Iglesia ni Cristo
|Seal of the Iglesia ni Cristo|
|Leader||Eduardo V. Manalo(Executive Minister)|
|Geographical areas||112 nations/territories|
|Headquarters||No. 1 Central Avenue, New Era,Quezon City, Philippines|
|Founder||Felix Y. Manalo(as the registrant for the Philippine Government)|
|Origin||July 27, 1914 (registration in Philippine Government)|
|Congregations||5,600 as of 2009|
|Members||10 million as of 1996|
|Ministers||7,205 as of 2009|
Felix Y. Manalo Foundation
Lingap sa Mamamayan (Aid for Humanity)
INC Giving Project
Kabayan ko Kapatid ko
English: Church of Christ,
Spanish: Iglesia de Cristo
German: Kirche Christi
French:Eglise du Christ
Iglesia ni Cristo (pronounced [ɪˈgleʃɐ ni ˈkɾisto]; English: Church of Christ; abbreviated as INC) describes itself as an independent Christian religion. The church stresses its independence, saying that it is not a denomination or sect of any of the major groupings and is neither affiliated to any federation of religious bodies, nor itself an assembly of smaller religious organizations. Other sources call it the largest entirely indigenous Christian denomination in the Philippines, the largest religious organization that originated in the Philippine Islands, and also the largest independent Christian church in Asia. It has also been cited as one of the largest and most powerful churches in the developing world. INC is also one of the largest religious bodies of the world with 27 million adherents. Due to a number of similarities, some Protestant writers describe the INC's doctrines as restorationist in outlook and theme. INC, however, does not consider itself to be part of the Restoration Movement, which it considers as the "children" of the apostate Roman Catholic Church.
Iglesia ni Cristo believes that it is the true church established by Jesus Christ in the first century, and that its registration in the Philippines is the fulfillment of bible prophesies that Jesus Christ's church would re-emerge in the Far East.
Felix Y. Manalo officially registered the church with the Philippine Government on July 27, 1914 and because of this, most publications refer to him as the "founder" of the church.However, the official doctrines of the church profess that Christ is the founder of the INC and that Felix Y. Manalo was the last messenger, sent by God to re-establish the Christian Church to its true, pristine form because the original church was apostatized. INC teaches that the apostate church is the Roman Catholic Church, and proclaims that Catholic beliefs shared by most Christians, such as the Trinity are proof of this apostasy. The church teaches that the Trinity and the divinity of Jesus and of the Holy Spirit are not biblical. As of 2013, the Executive Minister of Iglesia ni Cristo is Eduardo V. Manalo, the grandson of Felix Manalo.
The historical context of the Iglesia ni Cristo lies in a period of the early 20th century characterised by a variety of rural anti-colonialism movements, often with religious undertones, in the Philippines. United States missionary work was exposing Filipino culture to many alternatives to the Roman Catholic Church, which had been installed under Spanish rule. Some observers see the INC as an aggressive, materially successful, indigenous movement which became a major religious movement in only a period of fifty years. Some believe the success of the INC is attributed primarily to its leadership. However, the members of the Igelsia Ni Cristo have full belief that the success of the church is the work and guidance of God.
Felix Manalo Administration 1913 - 1963Edit
Felix Manalo, born on May 10, 1886 in Taguig, Philippines, was baptized a Roman Catholic. In his teenage years, Manalo became dissatisfied with Roman Catholic theology. According to theNational Historical Commission of the Philippines, the establishment of the Philippine Independent Church or the Aglipayan Church was his major turning point but Manalo remained uninterested since its doctrines were mainly Catholic. He started seeking through various denominations, including the Seventh-day Adventist Church. In 1904, he joined the Methodist Episcopal Church, entered the Methodist seminary, and became a pastor for a while. Manalo left the Methodist church in 1913, and associated himself with atheist and agnostic peers.
On November 1913, Manalo secluded himself with religious literature and unused notebooks in a friend's house in Pasay, instructing everyone in the house not to disturb him. He emerged from seclusion three days later with his new-found doctrines.
In 1922, the INC's first schism, led by Teofilo Ora, one of INC's first ministers, resulted in the loss of several congregations, along with their church buildings, in Bulacan and Nueva Ecija. Ora founded Iglesia Verdadero de Cristo which was later changed to Iglesia ng Dios kay Kristo Hesus. Manalo, together with his wife, went to Punta, Santa Ana, Manila on November 1913, and started preaching. He left the congregation in the care of his first ordained minister, and returned to Taguig to evangelize. In Taguig, he was ridiculed and stoned in his meetings with locals. He was later able to baptize a few converts, including some of his persecutors. He later registered his new-found religion as the Iglesia ni Cristo (English: Church of Christ; Spanish: Iglesia de Cristo) on July 27, 1914 at the Bureau of Commerce as a corporation sole with himself as the first executive minister. Expansion follo
wed as INC started building congregations in the provinces in 1916. The first three ministers were ordained in 1919.
