Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Philippine cults (02): Ang Dating Daan

Note: Mike Mislan, missionary to the Philippines and founder-president of San Marcelino Baptist Bible Seminary in Zambales, wrote these articles. You can download his complete article in Word document format (six pages long, 456 kbytes).

Jump to Bro. Eli F. Soriano; their church name; Their Trinity is a different Trinity; Christ is not a personal saviour; ADD salvation resembles the Mormon Gospel; Their baptism is like that of Roman Catholics; Their salvation is like the INC; They are part of the Jerusalem church.


Introduction

In several ways, Ang Dating Daan (ADD) is like any other Christian church. And according to their ‘aim’ (or purpose), “the most important goal of this religious organization is to propagate the true and everlasting Gospel of Christ, convert sinners to believe and glorify God, religiously follow righteousness as their way of life, and to be law abiding citizens recognizing the fundamental laws of the land they live in (Eph. 2:12-13; Acts 26:18; 14:15; 17:29; Roma 13: 1-7; I Pet. 2:13; Prov. 8:15-16).” Also, based upon their leader, Brother Eli F. Soriano, the Bible is their final authority for faith and practice: “Everything that we must do is contained in the Bible. The Bible will serve as our guide to salvation. We are not teaching anything which is not taught by the Bible.” But this is where the similarities end. . . . . While ADD baptizes in the Name of God the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, they do not believe that these three divine Persons” are equally God. They also teach a faith plus works salvation. And recently, there have been some complaints from former members, that Brother Eli F. Soriano has personal bank accounts of US dollars, illegally obtained from their church offerings.

1. Brother Eli F. Soriano

Most religions which advertise themselves, usually include the background of their pastor or founder. But on the official web page of Ang Dating Daan, we found nothing mentioned of Brother Eli F. Soriano’s background. From his TV outreaches, attitudes and debates, it appears that he may have been raised a Catholic, and then later became associated with Iglesia ni Cristo - but this is only speculation. He also was a member of the PNP-CHS but it is unknown if he only used these credentials to increase his authority, or if he actually had lectured to the PNP. Many of his former members have complained of his personal use of church money, and of his aggressive methods of collections. At least one TV network has alleged that he has personal bank accounts containing thousands of US dollars, and there are comic books that resemble “Chick” which exposes Brother Eli F. Soriano for his money secrets. Ang Dating Daan calls him the “most sensible and controversial preacher on earth” and he certainly is “controversial.” In fact, just as comedians imitate President GMA on TV, they have done the same to Bro. Eli F. Soriano!

Jump to Their Trinity is a different Trinity; Christ is not a personal saviour; ADD salvation resembles the Mormon Gospel; Their baptism is like that of Roman Catholics; Their salvation is like the INC; They are part of the Jerusalem church.

2. Their church name

According to ADD, the name that a religious group gives themselves, must be a special name that shows God’s ownership over the church. They also believe that such names as Baptist, Catholics, Seventh Day Adventists, are names that indicate their rebellion against Christ’s ownership over the church. And still again, that just because a church calls themselves Iglesia ni Cristo or the Jehovah’s Witnesses, is not proof that they are the True Church because any minister can start his own church and call it anything he wants.

“...God’s city and God’s people will be called by His name. In other words, the people of God … the organization that is of God … the city of God … will be called by His name. And, it is but proper that it be called by the name of God. Did God agree that His people and His city be called by His name? In II Chro. 7:14, it says, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sins, and will heal their land.”
According to Brother Eli F. Soriano, and also their SEC registration papers of April 21st, 1995, the true name of God’s Church is the “IGLESIA NI YHWH AT NI YHWSA HMSYH,” or THE CHURCH OF GOD IN JESUS CHRIST (literally, “the Church of God and Jesus Christ”).
“Everyone must make himself a part of the Church, which is written in the Bible – The CHURCH OF GOD IN CHRIST JESUS, PILLAR AND GROUND OF THE TRUTH.”

Bro. Eli F. Soriano gets this name from the following passage of 1st Tim.3:15

But if I tarrry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughest behave thyself in the
house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of truth.”
But notice. . .

1. No capitalized letters: But notice in this phrase "the church of the living God" that the letters are not capitalized. This shows that it was not actually a name of God's church, but was only a description of this church.

2. Not the name: Also it does not read The CHURCH OF GOD IN CHRIST JESUS - but the “church of the living God.”

3. NT churches were known by different names: NT churches were called by several names and some did not even have a name! “The church that is in their house” (Rom.16:5), “church which is at Cenchrea” (Acts 13:1), “church that was at Antioch” (Acts 13:1), and the “Church of God” followed by their location or where they met, such as “the church of God at Corinth” (Acts 20:28, 1 Cor.1:2, 10:32, 11:22, 15:9, 2 Cor.1:1, Gal.1:13, 2nd Tim.3:5). Another name mentioned once was “church of the firstborn” (Heb.12:23). But as persecutions began, some were called “ana-baptists” because they had rebaptized their converts. But nowhere do we see “IGLESIA NI YHWH AT NI YHWSA HMSYH” even in the Hebrew!

