Posts Tagged ‘Felix Y. Manalo’
I found an interesting article from Pinoy Catholic on the meaning of the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) logo:
- The interlaced square and compass denotes Freemasonry
- The crown at the center denotes the Order of Amaranth, a fraternal organization of master masons and their properly qualified female relatives
- The compass, inverted triangle, and legs denotes the Order of the Eastern Star
- The light rays at the background denotes the sun god.
- The scales of justice denotes the Scales of Maat, the Egyptian goddess of truth, order, balance, and justice
- The bible inside the inverted triangle and compass refers to the use of the bible in masonic lodge for swearing oaths
- The dove and the color white denotes purity and innocence
- The color red denotes courage, zeal, and blood of life–the color of Royal Arch Masonry
- The color green denotes spiritual initiation into the high mysteries of life and god
- The color blue recalls the dome of the heavens which denotes universal brotherhood and friendship
- The inverted triangle points to the 22nd ray which probably signifies a 22nd degree mason–Knight of the Royal Axe.
To be fair to INC, I’ll try to provide a biblical meaning to the INC logo, with their doctrines in mind:
- The dove is the dove of Noah. Just as the evil world was washed away by the flood and a new world was born, so was the apostate Catholic Church was abandoned by God and He established a new church, Iglesia ni Cristo, at the end of time.
- The sun’s rays and the bible denotes the Prologue of John: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be. What came to be through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race; the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (Jn 1:1-5) Surprisingly, this passage proves the divinity of Christ, which INC does not believe.
- The lamb and dove denotes the Baptism of Christ: “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. He is the one of whom I said, ‘A man is coming after me who ranks ahead of me because he existed before me.’ I did not know him, but the reason why I came baptizing with water was that he might be made known to Israel.” John testified further, saying, “I saw the Spirit come down like a dove from the sky and remain upon him. I did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘On whomever you see the Spirit come down and remain, he is the one who will baptize with the holy Spirit.’” Surprisingly, the INC also does not believe on the divinity of the Holy Spirit.
- The Triangle denotes the Dogma of the Holy Trinity, which states that there are three Persons in one God. Christ himself gave the following Trinitarian formula for Bapstism: “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” (Mt 28:19-20). Surprisingly, INC does not believe on the Trinity.
Thus, INC uses Christian symbols, but does not believe on the meaning of the symbols. (The INC has not still provided an official interpretation of their logo).
Now, where is the Sign of the Cross? I cannot find any.
- “Then he called to the man dressed in linen with the writer’s case at his waist, saying to him: Pass through the city (through Jerusalem) and mark an X on the foreheads of those who moan and groan over all the abominations that are practiced within it. To the others I heard him say: Pass through the city after him and strike! Do not look on them with pity nor show any mercy! Old men, youths and maidens, women and children–wipe them out! But do not touch any marked with the X; begin at my sanctuary. So they began with the men (the elders) who were in front of the temple.” The Hebrew letter X is Tav (or Taw) whose ancient form is the cross †, from which came the Greek letter Tau .
- “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily 11 and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.” (Lk 9:23-24)
- “If anyone says to you then, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. False messiahs and false prophets will arise, and they will perform signs and wonders so great as to deceive, if that were possible, even the elect. Behold, I have told it to you beforehand. So if they say to you, ‘He is in the desert,’ do not go out there; if they say, ‘He is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. For just as lightning comes from the east and is seen as far as the west, so will the coming of the Son of Man be. Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather. “Immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming upon the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send out his angels 18 with a trumpet blast, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.” (Mt 24:23-31) The sign of the Son of Man is the cross because his corpse hung there.
