In a matter of days the Executive Minister of the Iglesia Ni Cristo and some of the council of elders will make their way to Bakers field South California to dedicate the house of worship. It is in fulfillment of God’s commandment:
“‘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.”
So we build houses of worship. Not only should they be built, but they should be dedicated as well, like King Solomon did:
“May your eyes be open toward this temple night and day, this place of which you said, ‘My Name shall be there,’ so that you will hear the prayer your servant prays toward this place.”
And upon building and dedicating the chapel, it must also be maintained.
“Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin?”
Carrying out the command to build
The church has indeed built houses of worship for decades. They were dedicated and maintained. But nowadays, even though we are told that so many chapels were built – 541, was the last announcement. Most of them are tiny Barangay chapels that the Executive Minister does not even bother dedicating. How many chapels have not yet been renovated and dedicated? Outside the Philippines, there are much much more. You readers are the ones who can answer this. Bakers field was purchased in 2010. It has taken 6 years to a paint job and a new rostrum?
What was previously done was to purchase the property, build / renovate the chapel and then dedicate it, and then move on to the next one. We don’t buy property, use a portion of it and then tell the District and locale to save up to renovate the rest. And then years later it might be dedicated.
Jesus even had a command for this:
“Is there anyone here who, planning to build a new house, doesn’t first sit down and figure the cost so you’ll know if you can complete it? If you only get the foundation laid and then run out of money, you’re going to look pretty foolish. Everyone passing by will poke fun at you: ‘He started something he couldn’t finish.’
How clear and logical can that be? Figure out the cost and then complete it. It is shameful not to complete it. (NOTE: See increflections article regarding other buildings that have been left unfinished.) So why are so many chapels still pending for renovation and dedication? We are talking years!
Secondly, amongst the chapels that were dedicated long ago, have they been maintained? These pictures caught my eye the other day::
(photos courtesy of Gate Keepers of the Flock)
Thirdly, have the regulations that were put in place been maintained?
Carrying out the Regulations
Here are some of the Rules and instructions from ka Erdy’s time:
(Thanks for the file Kuya J!)
It is clear isn’t it?
In English, the holiness and cleanliness must be maintained.
It is only to be used for Worship Services and propagation of the words of God
It is strictly prohibited from displaying STREAMERS, BANNERS or any type of BILLBOARD or SIGN on the walls, at the rear, adjacent to, or at the facade of the worship building, fence or gates.
If there are, remove them at once.
Brother Tumanan should remember this. He was instructed to convey it.
How about now? Are these regulations being observed religiously? Are the houses of worship free from signs and streamers? You know the answers to these as well…
Did you notice how God says ‘My Name shall be there,’. It does not say EVM’s name will be there.
What we can conclude then is that there are attempts to fulfill the commandment of God to build places of worship. There are also many failed attempts. There are also failures to fulfill the regulations that were previously set in place, as we have seen. There are not minor matters. It cannot be that there is an attempt to build a house of worship and then leave it pending for years. That is not what Christ commanded. We cannot neglect the chapel repairs as well. Look around your own locale. Nor can there be blatant disregard of the regulations such as posters and banners hanging on houses of worship. This is the house of God we are talking about and we see so many of them covered with streamers and notices. The chapels cannot look like billboards. We even saw Hollywood style promotions for a movie! And as some people say, “And everyone is OK with it?”
If you have been blessed with a chapel, remember how we are supposed take care of it. Do not desecrate it with all kinds of SIGNS just to appease man. Don’t you remember? It is where we praise and worship God. Don’t you remember? It is where we find comfort when we have those days our hearts are aching? DON’T YOU REMEMBER WHEN GOD WAS STILL IN EVERY WORSHIP SERVICE? Don’t you want God to return? Then remember whom we should please! Fear God, not man.
Perhaps when they realize whose name is truly important, God will return.
“May you watch over this Temple night and day, this place where you have said, ‘My name will be there.’ May you always hear the prayers I make toward this place” I Kings 8:28-29