Dear all Catholics,
Do you have a relative, classmate or a friend who is a member of the cult called “Iglesia ni Cristo”? There are a lot of things you need to know about this cult because someday, if you join this cult it will turn you to someone you are not. It will make you an unreasonable false accuser. Members of Iglesia ni Cristo are required to invite non-members to visit the nearest INC chapel. They usually don’t discuss doctrines with you but rather, they will let you go to their nearest local for you to hear their teachings. They want you to go to their chapel not only because of their teachings but also for you to see the beauty of their chapels, discipline and brotherhood but do not be deceive, the devil do not appear to you in red tall horn with fire but they will appear to you as everything you want. There are some things that you should know before you accept any invitation for their Bible Lesson and that is to study you Catholic Faith. One of the weaknesses of those Catholics or even devout Catholics who left the Catholic Church and joined INC is the lack of explanation behind the mysteries of the Catholic Faith. As a result, they will believe whatever the INC ministers about Catholicism and they are speechless and unable reason out because of their lack of knowledge about Catholic Faith. Some will unreasonably attack INC with lack of knowledge about the Catholic Faith, as a result a persecutor of INC becomes an INC member. You do not want to happen to yourself.
This is what will happen if you will accept an invitation from Iglesia ni Cristo.
“The Name Game”
You will sit and listen to the INC ministers reading the Bible from one verse to another and talks about salvation and the life of man and it’s ending is for you to know that the name of the Church that can save you written in the Bible is “church of Christ”(Acts 20:28 Lamsa only) and it is also the name of their church “Iglesia ni Cristo”, therefore you must join INC in order to be saved. Do not be deceived, what is written in the Bible is the church is necessary for salvation and whoever will enter it and obey the commandments of God will be saved. If you follow the line of thinking of INC ministers, you would drink the contents of a bottle labeled as “drinking water” without thinking if it’s water or not. There is only one church built by Christ and Christ promised that it will last forever. He said “I am always with you until the end of time” c.f (Matt 28:20). Only the Catholic Church is the church that exists from the 1st century until today. Therefore, the church which Christ built is the Catholic Church. It is also Traditional, St. Ignatius a student of St. John the Apostle named the church “Catholic Church”. The church built by Christ was mentioned by many names, the name “church of Christ” is only a descriptive name of the church built by Christ. If you read the Catechism of the Catholic Church, you’ll see that it was also used to refer the Catholic Church
Catechism of the Catholic Church 811 "This is the sole Church of Christ, which in the Creed we profess to be one, holy, catholic and apostolic…"
Iglesia ni Kristo in the Philippines is only built in 1914 by Felix Manalo. It is so unreasonable to join a church because you can find its name in the Bible especially it can be read in Lamsa Version. Do not join INC just because you think that you do not belong to the “Church of Christ”, you are already in the Church of Christ, the original one the Catholic Church which was protected by God for almost 2000 years.
The name game is not enough to convince you so probably you will raise the questions,
“What happen to the church which Christ built”?
“Why the Catholic Church is not the true church’?
The INC ministers will quote some Bible verses that speak about apostasy where members of the church will abandon the true faith and some were killed to prove that the church which Christ built was gone after the end of the 1st century. However, it only speaks about the individual members of the church not the church itself, that’s what apostasy means. Whenever a person abandons his faith, he is an apostate and committed apostasy. They are trying to prove that apostasy is fulfilled by the Catholic Church because the Catholic Church invented many doctrines by the council. One thing that they failed to understand about the church build by Christ is it was likened as a mustard seed (Matt 13:31-32). The kingdom of God which is the church will grow and will undergo development. Its development can be seen in the book of Acts where they gather together and had a council to settle a doctrine ( see Acts 15), that’s why the development of the Church doctrine is also through a council. And it cannot teach wrong doctrines
Apostasy is the opposite of the promises of Christ:
Christ promised the he will be with his church until the end of time - Matthew 28:20
Christ promise that the gates of hell shall not prevail against it – Matt 16:18
Christ promise that he will send his Counselor to be with his church forever - John 14:16-18
Christ promised that the church will be guided into all truth - John 16:13
And according to Paul, the glory of the church will last to all generations forever and ever. - Ephesians 3:20-21
Apostasy is the weakness of all their teachings. If you can refute it, the rest of their teachings cannot stand especially about the doctrine about of Last Messenger.
