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Posted: 7/24/2015 8:54:44 AM EST
I think this is my first ever topic in the religion forum. I myself am not particularly religious and that's not really a part of this.

While I was in the Philippines a few months ago, I met several members of a church known as Iglesia ni Cristo. At first glance, the translation would lead me to believe it was a spinoff of the Church of Christ that we have here in the US. This is not the case.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iglesia_ni_Cristo

This website has more info about their belief structure:

http://www.apologeticsindex.org/2848-iglesia-ni-cristo

I'm far from an expert on Christianity but I have a grasp on the basics. What I can figure from this group is they're not exactly as Christian as they claim to be.

They have a lot of odd practices as well. Mandatory attendance of services or you're kicked out. Must marry someone that's a member of the church or you're kicked out. Do something to draw the ire of the local priest or whatever they call him, kicked out.


What say you religion forum types?

Cult? Messed up interpretation but more or less on the level? Totally misguided? Something else?
Link Posted: 7/24/2015 9:08:41 AM EST
Possible cult. But no way a true Christian church. Even though all denominations of Christianity have rules none should be a "my way or the highway type church". Jesus Christ, in his own life and teachings, was much more forgiving then that. Look into Christianity more and find a denomination your comfortable with and give it a try. It helps with all aspects of life and it's FREE !
Link Posted: 7/24/2015 9:47:36 AM EST
I was raised in a church that was similar to a cult. I can tell you that most people think they are
special and everyone else is crazy because that's what they are taught from birth.

Really sad because people will follow almost anything if the presenter is slick enough.
Link Posted: 7/24/2015 5:29:32 PM EST
It's pretty much a trend that any "churches" like the one you encountered will celebrate their personal religious standards before they point to Salvation through Jesus Christ.
Bottom line for them, salvation is linked to a non-Biblical system of self defined moral conduct.
Link Posted: 7/25/2015 11:38:32 PM EST
Break away from Catholicism. Basically didn't like celibacy or obeying Rome.....so their clergy get married....but ironically are much more heavy handed in their application of obedience than Rome is (as can be seen in the drama of the division within Catholicism between progressive/modernists and conservative/traditionalists whereby religious, deacons, priests, bishops, and cardinals can (and have) gotten away with a wide latitude of behavior and heterodox teaching for YEARS without being called on the carpet.....)
Link Posted: 7/25/2015 11:47:10 PM EST
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Originally Posted By T1NMAN:
It's pretty much a trend that any "churches" like the one you encountered will celebrate their personal religious standards before they point to Salvation through Jesus Christ.
Bottom line for them, salvation is linked to a non-Biblical system of self defined moral conduct.
View Quote


I'm not a Bible scholar by any means, but I've read it a few times. The gist of it is Christians by and large believe that salvation comes through faith, not through actions.

So that puts these guys in a difficult place, if I'm interpreting things correctly.

It still doesn't really answer the question about these guys though. I'm leaning towards wonky cult, brainwashed members and such. Am I wrong?
Link Posted: 7/26/2015 9:52:29 PM EST
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Originally Posted By Zack3g:
]

. The gist of it is Christians by and large believe that salvation comes through faith, not through actions.
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Are you saying this sect believes this? Because that is a Protestant tenet. Not a Christian belief.

Faith is nothing without works. As is works are nothing without Faith.
Link Posted: 7/26/2015 9:55:21 PM EST
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Originally Posted By skid2041:



Are you saying this sect believes this? Because that is a Protestant tenet. Not a Christian belief.

Faith is nothing without works. As is works are nothing without Faith.
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Originally Posted By skid2041:
Originally Posted By Zack3g:
]

. The gist of it is Christians by and large believe that salvation comes through faith, not through actions.



Are you saying this sect believes this? Because that is a Protestant tenet. Not a Christian belief.

Faith is nothing without works. As is works are nothing without Faith.


This particular group of goofy guys has a belief structure that I can't begin to comprehend.

I'm referencing what I've seen to be a common Christian thing, forgive the piss poor paraphrasing but

I am the way and the truth and the light, nobody gets to heaven but through me - something to that effect? IE faith, not works.
Link Posted: 7/26/2015 10:54:15 PM EST
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Originally Posted By Zack3g:


This particular group of goofy guys has a belief structure that I can't begin to comprehend.

