The Face of War: Preacher in Exile Dares Powerful Nemesis to Finally Debate

By Jane Abao

An international evangelist, considered as the most queried man on earth today reiterated his need to face his powerful nemesis in a one-on-one debate on television live. Also counted as the most sensible preacher of our time today, his challenge is not one to be easily dismissed. Some quarters look at this challenge as a spur to the debate of the century long expected by those familiar with this preacher.

Filipino evangelist Bro. Eliseo Soriano who had exiled himself for expediency, reiterated today (23/1/2008) his challenge to a church leader of the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC, translated as Church of Christ) to come out in the open so that this man could defend his teachings. Soriano had been very critical of false preachers ever since, most especially those of the INC.

Eraño Manalo, the Executive Minister of the INC, one whom Soriano calls a false preacher, has been ignoring Soriano’s call for a debate. Soriano is the presiding minister of the Church of God, International, better known through their program, as Ang Dating Daan (The Old Path) by the public.

Eraño is the son of Felix Manalo, founder of the INC. He is politically a kingmaker in the Philippines for his bloc-voting congregation and is much sought after by politicians for help come election time.

Soriano, 61, left the Philippines in a hurry towards the end of 2005 when conditions turned sour to his interests as preacher, on the belief that Manalo had much to do with the string of cases maliciously filed against him. Word had reached the evangelist of impending events to happen. As he did not want anyone of his people to be sacrificed if they defended him, Soriano left the country upon advice of his security personnel.

A formal challenge to debate with Manalo was published by Soriano in one whole page of the broadsheet, Manila Times, in March 2005. The intention was to end once and for all the contentions between them and to let the public see who among them was telling the truth.

However, the INC Executive Minister Manalo merely told Soriano through his ministers in their TV program, Ang Tamang Daan (The Right Path), to debate with the Pope of Rome first and speak Latin before attempting to debate with him.

Ang Tamang Daan is an INC counterfeit of Ang Dating Daan (The Old Path), Soriano’s long running program which has won several awards. For the nth time, Soriano who has been based abroad for two years now is reiterating the call for debate with Manalo.

In a bible exposition where the interactive portion, “Ask Bro. Eli” was held today at Marinduque, south of Manila, via satellite from the United States, Soriano who is called Bro. Eli, has been challenged by a minister of the Iglesia ni Cristo or INC to explain why Soriano kept referring to his church as Iglesia ni Manalo (Church of Manalo). Soriano replied that there are so many churches of Christ but it is only the INC who refers to Christ as man and that he never was God at any time. Therefore, to make a distinction that the church of Christ he was referring to is the one that believes in Christ as man, Soriano had to refer to this group as Iglesia ni Manalo, he said.

Further, Soriano reasoned out that the Wesleyans did not find it offensive if their church was referred to as the Church of Wesley, just as the Mormons and the Aglipays did not feel slighted when they were referred to as the Mormon church or the Aglipayan church. Soriano also showed some documents on screen for the audience to see that Felix Manalo, the founder of this church, referred to the Iglesia ni Cristo as “my church.”

Piqued with the preacher’s answer, the minister of the INC (name unidentified to the audience) insisted that he could debate with Soriano at that very moment, but the latter countered that he must have the authority of Manalo first. The minister claimed that Soriano had been evading debate with his group, to which Soriano retorted that he was the one who had long been challenging Manalo to come out in the open and defend his teachings. He also warned the INC minister not to reverse the truth.

Answering from his seat abroad where is he based, Soriano said in a raised voice, “It is I who kept calling for Manalo to come out in the open and debate with me. Don’t you dare reverse the truth.”

As published in Wikipedia, “Eliseo Soriano posted a paid advertisement in Manila Times broadsheets and invited the camp of Iglesia ni Cristo in a one on one debate and discussion. The Iglesia ni Cristo answered Soriano on their program by asking him to debate first with Pope John Paul II which was bedridden at that time and died a few days after this was posted.”

The INC minister, who was tagged as the 14th inquirer in the “Ask Bro. Eli” portion of the program that night, walked out of the hall after failing to get what he wanted. As he left the hall, many of his followers took after him that several seats were vacated up front. However, even as the INC group left, there was excitement in the air.

It is nights like this that the audience becomes excited whenever one would dare challenge Bro. Eli. Until now, it is said, no one has proven this man wrong when it comes to biblical matters. His work history is one tracked with many exciting debates – with the losers leaving in bitterness after their erroneous teachings were exposed. Bro. Eli does not flinch whenever he comes face to face with false preachers, it is said. The INC are not excluded from the many fiery attacks of this evangelist.

