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Commentary - Pilosopo, where's the proof?

by Ewatson

(pilosopo)The term “Iglesia Ni Cristo” means in English “Church of Christ .” Although it appeared in the Philippines in 1914, it does not claim to be a new religious movement. Rather, it teaches to be the third group of people who will constitute the one true Church established by the Lord Jesus Christ himself.

(ewatson)Please provide proof the INC is this "third group of people." Furthermore, who are the first and second groups, Jew and Gentile? Do all Jews and Gentiles also belong to the "one true Church"? If so, why then do we need to join the INC religion? If not, where's the proof of transference of authority from the first and second group to the third that would justify the assumption these first two groups no longer have legitimacy today?

(pilosopo) Contrary to the common perception of detractors, the Iglesia Ni Cristo never taught that its founder is Bro. Felix Manalo. The founder of the Church of Christ in the Philippines is the Lord Jesus Christ

(ewatson) Funny, we Mormons say the same thing about Joseph Smith. He's only an instrument, Jesus Christ is the actual founder. Furthermore, the Roman Catholics say the exact same thing about their church. The SDA also claim Jesus is their founder with EGW as a mere tool for creating the church. Likewise with the JW. Seriously, which religion DOESN'T make the same claim?

(pilosopo) through His prophecy

(ewatson) What prophecy? References svp.

(pilosopo) and Bro. Felix Manalo is his messenger,

(ewatson) Where's the proof? References please.

(pilosopo) the shepherd of His other sheep which became one flock.

(ewatson) Where's the proof these "other sheep" are the INC?

(pilosopo) If someone would continue to insist that Bro. Felix Manalo is the founder, his religious bias is shown because of his inability to comprehend the biblical basis of this doctrine.

(ewatson) Wouldn't your religious bias be shown when you insist Jesus is the actual founder of the INC religion?

(pilosopo) The Church sees Bro. Felix Manalo as someone whose function is similar to Apostle Paul,

(ewatson) Oh really? He also saw the resurrected Christ? Did Felix Manalo write "scripture" for the church? Did he function as one of many within a hierarchy or was Paul the functioning head of the church, whose son and soon to be grandson inherited his rulership office just as the case with Felix Manalo?

(pilosopo) the emissary of Christ to the Gentiles, that through his ministry, the Church spread throughout the Gentile world. These local churches were not called by the term the “Church of Paul” but Paul himself addressed the entire church as the “Church of Christ.”

(ewatson) Where does Paul address the entire church as the "Church of Christ"? Rom 16:16's "the churches of Christ" certainly doesn't say so.

(pilosopo) Looking at this angle, it was not a surprise for many that when Bro. Felix Manalo registered the Church with the Philippine government, it was registered as the “Church of Christ” since it not his Church but Christ’s Church.

(ewatson) This is really INFANTILE! Calling a church the "Church of Christ" doesn't prove that new religion is automatically Christ's "True Church!" The Mormon church was originally called the "Church of Christ" when it was organized in 1830, nearly a hundred years BEFORE the INC. Is it then automatically the "True Church" just because of it's name?

(pilosopo) Fulfilling another biblical prophecy, the Church was registered at the same time that the First World War erupted in Europe: July 27, 1914.

(ewatson) Pray tell, where is this "biblical prophecy" that the "True Church" would be registered the same instant WWI broke out?

(pilosopo) Others dismissed it as simply coincidental but the Church teaches that it was a divine mandate, a fulfillment of God’s prophecy of bringing His children from the Far East,

(ewatson) Where does the Bible teach God's children will come from the "Far East"? Furthermore, where exactly is the "Far East"? Was this designation the same thousands of years ago from what it is today?

(pilosopo) at a time when the world shall see the visible signs of Jesus’ second coming. These and other undeniable biblical truths convinced millions of its adherents worldwide to embrace the Church wholeheartedly.

(ewatson) What are these "undeniable biblical truths" that convinces millions to join the INC religion? If they join it, it has to be uniquely applicable to the INC religion. What are they?

(pilosopo) With Church membership coming from all walks of life, in which a great percentage are poor in the standard of the world, the Church of Christ which started in the Philippines gained foothold in the West, beginning with two congregations in Hawaii and California, during the summer of 1968. Since then, hundreds of local congregations were established in the Union. The Church could now be seen operating in more than 70 countries and territories worldwide, with a big contingent in the United States, particularly in the State of California.

(ewatson) Well GOOD FOR YOU. And this proves what, exactly? Do you want to play the numbers game? The INC will LOSE.

(pilosopo) Although branded as a cult by critics, the Iglesia Ni Cristo continues to spread.

(ewatson) The same with the Mormons, who've experienced persecution a hundred times worse than the INC. Other churches continue to "spread" despite opposition such as the JW, SDA, Baptists, RC, and hundreds of other religions. What does this prove?

(pilosopo) The emergence of new congregations worldwide attests to this fact.

(ewatson) What fact? It continues to spread? Well, SO WHAT? More people join the Roman Catholic Church every year in the Philippines than all who join the INC worldwide in any given year. Does this prove anything?

(pilosopo) Although some Christian groups, not only in the Philippines, but also in the United States, have tried to stop the continuous exodus of their people into the Church, their efforts were simply wasted, an exercise in futility. Thousands yearly are being accepted into the Church and there is no indication that it will be hampered. Ministers are being sent to new congregations throughout the world, an absolute proof that its work of evangelization is a stunning success which baffled some observers, even its own harshest critics.

(ewatson) Hmmm. This is often said about the Mormons and JW. Again, SO WHAT?

(pilosopo) Recently, the worldwide web became the forum in which these self-proclaimed critics of the Church launched their attacks against the Church. It is true that there were some people who were searching about the Church (very few) were misled by these groups. Unfortunately, their tactics were ephemeral since these curious researchers did not stop dead on their tracks but went beyond the web to find out more about the Iglesia Ni Cristo. These people came to the church services, engaged in biblical discussions with the ministers, attended bible studies and evangelical missions, in order to satisfy their queries. This action brought them to a complete realization that whatever people put up in the web against the Church were simply a product of their ignorance of the genuine doctrines of the Church, or simply their attacks show that they are devoid of biblical knowledge, in which their resulting view would be a piece of poor scholarship.

(ewatson) Whew! What a mouthful. If we are "ignorant" of the genuine doctrines of the INC religion, why don't you tell us what it is so that we may know for sure? Furthermore, do you have any proof people joined the INC after reading and studying criticisms of it here on the web, or are you just engaging in rhetoric? Give us some verifiable statistics.

(pilosopo) to be continued ...

(ewatson) Boy, I can't wait!

BTW, be a good fellow and provide the proofs backing your claims. I'm sure we'd all want to know.