The following article was originally posted on another website, it was originally written and published in Feb 2011 it became one of the most read articles I have ever written. Due its continued relevance today we will re-post this article on this website. Today they are international and prey on the people who can least afford it. Due to the age of the article, many links are now dead.
Considering what is happening today, how the family (the owners of this corporation) are fighting, if not for the love of money, fighting over power and control. I even got death threats from some of their members for writing this article.
This is a perfect example of how one man became a multi billionaire plagiarizing other religions, getting people to worship God for his own personal profit.
If ever there was a sign of how dangerous an out of control privately owned religion is, take a look at when the President of the Philippines has pressure put to bear on him by his own family members, to shut down criminal investigations into high ranking members of the church, that’s pretty revealing!
The truth is in a country so full of corruption that its keeps 90% of its citizens living in a state of bankruptcy and abject poverty, the least an decent candidate for the upcoming election should declare his/her intent to call for a national inquiry into the legitimacy of the Iglesia ni Cristo as a religion, but more importantly if or not its guilty of being one of the largest money laundering syndicates in the Philippines.
Consider now the relevance of this article below, as it’s still very relevant today, if it saves one person form joining, or inspires one person to free themselves, then this article was worth the research and the time spent writing it.
As a rule I rarely will enter into the domain of debating religion simply because it’s one of those topics that are so divisive that discussing it often does more harm than good, my hopes are that this will be an exception to that rule.
So why am I going through the motions of discussing this particular church? Well in a nutshell it is because it’s in your face when you travel the Philippines. It’s in your face because poverty is everywhere yet somehow these multi-million dollar buildings are popping up as though the Philippines were the next emerging industrial country.
They are popping up everywhere, and that means a lot of cash is being diverted in a country where money is in very short supply.
In a nutshell it is because its membership pays 10% of all its income to the church. Let me put that even more accurately, if you do not pay, you will go to hell, and cannot be a member of that church.
Let’s look a little closer at this church, because in doing so the first thing that happened to me were flashbacks of Jonestown, Heaven’s Gate, when you do some research into the background of this so called church.
This religion was founded by a man called Felix Y. Manalo who had no formal education; whoa did I just say no formal education?
Felix started his live in religion as a Catholic, then as a young adult chose atheism and agnosticism (reference) he then tried a religion called Colorum (reference) followed by becoming first an active member of the Iglesia Metodista Episcopal Church, followed shortly thereafter by becoming a pastor in that church.
In summery we have a man who has no formal education, has no idea of what to believe, becoming a minister in a religion he hardly had time to know.
Now the story does not end there, Felix soon afterwards quit that church and joined the Presbyterian Church, then shortly thereafter switched to the Christian Missionary Alliance Church. This church was one of those fire and brimstone churches and here he found himself back at preaching for their church, and it was also here he met his wife.
Shortly thereafter Felix left that church to become a member of the Seventh-Day Adventists Church at the age of 25, followed by becoming once again a pastor in that church.
One here can clearly begin to see a pathological obsession and direction taking place, because a study of the Seventh Day Adventists will reveal a complete re-write of the Bible as per what it is commonly known as either the King James Version or the New Revised Standard Version.
In reality the Seventh Day Adventists have a lot more in common with the Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons than they do Christian Churches
The roots of the Seventh Day Adventists show N.H. Barbour and C.T. Russell (one a Jehovah’s Witness the other a Seventh Day Adventist jointly wrote a book called Three Worlds and The Harvest of This World.
In a nutshell both religions like to keep you in a looming doomsday scenario.
In 1913 Felix quit the Seventh Day Adventists and shortly thereafter formed the Iglesia ni Cristo and had it officially registered as a corporation on July 17th 1914.
In reviewing the above it reminds me of a comment I once heard, the only thing worse than a criminal organization is a religious one. Well that remark may be painting the entire religious world wrongly for what some religions are definitely guilty of namely turning religion into a profitable business.
This business “Iglesia ni Cristo” was passed on to Eraño Manalo was the fifth child of Felix Y. Manalo who remains owner of this business to today. Previous to the death of his father Eraño Manalo held the position of General Treasurer of the church, and as a District Minister of Manila.
Many members of the Iglesia ni Cristo are angry at those who define their church as not being a Christian Church (maybe for obvious financial reasons) and it really is not.
Christian Churches are defined as those churches who believe that Jesus Christ is not only the Son of God, but also is God as part of the Trinity of God.
Many sectarian churches use Jesus Christ as a drawing card to suck unsuspecting Christians into their faith, and only later revealing a downgraded version of Jesus Christ a trick used by both Jehovah Witnesses, Mormons (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) and Seventh Day Adventists.
These Christian spinoff religions have re-written the Bible to fit their needs, in some cases even replacing the Bible, however always keeping it handy when recruiting Christians.
Looking back at the history of Felix Y. Manalo you do have to admit he was one very shrewd businessman making a living as well as one of the greatest religious family fortunes of all time.
