How a Lutheran became a member of the Iglesia Ni Cristo
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"I Have Found The Answer"

By Thomas James Ring
Locale of Calgary, Alberta, Canada

THAT LIFE IS a continuous and painstaking search for the meaning of our existence is one of the universal truths. Through the years, I have actually gone through the process of searching for the true meaning of life and my specific role in the grand scheme of things.

I was born and have primarily lived for most part of my life in the beautiful city of Calgary where, in this part of Canada, the seasons can change in a single day. I am the eldest of four children who were raised under the religious belief and doctrines of the Lutheran Church. I remember attending church functions zealously because I wanted to learn more about the Holy Scriptures, which I believed, could help me find the true meaning of my existence. As I went on with my religious life, some doubts regarding my faith started to weigh me down. I began questioning the credibility of our minister's own interpretation of the verses in the Holy Scriptures. To my mind, I presumed that a minister's own perceptions and theological orientation do not guarantee a fair and accurate interpretation of the Holy Scriptures. Inconsistencies of some of the doctrines and religious practices like confirmation, communion, and baptism of infants further chipped on my once solid faith. As a consequence, my activeness in the church diminished over the years.

Although I still regarded the words of God written in the Holy Scriptures with awe, my main stumbling block was putting my faith on a person or religious leader who might not have the divine authority to unlock the Bible's hidden meanings. Finding myself in this dilemma caused a distraction to my search. Working for a living just to gain material wealth seemed the only way to go.

Then, in October of 1994, my whole world and meaning in life changed. I was invited invited to attend a worship service in the Church of Christ by sister Elizabeth Hizon, a dear friend and an active member of this Church. Listening to the lessons being delivered that day opened my mind. The question-and-answer style of instruction made me understand easily the lesson as it wound its course to support and prove the doctrine being taught.

Among the first doctrines that stirred my interest was about God's prohibition of eating blood. One interesting topic lead to another until I found myself attending the Bible studies and worship services regularly. I could find no contradicting information in the lessons being taught.

Brother Norman dela Cruz, an evangelical worker at the time, helped me understand more about the doctrines and teachings of the Church. He should how God wants us to serve Him. Moreover, I became aware why our Lord Jesus Christ was sent among us, and how through His teachings and redemptive death people can become worthy of salvation come Judgment Day.

After diligently completing the lessons, Brother Sammy Kamimura baptized me on June 4, 1995. In that moment of "clear sightedness" during my baptism, I believed I underwent a "rebirth"— a new person in the threshold of a promising and fulfilling life emerged from the baptismal pool in Calgary. My life changed and there was no more turning back.

The gift of a new life further saw me actively holding important offices in the Church. I held the offices of Buklod president and overseer for about three years. I look back to those years with fulfillment and affection.

Until this day, I have never wavered in my sacred duties and obligations, and this time, as a head deacon in the locale of Calgary. This offices in the Church give me gift of satisfaction and that certain zest for life that made me look forward to each new day. Inspired by God's abiding grace, I am doing my best to help bring more souls into the fold.

Indeed, I have learned to value and treasure my sacred calling. The Church of Christ in now the focal point of my life. Through my membership in the Church, I have realized what my purpose in life is—to serve, honor, and give praise to God and to our Lord Jesus Christ.


Source: GOD'S MESSAGE, May 2004, p.10
Note: Some words and phrases are in italics for emphasis.

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