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THEO 301 (Fa '15) T27-28 - Iglesia ni Cristo

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Hartmut Scherer

on 7 December 2015

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Transcript of THEO 301 (Fa '15) T27-28 - Iglesia ni Cristo

Iglesia ni Cristo
Protestant missionaries and Bibles arrived
After 400 years of Spanish rule and Roman Catholic domination, the Philippines came under the administration of the U.S.
Official Name:
Iglesia ni Cristo
(Inc) - tagalog for 'Church of Christ'
Felix Y. Manalo, at the age of 16, found a Bible;
he left the Seventh Day Adventists after a doctrinal disagreement;
announced that God had told him to start a new church, a Filipino one
preached passionately against RC teachings
Manalo began to propagate his
doctrine, using Rev. 7:1-3 as proof text
Sharing the Gospel
Iglesia ni Cristo, Farrington Hwy., Waipahu
late 1930s
group had spread beyond the Manila area
The Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church of Christ) Today
Sources and Image Credit
Key thoughts adapted from Anne C. Harper, "The Iglesia Ni Cristo and Evangelical Christianity" in JAM 3/1 (2001), pp. 101-119; accessed December 3, 2015 and from Watchman Fellowship; accessed December 3, 2015; https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwi7ma61vb_JAhVKz2MKHRWnCjAQFggcMAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.watchman.org%2Fprofiles%2Fpdf%2Figlesianicristoprofile.pdf&usg=AFQjCNHaUooTTE3VppOqlpDs9z7Ccpi3ZA.
27,000,000 in 89 countries
Quezon City, Philippines
Formally established on July 27, 1914
Felix Ysagun Manalo
(monthly magazine in English and Tagalog;
God's Message
(magazine in English)
Organizational Structure:
The group is hierarchical in nature with ultimate authority resting in the Chief Executive Minister (CEM). A Church Council of 17 executive officers oversees church matters and issues
Unique Terms:
, Last Messenger, Angel from the East, one new man, unity
Current Leader:
Eduardo V. Manalo, son of Eraño de Guzman Manalo
after a Methodist minister won a debate with a RC priest, he left
the RC church
started studying the Bibel
he served in a variety of ministerial capacities
discouraged with American Protestantism
November 1913
incorporated Iglesia ni Cristo with the Philippine government
formed twelve congregations with a total membership of
close to 1,000
saw history divided
into dispensations
with their respective
INC began publishing
interrupted during Japanese occupation
publication of
church membership increased to 100,000 (1951)
Felix died; his son Eraño was elected successor until 2009;
church expanded under Eraño’s leadership
Oneness of God
church building 5025597898_eef1baa013_o; https://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4149/5025597898_eef1baa013_o_d.jpg&imgrefurl=https://www.flickr.com/photos/40295335@N00/5025597898&h=2112&w=2816&tbnid=ZLKBdLFbCJZdCM:&docid=5XT_tKQhtNILMM&hl=en&ei=iBlgVp_TNYeGjwPo15-AAw&tbm=isch&ved=0ahUKEwift4Ptvb_JAhUHw2MKHejrBzAQMwgjKAYwBg
bible; http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_sA_hdLZwb6w/Sznt9yeWNKI/AAAAAAAABnY/wfRbOGUKrKI/s400/bible3.gif
- God is not, nor could he ever be a man, (using
Hosea 11:9 as a proof-text)
- believes in one God who is “the Almighty,” omniscient
and displeased by sin
- worked throughout history by appointing special
messengers to interpret his will
- denies the triune nature of God
Jesus Christ
- did not pre-exist from the beginning and was not the
Creator of all things ("firstborn of all creatures")
- was not God, but a created being lower than God
- a sinless man given a special mission and status by God
- is the only way to God and his mission was to create and
save the “one new man"
The Holy Spirit
- is the means by which God reveals the meanings of his
words to his messengers
- is not God
- merely a power sent by the Father in the name of
Christ to aid his messengers and his church
- Christ’s presence is felt and manifested in the
congregation through the Holy Spirit
- task was given to Felix Y. Manalo, the third Elijah
- an angel or messenger
- only those appointed by God have the authority to
correctly interpret God’s will and teach from the Bible
- his teaching is infallible
- members do not read the Bible and cannot understand it
- the Iglesia ni Cristo teaches that it “speaks where the
Bible speaks and is silent where the Bible is silent”
- the church claims that the Bible is its source of authority
(in reality the highest authority is Manalo’s teaching)
- when questioned, members will always say they will ask
their pastor
One true church/One new man
- Felix Manalo’s founding of the Iglesia ni Cristo in 1914
marked the re-emergence of the true church
- the true church was originally founded by Christ in
Jerusalem but fell into apostasy
- membership in the INC is the only means of salvation
(John 10:9)
- to be removed from fellowship is to lose one’s salvation
- Unity with the Church Administration (CA) is a central
and overarching teaching of the INC
- unity begins at the top, with the CA; each level of
hierarchy submits to the next level above it
joining the church
- reconciliation with God is impossible unless a person
believes in the message of Felix Manalo
- the Iglesia ni Cristo considers faith without works to be
barren and dead (requires works for salvation)
abiding in God's word
- the “one new man” is the church of which Christ is the
Head and the Iglesia ni Cristo the Body
- is subordinate to the Son and strengthens the INC
- his mission and message of restoration have now
passed to Eduardo V. Manalo, the new CEM
- all aspects of INC life are under the authority of the CEM
- as Christ and those in Him come together as “one new
man,” the result is peace between God and man
remaining faithful
baptismal regeneration
Holy Supper
Understanding the Receptor
- Filipino culture is Asian
- desirable Filipino traits are courtesy, courage, diligence,
helpfulness and hospitality
- values highlight a relational society
Understanding the Epistemological Foundations of INC
- all must agree to this interpretation in order to be saved
- try to understand by which methods Iglesia ni Cristo
acquires knowledge
- the INC alone has the correct interpretation of Scripture
- they demand unity in their teachings
Cultural Distance
- Western missionaries have tended to focus on the truth
of their beliefs and pointed out false teaching
- maintaining relationships and harmony are the highest
values of Filipino culture
- hierarchical structure in Filipino society
- they believe unity is only possible when everyone
completely agrees
- shamed-based society (saving someone's "face")
- very clear class structure within INC
- no one can advance up the ladder unless his entire family
has joined the church and remains active
- to question or move away from the church is to disturb
peace and unity, which equals offense and shame
Possible Approaches
- effective communication in Filipino culture is non-
- friendship evangelism is an effective way of gaining
credibility (use common interests)
- genuine care and concern for church members will
communicate Christ’s love for them
- talking about your communion (your daily experience)
with a triune God
- conversions are processes, not decision points in time
When sharing with INCers . . .
- be aware of different understandings of Christian terms
- remember that church members do not read the Bible
for themselves
- go through the entire Bible when presenting a biblical
view of Jesus Christ
- move away from a mere doctrinal approach
- reaching the church hierarchy should be our priority
- we must be intentional in our incarnation of the Gospel
- consider the possibility of building on existing “pillars”
- members of the Iglesia ni Cristo are a major unreached
people group
closed/hostile to gospel presentation
nationalistic and racist attitudes of early Protestant missionaries
focused strongly on the message
only little consideration of Filipino and Iglesia culture
- we should build credibility (relationship, respect)
To communicate the gospel to the Iglesia ni Cristo in a manner they will understand and embrace.
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