It seems that the country’s favorite “punching bag” right now is the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC), an indigenous religious sect which is celebrating their 101st anniversary today. Allegations of financial indiscretion, power struggles and illegal detention by the sect’s leaders have polarized the citizenry either for or against the INC. Netizens, many of them evangelical Christians, share links on social media to every story that seemingly puts the INC in a bad light.
I think it is unnecessary for Christians to do so. Sure, we are all curious about all these allegations. If any crime has been committed, we want the accused to have their day in court. However, if we evangelicals join in bashing the INC on social media, then we simply join the mob in beating the lights out of a wounded person. Now, I understand that that picture is exaggerated and probably unfair. So, I apologize in advance to those who would get offended.
Let’s reflect on the warning of our Lord Jesus:
And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? (Luke 6:41 NLT)
The Roman Catholic Church has been around for more than a thousand years; evangelical Christianity for several hundred years. Both camps have had their share of shocking scandals, even much worse than what the INC is being accused of today. So, here is a brotherly advice: before you continue bashing the INC enthusiastically, remember that evangelical church history is littered with financial indiscretion and power struggles. Be conscious of that proverbial log in our own eye.
News agencies will continue to report on the issues confronting the INC. Appropriate government agencies will investigate the allegations. Let’s not worry about these. What should we do instead?
I believe the best course of action is to pray. Our role is to pray for God’s intervention so that he will use this crisis to bring people, especially INC members, to a clearer understanding of his person, his Word, and his mission. All for the glory of God.
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