Joining the Church for good reasons and right motives
Letter to the Editor:
PASUGO, November 1995, p.3
I AM VERY much attracted to one of the members of your Church. I have tried my best to win her heart but friendship was all she could reciprocate my love with.
She tells me that the members of your Church are not allowed to have romantic relationships, much less marry, with non-members. I find this cruel. What if a member happens to fall in love with a non- member? Do your doctrines have power over one's heart?
I am willing to be a member of your Church so she could accept my love. To my surprise, she rejected the idea. She told me it was not the proper way of joining your Church. What, then, is the proper way?
God commands us to love our fellowmen in the same way that we love ourselves (cf. Mt. 22:39). He also commands every man to love his wife, or, every woman to love her husband (cf. Eph. 5:25, 24). But God also commands everyone to love Him above all (cf. Dt. 6:5; Mt. 22:37).
The Iglesia ni Cristo member maintains a balance in his or her sense of values. Love as a value has its ranking and where conflict arises – such as having to choose between love that leads to marriage but which at the same time entails violation of God’s commandment – he or she would rather sacrifice the lesser love for the greater love which is love of God.
It is a commandment of God not to marry with unbelievers (cf. II Cor. 6:14-15) or with those whose beliefs go against biblical teachings. It is this commandment which prevented the lady you mentioned from accepting your love because you do not belong to the Church she believes.
If you join the Church of Christ simply because of your love for the lady, then you are joining the Church for the wrong reason – for the wrong motive. One ought to join the Church out of a genuine conviction and complete understanding of what God truly teaches and commands.
The first step you must take is to examine the teachings upheld by the Iglesia ni Cristo. Ask the lady to bring you to the minister assigned in her locale. Undergo all the basic lessons on doctrine, do all that should be done, and if you are convinced, then become a member by being baptized into the Church of Christ.
Only then can your reason for joining the Iglesia ni Cristo be truly acceptable in the eyes of God.
Bible Study Suggestion: If you have further questions, please feel free to visit the Iglesia ni Cristo congregation nearest you. A minister or an evangelical worker would be happy to answer any biblical question you have in mind. For the latest Worship Service Directory of Iglesia ni Cristo Locales and Congregations outside the Philippines, please visit www.iglesianicristoworshipservice.com.