After a seemingly quiet afternoon, the oppression continues. Additional supplies for the family are restricted and prohibited anew. An apparent “stalemate” has occurred. The guards refuse to allow anyone to bring the food or medicine inside. They contend that the occupants pick up the supplies for themselves, meaning they will have to come out of their residence putting them in a highly unfavorable position. There is no guarantee they would be allowed back into their homes.
Here is one scene a few hours ago where the father of one of the families attempts to bring food to his child and grandchild but is prevented from doing so. A very sad time indeed. [Credits to Jonathan Daviz]
his letter is from Andrew Prager. A former member of the Church who once held numerous positions inside the fold. Vocally discontented he was subsequently expelled. He is not an active Defender, nor an OWE, just a plain nobody as he explains it who was once an Iglesia Ni Cristo member. Despite the seemingly innocent attitude of the writer, his insights into the problem is surprisingly revealing and definitely worth considering.
“An Open Letter to all INC Silent Defenders
Hello, I wanted to start this letter by telling you a little about myself. I am someone who was born into the church and have lived as a Church of Christ member for some 40-some years already. I have held various duties in the church, from PNK choir, Junior/Senior Choir, Secretariat, Binhi Officer and even as a member of SCAN. I am not going to focus too much on my situation, as this letter is not about me. I am writing this letter because there is a burning question in my mind, one that I cannot answer.
Before I get to that question though, let me just clarify a few things first. I am no longer a member of the INC, by choice and by expulsion. I was expelled from the church early this year for going against the administration. I stopped going to church and when my overseers asked me why, I simply said that I did not believe anymore in this administration and that I have lost my faith in the words of the Bible. Before you mistake me for some person of noble character, let me make clear to you that I am no such person. I left the church because my faith was broken, because my doubts were greater than my conviction. I wasn’t some noble warrior fighting for a worthy cause, I am just a nobody who just got feed up and gave up. I am not a church defender, I am not OWE, I am not a member of INC. I am just someone who was used to be a member of the church of Christ.
So why am I writing this letter? Well that is because I have this burning question that I would like to get answered. For what reason do I want this question answered? I really am not sure. Maybe it’s because it might bring closure for me and finally end this chapter of my life, maybe it’s to simply satisfy my curiosity, or maybe it’s the last embers of my faith that compels me to seek the answers to this final question and that question is…..
Why do people who call themselves silent defenders not do anything significant in trying to restore the church they claim to believe in?
To clarify, when I say “silent defenders” I refer to people who are still inside the church, who are still “faithful” members of the INC and believe that there is something really wrong the current church administration. Notice that I emphasized the word “faithful”. What I mean by faithful is that they still believe that the INC is the one true church, and that God chose this church to be his last church on earth. You see, I am not one of these people, as I said, I have lost my faith, I am no longer certain that the INC is the one true church.
So getting back to the question, why haven’t the silent defenders done anything significant to reform the church? You might be wondering, why is this person giving the defenders a hard time? Shouldn’t he be writing about how evil the administration has become? Shouldn’t he be writing about how the blind OWE followers need to open their eyes? Or about how the sanggunian is corrupt and how they are ruing the church? Well…. not really. Why you say? Well that’s because we already know that the administration is corrupt, we already know that there are blind followers that will never see the light because they don’t want to. I do not get the logic behind telling evil people that they are evil and that they should stop. I am pretty sure they know what they are doing is evil. For me preaching to evil people is an often a futile exercise. That is why I am preaching / questioning you, the silent defenders, as it is you who are supposed to be on the side of righteousness. It is you who are supposed to right the wrongs of evil men.
So why do you remain “silent”?
Is it because you are afraid of the sword? I thought faithful members of Christ are ready to give their lives for their faith?
Are you afraid of expulsion? If you really believe that this administration is truly unrighteous, then shouldn’t you be unafraid as their decrees are invalid in the sight of God?
Or maybe the answer is the unspeakable? Which is because you don’t have enough faith….
I really cannot understand the concept of not doing anything and just waiting for God to act. Sure one can pray for the church’s restoration, I do not think that is a bad thing. But does God really expect people to just pray and do nothing? I am no bible scholar, but didn’t God always use “someone” to do his work on earth? When the Israelites were slaves in Egypt, someone still had to take them out of bondage. It was still a person, in this case Moses. When Gideon fought the Midianites, did he let God do his fighting for him? If I remember correctly, it was still Gideon and 300 men who fought that battle and won it with God’s help. Time and time again I see in the bible that God always used instruments, men and women, from kings and nobles to ordinary people. So why you expect for something to happen if all of you remain silent?
My intent here is not to hurt the feelings of the silent defenders. I am really just perplexed by the situation. I am not looking for people to start rallying and going all “people power” at 36 TS. But do something, anything. Write a “polite” letter to the administration or your pastor asking them to stop the ongoing harassment at 36TS. Talk to your minister and ask him to explain the ongoing rumors about the church’s loans. Ask them why your house of worship is run down (if it truly is) and ask why nothing is being done about it? Stop giving offerings or at least ask why there are so many offerings being required these days. Ask about the Airbus, private jets and helicopters. Ask all the questions you want to ask and tell them how you really feel. Sure you might get expelled, but doesn’t that just prove that your point is right? That the administration no longer follows the true teachings of Christ and expels people without proper procedure?
Has it ever crossed your mind, silent defenders, that maybe its God who is waiting for you, and not you waiting for God. Maybe, just maybe, God is waiting for enough of his faithful servants to display their faith before he acts? Sure, it’s one thing to post anonymously on Facebook, but to actually do something that might have actual consequences and still do it because you think it is the right thing to do, that is faith. To put ones election, safety and even life on the line, to really defend the church, that is faith. I admire all the ministers who have stepped down because of their conviction that the church administration no longer follows God’s teachings faithfully. I admire brethren who openly defend the church even if they and their families get expelled. For the rest of the silent defenders, again I pose the question, without any malice or sarcasm, why do you remain silent?
- Andrew Prager”