Many INC online ridicule our shabby, externally dilapidated houses of worship comparing it to untidy pigpens, having market places around and even motels while Eli Soriano has luxurious mansion in Brazil. I would address four issues, namely,
- Our houses of worship are shabby and denigrated in like manner as pig pens while theirs is sophisticated, high cost kapilyas.
- Market places/motels fluorish immediately around it.
- Worshippers sleeping on worship area during worship services
- The brazil mansion is anti-thesis to our shabby houses of worship
Firstly, our houses of worship are like pig pens. True in most cases, here is the photos they keep showing.
Biblically, God ordered us to congregate in worship services thus necessitates the need of houses of worship but never did God imposed for us to build houses of worship esp luxurious kapilyas though neither did he prohibitted building modest buildings. Therefore, any house of worship would do, rented or built but must not be in that essence of luxurious kapilya but modestly, as justice to poor members, whose efforts were through hard earned money, thus the need for justifiable modest houses of worship. MCGI follows the example of the early Christians who only suffice in modest even poor houses as practically, their houses of worship.
And all that believed were together, and had all things common;
And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.
And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,
Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.
Their houses of worship were from house to house indicating ordinary houses of poor members. They have no much wealth to build houses of worship but even with wealth it is not an issue how a house of worship should look provided its practical and modest as God sanctioned for us to judge not according to appearance therefore appearance is a least concern for the church regarding houses of worship as it say:
Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.
Though it is a doctrine to have all things done in decency and order, it is not in matters of physical appearances as we are not to judge according to appearance so as specified in the verse above. Therefore it doesn’t matter if our houses of worship looks like pigpens. Judge not accdg to appearances?
INC argues that God ordered the building of kapilyas as they quoted:
Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your cieled houses, and this house lie waste?
Go up to the mountain, and bring wood, and build the house; and I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified, saith the LORD.
As you can see its about the temple of Solomon lied waste or destroyed, they have to rebuild. Its not about kapilyas. But they said, the built house of worship is forever implying kapilyas.
2 Chronicles 7:15-16
Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attent unto the prayer that is made in this place.
For now have I chosen and sanctified this house, that my name may be there for ever: and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually.
Though that house of worship built is forever, it doesn’t mean eternal as even kapilyas would be consumed at the end of time. The use of forever or perpetually implies the time span a thing exist as exemplified:
I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with her bars was about me for ever: yet hast thou brought up my life from corruption, O LORD my God.
And the LORD spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land.
Jonah was not eternally at the bottom of the sea but only 3days/night in it yet God declared it as forever therefore forever suggest the time span a thing or an event exists, thus when it said the temple of Solomon would be built and the name of God would be there forever, it implies the duration of the existence of the temple of Solomon that is until its destruction on 70 AD. That is not the kapilyas.
Having that, INC has no support for building luxurious kapilya, with unnecessary expenses at the expense of poor members when they could have built practical and modest houses of worship. They were inconsiderate to have spent hard earned money unnecessarily.
Secondly, MCGI houses of worship have surrounding market places. Its true but is it bad? Yes the INC said quoting:
And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves,
And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.
As you can see the blockquoted words, it implies the market place is inside the house of worship implying the worship area that Jesus was angry of and not at those outside. The house is the temple itself as it say:
1 Kings 6:17
And the house, that is, the temple before it, was forty cubits long.
Therefore, Jesus was angry at those inside the house of worship and not at those outside. MCGI has no market places inside worship area per se but outside it. Therefore, we have not violated any christian law by having merchendizers around the worship area.
Thirdly, worshippers sleeping on the worship area during worship services. Its true. Though as a church we have one mind, judgment and rule, we don’t enforce these by constraint. We do it by request or petition neither by force as expressed:
2 Corinthians 9:7
Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give (such as judgment) not grudgingly, or of ANAGKE (constraint or force): for God loveth a cheerful giver.
Though we have doctrine of putting all things decently and in order, we do it by petition not by force as the verse above says and likewise as how Paul never used force over christians but through request only as expressed below:
Therefore force is not a vital integration of faith, but petition is. Petition is the christian method of enforcing the christian law never by force except in expulsion cases therefore if any christian bec of forces of circumstances decided to sleep, we don’t force him not to sleep to ever say, dont sleep or else get out. We don’t do that. We don’t employ force. Therefore you could see some sleeping on worship area during worship services. Force of circumstances don’t qualify anyone as guilty. Otherwise, repeated offenses after reprimand would be expelled.
The dilemma for these critics is this: Are those who sleeps christians or not, members or non-members?
Fourthly, Bro Eli has a mansion while we have pig pens as house of worships?
True. The question is, is it not fair? For the logical thinker, it is fair. We live modestly as by the opportunity of the lowest cost living depending on circumstances. Philippine standard of living permits us to acquire our houses of worship as practical, durable and comfortable you can see through our local houses of worship. We depend on practicality and justice. We are poor contributors so it is imprudent to waste money for unnecessary luxury kapilyas. It is not justice to the poor thus we preferred modest houses of worship you called pig pens. Therefore, this standard of faith, that is using practicality and justice, is the one used for acquiring the Brazil mansion. Having high standard of living there, i believe Bro Eli prudently preferred a low cost quality of living as justice for his poor members thus he chose the lowest cost housing open for possibly at least 20-50 tenants, that is the Brazil mansion. Nobody knows the cost though it was approximately 40million pesos nothing of that sort was certain. It could be 1 million pesos only. Who knows? Therefore, nothing solid ground for conclusion, why do you judge him as though he is like you having luxury kapilyas at the expense of poor members?
Lastly, note how INC criticizes Soriano like a disgusting criminal to hurl utmost criticism grounded on unvalidated presumptions even to the point of low level criticism of our houses of worship denigrated as pig pens when they have too, houses of worship in like manner or even worst than us, worse than pigpens. Look below for my proof:
By force of circumstances, that is poverty, INC cannot provide for better houses of worship like the rich Spanish style edifices of its time, so why do you criticize us, when by force of circumstances too, that is the biblical doctrine of practicality, modesty and justice, we are bent on modest buildings?
Why criticize us as having pigpens for houses of worship when yours as pictured above look like a monkey house?
You are throwing rotten eggs on Manalo for being hypocrites!
What the f….!?