It was evident that the inquirer was not there to ask questions on matters of faith or salvation but to register his angst and anger against the host for labeling their church as Iglesia ni Manalo.

Eliseo Soriano comes off as the most queried man on earth today. Working initially with Filipino audiences wherever they could be found, he had expanded on to international audiences. In his program, “Ask Bro Eli,” he is asked several questions ranging from relationships, to dreams, to ailments, to spiritual concerns, to management, to governance, to deep matters of truth, and he would answer by reading direct from the bible.

Each month, Soriano’s program gives off an average of 10 bible expositions where about 20 complex questions in each are asked and he would give long comprehensive answers. Each month, therefore, Soriano’s program that is held in the evening up to midnight could reap about 200-250 questions and each year, about 2,500 questions. The program had started its heydays in the radio then. Most of the questions are those not answered by the pastors of the inquirers. They included questions about idols, spirits, prayers, death, tithing, the real Jesus Christ, resurrection, judgment day, living, God the father, false preachers.

“Ask Bro. Eli ” has long been showcasing Soriano’s prowess in answering questions where most of the inquirers were enlightened and had joined Soriano’s faith – not excluding those from the Iglesia ni Cristo.

Soriano is now facing multiple charges in the Philippines filed by the Iglesia ni Cristo and its sympathizers – all of them arising from his work as evangelist. The witnesses are either those Soriano had excommunicated from his congregation for various offenses, public officials who had benefited from the bloc-voting practices of the INC, and even those who stood to gain from the filed cases.

The impact of the evangelist’s work has drastically reduced the membership of Manalo’s church that heavily depended on tithing – which practice Soriano has been preaching against. Tithing according to him is merely Mosaic law that is not applicable to Christians today.

Wanting to continue with his mission as one in a hurry, Soriano tries yet to be safe from those who would want his downfall. With his impressive humanitarian work of caring for the helpless of Philippine society, he feels he is not being given the justice due a Filipino citizen.

In one of the many earlier discussions of Soriano on Biblical topics, he had intimated that the last war to be fought will be a war between truth and evil.

Soriano had earlier filed a case with the International Human Rights Commission.

Author: kotawinters

After the path of truth wherever it leads me.

9 thoughts on “The Face of War: Preacher in Exile Dares Powerful Nemesis to Finally Debate”

  1. If not for this article, the members of the Iglesia ni Cristo continue to believe the stories being sown by their very own brothers.

    In one of their reports, they said the preacher was caught hiding behind an oil tanker in Pandacan.

    Yet, he was caught like a dog behind his tail, saying he had to change oil. All the time this was happening, Bro. Soriano was abroad – and still is.

    Hehe! Liars and incorrigible liars!

    Have you nothing else to do?

  2. If not for this article… Hmmm. Looks like you just want to believe the stories being sown by your own sisters which is incomplete, and not the whole story.

    Example: However, the INC Executive Minister Manalo merely told Soriano through his ministers in their TV program, Ang Tamang Daan (The Right Path), to debate with the Pope of Rome first and speak Latin before attempting to debate with him.

    The truth is that…. Eliseo F. Soriano refuses to debate INC Ministers who was appointed by Brother Erano G. Manalo at that time to debate with the ADD turned MCGI. Eliseo F. Soriano refuses to debate to Bro. Ramil Parba, Bro.Michael Sandoval, Bro.Maximo Bularan and even to the INC known debater Bro. Jose Ventilatcion. Eliseo F. Soriano hides to his “Puno sa Puno” challenge… in the history of Eliseo F. Soriano the INC asked him if he have had a debate with any of the Leader of the Church at that time… and that is the the only reason why the Pope was dragged into this, and not because the INC is afraid of Eliseo F. Soriano. On the same program, which I am sure no one from the ADD turned MCGI doesn’t want to know is that Bro. Ramil Parba and Bro.Michael Sandoval already answered this… If the ADD turned MCGI really wants to debate they don’t have to waste money with the press all they have to do is call… 981-4311. –>

    Another thing… The Iglesia Ni Cristo doesn’t practice “Tithing”. You are misinformed by your Preacher.


    1. L2S.SPSS, were you just born yesterday?

      You have mentioned your stand in your blog

      However, have you mentioned that your INC Minister Geron went there to give his opinion on his own [ “nasabi lang niya”] and not represent Manalo as representative in a debate?

      YouTube: Why do you particularly want to debate Ka Erdy?

      “A minister of Iglesia ni Cristo of Manalo enters a peaceful Bible Exposition in General Trias, Cavite. When a Moslem was called to ask question, he slip in and take the microphone. He introduced himself as an INC from Apalit. He pretends to ask question but actually he is not asking but arguing with the host Bro. Eli Soriano….”

