Especially for the authority of the one I considered the messenger of God, I was deeply hurt. I had that buried faith in my life sympathizing for my messenger.
By Jarell de Jesus
My life before was likened to a shadow – a life full of uncertainty, not knowing where my life was leading me to. I had struggled to finish my college degree. Amidst the hindrances that lay ahead I tried hard to continue, facing the challenges that came my way.
As it was, I found myself imprisoned inside a shell. Then came a time a friend of mine said, “Move out of yourself.” I had some fear inside of me especially in fighting my own weaknesses.
I only had few friends, not because I was afraid of spreading my wings. As psychology defines it, I am an introvert. I would rather be alone than have a bad companion.
I despaired that there came into my life some unfortunate faith – as if darkness overcame the light. This had occurred in my life, yes, but time came that I fortunately learned the truth. I am a former member of the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC).
The change all started in the summer of 2000. The television was tuned in to the program, Ang Dating Daan (The Old Path), of somebody who seemed to be a religious preacher. He was quite certain about what he was saying. He was frank, and did not fear that anyone would refute what he was saying.
After a couple of times watching that man, it caught – rather struck – my attention when he boldly disapproved of my faith. Especially for the authority of the one I considered the messenger of God, I was deeply hurt. I had that buried faith in my life sympathizing for my messenger.
But as a logical person I shouldn’t be reacting that way, I thought. I should not be biased, therefore, to put away for a while my own prejudices. I tried to listen, understand, analyze and compare and weigh what this man was saying. I watched for several times and heard his criticisms to the doctrines of the Iglesia ni Cristo that I have learned to be loyal to. Alas, I was often embarrassed because what he was saying were all true.
The long awaited time had finally come my way. It was three o’clock in the afternoon when with his big, round eyes and clear voice, he started to discuss Revelation 7:1-4.
With Revelation 7:4 we, at the Iglesia ni Cristo, were taught that the angel in this verse referred to Felix Manalo, the one I believed to be the messenger of God. Then this man began to disprove that claim!
He said, “This verse refers to somebody who ascended from the east. And this one came from Israel, because the teaching, as the Bible says, must have started from Jerusalem.” He neatly rounded it up with clear elaboration that it was not Felix Manalo of the Iglesia ni Cristo!
Admittedly, he was right! But it was not easy for me to accept what others say. I agreed that this man was right. He had basis and that is the Bible.
Still, I had that hurt feelings, not because I was deceived by the one I trusted to be the messenger of God, but because of the attachment to this religion, the Iglesia ni Cristo.
I was thinking of the time I spent, the effort, the sacrifices, the un-enumerated cries and tears seeking for the real God. I was in solitude contemplating hardly for this very delicate decision I needed to undergo.
My family might spare me if I’ll tell them that I would join the organization of that preacher that destroyed my former faith. I could not help but surrender.
Now, the time to face my weaknesses had come. I needed to face this challenge, which I felt to be divine calling. I tried very hard to seek for somebody who can tell me about that preacher and the religion he was affiliated with.
I found out that he was Bro. Eliseo Soriano and the religion he preached was of the Church of God in the Bible. Nothing can hinder me now to affiliate with the Members Church of God International.
I underwent indoctrination, a course of studies about the doctrines of Christ. Then came my baptism on the 28th of July, 2000 where Bro. Efren Bacquing officiated.
I had felt God, the true God, the Lord I long awaited for. I can hardly believe that now, I am affiliated with the true Church of God!
It is almost nine years now with a life full of hope, peace and most especially a life of certainty.
I had learned to throw away my fears and weaknesses because of the one who had brought me out of that shell.
Now, I am in the truth, and there is the light to guide my path and that is Christ – in The Old Path.