This is not about sports. It’s about religion. Mine. But I will start with Basketball. I’m sure there are many in America and in the Philippines who are basketball fans. I’ve been watching the NBA playoffs especially Lebron James. He is indeed very great player. He’s been in 6 straight championships and has won 3 of them. But no matter what he does, he is always compared to the legendary Michael Jordan who won 6 championships.
So as I was listening to someone on the sports radio, trying to distract myself from all the misery my brethren are going through, one of the commentators quoted Lebron James saying that he was “chasing a ghost”. He is trying to outdo the accomplishments of the past heroes, more specifically Michael Jordan.
This is exactly what we are witnessing now in the Iglesia Ni Cristo. The very moment bro. Eraño Manalo passed away in 2009, the son, EVM has been trying to outdo his predecessors. I know people will say “No, he’s doing his duty– he’s doing it for God, blah blah”. But let’s look at this for a moment:
I’m going to keep this short so my trolls can put in their infinite Tagalog comments. Since 2009 there have been, and I’m going to use the term loosely, which has been overused lately in Church, INTENSIVE Everything. We’ve had Intensive Propagation, Intensive Renewal of Life, Intensive Edification (which we did not see much of but was declared anyway), Intensive Offering, and so on. Why Intensive? It is to say that we are being required to do everything with more Intensity. Why? To show results. Such as…
MORE are joining the Ministry, more Bible students, more this and that. And the point of it all? We are “successful ” because our “leader” is guided by the Holy Spirit.
When did it become a mark of the Holy Spirit that we were able to break World Records? When did it become a proof of success if we gave away more donations than others? Or we were able to invite more than ever? Is this the sign of the guidance of the Holy Spirit?
If this is the case, then does that mean that Brother Felix or Brother Eraño was not as guided?? To put this in more concrete terms let me cite specific examples of what the current administrator said starting with last weekend’s sermon:
There have been 3992 ministers ordained and over 1400 chapels built since 2010. What do you notice about these numbers? Everything begins with 2010. Why? That is when EVM began his reign. Why not say that IN TOTAL, the church now has so many ministers or IN TOTAL, there are so many chapels around the world. Instead, the cutoff is on HIS accomplishments.
Last year he even compared the statistics of HIS accomplishments to that of the Messenger and of his father. (These were actually mentioned in the worship service!!)
Number of Districts:
Number of Ministers Ordained:
EVM: 3178 (now 3992)
So what does that prove? Why mention it? If you want to give glory to God, why break it down this way? Could we not simply say the total of Ministers ordained is 8541? Or there are now 135 Districts? Why would he say that? To make matters worse, the Administrator would even say that this was done in just 7 years (whereas these numbers reflect 50 years for the Messenger and 46 years for Brother Eraño)
And in an even earlier sermon, he even cited that he has been to countries that the Messenger has never been. To say that is ludicrous. Brother Felix began with zero members and zero money and you would say “well he never went to Russia”. The Church was in its infancy. Why would he? It is pure nonsense. (Besides, Brother Felix did not have an Airbus.)
That’s like Michael Jordan saying his TV ratings were higher than Wilt Chamberlain. Of course it was! Because the NBA was not global back then and not as popular. It is a silly comparison.
Why did it suddenly become a competition? This is not sports. There is no rivalry. When one compares themselves to the accomplishments of the dearly departed, you can never win. Why? Would it be wrong for EVM to compare his accomplishments? Before our trolls answer, GOD answers:
“You should each judge your own conduct. If it is good, then you can be proud of what you yourself have done, without having to compare it with what someone else has done.” Galatians 6:4-5
“Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.” Philippians 2:3 ESV
This is not an attack on EVM. All we want to say to him is to stop trying to compete with the past. There is no rivalry! There is no victory in that.
Ahh… those ghosts that haunt EVM.