I'm referencing what I've seen to be a common Christian thing, forgive the piss poor paraphrasing but

I am the way and the truth and the light, nobody gets to heaven but through me - something to that effect? IE faith, not works.
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Originally Posted By Zack3g:
Originally Posted By skid2041:
Originally Posted By Zack3g:
]

. The gist of it is Christians by and large believe that salvation comes through faith, not through actions.



Are you saying this sect believes this? Because that is a Protestant tenet. Not a Christian belief.

Faith is nothing without works. As is works are nothing without Faith.


This particular group of goofy guys has a belief structure that I can't begin to comprehend.

I'm referencing what I've seen to be a common Christian thing, forgive the piss poor paraphrasing but

I am the way and the truth and the light, nobody gets to heaven but through me - something to that effect? IE faith, not works.


Thanks. Again, that is relatively new belief in some Christian denominations. I'm not going to start that battle right now though.
Link Posted: 7/27/2015 3:49:48 PM EST
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Originally Posted By skid2041:



Are you saying this sect believes this? Because that is a Protestant tenet. Not a Christian belief.

Faith is nothing without works. As is works are nothing without Faith.
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Originally Posted By skid2041:
Originally Posted By Zack3g:
]

. The gist of it is Christians by and large believe that salvation comes through faith, not through actions.



Are you saying this sect believes this? Because that is a Protestant tenet. Not a Christian belief.

Faith is nothing without works. As is works are nothing without Faith.


are you saying I'm not Christian because I believe that we are saved by grace alone through faith alone?

And let me clarify, anyone who is truly saved will show good works. But, we are saved through faith.
Link Posted: 7/27/2015 3:53:23 PM EST
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Originally Posted By skid2041:


Thanks. Again, that is relatively new belief in some Christian denominations. I'm not going to start that battle right now though.
View Quote


It's a quote directly out of the Bible. I just looked it up. Thanks, google!

Pick your translation, it's in all of them:

http://biblehub.com/john/14-6.htm

Doesn't seem like a "new belief" to me.
Link Posted: 7/27/2015 4:42:18 PM EST
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Originally Posted By KD5TXX:


are you saying I'm not Christian because I believe that we are saved by grace alone through faith alone?

And let me clarify, anyone who is truly saved will show good works. But, we are saved through faith.
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Originally Posted By KD5TXX:
Originally Posted By skid2041:
Originally Posted By Zack3g:
]

. The gist of it is Christians by and large believe that salvation comes through faith, not through actions.



Are you saying this sect believes this? Because that is a Protestant tenet. Not a Christian belief.

Faith is nothing without works. As is works are nothing without Faith.


are you saying I'm not Christian because I believe that we are saved by grace alone through faith alone?

And let me clarify, anyone who is truly saved will show good works. But, we are saved through faith.


No I am not saying you are not a Christian. I am saying that it is not necessarily a Christian belief. Catholics believe what I stated.
Link Posted: 7/27/2015 4:43:06 PM EST
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Originally Posted By Zack3g:


It's a quote directly out of the Bible. I just looked it up. Thanks, google!

Pick your translation, it's in all of them:

http://biblehub.com/john/14-6.htm

Doesn't seem like a "new belief" to me.
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Originally Posted By Zack3g:
Originally Posted By skid2041:


Thanks. Again, that is relatively new belief in some Christian denominations. I'm not going to start that battle right now though.


It's a quote directly out of the Bible. I just looked it up. Thanks, google!

Pick your translation, it's in all of them:

http://biblehub.com/john/14-6.htm

Doesn't seem like a "new belief" to me.



New as in the Reformation.
Link Posted: 7/27/2015 4:58:41 PM EST
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Originally Posted By skid2041:



New as in the Reformation.
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Originally Posted By skid2041:
Originally Posted By Zack3g:
Originally Posted By skid2041:


Thanks. Again, that is relatively new belief in some Christian denominations. I'm not going to start that battle right now though.


It's a quote directly out of the Bible. I just looked it up. Thanks, google!

Pick your translation, it's in all of them:

http://biblehub.com/john/14-6.htm

Doesn't seem like a "new belief" to me.



New as in the Reformation.

