Learn More About Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church Of Christ)

Learn More About Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church Of Christ)
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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

An Introduction To The Iglesia Ni Cristo



The Truth About The Iglesia Ni Cristo:
An Introduction


House of Worship of the Locale Congregation
of Punta, Sta. Ana, Manila


The Iglesia ni Cristo (Pilipino for "Church Of Christ") was established on July 27, 1914 in the Philippines. From her humble beginning, the Church is now a global Church. Others describe the Iglesia Ni Cristo as the largest independent Church in Asia, and the largest, most powerful and influential indigenous Church in the Philippines.

However, still many people, especially from outside the Philippines, have a little knowledge or information about the Iglesia Ni Cristo. Many of the informations they have came from the “outsiders” or non-members of the Church, that some are even hostile against this Church. Thus, their descriptions and informations are biased, one-sided, subjective and full of prejudice.

To straighten things up, let us find the truth about the Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church Of Christ).



WHAT IGLESIA NI CRISTO IS

The following describes what Iglesia Ni Cristo truly is:


A Religious Organization

The Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church Of Christ) is a religious organization whose primary purpose is to worship the Almighty God based on His teachings as taught by the Lord Jesus Christ and as recorded in the Bible.

As a relihious organization, the Church's major activities include worship service, missionary works, and edification. The solemn gathering of the faithful, the regular congregational worship service, is held by every local congregation inside the house of worship twice a week, usually on Thursdays and Sundays . It consists of hymn-signing, prayers, and study of God's words for proper applications in daily living (cf. I Cor. 14:15 and 26).

Also, as a religious organization whose primary purpose is to worship the Lord God, the Iglesia Ni Cristo build houses of worship as the main center for the religious activities of each local congregation. Moreover, as a fulfillment of God's commandment to His servants to build Him houses of worship for His own glory (cf. Hag. 1:8, KJV).

Iglesia Ni Cristo Central Temple
The main house of worship of the Iglesia Ni Cristo is the Central Temple located at Quezon City, Philippines. It was dedicated to God on July 24, 1984, as part of the Church's 70th anniversary celebration of it's establishment in the Philippines.

Today, the Iglesia Ni Cristo houses of worship can be found not only throughout the Philippines, but also in different countries where the Church gain foothold. These houses of worship stand as landmarks in every place where it were build.



A Christian Religion

The Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church of Christ) is a Christian religion that adheres to the unadulterated Christian teachings written in the Bible like the belief that the Father is the only true God as written in I Corithians 8:6:

“Yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.” (I Corinthians 8:6 NIV)

According to Apostle Paul, “For us (referring to the New Testament Christians) there is but one God, the Father.” Thus, the rejection of the belief in Trinity (that there are three persons in one God: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit) and her upholding of the biblical teaching that the Father alone is the only true God are among the strong proofs that the Iglesia Ni Cristo is indeed the true Christian religion, the religion that adheres to the pristine Christian teachings written in the Bible.

Iglesia Ni Cristo congregational worship service at
Tondo House of Worship

An Independent Church

The Iglesia Ni Cristo is not a denomination or sect. It is neither affiliated to any federation of religious bodies nor itself an assembly of smaller religious organizations. We firmly believe that the Iglesia Ni Cristo is Christ's one true Church today.

The Iglesia Ni Cristo Diamond Anniversary Celebration
July 27, 1989 at Quezon City, Philippines


The Iglesia Ni Cristo Is Not A Cult

In saying that the Iglesia Ni Cristo is not a "cult," we are referring to the modern use of the word "cult" which has a negative connotation.

 (1) a cult is "a system of religious or spiritual beliefs, especially an informal and transient belief system regarded by others as misguided, unorthodox, extremist, or false, and directed by a charismatic, authoritarian leader" (Microsoft Encarta Dictionary, c. 2009). However, the Iglesia Ni Cristo has a system of belief based solely in the Bible. Although her teachings differ from many denominations and churches, it's because that the teachings of other denominations and churches are not in the Bible, while the teachings of the Iglesia Ni Cristo are all in the Bible. For example, majority of the denominations and churches believe in the Trinity, however, the term and the doctrine of the Trinity cannot be found in the Bible, while the teaching of the Iglesia ni Cristo that the Father alone is the only true God is the one clearly written in the Bible (cf. John 17:1 and 3; Malachi 2:10; I Corinthians 8:6).

(2) a cult is also "an extreme admiration of something or somebody, an idolization of something or somebody" (Ibid.). The Iglesia Ni Cristo worships only God and the Lord Jesus Christ. It's belief about brother Felix Y. Manalo is plain and simple, that he is the messenger of God in these last days, a man sent by God to preach the Iglesia Ni Cristo and the pristine Gospel in these last days. We don't call him prophet, pope, bishop or of any title, just "brother Felix Y. Manalo." We truly respect him, but we do not exalt him, nor worship him. We followed all his teachings because all of his teachings are written in the Bible, and he never invented any doctrine of his own.

