Sunday, October 26, 2008

'Church of Christ' - The name game

Here posted is how a group calling themselves Church of Christ (not the INC) 'proves' their claim regarding the name of the Church:

Christ promised to build His church (Matthew 16:18). He purchased it with His own blood (Acts 20:28). He is the Savior of it (Ephesians 5:23). He is the head of it (Colossians 1:18). It is only natural that the church should wear His name to honor its founder, builder, Savior, and head. So when Paul wrote to the church at Rome, and sent along the greetings of the congregations in his area, he said, "The churches of Christ greet you" (Romans 16:16). Then in speaking to the church at Corinth, he said, "Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually" (1 Corinthians 12:27). Since the body is the church (Ephesians 1:22-23), then he was simply talking about the church of Christ. It is also called the church of God (1 Corinthians 1:2; Acts 20:28), the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9), the kingdom of Christ (Ephesians 5:5), the kingdom of His dear Son (Colossians 1:13), the kingdom of our Lord (2 Peter 1:11), the church (Acts 13:1), the church of the living God (1 Timothy 3:15), the church of the Firstborn (Hebrews 12:23), etc. So the church is not called by only one name. Remember, that which belongs to God belongs to Christ and that which belongs to Christ belongs to God. Also, those names all refer to the church that Christ built. If it is not the church of Christ, then whose church would it be? It would seem that one would not really want to get away from the Scriptures to choose another name for the Lord's church. Let us stay with the Bible. Let us call the church what the Bible calls it. Then we will be right.

The following are from the Pasugo I skimmed through some time back. Take note how similar, which would make you think they're from the same author/group:

PASUGO, October 1998, p.3
The will of the Father is for all men to be gathered under one head who is Christ. To be gathered in Christ, one must become part of His body which is the Church (cf. Rom. 12:4-5; Col. 1:18). The Lord Jesus Christ referred to this Church as "my church" (cf. Mt. 16:18, NIV) and was called by the apostles as Church of Christ (cf. Rom. 16:16). Thus, joining the Church of Christ is God's will that must be obeyed to attain salvation.

PASUGO, October 1998, p.4

But what the lord Jesus Christ will save is His body which is the Church:"For the husband is the head of the wife, as also, Christ is the head of the church; he is the Savior of the body."(Eph.5:23,NKJV)"And he is the head of the body, the church."(Col.1:18,Ibid.)There are not many bodies or churches of Christ but one. So thos to be saved are ...members of one body"(Col.3:15, NIV). For truly, Christ founded only one Church (Mt.16:18) for which He gave up his life that those who joined it by faith be redeemed from their sins:"Take heed therefore to yourselves and to all the flock which the Holy Spirit has appointed you as overseers, to feed the church of Christ which he has purchased with his own blood." (Acts 20:28, Lamsa Translation)

PASUGO, January 1999, p.17

Ang tinutukoy na "isang katawan" ay ang Iglesia na pinangunguluhan ni Cristo (Col. 1-18). Ang pangalan ng Iglesiang ito na itinatag ni Cristo ay Iglesia ni Cristo (Mat. 16:18; Roma 16:16).

Translated:The "One body" referred to is the Church headed by Christ(Col. 1-18). The name of this Church that Christ established by Christ is Church of Christ (Mat. 16:18; Rom. 16:16).

PASUGO, September-October 1992, p.3
There was only one church built by Crist and this is called by other names, one of which was Church of God. This is because what is of God is also of Christ (John 16:15,17:9-10)

This bolsters what we all hear time and again that the INC is not unique in its teachings, with doctrines that are adaptations of its predecessors of which its founder Felix Manalo was a member of one time or another. INC preaches a mish-mash of beliefs and picks out any doctrine and their defense thereof from different religions whatever may be convenient.

Tabarnacle vs Tabernakulo

The first time I encountered this eerie similarity was when I put up a research regarding the similarity of INC and mormon architecture ( I asked an INC I know what the name and function of the tent-like structure because I wasn't content with just referring to it as "the tent-like structure" to desctibe what's behind the INC temple. I was surprised to find it named exactly the same as the Mormon structure I was comparing it with. Well, the similirities, as it turned out does not stop there.