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3. Their Trinity is a different Trinity.

According to Brother Eli F. Soriano, Christ has a lower rank than His Father, and therefore is a lesser God. This is why in their Articles of faith, they call the Father "THE" almighty God, but the Son “A mighty God” only..
“We believe in the almighty God, the Father, the Creator of the universe, in Christ Jesus, the Father’s begotten son, a true and Mighty God, the only savior of mankind and the only way to the Kingdom of God in heaven (Acts 14:15; I Cor. 8:5-7; John 14:6; 14:1). ”
A. Christ’s lower position was voluntary because He needed to become our sacrifice: According to the Bible, Christ's subservient position was not due to Him being any less God than His Father, but was due to His willful submission in becoming our Sacrifice, when he “made Himself of no reputation” (Eph.2:7).

B. All organization requires position: In the military, each soldier is not the same rank. Some, with more responsibility are officers, while others with less responsibility are enlisted men. These ranks are needed so that individuals with specialized offices or responsibilities can function as a team. But this does not mean that a Corporal is any less human than the General. Both the General and the Corporal are both fully human. In the same way, God as Father, and Christ as Son, are both fully God. Rank, responsibility, or office has nothing to do with the essence or nature of a person. In the same way, God, Christ and the Holy Spirit are all fully God in essence and nature. Just because the Holy Spirit glorifies the Son, and the Son glorifies the Father, does not mean that the Holy Spirit is less God than the Son, and that the Son is less God that the Father.

C. Christ’s attributes confirm He is equal with the Father: In our last lesson in Major Doctrines of the Faith, we will see that Christ, as well as the Holy Spirit, are fully God in their Divine nature and essence, based upon their attributes which prove them to be fully God.

Jump to Bro. Eli F. Soriano; their church name; Their Trinity is a different Trinity; ADD salvation resembles the Mormon Gospel; Their baptism is like that of Roman Catholics; Their salvation is like the INC; They are part of the Jerusalem church.

4. Christ is not a personal saviour.

When we as Baptists refer to Christ as our “personal savior” we mean that there was a time in our life when we had personally called upon Him for salvation, that it was something we did from our hearts, and that it was a personal decision that we had made. But according to Bro. Eli F. Soriano, Christ is NOT a personal savior and does not save this way. Instead, Christ saves His Church, and the only way you can be saved is by being a member of this church. He bases this on Eph.5:23 which reads:
“For as the husband is head of the wife, even as Christ is head of the
church: and he is saviour of the body.“ Eph.5:23
NOTE: This is also a text used by INC.

A. Bible teaches calling only: Many verses teach that a person can be saved by calling upon the Lord for salvation: “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Rom.10:13). “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus and shall believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Rom.10:9-10). There is nothing here on calling upon Christ through the church to be saved.

B. NT order: The NT order has always been, to personally receive Him as savior, and then to publicly demonstrate it through baptism.
ACTS 2:38 . . . . Repent and be baptized
ACTS 2:41 . . . . Then they that gladly received the Word were baptized
ACTS 6:12 . . . . When they believed..they were baptized
ACTS 8:37 . . . . If thou believest with all thine heart, they mayest [be baptized]
ACTS 10:47. . . These should. . . be baptized which have received the Holy Ghost.
C. Saviour of the body: This phrase of “He is the savior of the body“ does not specifically mean a local church. It can also be referring to the church as the full body of believers who have been born of the spirit.
“...for there is one body, and one Spirit... One Lord, one faith, one baptism.. the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven... for the Lord himself shall descend from heaven..then we.. shall meet the Lord in the air.... that He might present to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle..... for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready...” (Eph.4:4-6, Heb.12:23,1st Thes.4:16-17, Eph.5:27, Rev.19:6-7)
D. A believer can go to hell! According to Bro. Eli F. Soriano, if a person calls upon Christ but has no church in his area, or gets into a fatal accident and dies before he can join, he is not saved and will go to hell. This contradicts many Scriptures, and makes Christ a liar when he granted salvation to the thief on the cross (Lk.23:43)! NOTE: All true believers should want to get baptized into a good church. If they have no desire to obey Him, they probably are not really saved!

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5. ADD salvation resembles the Mormon “Gospel”.

According to their “aim” as listed in their official web page . . . . .
the most important goal of this religious organization is to propagate the true and EVERLASTING GOSPEL of Christ convert sinners to believe and glorify God, religiously follow righteousness as their way of life, and to be law abiding citizens recognizing the fundamental laws of the land they live in. (Eph.2:12-13; Acts 26:18; 14:15; 17:29; Rom. 13: 1-7; I Pet. 2:13; Prov. 8:15-16).”
And also in Section Four of their Doctrinal Statement:
Section 4: “We believe that the Gentile nations including the Philippines, are partakers of the promise, the eternal life, through belief in Christ Jesus AND THE GOSPEL. . ”
This phrase “through belief in Christ Jesus and the Gospel” shows that according to ADD theology, believing on Christ is not the same thing as believing in the gospel. It also implies that requirements can be added to this "gospel" just as the Mormons have done to their gospel. But the Bible teaches that we are not to receive a different gospel (Gal.1:8-9). And this “good news” was that Christ had became our needed sacrifice (1st Cor.15:1-22, Heb.9).

