WHO IS TAKING THE SIDE OF THE OPPRESSORS?
The website Rappler,com published an article written by a “girl” claiming to be a member of the Church and a daughter of a minister “questioning the Iglesia Ni Cristo.”
This “girl” claims that the Church is taking the side of the oppressors (the greedy corporations who operate inhuman policies):
“Since our primary concern is the good of the church and not of the people in general, an apathetic attitude towards social issues is fostered among members.
“We’re prohibited to participate in any form of social mobilization or unions because it’s against the unity of the church, even if such actions addresses concerns that directly affect the welfare of members.
“Greedy corporations who operate inhuman policies are fortunate as INC members are willing allied to preserve an unfair system. We abstain claiming accountability from power-holders in the name of ‘peace.’ – a peace that is oblivious of its implications.
“Yes, we’re an obedient flock of docile sheep but we’re also subtle criminals and dignified perpetrators of injustices against our fellowmen. With brilliant pride we take the side of the oppressors.”
This “girl” further claims the following:
“INC’s brand of humanitarianism does not involve championing the interest and welfare of the poor by addressing root causes of social issues...
“The public witnessed INC’s power to amass more than a million people in its administrations’ behest. If the church could use its clout to truly help the nation by addressing long term needs and root causes of perennial social issues – such as lobbying and supporting genuine agrarian reform, a fair wage and other issues that affect the marginalized majority, where many of its own members come from, we shall contribute to societal change.”
She even went further in accusing the Church as “responsible for reinforcing structures that sustain poverty”:
“What became unbearable is having my consciousness raised about the multi-dimensional causes of poverty. I cannot unlearn what I know now - that the terrible social realities we dismiss right before our eyes as normal is caused by injustice from existing power structures in society.
“It was alarming for I was undeniably guilty of being part of a church responsible for reinforcing structures that sustain poverty through our social attitude and practice of ‘unity.’...
“We show power in numbers through bloc-voting and secure key positions in the government in order to protect the interests of the church, never mind whether it’s a corrupt official as long as the church is secured. This is why INC was indifferent during the People Power I despite all the atrocious harm done towards the Filipino people - all because we allied with former president Ferdinand Marcos, the dictator.”
This person who introduced herself as "Malaya Dela Cruz" claims to be a member of the Iglesia Ni Cristo and even went further in claiming she is a “daughter of a minister.” However, her words show that she is not a member of the Church for she doesn’t know the history, system, policies and basic doctrines of the Church.
(1) The “unity” of the Church has nothing to do with poverty of our nation. There are countries without the Church which are poorer and more corrupt that our country, and there are countries that the Church is well-rooted but enjoys progress and wealth.
This girl claims that the Church is “responsible for reinforcing structures that sustain poverty” in our nation. She said, “It was alarming for I was undeniably guilty of being part of a church responsible for reinforcing structures that sustain poverty through our social attitude and practice of ‘unity.’”
However, it is a fact that there are countries that the church has no congregation or has an irrelevant number of members but poorer than the Philippines.
(2) It is wrong to blame the Church and her unity on the country’s situation of stricken with corrupt officials.
She claims that “We show power in numbers through bloc-voting and secure key positions in the government in order to protect the interests of the church, never mind whether it’s a corrupt official as long as the church is secured...” Her words claim that all those supported by the Church through bloc-voting are corrupt, and that even though they are corrupt they were supported by the Church.
Are all supported by the Church through bloc-voting corrupt officials? If so, then this “girl” accusing PNoy as being corrupt. It is a fact that not all officials in the government are corrupt and many of them were also supported by the Church during last elections.
How about those government officials who were accused of corruptions who were supported by the Church during the last election? Take note that they are accused of corruption during their “term” (after they were elected, not before they were elected). Why blame the Church for the actions of these officials after they were elected? And also take note that these officials are also supported by “others,” thus, if so, why blame only the Church? THOSE WHO ELECTED THOSE OFFICIALS ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE OR TO BE BLAME FOR THE CORRUPTION DONE BY THESE OFFICIALS DURING THEIR TERM (OR AFTER THEY WERE ELECTED). If an elected government official made corruption during his/her term (after he/she was elected), it is not the fault of the people who elected him/her, but that this official betrayed the trust of those who elected him/her.
The Church never supported any candidates who were CONVICTED of corruption before election. Remember that a person is innocent until proven guilty.
Marcos? Isn’t that many people today are saying that our life and our country is much better during Marcos’ time? If the country is much better that Marcos’ time, and the Church supported Marcos, so who is “responsible for reinforcing structures that sustain poverty” in our country today?
(3) Members of the Church Of Christ are prohibited to participate in any form of social mobilization or actions that is against the law, that provokes violence, and that will endanger the life of the participants. This is the reason why we are prohibited to take part in the protest rally of militant groups, leftists, etc. Although these groups claim that their actions concerns the welfare of the people, but their “actions” are not the only way to champion the welfare of the people.
