FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions
about the Iglesia ni Cristo

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Frequently Asked Questions
about the Iglesia ni Cristo

  1.  Does your Church observe prohibitions on eating food that are considered unclean?  
  2.  Do you really need to go to Church even on weekdays?  
  3.  Why do your chapels do not have statues of Saints, the Virgin Mary, and even the Lord Jesus Christ in them?  
  4.  Can you explain why in your Church babies are not baptized?  
  5.  Why do you prohibit the members of your Church to marry nonmembers?  
  6.  Why don't you pray for the dead to help the souls of the departed ease their sufferings in purgatory?  
  7.  What is your purpose in separately seating the male and female worshipers in your worship services?  
  8.  Why do you not celebrate Christmas on December 25, the birthday of our Savior?  
  9.  How can you claim that you are Christians when you don't believe in the teaching that Christ is the God?  
10. Why don't you celebrate Valentine's Day every February 14?

Question #1: Certain Christian denominations such as the Seventh-day Adventists abstain from eating rabbit meat, pork, and other types of food they consider as unclean. Does your Church observe prohibitions of a similar kind?

Answer: The Bible teaches that God forbade His ancient people, the Israelites, from eating certain types of food considered by Him as unclean (Lev. 11:4-8).  It is from this practice that some Protestant denominations   derived   their teaching regarding abstinence from certain meats. However, such prohibition was exclusively imposed on the ancient Israelites and does not apply to the Christian era (Col. 2:16). Thus, we do not abstain from eating such food that were formerly considered ritually unclean, for God Himself has declared them as clean (Acts 10:9-15). We are, however, forbidden to eat blood or any food mixed with blood. God gave this commandment not only to the patriarchs (Gen. 9;1-4) and to the prophets (Dt 12:22-23) but also to the Christians (Acts 21:25). We dare not violate this commandment, for doing is to commit a grave sin before God (Lev. 17:10).

Question #2:
One of my employees who is a member of your  Church was having difficulty       n with working overtime particularly on Thursdays. When I asked him why, he said that he could not work overtime on Thursdays because he had to attend worship service. Do you really need to go to Church even on weekdays?

Answer: Members of the Church of Christ believe that worshiping God is every person's duty to his Creator (Eccl. 12:13; Ps. 95:6).

This is why they diligently attend worship services. During such gatherings, they receive spiritual guidance and nourishment. They are edified and made strong in the faith (I Cor. 14:26).

The early Christians worshiped on the first day of the week (Sunday). But there were times when they worshiped every day (Acts. 2:46)--as the Church deemed it necessary.

In our case, we hold worship services twice a week as the Church has decided through the authority of the Church Administration (Mt 18:19) and in obedience to God's admonition (Jn. 4:23; Heb. 10:25). It is during such services when we receive religious instruction to guide us in life.

Question #3: When I attended your worship services, I noticed that your chapels do not have statues of Saints, the Virgin Mary, and even the Lord Jesus Christ in them. Why?

Answer: Your observation is correct.  We neither keep such images nor worship them because such practices are prohibited by God. He declared:

Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.  Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; (Exo. 20:4-5, KJV)

Furthermore, the Bible says,

But cowards, traitors, perverts, murderers, the immoral, those who practice magic, those who worship idols, and all liars—the place for them is the lake burning with fire and sulfur, which is the second death. (Rev. 21:8, GNT)

Question #4: My best friend, who is a member of your Church, just gave birth to a healthy baby boy. I offered myself to be her baby's godparent and to witness his christening. To my surprise, she fold me that in your Church babies are not baptized. Can you explain why?

Answer: The Lord Jesus Christ teaches that to qualify for baptism, one must first prove his faith after believing in the gospel preached to them by God's messengers (Mk 16:15-16; Rom. 10:15-17). We do not baptize infants because they do not yet have the faculty and the Capacity for understanding and believing in the gospel.

Moreover, since baptism is to be administered for the forgiveness of one's sins (and to commit a sin is to transgress God's law of which little children are not capable of doing) infants, therefore, sholld not be baptized at that stage of their lives (Acts 2:38; I Jn. 3:4).

Baptism is not for infants or children who have not reached the age of discretion.

Question #5: My son has expressed his romantic feelings to one of the daughters of a close friend of mine, However, my friend's daughter explained to my son that she could not be roman- tically involved with him because she is a member of the Iglesia ni Cristo.  And as a member of the Iglesia ni Cristo, she is not supposed to marry someone who is not a member. Why do you prohibit the members of your Church to marry nonmembers?

Answer: The Lord God, through  the apostles, forbids Christians to unite in marriage with unbelievers.  Apostle Paul explained that just as righteousness has no fellowship with iniquity, a believer also has no accord with an unbeliever. True Christians or members of the Church of Christ are the temple of God while unbelievers, that of idols or false gods (II Cor. 6:14-16, Lamsa Translation).

Since the earliest times, God has prohibited His people to intermarry with those who do not belong to His nation. One of the reasons for this prohibition is that by marrying those not belonging to His nation, God's children would  be drawn away from following Him "to serve other gods" (Dt. 7:3- 4, New Revised Standard Version)

Question #6: As a Catholic, I   grew up believing that the souls of the dead are purified in purgatory before they are allowed entrance to heaven and that the living can help the dead by means of their prayers, I was so surprised to learn that your Church does not pray for the dead. Why? Don't you want to help the souls of the departed ease their sufferings in purgatory?

