In the last few months I have wondered about what is happening to our church. I grew up believing in the one true pristine Church that Christ established and is led men whose sole purpose in life is to lead the people of God to salvation.
But reading and seeing all these things taking place on the internet has shaken my faith. It scares me because I ask myself, am I being deceived by the devil to tear me away from my salvation? Is this my test? Or is this a revelation of a darkness that is now lurking within the organization? I wish I have all the answers, as I’m sure many do as well. But maybe what many are waiting for are answers to simple questions that would put our minds at ease.
But if answers are what brethren want, why doesn’t the Church Administration give it? Why are our leaders refusing to directly answer the questions of those who are opposing them? Why is there such vitriol to anyone who asks questions? Don’t they realize the reason that many have created fake accounts on Social media is because of the fear of the members of being castigated and expelled for simply asking questions? We were brought in the Church with the mentality that every question thrown by our opponents could be answered by the Bible. We were always confident to bring our friends to Bible studies and urged them to ask questions. Yet now, we are told to look away from social media; to avoid reading things that at may make us ask questions or to report fellow members who may be speaking about these things. Oh the heresy! WHY?
I am not trying to destroy anyone’s faith or implant doubt in anyone’s mind. If you are reading this, you probably have similar questions already. I am compelled to write because my Church is being turned upside down. I have friends whom I have known a long time – brethren who were so active are now all of a sudden expelled. Not because of adultery. Not idolatry. Not murder. For asking questions. They were simply ‘marked’ as ‘one of them’.
So for me, the questions are simple and may have been addressed by others but I have yet to find a satisfying answer:
1. If there is no corruption, then why the over-defensiveness? Some of you may remember during Brother Eraño Manalo’s time when there were issues that would come up, the lessons answered them directly. Don’t you remember the lessons on Homosexuality? The lessons on Dancing? Heck, there were even lessons on why we should not get receipts for our tax returns! But now, many brethren simply have questions. Why not directly answer them? Yes there are people who are confusing others. So why not set the matter straight and meet the issues head on? So back to the corruption. If there is no corruption, then PROVE it. Proving is not the same as denying it. And for goodness sakes, if there are brethren who ask these questions, please don’t turn on them. They are not heretics. It’s called being human. Would you rather have the brethren keep these questions to themselves and later on have all kinds of doubts? Would it not be better for them to speak up and ask? Why was the issue of Proms, cotillions and dances put to rest? Because brethren asked about it, it was answered clearly in the Worship Services and we moved on from there stronger.
1. My second question, why are so many brethren being expelled? For liking on Facebook?? For ‘re-posting’ comments?! I know the Bible says “expel the wicked man from among you” but for “Liking” and “Sharing”? Really?? Does that now equate Wickedness? You could argue that it is a form of rebellion but couldn’t the Minister or Worker even talk to the brethren and calm them down and admonish them first? You could not convince them with Scripture? Maybe they did try. But how many times? If one will contend that the brethren were argumentative and downright disrespectful, and to the point of being a SINNER. What did the Bible teach us about it? What is that verse about Jesus saying forgive 70 times 7? Was that put into effect? Or was the wrath of the DM felt right away? Was the fury of the Council immediately made known? Or maybe the problem lies with the ministers who are unable to give a satisfying answer.
1. My third and last question of the day is very simple. And it is actually more of a rhetorical question for the Council of Elders. They expelled brethren. They said they rebelled. Here is my question. If those people do not want to be in the Church, why do they keep fighting for their beliefs? To simply annoy you? To cause divisions? They are already out and yet there are those who still insist that they are Church of Christ. Why not just join another religion? Do they all want Divisions? MY answer is because their faith is that THIS IS the true Church. Agree? If they believe that, then what does that say about them? They could have been prevented from getting expelled from the first place. But were the necessary steps taken to remedy the situation? Were there efforts to keep them from being expelled?
Yes, I know, there are actually more than 3 questions there. Maybe I should have said 3 issues of the day. Whatever. I just want answers and move on. I am church member. But I am not a blind follower. To be a true Christian, one must be ‘enlightened’ first. Enlighten me. Please.