Bankruptcy-banner-w-copyright1My Dearest Brothers and Sisters,

The current affairs of social media regarding our church is not doing anyone any good. So much fighting, so much hate, so much allegations  and so-called confirmation here and there.  Stones thrown  back and forth all within the confines of the church – OUR Church. The Church has dropped down to its lowest in years not among ourselves but in the community as well.   Is this what our sugo Ka Felix and the late Ka Erdy taught us? Would they be pleased to witness what is happening now?

We just want one thing – to serve God and worship Him the way we are used to – feeling His presence when times are hard, a comforting tug of the heart, a flow of tears when calling to Christ and God.  That is all, nothing more.  But what is happening now? Everything is going downhill.

Magtatagumpay ba ang Diablo? Ito … ang nangyayari ngayon – ito ang gusto niyang mangyari sa atin.  Pero may hula – hindi matatalikod ang Iglesia. May madadatnan Iglesia Ni Cristo sa araw ng paghuhukom. Sana huwag naman ang maabutan ay iilan lamang. Sana kung gaano tayo karami ngayon ganoon rin karami tayo sasalubong kay Cristo. Nakakalungkot naman isipin kung isang dakot lang ang sasalubong sa kaniya.

Ito lang ba ang katapat sa buhay na inalay niya para sa atin? Ito lang ba ang ihaharap niya sa Ama na Dios nating makapangyarihan sa lahat.  Mahiya naman tayo kay Cristo. Mahiya naman tayo sa Dios.

Am I taking sides now? No I’m not.  I Just want what is best for our Church. What I am about to say is my own after giving serious thought to everything I’ve read and heard.  I do not expect you to accept it but merely ask that you consider it. I personally believe it to be the real cause of all this confusion and charges of corruption hurled against the General Auditor and the Council of Advisers.  This is now a matter of choice – YOU can accept  it or not. The choice is yours. Either way my respect for all of you concerned readers remain.  In its ultimate finality,  God will eventually have His way.

We do not have sufficient funds to sustain all the needs of the Church at the moment. This all started when we decided to build the largest in-door arena in the world The Philippine Arena simultaneously with two  Sports stadiums not to mention the locale of Capitol and other on going projects of the church.  The huge costs were not anticipated and our regular offerings – abuloy, tanging handugan, and taunan pasalamat were not enough to cover for all these projects.  We needed to save face as we had already announced in the papers that we would be building the largest arena in the world in two years at that.  Everything was rushed, and costs started to spiral beyond control.  We needed additional sources. Thus several foundations were set up, a high-end condo built in the heart of the city –  all purposely to generate needed funds for the church.  But the funds needed were not coming in as expected.  Huge loans had been made at huge collaterals.

Whoever suggested and convinced the Executive Office that we build all these structures to commemorate his legacy in time for the Centennial of the Church did not foresee the problems which we now witness.

I asked a nephew of mine working in Europe as a Stocks and Finance Analyst and this is what he had to say:

“You know  Tito, I’m talking of a company or organization here – “corruption” per se does not cause the bankruptcy or downfall of a company, incompetence does.  That’s why we see countries where in spite of widespread corruption charges the government manages to continue.  The leader is “competent” – he can handle the situation.  But when a leader is incompetent, ultimately it will lead to the organization or company’s undoing.

With respect to finances of an organization, it can easily be noticed if we are short on finances.  You tend to notice patterns not of the ordinary like delays in salaries, supplies not coming, projects postponed, etc.  Movement needing financial attention “slows down”, benefits such as bonuses, vacations, are cut down or totally removed.  Work days are shortened and so forth.

Of course, management will not confirm that a crisis is prevailing, it would cause low morale among its workforce not good for the organization.  But ultimately unless the problem is addressed, the organization will fall.  Probably cease to exist or replaced under new management.

When asked  what would he do if a financial crisis existed,  he answered:

“Well, first, like in all organizations I would cut down the liabilities, identify the “incompetents” and remove them.  Next streamlining. The workforce.  Leave what is only necessary.  It would hurt them we all know that but mind you we are trying to save the organization.  Salaries are considered liabilities so we need to minimize it. Expenses in all aspects should also be tapered down.  Projects should be identified in real time.  Postpone or halt all together if need be.  Consider selling non performing assets. But remember real estate is a last option because real estate is income generating and we need that.  But if we really need to sell real estate we offer the premium lots because we can demand the price – not the so-called lots we don’t need.  Why would anyone buy lots which we ourselves do not want.  We would then be forced to sell it at their asking price and not ours.  Now, getting into huge debts with banks is a big “No No”.  We have what we call syndicated bank loans – particular for big amounts.  Several banks in a region like  Europe for example get together and raise the amount requested but the hitch here is that there is what we call a prescriptive period for you to return the amount loaned usually it’s ten years. Now if the loan runs to billions  – you’d have a problem.  Since you are a religious group, “income” is dependent on tithes and offerings.  It would not be enough to “pay back.” You will need alternative sources.  Don’t forget I’m talking here about a profit oriented structure.

