In recent months, many of us have been told about the troubles of the Iglesia Ni Cristo. We are told to NOT listen to those who are “against us”, do not turn away, don’t be deceived, and so on. I ask, where do we go to listen to “them”? I don’t attend those online gatherings; I’m not expelled; I don’t even know who the defenders are around me. The only ones I do hear are the Resident Ministers and District Ministers who are on the attack at every opportunity in the Worship Service lessons. We often hear them say “they are persecuting us”: HOW? By asking questions? By rallying to stop corruption? Who really is The Persecutor? Who is persecuted?
And for argument’s sake, say that the Church members are being persecuted. Persecution is nothing new; we have felt that from our employers, school mates, and even relatives. We are not new to these experiences. Isn’t this what Christ and the Apostles forewarned us?
“Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also.” John 15:20
“In fact, when we were with you, we kept telling you that we would be persecuted. And it turned out that way, as you well know.” 1 Thessalonians 3:4
We know there will be persecution. We have felt that in the past. We were taught that. But we were also taught how we should react when we are persecuted:
“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
The proper reaction is NOT building a new army called Mandirigmas. NOT legal action. NOT hacking. NOT spying on fellow brethren and family members. And certainly NOT harassment.
So why is there so much effort, especially from the Administration and all the Ministers saying that we must fight the “enemies“? What have the “enemies” done? I’m sure the brethren DON’T FEEL the so-called “attacks” or the so-called “persecutions”. We do, however, HEAR all the negative things from the Administration and the harassment that WE are SUPPOSEDLY feeling. So I ask myself, are we really experiencing persecution from “Defenders” or are we being TOLD we are persecuted?
Are we really being persecuted or is it the Administration the one monitoring and harassing those who are ALREADY expelled?
It’s ironic that some ministers will say, “leave us alone!” And yet, what can we notice?
Isn’t it the ministers who are the ones MONITORING the gatherings of the expelled? NO? Hmmm…
And how do they know who are these people behind the accounts? Is it by hacking?
What does it matter to the INC if the Defenders are having gatherings? They expelled them remember? It’s like those who break up their relationship and yet the boyfriend still follows his ex girlfriend to see who she is dating now. Yes, it’s called Stalking. It is Harassment. What did Apostle Paul say?
“What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? “
The actions and decisions of the Administration is what is EMBARRASSING. Whether the Persecution is real or perceived , this is NOT how the we were taught to react.
We know that non-members may insult, mock and curse us. But so what? It is nothing new. The Bible said “…in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you”. But nowadays, how does the Church react because some non-member insulted EVM?This man may or may not have insulted EVM. But the Church I knew DID NOT INSULT BACK nor do you post his address and workplace online. Maybe you can get away with that in the Philippines, since the Government officials fear the Church, but try doing that in America, in England, or for that matter, Germany. You heard what the German Head Deacon said, there is the “LAW” of the land. That is ILLEGAL.
So I repeat my question, WHO IS TRULY PERSECUTING AND HARASSING?
And who are truly persecuted?
“We work hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it” 1 Corinthians 4:12
I pray for those in 36 Tandang Sora. Just remember the words of our Saviour:
“Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.
21 Blessed are you who hunger now, for you will be satisfied.
Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh.
22 Blessed are you when people hate you, when they exclude you and insult you
and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man.