OPEN LETTER TO AN IGLESIA NI CRISTO MEMBER By: Esteban Raymundo
Posted by catholicfaithdefender on April 4, 2008
OPEN LETTER TO AN IGLESIA NI CRISTO MEMBER
For further information or help understanding the heresy of Englesia ni Christo, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
November 24, 2004
MR. ZEUS ANTHONY ORDINAL
Intel Technology MFG
Bangkal, Makati City
Thank you for your message in response to mine. It is with a heavy heart that this will have to be my last post in this e-group. I may not have the time anymore to monitor all my mails because I will already devote my time and energy in my apostolate as a full-time lay evangelist of the Church. In this way, I will be able to respond to the Great Commission: “Make disciples of all the nations” (Mt. 28:19). But before I make my graceful exit, let me say my piece.
Firstly, I thank you wholeheartedly for some of your pointed comments regarding the Catholic Church. I tried as much as I can to understand your position. I must admit in all candor that, in a certain degree, my exchange of messages with you as well as with other members of the group, was personally rewarding and enriching. The reasons are as follows:
1. I was able to speak out what the Catholic Church teaches and believes on certain issues.
2. I defended the Church to what I perceive to be inaccurate and baseless accusations.
3. I gave you the chance to speak out what you and the INC believe on certain issues.
4. I had the chance to ask you questions regarding your faith. (Although, I have not elicited satisfactory answers from you.)
5. I was able to more or less assess the reasons why you left the Catholic Church. This gave me the insight to formulate pastoral strategies for Catholics who are on the verge of leaving the Flock of Christ.
The exchange of points of view was educative to me, and I hope it was to you. I must admit that there were things that you said that I consider as “eye opener” for me. I now know the motivations and the reasons why you left the Catholic Church. Your honesty in revealing to me the reasons why you left the Catholic Church is noteworthy.
Allow me to respond to you regarding this matter briefly. I will quote your own words so that I can be fair and objective in my reply. When it cannot be avoided, allow me to rephrase your sentences for purposes of clarity, without, however, twisting or changing their meaning. I need to do this because of the oftentimes ungrammatical construction of your sentences. To be honest, there were times that I could not make sense of what you were saying because of your faulty syntax, wrong grammar, bad diction and imprecise expression of your thoughts. In addition, your logic is problematic. Your messages were replete with fallacious reasoning. These fallacies include hasty generalization, circulus in probando, argumentum ad hominem, argumentum ad ignorantiam, argumentum ad mesirecordiam, genetic fallacy and assumptio non probata. You virtually violated all the rules of logical argumentation. But I don’t fault you for that. You are honest enough to admit that you are not a genius. Nor am I. I had my share of lapses, too. Human as we are, we are capable of committing mistakes, in grammar or otherwise.
I understand that you were a Catholic for 24 years before you converted to the INC. You even mentioned that you went to Mass voluntarily, without being forced by your parents. That was so good of you! I admire you for that. I wish Catholics of our generation would have the same attitude as yours.
However, it saddened me when you likewise mentioned that you went to Church to have a date with your girlfriend or just because it was your birthday. You went to Church for the wrong motivations. Many Catholics are doing that, too. I just hope and pray that Catholics who go to Mass will fully appreciate the treasure that is the Eucharist. In this regard, religious education is most needed. Thank you for letting me know this. Indeed, there are a lot of things that need to be done to remedy the situation. It is herein where I a can step up my help to educate Catholics on their Faith, the “faith that is once and for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3).
You mentioned also in your post that you only hear “one or two verses from the Bible” during the Mass. I don’t think that you have hearing impairment. I pointed out that you were wrong on this regard. Yet, you did not admit you made a mistake and apologize for such mistake. I said that it takes a little humility to accept that we made a mistake. We need not justify our mistake. To do so would be pride. The Apostle Peter says: “God resists the proud, and gives grace to the humble” (1 Pet. 5:5).
When I pointed out to you our need for humility, you countered by unabashedly telling me that you know the meaning of humility and I didn’t have to explain it to you. What attitude is this? I thought that when you converted to the INC, you would be a better person — more contrite, more humble. It seems to me that your being an INC now has not helped you a bit, at least in this aspect. Your church, sad to say, failed to reform you on this. Again, knowing what humility is, and practicing it are two different things. A person who knows humility should practice humility. Otherwise, it’s hypocrisy.
I asked you in one of my posts that you be accurate in your allegations. I mentioned that what is not the whole truth is a lie. I pointed out the falsity of your allegation that there are only 1 or two verses from the Bible during the Mass. I called your attention to John 8:44, which says: “You are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father you will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.”
Instead of you admitting that you were wrong and be sorry, you had the temerity to justify yourself by saying that “Liars are the son’s of Satan but those who denied the Truth are much worst (sic) than a liar.” What a shocking statement from a member of the Church of Christ! I doubt it if this is what your church teaches you. If it does, it is teaching you an unscriptural doctrine. It has no basis in the Word of God whatsoever.
Zeus, your statement reveals your thinking process. You must by now realize the absurdity of that statement. One who denies the truth is a liar in as much the same way as one who does not tell the truth. Notice the circularity of your statement. Indeed, your statement is illogical as it is unscriptural. You owe it to your church to recant that statement; otherwise I will forever hold the impression that it was your church that taught you that.
You made the sweeping and plainly gratuitous assertion that “there are many things happening (sic) inside your church that are not based on the Bible.” I asked you to be more specific. You failed to do so. What exactly are these things in the Catholic Church that are not in the Bible? As far as I’m concerned, we never teach and do things that are not based in the Bible. I can prove this, on purely Biblical grounds, point by point. On the other hand, it’s Manalo’s church that teaches and practices things that are not in the Bible. In other words, your church teaches and practices things concocted and fabricated by your recognized “Sugo,” the angel Felix Y. Manalo. Your very own church admits this.
Go get your own copy of your Pasugo. I have here with me an old copy of the Pasugo, May 1961 issue. In page 4 thereof, it says:
“At sino nga ba ang gumagawa ng mga leksiyong itinuturo ng mga ministro, maging sa mga pagsamba, mga doctrina o mga Propaganda? Ang kapatid na Felix Manalo.”