Looks like it predates the Reformation. In fact Paul talked about it a lot in Galatians.
Link Posted: 7/27/2015 5:05:33 PM EST
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Originally Posted By M-1975:

Looks like it predates the Reformation. In fact Paul talked about it a lot in Galatians.
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Originally Posted By M-1975:
Originally Posted By skid2041:
Originally Posted By Zack3g:
Originally Posted By skid2041:


Thanks. Again, that is relatively new belief in some Christian denominations. I'm not going to start that battle right now though.


It's a quote directly out of the Bible. I just looked it up. Thanks, google!

Pick your translation, it's in all of them:

http://biblehub.com/john/14-6.htm

Doesn't seem like a "new belief" to me.



New as in the Reformation.

Looks like it predates the Reformation. In fact Paul talked about it a lot in Galatians.


James 2:14-26New King James Version (NKJV)

Faith Without Works Is Dead
14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your[a] works, and I will show you my faith by my[b] works. 19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! 20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?[c] 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? 22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? 23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.”[d] And he was called the friend of God. 24 You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.



No, St Paul did not belive in Faith alone.
Link Posted: 7/27/2015 6:09:55 PM EST
[Last Edit: 7/27/2015 6:15:06 PM EST by KD5TXX]
Yes he did. That verse in context is speaking of people who follow the law and think they are justified. Remember the parable of the two men in the temple? One says God I follow all law and thank you I am not like the tax collector....which one was righteous? Works ARE seen in true believers..but to have to do works to earn heaven is not biblical. Have YOU done enough to be saved? Are you sure?

Abraham was declared righteous by his faith. Justification through his works. But he was already righteous with The Lord, and showed works because of it.
Link Posted: 7/27/2015 6:22:00 PM EST
[Last Edit: 7/27/2015 6:27:35 PM EST by M-1975]
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Originally Posted By skid2041:


James 2:14-26New King James Version (NKJV)

Faith Without Works Is Dead
14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, "Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

18 But someone will say, "You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your[a] works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! 20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?[c] 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? 22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? 23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, "Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.”[d] And he was called the friend of God. 24 You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.



No, St Paul did not belive in Faith alone.
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Originally Posted By skid2041:
Originally Posted By M-1975:
Originally Posted By skid2041:




New as in the Reformation.

Looks like it predates the Reformation. In fact Paul talked about it a lot in Galatians.


James 2:14-26New King James Version (NKJV)

Faith Without Works Is Dead
14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, "Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

18 But someone will say, "You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your[a] works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! 20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?[c] 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? 22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? 23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, "Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.”[d] And he was called the friend of God. 24 You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.



No, St Paul did not belive in Faith alone.

Ephesians 2:8-9:

"For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast."

You missed Paul's point. He brought up Abraham as he did in Romans 4 and 5:

4 What then shall we say that Abraham, [a]our forefather according to the flesh, has found? 2 For if Abraham was justified [b]by works, he has something to boast about, but not [c]before God. 3 For what does the Scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” 4 Now to the one who works, his wage is not credited as a favor, but as what is due. 5 But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness, 6 just as David also speaks of the blessing on the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works: 7 "Blessed are those whose lawless deeds have been forgiven, And whose sins have been covered. 8 "Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will not take into account.” 9 Is this blessing then on [d]the circumcised, or on [e]the uncircumcised also? For we say, "Faith was credited to Abraham as righteousness.” 10 How then was it credited? While he was [f]circumcised, or [g]uncircumcised? Not while [h]circumcised, but while [i]uncircumcised; 11 and he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which [j]he had while uncircumcised, so that he might be the father of all who believe without being circumcised, that righteousness might be credited to them, 12 and the father of circumcision to those who not only are of the circumcision, but who also follow in the steps of the faith of our father Abraham which [k]he had while uncircumcised. 13 For the promise to Abraham or to his [l]descendants that he would be heir of the world was not [m]through the Law, but through the righteousness of faith. 14 For if those who are [n]of the Law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise is nullified; 15 for the Law brings about wrath, but where there is no law, there also is no violation. 16 For this reason it is [o]by faith, in order that it may be in accordance with grace, so that the promise will be guaranteed to all the [p]descendants, not only to [q]those who are of the Law, but also to [r]those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all, 17 (as it is written, "A father of many nations have I made you”) in the presence of Him whom he believed, even God, who gives life to the dead and [s]calls into being that which does not exist. 18 In hope against hope he believed, so that he might become a father of many nations according to that which had been spoken, "So shall your [t]descendants be.” 19 Without becoming weak in faith he contemplated his own body, now as good as dead since he was about a hundred years old, and the deadness of Sarah’s womb; 20 yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God, 21 and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform. 22 Therefore it was also credited to him as righteousness. 23 Now not for his sake only was it written that it was credited to him, 24 but for our sake also, to whom it will be credited, as those who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, 25 He who was delivered over because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification.

