Tuesday, December 1, 2009

PART 2: INC's role in the rebellion plot

Part 1: INC Rebellion - INC's role in bringing the crowd to the EDSA 3 rally

Romans 13:2Consequently, he who rebels against the
authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will
bring judgment on themselves.

INC's role in the rebellion plot

The inside story:The Fall of Joseph Estrada: The Inside Story -  by Amando Doronilla
page 226-227:

The plotters were closely monitored by the military and police agents. Three hotels - EDSA Shangri-La, Richmonde Hotel, and Galleria Suites - were used by the opposition as war headquarters at the height of the protests. Five rooms, including the presidential suites, in Shangri-La, four rooms in Richmonde, and several rooms on the 18th and 29th floors of the Galleria Suites were booked. Lacson, Honasan, Enrile, former First Lady Loi Ejercito and JV Ejercito had a room each at the Galleria suites, which was right behind the EDSA shrine. Opposition leaders said, however, the rooms were used, not as command centers to plot against the government, but as sanctuary to the tired leaders of the protest movement.

Honasan and Lacson, according to the military agents, were on top of the tactical planning for the rallies, the aborted negotiations with government, and the siege of Malacanang.

Room 1801, the presidential suite on the 18th floor of Edsa Plaza Shangri-La was reserved on April 29 by one Meloy Trinidad, vice-president for administration of the Antonino Group of Companies with office address in T.M. Kalaw corner Jorge Bocobo, Manila. The group of Honasan, Lacson, Maceda, and Enrile checked in at 7 p.m. and left 3 a.m. the following day. Seen with them at the hotel was INC deputy Executive Director Eduardo 'Eddie Boy' Manalo, son of Minister Manalo. He was reportedly invited to sit in at the negotiations between the administration and the opposition.

Part 3: The government's response to the plot, specifically against the INC
Part 4: The government's attempt to reach out to the INC leadership
Part 5:  INC Rebellion - The deal with Manalo
Part 6:  Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo makes a personal visit to Manalo

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

PART 1: INC Rebellion - INC's role in bringing the crowd to the EDSA 3 rally

Why did INC chose to ally with Marcos and Estrada, but then clearly supported rebellion against Arroyo? Is it because INC follows the biblical command, or is it because the Manalos are really cronies of the two deposed presidents?

INC's role in bringing the crowd to the EDSA 3 rally

The inside story:The Fall of Joseph Estrada: The Inside Story - a book by Amando Doronilla
page 223-224:

MEMBERS OF THE IGLESIA NI CRISTO (INC), a religious sect that has supported Estrada since he was a mayor, accounted for much of the turn-out at the EDSA shrine - 70% to 75%, Mendoza reported at the National Security Council meeting called by President Macapagal-Arroyo on the fifth day of the protest. The INC denied ordering its followers to EDSA. Although the INC leadership has always supported candidates fairly openly during an election, the INC said it was up to its constituents to decide whether or not to join the pro-Estrada rally at the EDSA shrine.

But an INC official, who agreed to be interviewed for this book on condition of anonymity, told a different story. While there may not have been an order directing INC members to go to EDSA, they were not discouraged from going, he said. A less subtle signal of which side the INC was on, he said, was in fact sent to some local pastors: on the first night of the protest, calls came from the central office urging them to go, and the pastors in turn passed the word down to the ranks.

But the obvious manifestation was the non-stop coverage of the rally by the INC's radio and television stations. Net 25, a cable television channel, and radio station DZEC in fact had the event to themselves because the other networks , accused of bias, were kept away by harrasment. Previously, Net 25 had only shown sectarian and other non-political (shopping, computer technology) programs. Now it had only EDSA pictures with DZEC providing the annotation and commentary.

According to an INC insider, the leadership supported the rally because it felt that the government had gone over board in its quest for justice. INC leader Erano Manalo, the informant said, was convinced that the administration was humiliating Estrada in public because it wanted to destroy him once and for all. "Patung-patong na ang kaso against Erap, and it seemed the government was not content with that. They are saying that he would be investigated for a possible violation of the Comelec gun ban. And then the mug shots and the fingerprinting were shown on nationwide TV. Sobra na raw 'yon. Aping-api na si Erap," the insider said, explaining Manalo. The INC commentators took turns in agitating their audiences by picturing Estrada as the underdog, the government and the media his tormentors.