“You mean, we sell the arena, and the stadiums?”

“Well, why not?”

“But we would be losing face to the whole world and in fact admitting that we are in a financial crisis.  Now how do you think we should address that problem?”

“Not my problem Tito.” and smiled.

What needs to be done and this suggestion if you can call it that is not mine alone, is for the Church Administration to tell the Church the real financial status of the Church, transparency if you may call it that.  If there is a real problem on finances, admit it and ask the Church for help.  No more excuses, no more denials, just the plain truth and ask for help within the confines of the Church.  No one else can and should solve this problem but us alone.  We have  to accept and embrace this reality, or our Church will self destruct with or without intervention from any source. We may have no option left but to start again from scratch.  This is not plain conjecture but wise analysis  from both the religious and financial sector.

Before closing I received two posts which I think are worth reading.

From Westley Tambuli

I think God is allowing this turmoil to unfold before our eyes so the Church can ultimately be cleansed of its worldly ills. I imagine this turmoil will deteriorate further before it gets better. The important reason is maybe, this is God’s way of exposing of what ails the Church and to test the faith and resolve of every member. With this crisis as the backdrop, God is showing us if the current Church Leadership has what it takes to bring His people through the final stretch of its journey towards salvation. Whatever God has in mind for the current Administration, for all the members, be it the remaining ones or those expelled but remain faithful believers, and for the ultimate resolution of this sad chapter in Church history, and whether He will allow us to witness the rise of either a new Administration or a reformed one, we can all just have to be patient and steadfast while we watch God as He works His wonders in restoring the Church to its pristine stature. Praise be to God and may He continue to bless and uphold all of us.

From Celebrities Gladys Reyes and Christopher Roxas

“IGLESIA PO AKO NI CRISTO… Hinde po ako Iglesia ng kung sino man…Kung ano po ang sinasampalatayanan ko doctrina at laman ng Biblia, yun ang sinusunod ko. Ang Iglesia Ni Cristo ay banal ang tao po ay kanya-kanyang punas lamang po ng lamesa…
“Bakit ako titingin sa tao siya ba ang Diyos ko… at higit sa lahat sa akin ba sisingilin yan kung sino ang may sala siya ang haharap pagdating ng takdang panahon… panu niyo hihiklatin sa puso ko ang naramdaman ko ng tawagin ako ni Cristo…!”

– Christopher Roxas

“Ako’y Iglesia ni Cristo.. Dahil sa kaabalahan sa teyping ng serye, pagrerebyu ng mga materyal sa telebisyon at pelikula bilang isa sa lupon ng MTRCB, kabi-kabilang pulong bilang ‘executive producer’ para sa aking programa, pirmahan ng kontrata para sa isang makabuluhang programa sa telebisyon at higit sa lahat oras para sa asawa at aking tatlong mga anak, ay hindi ako nagkaron ng pagkakataong maglahad ng aking saloobin ukol sa maituturing na pinakamalaking pagsubok sa INC.
“Sa aking mga katrabaho at ‘kaibigan’ sa tunay na kahulugan ng salitang yun, maging hindi ko personal na kakilala, na hindi ko naringgan ng sarkastikong komento, na hindi agad-agad nanghusga, di nagpadama ng pagiging insensitibo, bagkus nagpaabot ng pagmamalasakit, simpatya at respeto sa aming nararamdaman kulang ang salitang salamat!! Sa mga kapatid sa Iglesia, mas lalo tayong magpakatatag at pakahigpitan ang pagkapit sa doktrina at aral na tumimo sa ating puso, isip at kaluluwa.
“Mas lalo natin pagtibayin ang pundasyon ng ating pananampalataya. Sa mga ganitong panahon, wag tayong manghina, wag tayo manlupaypay, hindi kahinaan ang pagluha, iiyak natin lahat sa ating Panginoong Dyos sa pamamagitan ng panalangin, ang lahat ng hapis at suliranin. Pakatandaan po natin sa Dyos tayo naglilingkod at hindi sa tao.
Ako’y Iglesia ni Cristo.. mananatili at maninindigan!!”

– Gladys Reyes

Now, that is what I call Faith, Love, and Hope.

(Hmmm … the sun is up today – a great day for a swim to cool off for all of us!  Good day and God Bless Us All!)