Salvation? By what way
"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved."
Jn.20:31 " But these things are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ the Son of God and that believing you may have life in his name."
Not so says Iglesia Ni Cristo!
They teach Christ's purpose was to establish his Church and since Christ is the savior of the Church for one to be saved we must be in the true Church. They have it backwards we become part of the Chrirch AFTER one is saved, not join the Church to be saved.
Manalo believed the true church was led astray by false prophets after the apostles, therefore a complete apostasy occurred.
In their pamphlet "Are all the Christian churches ways to God" Throughout its writing it emphasizes that one must be in the true church to be in Christ in classic cultic fashion they cut and paste scriptures together to get their personal point across. "How could a baptized member of the church of Christ be certain of the promised salvation? According to the apostle Paul:
1 Cor. 15:1-2: "Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you-- unless you believed in vain."
Notice they stopped short of quoting the very thing that Paul is about to address, the Gospel which saves. Its not obeying the commands that save, since this is done after one is saved. Just as it is not works that save but are done after the fact!
Paul continues Gods word 1 Cor. 15:3-4: "For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures." Paul writes in Rom.1:16-17 " For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes."
In the attitude of promoting fear they go on to say, We should do what Christ commands us. What does he command? He commands us to enter the church of Christ to be saved (Jn.10:9) While they quote Jn.10:9 if we read through in context (which they rarely ever do unless it serves their purposes) we find what its actual meaning is.
John 10:9-11"I am the door. (Jesus) If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep."
Its not the church that dispenses salvation but Christ the person. Manalo took Jn10:16 out of its contextual meaning applying to their church alone...
John 10:16: "And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd." He argued this is prophecy of guess who. But Christ is speaking of other sheep that are not immediately present with them, the Gentiles since He came first to His own the house of Israel. Jesus never meant that they will hear Christ through another but that they would hear His voice personally (by his word) and that he would oversee their care as their personal shepherd. He would not depend on another to bring them into His fold, Christ said "I will build my church," no man no angel 'wanna be' can do this. He alone deserves the right to do this since as the verse before all this states John 10:15: "As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep." Felix Manalo did not lay his life down for the sheep no did his Son Erdie. Christ fulfilled it and for one to claim otherwise proves they are not submitted to Christ as the head.
The pamphlet ends with this note Dear reader, it is, therefore, Gods command that we all should enter the church of Christ or Iglesia ni Cristo, in Philippine, if we want to enter the kingdom of heaven to enjoy eternal life."
What of the apostles, did they enter this church? Was there even a church in ancient times in the Philippines? Obviously not.
In the same pamphlet it says "To be certain of salvation, every member of the church of Christ must obey the doctrines he heard and received all the days of his life, "For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life" (Prov.6:23). Obey always is commendable but hardly realistic. Many of the members have complained of this as they try to reforem the church from within.
INC teaches that membership in their organization plus complete submission to the Executive Minister and the rest of the Church administration is the only way to be saved:
"Each member ... should submit himself to the Administration of the Church in order to be saved."(PASUGO, January 1976, p. 9)
The following quotes confirm the INC requirement of total submission by all members.
"Unity in the Iglesia Ni Cristo ... transcends and encompasses all aspects of the life of an Iglesia Ni Cristo......(PASUGO, January 1976, p. 5)
"For opposing the Administration of the Church is tantamount to opposing not only Christ but also God."(PASUGO, January 1976, p. 190
"So we should therefore demonstrate complete submission, obedience and loyalty to the Administration..." (PASUGO, January 1976, p.1)
I find this no different than the Mormons or J Ws of which are only a few who claim restoration and being the only true church. Iglesia like others exercise unbiblical control over their members showing that the Christ of Scriptures cannot be their head. Jesus' model was by servanthood not as the gentiles rule by submission.
The author of Hebrews writes in 5:9 "He is the author of eternal salvation to ALL WHO OBEY HIM." The HIM is Jesus .
They hold to the infallibility of scripture as long as it agrees with their own teaching. This is why they will use numerous bibles although their favorite is Lamsas and Moffatt's which deny the deity of christ. They believe the common Christian cannot understand the bible so it must be interpreted for them by authorized ministers. It is this similarity they have with the Catholic Church, as well as other aberrant groups
"...some of the verses of the Bible were wrongly translated." (PASUGO, February 1973, p. 16) Which bible would this be? Certainly not the Greek text, could it possibly be Moffat's.
"No, it is beyond man's power and intelligence to study and understand the truth, which is God's word (John 17:17), by himself, without the guidance of God's messenger."(PASUGO, November 1973, p. 19, 20)
"A doctrine is not of God if it is different from what is written in the Holy Scriptures, or even if found written but is not the present truth it becomes vain before God if used as the basis :or worshipping God."(PASUGO, Jan. 1976, p. 12)
It is common for authoritarian groups to undermine anything that might threaten their position as the ultimate source of truth in the life of the member. They should take note to apply what they say to themselves.
What they have done is trained their people to hear the voice of their own shepherds. Christ says come unto ME and it is through the gospel (his work on the cross for mankind). we enter the Church by Christ who is the door, and the way. We don't join the church to be in Christ. This is what the Catholics teach which Iglesia seems to have adopted and yet at the same time they argue how wrong they are. The church is not in a certain location nor of a certain persuasion, it is a a group of people who have been renewed by the Holy Spirit and put in the body of Christ which is the universal church.(1 Cor. 12:13)
Jn.10:27: "My sheep hear my voice and I know them and they follow Me." Jesus never said to join this Church or that one. Salvation is found in the person and work of Christ alone. There are many people who unfortunately have another shepherd other than Christ.
Sources used witnessing to the cults by Alex Wilson and Christine Tetley, Iglesia ni Christo A. Leanord Tuggy