There you go! Straight from the horse’s mouth. You want some more? Here in my copy of the Pasugo, May 1963, page 27, I can read:
“Kaya’t sa katuparan ng hula, ang lahat ng mga itinuturo ng mga Ministro ng INK sa mga pagsamba, sa mga doctrina, sa mga pamamahayag sa gitna ng bayan, ay si Kapatid na Felix Manalo ang bumabalangkas at nagtuturo sa kanila.” [Emphasis mine]
Now Brod, which church teaches and practices things not found in the Bible? Yours or mine?
Before you accuse the Catholic Church of teaching and practicing something that is not based on the Bible, have a closer examination of your own church. In Romans 2:3, we read:
“At iniisip mo baga ito, Oh tao, na humahatol sa mga nagsisigawa ng gayong mga bagay, at ginagawa mo ang gayon din, na ikaw ay makakatanan sa hatol ng Diyos?” [Ang Biblia, emphasis mine]
We must practice what we preach.
You know, Zeus, in my exchanges with you, I raised so many points that you did not meet head-on. I asked you questions that you did not answer. I got so disappointed because I expected much from you, a member of the Iglesia ni Cristo. I thought that the INC has the Truth. I am of the impression that the INC has failed to communicate to you that Truth which it claims to have in its possession.
I wanted to engage you in those points and questions. But what I got were evasions, shifting from one issue to the next, but leaving the previous ones hanging. It seems to me that you are no far better in the INC than you were in the Catholic Church. You still do not know your doctrines in the INC in the same manner that you did not know the teachings of the Catholic Church.
I asked you to answer my questions and meet the points I raised. You refused to be focused on the topic at hand. What I got from you were evasions. I didn’t get what I wanted. I was (and still am) frustrated. I was asking you to account for what you now believe as an INC. I got nothing substantial from you. Zero, nada, zilch! In 1 Peter 3:15, we are told to “be ready to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason for the hope that is in you…” In all honesty, can you really say that you did what Apostle Peter asked you to do?
You candidly admitted that you left the Catholic Church because you don’t understand a lot of its teachings. If you don’t understand its teachings, you have no reason to criticize it now? What right have you to deride the things that you do not know? In Jude 10 we read: “Datapuwat ang mga ito’y nangaalipusta sa anomang bagay na hindi nila nalalaman…” And also in 2 Peter 2:12, we read:
“Datapuwa’t ang mga ito, na gaya ng mga kinapal na walang bait, na ipinanganganak na talagang mga hayop upang hulihin at lipulin, na nagsisialipusta sa mga bagay na hindi nila nalalaman ay walang pagsalang lilipulin sa kanila ring pagkalipol.”
In your pathetic attempt to justify your gross ignorance of Catholic teachings, you tauntingly asked the question, “who’s (sic) fault is that… is it mine?” Again, this reveals the mental paradigm on which you operate. This mentality is so reflective of Cain’s attitude who justified his murderous deed by tauntingly questioning the Lord: “Am I my brother’s keeper?” (Gen. 4:9). We don’t shift our own responsibility to someone else. That attitude is reflective of that of Adam and Eve after the fall. Adam, though himself guilty, shifted the blame to Eve by saying, “The woman whom you gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat” (Gen. 3: 12). Eve, for her part, shifted the blame to the serpent by saying, “The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat” (Gen. 3:13). But notice the justice of God! ALL were judged accordingly.
I say it with a heavy heart but I say it nonetheless: your attitude is very much like them. You justify your own culpable negligence and ignorance by pointing your finger to the Catholic priests. Granting for the sake of argument that the priests failed to educate you (just like the ministers of the INC who failed to educate you now that you are with them), why did you not exercise your own initiative? It seems that you want to be spoon-fed. That can possibly explain the reason why you converted to the INC because you found there what you’ve always wanted: to be spoon-fed. Everything is given to you cut and dried. On the contrary, the Bible teaches us the value of initiative and encourages it. Apostle Paul, in 2 Corinthians 9:2, says:
“Sapagka’t nakilala ko ang inyong sikap, na aking ipinagmamapuri tungkol sa mga taga-Macedonia, na ang Acaya ay nahahandang isang taon na, at ang inyong pagsisikap ay nakapagudyok sa lubhang marami sa kanila.” [Underscoring supplied]
There you go! You lacked initiative. You were just waiting to be spoon-fed. You are an illustration of the classical Juan Tamad character, who waits for the guava fruit to fall into your mouth. If that is not laziness, negligence, irresponsibility or dereliction, I don’t know what is.
Apostle Paul reminds us: “That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises” (Hebrews 6:12).
Your parents, too, had the share in educating you. The first school is the home. Will you accept the fact that your parents likewise failed to educate you and provide you with proper Christian upbringing?
I am not justifying the priests. Far from it. They are accountable to God for their own faults and failures. Indeed, to whom much is given, much is expected (Luke 12:48). Priests will be judged accordingly by God. But still, that does not excuse you. If they failed to teach you and still you did not do something, you cannot shift the blame on them because you are responsible for your own salvation. In Philippians 2:12, we are instructed: “work out your salvation with fear and trembling.”
It is indeed a pity that, after having seen the Church in chaos, you did nothing to help. You just abandoned ship! Where were you when the Church needed you most? You turned your back away from her and left her. That is self-centeredness, cowardice and sheer opportunism. Abraham Lincoln said: “Ask not what your government can do to you, but what you can do to your government.” The same principle applies to religion as well: “Ask not what your Church can do to you but what you can do to the Church.” You are as guilty as the priests you accuse.
When a burglar enters our house, we don’t run away. We alert the police, apprehend the malefactor and set our household to its rights again. When we see our house on fire, we just don’t leave it. We call the firefighter to put out the fire. The bottom line is: DO SOMETHING! That you failed to do. You left your Church for another. In 2 Timothy 4:3-4, we read:
“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”
Indeed, “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from Him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel” (Gal. 1:6).