In her words it seems that this girl wanted the Church to participate in all social mobilization and actions if it concerns the welfare of the people. She said, “We’re prohibited to participate in any form of social mobilization or unions because it’s against the unity of the church, even if such actions addresses concerns that directly affect the welfare of members.” However, the policy of the Iglesia Ni Cristo regarding this matter was already stated that Members of the Church Of Christ are prohibited to participate in any form of social mobilization or actions that is against the law, that provokes violence, and that will endanger the life of the participants. This Church’s policy is well known to all members of the Church. This only shows that this “girl” is not a true member of the Church.
(4) The Iglesia Ni Cristo members are prohibited to join unions ("labor unions") not because “it’s against the unity of the church” as this “girl” claims, but because the Church itself is our “union.” This is taught in the Studies of the Fundamental Doctrines of the Bible (pagdudoktrina). This again shows that this “girl” who claims to be a daughter of a minister lack knowledge of the basic doctrines and policies of the Church, proving that she was not a true member of the Church.
This “girl” wanted to make her readers to believe that that the Iglesia Ni Cristo doesn’t make any actions when members are treated inhumanly by “greedy corporations.” This is a malicious and baseless accusation against the Church.
When the members of the Church were treated unfairly by the Labor Union and the management of the Hacienda Luisita in 1964, the Church filed a case in court. The Church Administration provided them lawyers and even supported them in their daily needs. When the situation worsened, the Church Administration established a housing and livelihood project for them, thus the establishment of the Barrio Maligaya Community Project in Laur, Nueva Ecija.
There was a case when a mall mistreated their employees who are members of the Church, thus the Church warned the management of the mall that we are going to file a case in the court if they will not stop the mistreatment of the members of the Church. Eventually, the management of the mall stopped the mistreatment of the members of the Church.
Also a manifestation of the Church’s concern for the welfare of the members are the hundreds of “labor cases” handled by the Legal Department of the Church to help and give free legal aid to members having labor disputes with their employers. Members of the Iglesia Ni Cristo know this fact, but this “girl” who claims to be a member of the Church and a daughter of a minister doesn’t know this?
(5) The Church has done her share in fighting for the welfare of the people. The Church is known for taking actions to fight for the welfare of the people.
History attests that it was the Church Of Christ the first to opposed Marcos when he declared Martial Law in 1971. The central Office of the Church f Christ was even attacked by the military days after Martial law was declared. The Church even sponsored a protest rally against Martial Law.
In 1991, the Church called for a rollback on the prices of gasoline. An action never done by any religious groups.
Look at the history and you will see that the Iglesia Ni Cristo made many actions fighting for the cause and welfare of the people on her OWN WAY.
(6) The Church Of Christ is a “Church” and not a “militant group.” Throughout her history, the Church made many actions concerning the welfare of the public, the welfare of the nation. However, the “actions” of the Church regarding this matter has limitations. Even the nation’s constitution is explicit in the “limitations” of the Church by providing the policy of the separation of the Church and state.
The Church is a religion, so why question the Church if she mainly focuses on religious matters? The Church’s primary purpose is to serve and glorify God, so why question the Church if she focuses largely her attention and resources on religious matters and only a part on social matters?
In her words, this “girl” seems she wanted the Church to make “mass actions” to address the “root causes of perennial social issues.” She said,“The public witnessed INC’s power to amass more than a million people in its administrations’ behest. If the church could use its clout to truly help the nation by addressing long term needs and root causes of perennial social issues.” Just as what we have pointed earlier, DOES THIS “ACTION” THIS GIRL WANTED THE CHURCH TO ENGAGED IN THE ONLY WAY TO SOLVE “THE ROOT CAUSES OF PERENNIAL SOCIAL ISSUES”?
The Church mobilized millions of her members in peaceful events like Lingap, Pamamahayag, and Tanging Pagsamba. But what this “girl” wanted the Church to engage in is in social protests, strikes, and rallies. Remember, the policy of the Church is “prohibiting to participate in any form of social mobilization or actions that is against the law, that provokes violence, and that will endanger the life of the participants.” Again, I will repeat, this so-called “social actions” this “girl” wanted the Church to engage in are not the only way (it is not even the most effective way) to gain social reform and solve social problems. There are other ways (peaceful, much effective and productive).
We have seen what happened to other countries. Did social mobilization (protest rallies and strikes) solve the social problems of their countries?
The Church has its own share or part in solving social issues, and the Church has its own way or policies in solving such issues. No man can dictates the "actions" of the Church, but it is the Bible, it is God’s words that dictate the "actions" of the Church.
Proverbs 1:15-19 LB
“Don't do it, son! Stay far from men like that, for crime is their way of life, and murder is their specialty. When a bird sees a trap being set, it stays away, but not these men; they trap themselves! They lay a booby trap for their own lives. Such is the fate of all who live by violence and murder. They will die a violent death.”
Psalms 1:1-6 NKJV
“Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper. 4The ungodly are not so, But are like the chaff which the wind drives away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. 6For the LORD knows the way of the righteous, But the way of the ungodly shall perish.”
Personally, I think this girl’s artcile published in the internet by rappler.com is libelous.