By 1924, the INC had about 3,000 to 5,000 adherents in 43 or 45 congregations in Manila and six nearby provinces. By 1936, the INC had 85,000 members. This figure grew to 200,000 by 1954. A Cebucongregation was built in 1937—the first to be established outside of Luzon, and the first in the Visayas. The firstmission to Mindanao was commissioned in 1946. Meanwhile, its first concrete chapel was built in Sampaloc, Manila in 1948. Adherents fleeing for the provinces away from Manila, where the Japanese forces were concentrated during the World War II, were used for evangelization. As Manalo's health began to fail in the 1950s, Eraño Manalo started to take leadership of the church. Felix Manalo died on April 12, 1963. Within the span of 49 years of Felix Manalo's administration, the Iglesia ni Cristo had 1,250 local chapels, and 35 large concrete cathedrals. Felix Y. Manalo was a recognized and highly respected religious leader of the Philippines.
Eraño Manalo Administration 1963 - 2009Edit
The first overseas INC mission was sent in 1968 on its 54th anniversary. On July 27, 1968, Executive Minister Eraño G. Manalo, officiated at the first worship service of the church outside the Philippines. This gathering held in Ewa Beach, Honolulu, Hawaii marked the establishment of the Honolulu congregation, the first overseas mission of the church. The following month, the Executive Minister was in California to establish the San Francisco congregation and lead its inaugural worship service. In 1971, the church set foot in Canada. In June 1987, the US Main Office (USMO) was set up in Daly City, California to assist the INC central administration in supervising the then 11 districts of the church in the West. The first local congregation in Latin America was established in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba in 1990. The following year, the church reached Mexico and Aruba. From 2000 and beyond, congregations rose in the Central and South American countries. The first local congregation in Europe was established in England in 1972. The church came to Germany and Switzerland in the mid-70s. By the end of the 1980s, congregations and missions could be found in the Scandinavian countries and their neighbors. The Rome, Italy congregation was established on July 27, 1994; the Jerusalem, Israel congregation in March 1996; and the Athens, Greece congregation in May 1997. The predecessors (prayer groups) of these full-fledged congregations began two decades earlier. Meanwhile, the mission first reached Spain in 1979. The first mission in northern Africa opened in Nigeria in October 1978. After a month, the King William’s Town congregation, in South Africa was established. A congregation was organized in Guam in 1969. In Australia, congregations have been established since mid-1970s. The church first reached China by way of Hong Kong, and Japanthrough Tokyo also in the 1970s. Missions have also opened in Kazakhstan and Sakhalin Island in Russia. In Southeast Asia, the first congregation in Thailand was established in 1976 and missions have already been conducted in Brunei since 1979. In addition, there are also congregations in Vietnam, Indonesia, Singapore, and Malaysia. The INC started operating a radio stationin 1969. The Ministerial Institute of Development, currently the New Era University College of Evangelical Ministry, was founded in 1974 in Quiapo, Manila. It moved to its current location in Quezon City in 1978. As of 1995, it had 4,500 students and five extension schools in Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Pampanga and Rizal. In 1971, the INC Central Office building was built in Quezon City. Fifteen years later, the Central Temple was added in the complex. The Tabernacle, a tent-like multipurpose building which can accommodate up to 4,000 persons, was finished in 1989. The complex also includes the New Era University, a higher-education institution run by the INC. Eraño Manalo died on August 31, 2009.His son, Eduardo V. Manalo, succeeded him as executive minister upon his death.
Eduardo Manalo Administration 2009 - PresentEditOn August 17, 2011, INC led the groundbreaking of the Philippine Arena- on a 75-hectare field straddling Bocaue and Sta. Maria, Bulacan. The 55,000-seater multi-purpose structure, touted to become the world's largest indoor domed arena (by seating capacity), is expected to be completed in time for the INC's centennial celebration in July 2014. Other major projects of the church as part of its centennial celebration are the EVM Convention Center and Iglesia Ni Cristo Museum along Central Avenue, Quezon City, the Legal Department Building and the INC Media Center Building inside the INC Central Office Complex in Quezon City, the 20,000 seat Philippine Stadium, and the Philippine Sports Center. In that area now called Ciudad de Victoria (City of Victory) will also rise the 600-bed capacity EGM Medical Center and the New Era University- Bocaue Campus. One of the most significant of these "centennial projects" is the new College of Evangelical Ministry being constructed along Central Avenue. Three levels higher and more than double the floor space of its fo
ur-story predecessor. Eduardo Manalo has ordained 1,620 new ministers within the span of his three-year administration.
In September 2011 the INC bought 59 parcels of land in Scenic, South Dakota for approximately $700,000. Scenic is a ghost town in western South Dakota. No plans for the land have been revealed by the church.
On February 28, 2012 the Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) held simultaneous Grand Evangelical Missions (GEM) across the Philippines. According to the Philippine Daily Inquirer, a prayer rally held in conjunction with the event was intended to be a rebuke to President Noynoy Aquino and they quote an insider of the INC as saying the rally was a “show of force to deliver a strong message” against perceived mistreatment against INC members from the Aquino administration.
