Just like hundreds of Catholics, Iglesia Ni Cristo attracted me too, with its uniformity and discipline. Their missionary zeal and hospitality shown to visitors in their churches and locals are praiseworthy! Magnificent churches, which are constructed imitating Catholic Cathedrals of medieval gothic art, also capture our immediate attention. But we were shocked when the minister began to teach us their ‘Fundamental Doctrines’ from a secret but official book called ‘Pandoktrina’. There is a ‘litany of accusations’ in that book against the Catholic faith and their ministers are compelled to teach this to all new ‘converts’ as fundamental lessons and basic teachings of INC! Filled with hatred against the Catholic Church, each and every lesson in the ‘Fundamental Doctrines’ exposes the fundamental character of that religion and the unethical hostility and poverty of spirituality of the one who created it! Even their ministers are ashamed to give its copy to others, as its arguments and criticisms against Catholics are substandard and mean which can be easily refuted and proven baseless. This book is widely used by ‘Iglesia Ni Cristo’ as a guide to attack the Catholic faith and it gives all tricks and guidelines, how to make a Catholic, an anti-Catholic! (Ref.: Pandoktrina, Serie 1976-77)
Anointed by satanic anger, Pandoktrina bursts out: ‘The Catholic Church is not the true Church.’ ‘The Catholic Church is not from Christ, not of God’ (Lecsion 5, pg 9). ‘There is no salvation in the Catholic Church.’ ‘Convert Catholic people; Turn back from Catholic Church.’ ‘The devil’s lessons are there in the Catholic Church.’ ‘Priests of the Catholic Church are compared to false prophets who wear sheep-like clothing but they are ferocious wolves.’ ‘Take away all the pictures, images, and crosses (pg. 14). Don’t attend Mass, and don’t receive communion, etc…’ The creator of this poisonous work, gives the impression that more than immorality, drugs, prostitution and sin in this world, Catholic Church is the first enemy to be attacked! See, how crookedly Satan is using people to divert the attention from priorities to create his own kingdom!
The 12 lessons of this book, against the Holy Catholic Church, are used to confuse the indoctrinee, who sits in front of the minister, attracted by advertisements of salvation in the TV shows of INC, thirsting to hear the word of God! To make him a victim of these falsehoods, the minister uses different Bible translations! There will be many ‘bibles’ in the table of a minister which are to be changed cunningly, one after another, to get favorable words and interpretations, just for defending the claims of this Pandoktrina! It creates an impression in the indoctrinee that the minister is quoting everything from the Bible! Thus ‘Pandoktrina’ becomes the master, and different bibles, its servants! To make things safe, some Catholic writer’s books will also be quoted out of context! (Those books are not given for further reading; if so, the indoctrinee will become a better Catholic!) When the minister becomes successful in injecting this ‘poison of hatred’ in the mind of the indoctrinee, he becomes worthy to be a member of INC, and taken for baptism. The minister, who is successfully confusing more number of Catholics, gets the title with recognition: ‘The Most Fruitful Minister!’ Thousands of Filipino Catholics are already trapped in this deception!
Most of their converts are nominal Catholics, the rural poor, illiterate and gullible, who does not know much about their faith to defend it. (Ref.: Quo Vadis by Ignacio B.Camello, Imprimatur: Cardinal Sin, 1987, pg. 38)
The Bible warns: “…You are mistaken, not understanding the scriptures, or the power of God.” (Mat. 22:29)
The Christological heresy
Manalo’s church denies Jesus as God, and carries an unbiblical Christology. For them, Jesus, the redeemer of the world is only a man, not God! It is by crucifying an innocent man, a creature, God showed his love to the world!
‘Jesus is the Lord,’ (Rom. 10:9) was an earliest confession of divinity of Jesus. For Jews, the word “Yahweh” was an unutterable name. In its place Old Testament always uses the term “Adonay” which is translated as ‘the Lord’. When the psalm says; ‘The Lord is my shepherd,’ it really meant ‘God is my shepherd.’ Bible clearly teaches: “I, the Lord, am your God” (Ex. 20:2). For Jews: the Lord was God, and God was Lord. “I am the Lord, your savior. I am the one who created you. I am the Lord the creator of all things” (Isa. 44:24). When we call ‘Jesus is the Lord,’ it really means ‘Jesus is God.’
