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?
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).
One of my employees who is a
member of your Church was having difficulty in 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?
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
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.
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?
Your observation is correct.
We neither keep such images nor worship them because such practices
are prohibited by God. He declared:
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.
shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the
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)
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?
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.
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 romantically
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?
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,
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
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?
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.
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?
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.
I heard that your Church does not celebrate Christmas on December
25. How could you ever ignore to celebrate the birthday of our
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:
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?
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 spirit―having 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.
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?
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