Again looking back one has to take note that this man built his fortune on condemning the Catholic Church, his number one target, not because of its religious beliefs but rather it was his only competition in the field of religious business.
Remember this is all occurring in the Philippines were people are so desperate that any hope at all of a better life, even if it’s in the hereafter, is worth buying by way of becoming a member of this sect, although I prefer to call it a cult.
Exploiting the poor hardly deserves the ranking of a legitimate church; the following is a bit of a helter skelter examination of this business, and everyone is encouraged to do your own research on this for profit religion.
This churches beliefs claim that without membership to it, and paying your 10% you are doomed to go to hell. They use modified versions of the bible to back up what they are saying. By modified versions I mean versions other than what is known as the King James Version, or the newer versions used by most Christian Churches.
They teach that any persecution (like this article) must not allow themselves to question their beliefs or they will go to hell. It is even forbidden for members of their faith to marry outside of their faith or they will go to hell, scary rules! Even within the membership the men and women are not allowed to sit together in church.
Here is a quote from an Iglesia ni Cristo promotional website (reference) please note that there are many websites all declaring they are not official, but are promotional websites. There are no official INC websites.
The messenger of God (Rom.10:15 NKJV) in these last days (Isa.43:6) is Brother Felix Y. Manalo (Rev.7:2-3). It was not he who built the Church of Christ but it was Christ Himself (Mt.16:18) by virtue of the fulfillment of the prophecy (Jn.10:16). Felix Manalo was only utilized by God as His instrument to preach the pure Gospel of salvation in these last days. His authority as God’s messenger is clearly stated by various prophecies in Scriptures (Is.41:9-10; Is.46:11-13; Rev.7:2-3). Hence, it behooves man to have faith in the commissioning of Brother Felix Y. Manalo.
Now isn’t that one heck of a way of declaring religious entitlement directly from God, and opponents and critics being damned?
Here is another quote from the same page.
The clear distinctions of Christ from God are proofs that the true God is not Christ. Jesus possesses attributes surpassing the ordinary man, but this does not mean that he is God. God has attributes which we do not find in Christ. If Christ can do wonders such as miracles, all these are done by God, through Him as God’s instrument. On his own powers alone, Christ cannot do anything. Christ Himself states, “I can of my own do nothing.”
I bet they never tell Christian recruits about this downgraded version of Jesus Christ however using his name as the grand title of this business is perfectly ok?
My intention here is not to be arguing religion; my point here is that the Iglesia ni Cristo has made a fortune on condemning the Catholic Church.
Why is this an issue for me as I am not a member of the Catholic Church, nor for that matter any other religious organization?
The Catholic Church in the Philippines has been a primary contributor to the development of the education system, as well as bringing most of the world’s advancements to the people of the Philippines.
The Catholic Church stood as intermediary against corruption in the Philippines for more than a century against Spanish, American and even Filipino Governments. The church (Catholic) was a people’s movement, and those who were ordained in it really cared about its membership.
The Catholic Church has given back to the Filipino people on an unprecedented scale compared to most religious organizations in the world today.
Is this an endorsement of the Catholic Church, no it is not, my only point here is to point out that the two are very different in regards to their contribution to society.
Iglesia ni Cristo is only on the take and does not give (money) back to the people, primarily the poor, and the Catholic Church does, and continues to do so. Oh yes it does some will say, however its less than a drop in the bucket compared to what they take out of every community.
The point of this article fits in with my beliefs that corruption should be fought at every level to defend those who cannot defend themselves in the Philippines.
The corruption in regards to the Iglesia ni Cristo hit a new (high or low) depending on how you view it when it asked its membership to vote for Gloria Macapagal Arroyo with its membership of 8 million voters, out of the 12 million she received in total?
Did not this corruption lead to Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on June 12, 2009 declaring on all Filipinos that July 27 would be Iglesia ni Cristo Day? This coming from someone who claimed to be a staunch Catholic that in most people’s terms could be described as one heck of a payoff further legitimizing this business for profit as a religion.
Personally I think anyone should be allowed to believe whatever they wish too, unless it hurts people other than themselves. It is my belief that this religion crosses that line with the owner on one side and the membership on the other.
Iglesia ni Cristo hurts not only its own membership, but it takes money out of the entire community and country, in a nutshell it’s a horrid way of making poverty in the Philippines even worse for its existence.
Addendum: Posted February 26th 2011
Rather than start another article about the Church of Latter Day Saints (also known as Mormons) I decided to add some more information, and here is why.
First when I got the comment from an LDS member, it occurred to me how little I had researched their religion, other than what I had garnered over the years and that was much less than I should have known.
Likewise the Jehovah’s Witnesses who pester everyone on the block with their deceitful pretence of appearing like God fearing Christians and mind if we have a talk?
I recall one meeting with them and ask the JW at the door the following question. By the way I suggest you all try this question too.
