Pinzon's booklet ANG KATOTOHANAN TUNGKOL SA INK - 1914. You can order them at Christ the King Mission Seminary, along E. Rodriguez Avenue (near Quezon City Sports Club), in Quezon City.