On November 27, 2012, the grand press launch for Ang Sugo: The Last Messenger was held at the Quezon City Sports Club, a film dramatizing the life of Felix Ysagun Manalo, and the growth of the Iglesia Ni Cristo to be released in 2014 in conjunction with the INC centennial. It is scheduled to be the largest and the most expensive movie in the history of the Philippine movie industry with over a US$7.5 million budget appointed for the production.
Administration and OrganizationEdit
|Iglesia ni Cristo Executive Ministers|
|Name||Tenure of office|
|Felix Y. Manalo||July 27, 1914 – April 12, 1963|
|Eraño G. Manalo||April 23, 1963 – August 31, 2009|
|Eduardo V. Manalo||September 8, 2009 – present|
Iglesia ni Cristo has had three executive ministers (Tagalog: Tagapamahalang Pangkalahatan), that lead the church administration in overseeing the faith of the brethren. Eduardo V. Manalo, as the current executive minister, serves as the church's leader, and, in this capacity, manages the administration of the church. Along with the deputy executive minister and other senior ministers, the executive minister forms the Central Administration of Iglesia ni Cristo. All church ministers are male, however, there are a large number of female church officials. Ministers are encouraged to marry for the purpose of obeying the command to marry and multiply
The Central Office in Quezon City is Iglesia ni Cristo's headquarters. The central office is one of several structures inside the central office complex. It houses the permanent offices of the central administration and most of the church's departments. It is here where about a thousand INC professionals and volunteers hold office. Built in 1971 for US$473 thousand or ₱22 million. It has a cinema and theater, canteen and social halls. The building is currently estimated to be worth US$21 million or ₱1 billion. It was formerly located in Manila during its early years, then in San Juan, and later in Makati before moving to its present site. It houses the offices of INC's administration. Administration and ministerial work are delegated into ecclesiastical districts (termed divisions prior to 1990) which are led by district ministers (formerly, division ministers). Ecclesiastical districts comprise 30 to 120 congregations (referred to as locales) on average. The ecclesiastical district's range is generally a single province of the Philippines; however, populous provinces often have more than one ecclesiastical district. There were about 5,000 Iglesia ni Cristo locales in 96 countries in 2008. 200 of these congregations, including 150 in 39 U.S. states, were outside the Philippines in 2001. All locales were directly managed by Felix Manalo until 1924 when the first ecclesiastical district was organized in Pampanga.
Iglesia ni Cristo church buildings primarily serve as places of worship and are used for other religious functions. These are described by Culture and customs of the Philippines, a book published by Greenwood Publishing Group, as structures "which employ exterior neo-Gothic vertical support columns with tall narrow windows between, interlocking trapezoids, and rosette motifs, as well as to wer and spires." There are multiple entrances leading to the main sanctuary, where males and females sit on either side of the aisle facing a dais where sermons are made. The choir loft is located behind the dais, and in larger churches, baptistry pools for immersion baptism are located at the back of the church. Meanwhile, Fernando Nakpil-Zialcita, an anthropologist from Ateneo de Manila University, said that INC churches can be uniquely identified for "its exuberant use of fanciful forms and ornaments [and a] brilliant white facade whose silhouette is a cusped Gothic arch or a flattened Saracenic arch." The distinctive spires represent "the reaching out of the faithful to God." Churches were started to be built in this style during the late 1940s and early 1950s with the first concrete chapel built in Sampaloc, Manila in 1948.
The Central Temple which opened in July 27, 1989 can accommodate up to 40,000 persons, and cost about US$2 million and considered to be the world's third-largest church. The Central Temple features octagonal spires, "fine latticework" and ribbed windows. Recent buildings are variations of Carlos A. Santos-Viola's designs on the Central Temple. These are designed to accommodate 250 to 1,000 persons while larger churches in Metro Manila and provincial capitals can accommodate up to 3,000 persons. Prominent architects, such as Juan Nakpil (a National Artist of the Philippines for architecture) and Carlos Raúl Villanueva, had been involved in designing INC churches while the Engineering and Construction Department of INC, established in 1971, oversees the uniformity in design of church buildings.
The Iglesia ni Cristo holds beliefs that run contrary and at odds to many Christian professing religions. Some observers describe these beliefs as unique and distinct making it different from what is generally known as traditional Christianity. Doctrines such as the denial of the trinity and the necessity of membership in the Church for salvation are just a few examples of what sets the Iglesia ni Cristo apart from the major Christian religions of today.
INC believes that it is the true church established by Jesus Christ in the first century, and that its registration in the Philippines is the fulfillment of bible prophesies that Jesus Christ's church would re-emerge in the Far East.
Due to a number of similarities, some Protestant writers describe the INC's doctrines as restorationist in outlook and theme. INC, however, does not consider itself to be part of the Restoration Movement nor any external religious organization. The Iglesia ni Cristo deems Christian religious organizations outside the INC to be "children" of the "apostate" Roman Catholic Church.
