By now many of you have seen and read about the demolished house of the former Executive Minister of the Iglesia Ni Cristo, Brother Erano G. Manalo. The house, which was in fine condition, was turned to tiny pebbles by the (de)construction workers. Many have posted comments, feeling angry, sad and frustrated at what the current Administrator is doing.
I have been trying to stay quiet all week, enjoying some family time up to this past Memorial Day weekend. I tried not to get too upset about the crap (figurative and literal) that the residents of #36 were getting. I too was saddened by the passing away of sister Tenny’s sister, “Tita Ayds”. But this one, is just the icing on the crap cake for the Manalo siblings.
I am sure many are feeling the same way and asking the same questions. “Why would they destroy the house of Brother Erdy and Sister Tenny?” Let us try to be objective about things and not get too emotional. So I ask what reason(s) could there be in doing this? Let’s be honest, shall we?
- No one is living in it.
- It is unlikely that the current Executive Minister’s mother would return to dwell there.
- The space may be used for (more) offices perhaps(?) How many does the son-in-law need?
- It may be used for more housing of employees / ministers & their families
- Parking lot
But if we think about it, why does it necessitate taking the house down brick by brick, all the way down to the rubble? Couldn’t parts of the building be salvaged if it is to be used for residence or some kind of office? After all, this was a quality edifice. So why completely demolish it? Then obviously it is more than just a building that was being destroyed. It is the MEMORIES and the SYMBOL of who and what was there.
We need to understand that what was done is no different from what the Islamic extremists, ISIS have done and continue to do. They not only take over cities in the Middle East, they make sure that all kinds of historic artifacts are also demolished. Here is an excerpt from the Tony Blair Faith Foundation website.
“Historic sites are being targeted by ISIS because of the cultural and religious significance they have to certain communities. Sites belonging to Shia, Kurdish, Yezidi and Christian communities have been subjected to destruction and looting. The clear message is that they are now irrelevant; the cultural and ethnic legacies of these people have no place in the ‘caliphate.”
“Revered historic buildings and monuments that point to the glories of past civilisations are an ideological threat to the caliphate that ISIS believes surpasses them all. In ISIS’ view there should be nothing that can challenge its legitimacy, whether Christian, Shia, Sufi or anything else. With a clean slate, ISIS seeks to present to future generations a new version of history, in which its binary narrative of ISIS heroes fighting evil will be able to flourish. Obliterating historic sites is an attempt to create a blank canvas for ISIS to build on: a new beginning.”
From the “Christian Post” website, they also stated that
“Terror group ISIS has been bulldozing and destroying the ancient biblical city of Nimrud, Iraqi officials have said. The U.N. and the international community at large have condemned the “war crime,” which Iraq has said is aimed at erasing the country’s history.”
(photo courtesy of The Clarion Project)
ISIS, in short, destroys historic sites to make them “irrelevant”, so its “legitimacy” could not be challenged and to wipe out the past and start a NEW history – A NEW BEGINNING. Sounds familiar? Tell us now, who are the “Spiritual Terrorists”? The Council or the Defenders?
In the past 5 or 6 years, what has been emphasized to the members of the Iglesia Ni Cristo? “I am one with…” you know who. “Lets make (you know who) smile; the great feats and accomplishments SINCE 2009, under the “dynamic leadership of EV..” you know who; and so on and so forth. Meanwhile, history of the church from 1914 to 2009, is barely mentioned. Let’s think about this; Why would you emphasize the accomplishments of the CURRENT leadership when there is such a rich and majestic history of the Messenger and brother Erano Manalo? The current Administrator has only been in office for 6 years and all we get is the repetitive trumpeting of HIS accomplishments. What for? Can you imagine if that was done by Brother Felix Manalo and Brother Erano Manalo? Almost 50 years each of accomplishments!! It still DWARFS the current Administration. In 6 years, chapels have been constructed. Yes. Good. That’s not that amazing. There are over 2 million brethren offering. Of course chapels can be built! Try that with less than a thousand people – that’s what brother Felix did. THAT is amazing. Brother Erano’s time? The Church reached and spread all over the world. Present Administration? World Record for blood pressure taken and largest choir. When you compare them side by side, the present Administrator’s accomplishments seem miniscule doesn’t it?
So what is the point here? It is no wonder then that they have to wipe out anything that would remind people of our previous leaders. Anything that would make us compare and remember the GREATNESS of God’s previous leaders. Because the current one is becoming more and more insecure about his place in history. How can you compete with God’s Messenger who started with nothing? How can you compare with the Messenger’s son who took what the Messenger left him and made it grow, flourish and spread? Where can you go from there? Add more chapels maybe. A couple more countries. As the TV adverts say; “been there, done that.” This Administration needs the Guinness people to tell them that they are “Officially Amazing”
So what is the next step if one cannot compete with or out do the past? Just like ISIS – You wipe it out.
So no matter what is demolished, no matter how many times we are told about the “Amazing” accomplishments of the current Administrator, we must not forget the past. THAT is what God taught us. That is what we must do.
“Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.” Deuteronomy 4:9
Some will attempt to erase history. Some will change it. Those of us who have witnessed the great things God did for the Church – do not forget them. Tell them to our children. Let them remember and that they can tell the next generation. That is why God gave these commands. There will be people who will try to demolish the past. Don’t get disheartened by these things. Don’t be overwhelmed by sadness. We feel angry, we feel frustrated, yes, but God gave us a command – – “Remember your former leaders who spoke God’s message to you…”
The house may be gone but those who dwelt there should always be remembered.