The question was if you saw my 6 year old child being molested would you call the police? The answer was slow, but it was a definite NO.
I rephrased the question if you saw my 6 year old child being murdered or beaten to death would you intervene or call the police? Once again the answer was slow in coming but also a NO plus a never ending stream of dribble supporting their position.
At the time I figured I was on a roll, so why not ask one more.
If Canada was facing an invasion by a ruthless dictator who would remove all our rights, would you stand shoulder to shoulder with us in defending our country? Once again the answer was NO and I used the proverbial “cock crowed three times” to slam the door in his face.
In a nutshell, neither JW’s or LDS are Christian religions; they cannot be because for them Christ was only a mortal man and never a God.
The second reason for writing this addendum was a result of my stomach churning reading late breaking headlines about how LDS members turn their children over to other members for sexual child abuse under the disguise of polygamous marriage.
With the above as our motive to dig deeper we scoured to find that the LDS, just like Iglesia ni Cristo is a business corporation.
Let me quote directly from their article of incorporation.
“The object of this corporation shall be to acquire, hold and dispose of such real and personal property as may be conveyed to or acquired by said corporation for the benefit of the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a religious society, for the benefit of religion, for works of charity and for public worship. Such real and personal property may be situated, either within the State of Utah, or elsewhere, and this corporation shall have power, without any authority or authorization from the members of said Church or religious society, to grant, sell, convey, rent, mortgage, exchange, or otherwise dispose of any part or all of such property.”
There we have it again; they can do whatever they hell they please without consent of its membership who gave them all their wealth in the first place.
Next I learned that there is a high chance that the founders of both the Jehovah’s Witnesses happen to be about the same age, and happen by accident to be cousins. Further more both of them dabbled to some degree in satanic worship. Wow and does anyone wonder now why the police have this horrible story on their hands?
It gets more absurd as you go; below I will repost part of a research document into LDS.
– God was once a man like us: http://packham.n4m.org/gbh-god.htm
– God has a tangible body of flesh and bone: D&C 130:22
– God lives on a planet near the star Kolob: Book of Abraham 3:3-16
– God has at least one wife, our “Mother in Heaven”: Joseph Fielding Smith, Man, His Origin and Destiny, p 348-355: “All men and women are in the similitude of the universal Father and Mother…” (More citations in The Changing World of Mormonism, Chapter 7)
– Jesus was married: This idea is consistent with the Mormon doctrine that marriage is required for godhood; see citations from early church leaders at Changing World of Mormonism, Chapter 9. The church denies that this is a doctrine of the church here.
– We can become like God and rule over our own universe. http://packham.n4m.org/gbh-god.htm
– There are many gods, ruling over their own worlds: Citations in “http://www.utlm.org/onlinebooks/changech7.htm#From%20One%20to%20Many”>The Changing World of Mormonism, Chapter 7
– Jesus and Satan (“Lucifer”) are brothers: D&C 76:25, Moses 4:1-4
– Jesus Christ was conceived by God the Father by having sex with Mary: Citations in The Changing World of Mormonism, Chapter 7
– We should not try to feel a personal relationship with Jesus: “Our Relationship With The Lord” by Apostle Bruce R. McConkie
– “The Lord” (“Jehovah”) in the Old Testament is the same being named Jesus in the New Testament, but not the same as “God the Father”: D&C 110:2-4; Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, article “Jehovah”; 1 Nephi 19:10
– In the the highest degree of the celestial kingdom some men will have more than one wife: D&C 132:63
– “Pre-existence”: See Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, Vol. 1, ch 4, esp pp 60-61
– Dark skin is a curse from God: 1 Nephi 12:23, 2 Nephi 5:21, Alma 3:6, Jacob 3:8, 3 Nephi 2:15, Morm 5:15.
– The Garden of Eden was in Missouri: D&C 116:1; see also D&C 107:53.
– Animal resurrection: http://packham.n4m.org/animals.htm
– Rainbow: http://packham.n4m.org/prophet.htm
– Satan rules water: D&C 61
– Sun’s light is from Kolob: Book of Abraham Facsimile # 2, Explanation of Fig 5
– Gentile blood is replaced: History of the Church 3:380, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith p. 150
– Seeing face of God: D&C 97:16; see also 93:1 and 88:68
– False angel hair color: Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith p. 214; handshake: D&C 129:1-9
Wow, can you just imagine, dark skin is a curse from God, isn’t that called racism?
The following looks like a great place to start when you are investigating either the Jehovah’s Witnesses or the Church of Latter Day Saints.
I do not necessarily endorse any of these links, but the material there is most certainly interesting reading material.
Mormonism, Church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints, examined and documented | Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry
Jehovah’s Witnesses | Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry
Excerpt: Iglesia ni Cristo hurts not only its own membership, but it takes money out of the entire community and country, in a nutshell it’s a horrid way of making poverty in the Philippines even worse for its existence.