As we, the Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church of Christ) members “celebrate” the 103rd anniversary by attending the Thanksgiving worship services and by giving praise to God, we must ask ourselves what we are thanking God for. If we will listen to the ‘pastoral letter’ of the Administrator, we are told that because of the “parade of success” the church enjoys. But is this how we measure success in the Church?
Let’s take a look at the events of the past year:
We were able to PURCHASE more property. Not just land or a building, an ENTIRE TOWN!! Johnsonville! We used millions of dollars of the offerings of brethren to purchase this 62 acre town!! Yippee!! Success!!! What shall we do with it? The same thing we did with our first town… NOTHING.
To fight “poverty” in Africa, as one of the new battle cries of our leaders, we fed thousands of people cabbage in such places like Zambia!
Oh. That’s right. Forgot about that. Move on, move on. The parade can’t look at that
Well, we were able to teach 200 Africans how to plant olive trees! Sort of.
And it only costs less than 1 Dollar to pay them each day!! Yes! Success!!
And of course, we continue to show our love for our fellow men in other ways…
Ok, enough of sarcasm for now. I hope you get my point. So I ask again, how do we measure success?
Is it by he number of bodies of the so called enemies that pile up? Is it a success that the very brother of Administrator is sitting in jail? Or not even knowing the whereabouts of his own mother? Is she ill? How is she? Is she bed-ridden? 3 of his siblings, his cousins, nieces and nephews are still expelled. Many more of our friends and loved one are expelled. This is success?
Is our success based on the number of people baptised? Because if that is the case, then what about Brother Felix Manalo? He did not baptise millions. Is it the number of Districts established? Brother Felix only established 46. Is this a failure now? We now often hear of the number of chapels built. Brother Felix did not build as many. Would his grandson call him a failure? So how is success of the Church measured?
What about us members? We might as well ask, How is our faith measured? Is it by the Dollar amount we put in? Is our salvation now based on that number printed on that piece of currency with $, £ or ¥? Why does the Minister talk to us if our offering is a coin or a low number? Do we fail in God’s eyes if we give what our heart dictates?
What is success now? Having arenas with rappers and pop stars? Ghost towns? Eco farming? Is this the Parade of Success the Ministers are wailing about?
Let us not forget how it was before. Back then we were happy if our heart was touched in our gatherings, (even without someone squealing over the speakers) that was a successful event; if we had a local picnic, we ate together, played games and none of us got hurt, we were happy. When we had Thanksgiving and we offered our sacrifices of thanks in our envelopes, perhaps a little embarrassed because of its humble amount, nevertheless we felt God accepted us, to us, back then, that was a success. Because in truth, no amount is truly worthy of God’s graces. So how could anyone put a dollar amount and say this is worthy, this is not? That’s up to Him do decide isn’t it?
So no matter what is being blasted nowadays as another mark of Triumph of the Administration, let’s not forget what truly matters; NOT world records; NOT property and NOT eco farming. Success is if we can still praise God in a pleasing manner. (How do we do that if can’t even follow these new unsingable hymns?)
REMEMBER, God is not all about big numbers:
“The Lord did not love you and choose you because you outnumbered other peoples; you were the smallest nation on earth. But the Lord loved you and wanted to keep the promise that he made to your ancestors.” Deuteronomy 7:7-8
103rd year of the Church? Yes. A happy and successful one? You know the answer.
Pray for one another brethren. We still have a long road ahead of us.