a : impairment of integrity, virtue, or moral principle : depravity
b : decay, decomposition
c : inducement to wrong by improper or unlawful means (as bribery)
d : a departure from the original or from what is pure or correct
When there is an outcry of “corruption” inside the INC, it is not only the corruption that many are thinking of, that is, when there are those who are unlawfully or illegally obtaining large amounts of cash. Although that is one of the meanings of “corruption”; when there is an “inducement to wrong, such as bribery”. As stated in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, corruption also refers to the “departure from the original or from what is pure or correct”. So if there is anything that is different from the original teachings we received, that is when there is an outcry of “Corruption”.
The Church Council will continue to deny allegations of corruption at all levels. Perhaps it is difficult to prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that money is being funneled to personal accounts when there is no paper trail found. Or perhaps they can easily hide the benefits they have acquired being in their positions, but when brethren can see the gradual changes in doctrine and regulations, more eyes are opening and are willing to ask questions.
Let us start with the “corruption” of Doctrine. One that I am sure many have heard about, is the expulsion of entire families. Let’s keep this simple. The doctrine is clear: “Parents shall not be put to death for their children, nor children put to death for their parents; each will die of their own sins.” Deuteronomy 24:16. So how does the Council justify expelling entire families if a mother or father posted on Facebook? Many are aware of the regulations that when both parents are expelled, an unbaptized child who was registered in the Church will also be delisted because they cannot attend Worship Services on their own. But when teenage children (or even more recently, a 25 year old) are suddenly expelled because of a parent’s action, that is no longer biblical! That is corruption worse than stealing or bribery. Why? Because that is corruption of the very commandments of God.
Let’s go to the Offerings, which is a touchy subject for the Council because they accuse anyone who talks about offering that we are stopping others from giving contributions or questioning about offerings, which is like being Judas Iscariot because he “questioned” Jesus Christ about buying expensive oil. But for the sake of discussion about “corruption”, is there a “departure from the original or from what is pure or correct”? let us examine.
From an unspecified Locale:
(For the non-Filipino readers) – it is a form that evaluates each officer. It indicates if they are setting aside, if they are giving in the special offerings. So what’s wrong with it, you say?
Don’t you remember in the Old Testament and New Testament?
1 Chronicles 29:6, 17
“Then the leaders of families, the officers of the tribes of Israel, the commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds, and the officials in charge of the king’s work gave willingly.”
“I know, my God, that you test the heart and are pleased with integrity. All these things I have given willingly and with honest intent. And now I have seen with joy how willingly your people who are here have given to you.”
1 Corinthians 9:7
“Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
What can you notice here? From the Old Testament to the Christian era, the act of offering must always be done with willingness and from the heart. NOT UNDER COMPULSION. Once there is a “warning or threat” of not being able to perform, because they did not set aside or help in the locale fund, that is already COMPULSION. What do you call that? That is “Corruption” from what we were previously taught or departure from the original.
The 2nd piece of paper indicates that brethren were “asked to donate” pieces for the chapel renovation. They are then asked to sign a form that they are “donating”. Was that what was done before? Isn’t it that we set aside every week in the F-9 or also called “Construction Fund” for that very purpose of constructing chapels? Or we give in the F-13, the local offerings for the needs of our own locale? So why ask the brethren to donate “crown molding”?
One could argue that this was done by the brethren “willingly” and not “under compulsion”. But the very fact that we have a copy and it was posted online indicates that they did NOT offer willingly but were under compulsion. So what do you call it when it is not like it was before? C-O-R-R-U-P-T-I-O-N. And if you are still not convinced that this is a departure from what we were taught before, look carefully. Yes we donated in the past. To the CHURCH. But this was a donation of a specific amount in the name of the Minister, not to the Church of Christ.
Let’s get this straight. It is a commandment to offer. But it must be done willingly. No one can and must not coerce us in giving. Because the moment a minister forces or coerces a member to give offering, that is a departure from the original. That is CORRUPTION. So contrary to what the Council will accuse, perform your duty to God and offer. But let no one do this under compulsion. It must be from a willing heart. Anything that departs from that doctrine is corruption.
This third piece of paper was sent out to all the Districts. What we can see here is something new. We already mentioned the various kinds of contributions. There are offerings for chapel constructions, for the needs of the locales, but as we can see here, there are a variety of new categories; CFO Fund and Eco-Farming. I guess it can be argued that the Administration has the right to set new categories. But it sure is odd when you have a category that is called “Contingency”. What is contingency? The online Dictionary describes it as:
noun, plural contingencies.
2. a contingent event; a chance, accident, or possibility conditional on something uncertain:
3. something incidental to a thing.
That covers such a wide range of vagueness. It’s like saying, “What is it for? Oh, I don’t know, it could be whatever we need it for.” How can that be? The church has always been specific when it comes to every penny from the offerings. Every penny is accounted for and every dollar and peso is categorized specifically whether it is the local fund or district fund or for the Thanksgiving. But now, there is a portion for Contingency which is for anything “uncertain” or “incidental”. Hmm, how convenient.
Lastly, this caught my eye the other day. Graduation Fees for New Era University. We all understand Diplomas, Caps and Gowns, processing fees, even Alumni fees. But when there are fees for Floral offerings? And Energy Consumption??
I don’t believe what others are saying that the Church is bankrupt. But what does it say when brethren are squeezed for every little centavo just to let their son or daughter graduate? This is not how it was in the past. And if it is different from what we were taught. What is it called again? Come on, say it with me… CORRUPTION.
So maybe we do not have the incriminating piece of paper that shows the Council is pocketing money, but no matter what anyone says, what we are witnessing, is the CORRUPTION of the commandments of God. Look. See. Understand what is happening.