INC Tabernakulo:
Height 22.5m (73.8 ft)
Width 150ft
Length 300ft
No. of Columns: 48
Seat Capacity: 4000

LDS Tabernacle:
Height 80ft
Width 150ft
Length 250ft
No. of Columns: 44
Seat Capacity: 8000

Now, see how INC describe their Tabernakulo:

and compare it with how LDS describe theirs:

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Felix Manalo and the Mormons

I came across an account of a mormon missionary on the web with the following anecdote:

I served in the Philippines Mission from Nov. 1967 to Nov. 1969. My group of 7 Elders and 1 Sister were the first called to the newly organized Philippines Mission in 1967. We served under Paul S. Rose, who had arrived in August of 1967. The Missionaries serving there, up to that time, were from the Southern Far East Mission. About 70 Elders were assigned to the Philippines when our group arrived. At the time, the total members in the Philippines was about 3400. The goal for the coming year was to baptize another 1000. (Compare that to the approximate 400,000 there now.) One of the most peculiar stories circulating amongst the Elders, and even mentioned in our orientation those first few days after our arrival was about the Iglesia Ng Kristo church, (literally translated "Church of Christ) nicknamed the INK. The reason for its being mentioned was its similarities to and its early beginnings as a result of contact by its founder with the Mormons in Salt Lake City. The founder of the Iglesia Ng Kristo was a Filipino man named Manalo. Sometime around 1915-1918 it is alleged that Manalo went to see the Mormon President, Joseph F. Smith. The story is that he gained an appointment with Pres. Smith and in that meeting, told Smith that he believed the Mormon Church to be the true Church. He asked that Pres. Smith make him an Apostle and he would then return to the Philippines and do a great work, including bringing a million members into the Church. That would have been an extraordinary number, considering that the total number of Mormons in the world at the time was less than 1 million. Manalo's offer was rejected. He returned to the Philippines, and using the Mormon church as a pattern proceeded to organize a church and bring over a million people into it. He proclaimed himself to be the "Angel of the East" as mentioned in Revelations. He declared that he was empowered to restore the true church to the earth, and that prophesy declared that the that come from the "isles of the sea". Every scripture in Isaiah and Revelations that mentions angels returning or "isles of the sea" have a place in the doctrinal underpinnings of that Church. Remarkable to the Mormon Elders serving in the Philippines is the similarities in architecture, church organization, fervor, and member participation. The Assembly Hall in Salt Lake City could be the source form of many Iglesia Ng Kristo buildings both inside and out, including spires, roof line, interior balconies, organ loft, etc. In northern Manila there a six spired large beautiful building that is a modern rendition of the Salt Lake temple. It is hauntingly similar to the Washington Temple, so much so that Filipino Mormons are sometimes made anxious by their Inglesia Ng Kristo friends when the two buildings are compared. It is reported that an LDS General Authority said about those INK buildings, that one day they would be used by congregations of Mormons.

Though this account is hard to prove, I may offer some of what I have gathered over the years.

Left: Aerial photo of INC Central Temple Compund in Diliman, Quezon City
Right: Aerial photo of LDS Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Utah

Top: The INC Temple by day (take note of the Tabernakulo behind the temple)
Bottom: The LDS Temple by day. The Tabernacle dome appears to the the left behind the temple.

Left: INC Temple by night.
Right: LDS Temple by night.

Left: Eagle statue guarded by 3 lions found in the F. Manalo Compound in San Juan facing the gate along Gruet St. The INC Central Office used to be housed in this compound. Felix Manalo claims to be the Bird of Prey described in Isaiah 46.
Right: Gigantic 4,000-lb eagle atop the Eagle Gate near the LDS Temple Square. This acts as the gateway to Brigham Young's properties which includes the Lion House which houses the rest of his wives, so called for the lion statue guarding the gates of the house. Brigham Young is sometimes called "Lion of the Lord" by the LDS.

Left: The spired worship house in the historic Punta, Santa Ana, the place where it all began for the INC.
Right: The spired Assembly Hall at the southwest corner of the Temple Square built in 1877.

Top: A spired INC "kapilya" of generic design. This shot was taken from San Luis, La Union in the Philippines. (Taken from Pasugo)
Bottom: The spired LDS Manila Temple found along Temple Drive in Quezon City, Philippines.

During the research I have done, I have come across more interesting facts:

The Mormons have their official choir, the world famous Mormon Tabernacle Choir:
Interestingly enough, the INC boasts of their own INC Tabernacle Choir.

