A Supreme Court Decision Cannot Affect the Belief of Christians in Exercising God’s Law.

By Christiandefenders

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.

http://www.philippinestoday.net/August2001/saakingpaningin801.htm

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.

(Acts 5:27-30)

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.

http://sc.judiciary.gov.ph/jurisprudence/2001/dec2001/137592.htm

“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

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A Response to the Ignorant Accusation of Abe Arganiosa of Changing Names and Establishing a Church

On Abe Arganiosa’s recent article entitled,  “BY WHAT AUTHORITY DID THE ANG DATING DAAN NAMED THEIR CHURCH – CHURCH OF GOD INTERNATIONAL?”, the priest has falsely accused us of changing the name of our organization and establishing our own church. Let me examine the flaws of his argument and prove that his accusation is just a hearsay and does not have any solid ground for a rational person to believe the things that he is saying on his blog. Our goal is to resolve the issues and prove that we did not establish our church and we did change the name of our organization.

Evidently, one of the doctrines that our organization follows that also be read on our website under Church General Declaration and Doctrines on section 4  says.

http://www.angdatingdaan.org/about/about_doctrines.htm

We believe that the Gentile nations including the Philippines, are partakers of the promise, the ETERNAL LIFE, through belief in Christ Jesus and the Gospel and are not authorized by God TO ESTABLISH THEIR OWN CHURCH, but are mere members associated with the same body or Church written in the Gospel by accepting and executing the doctrines written by the Apostles ( Ephe. 3:6; Col. 1:18; I John 2:25; 1:3-4; I Cor. 12:27; Psalm 127:1; I Tim. 3:15 ).

It was clearly stated that we are not authorized by God to establish our own church. It is very illogical to accuse us of establishing our own church while we believe that it is not necessary for us to do that. What we just have to do is to associate ourselves and become members of the same body or Church written in the Gospel.

(Ephesians 3:6) New American Standard Bible

to be specific, that the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel,

The body that was stated on the verse refers to the church.

(Colossians 1:18)

And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.

As I have stated above, we are not authorized to establish our own church. What we have to do is to become members of the Church which was  established by God. How are we going to do that?

(1 Juan 1:3)

That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.

The primary reason why the Apostles declared the word of God to the Christians and put it into writing is for them to have fellowship with the Apostles. We associate ourselves with the Church of God by accepting and executing the doctrines written by the Apostles. Although the Catholic Church may claim that there religion has existed for 2000 years, if they are not truly following what was declared by the apostles, they are not in any way in fellowship with them.

Another thing that we are going to address is the accusation that we are changing our names because they can see several names filed in the Securities and Exchange Commission which refers to our organization. That is another example of an ignorant accusation because filing different names in SEC of an organization does not necessarily follow that we are changing our names. There is no prohibition in SEC of filing different names which refers only to a single entity.

Base on the scriptures, the Church of God was also known by different names. Some of the names that can be read in the bible related to the Church of God are; church of the saints (1 Corinthians 14:33), church of the gentiles (Romans 16:4), church of Christ (Romans 16:16), church of God (1 Thes. 2:14). Let us consider that the writer of the epistles where these verses can be found is Saint Paul. It doesn’t mean that Paul keeps on changing the name of the Church because the church in reality are called by different names.

The question which Abe Arganiosa and his minions are trying to magnify is… Why do we use the word “International” on one of our names? This will require a very logical explanation of verses that I am going to show to our readers.

Remember that when the Apostle Paul wrote to the Christians in Corinth, he addressed them as the “Church of God in Corinth”(1 Corinthians 1:2); when Paul wrote to the Christians in Thessalonia, he addressed them as the church of the Thessalonians (2 Thes. 1:1). The place connected to the name “Church of God” depends upon the location of Christians. Fortunately, Christians were also scattered abroad.

(James 1:1)

James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.

In order to best describe the location of Christians in the present, we prefer to use the word “International” which means that Christians are located internationally.

In summary, we have proven that the basis for an organization to be associated with the Church established by God in the bible, is by following  and executing the doctrines and tenets being declared by the Apostles. To claim that your group is existing for 2000 years is not enough to conclude that you are truly associated with the Apostles. We have also clarified that there are really different names which refers to the Church of God but it doesn’t follow that the Church of God is changing its name.  Lastly, we understand that the location of Christians was use in the bible with the way the Apostles addressed them in their letters. Since Christians today are scattered in different countries internationally, it is best to use the word “International” to address them in today’s era.

God Bless You!