- “For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with the wisdom of human eloquence, so that the cross of Christ might not be emptied of its meaning. The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the learning of the learned I will set aside.” Where is the wise one? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made the wisdom of the world foolish? For since in the wisdom of God the world did not come to know God through wisdom, it was the will of God through the foolishness of the proclamation to save those who have faith. For Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those who are called, Jews and Greeks alike, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.” (1 Cor 1:17-24)
So why is there no Sign of the Cross in the INC logo? Is INC inviting the wrath of God to destroy its members starting from its temples? Does INC wish to follow Christ but without a cross in its temples to carry? Does INC await the coming of Christ but thinks that the Sign of the Son of Man is not the cross but a compass? Does INC wish to proclaim the cross of Christ like St. Paul or rather the message of Felix Y. Manalo, whom they consider as an angel? As St. Paul said: “But there are some who are disturbing you and wish to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach (to you) a gospel other than the one that we preached to you, let that one be accursed! As we have said before, and now I say again, if anyone preaches to you a gospel other than the one that you received, let that one be accursed!” (Gal 1:7-9). Lucifer is also an angel of light because in Latin, the word “Lucifer” means “Light-Bringer” (from lux, lucis, “light”, and ferre, “to bear, bring”). Lucifer is he whom the Freemasons worship. As Christ said: “And if the light in you is darkness, how great will the darkness be.” (Mt 6:23)
One of the favorite verses used by the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) to buttress its claim that the Catholic Church apostasized after the death of the apostles and the reemergence of the true Church in the Far East is Isaiah (43:5-6):
“Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west. I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back’. Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth.” (New International Version)
Moffatt Translation: “From the far east will I bring your offspring, and from the far west I will gather you.” (emphasis ours)
Today’s English Version: “Do not be afraid—I am with you! From the distant east and the farthest west I will bring your people home.” (emphasis ours)
as quoted by Marlex C. Cantor of INC-Pasugo.
But we must note that Isaiah is a Jew and his prophecies are meant for the Jewish people. if we look at the Isaiah passage carefully, we see that the text simply says that the Jews, after their diaspora, will be gathered again from all the four corners of the world: East, West, North, and South. This in fact happenned after their Babylonian captivity in 586 BC and their subsequent return in 538 BC, as recorded in the Books of Ezra and Nehemiah. This also happenned again after the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70 by the Romans and the return of the Jews to form the State of Israel in May 14, 1948. Thus, the passage in Isaiah speaks of the gathering up of the Jews after their diaspora and not the formation of Iglesia ni Cristo in the Far East.
Why do the INC insist in the Far East? If we follow the Moffatt translation, the new Church of Christ could also have been in the Far West. And Far North and Far South, for that matter, for these places must also “give up” the sons of Israel.
In the passage of Isaiah, the center of the world is in Israel: everything else is determined with respect to it–East and West, North and South. When INC tries to apply that passage to the modern era, the division of the world into East and West is not anymore centered on Jerusalem, but somewhere between Rome (the Western Roman Empire) and Byzantium or Constantinople (The Eastern Roman Empire)–now in Istanbul, Turkey. Great Britain, a western civilization, became an worldwide empire in the Modern Age and the terms Near East, Middle East, and Far East was invented, still with respect to the old boundaries of the Old Roman Empires:
The term Far East was popularized in the English language during the period of the British Empire as a blanket term for lands to the east of British India. Prior to World War I, the Near East referred to relatively nearby lands of the Ottoman Empire, Middle East to northwestern South Asia and Central Asia, and Far East for countries along the western Pacific Ocean and countries along the eastern Indian Ocean.(Wikipedia)
The Eastern and Western Roman Empires were two halves of the Roman Empire under Theodosius I, who made Catholicism as the empire’s official religion. Thus, if INC insists that it rose from the Far East, then INC accepts the division of the world defined by Christians in general and Catholics in particular. INC is not a Christian church, since it denies the divinity of Christ. INC is closer to Islam, who claims that “There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is his prophet.” For INC, “There is no God but the God of Jesus, Jesus is his prophet, and Manalo is his last prophet.”
Fr. Daniel J. McNamara, S.J., during one of our walks years ago, told us: “The Iglesia ni Cristo is neither a church nor of Christ.” It is worthwhile to ponder on his words as Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) celebrates its 95th Anniversary last July 27, 2009–95 years after Felix Y. Manalo made the INC into a corporation with him as the executive minister last July 27, 1914.
A true church of Christ has four marks: one, holy, Catholic, apostolic (c.f. Catechism of the Catholic Church Art. 811 ). If one of this does not hold, then the Iglesia ni Cristo is a false church of Christ.