The church stresses its independence, saying that it is not a denomination or sect of any of the major groupings and is neither affiliated to any federation of religious bodies, nor itself an assembly of smaller religious organizations.
“We believe that the Bible is the word of God and the sole basis of our faith and service to God”
The Alimighty God committed His words in writing (cf. Jer. 30:2). The collections of inspired books where the words of God are written is called the “Holy Scriptures” by the apostles (cf. II Tim. 3:15). All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching the truth, rebuking error, correcting faults, and giving instruction for right living (cf. II Tim. 3:16-17 TEV), and also, the Holy Scriptures are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation (cf. II Tim. 3:17, TEV). Thus, according to the apostles:
“Now, brothers, I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, so that you may learn from us the meaning of the saying, ‘Do not go beyond what is written…” (I Corinthians 4:6 NIV, emphasis mine)
Because the Bible is the sole basis of our faith, we reject teachings not written in the Bible (e.g. Chrismas, Purgatory, Trinity, etc.) and other basis of faith (e.g. Catechism, Book of Mormons, Apocrypha, etc.).
We believe that there is only one true God, the Father, and no one else besides Him”
Because the Bible is the sole basis of the teachings of the Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church Of Christ), thus we uphold the teachings of the prophets, the apostles and the Lord Jesus Christ that THERE IS ONLY ONE TRUE GOD, THE FATHER” (cf. Mal. 2:10; Is. 64:8; I Cor. 8:6; John 17:1, 4). The Lord God Himself said:
“Do not tremble, do not be afraid. Did I not proclaim this and foretell it long ago? You are my witnesses. Is there any God besides me? No, there is no other Rock; I know not one." (Isaiah 44:8 NIV)
Thus, because we firmly uphold the biblical teaching that there is only one true God, the Father, and no one else besides Him, we reject the unbiblical teaching that there are three person in one God – that aside from God the father, there is God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.
“We believe in Jesus Christ and accept Him as the Son of God, Lord, Savior, and the Mediator between God and Man”
We accept Jesus Christ as the Son of God:
“And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, heard his cry and saw how he died, he said, ‘Surely this man was the Son of God!’” (Mark 15:39, NIV, emphasis mine).
We accept Jesus Christ as our Lord:
“So, all the people of Israel should know this truly: God has made Jesus — the man you nailed to the cross — both Lord and Christ.” (Acts 2:36, New Century Version, emphasis mine)
We accept Jesus Christ as our Savior:
“The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom you had murdered by hanging Him on a tree. God exalted this man to His right hand as ruler and Savior, to grant repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.” (Acts 5:30-31, Holman Christian Standard Bible, emphasis mine)
We accept Jesus Christ as the Mediator between man and the one true God:
“For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (I Timothy 2:5, NIV, emphasis mine)
Because we believe that there is only one true God, the Father, thus, Jesus is not the true God, but the Son of the one true God. The Lord Jesus Christ Himself attests that He is indeed a man in nature:
“As it is, you are determined to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. Abraham did not do such things.” (John 8:40 NIV, emphasis mine).
Thus, we reject the teaching that Christ is God
“We believe that the Holy Spirit is the power that sent by the Father in the name of Christ”
We believe that the Holy Spirit is the power (cf. Acts 1:8, TEV) sent by the Father in the name of Christ, to teach and remind His messengers of all things that Christ said (cf. Jn. 14:26), to help us in our weaknesses and infirmities (cf.Jn. 15:26; Rom. 8:26).The Holy Spirit strengthens, edifies, and comforts the Church of Christ (cf. Eph. 3:16-17; Jn. 14:26). And though the Holy Spirit is a spirit, but the Scriptures never refer to it as “God the Holy Spirit” because the Holy Spirit is not God but one of the spirits being sent by God (cf. Rev. 5:6).
Messenger of GodEdit
“We believe that God sent Messengers to preach His words”
We believe that the Bible is the word of God, however, the Bible is not an “open book.” God has purposely hidden His words in mystery (cf. Rom. 16:25), that’s why those who strive to understand the Scriptures through their own worldly knowledge will never able to come to the knowledge of the truth (cf. II Tim. 3:7). How then man will be able to understand the truth written in the Bible? Through God’s messengers according to the Bible:
“It is the duty of priests to teach the true knowledge of God. People should go to them to learn my will, because they are the messengers of the LORD Almighty.” (Malachi 2:7, TEV)
People must go to those sent by God (the messengers of the Lord) to learn His will. According to Apostle Paul: “And how can they preach unless they are sent…” (Rom. 10:15, NIV). According to the Lord Jesus Christ: “I tell you the truth, whoever accepts anyone I send accepts me; and whoever accepts me accepts the one who sent me” (John 13:20, NIV).
We believe that the late Brother Felix Y. Manalo is God’s last messenger, the fulfillment of the biblical prophecies regarding the “Angel” (“messenger”) from the east (cf. Rev. 7:2-3) who would preached to God’s sons and daughters from the “ends of the earth” (cf. Is. 43:5-6; 41:9-10; 46:11).
