This is an excerpt from revered Catholic Apologist Karl Keating's Article "Into the Maw of the Cult"
He was debating Jose Ventilacion, an INC minister. I saw on TV how this man explains his faith. My impression? It was like having Mr. Bean teach you Logic. More than brain freeze!
Their argument is facile: "What is the name of Christ’s church, as given in the Bible? It is the 'Church of Christ.' Our church is called the 'Church of Christ.' Therefore, ours is the church Christ founded."
Not many people will be impressed with such an argument--when it was first presented to me during a question and answer period some years ago, I had trouble not laughing aloud--but the folks at the debate thought it made a lot of sense. The problem was that the verse Ventilacion was citing didn't contain the phrase "Church of Christ." I read to him the Greek and said, "It means 'Church of God,' not 'Church of Christ.'"
"That’s your opinion," he said.
"No, it’s not. That's what the Greek says."
"That’s your opinion."
"If you want to know what a verse really means, you need to look at the Greek, because the text of the New Testament is in Greek."
"That’s your opinion," he repeated, smiling broadly.
"No, it’s not my opinion. It’s a fact."
"That’s your opinion."
Of all the debates I've been in, this was at once the most frightening and the most frustrating. It was the most frightening because Iglesia ni Cristo is a true cult, not a mere sect, and it was easy to see why bodyguards were de rigueur, even if their muscle wasn't needed this night. And the debate was the most frustrating because my opponent wouldn't adhere to elementary norms of civility and because the audience, at least the Iglesia portion of it, seemed impervious to even the simplest argument against its position.
Iglesia ni Cristo is a menace. Today it's a menace mainly to Filipino families, but many of the ushers, I noticed, were not Filipino. Non-Filipino members were being "showcased" as ushers, proof that Iglesia no longer confines itself to one ethnic group.
This is an organization that is adapting itself to the American idiom. The American edition of God's Message used to be printed in a dual-language format: half Tagalog, half English. Now all the text is in English, the better to appeal to Americans of various backgrounds.
Iglesia ni Cristo makes Fundamentalists, Mormons, and Jehovah's Witnesses look like slackers when it comes to commitment and anti-Catholicism. We can expect this cult to grow rapidly--mainly at the expense of our Church. And it will, unless we take a stand.
I had this debate with an Iglesia before too. Two things happened to me right after that debate. One, I had a severe migraine for trying to figure out the logic of his argument like "Our church's name is in the Bible. Yours is not. Therefore, we are the true church." Second, I dug deeper to know what the Iglesia is.
What I got? A smorgasboard of anti-Catholic rage! The only logic they have is this:
YOU'RE WRONG THEREFORE I AM RIGHT. NO NEED TO PROVE THAT I AM RIGHT BECAUSE YOU ARE WRONG!
Oh, yeah before I forget. I asked my Iglesia friend why they devote much of their energies against the Catholic Church and not by converting Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus... "You're church is easier."
Guess that is what it is. Most Catholics do not really know what they believe so we become easy targets. And second, Iglesia is a filthy parasite breeding and grazing in Catholic grounds. Their doctrine cannot stand ground against other religions. They make a living out of Catholics.