I was trying my best to hold my peace, avoid social media, and just concentrate in our EGMs or Group meetings, caring for those who were unjustly expelled, displaced members and silent defenders, until, someone sent me a link on this article. What made me affected after reading it, is the thought that after all that happened in the Church, many have remained blind and have not yet learned their lesson. They still don’t see the real picture or the true source of the problems that beset the Church. They keep on putting the blame on others. I’ll try to make my answer as brief and concise as it can be. I will also limit my answers to issues that are known to both the expelled and many members of the Church.
Out of the six issues they raised against the “defender ministers,” only the last three need clarification because (to use their own words), “the first three are fairly straightforward. It’s the last three that require further discussion.” Indeed, they do, and may I say to them, “Your wish is my command.”
Accusation: “They all rebelled against the current Church Administration” (despite their) “pledge of loyalty to, and undying love for, the current Executive Minister.” To validate their point, they extracted a part of my Editorial of the October 2014 issue of Pasugo/God’s Message which states:
“ ‘The whole staff of Pasugo/God’s Message magazine, like the rest of God’s people throughout the world, extend our wholehearted greetings and undying love to our beloved Executive Minister, Brother Eduardo V. Manalo, whose birthday is on the last day of this month. We make this greeting with our solemn vow that we will always be submissive to and united with him in his unceasing effort to present the whole Church to our Lord Jesus Christ “a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish’ at His second coming (Eph. 5:27, NKJV).”
Answer: But it is so noticeable that when they reiterated the quotation from my article, it was limited to or only up to “his unceasing effort to present the whole Church to our Lord Jesus Christ.” They intentionally omitted the ending part of the statement which states, “a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish at His second coming.” I am so thankful to God that despite the fact that I made this Editorial in 2014, He willed that the words I have used were complete and easy to understand, with no room for a distorted interpretation.This statement, when read as a whole in its context, says it all—we should be submissive and united with the Church Administrator in his effort to present the Church to our Lord glorious, not having spot or wrinkle, but holy and without blemish. The reason they intentionally omitted this important portion is in order to deceive the readers that ours was “A broken vow” and we have committed “Treason against God.”
But can they honestly say that the Church is being led to glorious state when it is now involved in rampant corruptions and with billions of peso debts? They say, “NO EVIDENCE!” Oh yeah? How then can they explain the fact that the Convention Center has remained unfinished four years after the construction began. I remember vividly what they used to proudly say before launching these multi-construction and multi-billion infrastructure projects, that the Church has sufficient fund to finish them all. What about the plan to get rid of all unsightly and dilapidated houses of worship and replace them with presentable ones before the Centennial of the Church? Isn’t this a case of a mismanaged offering of the Church or better yet, a disappearing fund? JUST ASKING.
Are the members being led to holiness and to a condition that is without spot and blemish when the doctrines and rules of the Church are grossly violated by those who are tasked to prepare the members for salvation?
Since when did it become a practice to list the names of thousands (millions as they previously claimed) of people as “indoctrinees” yet only came to receive “goody bags” during the Church Aid to Humanity (Lingap sa Mamamayan) activities, or to baptize people who have not yet finished receiving the doctrinal lessons or have not received them at all? Now, Who broke their vow? Who committed treason against God who appointed them?”
ACCUSATIONS 5: “They all created division by taking sides in an internal family dispute that pitted the Executive Minister against the expelled family members of Bro. Eraño.”
6: “They all preach a distorted version of the gospel taught by the Last Messenger, one that assures those outside the Church of salvation.”
Answer: Defending the family of Brother Eraño G. Manalo from oppression and pointing out the revision he made in the provisions of the Church’s Article of Incorporation, is no way an act of “taking sides in an internal family dispute.” In the first place, this is not simply a matter of “internal family dispute” but more of an issue of widespread corruption and anomalies in the Church. If only those issues were properly addressed and resolved immediately, the problem would have not escalated. What created division is the utter disregard of the doctrines and rules taught and implemented by God’s last messenger and upheld by brother Eraño G. Manalo. Now, let’s see who the true guilty is?
- Who distorted the doctrine that the one who should be expelled is “the evil person” and not the one who obeyed the doctrine to expose the works of darkness (I Cor. 5:13; Eph. 5:11)? I am not questioning the doctrines of the Church and the verses used in their article including the doctrine that those who are expelled will be judged by God. But does God approve of the unjust expulsion of those who took the side of the truth and exposed the works of darkness?
2. Who violated the doctrine that we should love each other even our enemies? Who continuously oppress and harass the expelled especially the family of Brother Eraño G. Manalo, cutting off the electrical and water lines, enclosing their houses with high iron fences and barbed wire, disallowing or limiting to smallest quantity the delivery of water, food and other basic necessities, but at the same time spend a great fortune giving aid to the needy as far as Africa? And they have the temerity to accuse us of distorting the words of God. I believe, they are barking at the wrong tree when they used Matthew 7:5 against us, because it clearly applies to them: “You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
They said that instead of “discussing our concerns in social media” we should “offer suggestions and recommendations, always driven by love for the Church and respect for the Administration …” HELLOOO! In making this kind of suggestion, they expose their true color—HYPOCRITES. Why? They are the ones who overused and relied so much in social media. They have formed groups of ministers and warriors (mandirigma ), instructed the ministers to have their own FB accounts to malign and character assassinate the defenders especially the expelled ministers and the family of Ka Erdy.
I am not sure if they are blind, or great pretenders, or simply unaware of what many of us have already done “for the love of the Church and respect for the Administration.” Furthermore, they “suggested” that if we have issues about corruptions in the Church, “let the Executive Minister deal with that. That is his duty, not yours, or ours.”
I myself, at several instances, informed the proper Church authority about the anomalies in the Church hoping for actions that would spare the Administration from blame, and the Church from ruin. To name a few: the case of the most wanted fugitive in South Korea; the $100.00 bills “collection”; the jacked up price of rice for Lingap; the padded number (in the millions) of listed “indoctrinees” issue, and I can name more if need be. I regret to inform you that my loud call for action fell on deaf ears. I was instead accused of being the blogger that exposed the anomalies and corruptions through social media. They interrogated me several times, placed me and my family under house arrest, and when we managed to escape, they expelled and began to harass and hunt us down. With God’s help, we were able to reach the U. S. A., but our ordeal did not end. They continued to harass us (all their actions are in the Police records), and again sued me in the Court of Law, but thank God, they’ve lost.
I do not condone disinformation and mud slinging through social media but they cannot blame the defenders if they resorted to using social media – FB because no Church authority listens. The least they could have done is to make a transparent and thorough investigations instead of immediately saying “no evidence,” and worse, they showed their being biased by investigating, or more appropriately, interrogating those who made the reports instead of those reported.
Hopefully, you will come to your senses and realize that what you are doing, putting the blame on us, will only force us to answer and reveal the TRUTH (through social media). Its all up to you.
“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me; Because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.” (NKJV: Hosea 4:6)