"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

Monday, March 16, 2015

Are we forbidden to pray from the Bible? Is the Holy Rosary a "pagan" prayer? -Iglesia Ni Cristo's Response

Here is another deception by a paid Minister of the Iglesia Ni Cristo® of Manalo taken from Pasugo Mailbox: (Pasugo God's Message, August 2004, Vol. 56, No. 8, ISSN 0116-1636, pp. 4-5)


LETTER TO PASUGO:

The Holy Rosary is a Gospel Prayer of contemplation with Mary on the life of Jesus Christ and Mary. 

How can the rosary be judged that it is of pagan origin?  I do believe that the rosary beads were very much in fashion then and even up to now, that's  why they are universally found and used in their own representations by Paganism; Buddhism; Hinduism; Islam; and Christianity.  Rosary beads are not the sole property of the pagans therefor the Holy Rosary can not be branded as such.

I have been praying the Holy Rosary since I was a child, even without thoroughly understanding the beauty and meaning of what it is.  Yet over the years praying the Holy Rosary played a big role in my family life as the source of the strength that held us together.  During my growing up years the rosary was just like all the other prayers that we must memorize so  that we can participate in the weekly rosary held at my grandparent's house on weekends.  As I grew older and well verse enough to lead the prayers I never thought that there is more to it than just words in sequence.  I started to reflect on the words that I was saying, even more so when our family must gather to pray the Holy Rosary for my father and grandmother who were in critical condition because of an accident.

It is also during our rosary prayer time that many secrets are revealed among us such as our hopes, dreams and aspirations as well as our faults and shortcomings.

As a family we pray as on for all our intentions as we also reflect, meditate and discern our mistakes and shortcomings asking for God's guidance and wisdom and always trusting in His mercy and His infinite love.

I cannot count the number of times when many unbearable [instances] became bearable and many things became possible.  The strength of our bond as a family and the Holy Rosary that we fervently prayerd in all sincerity and humility has a very powerful prayer force that we know will intercede so that my father and my grandmother can survive and surpass those most critical hours.

We never doubted the powerful prayer force of the Holy Rosary because the one who prays with us is no other than Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ.  For all our reason the Holy Rosary has been and will continue to be a part of our life time prayers.

No matter how I detest and disagree with your statements regarding the rosary, it is also true that I must consider the fact that your knowledge about the rosary comes from books and other references that unfortunately doesn't give justification to its definition or meaning.  There is more to the rosary than just the beads and its definitions and being a non-Catholic would make it complicated to grasp and understand.  I, for one took years to know and understand that the knowledge and understanding that I know now is only the beginning.

I am enclosing a Pastoral Letter which explains further the meaning of the Holy Rosary, what it is, the mysteries, meditations on biblical themes and other details from the point of view of a Catholic who prays the Holy Rosary fervently and regularly.  He is the best authority in terms of knowledge and experience.  Moreover, the always speaks from the heart.

I hope reading this can give you a better, clearer and broader  view and understanding of the Holy Rosary that we Catholics contemplate with Mary on the life of Jesus Christ.  It is also my fervent hope that somehow your despicable statement would be properly stated as befits its rightful descriptions and definitions. I hope you don't mind my sentiments but it is of utmost importance that the Holy Rosary be described or defined properly and rightfully, please.

"So I declare and testify in the Lord that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds; darkened in understanding, alienated from the life of God because of their ignorance, because of their hardness of heart" Eph., 4:17-18 "and be renewed in the spirit of your minds", "and put on the new self, created in God's way in righteousness and holiness of truth." Eph., 4:23-24 (new American Bible)

Thank you and God bless.

Barbara C. Lim
Makati City, Philippines


IGLESIA NI CRISTO'S RESPONSE:

We understand your reaction to our reply to another letter sender concerning the Rosary.  it is a but natural to react in this manner when one's religious practice done with great love and sincerity is being considered as against the God's will.

The reference we cited were written by recognized Catholic authorities to show that the rosary is indeed repetitious and thus contrary to the statement of Christ in Matthew 6:7. To defy  Christ's admonition against repetitious prayers is not only unbiblical--it is choosing to be an enemy of Christ.  Repetitious  reciting of prayers, says Christ in the same verse, is the way pagans pray.  Apostle Paul states in Ephesians 4:17-18 that Christians must "give up living as pagans do with their futile notions" (Revised English Bible).

Thus, any praying in the same way as what pagans are doing contradicts Christ's admonition on how to pray properly.

"...the old pagans or Rome... before the Roman Catholic Church came into existence, constantly used beads in reciting the many prayers..." (Roman Catholics in the Light of Scripture, p. 137)

"The practice of using beads, etc., as a help to memory in reciting a set number of prayers is not distinctively Christian.." (A Catholic Dictionary, p. 717)

You explain that rosary beads have been very much in fashion before and up to know that is why they are universally found.  You also claim that they are not the sole or exclusive property of the pagans and conclude that the Rosary "can not be branded as such."  The fact, however, that there is no mention of it being commanded by Christ and the Apostles or used by the early Christians, and not even by the people of God in the Old Testament indicates that the Rosary was adopted by the Catholic Church not from the Holy Scriptures.  As you yourself know, history proves that the Rosary had long been widespread among pagans even before the existence of he Roman Church.