Part 2: INC Rebellion - INC's role in the rebellion plot
Part 3: The government's response to the plot, specifically against the INC
Part 4: The government's attempt to reach out to the INC leadership
Part 5:  INC Rebellion - The deal with Manalo
Part 6:  Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo makes a personal visit to Manalo

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The name of the church

They claim that the church should have an official name, and that it should be Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church of Christ), and they cite a number of biblical passages to try to prove their point.
According to Apostle Paul, the Church is the body of our Lord Jesus Christ. Christ is the head of the Church, His body. As such it is but proper to name this body or Church after its head, Christ. Thus the body of Christ is properly called Church of Christ.
(God's Message Magazine International Edition, Jan.
1997, pp. 16-18)
If the church is officially called by a certain name, you would expect that it be expressly used a number of times by the early christians themselves. However, the problem is that not once is Church of Christ mentioned in the bible. They will usually point you to these two verses: Romans 16:16 and Acts 20:28.

Let's take a few moments to look:

Romans 16:16
Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ send greetings.

Acts 20:28
Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.

Wait… did you see any Church of Christ? None, because there isn’t any.

For Acts 20:28, their argument is that since God does not have blood (they do not believe in the divinity of Christ), then the verse must be wrong. This is clearly a case of disregarding evidence in favor of opinion.

To their credit, there is some variety in the ancient greek texts of the reading in Acts 20:28. Apart from “εκκλησιαν του θεου” (church of God), some manuscripts say “εκκλησιαν του κυριου” (church of the Lord), some even have “εκκλησιαν του κυριου και θεου” (church of the Lord and God). However, absolutely no extant greek manuscript have “church of Christ.” Zero. All respected biblical scholars agree that the Acts was originally written in greek.

So they lead you to an obscure translation by George Lamsa:

“…to feed the church of Christ which he has purchased with his blood.”
And they quote Lamsa’s defense of his translation:

Jewish Christians could not have used the term God, because in their eyes God is spirit, and spirit has no flesh and blood It was Jesus of Nazareth who shed his blood on the cross for us, and not God. (New Testament Commentary, pp.

Again, this is opinion against evidence. George Lamsa is a professed Nestorian, whose beliefs expressly distinguishes the divine person of Christ from the human form, therefore dissociates God from any physical form. Christ is two persons, a human Jesus, and a divine son of God, separate entities.

George Lamsa’s version was translated from Syriac texts known as the Peshitta. They’re a rather ancient group of manuscripts dated as old as the 3rd century. Among the Peshitta bible in existence today, there are two variants. One is the Nestorian Peshitta, and the other is the Jacobite Peshitta. They are so called because of the Syrian church sects who have propagated them. One group are the Nestorians whose Christology I have briefly discussed previously. The other group are the Jacobite Monophysites, whose contrasting belief is that Christ only has divine nature, denying his humanity.

(note, for the syriac texts below to appear correctly, you can download the fonts here: http://dukhrana.com/fonts.php)
These diametrically opposing views resulted in different readings of the Acts. The Nestorian Peshitta has “ܠܥܕܬܗ ܕܡܫܝܚܐ” (church of Christ *Meshiha*) while the Jacobite Peshitta has “ܠܥܺܕ݈݁ܬ݁ܶܗ ܕ݁ܰܐܠܳܗܳܐ” (church of God). And although the Peshitta text type is reputed to go far back as the 3rd century, the oldest manuscript containing the particular verse in the Acts is dated as late as 10th century.

One INC I was in a debate with sometime ago countered my assertion that no ancient greek manuscript extant today contain the reading “church of Christ.” He claimed that ALL ancient Aramaic (Syriac) manuscripts have “church of Christ” in Acts 20:28, and that since Aramaic was the spoken language of Jesus, then it must be the correct reading. That was not such a hard challenge because all I had to do was present evidence of even just one manuscript that says otherwise. Thanks to google, I got these facts:
In "Novi Testamenti Versiones Syriacae (published in 1789)," Jacob Gregory Christian Adler references 14 Manuscripts ranging from 548 to 1500 AD. Of those 14 included in the study, 4 included the Acts of the Apostles. Of the 4, one is certain to have a reading of "Church of God." (this particular manuscript is dated 1041 AD). Another manuscript (very ancient) at the Bodleian Library at Oxford (marked Dawk. 23) contain the reading "Church of God."
(The Authorship of the Fourth Gospel: And Other Critical Essays by Ezra Abbot)