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The phrase “Iglesia ni Cristo” is Tagalog (the language of the Philippines) for “Church of Christ.” Sadly, while claiming to be a church, Iglesia ni Cristo has all of the basic elements of a cult.The first and foremost is a single charismatic leader who claims to have a special revelation from God.They deny the divinity of Jesus Christ (as do all cults and false religions) and assert that Jesus was created by God and enabled to do miraculous works by God. They claim that the Holy Spirit is an impersonal force.They also claim that the Christian church in its current form has apostatized, and that the Iglesia ni Cristo is the reinstatement of the true church that was lost in the first century; and this by means of God’s last messenger, Felix Manalo—the founder of Iglesia ni Cristo.Although in the first seventy years after Protestant Christianity reached these islands in 1898 only 5,000 churches were established, in the last twenty-five years a further 22,000 have begun.While the average size of a church in Manila is about 100, a number of mega-churches have sprung up with congregations numbering in the thousands.Thankfully, He also said that the true believers would not be turned away (John ).As Christians, we must be wary of the teachings of false messiahs and cultic offshoots of Christianity, such as the Iglesia ni Cristo.
Our Lord predicted that in the last days there would come many who claim to be Christ and lead people astray (Matthew 24:5).
Jesus Christ Himself said that salvation is found in Him, that He is the only way to the Father (John 14:6), not membership in a specific church. According to Iglesia ni Cristo, all of the above rules and regulations are mandatory in order for a person to be saved.
Here are some of the other unbiblical or extra-biblical doctrines that Iglesia ni Cristo teaches: • They believe that one must hear the gospel from authorized Iglesia ni Cristo messengers and ministers. The Bible, of course, teaches that salvation is “the gift of God, not of works, lest any man boast” (Ephesians 2:9).
There are many churches that have “Church of Christ” in their name; that doesn’t make them the one true church.
Another example of defective doctrine in the Iglesia ni Cristo is their Christology.
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