You expound that aside from the recitation of the vocal prayers, the Rosary includes meditation on the "mysteries" and putting into practice what is meditated upon and expressed in vocal prayers.  You then conclude that "the Holy Rosary is biblically based."

Meditating on important events in teh life of Jesus and other virtuous servants of God and living it out in the daily life are indeed noble activities, but there activities can be done even witout ritually reciting memorized prayers while using beads which the pagans also use.  God's people in the Bible practiced meditation and were prayerful, but non of them used vain repetitions or rosary beads in his prayers.

Moreover, at least two of your so-called "mysteries" involved in praying the Rosary are obviously not warranted by the Holy Scriptures.  In announcing the "Fourth mystery-- the Assumption of our Lady" in your so-called "Glorious Mysteries," you proclaim:

"We recall how Jesus has taken His Mother to heaven with body and soul as a generous reward for her devoted love to Him while earth." (How to Say the Rosary, p. 22)

But nowhere in the Bible can we find that "Jesus has taken His Mother to heaven with body and soul."  What the Bible teaches is that the dead are in the grave (Ps. 88.5, New King James Version), including those who are holy (Ps. 86:2; Acts 2:29, 34), and that the "soul clings to the dust" when a person dies (Ps. 119:25, NKJV).   Those who are worthy of salvation will enter the kingdom of heaven on the Second Advent of Christ (Mt. 25:31-34) or Judgment Day (Jude 1:14-15).

In the "Fifth Mystery-- the Coronation of Our Lady in Heaven" of your so-called "Glorious Mysteries" you announce:

"We recall how Mary enter[ed] heaven and is greeted by the endless jubilation of angels and saints.  Jesus sets upon her head the crown as Heaven's Queen." (How to Say the Rosary, p. 23)

Regarding the "Glorious Mysteries," your Pope John Paull II himself in his Apostolic Letter "The Rosary of the Virgin Mary" (the "Pastoral Letter" you sent us) states:

"In the Ascension, Christ was raised in glory to the right hand of the Father, while Mary herself would be raised to that same glory in the Assumption, enjoying beforehand, by a unique privilege, the destiny reserved for all the just at the resurrection of the dead.  Crowned in glory-- as she appears in the last glorious mystery--Mary shines forth as Queen of the Angels and Saints..." (p.16)

Again, these teachings are without biblical basis.  Even your Pope can not read from the Scriptures that Mary was "crowned in glory"... as Queen of the Angels and Saints" and that "Jesus sets upon her head the crown as Heaven's Queen." As a matter of fact, no less than Catholic priests and authorities testify to the fact that Mary's Assumption" or being "taken... to heaven with body and soul" is not found in the Holy Scriptures:

"There is no statement of the Assumption in Holy Scripture.  Moreover, if we consult the historical writings of the first five centuries, we find them void of any historical data to certify the fat of the Assumption." (God the Redeemer by Charles G. Herzog, S.J., p. 98)

"There is no explicit reference to the assumption in the Bible, yet the Pope insist in the decree of promulgation that the Scriptures are the ultimate foundation of this truth."  (New Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. I, 1967, p. 972)

No doubt, the Rosary can be prayed with the best of human intentions, but this doesn't change the biblical truth that it is against the will of God and it is of pagan origin.  Neither the prophesies nor Christ, nor the Apostles taught it and therefore, the Rosary is a prayer as a commandment of men, who have not been commissioned by God to teach His words.

As to prayer made to God by people who teach and obey the commandments of men, Christ quoted these words from God: 

"But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." (Mt. 15:6, King James Version)

Therefore, while there's still time, put away the commandments of men, and learn to accept the truth no matter how painful it may be. The truth will set us free (Jn. 8:32)

-Bienvenido C. Santiago

CD2000: What do we expect from a paid worker of Manalo Mr. Bienvenido Santiago? He's trained to hate the Catholic Church and must continue to demonize every teaching and doctrine of the original and only true Church of Christ-- which is the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church (PASUGO, April 1966, p. 46; PASUGO, July-August, 1988, p. 6; PASUGO, March-April, 1992, p. 22) or what he called as the "Roman Church" so that by deceit, he could convert cafeteria Catholics to Manalo's INC™ Church.

In fact, it was the same "Roman Church" which the Apostle Paul told all the churches of Christ to "send their greetings" (Rm. 16:16), not the Iglesia Ni Cristo® founded in the Philippines by an apostate self-proclaimed "Last Messenger" or "Huling Sugo" who left Christ's fold and founded his own. Neither the prophets, nor Christ nor the Apostles made mention of a certain Felix Manalo to come and perfecting the salvific mission of Christ who died for our sins but he remained a complete failure as implied by Manalo's assertions of his "Last Messenger" doctrine.

In his letter to the Church in Rome, the Apostle Paul made mention of how he was spiritually joyful for knowing that the faith of the "Roman Church" is heralded throughout the world (Rm. 1:8 NAB).

