Salvation For Members Only
The INC organization claims to be ''The Church'' that Christ started. They claim that people cannot be saved without being members of their organization. The Bible does teach that people must be In Christ to be saved. However, the Bible does not teach that people must join the INC organization and be faithful to the current Executive Minister! Erano Manalo, to be saved. Nearly all organized heresies teach that their church is 'The Only True Church'' and that you must remain faithful to their leadership to be saved. For example, the Mormon Church states that, ''If it had not been for Joseph Smith and the restoration, there would be no salvation. There is no salvation outside The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints." Likewise the J Ws as Does the International Churches of Christ and the list goes on infinitum.
They deny those who have truly received Christ as described in John 1:12 & 13: "But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become the children of God. 'even to those who believe on His name: who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.''
You must remember that when the INC organization uses the term ''Church of Christ'' they are referring to their organization exclusively. The INC organization clearly believes that a person cannot truly be a believer or be saved outside their group.
"Thus, outside the Church of Christ no one can be considered a true believer''(PASUGO, September/October p.9 1981).
The Iglesia Ni Cristo organization improperly usesScripture in their attempt to prove that they alone are the true church. For example:
''People who embraced the true church will be saved not because of the good deeds they have done, but through God's merciful act of commissioning messengers entrusted with words of reconciliation.'' (PASUGO September/October 1986, p. 20.)
On page 21 of this same issue of ''Pasugo', the INC quotes Titus 3:5 in an attempt to give biblical support to their belief. However, but they only quote part of the sentence. "It is not because of any good deeds that we ourselves had done, but because of his own mercy that he saved us...''' The INC end their quotation of scripture here because if the entire sentence was quoted the readers would see that it actually refutes the teaching of the INC organization. In reading the entire sentence we are able to learn what the Bible really says.
''But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us: through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life (Titus 3:4-7)."
As you can see, When read completely and accurately this passage reveals something quite different from what the INC attempted to make it say.
the INC organizations view states we are saved, ''through God's merciful act of commissioning messengers entrusted with words of reconciliation.'' If one disproves this their authority crumbles.
Church of Christ
Iglesia takes great delight in pointing to its name as proof it is the true Church. The argument goes as follows: "What is the name of Christ's Church, as given in the Bible? It is the 'Church of Christ.' Our church is called the 'Church of Christ.' Therefore, ours is the Church Christ founded."
This reasoning is juvenile. Whether or not the exact words "Church of Christ" appear in the Bible is irrelevant, but since Iglesia makes it an issue, it is important to note that the phrase "Church of Christ," never once appears in the Bible. Not to mention all the others in history called church of Christ long before they came along. But even if the phrase "church of Christ" did appear in the Bible, it would not help Iglesia's argument. Before Felix Manalo started his church there were already churches which called themselves "the Church of Christ." Which came out of what is known as the Campbellite movement in the 1830's. They are not alone in this, there are several other Protestant denominations that call themselves Church of Christ and use exactly the same argument. They came before Iglesia so why aren't they the authentic church? Because they dont want them to be!
The verse Iglesia most often quotes on this issue is Romans 16:16: "Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ greet you " (Pasugo, November 1973, p. 6).
The exact phrase as found in the Bible is "churches of Christ"--plural, not singular. Paul is referring to a collection of local churchesspecially a collection of local churches in Rome. He simply is not giving an organizational name here. Iglesia changes this to mean their church alone.
To get further "proof" of its name, Iglesia also cites from the Lamsa translation; (cited in Pasugo, April 1978) Acts 20:28: "Take heed therefore . . . to feed the church of Christ which he has purchased with his blood". The Lamsa translation is not based on the original language of Greek, the language in which the book of Acts and the NT were written, the phrase is "the Church of God" (ten ekklesian tou Theou) not "Church of Christ" (ten ekklesian tou Christou). Iglesia knows this, yet they purposely ignore this to mislead their members and others they proselytize.
Biblically there is not just one title that refers to the church, the church is called by many different names in Scripture. Church of God (1 Cor. 1:2 and numerous other passages) Church of the living God (1 Tim. 3:15) kingdom of his dear Son (Col. 1:13) kingdom of Christ and of God (Eph. 5:5) Assembly of God (alternate translation of Church = assembly) general assembly and church of the firstborn (Heb. 12:23) Flock (Acts 20:28) Church (Acts 11:26 and many other passages) body (Eph. 1:23 and numerous other passages) body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:27) kingdom of God (Col. 4:11 and many other passages) family of God, household of God, house of God (1 Tim. 3:15) The bride of Christ.
What makes a church authentic is that they were founded by Christ. What one chooses to call themselves is irrelevant. Anyone can choose to call themselves anything they want, but proves nothing at all. The Bible never indicates that the Church will have one specific name. It is a matter of ownership not a title.
The doctrines upon which all Iglesia's other doctrines depend is its teaching that Christ's Church apostatized in the early centuries. Like Mormonism, the Jehovah's Witnesses, and other fringe groups, Iglesia asserts that the early Christian Church suffered a total apostasy. It believes in "the complete disappearance of the first-century Church of Christ and the emergence of the Catholic Church" (Pasugo, July-Aug. 1979, p. 8). This doctrine is essential because one can't take seriously Manalo's claim to have reintroduced the true Church if, in fact, the original true Church never died. You can't have a "restoration" without an apostasy.