“We believe that God elects and set apart His people to serve Him”
The Iglesia Ni Cristo believe that since the ancient times, God has set apart his people to serve Him (cf. Ps. 4:3).
“Know that the LORD has set apart the godly for himself; the LORD will hear when I call to him.” (Psalms 4:3 NIV)
People outside this election are not God’s people (I Pet. 2:9-10, TEV), not of Christ, and without hope and without God (cf. Eph. 2:12).
God set apart Set and his race. When Seth’s race fall away from God, Then Noah and his family were set apart by God. However, Noah’s race disobeyed God’s commandment. Because God’s policy of election continues, He set apart Abraham and made covenant with him. God’s everlasting covenant with Abraham continues with Isaac, Jacob and the nation of Israel. But, Israel did not remained faithful to God (cf. Dan. 9:11). Thus, the Church Of Christ became God’s nation replacing Israel (cf. I Pet. 2:9-10). However, the first century Church Of ChrIst also departed from the faith or was apostatized (cf. I Tim. 4:1, 3). But, the Lord Jesus declared that He has “other sheep” (cf. Jn 10:16), that He will gather them in the future and there will be one fold or one flock (cf. Jn. 10:16, Easy to Read Bible). Thus, this was Christ promise of re-establishing or restoring His Church. Thus, even up to this day, God’s policy of election remains through His chosen people from the ends of the earth”:
“I took you from the ends of the earth, from its farthest corners I called you. I said, 'You are my servant'; I have chosen you and have not rejected you. So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:9-10 NIV)
“We believe that man must enter the Church Of Christ in order to be save come Judgment Day”
We believe that the salvation mentioned in the Bible is the salvation from the eternal damnation come Judgment Day. The Bible clearly teaches that all men committed sin (cf. Rom. 3:23) and the wages of sin is death (cf. Rom. 6:23), and the full wages of sin is the second death, the eternal damnation in the lake of fire (cf. Rev. 20:14; 21:8; 14:9-10). The Savior, Christ Jesus, clearly states that:
“I am the door; if any one enters by me., he will be saved…” (John 10:9 RSV).
Those who “enters through Christ” became members of His body, the Church of Christ (cf. Rom. 12:4-5; Col. 1:18; Rom. 16:16). God testified that membership in the true Church Of Christ is needed in order to be saved come Judgment Day through adding to the Church such as should be saved:
“Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” (Acts 2:47, KJV)
The Lord Jesus Christ is indeed the Savior and not the Church, however, Apostle Paul points out that the Church is the one that Christ will save:
“For a husband has authority over his wife just as Christ has authority over the church; and Christ is himself the Savior of the church, his body.” (Eph. 5:23, TEV, emphasis mine)
Thus, faith alone is not enough:
“What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?...Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.” (James 2:14 and 24, KJV)
Christ will not save anyone outside the Church Of Christ because it would be against the law of God that requires that sinners should pay for their own sin (cf. Dt. 24:16; Jn. 8:24;I Cor. 5:13)
“We believe that man needs to receive baptism to be saved and the baptism commanded by Christ and preached by His apostles is done through immersion”
Man needs to receive the baptism commanded by Christ and preached by the apostles to be saved (cf. Mark 16:15-16), to become Christ’s disciple (cf. Mt. 28:19), and to receive the Holy Spirit (cf. Acts 2:38). The baptism commanded by Christ and preached by His apostles is through immersion (Rom. 6:4; Jn. 3:23; Acts 8:36-38).
“We believe that the Church Administration is from God and we are duty bound to submit ourselves to them”
The Iglesia Ni Cristo believes that every member is duty-bound to submit himself to the Church Administration because it is God’s commandment:
“Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you.” (Hebrews 13:17 NIV)
The Church Administration is from God (cf. Col. 1:25 NKJV) who He entrusted the message and the ministry of reconcilliation (cf. II Cor. 5:18-20).
“We believe that those who are truly in Christ should live a righteous life based on moral teachings of the Bible”
The Iglesia Ni Cristo believes that all those baptized in Christ should put on Christ (cf. Gal. 3:27).It is Christ who should live in them and no longer they themselves (cf. Gal. 2:20).
Those who are truly in Christ should lead a righteous life based on moral teachings of the Bible (cf. II Cor. 5:17; II Tim. 3:15-17). The Bible explains that “the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God”:
“Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” (I Cor. 6:9-10 NIV)
We also believe that God prohibits the eating of blood (cf. Lev. 17:10; Acts 15:28).