I can prove based on the Bible and your own Pasugo that your church preaches another gospel. In fact, just in case you do not realize, your church preaches Manalo essentially as “another Christ”. For example, your Pasugo of July 1965, in page 12, without compunction or shame, blasphemously states:
“Parehong-pareho ang espiritu ni Cristo sa diwa ni Kapatid na Felix Manalo sa pamamaraan ng pagdadala ng tagubiling tinanggap ng Diyos.”
Can you beat that? Please recall to mind the words of Our Lord:
“Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
For wheresoever the carcass is, there will the eagles be gathered together” (Matthew 24:23-28).
In Mark 13:21-23, the Lord likewise said:
“And then if any one say to you, Lo, here [is] the Christ, or Lo, there, believe it not. For false Christs and false prophets will arise, and give signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. But do ye take heed: behold, I have told you all things beforehand.”
The church that you joined is a church founded by someone who claims to be an angel. Now Zeus, listen to what Apostle Paul cautions us: “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed” (Gal. 1:8-9).
I thought that when you converted to the INC, you have found the truth. It seems to me, however, that that is not the case. If that were so, you will not say such things as “Liars are the sons of Satan and those who denied the truth are much worst than liars” and “The Bible was written by the apostles and prophets through the Wisdom of God”. Did your church really teach you such unbiblical assertions? If so, your church is teaching you unscriptural doctrines. If not, why are you mentioning things not taught to you by your church? Your church failed to educate you. And you are giving your church a bad reputation. You are not a credit to the Iglesia ni Cristo. Are you the kind of fruit the INC turned you to be? If you are, you are not something to be proud of by the INC. If the INC failed to change you, you are simply incorrigible. “By their fruits you shall know them” (Matt. 7:16).
In one of you posts, you asked: “Who told you that the RCC [Roman Catholic Church] gave us the Bible?”. I will let Martin Luther answer that:
“We are compelled to concede to the Papists that they have the Word of God, that we received it from them, and that without them we should have no knowledge of it at all.” [Emphasis added and underscoring supplied]
Even the very life story of your Sugo confirms this. In the May-June 1986 issue of the Pasugo, in page 7 thereof, reveals:
“In 1900, the cousins stayed in the parish house in Sampaloc, Manila, where the parish priest was an uncle, Mariano Borja…
It was in that parish house where Felix Manalo found a Bible, which he began to read to find passages confirming his religious beliefs…” [Emphasis added and underscoring supplied]
Had it not been for the Catholic Church, Manalo could not have had the chance of reading the Bible. Thanks to the Roman Catholic Church!
Secondly, did your church really teach you, based on your own words that the Bible “was written by the apostles and prophets through the Wisdom of God”? You know how flawed that is. Questions:
1. Was the Bible written only by Apostles and Prophets? Mark and Luke wrote their Gospels, but where they apostles? Were Ruth and Esther prophets? What about the Judges? Was King Solomon a prophet? What about Joshua? What about the writers of 1 and 2 Kings and 1 and 2 Chronicles? These questions you failed to answer. The INC failed to teach you in this regard.
2. You mentioned the “Wisdom of God”. What is the Wisdom of God? Is it an attribute of God? Is it a Person? Is the Wisdom of God the same as the Logos? What does your church say about it?
3. Did, as you mentioned, the apostles and prophets wrote the Bible through the Wisdom of God, or is it the other way around? Could it be that God wrote the Scriptures through the apostles and prophets and the other inspired writers of the Bible?
I already answered your question with regard to where the Bible came from. You just seem to fail not to get the point. Is it really that hard to understand, or you just refuse to understand?
I stated that there is no debate that God DID GIVE us the Bible. The question is, HOW did God give us the Bible? Did God give us the Bible straight from heaven? Did the Bible fall from heaven straight into our hands? You and I fully know that such is not the case.
Again, let it be stated anew that the Catholic Church believes that the Bible is inerrant. The Bible is God-breathed or inspired. We fully hold the INSPIRATION and INERRANCY of the Bible. 1 Timothy 3:16 states that “All scripture is given by inspiration of God…” We don’t contest that. What we are saying is, though the Bible has God for its author, God used human agency, the human authors of the Bible. He inspired them to write what He wanted written, but did not dictate on them. Inspiration is in no wise the same as dictation. God did not interfere with the skills, style and talents of the human authors, but made use of them to accomplish His divine purpose. In this sense, God indeed GAVE us the Bible, but He graciously involved human authors in writing down the books of the Bible. The books of the Bible are inspired and given by God. But WHO decided that only the books that are now included in the Bible are to be included therein? There were more than a hundred writings to select from. Here is where God made use of the Catholic Church. The Councils of the Catholic Church, in Laodicea (362 AD), Hippo (397 AD) and Carthage (419 AD) came in. The INC teaches that the Catholic Church apostatized in 325 AD in the Council of Nicaea. Why did God allow the apostate Catholic Church to determine the canonicity and authenticity of the 27 New Testament Books? The INC calls the Catholic Church the “synagogue of Satan”. Why would God allow the synagogue of Satan to pass upon the canonicity and authenticity of the Bible in Satan’s Councils? In 1 Corinthians 10:21, Apostle Paul says: “You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of devils; you cannot partake of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils.” In Ephesians 4:17, we read: “Neither give place to the devil.” Finally, in 2 Corinthians 6:14-15, Apostle Paul asks: “For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever?”.
The very nagging question screaming for an answer is this: Why would Satan’s church have a say in listing down which books should be included in the Word of God?
I asked you to ask your ministers the following questions:
1. If the Catholic Church apostatized in 325 AD in the Council of Nicaea, what authority did it have in 362, 397 and 419 AD in deciding which books are to be included in the canon?
2. Where in the Bible can we find from Genesis to Revelation a Table of Contents enumerating the books to be included in the Bible?
3. Where in the Bible does it say that the books and only the books that are now included in the Bible are inspired?
I was appalled when you told me that I should ask your ministers myself. Can’t you ask your ministers? Are you afraid to ask them?
