Dear Brothers and Sisters:
Some of you have written to me asking questions concerning specific concerns that you have. I apologize for not being able to answer quick enough. We will discuss subjects specific to: church leaders, patience, membership, and offerings. It is my hope to address some of the questions below with the guidance of the words of our Almighty God.
For the sake of education and true obedience to the laws of God, I challenge you to take my answers with a grain of salt and to do your own research. Check if my words to you are indeed in the holy scriptures. Be diligent my brethren for our Almighty God and Lord Jesus Christ expects no less from us.
Should we remain in the Church even if the leaders are corrupt?
We should remain as members of the Iglesia ni Cristo for only through the body (Ephesians 5:23) of Christ could we be ever saved (Romans 8:1). This is the Church that Christ purchased with his own blood, as his body (Acts 20:28), so that He may still save us will maintaining alignment with the law of God concerning paying for our own sins (Ezekiel 18:20).
There are those of course who have allegedly been “wrongfully expelled” due to the current Church crisis. These brethren have no choice in the matter for they are forbidden by the Church Administration to attend worship services or any church activities. If we have a choice to still be part of the Church, the answer is yes, we should absolutely choose to still be a member. Now please do not take this as a reason to not act if we see wrongdoings within the church (read “Complacency Masquerading as Patience“). But if you have no information or action that can help either side on this church crisis, then you should stay as a member and be patient for our Almighty God to pass judgment upon those who truly have caused division within the Church.
How long should we wait and be patient?
Brethren, let us continue to be patient with our Almighty God for He will come to the aid of those who are steadfast in Him (James 5:7-8, 10-11). Everything that is happening is according to His plan and for the good of His people (Romans 8:28, Jeremiah 29:11) He is not slow to act but rather, He is patiently waiting for our lost Brothers and Sisters who have sinned to come back to Him. If He judges too quickly too many might be lost and not be saved (2 Peter 3:9). We should trust in Him for His timing is always perfect (Ecclesiastes 3:11).
Should we still obey the Church leaders?
We should only support our leaders as long as they are leading the Church in obeying God’s commandments. If they have committed crimes against the Church, our Almighty God has rejected their leadership and they have lost their right to lead us (1 Samuel 15:23).
Also, true obedience and submission to the leaders assigned by God can only occur after we have fully understood with logic and reason. Think about the bible student doctrinal lessons that all baptized Iglesia ni Cristo members have undergone. In order for us to have been full-fledged members within the Iglesia ni Cristo, we must have first listened to the doctrines, understood, believed, and then be baptized (Mark 4:11-12). So let us only obey and submit if we fully understand what we are being asked to do. If you do not understand, simply ask “why?” or say “I do not understand Brother, please explain it to me“. If they refuse to satisfy your curiosity with direct answers from the Bible and they state “I am a minister. Just believe and obey.”, their answers are not of our Almighty God’s (Galatians 1:8) and in result, those ministers have lost their right to lead you to your salvation.
Should we still give offering?
We should all still set aside offerings for our Almighty God for it is our duty to Him (1 Corinthians 16:1-2). There are however addition instructions from the Bible pertaining to our offerings. The Holy Scriptures encourages us to give willingly and not out of necessity (2 Corinthians 9:7). We also have been instructed to give the offerings that belongs to God… only to God. If we offer and it is not used for God’s work then we are in essence stealing from Him (Malachi 3:8-9).
So my questions to you are: Are we giving joyfully and are we 100% sure that our offerings are being used for God’s work? We would be committing a sin if we give our offerings unwillingly or if we offer but are aware that it is going to a group of people that may not be using it for the glory of God.
It is my hope and faith that I have answered some of your questions. Again my purpose here is to merely supplement the spiritual education that you have already received from the worship services. May your increased knowledge aid you in your path to spiritual perfection.
Your Brother in the Lord,