The Apostle Paul even confirmed how special the "Roman Church" is for God--"called to belong to Jesus Christ" and "...called to be holy..." (Rm. 1:6-7 Knox Translation)

So that at the last chapter of his letter (chapter 16), St. Paul the Apostles fondly sends the greetings of "all the churches of Christ" to the "Roman Church" for having a faith known throughout the whole world; for being called to imitate Jesus Christ; and to exemplify holiness. Have we not done that?

In fact, no other churches christianized much of the world except the Catholic Church alone.  The Church transmitted the faith through words and deed (the Living Tradition) for the first 400 years until the list of Bible books (which the Iglesia Ni Cristo® and other Johnny-come-lately churches use)  was finally compiled in the year 382 A.D. and 419 A.D. at the Council of Rome, Hippo and  Carthage.

Thanks to the ingenuity of Catholics such as Sir Johannes Gutenburg, who invented the first printing machine that helped in the mass production of the Word of God or which we Catholics called the "Bible"!

The term BIBLE wasn't a termed given by the Iglesia Ni Cristo® and their anti-Catholic cronies.  It was obviously Catholic in origin. They have no contribution to the Bible whatsoever!

The word "bible" was derived from Middle English, from Old French, from Medieval Latin biblia, from Greek, plural of biblion book (Online Miriam-Webster).

The Septuagint Bible version called it "in tà biblía tà hagía (Septuagint) the holy books" (Dictionary.com)

And since the Bible is a Catholic Book, a commission of Cardinals in Rome was created to ensure that the Bible remains to be a Catholic Church property, protecting for the proper interpretation and defense of it. (read Biblical Commission)

Mr. Santiago made mentioned of Matthew 6:7 about Christ's comparison with pagan prayers babbling, but failed to quote the next verses 9-15 where He taught the 'Lord's Prayer"

Does Mr. Santiago mean that verses from the Bible being repeatedly prayed goes against Jesus Christ who was the source of that prayer? Does he mean praying is OK as long as it's not repetitive? Where is it mentioned in the Bible that we're not allowed to read and pray from the Bible repeatedly? And so doing, everyone who repeats again and again verses from the Bible makes us an "enemy of  Christ"?

Here are the prayers being recited in the Holy Rosary:

Are they from pagan sources? Was Christ, Gabriel, Mary and Elizabeth pagans?

Ephesians 4:17-17-18 does not talk about prohibition from praying the Holy Scriptures but prohibition from living like pagans, just as how the paid ministers of Manalo do.  Demonizing the Church is not coming from Christ but from the Devil, their father, the deceiver!

I wonder why Santiago selectively refused to accuse the Joyful, Luminous, Sorrowful Mysteries of the same Holy Rosary as unbiblical while earlier he said that the rosary is a pagan prayer?  Does it mean, he conceded to the fact that these mysteries are biblical? What made him skip those mysteries and jumped only to the Glorious Mysteries-- the Assumption and the Coronation of the Blessed Virgin Mary as Queen of Heaven is quite revealing!

In Saint Pope John Paul II's Pastoral Letter called "Rosarium Virginis Mariae" (No. 23), he perfectly summarized the whole mystery surrounding the Doctrine of the Assumption.

And who else could understand that extra-biblical doctrine except those who assent to the teachings of the Church-- the Pillar and Bulwark of Truth (1 Tim. 3:15).  Pope  Saint John Paul II was a Theology giant unmatched to Mr. Santiago, whose biblical credentials is not even scholarly unrecognized.

Who says the Assumption and the Crowning of Mary isn't biblical?

In addition to Genesis 3:15, there are several other Scripture passages that point to the Assumption of Our Lady. For example, there is Luke 1:28, since her bodily assumption is a natural consequence of her being “full of grace.” Other passages include Revelation 12:1, in which Mary’s coronation implies her bodily assumption, and 1 Corinthians 15:23 and Matthew 27:52-53, which support the possibility of a bodily assumption. And lastly there is Psalm 132:8, which provides: “Arise, O Lord, into your resting place: you and the ark which you have sanctified.” Mary is the new Ark of the Covenant, who physically bore the presence of God in her womb before bearing Christ to the world. (Source: Catholics United in Faith)

And how about the name of Felix Manalo? Him being the "Last Messenger"? And the Great Apostasy? And the emergence of the original Church of Jesus in the Philippines? Where was it written explicitly in the Bible?

But here is biblical. The coming of the Deceiver who will deny Jesus coming in the flesh! Felix Manalo fulfilled the prophesy:
"Many false teachers have appeared in the world, who will not acknowledge that Jesus Christ has come in human flesh; here is the deceiver you were warned against, here is Antichrist." (2 Jn. 1:7)

Therefore, if Felix Manalo is the deceiver and Antichrist for denying Jesus coming in the flesh, what's left for his paid ministers to teach except deception and lies?!

As for Mr. Santiago and members of Manalo's Church, while there is still time, put away the commandments of men--deceiver and antichrist-- and learn to accept the truth no matter how painful it may be.  The pillar and bulwark of truth--the Church-- will set us free. (Jn. 8:32)

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