The ‘Twinity’ of Manalo
For Manalo, Jesus is a ‘made Lord’ by God, a theory that contradicts the 1st Commandment of God himself: I am your Lord; you shall not have other gods beside me… For I the Lord, your God am a jealous God.’ Denying the HolyTrinity, one Lord; Manalo created two Lords! According to his ‘two Lord theory’; The Lord made another Lord; so there are two Lords! Lord God and Lord Christ; both of them are to be worshipped! Just to deny the Holy Trinity, he jumped into another funny and foolish theory of ‘Twinity!’ Now Jesus is the Lord; later he will surrender everything to the Father and the Lordship of Jesus will be finished! Lord God and Lord Christ are part-time workers! (To know more on this fake doctrine, please read: “Bible proclaims: Jesus is God”
). The Bible says: “The time will come, when some men from your own group will tell lies to lead the believers away after them” (Acts 20:30).
‘Angel’ without Wings!
The followers of Manalo are compelled to believe, he is the angel prophesied in Apocalypses: 7:2-3. As Pandoktrina tries, the purpose of the arrival of this ‘angel without wings’ is to destroy Catholicism. Angel Gabriel came from God and promised to Mary: “His kingdom will have no end.” But Manalo came from the United States, proclaiming himself an angel; announced: “That kingdom is perished by apostasy!” In order to prove this copied theory from Mormons, their official publication, ‘Pasugo’ tries to propagate the Holy Catholic Church, as a prostitute, “unchaste woman” (Pasugo: June 2005, pg. 25) and the biblical virtue of priestly celibacy and abstinence done on Fridays out of love to Jesus crucified, are considered ‘the devil’s doctrines’ and symptoms to consider the Catholic Church an apostatized church! Now we have to know the truth.
In fact there is no prediction in the Bible that an ‘angel of hatred’ will appear in the Philippines to create a second body to Christ by destroying the first mystical body of Jesus that became a prostitute whom Jesus himself promised to protect ‘till the end of the times!’
The following prophecies in the Bible that are always used against the Catholic Church by INC, clearly points to their own founder, and proves, he himself is the false prophet and the fake angel, that the Bible is predicting! Here are the biblical evidences:
• The false prophet will deny the master, the redeemer: “False prophets have appeared in the past among the people, and in the same way false teachers will appear among you. They will bring in destructive doctrines, and will deny the master, who redeemed them, and so they will bring upon themselves sudden destruction” (2 Pet. 2:1). Who denied the divinity of our master Lord Jesus Christ?
• The false prophet will pretend as an ‘angel’: “For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, who pretend as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan pretends as an angel of light. His ministers also pretend as ministers of righteousness!” (2 Cor. 11:13-15). Who wants others to consider him an ‘angel’?
• Bible says to us not to believe this angel: Gal. 1:8 – “Even if an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one that we preached, let that one be accursed!”
• It’s not the Holy Catholic Church as INC propagates, that fulfills the great prophecy of the Bible about the ‘two teachings’ a false prophet would use; but the church of Manalo: “Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them” (1 Tim. 4:1-3). A) INC teaches its members not to marry anybody outside that group! (But girls and boys of this church usually court someone from the Catholic Church, and compel them to convert to INC, a trick widely used to increase its memberships!) B) It also prohibits eating a Filipino food ‘dinuguan’ made out of blood! (Can any of his followers eat meat at anytime in their lives, without having the stain of blood in it?)
The baptism of Manalo
INC ministers are compelled to baptize its members in the Trinitarian formula though they deny Trinity! They cannot escape the clear and explicit command of Jesus to baptize in the Single Name, that the three divine persons hold, the Trinity! But when they use that formula, it gets a funny meaning! “I baptize you in the Name of the Father (God) and the Son (a man) and the Holy Spirit (one of the seven spirits).” The founder of this baptism, Mr. Felix Manalo was very much aware about the invalidity and uselessness of this baptism, as he never found time to receive it while he was alive! He died without becoming a member of his own religion; but he and his ministers insist on everyone to receive that baptism! If not, they are threatened to go to hell, “ the lake of fire”. If that is the case, the first one who is destined to go there, is the self-proclaimed angel, Manalo himself!
“Don’t confess to a priest!”
In Pandoktrina, there is a strong command, not to confess to a priest, but to confess directly to God! (Pandoktrina, serie 1976-77, pg. 13). The creator of Pandoktrina, out of his ignorance, believes, confession as an ‘either or’ proposition! Confess to a priest or confess to God! He is really unaware that Catholic confession is “both-and.” No Catholic can make a valid confession, the sacrament of reconciliation, without directly confessing to God first. It is only after asking pardon from God, and repenting about his sins, the Catholic goes to a priest.