Thus, the Iglesia Ni Cristo is not a cult, but the true Christian religion upholding the unadulterated teachings written in the Bible.



A “Radiant” Church

In Ephesians 5:27, Apostle Paul described the Church that will be presented to Christ in His second coming as follows:


“And to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.” (Ephesians 5:27, New International Version)
A Radiant Church

The Church of Christ is described as a "radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any blemish, but holy and blameless." Hence, the Iglesia Ni Cristo molds its members toward perfect unity of faith and practice, that each one will be devoted to a life of holiness and service founded on true Christian teaching.


A “Filipino Church”?

Many call the iglesia ni Cristo “a Filipino Church.” However, the Church of Christ is a church for every one who will heed the call of God and embrace its faith — regardless of his or her nationality, cultural background, social standing, economic status, and educational attainment. The truth is, today, the membership of the Iglesia Ni Cristo comprises at least 110 nationalities.

Some of themembers of the Iglesia Ni Cristo from different parts of the world,
from different nationalities



Not Founded by Brother Felix Y. Manalo

The faithful firmly believe that this Church is the fulfillment of biblical prophecies that the Church established by Christ would re-emerge in these last days for the salvation of humankind. We firmly believe that it is the Lord Jesus Christ who founded the Iglesia Ni Cristo through biblical prophecies, and not Brother Felix Y. Manalo.

For us, the Lord Jesus Christ is the greatest messenger of God, and the founder, the redeemer, the head and the Savior of the Church.




THE ORGANIZATION AND ADMINISTRATION 
OF THE CHURCH OF CHRIST

The Church has a centralized administration since her beginning. The office of the general administrator of the Church is called “Executive Minister” (“Tagapamahalang Pangkalahatan”). However, the Central Administration of the Church is consists of the Executive Minister, General Evangelist, General Secretary, General Treasurer, General Auditor, and other heads of the Church’s departments (The By-;aws of the Iglesia Ni Cristo).


Brother Felix Y. Manalo, 1914-1963

The first Executive Minister of the Iglesia Ni Cristo was the late Brother Felix Y. Manalo, assuming the office from 1914 to 1963.

Brother Felix Y. Manalo
The First Executive Minister of the Iglesia Ni Cristo
1914-1963
Brother Felix Y. Manalo was born on May 10, 1886 at Tipas, Taguig. In 1899, he was adopted by his uncle, Mariano de Borja, a Roman Catholic priest, who during that time was assigned in Sta. Cruz, Manila. It was there at his uncle's house in Sta. Cruz where he found a copy of the Bible and since then, he immersed himself in the study of the Scriptures. After seeing that the Roman Catholic Church is not teaching what are written in the Bible, he decided to leave that church. In December, 1902, he left his uncle's house and went back to Tipas. After leaving the Catholic Church, Brother Manalo undergone an intensive investigation of different religions: Colorum, April, 1903; Methodist Episcopal Church, 1904-1905; Presbyterian Church, 1905-1909; Disciples of Christ, 1909-1911; and Seventh-Day Adventist  Church, 1911-1913. God made known to him his divine mission to preached the Iglesia Ni Cristo on November, 1913, when for "two days and three nights" he immersed himself in an intense study of the Bible.

Immediately after the "Two Days and Three Nights" experience, he begun his mission of preaching the Church Of Christ. He first preached the Iglesia Ni Cristo to a handful of people in Punta, Sta. Ana, Manila. The Church was registered to the Philippine government in July 27, 1914, which is also the offcial establishment of the Iglesia Ni Cristo in the Philippines. After 49 years of stewardship, the Church grew "from one to millions." In 1963, the year of his death, the Church already established ecclesiastical districts (roughly equivalent of "diocese") in almost all provinces of the Philippines. Brother Felix Y. Manalo died in April 12, 1963. He was succeeded by his son, Brother Erano G. Manalo.


Brother Eraño G. Manalo, 1963-2009

Unknown to many, especially those non-members of the Church, after Brother Felix Y. Manalo, the Executive Minister of the Iglesia Ni Cristo is ELECTED as mandated by the By-Laws of the Church. Brother Eraño G. Manalo was elected to assume the office of the Execuitive Minister at the death of Brother Felix Y. Manalo in an election held at F. Manalo House of Worship in San Juan, Metro Manila, on January, 1953. Thus, he was prepared for ten years before he assumed the office of the Executive Minister at the passing of his father, Brother Felix Y. Manalo, in April, 1963. He became the Executive Minister of the Iglesia Ni Cristo from 1963 to 2009.