The INC's Tabernakulo has so much similarity with the Mormon Tabernacle at their Temple Square with regards to its dimensions and other features that it deserves it's own blog page. Stay tuned for that.

The INC calls its university the New Era University. Incidentally, Ka Erdie's name was a play on New Era: Era New - EraƱo. The Church of Jesus Christ and the Latter Day Saints publishes an official magazine called New Era.

The LDS are said to have entered into a New Era under Brigham Young when he established the Salt Lake City colony.

There are others, such as the practive of block voting, which was practiced by the Mormons during their time at Nauvoo to assert their position as a minority, a belief which they abandoned as a condition for Utah's statehood and entry into the Union.

And then there is the last messenger doctrine (Felix Manalo vs Joseph Smith) and the church restoration doctrine.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Iglesia ni Cristo and the Cross

If you look at the INC emblem which is prominent in all chapels, you will notice the lamb sitting on a book, which has a striking resemblance to the Catholic symbol of the Agnus Dei, except that it is lacking one important component: the Cross. As known to many, INC's have no regard for the cross whatsoever and they regard the practice of exultation of the cross with great disdain.

I tried tracking back through the evolution of the INC logo.

Present logo:
Distinctive elements are:
- radiant dove

- flaming torch
- INC banner
- drawing compass
- balanced scales
- crown

- inverted triangle
- lamb on book and two scrolls
- radial rays
- cloudy arc

80's logo:
(in Erano Manalo's boardroom)

Same elements present, somewhat drawn differently

70's logo:
(Cubao locale chapel)

Same elements, except with the dove missing, somewhat different shapes, clouds appear as very thin links on the side.

Now, here's INC's old logo on the cover of Pasugo in 1939...

And there's the cross!

Reference cover:

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Felix Manalo and the Trinity

Also on this blog:
The Beast
King Jehoram, Felix Manalo and Judas Iscariot

Our world is made up of patterns. Patterns play a large part in life. It helps us make the world more predictable. We wake up certain that the sun will rise in the morning. It is simply because we woke up to so many sunrises that there is no reason to believe otherwise.

Such is the case with INC. There are just so many patterns to say that Manalo did not deny the Trinity until well after he has founded INC.

Fact 1:
The reason that Manalo left the SDA that the pasugo states is that he disagreed with the beliefs specifically about Saturday worship. Nothing about the belief in Christ's divinity.
Manalos love affair with the Adventists or Sabanistas, ended after he began to question some of their doctrines, particularly their Saturday (Sabbath) observance.
Isabelo T. Crisotomo - May-June 1986 issue of the Pasugo magazine, page 7

Fact 2:
He has retained what he has adopted from the CMA: baptism by immersion, which Leslie Wolfe considered a very vital requirement for validity.

Then he discovered another Protestant group, the Christian Missionary Alliance, known as the Disciples of Christ in the United States, which baptized its members by immersion. Knowing that this practice most closely adhered to the Bible, he joined the Disciples and became an evangelist.
ibid., p.7

Fact 3:
He has retained the church name doctrine (Church of Christ) which he has learned from Wolfe

Fact 4:
Up until 1918, Manalo maintained communion with the Christian Missionary Association, consider the event on December 25 where protestant missionaries laid hands on Manalo, headed by CMA's Leslie Wolfe, and among them, Emiliano Quijano, the CMA pastor who ministered Manalo's marriage with Honorata in 1913 when Manalo was still a preacher for the SDA.

On December 25, 1918, ministers of the Christian Mission honored Felix Manalo as an outstanding evangelist. The certificate was signed by Ministers Leslie Wolfe and Higinio Mayor, attested by attorney V. Dimagiba. The affair, held at the Gloria Theater in Tondo, Manila was attended by Church members and several
Protestant pastors.
ibid., p.9

It is also noteworthy that Felix Manalo did not start ordaining ministers until
after this event.
In may 1919, Manalo presided at the first ordination of Church ministers, laying his hands on Justino, Casanova, Teodoro Santiago and Federico Inocencio.
ibid., p.10

Fact 5:
Leslie Wolfe was very vocal against comity and open membership, so it means that he considered Manalo an ally church consistent with the beliefs of CMA' long after Manalo founded the INC.
Among the conservative members of the Disciples of Christ there began to be concern that some missionaries and mission churches were allowing nationals to become members of the churches who had not been baptized by immersion. The conservatives felt that this practice was contrary to the historic plea of the Stone-Campbell Movement. One country where the controversy was particularly played out was the Philippines. Leslie and Carrie Wolfe were Society missionaries in the Philippines who decried the open membership practices of the Philippine mission and their exposure of what they saw as inconsistencies in the mission added fuel to an already growing fire in the United States which would eventually see polarization of the Disciples into onservative and liberal camps.
Clinton J. Holloway - December 2003
Consider fact 2 and fact 3. This were the tenets that CMA upheld. Another that was vital: belief in the Christ's divinity.

