The Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) is celebrating its 102nd year today, July 27. From one man, the sect has grown to millions of members worldwide.
Here are some interesting facts about the Iglesia Ni Cristo which might surprise you.
1. The Iglesia Ni Cristo is a worldwide church
The INC started with one man, Felix Y. Manalo, in the Philippines. Today, the INC is present in more than 100 countries in the six inhabited continents of the world. It is said that the INC has four to eight million members worldwide, although the church has not released the exact figures of its total membership.
2. The Iglesia Ni Cristo does not practice bloc voting in the USA
The INC is known to be strict with its members when it comes to bloc voting. In the Philippines, members who do not vote for the candidates decided upon its church administration are expelled from the INC.
They use this verse, I Corinthians 1:10, to support their doctrine: I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.
However, many of its critics point out that this doctrine is not practiced in the USA. It appears as if the Bible verse is not applicable for the INC in certain countries.
3. The Iglesia Ni Cristo forbid its members from eating blood.
The INC uses this verse, to support their doctrine: You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things. Farewell.
Their critics point out that this statement from the Apostles was made only because there was a conflict between the Jewish Christians (who do not eat blood) and the gentile Christians (who eat blood) during the first century.
The critics use these verses to oppose the INC’s teachings:
Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. (Col. 2:16)
4. The INC believes that it is the one and true church of Christ
For the INC, all religions are false and not of God. They consider the INC as the new Noah’s Ark: people have to get in it in order to go to be saved. Otherwise, you would go to Hell for all eternity.
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5. The INC has gained many Guinness World Records for helping people
The INC has garnered 18 Guinness World Records already. Its latest records were for the biggest collection of clothing for donation, the most number of shoes donated in one day, and the most number of medical risk assessments in eight hours.
However, its critics point out that getting public recognition for good deeds violates this particular teaching of Jesus:
So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. (Matthew 6:2)
6. INC members cannot marry non-members
An INC member is forbidden from marrying non-INC members. Those who violate this doctrine are expelled from the church.
The INC believes that this particular verse supports this doctrine:
Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? (I Cor. 6:14-15)
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7. The INC encourages its members to love each other as real brothers and sisters
The INC tries to keep its solidarity and unity strong by urging its members to treat each other as true brothers and sisters, as is written in Hebrews 13:1. Hopefully, the entire world will be able to learn how to love each other as siblings despite our differences so that we can finally have peace. - DN, Kami Media
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