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6. Their baptism is like that of Roman Catholicism.

From the writings of Bro. Eli F. Soriano....
Acts 22:16, it says, “And now why tarriest thou? Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.” According to the Bible, the “washing” refers to “baptism.” Therefore, being “born again” commences with being born of water and of the spirit. And Biblically speaking, it refers to baptism. Man must be immersed into the water, and having imbibed with the words and teachings of God, he will be washed clean from his sinfulness.
However . . .
• NT baptism was closely associated with salvation: NT baptism was always closely associated with salvation. This is because only those who were really saved were willing to be publicly marked (and persecuted) through baptism.

• NT baptism is a picture of sins being washed away: When the new convert went down into the water, was submerged, and was then raised up, a re-enactment of his sins being washed away by the death, burial and resurrection of Christ was publicly demonstrated. But this picture does not mean that we can wash away our sins by baptism.

• Pauls writing proves that baptism cannot wash away sins: Paul himself said: “For Christ sent me NOT to baptize, but to preach the gospel” (1st Cor.1:17). Certainly if baptism was essential for salvation, Paul would not have said this.

• Calling upon the name of the Lord is what really saved them: While Paul said “be baptized and wash away thy sins” this was only referring to the death, burial and resurrection of Christ which removes sins. It was actually the “calling upon the name of the Lord” that saved them. “For whosever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Rom.10:13).
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7. Their salvation is like the INC.


From the writings of Bro. Eli F. Soriano....
“The Bible teaches (there is) only one church that each of us must join, for us to be saved by Jesus Christ. If there are Gentiles who want to go back to God, to be worthy of salvation which will come from our Lord Jesus Christ, they must make themselves a part of the body, or the Church. And all of those who claim that the church is no longer necessary are all liars and deceivers! Do you want to be a part of our Lord’s salvation come judgment day? The Bible teaches us how. Everyone must make himself a part of the Church, which is written in the Bible – The CHURCH OF GOD IN CHRIST JESUS, PILLAR AND GROUND OF THE TRUTH.”
As we have seen, joining a church cannot save a person, or add to someone’s salvation. Part of the problem with ADD theology, is their failure to make distinctions between (1) the local church (such as the Church of Jerusalem, Corinth, etc.), (2) the institutionalized church (the church as an institution which can apply to all local churches) and the (3) church universal (the future assembly of all the saved during rapture). By taking a teaching of the universal church and wrongfully applying it to the local church, the wrong doctrinal conclusions are reached.

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8. They are part of the Jerusalem church.

Since ADD believes that their church is originally from the Jerusalem Church which Christ has saved, Bro. Eli F. Soriano believes that all others outside themselves, are lost. And since ADD believes that baptism and church membership are essential for salvation, and that God the Father and God the Son are not equal, any church which disagrees with them, cannot be from Jerusalem. In a way, they are no different than the Mormons, INC, JW's and other groups who claim exclusive rights to salvation.

But who with Jerusalem Church authority had ordained Bro. Eli F. Soriano as a missionary? Which churches or denominations does Bro. Eli F. Soriano believe had this Jerusalem Church authority before he registered his own church in 1995? Why didn't he go and unite with them for his own salvation before he went out to organize his own church? In other words, if IGLESIA NI YHWH AT NI YHWSA HMSYH claims that they have somehow descended from this church at Jerusalem, they themselves should have united and submitted to their mother church which had this authority, before going out to establish their own. In this sense, Bro. Eli F. Soriano had actually contradicted his own teachings.
“For instance, there are pastors who established their own organizations, and then, they attached God’s name to it. It does not follow that, if an organization bears the name of God, it is already of God.... The truth is, God did not give any right to anybody to build his own church. It is indeed disgusting that today, a lot of ministers build churches of their own. They deliberately oppose and defy what the Bible said – that, the Gentiles, like us, must join or make ourselves a part of the body, or the Church, for us to be saved. ”
As a Gentile, which church did Bro. Eli F. Soriano make himself a part, before he went out and started his own church?

Jump to Bro. Eli F. Soriano; their church name; Their Trinity is a different Trinity; Christ is not a personal saviour; ADD salvation resembles the Mormon Gospel; Their baptism is like that of Roman Catholics; Their salvation is like the INC; They are part of the Jerusalem church.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

DEBATE, DOnT ACT LIKE COWARDS!!!!

Anonymous said...

Terribly one-sided. At the very least, post links of their actual doctrines. Some doctrines here are not correct.

Anonymous said...

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=sGLbJKBnveI