In the Iglesia Ni Cristo of Manalo, members generally understand the laying on of hands as ordination. A minister who already graduated in New Era University (the educational institution of the Iglesia Ni Cristo in the Philippines), to be a full-pledged minister, he must be ordained through the laying on of hands. The one who officiates the laying on of hands is the executive minister, Eraño Manalo.
So, basically, the laying on of hands means ordination. That is the members’ general understanding. Once a minister has been laid hands on, he is already ordained. And if you happen to be one of the selected choir members to sing in an ordination ceremony, you will really see Eraño Manalo perform the laying on of hands.
Even in chapels, when a worker prays after the worship service, you will see that his hands are held down. But if you see that his hands are held up, that worker is already an ordained minister. In Pasugo, June 1977, pictured in the cover are ministers of the Iglesia Ni Manalo being ordained, kneeling down before Eraño Manalo who performs the laying on of hands.
So the process of giving authority to a minister in the Iglesia Ni Manalo is by ordination through the laying on of hands. The one who ordains is Eraño Manalo. The question is: who ordained Eraño Manalo? Who laid hands on him and gave him authority over the church?
In Liwanag Illustrated Magazine, another publication of the Iglesia Ni Cristo:
“Published by Iglesia ni Cristo. Head Office: Central Office of the Iglesia ni Cristo, No. 1 Central Avenue, New Era, Quezon City, Philippines. Third issue. Copyright 1999.”
On page 45:
Si kapatid na Eraño G. Manalo ay naordenahan bilang ministro noong Mayo 10, 1947.
Brother Eraño G. Manalo was ordained a minister on May 10, 1947.
In the illustration, the one kneeling down is Eraño Manalo as he was being ordained by his father Felix Manalo. He was ordained on May 10, 1947, his father’s birthday. Now we know it was Felix Manalo who ordained his son Eraño Manalo. But this information is not enough. We must investigate further who laid hands on and ordained Felix Manalo himself, the founder of the Iglesia Ni Cristo.
The laying of hands on Felix Manalo is never being taught in the worship services of the Iglesia Ni Cristo. Even those who were “offered”, or people who have been INC members almost all their lives, never hear of any topic regarding this. No matter how active an INC member you are, even if you have a duty in the locale and never absent yourself during Thursday and Sunday services, even if you have studied in the evangelical ministry in New Era University, you will not hear of any topic about anyone who had laid hands on and ordained Felix Manalo. Inside the domain of the Iglesia Ni Manalo, no such topic is ever being discussed!
Why is that so? Why is it not being taught to the members? Why is it not being taught by the ministers, pastors, division administrators, or even by Eraño Manalo? Is it not important to know who laid hands on and ordained the founder of the Iglesia Ni Cristo? What is really the meaning of ordination according to their ministers?
In a special edition of Pasugo, titled “75 Blessed Years of the IGLESIA NI CRISTO”, published on July 27, 1989, on pages 154-155:
The Laying On Of Hands
Ordination to the sacred ministry is the election by God of men who are to propagate the Word to reconcile man with his Creator. The laying on of the hands of the elder or Church Administrator is an investiture of the divine and holy character that elevates the ordinand to a position of dignity and honor, giving him the privilege to offer God his best service and the power and authority to lead the Church congregation in public worship.
That says it all. Ordination or the laying on of hands is giving a minister “the power and authority to lead the Church congregation in public worship.” That’s according to their official publication. That is how important to the Iglesia ni Cristo the laying on of hands is. Therefore, it is equally important to know who laid hands on Felix Manalo and gave him authority over the church. But before we acquaint ourselves with them, let us examine first what Felix Manalo’s belief is regarding those who are authorized to lay hands. Are the any requirements?
In Pasugo, March 1939, page 17:
“…only those elected by God by means of prophecy or direct calling can lay hands.” This is the belief of Felix Manalo, published in their official magazine. So if anyone laid hands on Felix Manalo, he must have been elected by God by means of prophecy or direct calling, according to Pasugo. Let us confirm.
Here is a document from the Iglesia Ni Cristo which contains information concerning Felix Manalo’s ordination.
This is an invitation to an event held by the Iglesia ni Kristo which includes the programme. An excerpt of the introductory part on the left page translates in English as:
“Gentlemen: We cordially invite your majesty to the celebration concerning the THANKSGIVING due to the FIFTH YEAR LIFE of “IGLESIA NI KRISTO” in the Philippines and the LAYING OF HANDS on brother Felix Manalo in the duty of Pastor and Administrator of the Church.”
What was to take place in the event? “…the LAYING OF HANDS on brother Felix Manalo in the duty of Pastor and Administrator of the Church.” So someone laid hands on Felix Manalo. But why is this not being taught to the members? Why are they keeping the details secret? The answer is in the document. On the right page, no. 7, they have enumerated the names of those who laid hands on and ordained Felix Manalo.
Here’s the translation:
“7. The laying of hands on brother Felix Manalo will be officiated by Bishops and Pastors of different Churches established in the Archipelago, of whom are the Reverend Alejandro Reyes, Victoriano Mariano, Gil Domingo, Guillermo Zarco, Nicolas Fajardo, Emiliano Quijano and Roque Bautista.”
“Bishops and Pastors of different Churches,” they are the ones who laid hands on Felix Manalo. This is the reason why the ordination of Felix Manalo is never being taught or discussed in the Iglesia Ni Cristo. It is shameful and terrifying!
Imagine, those who laid hands on your “messenger” are pastors of different religions! Can you swallow that? That is the reason why it is being kept secret from the members. What members know is that God gave Felix Manalo authority to lead the church. But is that really the case? Let us examine further.
The one who ordains ministers in the Iglesia ni Cristo is Eraño Manalo, who was ordained by his father Felix Manalo, who was ordained by pastors of different religions established in the Philippines. It’s like a chain reaction. But what is the viewpoint of Felix Manalo towards protestant pastors and preachers of other religious groups? I bet you already have an idea. But let us consult the incontestable evidence, the official magazine of the Iglesia ni Cristo.
In Pasugo, August 1961, page 39:
“At the end of this publication, we now ought to reject the catholic priests and the protestant pastors, for they are ministers of satan. We also ought to reject the Catholic Church and the different protestant churches, for they are not of God, but of satan or the devil. Rejecting them and their erroneous doctrines is your obedience to God, to Christ and to the Apostles.”
Those who laid hands on Felix Manalo, the “Bishops and Pastors of different Churches” who gave him “the power and authority to lead the Church congregation” are “not of God, but of satan or the devil.” All these are according to their own publications.
Now you know why it is kept secret who laid hands on Felix Manalo. Only fools will join an organization whose leader was ordained by satan. Their members know well their doctrine that catholic priests are of the devil, because it is always being preached in their worship services. And yet the same catholic priests and protestant pastors whom they accuse of being of satan are the ones who laid hands on Felix Manalo. If they won’t keep this secret, their members will really evacuate.