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The Persecuted Church

 

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How the Church teaches

Iglesia does believe that the words of God are found in the Bible. 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 Lamsa’s and Moffatt's which deny the deity. 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. So the authority lies by Gods messenger and those found in their church alone.

"...some of the verses of the Bible were wrongly translated." (PASUGO, February 1973, p. 16).

"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 teach the members to give total trust to those who are over them. Explaining that they should have confidence in their leaders since they would always tell the truth. To question any area of doctrine or their authority is grounds to be expelled. The difference is that the bible encourages honest questioning.

They are experts in taking scripture from one area and connecting it together with another, it is a cut and paste method that thrives on the biblically illiterate which are many in their Church.  The reason for this is easily explained, since they are told only the authorized minister can read and interpret the scripture for them.  So many do not read the bible on their own. this is similar to how the Catholic Church used to conduct themselves.

Friends and myself have ask members to discuss the bible, but they do not open it and will always defer us to their elders. This is not because they do not know what they believe but because they are unauthorized to speak.  This exposes their attitude of not dialoguing for truth, since they have had their leaders make up their minds for them that they alone have it. 1 Pt.3:15 commands us to be able to defend and give answers for the faith and hope in us. The lack of ability in this area shows they may not have the truth.

Their doctrinal teaching is not deep but well thought through and is presented as humanly logical, but not scriptural, at least not to the overall teaching of the bible. They have a few basic themes they repeat over and over never to wander away from their structure, since they have been tried and work. They will never deal with the strengths of the opponents points, but ignore them. They will always speak from the position of strength with a self appointed authority. By doing this everyone else must defend themselves in their doctrine, and in having themselves called the church.

Their studies in homes are conducted without any schedule whenever someone is interested they will gladly show up.  Church for them is Sundays and Thursdays at their chapels. People show up promptly and in an orderly fashion.Their teaching methods are what one would call repetition of a subject in a group setting. We call this cultism a form of brainwashing. Since it is done over to the saturation point and then more so the member would not consider entertaining the idea of another view.  So when speaking to them on Christ they will immediately be repulsed since you have no authority to teach and have been pre warned of those who teach Christ is God from heaven.

They have become popular by doing debates which have become quite predictable since they implement the same rhetoric for each one. Their debaters are skilled and they bring the whole church out to listen. In doing this they have their own cheering squad and make it into a sport event instead of a pursuit of truth. When we were arranging to have a debate with the Church here they boasted how many would show up. He then told us they won the debate, I asked how can you say you won before it occurred, he replied because we will have more people there. I then replied this is not a vote. After hearing this attitude along with other reports we did not pursue it, we thought it would not be advantageous for anyone to debate with this kind of an attitude. After looking at their record in there magazine everytime they debate they write up how they won. They seem to be right and winners in their own opinions, always.

If one ever visits there meetings which are planned for the community outreach, they are orchestrated to put others down and to puff themselves up. When I went to one recently they spoke on faith in God alone cannot save you. Meaning you must join their Church.The Scripture clearly teaches  each person makes a personal decision for Christ and he is the savior. no church, baptism or doctrine is able to do what only he can. When they then had a time for questions, they kept controll by not allowing personal ones with an open discussion. Questions are submitted onto paper so that there is no dialogue between the orator and the questioner just in case they get shut out. I had asked who is the mighty God of Isa.9:6 is and Heb.1:2 who is the Son that God made the universe through? They had said previously that they only had 15 minutes so they could not answer both of these. No doubt it takes longer to travel away from the truth then to succinctly explain it. He finished his explanation with over 5 minutes to spare with only addressing Isa.9:6. What I heard was probably the worst substitute explanation since I have been involved in cult evangelism. The bottom line was The mighty God was "The everlasting kingdom, instead of the Son, Go figure!  Not far behind is the interpretation of God is your throne in Heb.1:8 which is the option of the NWT (JW's) as well as Goodspeed and Moffatt. When we discussed this afterwards I challenged him on his interpretation and it became heated not in dialogue but in his refusal to even answer the specific objections brought up. A few members gathered near to listen and were quickly lead away by another official. It is in this manner they keep control over their people by not allowing them to hear any contrary information that may lead them away from there teaching.

Pray for the people that are trapped in a system far removed from biblical teachings. Many are sincere seekers of truth that have been blinded by their own leadership that they trust and are told to obey.

 

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Some more things to think on How does the Church teach?  The true church

                   

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