The problem is that Jesus promised that his Church would not go into apostasy until the end of time. There is no church to be restored or rebuilt as Iglesia and others claim, since the church was never missing. He told Peter: "And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it" (Matt. 16:18). Meaning it would not remove it nor hinder it's growth, work or people. If his Church had apostatized then the gates of hell would have prevailed against it, which makes Christ a liar, that is even uncomfortable for Iglesia despite their anti Christ stance.
The church is already made and continues to grow through history. No devil or man can stop or hinder it because Jesus is the architect, not man. While it is valid to claim that there needs to be reformation throughout the church's history, to restore a church from apostasy has quite a different meaning. If I had a dollar for everyone who claimed this calling I d be rich! Id love to gather all the people that claim this special ability and office into one room to hash it out. actually this will occur in the future at the white throne judgment certainly not the bema seat.
In other passages, Christ teaches the same truth. In Matthew 28:20 he said, "I am with you always even until the end of the world." And in John 14:16, 18 he said, "And I will pray to the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, to be with you forever. . . . I will not leave you desolate." Christ promised that nothing would prevail against his Church, that he would be with it always, that the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, the third person of the Holy Trinity would be with it always. How could Christ be with his Church always if, as Iglesia claims, his Church ceased to exist for 1800 years? How can a man do this. How can he be where 2 or 3 are gathered together he will be present. These are simple questions to be asked to any who deny the deity of Christ and the trinity.
The Bible does teach that there will be a great apostasy, or falling away from the Church not in its beginning. Paul prophesies: "to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. Let no one deceive you in any way; for that day will not come, unless the rebellion [Greek: apostasia] comes first" (2 Thess. 2:2-3), "Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith by giving heed to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons" (1 Tim. 4:1),
It does not say the early times but latter times and if one does enough research in this term they find it is tied in with Daniel's description of knowledge and traveling increasing, exactly what we have today so it did not happen in the beginning as restorationist's like Manalo claim.
Paul also writes "For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own liking, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander into myths" (2 Tim. 4:3-4).This is how Iglesia operates by. Setting up their own teachers that they claim are god ordained for people to learn from. If they are not from their church they are not from God. By falling away from the Church universal making themselves exclusive and denying the essential teachings that have been upheld from the beginning , members of Iglesia are committing precisely the kind of apostasy of which they accuse the Protestant and Catholic Church of.
No matter what they have to say about themselves if they do not have the biblical Christ it doesnt matter how much success they have in numbers or what they name themselves they are not part of the true church.
In their pamphlet "If you want Christ to be your savior, then you should be in the true church of Christ" Under the sub title a faulty understanding "They realize that such faith is based on a faulty understanding of such passages in scripture, one of which is hereby quoted Jn.3:16 "People claim that the above phrase, whoever believe in him" is enough requirement for salvation. You need not join the church which Christ himself established This type of rhetoric is monotonously strewn throughout their literature and outreaches. No apostle teaches to join a church to become part of Christ, Scripture says you must be born again into the spiritual church first. But their Interpretation of this is very much like Catholicism of which is repugnant to them.
Their thrust is to join the church which just so happens to be exclusively their own. They write outside the church of Christ people will be judged by God. this is the reason why we have been asking people who claim to be believers already to reconsider their position very carefully in light of biblical truth. Membership in the true church of Christ is essential to salvation, though again it is not the only condition. Among the many requirements, a member of the true church must obey Christ's teachings all the time Jn.8:31
What is the church?
The first time we find the word church is in Mt.16:18 where Jesus says he will build his church upon the revelation the Father gave Peter which he openly confessed. It is called the church of God which he had purchased with his own blood. From this we can see the church began with Christ raising from the dead and ascending and sending the Holy Spirit to birth and bring together a new entity. The Greek word is ekklesia (which is used 114 times in the NT) which means a called out assembly (Ek = out of Kaleo= to call ) It is never used of a building or of the kingdom of God. the church is not he kingdom but included in it. The Church is s spiritual organism, invisible composing all believers world wide from the time of its inception on Pentecost until the taking away of the church at the rapture. The Holy Spirit gave it its birth Acts 2:33 and we become part by spirit baptism 1 Cor12:13 by being born again of the Spirit. No one joins the church unless they are joined to Christ first.
No one is told to join the church because it is an automatic placing of one in the body of which Christ is the head
Later when Paul was persecuting the church, Jesus said he was persecuting him. Because he was the owner of it, we are his body and his Spirit indwells those who he killed. By killing Christians he was fighting against Christ himself. The Church is called "the Church of God "which is at Corinth, which is a problem for Iglesia since they call it the church of Christ and he is not suppose to be God.1 Cor. 1:2 also 1 Cor. 10:32. Eph. 5:23 Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. V. 24 the church is subject to Christ, "Rom.16:16 calls them the Churchs of Christ. Rev.1:20 says Christ holds the seven golden lampstand's, the seven stars and the messengers (angels) of the seven churches in his hand showing his control. This would quote hard to accomplish being a human only.
Rev 2:23: "and all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts. And I will give to each one of you according to your works.
Jesus referred to those who were part of his church as "my sheep", you are the branches "I am the vine". All these relate to our connection to the Son who brings us to the Father and is the source of our eternal life. Christ said to follow him, that he was the way. Instead Iglesia has made a new found church the way, a poor substitute for the real thing.