      An INC Minister who introduced himself as Joselito Fernando Geron from Apalit Pampanga went in front to ask Bro. Eli, despite that he was not called yet, but a Muslim. This INC Minister Geron was there to clear things with his own opinionnasabi lang niya”? In YouTube: Why do you particularly want to debate Ka Erdy?

      What was Geron’s opinion?

      1. that his INC Executive Minister Erano “Ka Erdy” Manalo doesn’t retreat to a gentlemanly debate.
      2. that INC have no doctrine that states “Iglesia ni Cristo ni Manalo” and if Bro. Eli wanted to prove it, he do it through a gentlemanly debate.

      When Bro. Eli was about to clarify those statements, Geron interrupted him and wanted to immediately start his question. And not only that, he interrupted Bro. Eli by telling him that it was just his own opinion “nasabi ko lang”.

      Was there any reliable information that this Geron can impart in that event when he just ended his proclamation as his own opinions he just relayed or “nasabi ko lang’?

      Geron, since he doesn’t want Bro. Eli to state why INC is INC ni Manalo, he continued to ask:

      1. Why would you particularly wanted to fight brother Erano Manalo when you wanted to fight in the side of righteousness, to disprove wrong teachings and not the man or the preacher?

      Bro. Eli clearly stated the teachings in the Holy Bible, as expected from the most sensible preacher of this time. Bro Eli, as expected answered him based on the scripture.

      Ephesians 6:12

      “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

      Bro. Eli said he wanted to debate with the authorities/rulers. In this way, the followers will have no alibi when their Head Minister was proven wrong. The followers can just brush off with their embarrassment, but not the leader, should he lost in the debate.

      Bro Eli continued the related verses:

      II Corinthians 10:4

      (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)”

      Bro. Eli continued at verse 5,

      “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;”

      Bro. Eli highlighted that the Apostles fight not the flesh or the person himself but every high thing, the imaginations. Bro. Eli added, who did they fight it against?

      Ephesians 6:12

      “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world…”

      Bro. Eli, highlighted those they fight against as stated in Eph 6:12, …, against the rulers!

      Geron said that they just wanted to clarify that their INC Executive Minister Felix Manalo is not their pillar of faith. He continued saying that once Bro. Eli proved that the INCs’ teachings are wrong, and not the person, they will follow and believe in him. So he wanted a discussion about teachings not the preacher.

      Geron was insistent that Bro. Eli did not want to converse about the teachings. But Bro. Eli had highlighted the rulers and imagination that they fight against: “laban sa mga namamahala ng kadiliman.”

      Then Geron asked:

      2. Is it the literal person or the teachings?

      Bro. Eli said, it is the teachings and the authority who brings the teachings.

      Geron started saying that he will proceed to another question after he insisted and accused Bro. Eli of not wanting to converse about the teachings.

      And as expected, Bro. Eli won’t allow the accusation unanswered. Bro. Eli replied that even from the very beginning, he has been reading to him the teachings or verses from the scriptures.

      Bro. Eli continued with his answer, but Geron would remain interrupting him with disdainful remarks or throwing “patutsada”.

      Bro. Eli told Geron that if he has a question, he should quit treating him with disdain, to quit using his lying tongue or giving “patutsada” that Bro. Eli was getting angry.

      Since the Manalos have no guts to debate, Geron tried to treat Bro Eli with disdain. He questions Bro. Eli’s answer. He can’t just say that he wanted a debate because he has no authorization from Manalo. Instead he was pretending to be seeking for an answer from Bro. Eli.

      Geron continued and questioned a doctrine that they clash on which can be viewed in YouTube: If Holy Kiss is not cheek to cheek then what is HOLY KISS?

      INC Minister Joselito F. Geron stated that Bro. Eli claimed that the Holy kiss is not a holy kiss.

      The truth is that Bro. Eli did not say that Holy Kiss is not a Holy Kiss.

      Geron continued and asked –

      “…if the holy kiss is not “beso-beso” (a cheeks to cheeks kiss), what is then a holy kiss?”

      Bro. Eli Soriano waited for the loud applause of the audience to subside, then answered Geron back:

      “Why, do you believe that HOLY KISS is beso-beso?”

      That question, if Geron answers on that very moment, people might assume that Erano Manalo finally sent his authorized debater in his stead. So Geron evaded the clarification. Geron escaped the question thrown back to him and said that he came there to ask instead.

      Geron continues to interrupt, giving disdain remarks “patutsada” while Bro Eli Soriano was talking.

      But Geron tried very hard to evade the question, he didn’t answer if INC’s stand to “the holy kiss” is beso-beso or kiss on the cheek by cheek.