I did not expect you to tell me to ask your ministers. You even mentioned that if I am not satisfied with the answer of your ordinary ministers, I should ask your Central Office. Akala ko ba, Zeus, ang lahat ng ministro ninyo ay pawang mga sinugo? Bakit kailangan pang magtanong ako sa Central kapag hindi ako nasagot ng ordinaryong ministro lamang? Hindi ba pantay ang pagkasugo sa kanila?
At any rate, to be honest with you, I already did what you told me to do. To my chagrin, all I got were evasive replies, non-responsive answers and even insults. The reason why I asked you to ask them for me is because I thought that if an INC member like you would ask them, they would be honest in their answers. I hate to say this but I am now convinced that INC ministers are what the Apostle Paul refers to as “mapagkunwaring ministro” in 2 Corinthians 11:15:
“Hindi malaking bagay na ang kanilang mga ministro naman ay magpakunwaring ministro ng katuwiran; na ang kanilang wakas ay masasang-ayon sa kanilang mga gawa.”
Instead of answering my questions and meeting the points I raised, you switched on to ask me if there are INC ministers who converted to the Catholic Church.
Why would an INC minister, with very fat salary and allowances, as well as other emoluments and perks, convert to a Church that can’t give them the same material rewards and benefits? Like the rich young man in the parable (Mark 10:17-27), your ministers would rather cling to the materially bountiful and convenient life they have in the INC. Indeed, “what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul?” (Mark 8:36).
Harsh words? Perhaps. But your own Executive Minister, Eraňo G. Manalo, had the same, if not harsher, words for your ministers:
“Wala nang nagkaroon ng takot sa Diyos na kahit isa para tumayo at manindigan sa panig ng katuwiran. Lahat manlulupig ng katuwiran. Bakit? Suweldo ang hinahanap, yung tulong niya, yung bahay niya, yung kasaganaan niya, siguro, ang tinatamasa niya, pero ang iglesia ay ayaw na niya pagsilbihan ng totoo.” [Emphasis added]
Apostle Paul warns of those “whose God is their belly” (Phil. 3:19). “For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple” (Romans 16:18).
This is what I mean by looking at your own backyard. The Lord Jesus said: “Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again” (Matthew 7:1-2). And, “And he said unto them, Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given” (Mark 4:24).
This I have to tell you. Yes, I know of INC ministers who converted to the Catholic Church. Deacons and deaconesses are included. But your church wouldn’t tell you that. Your church wouldn’t admit that. In fact, it even says that they were not even INCs, but they were excommunicated (“tiniwalag”). Funny, is it not? If they were not members of the INC in the first place, why would they be excommunicated?
I also have a friend who converted from the INC to the Catholic Church who is now a member of the Opus Dei. His brother is also an INC minister. He asked his brother why he continues to stay in the INC even if he himself does not anymore believe in INC doctrines. His brother’s reply was: “Why, can you give me everything that I am enjoying now? Can you feed my children and send them to school? Can you raise my family?” There you go! I can name names. But since this is a public group, I will withhold their names for their own protection. I have their sworn statements, though. You know how the ex-INCs are treated by your Church. They are persecuted, ostracized and harassed. I have newspaper clippings as well as personal testimonies of excommunicated INCs to prove this.
Then again, I believe that your question is picayune and irrelevant. It is otiose to talk about it, especially if your purpose is proving that your church is the one true Church. I have a better question. Has there ever been a member of the INC who got killed for his faith? Has there ever been a member of the INC since 1914 to the present who died a martyr’s death? Your answer is as good as mine. There is NONE. That should bother you. The true Church of Christ is the Church of martyrs as can be seen in Revelation 7:9-17. Even your “Last Messenger” and Founder did not die a martyr’s death. Do you know how he died? His death was like that of Judas. The May-June 1986 issue of the Pasugo, of which I have a copy, admits in page 21 thereof:
“On April 2, the doctors worked on Manalo again to sue 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.”
Notice the striking resemblance with the death of that of Judas: “he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out.” In Ang Biblia, it says: “pumutok siya sa gitna at sumambulat ang lahat ng laman ng kanyang tiyan” (Acts 1: 18).
There’s another similar death if you care to read History. His name is Arius.
Indeed, “it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” Heb. 10:31.
Still talking about God’s Messenger, the angel Felix Y. Manalo, I raised the issue of Rosita Trillanes in my earlier posts in this e-group. I documented my statements, citing the case of People versus Trillanes, published in the Official Gazette, Volume I, No. 1, July 1954, p. 394, docketed as Case No. 8180, April 21, 1942. I have the decision photocopied from the Official Gazette, as well as the “advance sheet” authenticated by the Court of Appeals.
As I stated, I am not concerned in whether or not God’s Last Messenger did molest dozens of women. I am more after an answer to the question: Why did God’s Last Messenger who re-established Christ’s Church in the Philippines sue a member of the church in a Gentile or pagan court? I asked this because that contravened 2 Corinthians 6:1. Again, no answer was given.
When I raised the issue on Rosita Trillanes, someone in this group responded to me by posting the purported “retraction” of Trillanes. I pointed out that said retraction does not serve any fathomable legal purpose whatsoever. A recantation, retraction or desistance should be executed and filed before the prosecution files a criminal information in court. In the Trillanes case, however, that cannot be legally possible, for the following reasons:
1. Manalo was the private complainant. He should have been the one who executed and filed an affidavit of desistance or retraction.
2. The case was already filed in court. In fact, the case reached the Court of Appeals where Trillanes was acquitted. The appellate court upheld Trillanes and categorically called Manalo “a man of low morals” (“un hombre de baja moral’).
3. The retraction was executed by Trillanes many years after the dismissal of the case.
The person who furnished me the alleged text of the retraction berated me and told me to leave Trillanes alone because “matagal nang namayapa si Kapatid na Trillanes” and “masigasig siyang naglingkod sa Iglesia bilang diaconesa hanggang sa kanyang kamatayan.” The point that Trillanes remained a deaconess until her death, after the scandal that she caused, struck me. Why would a self-confessed liar be allowed to serve in the church as deaconess? In 1 Timothy 3:10, Apostle Paul provides the qualifications for the office of deacon: “And let these also be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless. Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderer, sober, faithful in all things.” You consider a self-confessed liar blameless? Manalo himself considered Trillanes a libeler, in fact he filed a criminal case against her for libel. Then, why would she be appointed as deaconess even if she does not qualify as one who is “not a slanderer.”? You consider a conspirator against the church like Trillanes as “faithful in all things”? The doubt continues to linger in the air that her retraction can be construed as a quid pro quo for her position as deaconess. This is not to mention the undue influence and tremendous power Manalo formidably wielded during that time, both as the Sugo, Founder and Executive Minister of his church.