“But be sure you do not eat the blood, because the blood is the life, and you must not eat the life with the meat.” (Deuteronomy 12:23 NIV)
The Bible also strictly prohibits mixed marriage with unbelievers:
“Do not unite in marriagewith unbelievers, for what fellowship has righteousness with iniquity? Or what mingling has light with darkness?” (II Corinthians 6:14 Lamsa)“We believe that it is the whole duty of man to worship God and keep His commandments”
The Iglesia ni Cristo believes that it is the duty of man to worship and serve our Lord God:
“Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.” (Psalms 100:2-3 NIV)
The Lord Jesus Christ taught His servants that we must woship God in spirit and in truth:
“Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth." Juan 4:23-24 NIV
Thus, the Bible strictly prihibits kneeling, bowing serving and worshipping graven images:
“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: I am the Lord thy God, mighty, jealous, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me.” (Ex 20:4-5 Douay-Rheims)
Because we must not think that God is like gold or silver or stone
“And since this is true, we shouldn't think of God as an idol designed by craftsmen from gold or silver or stone.” (Acts 17:29 New Living Translation)
The Christians are admonish by the apostles not to neglect their “church meetings”:
“Let us not neglect our church meetings, as some people do, but encourage and warn each other, especially now that the day of his coming back again is drawing near. If anyone sins deliberately by rejecting the Savior after knowing the truth of forgiveness, this sin is not covered by Christ's death; there is no way to get rid of it. There will be nothing to look forward to but the terrible punishment of God's awful anger, which will consume all his enemies.” (Hebrews 10:25-27 LB)
They are referring to the congregational worship services (cf. I Cor. 14:26 and 15). Thus, the members of the Church Of Christ value our congregational worship services.
“We believe that members of the Church of Chrsit must love one another as brothers and sisters in Christ”
The Iglesia ni Cristo believes that members of the Church of Christ should observe the brotherhood Christ Himself established the brotherhood inside the Church of Christ (cf. Mt. 23:8; John 13:34-35).
That is why members of the Church of Christ address one another as brother and sister.
“We believe that it is God’s commandment that we must subscribe to sacred unity”
The Iglesia ni Cristo believe that we must subscribe to sacred unity, a complete and perfect unity for in this unity, God, Christ and the Christare joined together or united:
"I'm not praying only for them. I'm also praying for those who will believe in me through their message. I pray that all of these people continue to have unity in the way that you, Father, are in me and I am in you. I pray that they may be united with us so that the world will believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me. I did this so that they are united in the same way we are. I am in them, and you are in me. So they are completely united. In this way the world knows that you have sent me and that you have loved them in the same way you have loved me.” (John 17:20-23 God’s Word)
The Ten Commandments of Iglesia Ni CristoEdit
- Thou shall not let your love for God be weary. (Rev.2:3-5)
- Thou shall not forsake the assembling of ourselves together. (Heb.10:25-27)
- Thou shall not draw back of being a chosen one of God. (Heb.10:37-39)
- Thou shall not lose faith. (John 3:18)
- Thou shall not live in works of flesh or sin. (2Cor.6:9-10, Gal.5:19-21)
- Thou shall not violate the love for your brethren. (1 John:3:14-15)
- Thou shall not neglect the house of worship or leave it in despair. (Hag.1:3-11)
- Thou shall not neglect our mission to bear fruit. (John 15:2,6)
- Thou shall not remiss in the performance of your duties as a church worker/member/evangelical church worker. (Jer.48:10)
- Thou shall not neither rebel nor contend with the church administration. (Heb.13:17)
The Iglesia Ni Cristo Members use or apply these commandments according to what they believe the Bible teaches. There may be some more commandments being applied, but these ten are the main commandments which must be applied by every member of the Church. This is approved by the church administration to let every member preserve their being as a chosen people of God and to have the right of attaining salvation on the Day of Judgment. This is according to their fundamental Doctrines.
The church conducts regular worship services, one during the week, and one during the weekend. It is conducted in the local languages (for example, English, Tagalog, Spanish, and German). It involves singing of hymns, prayers, studies of the bible, collection of voluntary offerings, and benediction Both God the Father and Jesus are worshiped. The ministers of every congregation in a given worship service use the same sermon outline prepared by the executive minister. Deacons and Deaconesses guide worshipers to their seats and collect offerings. The Singing of hymns is led by the locale's choir. The first hymnbook, termed as Himnario, which contained about 300 songs, was published in 1937. Children's worship services are held every weekend. They use similar lessons as the standard worship services taught using the Socratic method (question and answer).The church teaches that willfully forsaking the worship service is a grievous sin, thus members are expected to attend the congregational worship services twice a week without fail.
The church encourages its members to make prayer a part of everyday life. Thus prayer before various activities, such as taking meals and going to sleep, are commonly practiced. Prayers recited in rote repetition are not observed.Since February 1939, the church has been publishing PASUGO (English: God's Message) in both Tagalog and English. As of 2010, the God's Message Magazine also features a Spanish Section and in 2012 it has a German and Japanese Section. Felix Manalo wrote its first editorial where he stated the publication's purpose, including the propagation of the faith. Issues contain articles which detail INC doctrines and refute doctrines which it considers as heresy, such as the Trinity. It also features information on church history, educational programs and missionary achievements, including lists and photographs of newly dedicated chapels. In 2001, it had a monthly circulation of 235,000 copies. For the year 2009, there more than 4,152,546 copies of PASUGO distributed worldwide.
Brethren are encouraged to help in missionary works, such as Bible studies and to distribute copies of the God's Message Magazine (Pasugo).
