How an Anglican Priest was called to become a member of the Iglesia Ni Cristo
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"Why I Joined The Iglesia Ni Cristo"

By Innocent E. Okekeh, Ph.D, Th.D.

IT WAS IN the course of my studies in the Philippines from 1974 to 1984--during which I earned Bachelor of Divinity from the Union Theological Seminary (1978); Master of Arts in Education at the Philippine Christian University (1980); Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Management at the Centro Escolar University (1983)--when I began attending the worship services of the Iglesia ni Cristo in places like Sampaloc, Manila, and Cavite. I did it on my own volition. Nobody in or outside the Philippines coerced, compelled, or even introduced me to the Iglesia ni Cristo.

So, why did I leave my former church and join the Iglesia ni Cristo? First, I was spiritually convinced that the Iglesia ni Cristo is the only true Church. It does not hide the truth. It does not add to or subtract teachings from the Bible. It is not a Church wherein the doctrines and practices are a mixture of beliefs where anything can go in. The Iglesia ni Cristo is unique, the only Church I have seen in my life that is biblical. I was an Anglican and have seen a lot that I cannot express in details. However, that I have noticed in the Iglesia n i Cristo is that there is no discrimination among themselves, even among ministers, and among the foreigners, that is why they have houses of worship and congregations even in many African countries including Nigeria.

I have also noticed that the worship service of this Church is free from showmanship. The method of worship and thanksgiving is very orderly. Each member is well taken care of and if any would fail to attend the worship service, he is visited by his overseer. Pastoral visits are widely practiced, starting from the district minister or resident minister down to the local officers.

The Iglesia no Cristo does not worship idols or graven images. There is nothing like human tradition imposed in worship. During worship services, members participate actively in singing the holy hymns, respond in prayers, listen attentively to the sermon, and voluntarily give offerings. The whole worship service up to the time of dismissal is short but sufficient, unlike in other churches where people stay from 8 a.m . to 2 p.m., which is very noticeable in some so called evangelical churches causing complaint from their members.

Another reason why I left the Anglican Church is because of its tolerance to unbiblical practices like divorce, consecration of women as priest, and same sex marriage. Moreover, the political problems and dis-unity I observe in my former  church is very discouraging.   

One major component of my conversion to the Iglesia ni Cristo is its clear and precise doctrines regarding the true nature of God and the Lord Jesus Christ. Unlike other churches that have confusing doctrines such as the Trinity, the Iglesia ni Cristo upholds these biblical truths. God is Spirit in His state of being, which means that He has no flesh and bones (John 8:40; Luke 24:39). God is immortal (I Tim.1:17), while Christ experience death, the cessation of breath (John 19:30.33); God has no beginning (Ps.90:2), while Christ came from God (John 8:42); God does not recognize any other God besides Himself (Isa.44:8), while Christ recognizes the only true God as His God (Mark 15:34, John 20:17; God does not get tired or wesry (Isa.4:28), while Christ got tired (John 4:6); and finally God is not born of any woman (Num.23:19) but Christ was born of a woman (Gal.4:4) and He cannot perform anything without the Almighty God empowering or enabling Him (John 5:30, Acts 10:38).

I hope I have shared enough of my testimony so that the readers who are not yet members of the Iglesia ni Cristo, would also join the Church like what I did.


Editors Note:
Born in Nigeria on July 25, 1945, Brother Innocent E. Okekeh is a former Anglican priest from Onitsha, Anambra State, Nigeria. He first came to the Philippines in 1974 to pursue his studies and he learned more than he expected.


Source: GOD'S MESSAGE, November 2009, p.16
Note: Some words and phrases are in italics for emphasis.

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