      L2S.SPSS, there’s no authorization that’s why Geron, as planned by his INC Admin, would try to say that he was just asking, not debating. But later on, Geron came up with a debate topic which contained deceptive premise and then claimed that Bro. Eli said it.

      Didn’t Bro. Eli explicitly read the teaching in the Holy BIble and Geron was just there to tell his opinion? Indeed, there was no authorization from INC Erano or Erdy Manalo, but only disdain remarks or “patutsada.”

      Geron continued to interrupt, so, Bro. Eli finally told Geron to affirm his intention to debate and he will answer him about the Holy Kiss.

      Now, Geron changed what Bro. Eli had just said. Geron said –

      “My countrymen, let’s make it official. He [Bro. Eli] said to affirm that the Iglesia will debate if it’s in pre-debate conference.”

      It’s clear that Geron was there to fight for Erano Manalo. He was consistently interrupting Bro. Eli. There were a lot of people who went there to ask, and the way Geron asked was truly different. He was rude.

      Bro. Eli told him to let Erano Manalo come out instead. Bro. Eli said that the worse part is that Geron’s leader was in the closet, hiding.

      Other vidoes: YouTube: Hamon sa Debate

      Response: AUTHORIZATION hamon ni Eli Soriano

    2. A Church leader is someone who leads his members. And it is his duty to protect his members by protecting the very core of their doctrines. And if a so-called leader passes on his duties to several ministers, what does this show us? A man who is most willing to let others fight his battles for him – a false leader.

      Bro. Soriano refused to debate with the ministers for they do not represent the Iglesia ni Manalo as a whole. And Bro. Soriano, a true leader as he is, wants Manalo to redeem himself and answer the questions posed on their Christ-is-mortal doctrines; to fight for your doctrines to once and for all end the television wars.

      There was no need to drag anyone else into the debate, not the pope or anyone else, if Manalo was only brave enough to answer Bro. Soriano’s biblical questions. But alas, he is nowhere to be found. He would rather his ministers resort to name-calling, bickering, and other immature manners of retaliation such as petty accusations, made-up charges, and perverted comic books, rather than that which is proper – a debate to be seen by everyone in the world.

      Anyone who believes that Ang Dating Daan (ADD), the longest-running religious program just turned into MCGI, the Members Church of God International is the one misinformed.

      ADD is the title of MCGI’s television program.

    3. Wormwood,

      Thanks for revealing what is true.

      And for pointing out who is running from whom in a debate.

      If you are the most knowledgeable in terms of biblical matters, you won’t run away. It’s as simple as that.

      Bro. Eliseo Soriano is the acknowledged Bible scholar who was never beaten in any debate on biblical matters.

      No one has surpassed that record until now.

    4. I need not say more… topwormwood already posted everything point by point. If L2S.SPSS will still refute those, I really don’t know what kind of brain he has, to think he is an intelligent person in his own right… a GEEK, so-to-speak. Better use your brain to comprehend on the truth and not let yourself drown with all of your lies.

  3. It was clear that INC ministers refuses to debate brother Eli Soriano on television which is a very peaceful venue to air discussions. It is very reasonable to have television as venue because of the history of INC in the past of hurting their enemies in a debate whenever the situation does not warrant their interest or if they are already in the losing end as discussion progresses in a live audience. INC ministers refuses to open their telecommunication lines on a live television program while ADD always accepts live phone calls which is the reason why INC members have the freedom to express their views and for INC ministers to confirm if they really want to have a debate on air. This is the reason why a lot of INC members like Cesar Adamos was dismayed with what INC was doing in order to avoid the debate to point of leaving INC which is the church that they loved in the past.

    The deception still remains in the hearts of fanatic INC members that they don’t refuse to debate despite the fact that their INC head has no record of debate at all and that their ministers have no inkling of accepting the debate on National Television.


  5. ..Manalo thinks that he is higher and better than the pope of the catholics that brother eli soriano needs to get past that first before he agrees to a debate..there is no purpose of having to learn how to speak latin first since Manalo himself does not know how to speak it..all the things they do is an evident tactic to avoid a debate because they know they would never win..funny thing is that they know they could never stand up against brother eli yet they stay firm to their backbone-less beliefs..i agree with Captain Smiley when he said that Manalo is “A man who is most willing to let others fight his battles for him”..his members are so busy posting hateblogs, finding faults, hurting and killing people all for his sake and the doctrine he made up from his mentally-twisted imagination..meanwhile Manalo, or whoever leads them now, could be up in their, untouched, and comfortable..thanks be to God because brother eli is way different..he cares about God, the gospel, his brothers and sisters, and his fellowmen..

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