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tthe following represents a reaction from 10-minute email regarding the most recent Webex worship service from Japan which was aired last Saturday and Sunday.

iglesia_ni_cristo_inc_executive_minister_brother_eduardo_manalo_cropped“Dear Brother Antonio Dela Cruz, thank you for sharing your thoughts on this most recent WebEx worship service and lesson. In response, I’d like to share a little more information about the event. (Courtesy of some brethren in Japan.)

Announcements and circulars all over the world made it seem as though the worship service was streaming live from the Locale of Chiba when it, in fact, was only a replay of our executive minister’s visitation worship service. It took place on November 6, not in the local congregation’s tiny rented hall but instead in New Otani Hotel, Makuhari. The sanctuary seen in the video is the hotel’s banquet hall prepared with a pulpit, choir loft, and seats for the brethren.

The venue is about seven minutes away from the nearest train station, but there weren’t any signs or SCAN to guide brethren or visitors to the worship service. However, one could easily find the venue if they followed the signs and personnel guiding huge crowds to a Slipknot (heavy metal band from the U.S.) event nearby, and then bearing left toward the New Otani Hotel. There, one would see SCAN members smoking near one of the entrances.

Throughout Japan, they’d been announcing the worship service start time as 9 a.m., which was changed to 8 a.m. merely days before the event took place. Unfortunately, they didn’t announce this to all brethren who were attending, and even then, the worship service itself actually started earlier than its scheduled time. (Imagine hearing the hymn singing and asking SCAN brethren what time the worship service starts, and have them answer unwaveringly that it starts at 8 a.m. It couldn’t be any more obvious that the worship service had already started.)

Note that some of the hymns during this worship service featured lyrics expressing gratitude for the Church Administration again, in a far more egregious manner than those featured in our past few thanksgiving worship services.

(Here’s a candid picture of the worship service: http://i.imgur.com/MtphsLn.jpg )

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As you mentioned, it was the same old lesson filled with the same humorless jokes. Hold fast to your INC membership because there’s no salvation outside the INC. He expelled his family members for (supposedly) causing divisions and making their concerns and grievances public. He loves and chooses the church over his family. The enemies of the church (meaning the expelled brethren) are telling INC members not to attend worship services, not to give offering, and that there is corruption in the church. We, as members of the INC, shouldn’t listen to accusations of corruption because they don’t have any evidence (which, as many brethren can attest, is FALSE, there is plenty of evidence if one searches and truly opens their eyes).

Again, the main focus of the prayers was the Church Administration. The prayers were lengthy and repetitive, and ostentatious in all their shouting and crying. It’s as if they’ve forgotten the basics about praying. (First, call on Our Almighty God or Lord Jesus Christ. Second, give thanks and praises. Third, repent for our sins and ask for forgiveness. Fourth, request our needs. Fifth, ask all these things in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.) It’s as if it weren’t worthlessly vain repetition dressed up in melodramatic shouting and crying to show how much LOVE they have for the Church Administration, when we should instead be thanking God and praising Him and our Lord Jesus Christ for their love, mercy, and compassion.

The only offerings collected in pouches were those of brethren on the choir loft and pulpit. All other offerings were collected in boxes near the banquet hall doors. The worship service ended around 9 a.m. when more brethren came pouring in, dropping their offerings in the boxes and asking if the worship service already started. (Yes, it did. In fact, it’s already over. Sorry.) There weren’t any secretaries from any locales to be found, and brethren swamped the couple Chiba Locale secretaries with requests for certificates of attendance even though they were supposed to get them from their own local secretaries. Almost immediately after the worship service, they took down the pulpit and turned the choir loft into a stage for a musical presentation.

Any brethren who felt that the WebEx version was disorderly are absolutely right. There were no clear signs or SCAN members directing brethren to the venue. The start time was changed practically at the last minute, communication broke down between brethren, and even then, it started earlier than announced. Our holy hymns now are more thankfulness and praises for our current Administration than thanks and praises to God and our Lord Jesus Christ. The lesson was again another uninspired and defensive travesty to the pure and pristine gospel of truth. And maybe it’s just my opinion, but it feels like the whole occasion was built around having a musical presentation for our executive minister rather than having a proper worship service for our Almighty God.

It’s really the last part that feels the worst.”

  • 10-minute email

Actually my wife put it very clearly when she said after that worship service at our locale.

“Ang dami daming sinabi ni Ka Eduardo kesyo, ‘kahit siya ang Pamamahala,’ hindi siya maaring  gusto niya ang masusunod kungdi lahat ng gagawin ay ‘kagustuhan ng …?’ Ibibitin niya ang tanong at sasagot ang kapulungan ng ‘sa Diosss’ ‘Tama’ sabi niya,  ‘lahat ay kagustuhan ng Diyos.’ Pagkatapos, paglingon mo, wala na ang kahon ng abuluyan, pinuslit na.”

For those who may think that this is just a bad joke have the guts to ask any of the officers or maytungkulin kung bakit hindi na binibilang sa lokal ang mga abuloy na hinuhulog sa kahon at kung saan dinadala ito, at kung bakit hindi sinasama ito sa panalangin ng abuluyan.