I recently read a blog by OSSE ABRON. I invite you to read it – here’s a link. It is an interesting take on what is currently taking place inside the Church of Christ (Iglesia Ni Cristo). To some, it may be some odd piece of fiction with characters who are not fully named. But if you would carefully read and study the words, it takes you inside the world of the INC and the humble life that once was which now has become a jet-setting posse of the current leader. I do not know who Osse is nor do I pretend to have an idea. I am sure the guard dogs will easily attack the writing, declaring it as more lies. Some may read and be completely lost. Some may simply discard it because it is quite lengthy for some people’s taste. (Sorry Mr. Abron)
Regardless of what you think, I believe it is quite an insight on the Family, especially of one person, INA. If I am not mistaken, it is referring to Sister Cristina V. Manalo, the widow of the late Brother Erano G. Manalo. The writings of Osse has inspired me to revisit the topic of “Sister Tenny”. I have met her on a few occasions and Osse described her so lucidly and accurately that it has brought back the pain that I am sure many of us feel of how she and her children are being treated. It pains me to think that after half a century of marriage to the Executive Minister of the Iglesia Ni Cristo and of raising their children, it has come to this.
Such brutal treatment that she and her children receive that it makes me bristle at the thought that these attacks come from people who belong to the same Church as I do. I will spare you of anymore of my personal sentiments regarding how they are torn apart by Ministers and their peanut gallery. (Yes, peanut gallery suits them very well. No, it has nothing to do with Snoopy. Look up the origin of the term)
I would like to simply discuss the “justification” the Administration and it’s cohorts on how Sister Tenny is treated. The “Defenders” quote the teaching of Jesus and the Apostles that we should “Honor your father and mother.” Here are some of the answers. Let us take this piece by piece, so as not to be carried away by emotion or unfunny pictures of them with horns:
First, Let us be clear, here is the commandment:
Ephesians 6:1-3 “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for it is the right thing to do. “Honor your father and mother” which is the first commandment that has a promise” We are commanded to obey and honor our parents.
But what IF there is a parent who may hinder you from worshipping because they are not in the Church or do not believe or were expelled, that is the reason that is pointed out that we obey those parents who are “in the Lord”. Everyone with me? You DO NOT HAVE TO OBEY IF THEY ARE HINDERING YOU. So this is EVM’s reason for not obeying his mother. Got it?
The Apostles taught, “We ought to obey God rather than men”. So IF there is a conflict and one has to choose whom to obey, God first rather than obeying man. So in EVM’s case, he chose to follow God’s commands even if it means expelling his mother.
Lastly, the teaching of Jesus is “Those who love their father or mother more than me are not fit to be my disciples; those who love their son or daughter more than me are not fit to be my disciples.” Yes, we should love God and Jesus more than our parents. So the justification of Brother EVM is that he does not need to obey his mother because he loves God and Jesus more than his mother.
I hope that everyone is following. Now here are my questions regarding these justifications:
Granted that Sister Tenny has been “expelled” by the current Church Administration, and the son “does not have to obey” his mother. Where does it say that he now can DISHONOR and DISRESPECT his mother as well? How is he dishonoring her, some may ask. You think all these Ministers will outrightly attack sister Tenny without the GO SIGNAL from EVM??!? Those attacks are done with his full blessings.
Let’s look at the Definitions:
– to comply with or follow the commands,restrictions, wishes, or instructions of:
to obey one’s parents.
– to comply with or follow (a command, restriction,wish, instruction, etc.).
– (of things) to respond conformably in action to:
The car obeyed the slightest touch of the steeringwheel.
– to submit or conform in action to (some guiding principle, impulse, one’s conscience, etc.).
– to hold in honor or high respect; revere:
to honor one’s parents.
– to treat with honor.
– to confer honor or distinction upon:
The university honored him with its leadership award.
– to worship (the Supreme Being).
– to show a courteous regard for:
to honor an invitation.
– Commerce. to accept or pay (a draft, check, etc.):
All credit cards are honored here.
– to accept as valid and conform to the request or demands of (an official document).
LOOK carefully! Honor is different from Obey. If the parents are hindering us from worshipping, we can choose to NOT to obey them in order to follow God. But it does not necessarily mean we have to DISHONOR them or DISRESPECT them.
Does it say now that we should HATE our mother and father? We simply love God and Jesus MORE than our parents. What does MORE mean? We still love them, but not as much as God and Jesus. The things we see on Social Media is the complete opposite of LOVE for the mother.
“But she is EXPELLED!” Is it then right to ATTACK and HUMILIATE Sister Tenny?
Let us keep in mind one of the commandments, which has become the bitter argument regarding Sister Tenny: ‘For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother’ and ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death’”.
It is WRONG to curse our mother and father. Those who curse their mother and father is to be put to death. Clear enough? Even if we accept that the mother has been expelled, there is NO JUSTIFICATION in creating these harsh attacks on the old lady. I cannot see what is Christian about it.
Some Ministers have even quoted Jesus Christ to show that He gave more importance to His disciples than to His mother. in Matthew 12, where someone says to Jesus: “your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you”. He replied “Who is my mother and who are my brothers? Pointing to his disciples, he said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers’”.
What they DO NOT point out is the very instance that Christ was already ON THE CROSS and on the verge of death. Even just before death, Jesus Christ DID NOT FORGET THE WELFARE OF HIS MOTHER. In John 19:26-27 it says: “Jesus saw his mother and the disciple he loved standing there; so he said to his mother, “He is your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “She is your mother.” From that time the disciple took her to live in his home.” Can you imagine the excruciating pain Jesus Christ was in at that moment? He was on the cross; after being beaten and flogged; carried the heavy wooden cross; he was hanging there with a crown of thorns, bleeding profusely everywhere with His hands and feet nailed, and yet, He remembered to tell John, His disciple, about His mother to take her into his home.
The Bible tells us that Christ left us an example that we should follow. Should we not follow this example? Even when duty is more important. Even when God and Jesus comes first. We love them first. It does not mean we disrespect or dishonour our parents. No matter what you think the mother has done, there is no commandment to BE RUDE, to INSULT, to HARASS your parents. There are no teachings like that for the true Christians. Brother Eduardo V. Manalo, please DO NOT ALLOW OTHERS to attack and humiliate your own mother.
Sister Tenny Manalo is old now. How much time does she have? Wouldn’t a loving son be concerned for her well-being? No matter what you think she has done, shouldn’t you try everything you can to make sure that she is reinstated before she is laid to rest? Brother Eduardo V. Manalo, you can travel anywhere. Why not travel to talk to your mother? Brother Erano Manalo passed away with the hope that he would be together with his entire household in the Holy City. We pray that his hopes would be fulfilled.