In my previous article, we were able to learn that the Church of God is also known by other names according to the Holy Scriptures. We also found out that registration of different names in the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is not an evidence that we are changing the name of our organization because an entity is not prohibited to register and use different names at the same time on different transactions on Philippine Laws. In this article, we will discuss the great difference between a Christian’s obedience to the law of God apart from the law of man.
Let us keep in mind that Christians were commanded by God to submit themselves to governing authorities.
(Romans 13:1-7) NIV
Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. For he is God’s servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God’s servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience.
This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.
That is the reason why as a requirement of law, we ought to register our organization in the Securities and Exchange Commission. Registry is not our basis in establishing a church. It is an act of submission to authorities as commanded by God base on the Holy Scriptures. As subjects, we pay our taxes, we abide by the laws of the land and we don’t incite any rebellion as part of the Christian conduct.
Sad to say, the Catholic Church of today is in-submissive to the government. The name of their church is not even registered in SEC. When the Senate tries to impose a law fort taxing them, they strongly oppose it on their pulpits by bashing politician who are still in power.
The entire priesthood, with their cardinals, bishops and priests are not paying taxes (like property tax) or get a Community Tax Certificate from the government. What they earn from their religious businesses where millions of their wealth can be found is free of tax. Part of the money is sent to Rome, for the needs of the Pope and its clergymen, and is also made as investment of the Financial Minister of the Vatican in order to make it prosperous. These religious people are the first one to break God’s law of submission to authorities.
The Catholic Church’s blatant in-submission to authorities is an evidence that they don’t really uphold the Christian teachings.
However, base on the Holy Scriptures, if a Christian is confronted with a situation wherein obeying God’s law would require to break man’s law, he should choose to obey God rather than man. For example, when the high priest forbade the apostles to preach the word of God openly, Peter sternly said that they would rather obey God than men.
And when they had brought them, they set them before the council: and the high priest asked them, Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us. Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree.
In many countries, there are laws of man that are in conflict with the laws of God. Say for example Italy where Rome and the Vatican is located. In Italy, same sex marriage, abortion, divorce, prostitution are all legal which are all completely against the laws of God. In Muslim countries, religious rites which is completely different from the rites of the state religion is completely prohibited. People who will be caught practicing such rites will be put in jail which entirely opposes the law of the Christian God.
Apparently, an article in Abe Arganiosa’s blog tackles a Supreme Court ruling that states that we can no longer use the name “Members of the Church of God the Pillar and Ground of Truth Philippines Inc.” and that we should change our name. I’m going to quote a paragraph from the Supreme Court decision below.
“We need not belabor the fourth issue raised by petitioner. Certainly, ordering petitioner to change its corporate name is not a violation of its constitutionally guaranteed right to religious freedom. In so doing, the SEC merely compelled petitioner to abide by one of the SEC guidelines in the approval of partnership and corporate names, namely its undertaking to manifest its willingness to change its corporate name in the event another person, firm, or entity has acquired a prior right to the use of the said firm name or one deceptively or confusingly similar to it.”
This is what the ignorant priest uses in order to make it appear that we did change our name. While it is true that we are known by several names, changing names as part of the Christian doctrine is never our teaching. The law of the land can compel us not to use the name “Members of the Church of God the Pillar and Ground of Truth Philippines Inc.” in our transactions or streamers but it cannot force us to refrain from teaching that such name refers to us. In addition, it cannot force us to change our teaching as to what name to use. We can still say that the name which they require us to change still belongs to us as part of our teaching. No law of man can change that. However, as part of our submission to authorities, we can still use other names that we have successfully registered in SEC for our transactions. As of today, we are known as the “Members of the Church of God International”. We use that name in transacting with the government as well on our banners and our streamers but it doesn’t mean that other names which refers to us is not part of our teaching.
To summarize the points in this article, I’m going to leave simple answers to these questions.
Did we change the name of our organization because of Supreme Court Ruling? NO
Do we have different names registered in SEC that we can use for our convenience? YES
Filed under: abe arganiosa, Christianism | Tagged: abe arganiosa, Ang Dating Daan, apostle, authorities, Bro. Eli Soriano, catholic church, change, Christian, Christianity, church, government, law, mosaic law, Moses, Paul, Philippines, priest, Securities and Exchange Commission, submission, Supreme Court, teaching, trial, Vatican, wealth |