"Iglesia ni Cristo members are prohibited to read the Bible"
Misconception: Iglesia ni Cristo detractors say to other people that Iglesia ni Cristo members are prohibited to read the Bible. They point to the fact that Iglesia ni Cristo members go to church without a Bible in hand and compare them to other religious organizations who's members generally carry a Bible to church. Are the Iglesia ni Cristo members really prohibited to read the Bible? Is this allegation true?
The Truth:Iglesia ni Cristo members are not prohibited to read the Bible. There is no such prohibition coming from the Church administration. Iglesia ni Cristo members are not in anyway prohibited to read the Bible.
It is true that Iglesia ni Cristo members generally do not carry or bring Bible to Church simply because they won't have time to use it. During the course of the lesson, the Minister will be citing numerous verses from the Bible as he answers every question in the lesson using the verses of the Bible. Iglesia ni Cristo ministers preaches unlike other preachers in general. He does not personally interpret the verses nor tell a story around it, thus, it is common for a member of the Iglesia ni Cristo to write the verses while he listens to the lesson so he can review and study the verses at home using his own Bible. The following is a testimony of a typical Iglesia ni Cristo convert:
In 1982, I became a Catholic but this did not fill the void like I hoped it would. Although I studied hard and even became a lay minister, I still had many questions that were unanswered. Each time I asked, I was told that I must have faith and just believe that it was that way.
While I was stationed at Fort Ricardson, Alaska in 1988, a member of the Church of Christ named Sister Ludy invited me to a Bible study. I accepted because there is nothing to lose by going. The minister who preached was Brother Mariano Nucup. "I listened and I started to see things significantly different. I felt very moved by the way each question was answered through the Bible, the answer as supported by the Bible. I was not asked to just accept what was said. I was encouraged to ask questions. I was told to feel free to bring up anything that I had doubts about. This was something that was so new to me—to be allowed to ask anything that I was unsure of."
The teaching that had the biggest impact on me was on the true nature of our Lord Jesus, being a man, and on the falsity of the Trinity doctrine. I asked questions and I listened to the answers. I was getting answers that I had never gotten before. The more I listened, the more I saw that the Church of Christ was telling me the truth that I never heard before. I found out that this is the true Church. As I questioned the doctrines of the Church, Brother Mar showed me through the Bible that all that the Church did was in accordance with God's law. I found out that indeed that the Church did not do anything that was against the will of God. The Church is here to show everyone the way to attain salvation and to have peace with with our Lord Jesus Christ and His Father. It was then that I realized that this was the Church that I had been looking for. Kipp Keller, Anchorage, Alaska, U.S.A.
Every Iglesia ni Cristo member are encourage to read and study the Bible. From the very first time they come to a Bible study in the Church, they are free to take notes of the questions and the answers read from the verses of the Bible. They are encouraged to ask any biblical question they have in mind. They are not prohibited to bring a Bible if they wanted to.
The Iglesia ni Cristo minister or church worker spends a great percentage of his time in Bible studies. He makes sure that the Bible students understand the lessons, even to the extent of repeating the lessons to individual student if necessary. He may even set a Bible study one-on-one, on a case to case basis. A Bible student must listen to all the 28 lessons and he/she is expected to truly understand it, after which, a final screening will be made to ascertain if He/she really understood all the lessons. . . . . To those who truly understood the lessons, God's words or message becomes clear and meaningful to them, thus, they are moved to repentance and acquire a strong faith in Lord God Almighty and the Lord Jesus Christ; eventually or in due course, they become a member of the true Church of Christ -- the Iglesia ni Cristo.
What sets apart the Iglesia ni Cristo from the other professing Christian religions of today is the clarity of her doctrines. All her teachings are clearly supported by the verses of the Holy Bible. In a sermon or Bible study, a question would be posed and the answer will be read from the verses of the Holy Bible. No personal interpretation is made as it always follow the Apostle's way of teaching the truth. In I Corinthian 2:13: Apostle Paul cite this unique characteristic of a Holy Spirit inspired Preacher—like the apostles—with a unique method of teaching.
"This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words." (New English Bible)
Thus, spiritual truths written in the Bible is always expressed or explained by spiritual words written in the Bible. No personal interpretation. No speculation. And going beyond what is written in the Bible is strictly prohibited.
The following are excerpts from testimonies from those who who listened to the Iglesia ni Cristo preaching or Bible study:
The minister then preached. I noticed that he never spoke his own words, only the words from the Bible, no personal interpretations. I was intrigued and all the more glued to the lessons. I never learned as much in my life of attending other churches than what I learned right there. I yearned for more. Arthur W. Jones II, Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A.
When he finished preaching, I jumped at the first chance to inquire. But Brother Suarez not only answered all of my questions satisfactorily but he also answered every one of them directly from the Bible. This was something that I had not seen in any of the other churches I had been to. Brother Suarez had full command of the Scriptures and he was right in front of me reading the answers to my questions directly from the Bible. Dale Michael Schrader, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
While I was attending worship services, I had so many questions in my mind. I was amazed of how the ministers preached. I noticed that they did not produce their own Bible They used various Bible translations. All the questions I asked were finally answered. I'd been with different religions, but I said to myself that this one was so different and the teachings. were so clear, direct from the Bible. I thought it was kind of strange since the minister just gave me the answer with- out telling me a story or interpreting from his own.Louis John Vecchitto, Locale of Norwich, Connecticut, U.S.A.
All iglesia ni Cristo members are are fully aware that the Bible is the sole basis of his/her faith, thus it is common for members to personally own more than one Bible. In fact many Iglesia ni Cristo members collect different versions of the Bible.
Invitation to everyone
We therefore invite everyone to continue to study and/or examine the doctrines, beliefs, and teachings of the Iglesia ni Cristo. Please click this link to browse Interesting Questions List about the Holy Bible, previously asked by those who studied the church.