MANILA, Philippines – Expelled minister Isaias Samson says those who have been criticizing the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) are not out to build a separate church but instead seek only reformation from within.
Asked during an exclusive interview whether he foresees a revolution being waged inside the century-old church, Samson says, “Hindi natin tatawaging revolution, more on reformation… ako’y naniniwala na…matapos ang malaking pagsubok na ito, pag nalinis ang Iglesia, lalong magiging matatag ang Iglesia.”
(We won’t call it a revolution, more on reformation…I believe that after this huge challenge, once the Iglesia is cleansed, it will become stronger.)
The INC has been wracked by controversy of late, stemming from allegations of corruption, abductions of ministers, and the extravagant lifestyles of its leaders. Members flocked to EDSA, heeding the call of ministers who called for justice and who protested the alleged special attention being given by the justice department to the illegal detention case filed by Samson against 8 members of the Iglesia’s Sanggunian or Council.
Samson says the Iglesia ni Cristo – from which he was recently expelled because of allegations of corruption he himself made – is a different church from the one he joined more than 4 decades ago.
As early as 4 or 5 years ago, Samson says, he had spoken out against irregularities inside the church. “Kaya lang parang nauwi sa tengang may takip…wala pong nakikinig.” (But it landed on deaf ears…no one was listening.) He says he knew the effects on the church of speaking about corruption, but he could not allow the church to be totally destroyed by it.
The only way to clean up the church is to expel those who need to be taken out, he adds, alluding to select leaders whose lifestyles run counter to the teachings of the Iglesia. “Ako’y naniniwala na kapag nilinis ang Iglesia, masakit, may mga tatanggalin.” (I believe that when the Iglesia is cleaned up, it will be painful, but there will be people who will be expelled.)
Samson speaks at greater length about other issues and threats that continue to face the Iglesia. Let’s listen to this conversation between him and Rappler’s Investigative head, Chay Hofileña. – Rappler.com
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