Brother Eraño G. Manalo
The Second Executive Minister of the Iglesia Ni Cristo
963-2009
Brother Eraño G. Manalo ("Ka Erdy") was born on January 2, 1925. He was the fifth child of brother Felix Y. Manalo and siter Honorata de Guzman-Manalo. He was personally trained and tutored by his father. He studied Law,  but because of the intense need of the Church for workers during that time, he left his studies and entered the ministry. He was ordained as a minister of the Gospel on May 10, 1947. In January, 1953, he was elected to be the successor of Brother Felix Y. Manalo, to be the next Executive Minister of the Iglesia Ni Cristo. Brother Erano assumed office as the Executive Minister of the Iglesia Ni Cristo on April 23, 1963. During his stewardship, the number of the ecclesiastical districts and locale congregations doubled (in 1963, there were only 2,000 locale congregations throughout the Philippines, but in 2009, there were more than 4,000 locale congregations throughout the Philippines and 500 throughout the world). In 1963, there were only 900 ordained ministers, but in 1974 there were 1,900 and in 2009 there were more than 4,000. The Church reached West in 1968 and since then spread throughout the world like a wildfire. He also established the College of Evangelical Ministry, New Era University, and New Era General Hospital. The Central office, the Central temple and the Tabernacle (a multi-purpose building) were built also during his stewardship.


Brother Eduardo V. Manalo, 2009-Presnt

"Ka Erdy" served as the Executive Minister of the Iglesia Ni Cristo from 1963 to 2009 (46 years in office). When Brother Eraño G. Manalo died on August 31, 2009, his son, Brother Eduardo V. Manalo, succeeded him as the third Executive Minister of the Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church of Christ).


Brother Eduardo V. Manalo
The Present Executive Minister of the Iglesia Ni Cristo
2009-Presnt

Brother Eduardo V. Manalo was elected as Deputy Executive Minister and to be the next Executive Minister of the Church in an election held in May 6, 1994. He was prepared for 15 years to be the next Executive Minister of the Iglesia Ni Cristo. He was born on October 31, 1955, the eldest child of Brother Eraño G. Manalo and Sister Cristina Villanueva-Manalo. Finished AB Philosophy at the University of the Philippines, Bachelor of Evangelical Ministry at the College of the Evangelical Ministry, and his Masters and doctoral degrees at New Era University. He became Dean of the College of Evangelical Ministry before he became the Supervising Minister of the Metro Manila district. He served as Deputy Executive Minister of the Iglesia Ni Cristo for 15 years (1994-2009) before he assumed the office of the Executive Minister of the Church in September, 2009.




The Central Office of the Church

The Cenral Office of the Iglesia Ni Cristo is located at No. 1 Central Avenue, New Era, Quezon City Philippines. Many “outsiders” thought that the Central Office is also the resident of the Executive Minister (like the White Gouse which is not only the office of the U.S. president, but also his official residence). The Central Office is the office building housing the office of the Executive Minister and other offices or departments that administer the whole Church worldwide, but it is not the residence of the Executive Minister of the Church.
Iglesia ni Cristo Central Office
New Era, Quezon City, Philippines
The Executive Minister of the Iglesia Ni Cristo is not the owner of the properties of the Church, but only the administrator (Iglesia Ni Cristo Articles of Incorporation, dated 27 July 1914). All the properties of the Church must be in the name of the Church (Ibid.). The buying, selling and disposal of properties are decided through the Economic Council of the Church consists of the Executive Minister, General Evangelist, General Secretary, General Treasurer, General Auditor, and the District Supervising Ministers (By-Laws of the Iglesia ni Cristo). The current General Evangelist is brother Bienvenido C. Manalo, the Genereal Secretary is brother Radel G. Cortez, the General Treasurer is brother Ernesto Suratos, and the General Auditor is brother Glicerio B. Santos, Jr. They are not related to brother Eduardo V. Manalo.

The Executive Minister administers the whole Church through the “District Supervising Ministers.” As of this date, there are more than 100 ecclesiastical districts worldwide. Every ecclesiastical districts are comprised of local congregations, administer by a resident minister and the Locale Leadership.


IGLESIA NI CRISTO IS NOW A GLOBAL CHURCH

Today, the membership of the Iglesia Ni Cristo comprises at least 110 nationalities. It maintains more than 100 ecclesiastical districts in the Philippines and more than 20 ecclesiastical districts worldwide. The Iglesia Ni Cristo already gain foothold in 100 more countries and territories in the six inhabited continents of the world. The Church have more than 5,000 local congregations throughout the Philippines and 1,000 local congregations, extensions and group worship services outside the Philippines.

Please learn more about the Iglesia Ni Cristo and 
learn the whole truth about this Church


Note: Pictures used in this article are owned and courtesy of the Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church of Christ) published in GOD'S MESSAGE (PASUGO) Magazine (the offcial magazine of the Iglesia Ni Cristo).


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