Confession of a Former Anglican Priest:
“WHY I JOINED THE IGLESIA NI CRISTO”
By Innocent E. Okekeh,
A Former Anglican Priest
“So why did I leave my former church and join the Iglesia Ni Cristo? First, I was spiritually convinced that the Iglesia Ni Cristo is the only one true church. It does not hide the truth. It does not add or subtract teachings from the Bible. It is not a church wherein doctrines and practices are a mixture of beliefs where anything can go in. The Iglesia Ni Cristo is unique, the only church I have seen in my life that is truly biblical.”
IT WAS IN the course of my studies in the Philippines from 1974-1984—during which I earned Bachelor of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary (1978); Master of Arts in Education at the Philippine Christian University (1980); Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Management in Centro Escolar University (1983)—when I began attending worship services of the Iglesia Ni Cristo in places like Sampaloc, Manila and Cavite. I did it on my own volition. Nobody in or outside the Philippines coerced, compelled or even introduced me to the Iglesia Ni Cristo.
So why did I leave my former church and join the Iglesia Ni Cristo? First, I was spiritually convinced that the Iglesia Ni Cristo is the only one true church. It does not hide the truth. It does not add or subtract teachings from the Bible. It is not a church wherein doctrines and practices are a mixture of beliefs where anything can go in. The Iglesia Ni Cristo is unique, the only church I have seen in my life that is truly biblical. However, one thing that I have noticed in the Iglesia Ni Cristo is that there is no discrimination among themselves, even among ministers, and among the foreigners, that is why they have houses of worship and congregations even in many African countries including Nigeria.
I also noticed that the worship service of this church is free from showmanship. The method of worship and thanksgiving is very orderly. Each member is well taken care and if any would fail to attend the worship service, he is visited by his overseer. Pastoral visits are widely practiced, starting from the district minister down to local officers.
The Iglesia Ni Cristo does not worship idols or graven images. There is nothing like human tradition imposed in worship. During worship services, members participate actively in singing holy hymns, respond in prayers, listen attentively to the sermon, and voluntary give offerings. The whole worship service up to the time of dismissal is short but sufficient unlike in other churches where people stay from 8 am to 2 pm, which is very noticeable in some so-called evangelical churches causing complaints from their members.
Another reason why I left the Anglican Church is because of its tolerance of unbiblical practices like divorce, consecration of women as priests, and same-sex marriage. Moreover, the political problems and disunity I observe in my former church are very discouraging.
One major component of my conversion to the Iglesia Ni Cristo is its clear and precise doctrines regarding the true nature of God and Jesus Christ. Unlike other churches that have confusing doctrines such as the trinity, the Iglesia Ni Cristo upholds these biblical truths. God is Spirit in His state of being, which means that He has no flesh and bones; Christ is man in His state of being, meaning He has flesh and bones; God is immortal, while Christ experienced death, the cessation of breath; God has no beginning, while Christ came from God; God does not recognize any other God besides Himself, while Christ recognizes the only true God as His God; God does not get tired or weary, while Christ got tired; and finally, God is not born of any woman but Christ was born of a woman and He cannot perform anything without the Almighty God empowering or enabling Him.
I hope I have shared enough of my testimony so that the readers, who are not yet members of the Iglesia Ni Cristo, would also join this Church like what I did.