Why do Catholics confess to a priest?
Only God can forgive sins. Christ who came from God and who is God himself has this authority which he exercised while he was here in this world. (Mt. 9:5-8, Mk. 2: 8-11) – Apostles can forgive sins as Jesus conferred this authority to forgive sins, to his apostles. Jn. 20:22-23: “He breathed on them and said ‘Receive the Holy Spirit, if you forgive sins of any, they are forgiven, if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”
The Church upon Peter has the power to forgive sins as it is given to her by its Master, Jesus. “And I say to you, you are Peter and upon this rock I will build my Church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”(Mt. 16:18-19). So we can ask pardon from the Church as it has the authority to forgive sins.
This authority to forgive sins, which is given to the Church, in the Confessional or in the Sacrament of Reconciliation was exercised by the apostles and was transferred to their legitimate successors through the imposition of hands. Bible clarifies it: “And all this is from God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Christ and given us the ministry of reconciliation. God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ… So we are the ambassadors for Christ, as if God is appealing through us” (2 Cor. 5:18-20).
‘Confess directly to God only,’ is an anti-Catholic teaching, just to destroy the salvific plan of Jesus and which is written nowhere in the Bible. When the prodigal son repented, he confessed to God and at the same time he confessed to his father: “Father I have sinned against heaven and against you” (Lk. 15:18). Bible questions ‘Confess directly to God theory’ in St. James Letter: “Therefore, confess your sins to one another” (James 5:16). When we commit sin, we sin against God and against society, as we are the members of same body, the Church. So it becomes the proper way to get forgiveness, to ask pardon from God and from the Church. Priest in the confessional is the representative of the Church, the body of Jesus (‘the ambassador of Christ’ 2 Cor. 5:20) who is validly ordained by the successors of the apostles, and who has the authority to forgive sins, not like the ministers of Manalo or Eli Soriano who received an invalid ordination!
Ordination and Authority
If you ask a Catholic priest who gave him authority to forgive sins, and who ordained him, he will name a bishop. When you ask that bishop how he got ordained, he can show you another bishop or an archbishop. This chain of ordinations and transfer of authority through the imposition of hands directly goes to the apostles and ultimately reaches to Jesus who ordained his apostles and gave them the authority. Jesus said: “As my Father sent me, I send you.” Only the Catholic Church has this unbroken apostolic succession! So we call our Church: The Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. But if you ask a minister of Manalo or Soriano or any other protestant ministers, what will be his answer? I have asked this to a minister who claimed himself as the ordained minister of INC. “Who ordained you?” His answer was “Ka Eraño Manalo ordained me.” “Who ordained this Ka Eraño Manalo?” The minister said: “His father Ka Felix Manalo ordained him.” “Then, who ordained Ka Felix Manalo?” “…. ….” There came no answer!
God has His way to ordain His workers, as He sent His only Son to do the job. It is He who ordained His apostles. And His apostles ordained their successors through the imposition of hands. That chain, succession and transfer of authority through ordinations, are guided by the Holy Spirit, promised by Jesus. After all, Jesus himself is still alive and serves as the head of His Church, His mystical body. Ordination can never be claimed by anyone at anytime as he likes! It has a legal and valid process instituted by Jesus and practiced by His apostles. The Bible asks: “And how could anyone spread the news without a commission to do so?” (Rom. 10:15). The fake ministers and apostles can never participate in the sanctifying work of Jesus. Without receiving, they can never give! “I know the Bible, so I am coming from God. I will interpret the Bible as I understand it. You have salvation only through me,” is their claim. Just like an American who claims: “I know the constitution of the Philippines, so I am the president of the Philippines! If you don’t obey me you will be punished!” Bible says: “Don’t let anyone deceive you by any means whatsoever. That day will not come before there arises a definite rejection of God’s law and the appearance of the lawless man. He is the product of all that leads to death” (2 Thess. 2:3).
While accusing the Catholic Church for apostasy, ministers of Manalo come to the TV shows, just like any other products in the market, advertises INC, as ‘original, true’ not fake, just because it has a name taken from the Bible! But remember, hundreds of protestant churches already exist here with this same name: ‘Church of Christ.’