At this juncture, let me ask you another question regarding your Last Messenger. Sa 1 Timoteo 3:1-2, ganito ang sinasabi ni Apostol Pablo: “Totoo ang kasabihang ito: Ang nagnanais na maging tagapangasiwa sa iglesya ay naghahangad ng mabuting gawain. Kaya, kailangang wala siyang kapintasan, isa lang ang asawa (o kaya: miminsang nagkaasawa), may pagpipigil sa sarili, maingat, kagalang-galang, bukas ang tahanan, at mahusay na tagapagturo” (Magandang Balita Biblia, ang pagbibigay-diin ay akin). Kung gayon, ang tagapangasiwa ng iglesia ay dapat na isa lang ang asawa o dili baga’y miminsan lamang nagkaasawa, bakit si Felix Y. Manalo ay nakadalawang asawa o makalawang ulit na nag-asawa, at ito’y sina Tomasa Sereneo at Honorata de Guzman?
Zeus, in one of your posts, you mentioned about the “chaos in the Catholic Church.” Come to think about it, this chaos that we experience is Our Lord’s way of purifying His Church. It is part of the growth pains of the Church, the Bride of Christ. The Bible teaches us that pain is essential to growth. God never promised that things would be easy for His Church. The Church which undergoes such experience is the one true Church. Apostle Paul says:
“We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken, cast down, but not destroyed” (2 Cor. 4:8-10).
In fact, the happenings in the Catholic Church can be said to be God’s way of chastising her because He loves her. God chastises whom He loves. In Hebrews 12:6-11, the Apostle to the Gentiles emphasizes this point:
“For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards. Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them. For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but He for our profit, that we might be partakers of his Holiness. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.”
The Catholic Church appears to be weak because of its problems. But, as Apostle Paul says: “And He had said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness. Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore, I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Cor. 12: 9-10).
In your last message to me, you asked: “If you believe that all this things are necessary in your Catholic faith then why do Millions of Catholic around the world or just even here in the Philippines don’t know about this Facts that you wish us to Know? You believe that your church has the complete doctrines of Christ and GOD then what is happening to your Church? And to the whole world?”
I think I already partially answered your question. But let me expound. First, God did not promise a bed of roses for His Church. Remember what Our Lord said? “Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also” (John 15:20).
Perhaps, you should read the Parable of the Sower:
“And when much people were gathered together, and were come to him out of every city, he spake by a parable: a sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it. And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it. And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear” (Luke 8:4-8).
Yes, we preach these “facts”. But as the parable says, some fell on the way side, some on the rock, and some among the thorns. That is why millions, as you said, do not know these. That is Biblical. But do not forget that millions, too, know about these.
Indeed, the problems and trials in the Catholic Church have been predicted by the Master: “And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: And when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren” (Luke 22:31-32). Ang Iglesia Katolika ay talaga namang nililiglig ni Satanas sapagkat siya ang tunay na Iglesia. Hindi namin ikinahihiya na maraming kaguluhan at problema ang nangyayari sa amin. Tanda ito ng kanyang pagiging tunay na Iglesia. Ang sabi nga ng Panginoon: “Simon, Simon, narito, hiningi ka ni Satanas upang ikaw ay maliglig niyang gaya ng trigo: datapuwa’t ikaw ay ipinamanhik ko, na huwag magkulang ang iyong pananampalataya…” (Lukas 22:31-32).
Hindi katakataka na kahit na patuloy ang pangangaral ng Iglesia Katolika ay marami pa rin ang hindi nakakaalam at nakakaunawa. Iyan din ay napagdaanan ng mga Apostol mismo. Halimbawa, sa Gawa 28:23-24, mababasa natin na:
“At nang mataningan na nila siya ng isang araw, ay nagsiparoon ang lubhang marami sa kanyang tinutuluyan; at sa kanila’y kaniyang ipinaliwanag ang bagay, na sinasaksihan ang kaharian ng Diyos, at sila’y hinihikaya’t tungkol kay Jesus, sa pamamagitan ngkautusan ni Moises at gayon din sa pamamagitan ng mga propeta, buhat umaga hanggang gabi. At ang mga iba’y nagsipaniwala sa mga bagay na sinabi, ang mga iba’y hindi nagsipaniwala.”
Ayan, kahit na magdamag ka mangaral o magturo, hindi lahat makakaalam, makakaunawa at makakatalos ng iyong mga sinabi. Biblia mismo ang nagpapatotoo niyan.
Siguro itatanong mo kung bakit parehas may matino at di-matinong mga Katoliko. Hayaan natin, Kapatid, na Biblia ang sumagot niyan. Just read the parable of the weeds among the wheat in Matthew 13:24-30 and the parable of the net that catches both good and bad fish in Matthew 13:47-48.
Another reason why, as you said, there are “millions” who do not know these things, is because there are only very few priests left to do the task. There is a crisis in priestly vocations in the Catholic Church. This is also prophesied by the Lord in the Bible. Let us read Luke 10:2:
“Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.”
You mentioned so many things regarding the Catholic priests. Some may be guilty but not all. Besides, your own ministers in the INC are as contemptible, if not more, than the Catholic priests you revile. Read for yourself the transcript of the complaint of your very own Executive Ministers against his own ministers, thus:
“Ngayon, kung ang isang manggagawa, mga kapatid, sinungaling, hindi puwedeng manindigan. Kung ang isang manggagawa kakampi sa katiwalian, hindi puwedeng manindigan. Kung ang isang manggagawa siya pang nagtuturo ng katiwalian, eh lalong masamang manggagawa ito.
