The masterminds of the rebellion in INC – Angel and Marc Manalo
The Birth of Resentment
Early on, Angel and Marc Manalo (along with their mother, Mrs. Tenny and sister, Lottie) had quietly resisted the forthcoming ascension of their older brother to the highest office in the Church. They worried that their existing privileges as immediate family members of the then Executive Minister would be severely curtailed, if not totally cut. They had seen how their own father, Bro. Erano, did something similar with his own siblings when he assumed the office of Executive Minister. And not because he was unkind but because it was the proper thing to do.
The brothers were concerned that Bro. Eduardo would take his father’s lead once he’s seated, thereby putting at risk their prized “entitlements” and the lifestyle they had gotten accustomed to. Moreover, they feared that they would lose whatever top positions they might have had their eye on — what they had assumed to be their rightful place in the Church hierarchy by virtue of their being “apo ng sugo” (grandchildren of the Last Messenger). To them, it didn’t matter whether they were qualified for those positions or not; that was beside the point.
Bro. Eduardo was, if anything, more than compassionate with his mother and siblings. He did not suspend their privileges for years after he rose to the office he was elected to hold. All he asked in return was for them to give him the respect his office deserves — no more, no less than what God has commanded His people to give the leaders of His nation. (1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 ESV). After all, he was no longer just Mrs. Tenny’s oldest son anymore, or his younger siblings’ “Kuya”. More than that, he was now THE Executive Minister of the Iglesia ni Cristo, the leader whom God has chosen to steward His nation in these last days. He didn’t have to demand respect, it should have simply been accorded to him.
Instead of appreciation though, the ungrateful brothers, repaid the new Executive Minister’s kindness with smugness, stubbornness and blatant disrespect. And their mother, rather than reprimanding her younger sons and serving as model of Christian humility and submission toward the incumbent Administration, not only encouraged her younger sons’ belligerence. Recovered notes of hers (in her own handwriting), showed that she herself was actively involved in plotting to undermine the Administration of her oldest son!
<credit to brethren who posted these images on FB>
Stopped from meddling in Church affairs, in general, and spurned from securing positions she thought commensurate with her favorite sons’ stature, in particular, she harbored deep resentment toward the young Executive Minister.
In addition to their mother, the brothers were also championed by their “feeling entitled” and rebellious oldest sister, Lottie, who, incidentally, NOT EVEN ONCE held a duty or volunteered her services to the Church!
Resentment escalates to contempt
Behaving like the “princes” of time past, Angel and Marc would show up late for ministerial class but would refuse to write a statement explaining their tardiness. This is a clear demonstration of contempt for rules that were implemented as far back as Bro. Felix Manalo’s time and onwards to Bro. Eduardo’s time. That they pushed back on the discipline imposed for their misconduct is an example cited by their peers of the brothers’ “blue-blood” aristocratic arrogance, thinking the rules don’t apply to them but only to “lowlifes”!
As if that wasn’t enough, in an overt display of irreverence for the ministry, the brothers stopped attending ministerial class altogether, thereby abandoning their primary duty as ministers, which is to preach to the flock. [Note: To those who may not know, it is during these weekly classes when lessons are taught to ministers, along with guidelines on how to effectively preach the lessons. Other instructions from the Administration are also disseminated during these classes. Attendance is a requirement to get a preaching assignment (“suguan”). If one does not attend, one does not receive a “suguan” and therefore, may not preach.]
Interestingly enough, the brothers continued to draw their weekly stipend (“tulong”) during this time! But even the manner in which they received their “tulong” was something they resented because they were made to wait on line for their turn, along with other ministers. By golly, wasn’t that the height of insult… treating them as if they were “commoners”!! Making them wait on line! How. Dare. Them!
Eventually, overwhelming pride kicked in and they stopped going to the “tulong” line.
Notice how this has become their pattern from then on… Instead of humbling and submitting themselves to the Administration, as is expected of ANY member, more so one who is called into the holy ministry, Angel and Marc continued to behave as the VIP and “princes” they once were — special, exempt from rules, superior, prideful, and stubborn.
Again we ask, are these the qualities of a true leader? And ministers at that! Are these the ones you’d rather follow and believe?
To be continued…