In the Philippines, radio and television programs are produced, and they are broadcast on 1062 kHz DZEC-AM radio, DZEM 954 kHz, the Net 25 television station operated by Eagle Broadcasting Corporation, the broadcast division of the Iglesia ni Cristo and INC TV, the sister station to NET 25 and Iglesia Ni Cristo channel, also owned by the INC and Iglesia ni Cristo TV broadcast on cable.
In North America, a television program called The Message is produced in the San Francisco Bay Area. It is currently aired in the United States and Canadaand some parts of Europe. Each 30-minute program is hosted by one of a panel of INC ministers, who share the main beliefs of the Iglesia ni Cristo with atelevision audience. The INC use to maintain an hour long time slot on The Filipino Channel and airs two among many of its programs including the INC Chronicles and Ang Tamang Daan. It has since stopped and instead INC TV began broadcasting 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on DirecTV channel 2068. Live streaming of INC Programming is now available atwww.incmedia.org.
From the beginning, the INC has continuously extended help not only to the well-being of local townspeople but also to protect the environment through its various humanitarian services.
Felix Y. Manalo Foundation
The Felix Y. Manalo Foundation, Inc. is a non-stock, non-profit, and non-political organization. It is organized under the Nonprofit Public Benefit Corporation Law for public and charitable purposes
The Felix Y. Manalo Foundation envisions being one of the leading charitable institutions in the world by providing services for people to lead healthy and productive lives, and promoting community development. As long as there are people in need, the FYM Foundation will continue to fulfill its pledge of extending help through aid and services, promoting education, socio-economic well being, environmental awareness, and health improvement.
Lingap sa MamamayanEdit
“Lingap sa Mamamayan” (Aid for Humanity) is an annual INC activity. This movement helps hundred thousands of people during calamity times not only in Metro Manila but also in other parts of the Philippines where most assistance is much needed.
This is an extra ordinary kind of medical service because the laboratory diagnostics were provided like X-ray, ultrasound, 2D-echo and laboratory services, with 10 hospital beds to check and do minor surgeries. Wheelchairs were also given to needy ones.
Kabayan Ko, Kapatid KoEdit
Kabayan Ko, Kapatid Ko (My Countrymen, My Brethren) is a reinvigorated initiative of the present Church Administration to carry out the Church’s two-fold mission of edifying its flock and evangelizing the world. Laying emphasis on the importance of genuine brotherly love in fulfilling the Lord’s work of salvation, it advocates finding commonalities and harnessing them to create opportunities for true spiritual renewal and upliftment.
Helping others has always been a priority of the Iglesia Ni Cristo. Not to be excluded, then, in the Countdown to the Centennial is the Kabayan Ko, Kapatid Ko outreach mission, wherein free medical and dental services will be offered and free medicines and other goodwill items will be distributed to all those in need.
INC Giving Project
The mission of the INC Giving Project is to extend the global presence of Iglesia ni Cristo members to its community partners by supporting their efforts to enhance the quality of life for individual and community development, a global commitment to share faith through acts of kindness.
INC members are noted for bloc voting in Philippine elections, although INC has the biggest conversion turn-out, between 68 and 84 percent of its members voted for candidates endorsed by its leadership, according to comprehensive surveys conducted by ABS-CBN. This is in part due to their doctrine on unity. Some reports say that the INC can deliver a minimum of 5 to 8 million members of voting age, although peoples believe the actual figure is closer to 3 million. Others argue that the INC vote is only significant in close-run elections, noting that some INC-supported candidates lost in the election. Businessman Eduardo Cojuangco Jr. lost to Fidel Ramos in the 1992 Philippine presidential election. Michael Defensor, Ralph Recto,Vicente Sotto III in 2007 and Ruffy Biazon in 2010 were endorsed by INC but lost in the senate election. INC endorsed Rafael Nantes and Jamie Eloise Agbayani but lost in the 2010 Quezonand 2007 Pangasinan gubernatorial elections respectively.
Ever since former Philippine president Manuel L. Quezon created a lasting friendship after asking Felix Manalo for advice, the INC has been known for its strong political influence. Not all candidates in Philippine politics however embraced support from INC. Diosdado Macapagal has refused INC's support during his runs for Vice President in 1957, and re-election for President in 1965 – in which he lost to Ferdinand Marcos. In the 1969 presidential election, INC supported Senator Sergio Osmeña Jr. earlier in the campaign but has swung behind Marcos who won the election. The INC supported Ferdinand E. Marcos until he was ousted in 1986.