Wala nang sariling paninindigan ay siya pang kasangkapan ng diablo. Eh sino ho iyang ganyang manggagawa? Maraming manggagawa natin, halos lahat ganyan.
Hindi ho ba naman isang napakarahas na pagpaparatang iyan? Hindi. Kaya ko nalalaman sapagka’t ang mga ulat na dumarating sa amin, hindi totoo. Bakit ho hindi naging totoo?
Hindi sapagka’t ang kapatid ang nagkamali kundi ang mga manggagawa ang siyang bumabago ng ulat para ilihis ang paniniwala ng pangangasiwa.
Eh iyon ho bang mga tagapamahala nalalaman iyan? Nalalaman iyan ng karamihan. Pero nagkaisa ang mga manggagawa sa loob ng iglesia para linlangin at dayain ang pangangasiwa sa layunin nilang gumanda, kuminis ang bagay na marumi at ang bagay na hindi matuwid.
Pero napakasama naman na ito palang mga tinustusang ito, ito pala naninira sa iglesia. NAPAKAGAGONG pangangasiwa, na gumagastos ka para sa maninira.
Pero gusto kong masaktan kayo. Gusto ko na higit pa sa masaktan. Kung maaari ko lang DAGUKAN ang iba ay gagawin ko para maging matindi sa kaniya…
Yung ibang mga kalihim sa probinsya, talagang wala eh, hindi abot ng kanilang kapasidad. Lalo na sa mga liblib na lugar, papaano makagagawa ng form ‘yun?
Kayong (Eh yong) manggagawa ngayon, inaasahan ko na kapatid, heto, mali ito, bakit ka mag-uulat ng hindi totoo? masama iyan.
Eh hindi, yung kapatid mag-uulat ng totoo. Baguhin mo iyan! Eh ito ho ang nasa tuntunin. Ah, anong nasa tuntunin?
Akin na iyan, pag hindi SUSUNTUKIN KITA! Iyan ang manggagawa natin ngayon. MANLULUPIG! MANINIKIL NG KAPATID.
Kaya ang iglesia’y naghihimagsik laban sa manggagawa sa nakikita nilang KATIWALIAN AT KATAMPALASANAN na hindi nila inaasahang mangyari.
Ano ang sulat sa akin ng isang kapatid? Baka gusto ninyong ipabasa ko sa inyo. Hanggang ngayon wala pa po akong nakikitang MATINO na manggagawa sa kasaysayan ng buhay ko, LAHAT ho puro TIWALI. Masakit na salita.
NASAKTAN AKO… sapagka’t ako’y manggagawa rin. Pero hindi ko masita yung kapatid sapagka’t alam kong nagsasabi siya, kung hindi man buong-buo na katotohanan eh NAGSASALITA SIYA NG TOTOO.
Wala nang nagkaroon ng takot sa Dios na kahit isa para tumayo at manindigan sa panig ng katuwiran. LAHAT MANLULUPIG na ng katuwiran.
Bakit? SUWELDO ang hinahanap, yung TULONG niya, yung BAHAY niya, yung KASAGANAAN niya, siguro, ang TINATAMASA niya pero ang iglesia ay ayaw na niyang pagsilbihan ng totoo.
Pero isipin ninyo, dumadami tuloy ang ating form. Nagagalit kayo sa opisina. Pati mga taga-opisina kinakalaban ng ibang mga manggagawa. Kapag nag-uulat sa akin, nagagalit. Nasaan ninyo gusto… Papaano ang ating gagawin sa iglesia?
Kayo ang maghahari sa iglesia? Hindi. TAMAAN KAYO NG KIDLAT AT KULOG bago mangyari iyan. (Kung) Kaya sabi ko sa Dios, napakarami ho namang dapat BAHAING MANGGAGAWA, bakit hindi mo siyang binaha? PARA MALIPOL ang mga TAMPALASANG taong ito. Nadaig pa ang kasalanan ni Judas, iisang maestro ang ipinagkanulo. Iisa ang nagkanulo sa panahon ni Kristo pero NGAYON LAHAT NG MANGGAGAWA nagkakaisa ipagkanulo Dios.
Te’ kayo, tingnan ninyo, mga kapatid, iyan ang tagapamahala sa Visayas at Mindanao. Nagpalitan tayo ng mga matatagal na sa pamamahala. Eh isa-isa, lumalapit sa akin, dumadaing sa akin. Kapatid, mayroon ho akong problema. Ano? Yun hong nakatala sa ating sa senso na mga pangalan ng kapatid, eh hindi ko naman ho makita (dito) ngayon sa aking destino.
Ano kako ang ibig mong sabihin? Eh ang numero ho eh napakalaki pero sa katotohanan ho’y wala yung tao. Ang Camarines, este ang Sorsogon, hinihiling sa akin na alisin sa talaan ang kulang-kulang na apatnaraang tao eh kakaunti lang naman ang kapatid sa Sorsogon.
Bakit? Tinignan ko sa ulat ang nakaulat na malamig eh mahigit lang isandaan. Pero ang aalisin eh apat na raan.
Eh bakit, ano ho ba ang ginawa nung mga dating naroon? Aba’y e di binabago ulat. Pinakikinis para huwag mapagalitan.
Samakamatuwid eh malaman, ang sinasanggalang iyong sarili, hindi ang kapakanan ng iglesia. Eh iyon ho ba’y sa Sorsogon lang? Laganap iyan kung saan-saan. Maski sa Maynila, ANG MGA MANGGAGAWA RITO’Y MAGDARAYA. Sasabihin sa iyo, dinoktrinahan ko iyan. Hindi naman. Sasabihin sa iyo, (nabautismu…) iyan ho’y nasubok sa pagsamba, pero hindi totoo. Eh bakit?
Nakita sa matatandang ministro, nakita sa matatandang manggagawa na iyon pala ang paraan para siya ay bumuti sa paningin ng pangangasiwa.
Sila ang nagsasanggalang ngayon sa kapakanan! Pero hanggang kailan tatagal ang iglesia’y INAAWAY ng mga MANGGAGAWA, BINABABAG, MINUMURA, NILALAIT at PINIPILIT NA KAYO ANG GUMAWA NG LIKO? Saan kayo nakakita ng manggagawa, sa halip na siyang magtindig sa nakalugmok.