Fact 6:
Leslie and Carrie Wolfe were proponents of establishing independent churches of Christ around the Philippines (this was the predecessor of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines - UCCP). Many of those independent churches were called Iglesia ni Cristo. While doing some research a long time ago, I came upon a newsletter from the 1950's: 50 years of Iglesia ni Cristo. But something was not right. It was not the INC that we now know. On the first few pages was a message from Carrie Wolfe. There were old pictures, and there was Carrie Wolfe with church members, and a banner painted with the name Iglesia ni Cristo. Conclusion: the name Iglesia ni Cristo has been used long before the Manalo registered the INC. Manalo's INC was just one of the many, and Leslie and Carrie Wolfe organized them into a united association.

So what has happened along the way? When did Manalo introduce the belief system that denied the Trinity? When did he dissociate himself from Wolfe's society? That is a good topic for research and I pose that challenge to everyone here.

There is also semiotic evidence. Symbols speak to us. Rather than being mute objects, they are articulate witnesses.

Consider the INC logo:

The lamb sitting on the book is strikingly similar the the catholic symbol Agnus Dei. The Agnus Dei symbolizes Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God.

In the same way, the radiant dove is also strikingly similar to the catholic symbol for the Holy Spirit. The image on the left is from the St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican.

In this regard, we will be assuming that the symbols used by INC are consistent with the Christian symbols and how they are interpreted.

What then is the presence of the triangle on INC's logo? In Christian symbology, this is glalringly obvious. Do a google search quick!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

King Jehoram, Felix Manalo and Judas Iscariot

Also on this blog:
The Beast
Felix Manalo and the Trinity
In the bible, there was this wicked Judean king named Jehoram. For his wickedness, God sent Elijah to warn him of his fate:

2 Chronicles 21:15You yourself will be very ill with a lingering disease of the bowels, until the disease causes your bowels to come out.
Thus, Jehoram died:
2 Chronicles 21:18-19After all this, the LORD afflicted Jehoram with an incurable disease of the bowels. In the course of time, at the end of the second year, his bowels came out because of the disease, and he died in great pain.
The death of Felix Manalo:
It was only after many years later, in February 1963, that Manalo fell gravely ill. He was rushed to St. Luke’s hospital in Quezon City where doctors decided to remove immediately "an intestinal obstruction". Manalo rejected the surgery, saying, "Doctors can cure only those who are not yet to die, not those whose time has come." By March 21, 1963, his incapacitation was total and he was transferred to Veterans Memorial Hospital. Doctors operated on him but failed to give him relief from pain. On April 2, the doctors worked on Manalo again to sew back part of his intestines which had burst and hemorrhaged. On April 11, they performed a third surgery on him. It proved to be the last.Isabelo T. Crisotomo , May-June 1986 Pasugo magazine
And then, there was Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed the Christ:
Acts 1:18With the reward he got for his wickedness, Judas bought a field; there he fell headlong, his body burst open and all his intestines spilled out.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Beast

Also on this blog:
King Jehoram, Felix Manalo and Judas Iscariot
Felix Manalo and the Trinity


I came across this in the web some time back. How the numbers add up is a bit amusing. Comments welcome.

The number of the beast

Revelation 13:18
This calls for wisdom. If anyone has insight, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is man's number. His number is 666.

Note: For greek numeral reference, kindly look here:

Check out the the name Felix Ysagun Manalo -

Greek Felix: 605
Roman Felix: 61
605 + 61 = 666

Greek Ysagun: 660
Roman Ysagun: 6
660 + 6 = 666

Year INC was founded: 1914
Roman Ysagun: 6
Greek Manalo: 192
Roman Manalo: 1050
1914 - (6 + 192 + 1050) = 666