Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.
Have you ever heard the claim that Felix Manalo, the founder of the most influential and powerful non-Catholic religious organization in the Philippines, was an angel?
Yes! That is a famous belief among the members. Manalo, accordingly, was the angel of the east as prophesied by Revelations chapter 7, the one who will put seal upon the servants of God before the symbolic winds would strike the Earth. But have you ever heard also that once in the history of the Iglesia ni Cristo, Manalo decided to abandon the Church and excommunicate all the members? Well, this fact was documented in a circular letter to the Church dated on July 25, 1938 signed by Teodoro Santiago, one of the 14 students during Manalo’s first batch of ministerial class; one of the three ministers ordained during the first ordination presided by Manalo (the other two being Justino Casanova and Federico Inocencio), and the first Division Minister/Administrator of the Church, assigned in Pampanga division in 1924. According to the letter; (To enlarge image, press Ctrl +.)
“GENERAL OFFICE OF THE IGLESIA NI KRISTO
IN THE PHILIPPINE ARCHIPELAGO
“42 Broadway, New Manila, San Juan, Rizal
“Circular No. 19 – Series 1938
“July 25, 1938
“TO ALL BRETHREN
IN ALL PLACES OF THE IGLESIA NI KRISTO
“I appeal to you in this letter and inform you of the happenings that we did not expect to come. Brother Manalo wants to abandon us and he would like to start anew. More certainly, meaning we shall all be excommunicated, and he shall begin to dedicate a new ministry. The reason for this is the misbehavior of the present Ministers. First, what brother Andres Tucker did, which is truly grave in his heart, is that wherever he was assigned the frauds and deceits and borrowing of money from brethren was extreme, that according to him, the Church is becoming an instrument of a filthy lifestyle.
“What grieves him about the brethren, even though he prohibited the borrowing and lending [of money] it is not being kept, that in this manner they become instruments of the Devil to the blemishing of the Church. Second, the forgiving of the Ministers in duties that must be embraced with complete enthusiasm and dedication and the unrestrained manner of speaking in propaganda and worship [service] that gives offense to and degrades the Church. The lack of Spiritual life and lack of dedication to progress to respond to the requirement of the duty one holds the same which gives him exasperation and disappointment, as though being a minister is an employment or livelihood, the presumption according to form and movement seen in ministers, and the lack of trust and confidence in what God can do.
“Third, the lack of care of the Deacons in handling duty and the lack of respect to duty and to [the] faith, in the way that they get angry with each other that leads their resentment to hatred and the lack of concern in maintaining good relationship in all of the brethren inside the Church.
“Fourth, the frequent ruining of the money collected for the construction of chapels or for buying lands in the hands of the [overseers] in different locations and the lack of faithfulness in collecting money the brethren consecrated unto God, whether during Thursday, for the chapel, or for buying land. There is no evidence of the amount of money contributed and there is no name of the contributor and there is no date of when it was received and there are no certain and clear reports for the brethren regarding the inflow of the money and the expenses, such thing which blemishes the Church. And it brings sin and offense unto the brethren.
“Fifth, it is frequently being taught to all who have duties what ought to be done according to the will of God and with faithfulness. This is not being kept by the Ministers, by many Head Deacons and by Deacons, by the committees on the construction of chapels or buying of lands, by Treasurers, and even by the brethren who do not obey the ordinances of the Circular.
“All this mentioned above are the reasons of Brother Manalo in separating from us. But I and Brother Liloy are stopping him and we promised that we will inform the concerned and will ask them of their decision.
“Brethren-Ministers, Workers, Head Deacons, Deacons, Treasurers, or to all of you in the whole Church, I ask of you to make a letter, promising that you will keep and embrace all of the policies of the Church, to the fulfillment of all the will of God unto the salvation from crooked ways mentioned in this letter. As soon as possible send your letters to our Office, that we may remain in the calling of God given to us. And in the end, read Heb. 13:17, 19-22. After you read this letter, read these verses, and it shall be explained by the Teacher or Minister assigned to you. Obey what it says.
“Your brother in Christ,
(Sgd.) T. Santiago
Though Felix Manalo failed to disband his church due to the rising filthiness among the ministers assigned in different parts of the country, we may still say that the ministry of Mr. Manalo was indeed a failure, not only in the sense that he taught false doctrines, but in the sense that he failed to established a religious community that has a good Christian behavior and disciplined leadership. All that he had was a line of hypocrite ministers that cares not the flock but exploits them according to their own interests. Not surprising, because the Executive Minister himself failed to Christianized (by it real meaning) his own self.
The moral problem among the INC’s ministers are not just existing during the time of Mr. Felix Manalo, in fact, the late Erano Manalo, the second overall minister, expressed his wailings before a ministerial meeting concerning the corrupted atmosphere of the ministers under his leadership. This phenomenon explains the meaning of what Christ said to his disciples.
Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit. (Matthew 12:33)
The voice of Erano Manalo speaking about the degrade moral state of the HIS Church’s ministers.