Yung nakatayo ang ilulugmok para lamang gumanda ang kanyang sarili. Eh kung dito sa Maynila nangyayari iyon eh, eh di lalo na sa probinsya, lalo na sa malalayong lugar. Ay, tingnan ninyo sa Mindanao at sa Bisaya ngayon eh, at sa lahat ng mga… eh iba, mabibigla, mababagong bigla ang senso ng iglesia. Ano ang dahilan? Wala pala yung mga kapatid na iyon, sinasabi lang na naroon. Sino ho ang may gawa niyan? Yung magdarayang manggagawa. Hindi iyong kapatid. Yung kapatid, magkamali man, eh hindi sinadya. YUNG MINISTRO, SINASADYA.
Tumawag ako ng pulong ng mga pamunuan sa Maynila para sabihin: Mga kapatid, tumulong kayo sa akin. Ayokong mamatay ang manggagawa; ang gusto ko ay
pagtulong-tulungan nating sila’y buhayin. Sabihin n’yo sa akin kung ano ang ating maitutulong. Aba’y hindi ang sinabi sa akin kung ano ang maitutulong. Ang sinabi sa akin kung anu-anong KATIWALIAN. Ang sabi sa akin nung isa; Kapatid, tama ho ba na hindi ho itinuturo outline? Tuwing mamimili ho ng tatlong talata, tatanungin, o ano, naiintindihan mo ba iyan? Tama ho ba kapatid, bungkos-bungkos na mga katibayan, siya pumipirma, PINAPALSIKA ho niya pirma ng mga kinauukulang kalihim at mga katiwala ng gawain? Pinigil ko. Ni hindi ko itinanong sino gumagawa niyan.
Bakit? Alam kong ang manggagawa sa Maynila. Mawawalan ng dangal kapag nalaman ng lahat, siya pala’y MAGNANAKAW at TAMPALASAN.
Maski saan ka bumaling eh, wala kang makikitang liwanag. Bakit? Kumalat, lumalaganap iyang espiritung iyan na DAYAIN ANG ULAT, dayain ang ulat, LINLANGIN ANG PANGANGASIWA.
Sayang ang papel. Katakut-takot ang nagagastos natin. Binabayaran natin ang mga empleyado sa opisina, hindi pala totoo ang sinisiyasat nila.
Dito ba magwawakas ang kamatayan ng mga ito? Sa tinagal-tagal ho ba ng iyong pagpapakasakit at pagpapakahirap, at iyon ang sugo sa huling araw, ay dito ba lamang ba matatapos ang kanilang buhay at takbuhin? Kundi ang manggagawa ang siyang lumulupig sa mga kapatid na gustong manindigan, tinatakot. Kaya nagkaroon tuloy ng paniniwala: Ang pinakamasamang tao ang mag-ulat. Ang pinakamasamang tao ang mag-ulat. Ang mabuti ang tahimik. Ang mabuti ang kunsintidor. Ang mabuti ang tiwali. Kaya hindi ako nagtataka, mga kapatid, kung bakit ang Dios pagod na pagod ng katatatag, talikod naman ng talikod ang tao.
Ang tuntunin niya ang tinatalikuran. Ngayon, nagsasanay na naman ang mga manggagawa talikuran ang tuntunin! Pero sa ginagawa natin ngayon, sa ginagawa ng karamihang mga manggagawa kung hindi man lahat, anong ehemplo ang ipakikita sa may tungkulin?
Papaano ko ngayon, papaano natin kokontrahin ang mga may tungkulin, magtapat kayo.
Sasabihin ng may tungkulin: Ikaw ang salbahe eh. Lumilikom ka ng abuloy, wala namang pahintulot. Ikaw ang nagsabi sa amin na huwag na kaming magsusumbong. Papaano kami magtatapat eh ikaw ang gumagawa ng katiwalian? Papaano tayo makakalikha ng mabubuting may tungkulin? Papaano? Kung ganyan ang ating ipamumukha sa mga kapatid natin? Wala na kayong bibig diyan. Isipin ninyo sa Agusan, ilang beses, likom ng likom ng abuloy.?”
Please keep in mind what Jesus said:
“And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye” (Matthew 7:3-5).
In my exchanges with you, my arguments were all based on facts. You yourself admitted these facts. Zeus, against facts, no argument is valid. But why don’t you face these facts? It takes monumental blindness not to see these facts. Mas mahirap nga talaga yatang gisingin angtaong nagtutulog-tulogan kaysa sa talagang tulog. Mas mahirap makakita ang taong nagbubulag-bulagan kaysa sa talagang bulag. Are you afraid to face reality? What are you afraid of? Truth? “Fear not: For I am with you” (Isaiah 43:5). Be not afraid! Go where the truth leads you!
I asked you to do some reading on the History of the Church and the Bible. However, you seem not to welcome the idea. Again, are you afraid of what you will find out? There’s absolutely no reason for this paranoia. There’s much for you to know and learn. As I said, it will be rewarding and enriching for you, as it was for me. Indeed, there’s much for you to study, grammar and logic included.
Zeus, you mentioned that we have the facts. Yes we do. Not only that, we do have the Truth, the fullness of Truth. Notice the acronym of your church: INC. INC, in collegiate grading system, means INCOMPLETE. On the other hand, “Catholic” comes from the Greek word “kata holos” which means “according to the whole.” The whole truth, and nothing but the truth, is in the Catholic Church.
You taunted me that if we have the facts, why don’t we tell that to our members? I have good news for you. Yes, we are telling that to our members. Our efforts may not be enough so far, but at least we are doing something, no matter how little. We can only do our best, and God will do the rest.
I admit that, like you, many of our members do not know much about our doctrines. I already explained to you, based on the Bible, the reasons why. Then again, that is the reason why evangelization is of utmost importance especially now where sects like yours are active in proselytizing. As prophesied in the Bible, there is famine for hearing the word of God. In Amos 8:11-12, we read:
“Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine for bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord.”
See? Even this famine in the Church and in the world that you mentioned is itself prophesied in the Bible.