“The Error of Bible Alone”
Iglesia ni Kristo believes that the Bible alone is the sole basis of faith. If it’s not written in the Bible, they will reject it. By nature we Catholics believe that the Bible is the word of God. There are some Catholics falsely believe that the teachings of God are all written in the Bible alone and this becomes an advantage for the INC ministers. Ministers will show Catholic teachings that are not found in the Bible such the term “Trinity” “Purgatory” and even the word “Catholic”. This is one thing that every Catholics should understand the Catholic Church do not use the Bible alone as the basis of faith, but also in Traditions (2 Thess. 2:15) and “Magisterium” which is also known as “teaching authorities” (Mat 16:18;Matt 18:18). The doctrinal terms may not found in the Bible but its definition is found there, therefore it is Biblical, Catholic means “universal, all nations” it is the idea of Christ about the Church. “make disciples of all nations” (Matt 28:19) ” The belief of Bible alone is not biblical and ironically, the term “Bible Alone” is nowhere found in the Bible. If they are consistent with their belief that they reject everything that is not written in the Bible, they should reject the doctrine about “Last Messenger”, such term is not found in the Bible.
“A personal interpretation”
INC ministers will appear in Americana suit while holding the Bible. This is a powerful way for you to believe that what they preach to you is the WORD OF GOD. But keep in mind that the Word of God was already preached by the Catholic Church long before the Bible was finished. When the author of the book of Revelations was still writing in 100AD, the Catholic Church is already on its 5th pope, St Evaristus. The Bible was collected, recognized, canonized and preached by the Catholic Church long before Felix Manalo was born. So whenever you hear an INC preach, what he preached is nothing but a personal and absurd interpretation of Felix Manalo of the Bible yet it is very convincing if you don’t read the Bible or you did not study about the Catholic Faith and its history. Like, protestant preachers, they believed that they only preach what is written in the Bible and they don’t use their own words but that is not true. Every preacher must have always an interpretation whether it’s from him or from the others.
‘’The Image Worship”
INC ministers accuse the Catholics for worshiping idols, and they want you to accuse the Catholics too and they do it through using Catholic Book. Two things are needed to know here:
a. Religious images of the Catholic Church are not idols. Idols means false gods and the INC ministers are aware that Catholic Church teaches only one God, the Holy Trinity and calling the images of the Catholic Church as idols is already an intellectual dishonesty, which means INC ministers are aware that they are lying.
b. Kneeling does not always mean worshiping; kneeling is also a sign to show honor, respect and sincerity. In fact, during ordination, ministers are kneeling in front of Manalo yet they deny they are not worshipping Manalo. With that, we can conclude that INC ministers are contradicting themselves from what they say with what they do.
There are a lot of Catholic book to know the teachings about the Catholics Church and it is unwise to study the truth about Catholicism from an anti-Catholic.
These are only few things to learn for before you visit an INC chapel. You may appreciate their financial management, you may appreciate their unity brother hood and discipline which they are so proud of but do not accept their Bible interpretation. “We should respect other people as persons made in the image of God, but this does not mean that we allow their false teachings to propagate. Charity demands that we correct errors and proclaim the truth. The salvation of souls is at stake. If a sheep falls in a ditch, we must lift it out. If a man falls into error, we must help him recognize his folly.. For a man is more valuable than a sheep”. –Dr. Quirino M. Sugon
If you are searching for more info about the Catholic Faith, just kindly visit the following site:
Equip yourself with enough knowledge about Catholicism before you visit INC so that you might know that the church needs you. You need to learn about your Catholic Faith not only for yourself or to challenge debates, but for your Catholic Brothers and sisters so that they too may understand behind the mystery of the Catholic Faith. If you find it hard to understand the Catholic Teachings, keep on going and have faith because even the apostles too were having difficult times understanding Christ yet they still follow him.The term "cult" may a little bit hard for them but for 100 years INC referred as idolaters and pagans. God bless.
Your Brother in Christ,
by Riel Lopez (Catholic Lay Apologist)