Answer: The Catholic Church teaches that when a person dies, his soul goes to any of these three destinations: heaven, hell or purgatory. Catholic bishop Louis La Ravoire Morrow explains that "The soul is judged by God, and rewarded with heaven, punished with hell, or sent for a time to be cleansed in purgatory" (My Catholic Faith, p. 248).

The Catholic Church officially teaches that, "Purgatory is a place vice where souls are detained for a time and purified if they die guilty of slight sins or if they have not entirely atoned for grave sins, though these have been forgiven" (A Catechism for Inquirers, p. 28)

The Bible, however, does not mention about purgatory. So, we do not believe that such a place exists. Instead, the Bible teaches that man will go to either heaven (to receive eternal life) or hell (to suffer eternal punishment). All men will be judged accordingly on Judgment Day, and not immediately after they die (Mi 25:31-34,41),

The term purgatory itself and    Re the teachings and practices surrounding it are unscriptural. The Holy Scriptures teaches that when a person dies, he "will never again take part in anything that happens in this world" (Eccl. 9:6, TEV) since the soul dies, too (Ezek. 18:4). While waiting for the day of Judgment, the dead will remain in the grave (Ps. 88:5; Job 14:10,12; II Pt. 3:10, 7).  So, offering prayers for the dead is unbiblical and useless.

Question #7: My wife and I were invited by our neighbors to attend your worship service and we gladly accepted the invitation. But, when my wife and I entered the chapel, we were ushered to separate seats because the seating arrangement in the chapel requires males and females to be seated separately from each other.  I find this arrangement quite odd. What is your purpose for such seating order?

Answer: We assign separate seats for male and female worshipers during our worship services in keeping with the biblical instruction to "do everything properly and in order" (I Cor. 14:40, Contemporary English Version). Such a practice maintains the propriety and orderliness of the worship service and contributes to the solemnity of the sacred occasion.

Question #8: I heard that your Church does not celebrate Christmas on December 25. How could you ever ignore to celebrate the birthday of our Savior?

Answer: The popular belief that Christ was born on December 25 is nothing but a myth. The Holy Scriptures does not specify the date of the Lord's birth. On the contrary historical evidences point to December 25 as the birth date of the pagan Roman sun-god, Sol Invictus., "the unconquered sun"  (The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, p. 47; Handbook of Christian Feasts and Customs p. 61) And because the celebration Christmas has been riddled with pagan ways and practices, we do not take part in it. The apostles admonished:

".... give up living as pagans with their futile notions. Their minds are closed, they are alienated from the life that is in God .... " (Eph. 4:17-18, Revised English Bible)

It is not our intention, at all to ignore the birthday of the Savior when we do not participate in the celebration of Christmas.  What we refuse to do is to take part in pagan practices attached to the celebration.

Question #9: I understand that what makes a Christian religion distinct from among others is the belief that Christ is God. How can you claim that you are Christians when you don't believe in the teaching that Christ is the God?

Answer: A true Christian is a follower of Christ's commandments. He is one who faithfully uphold the teachings of the Lord (Jn. 8:31). One of these teachings concern the true nature of the Lord Jesus Himself—that He is man (Jn. 8:40).  The fact that He is man negates any assertion that He is God.  Moreover, Christ declared that the only true God is the Father, who is a spirithaving no flesh and bones or without material form as Christ had (Jn. 17:1, 3; Lk. 24:39; Jn. 4:24).

Christ being man, cannot be God, and God, being God, cannot, be man (Ezek.28:2; Hos. 11:9). Even the apostles taught that Christ is man and is a different being from God Himself (1 Tim. 2:5). Apostle Paul declared that "there is only one God, the Father" who definitely is not Christ, the Son (I Cor. 8:6, New King James Version), Those who uphold beliefs contrary to these are themselves far from being true Christians.

Question #10: I believe that Valentine's Day is a festival for lovers. Why don't you celebrate. Valentine's Day? Do you discourage your members to be loving?

Answer: To love God and to love one's neighbor are the two commandments the Lord Jesus Christ emphasized (Mt. 22:36-40). Therefore, loving God and loving our fellowmen are good acts. But, the celebration of Valentine's Day is not in anyway connected with these great commandments. We do not celebrate Valentine's Day because its practices and customs bear close association with paganism. Valentine's Day is the feast day celebrated on the 14th of February in honor and veneration of two so-called martyr-saints, both of whom are believed to have the name Valentine (The New Catholic Encyclopedia, v. 14, p. 517). This feast is closely associated with the ancient Roman feast of Lupercalia, observed on the 15th of February (Funk &Wagnalls New Encyclopedia, v. 21, p. 59). According to the Catholic Dictionary, pagan boys drew the names of girls "in honor of the goddess Februata Juno" (p. 827).

To observe the practices connected with Valentine's Day is to compromise the teachings of the Bible with such pagan customs and practices.


Source: PASUGO, April 2003, p.9-11

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