In 2002, the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism reported that INC leader, Eraño Manalo himself wanted to support Panfilo Lacson. Eraño saw that Lacson will likely succeed Estrada. This worried Arroyo during her 2001-2004 term as President. But that did not prevent President Arroyo from courting the church. The church eventually offered their support for Arroyo’s presidential campaign in the 2004 elections. Arroyo dismissed rumors that she paid off the INC to support her candidacy. In an open letter to the INC which was read in all INC chapels across the country, Mrs. Arroyo said "I would never taint their (INC) sincerity by offering money for it". Newspaper reports say that the Philippine Congress decision to uphold the decision on September 2005 rejecting the Arroyo impeachment complaint over alleged election fraud and corruption was swayed largely by INC influence. Behn Fer. Hortaleza Jr. says otherwise and wrote an op-ed piece for The Sun·Star Pangasinan stating that Representative Joey Salceda "had wanted to pit the INC against the Catholic church by so timing the congressman's 'news' with another expose on the bishops' receiving Pagcor "sin money" for their projects."
The support of the INC was reportedly sought out for passage of the Reproductive Health and Population Development Act of 2008. In 2008, the INC and the Catholic Church were again pitted against each other when health advocate RH Advocacy Network (RHAN) sought the support of the INC to counter the firm opposition of the Catholic Church and President Arroyo to the bill.Representative Janette Garin of the first district of Iloilo said the INC's stand could determine if the bill gets passed in the House of Representatives. She said the opinion of the Iglesia ni Cristo is “important” in determining the fate of House Bill 5043.
On July 27, 2008 on the occasion of its 94th Anniversary lawmakers, governors, mayors, councilors and other government officials cited the meaningful role of the Iglesia ni Cristo in Filipino society. Rep. Annie Susano of Quezon City's second district where the INC's executive offices are located, along other government officials said that the INC continues to contribute not only to the spiritual development of the Filipino but also in shaping the country's destiny. Susano said INC also plays a crucial role in improving the socio-economic condition of its followers and other Filipinos, at home and abroad. A year before, on the same date, President Arroyo declared July 27 of every year as "Iglesia Ni Cristo Day" to enable millions of INC followers in the Philippines to observe the occasion with fitting solemnity. President Arroyo’s proclamation was based on a resolution of the House of Representatives authored by Rep. Annie Rosa L. Susano. On July 8, 2009, Arroyo declared that July 27 of every year as "Iglesia Ni Cristo Day" making it an official national working holiday.
In 2010, Iglesia ni Cristo has declared support for Noynoy Aquino and Mar Roxas for president and vice president respectively. Aquino won the election but Roxas lost to Jejomar Binay. In 2010, Iglesia ni Cristo withdrew their support from President Noynoy Aquino.
In 2013, INC has chosen the 12 senatorial candidates it will support on May 13, according to a report by DZMM.com.ph. The INC support is not a sure ticket to winning an election, but it plays a deciding role in close races. Citing sources, DZMM named the following 7 Team PNoy and 5 United Nationalist Alliance candidates. Two of the INC's elected has not won.
Geographic distribution and membershipEdit
According to the March 2012 issue of PASUGO Magazine (p. 24), the Demographics of the Iglesia ni Cristo then was composed of 112 countries and 7 territories comprising 120 races. As of 1996 the membership of the church puts it between 4 to 10 million. In 2000 Philippine census by the National Statistics Office, 2.3 percent of the population in the Philippines are affiliated with the Iglesia ni Cristo, making it the third largest religious denomination in the Philippines after the Roman Catholic Church andIslam, respectively. The majority of INC members are Filipino ex-Catholics, while most non-Filipino members converted prior to marrying Iglesia ni Cristo people. The earliest non-Filipino converts were American soldiers stationed in the Philippines.
Membership is conferred through immersion baptism of adults. The church rejects infant baptism. Newborn children of members are instead dedicated to God through a Congregational Prayer, led by an ordained minister of the INC. Members who are not living in accordance with the church's teachings may be excommunicated or expelled from the Church, and thus lose salvation(as opposed to the perseverance of the saints). Grounds include adultery, alcohol intoxication, consumption of blood andmarriage to members of other faiths.
People who wish to be baptized in the INC must first submit to a formal process taking at least six months. Once someone officially registers with their local congregation, the person is given the status of Doctrinal Instructee, as they are called within the Iglesia ni Cristo, and taught the twenty-eight lessons concerning fundameninnings in the Philippines. These lessons are contained in the doctrine manual written by Eraño G. Manalo entitled Fundamental Beliefs of the Iglesia ni Cristo (Church of Christ). This book is given to ministers, evangelical workers, and ministerial students of the INC. Each lesson is usually thirty minutes to one hour in length. After hearing all of the lessons, the students enter their probationary period during which they are obliged to attend fifteen once a week group prayer meetings, wherein they are taught to pray and are guided in their adjustment to the INC lifestyle. When the sixth month comes, the students who have been active in attending the twice a week worship services and whose lifestyles are in accordance with INC doctrines are screened before being baptized. During the screening they are asked questiolve and at least the age of 12. Newborn children of members are instead "offered" or dedicated to Christian service during the worship service. The child offering in the INC is done through a prayer led by an ordained minister of the INC.
Members who are not living in accordance with the doctrines taught in the INC are admonished. Those who continue in violation of INC doctrines after being admonished are expelled from the INC. Certain violations, such as eating blood or marrying non-members may result in mandatory expulsion.