Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Ideas On Ministering to an INC Friend

Over the past few days, the cult commonly known as INC or Iglesia ni Cristo, has been embroiled in a controversy involving alleged corrupt practices, misuse of power, and even criminal acts by top-level leaders of the group. These allegations are still being investigated, and in the meantime, the organization has expelled several prominent leaders.
As evangelical Christians, how do we respond to this controversy? At the very least, we should think about how we might minister to our friends and acquaintances who are part of the INC.
  • Use this as an opportunity to embarrass my friend or make a public denouncement of his religion. 
  • Approach him with an air of moral superiority and a "see-I-told-you-so" tone. 
  • I probably wouldn't confront him right away with the Doctrine of the Trinity. While this really is one of the foundational and damning errors of the INC, it is also one in which their members are very strongly indoctrinated, and therefore close-minded. Besides, the deity of Jesus Christ is something that has to be studied seriously and in a humble attitude -- things I probably wouldn't be encouraging in my INC friend if I started debating with him. 
  • I probably wouldn't settle for handing him a gospel tract or giving a one-time gospel presentation. That is, of course, assuming that gradual, long-term ministry is a realistic prospect.
What I WOULD Do 
  • Ask him about what the INC means to him, and how he feels about recent events. I'd try to find out as much as I can about how he thinks and what his convictions are. 
  • Point out what the Bible says about the true church of Christ. It's not an organization, but a body of born-again believers who know and understand the grace of God. 
  • Capitalize on whatever credibility I've built up with him to invite him to study the Bible together. The reason why it can be so difficult to witness to cult members is because cults use the proof-texting method, which makes them seem 'biblical.' Here's how it works: They find a passage of Scripture that they can use to 'prove' their false teaching, and then interpret it without any proper regard to the literary context of the passage. (This is like twisting someone's words to make it seem like she said something that she really didn't.) So ideally, witnessing to 'proof-texters' should start with the most basic ideas of biblical Christianity, and then build up gradually from there. Practically speaking, this means Bible studies.

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