.Where Church of Christ or Iglesia ni Cristo will reemerge  does not depend on the economic conditions prevalent in its country of origin. That is, in spite of man's prejudices, it is always God's purpose in election that stands
(Romans 9:11-12).
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The true religion from a third world country?

Letter to the Editor:
PASUGO, December 1995, p.3

I AM AN American and my upbringing tells me that most of the good things in life flow from a progressive country to those in the Third World. Underdeveloped and developing nations are highly dependent on a progressive country in terms of economy and finances.

Spiritually, the West sends religious  missions with accompanying material benefits to those in need in different parts of the world—the Philippines included.

How, then, could you say that the Iglesia ni Cristo is man's vehicle for salvation when the country itself from which it emerged is still a developing nation? Wouldn't it be logical for God to choose a country far more equipped to help others to be the place from which the true religion would originate?

Tim Johnson
Manila, Philippines

Editor's reply:

There is no significant connection between the affluence of a country and its being the place of origin of the true religion. Your view that most of the good things in life flow from progressive countries to poor ones may be true in terms of economy or finances.

However this observation may prove to be wrong in  other cases, For instance, it does not apply to the direction that the true religion must take in its missionary expansion.

That the true religion or the true Church  must necessarily originate from affluent  nations is belied by biblical proof.   Christ Himself said:

Jesus looked at his disciples and said, "Happy are you poor; the Kingdom of God is yours!" (Lk. 6:20, TEV)

Moreover, the Holy Scriptures testify:

Now remember what you were, my friends, when God called you. From the human point of view few of you were wise or powerful or of high social standing. God purposely chose what the world considers nonsense in order to shame the wise, and he chose what the world considers weak in order to shame the powerful. He chose what the world looks down on and despises and thinks is nothing, in order to destroy what the world thinks is important. This means that no one can boast in God's presence. (1 Cor. 1:26-29, TEV).

In the same way, it was God's divine will and purpose to choose Bethlehem to be the place of origin of God's Son, Jesus Christ, as it is written:

The Lord says,
         Bethlehem Ephrathah, you are one of the smallest towns in Judah, but out of you I will bring a ruler for Israel, whose family line goes back to ancient times. (Micah 5:2, ibid)

Should we question God for choosing Bethlehem, a small town, to be the birthplace of Jesus? Should we not believe Jesus because he did not come from an affluent town?

Though common human views may agree with your contentions, the Bible does not. In fact, when God first chose a nation to be His own, He elected Israel, the smallest nation on earth (cf.Dt. 7:7).

The Lord did not love you and choose you because you outnumbered other peoples; you were the smallest nation on earth. (Dt, 7:7, ibid)

In the same manner it is also up to God to decide where He wants the true Church or true religion to originate. It so happened that in these last days God chose the Far East or the Philippines.

Whether the Iglesia ni Cristo reemerged in a progressive and developed country or otherwise is not the bone of contention. That it is man's vehicle for salvation does not depend on the economic conditions prevalent in its country of origin.

This illustrates the point that in spite of man's prejudices, it is God's purpose in election that stands (cf. Rom. 9:11-12).

Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad—in order that God’s purpose in election might stand: not by works but by him who calls—she was told, “The older will serve the younger. (Romans 9:11-12, NIV)


Bible Study Suggestion: If you have further questions, please feel free to visit the Iglesia ni Cristo congregation nearest you. A minister or an evangelical worker would be happy to answer any biblical question you have in mind.  For the latest Worship Service Directory of Iglesia ni Cristo Locales and Congregations outside the Philippines, please visit www.iglesianicristoworshipservice.com or just click link at home page.

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