After being “Churchless” as a Christian for the past 10 years or so, finally a Church has found me.
My Indoctrination was not easy for the Iglesia ni Cristo members and the Ministers who walk me through my Spiritual journey; I was combative and very proud to even listen to them at times…I asked too many questions that I was assuming none of them can answer.
They replied to me with patience, kindness and humility through the Bible.
After Six months of Biblical Studies and Church Doctrines (minus the religious dogmas) my time came for Baptism. Hailed as one of the successful and influential Church in latter times, the congregation is now established in 84 countries and territories world wide with members from different ethnic back grounds and races.
A Church that was installed in the Philippines in 1914 by Brother Felix Manalo, based on Biblical teachings and doctrines of the first century Church founded by Jesus Christ and his Disciples in Jerusalem. In 1996 the Jewish State of Jerusalem accepted and recognized the Iglesia ni Cristo (Church of Christ) and allowed Church services since then, which is now known as the return of the original Church of Christ to Jerusalem.
Doubtful and un-trusting; I did my own research in and outside the Bible. I also inquired about the Negative issues that was hovering over the Iglesia ni Cristo and they explained, again always pointing to the Bible.
After six months of Biblical studies and Doctrines, I finally let my guard down, realizing that their teachings were simple, Bible based and not to mention—it was also Historically based.
Going back to the basics, common sense and Humility allowed me to understand the teachings/doctrines of the Iglesia Ni Cristo in spite and despite of my skepticism and fear of losing friends (which never happened), I am (still) learning the ropes inside the congregation, since my Baptism in 2016.
History and Faith played so much “role” during these times, there were a few verses in the Bible that moved me all through out my studies and eventually led to my Baptism; International Standard Version
“You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you. I have appointed you to go and produce fruit that will last, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he will give it to you.
New International Version
having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.
The last verse speaks and answers why The Iglesia ni Cristo does not and will not celebrate Pagan/Greek/Roman based festivals such as Holy week, Easter, Christmas and Valentine day; New International Version
“I hate, I despise your religious festivals; your assemblies are a stench to me.”
I was also impressed how and why they keep on building Churches in the country and all around the Globe, through Church contributions, again pointing to the Bible: New International Version
“Go up into the mountains and bring down timber and build my house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored,” says the LORD.
Contributions are all accounted for and other contributions goes to our “Pamamahayag” (to Evangelize) and “Lingap” a charitable work for INC members and none INC members, (including) in the times of natural disasters and calamities.
It is very difficult for me to adjust to all of these, but I am pulling through by God’s grace and with the help of Church members, aside from this my life is pretty much normal with Christian responsibilities, that I hope, that I can manage by God’s and Christ’s Grace.