When Jesus instituted his Church he called it ‘my Church’ that will be built upon Peter, the apostle. Jesus wanted to have one church and unity under one visible head, Peter. That Church established by Jesus, never officially accepted a name ‘Church of Christ.’ Iglesia Ni Cristo got this name from a wrong translation of a protestant bible: Lamsa Translation, which translates Acts 20:28 as “take heed therefore…to feed the church of Christ which he has purchased with his blood.” The Acts was written in Greek and the original word used there is ‘tan ekklasian tou Theou’ which really means ‘Church of God’ (not ‘tan ekklasian tou Christou’: ‘Church of Christ’). Manalo accepted a wrong translation to find a wrong label to his wrong church to lead the people in a wrong way!
‘Unipersonal Corporation’ of Manalo
When Jesus instituted his Church, it was registered in the hearts of those who repent and baptize in the Holy name of Trinity. It is a spiritual Kingdom, guided and regulated, not by rules of any state, but by the Holy Spirit. It can never be called nor officially registered as a commercial corporation, with a trade mark, instituted for financial security, and one person as the owner of all financial and temporal assets! Jesus said: “You cannot serve God and mammon at a time.”
‘Iglesia Ni Cristo’of Mr. Manalo is officially registered as a Corporation on July 27, 1914. The executive minister of this corporation Mr. Eraño Manalo certifies: “That he is the executive minister of the Church of Christ, a religious corporation, sole, originally registered in the Bureau of Commerce, Division of Archives, patents, copyright and trademarks…” (Ref.: Tunay nga bang “Sugo ng Dios” si Felix Y. Manalo? By Alexander P. Ayers, BRP, pg.201) The corporation is guided, not by the Holy Spirit; but by the Department of Commerce and Industry, in Manila.
Jesus says: “You have made the house of my Father, a marketplace.”
As a part of accusing Catholicism, now, ‘inquisition’ is widely propagated in the TV channels of Iglesia Ni Cristo! Every minister keeps some books related to inquisition to show and explain to others, the dark ages of the Church. ‘Pasugo’ projects chopped quotations from different sources for that purpose. (‘Pasugo’ May 2005, pg.31)
(Inquisition happened in a time when the state and the Church were not separated. Church was misused by politicians for political purposes in the Spanish inquisition. But we don’t deny the evils committed by some of the members of Christianity, nor do we claim that the Church Jesus instituted to save the sinners, were filled only with holy people throughout the centuries.)
When inquisition and dark ages are used by INC as evidences to blackmail Catholicism, they must not forget that, their founder who tried hard to destroy Catholicism, proclaiming himself an angel, was widely accused of immorality and dishonesty by their own members. (All the founders of anti-Catholic sects keep this similar history. None of them led a life of outstanding holiness, but involved themselves in criticisms, protest, hatred, immorality and became notorious for their evil doings.) Those who seek the truth about angel Manalo, must go through and study the following facts that are published by different medias here in the Philippines, which can never be hidden nor be ignored by any future historians.
“In the case of Bro. Manalo, however, some may not find his life too angelic… cases of grave misconduct decided by the court of justice, may not speak well of him.” (Ref.: Quo Vadis?, Ignacio B. Camello, Imprimatur: Cardinal Sin, pg.17, 1987) “It was during the early 1920s that Felix Manalo’s moral integrity was questioned first privately and later publicly in the courts. The most celebrated of three cases of immorality brought to attention of the courts, was that of Rosita Trillanes against whom the former filed a suit for libel was acquitted in the Court of Appeals.” (Ref.: The Iglesia Ni Kristo, Fernando G. Elesterio, published by CBI, Ateneo University, Manila, pg.11)
We see in the website www.examineiglesianicristo.com, the verdict of the court, that made shocking remarks about that immorality as it is published in “Official Gazette, Volume 1 No. 7, July 1942 pages 393-395, cited by Joseph Kavanagh, Philippine studies, March 1955 (as it is shown in the same website).
This work has no intention to deal with more details of that subject as it may hurt the feelings of those who follow him, but it will be good for everyone to search and find out themselves the truths behind these allegations, before accepting someone as a saint, prophet or angel! We need not be ashamed or afraid of the truth. If certain facts are undesirable, more than misinterpreting them, let us accept them with courage, because Jesus, the truth, always reminds us: “The truth will set you free.”
Bible says: “I urge you brothers to watch out for those who create divisions and obstacles in opposition to the teaching that you learned; avoid them. For such people do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own appetites, and by fair and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the innocent.”(Romans 16:17-18)