5 Therefore, having been justified by faith, [a]we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and [b]we exult in hope of the glory of God.

So is James (Paul didn't write the epistle of James BTW) contradicting Paul? No. What Paul is describing is the actual act of justification, via faith; and James is describing the declared act of justification, that of faith evidenced by works. For instance: someone who had a habitual sin, say porn, get's saved (through faith) then no longer has a desire for that sin, his justification by faith is declared by God via sanctification, and the change in his life. This is affirmed by the quote regarding Abraham being justified by faith (James 2:23). You see, the Bible teaches that we are saved (justified) through faith, then we undergo the process of sanctification by the Holy Spirit; not the other way around.












Link Posted: 7/27/2015 9:48:59 PM EST
[Last Edit: 7/27/2015 9:49:47 PM EST by skid2041]
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Originally Posted By KD5TXX:
Yes he did. That verse in context is speaking of people who follow the law and think they are justified. Remember the parable of the two men in the temple? One says God I follow all law and thank you I am not like the tax collector....which one was righteous? Works ARE seen in true believers..but to have to do works to earn heaven is not biblical. Have YOU done enough to be saved? Are you sure?

Abraham was declared righteous by his faith. Justification through his works. But he was already righteous with The Lord, and showed works because of it.
View Quote



I can not argue as the MANY Catholic theologians before so here is one with an explanation.

"What is this justification? To be justified means being made righteous, just, holy, and acceptable before God. In other words, the term "justification," in these and other similar New Testament passages, means what Catholics more commonly describe as the change from the "state of sin" to the "state of grace." And the doctrine being taught by Jesus and St. Paul in the above passages is that when we are in the state of sin, and alienated from God, nothing we can do ourselves—none of our "good deeds" or "works"—can earn or merit justification. Receiving the grace of God and the forgiveness of our sins is never a "prize" or "reward" which we deserve because of any supposedly virtuous deeds which we have previously carried out. The reception of grace and justification is always a free and completely unmerited gift. The very word "grace" comes from a Greek word meaning "favour" or "gift."

What does St. Paul mean in telling us that this "justification" comes through faith, or by faith? It is clear that by "faith" the Apostle does not mean any kind of belief whatever: St. James teaches that even the demons have a certain kind of faith or belief, but it certainly does not bring them the grace of God. He says, "you believe in the one God—that is creditable enough, but the demons have the same belief, and they tremble with fear" (James 2:19). It is very clear from many Scriptural passages that the kind of faith we need for justification is a repentant faith (Lk 24:47; Acts 2:38; 3:19; 17:30; Rom 2:4; 1 Cor 7:9-10 etc.). Sorrow for sin and the sincere desire to change are what is missing from the "faith" which even demons and wicked people can have. This repentant faith which leads to justification includes hope in God's mercy, and is itself possible only when the sinner receives actual grace which enables him to turn in contrition towards God's mercy.

Finally, St. Paul's teaching regarding justification by faith rather than by works must not be taken in isolation from other Biblical passages which clearly speak of the sacramental aspect of justification. St. Paul certainly does not regard Baptism as one of the human "works of the law" which cannot justify us; rather it is a "work" of God Himself, which completes the process of justification for one who has never previously been baptized. St. Paul teaches that in Baptism we participate in Christ's death, that this, we receive through this sacrament the grace that Jesus won on the Cross by his death on the Cross; and this enables us to live the new life of his resurrection (Rom 6:3-4). Paul, on one occasion, recalled his own conversion and the role Baptism played in it: Ananias, he recalls, exhorted him shortly after he came to believe in Jesus, saying, "And now why delay? It is time you were baptized and had your sins washed away while invoking his name" (Acts 22:16). St. Peter speaks of "the baptism which saves you now, and which is not the washing off of physical dirt but a pledge made to God from a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ" (1 Pt 3:22. See also Jn 3:5; Mk 16:16). For those who fall from grace because of grave sin after Baptism, the sacrament of Penance is necessary (Jn 20:22-23). Even though one who believes and is perfectly contrite for his or her sins receives the grace of justification in that moment, even before receiving the appropriate sacrament, this grace is only provisional, and is granted only in view of the anticipated sacrament: a sinner who had no intention of receiving that sacrament even while knowing that Christ had commanded it would clearly be lacking in either faith or repentance, and so would not be justified. Moreover, those who believe and repent, but are less than perfectly contrite for their sins, are not justified until the moment they receive the sacrament, which imparts the further grace which they need. (We are talking about the justification of adults here: infant baptism brings in other considerations.)"