The facts stare at you in the face. But you refuse to face them. In Mark 8:17-18, we read: “…perceive ye not yet, neither understand? have ye your heart yet hardened? Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not?”.
Zeus, I am responding to you not to quarrel with you. “Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?” (Gal. 4:16). My task is to “speak the truth in love” (Eph. 4:15). “Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth, each one of you, with his neighbor, for we are members of one another” (Eph. 4:25). Now, if I hurt you in any way, I am sorry but I don’t mean to. Truth really hurts. But, “you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free” (John 8:32). I believe that God can lead you to the truth. Apostle Paul states: “In meekness, instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will” (2 Tim. 2:25-26).
Umaasa ako na sana katulad ka ng mga taga-Berea na sinisiyasat araw-araw ang mga kasulatan kung tunay nga ang mga bagay na ito (cf. Gawa 17:11). Search the Scriptures daily to determine if these things were so (Acts 17:11). This, however, will be problematic for you because your church prohibits you from reading for yourself the Bible, as stated in your Pasugo, October 1995, page 4:
“The Bible or the word of God is a “mystery which was kept secret.” Thus, it is no ordinary book that could be understood or interpreted by just anybody who can read. This is why apostle Paul quipped: “Always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of truth.” (II Tim. 3:7). But many people have thought that they could understand the Bible by themselves.”
Brod, why would the Organization prohibit you from reading the Bible by yourself? Are those in the Central Administration afraid that the Bible will expose who they are? He who does evil hates the light (John 3:19-20). Why are they suppressing the truth? In Romans 1:18, we read:
“The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness.”
Katotohanan nga na “ang masasamang tao ay at mga magdaraya ay lalong sasama ng sasama, na mangagdadaya, at sila rin ang mangadadaya.” (2 Tim. 3:13). Huwag nawa nating hayaan na manatili tayo sa pusikit na karimlan. Sa Job 12:25, ganito ang ating mababasa: “Silay nagsisikapa sa dilim na walang liwanag, at kaniyang pinagigiraygiray na gaya ng lango.” Ipinapanalangin ko na nawa, “sila’y makawala sa silo ng Diablo, na bumihag sa kanila ayon sa kanilang kalooban” (2 Tim. 2:26).
Brother Zeus, you ought to make a choice. It’s either you continue to be under the yoke or bondage of the Organization or to choose freedom. In Galatians 6:1, Apostle Paul cautions us to “stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.”
I hope and pray that you can begin to retrace your steps and start your journey back to your original home. I know that the road to Rome for you will not be easy. But it is where you can truly find your brethren. Inaasahan ko na sa iyong paglalakbay ay makakarating ka muli sa Roma at doo’y makakasumpong ka ng iyong mga kapatid. Gaya ni Apostol Pablo at kaniyang mga kasama:
“Na doo’y nakasumpong kami ng mga kapatid, at kami’y pinakiusapang matira sa kanilang pitong araw; at sa gayo’y nagsirating kami sa Roma” (Gawa 28:14, ang salungguhit ay akin).
Di ka ba nagtataka, Kapatid, kung bakit ang Gawa ng mga Apostol na sinulat ni San Lucas ay sa Roma nagtatapos? At ang mga sulat naman ni San Pablo ay nakalistang nasa una ang para sa mga taga-Roma, bamaga’t pinatutunayan ng mga mananalaysay at mananaliksik na ang kauna-unahang sulat ni San Pablo ay ang kaniyang Unang Sulat para sa mga taga-Tesalonica?
Kapatid, pinatutunayan ng Biblia mismo na ang iglesia sa Roma ay tinawag kay Jesucristo, iniibig ng Diyos at tinawag na maging banal (cf. Roma 1:6-7). Ayon sa Roma 1:7:
“Sa lahat ninyong nangasa Roma, mga iniibig ng Dios, tinawag na mangagbanal: Sumainyo nawa ang biyaya at kapayapaang mula sa Dios na ating Ama at Panginoong Jesucristo.”
Ano ang katangian nitong iglesia sa Roma? Ito ay may katangian na “pangkalahatan,” “catholic” o “universal”, gaya ng sinasabi sa versikulo 8:
“Kaunaunahan, ay nagpapasalamat ako sa aking Dios sa pamamagitan ni Jesukristo tungkol sa inyong lahat, na ang inyong pananampalataya ay bantog sa buong sanglibutan.”
Sa orihinal na salitang Griyego, ito ang sinasabi:
“PrOton men eucharistO tO theO mou dia iEsou christou peri pantOn humOn hoti hE pistis humOn kataggelletai en holO tO kosmO.”
Pansinin ang katagang “kataggelletai en holo”. Iyan ang pinanggalingan ng salitang “Katoliko”.
Sa gayon, ang iglesia sa Roma ay may katangiang ‘katoliko’, samakatuwid baga’y ang Iglesia Katolika Romana. May alam ka pa ba na Iglesia sa Roma na ang pananampalataya ay bantog sa buong mundo, maliban sa Iglesia Katolika Romana?
Kapatid, ito ang iglesia na inutusan ni Apostol Pablo na “mangagbatian kayo nga banal na halik” na siya rin namang binabati “ng mga iglesia ni Cristo” ayon sa Roma 16:16. Kung kayo nga ang mga iglesia ni Cristo, dapat ninyo siyang batiin gaya ng sinasabi sa Roma 16:16. Hindi ninyo ito ginagawa. Bagkus ay inaalipusta, inaalimura, niyuyurakan, inuusig, nilalait, nililibak, pinaparatangan at sinasalangsan ninyo.. Malinaw na hindi kayo ang mga iglesia ni Cristona tinutukoy sa Roma 16:16.
Again, go where the truth leads you. If that truth will lead you back to “Rome sweet home,” so be it. As one love song says, “Love will lead you back…” Zeus, come to think of it, love is lovelier the second time around.
Zeus, “keep testing whether you are in the faith” (2 Cor. 13:5). “Prove all things” (1 Thess. 5:21). Go where the truth leads you. “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free” (John 8:32).
In truth and in love, Esteban Raymundo