Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Is Joining the Iglesia ni Cristo a Sin of Apostasy

I found an interesting article in a local apologetics magazine regarding the sin of apostasy (emphasis mine):

The Catholic Church places much importance on the education of conscience because conscience is the primary basis of moral life. She respects then the decision of anybody who decides to become a member of the Iglesia ni Cristo if this is a product of his conscience's dictate. We don't believe that any Catholic who joins the Iglesia ni Cristo becomes a servant of the devil. When such person does this decision on dictates of his conscience (believing truly in the teaching of the Iglesia as the "truth"), then he made a decision pleasing to God and good for his soul. A Catholic who joins the Iglesia ni Cristo, thinking of the economic benefits, or to please a spouse or a husband, is another story. Once God is subordinated to purely human interest, then a person really violates the sacredness of his conscience, committing a serious sin which is apostasy.

I'd like to hear your comments.


Carlos Antonio Palad said...

Of course, God alone has an absolutely certain knowledge of the state of our consciences. Therefore, He alone can judge whether one has certainly lost sanctifying grace, or not. He alone can judge if one's conscience is truly pure and if a decision made on the basis of the dictates of one's conscience, is blameworthy or not (and to what degree)

Nevertheless, we do know -- so the Church teaches -- that conscience is not infallible, and needs to be formed. Those who do NOT take the time to form their consciences according to the mind of the Church are not without blame. Those who do not care to be instructed in the Catholic faith are scarcely free of blame.

A Catholic who leaves the true faith in order to become an Iglesia member, embraces errors so perverse, so blatant and so offensive to common sense and Biblical teaching that we are duty-bound to ask if anyone could actually become an INC member without at least some degree of bad faith or sinful negligence.

Furthermore, it is, objectively speaking, grave matter to leave the Catholic Church in order to embrace another church or -- worse still, another faith.

Incidentally, apostasy is the sin of leaving the Catholic Church in order to join ANOTHER RELIGION. Those who leave the Catholic Church in order to join another Church or ecclesial community which, at the very least, maintains the basics of the Christian confession (Divinity of Christ, Holy Trinity, etc.) are guilty of the sins of schism and / or heresy, not apostasy.

Carlos Antonio Palad said...

Just to clarify, I consider conversion to INC as apostasy. The INC is not Christian.

Felix Manalo said...

Is Joining the Iglesia ni Cristo a Sin of Apostasy?


Chito Licuanan said...

< I agree with Mr. Carlos Palad and Mr. Felix Manalo. Furthermore, we must always be by the doctrines of the Catholic Church, where the Church of Christ subsist. Below is a provision from the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

"Outside the Church there is no salvation"
846 How are we to understand this affirmation, often repeated by the Church Fathers?[335] Re-formulated positively, it means that all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body:
Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and Baptism, and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through Baptism as through a door. Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it.[336]

847 This affirmation is not aimed at those who, through no fault of their own, do not know Christ and his Church:
Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience - those too may achieve eternal salvation >