link to the rest
Link Posted: 7/27/2015 10:04:07 PM EST
[Last Edit: 7/27/2015 10:05:29 PM EST by KD5TXX]
There are different definitions used in the above for the same words. Not really a problem if we define them. I say saved by grace. And the first definition fits. Then they speak of receiving grace...I am not Catholic so that is strange to me. I have read some on it so I sort of understand..but what we Protestants mean is we are saved by God saying " you are forgiven because Jesus died in your place." Nothing I did. I could never earn it. It is by Grace. That is the saved part. We think Jesus did it all and we will go from earth to heaven. I think the difference here is with purgatory. Here grace changes definitions. If we lose some grace we need to be made right. I'm not talking of that.

Justification and sanctification are after being saved by grace. Yes they will happen. And I also believe that people who say they are Christian and show no works , probably aren't.

And I'll agree believing in Jesus doesn't save someone.
Link Posted: 8/31/2015 9:22:17 PM EST
I'm getting more and more information.

I've just learned that the rank and file members are discouraged from, if not explicitly prohibited from reading the bible.

What kind of "church" especially a Christian one would engage in such shenanigans?

I suspect it's because reading the bible would open members eyes to the fact that the message the church teaches is in direct conflict with the bible they claim to follow.

This just keeps getting weirder and weirder.

Link Posted: 9/1/2015 7:30:05 AM EST
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Originally Posted By Zack3g:
I'm getting more and more information.

I've just learned that the rank and file members are discouraged from, if not explicitly prohibited from reading the bible.

What kind of "church" especially a Christian one would engage in such shenanigans?

I suspect it's because reading the bible would open members eyes to the fact that the message the church teaches is in direct conflict with the bible they claim to follow.

This just keeps getting weirder and weirder.

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Yeah, huge red flag there.

Do you have friends in it?
Link Posted: 9/1/2015 8:06:13 AM EST
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Originally Posted By M-1975:
Yeah, huge red flag there.

Do you have friends in it?
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Originally Posted By M-1975:
Originally Posted By Zack3g:
I'm getting more and more information.

I've just learned that the rank and file members are discouraged from, if not explicitly prohibited from reading the bible.

What kind of "church" especially a Christian one would engage in such shenanigans?

I suspect it's because reading the bible would open members eyes to the fact that the message the church teaches is in direct conflict with the bible they claim to follow.

This just keeps getting weirder and weirder.

Yeah, huge red flag there.

Do you have friends in it?


Less now than before I started asking questions. 2 that I know of have called shenanigans on their system.

Maybe it's wrong of me to cast doubt on their beliefs but this whole thing stinks.
Link Posted: 9/1/2015 12:19:47 PM EST
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Originally Posted By Zack3g:


Less now than before I started asking questions. 2 that I know of have called shenanigans on their system.

Maybe it's wrong of me to cast doubt on their beliefs but this whole thing stinks.
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Originally Posted By Zack3g:
Originally Posted By M-1975:
Originally Posted By Zack3g:
I'm getting more and more information.

I've just learned that the rank and file members are discouraged from, if not explicitly prohibited from reading the bible.

What kind of "church" especially a Christian one would engage in such shenanigans?

I suspect it's because reading the bible would open members eyes to the fact that the message the church teaches is in direct conflict with the bible they claim to follow.

This just keeps getting weirder and weirder.

Yeah, huge red flag there.

Do you have friends in it?


Less now than before I started asking questions. 2 that I know of have called shenanigans on their system.

Maybe it's wrong of me to cast doubt on their beliefs but this whole thing stinks.

Some people truly want to follow God and get sucked into a bad group out of ignorance. Others want to follow something other than God; but pretend they are. Either way, there is nothing wrong with presenting people with the truth.
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