1. Is the Iglesia ni Cristo one? The INC is is united in doctrine and even in voting. No wonder many politicians who wished to be reelected this coming 2010 elections are all congratulating INC in its 95th anniversary. The INC passed the first test.
2. Is the Iglesia ni Cristo holy? The Catholic Church has produced numerous saints: beggars and kings, scholars and soldiers, old and young. Can the INC name at least one–only one–person in all its history whom they consider as a saint, a man or woman worthy of emulation, whose life reflected the radical message of the gospel–a Mother Teresa, an Ignatius of Loyola, a Francis of Assisi? The INC can give none.
3. Is the Iglesia ni Cristo catholic? Catholicity simply means universal. The INC is universal in space: the INC is now found in many countries and its mission is to convert the whole world. But the INC is not universal in time: where was INC in the first centuries of Christianity, when the truths of the Faith were debated and clarified? The INC was not there. It is true that INC proclaims an affinity with the teachings of Bishop Arius (AD 250-336), the founder of Arianism, a heresy which denies the divinity of Christ. But between Arius and Manalo is 1,600 years of absence.
Catholic also means “according to totality” or “in keeping with the whole” (Catechism of the Catholic Church Art. 830):
The Catholic Church is catholic because Christ is present in her. “Where there is Christ Jesus, there is the Catholic Church.” In her subsists the fullness of Christ’s body united with its head; this implies that she receives from him “the fullness of the means of salvation” which he has willed: correct and complete confession of faith, full sacramental life, and ordained ministry of apostolic succession. The Church was, in this fundamental sense, catholic on the day of Pentecost and will always be so until the day of Parousia.
The INC also claims this catholicity, for they also adopt the following catholic doctrine:
Ouside the church there is no salvation.
I remembered one of INC’s television show called Tamang Daan, the Right Way in contrast to Eli Soriano’s Datin Daan or the Old Way. In their show, one of INC’s argument to support their doctrine is a quotation from a catholic author: “Outside the Church of Christ there is no salvation.” The two INC ministers–always two since two is the sign of Socratic dialogue for knowing the truth–will tell the readers that the text they are quoting has the imprimatur of the Catholic Church. Then they make a twist of Faith: translate this sentence in Filipino and you will see that “Outside Iglesia ni Cristo there is no salvation.” Oh, what a proof.
4. Is the Iglesia ni Cristo apostolic? To be apostolic, the INC must be founded by an apostle, in the same way as the Roman Catholic Church was founded by Apostles Peter and Paul. But the fact that INC only celebrated its 95th founding anniversary means that INC could never be founded by an apostle. An apostle was a person sent by Christ with the authority to preach the Kingdom of God (c.f. Mt 10). The apostles in turn ordained bishops and gave them authority to govern the church, as Timothy was ordained by Paul through the laying of the hands:
Do not neglect the gift you have, which was conferred on you through the prophetic word with the imposition of hands of the presbyterate. (1 Tim 4:14)
And these bishops in turn ordain new bishops to take their place. The Roman Catholic Church, for example, is apostolic because it traces its apostolic lineage from St. Peter, the first bishop of Rome, to the present pope, Pope Benedict XVI. But who ordained Manalo? Who laid hands on him? No one. He ordained himself. Oh, I made a mistake. Protestant pastors ordained him (full story by Emily Jordan). But INC never recognizes the Protestant faith. Mainline Protestants at least believes on the Divinity of Christ, which the INC reject. This itself poses a question on the validity of the Manalo’s ordination. (The validity of the Protestant minister’s apostolic succession is a separate issue.) So effectively, no one ordained Manalo. He ordained himself.
5. Thus, the Iglesia ni Cristo posesses only one mark of the true Church of Christ: it is one, but it is not holy, nor catholic, nor apostolic. Let us not be deceived. Not all those who are named Manny Pacquiao can box like the real Manny Pacquiao. Not all those who calls themselves the Church of Christ or Iglesia ni Cristo is the true Church of Christ. Only the Catholic Church is. The Church of Iglesia ni Cristo is a false church, an Anti-Church. The Christ of Iglesia ni Cristo is an Arian idol, an Anti-Christ. Let us not be deceived.