There are ministers and members alike that are spreading the falsehood that we do not have the authority or right to criticize our leaders, most especially Mr. Eduardo V. Manalo. This falsehood is biblically unfounded and since our constitution as Christians is the Bible itself, only there must we find truth and answers.
There’s a first-person, first-hand account in the New Testament that will serve as an example to prove that a member of the Church Of Christ during the first century, not only opposed their leader, but opposed them to their face in full public view.
I’ve referenced this entire passage in full context under references below but please allow me to take a few verses out-of-context in this specific case, because even in doing so for the sake of brevity, the facts of the matter are unchanged, whether in-or-out-of-context.
Paul Criticizes And Opposes Peter (Galatians 2:6-9, 11 The Living Bible)
And the great leaders of the church who were there had nothing to add to what I was preaching. (By the way, their being great leaders made no difference to me, for all are the same to God.) 7-9 In fact, when Peter, James, and John, who were known as the pillars of the church, saw how greatly God had used me in winning the Gentiles…
11 But when Peter came to Antioch I had to oppose him publicly, speaking strongly against what he was doing, for it was very wrong.
It’s important to note that Peter was one of the First Twelve Apostles Of Christ. Paul, on the other hand, was not amongst the first original twelve chosen by Christ to be His disciples. Paul only became a disciple of Christ at a later time after Judas had already betrayed Jesus. But, even though Paul was a subordinate of Apostle Peter, he emphatically criticized and opposed Peter in full public view. And why did Paul criticize Peter? Because Peter was wrong. It’s that simple.
Was Paul reprimanded or expelled for criticizing his leader Peter? No. He was not. Paul remained a Disciple.
We have every right to question our leaders when they are wrong. When the actions of our leaders are going against the will of God, we have every right to expose them. (Ephesians 5: 8-14) Furthermore, since Paul made it clear in verse 6 that leaders and members are all the same to God, one need not be an Apostle to criticize our leaders. Even ordinary members can oppose their leaders, when their leaders are wrong.
There’s a two-tiered system of justice under the biblically fraudulent leadership of Mr. Eduardo V. Manalo. If you oppose or merely criticize EVM, you’re on the fast-track carpool lane to imminent expulsion. However, if you’re One With EVM and do his bidding, you can even partner with swindlers and still remain in EVM’s good graces.
However, since Christ is the head of the church, let’s examine briefly how he himself reacted to those that denied and opposed him.
There is a very good example of someone who denied our Lord Jesus Christ on three separate occasions, and yet wasn’t expelled from the Church Of Christ. You guessed it. Apostle Peter. The very Apostle who was wrong against Paul, was the same Apostle that denied knowing Christ on three separate occasions. (Luke 22:54-62)
Furthermore, in regards to the related topic of authority, Christ was very clear on how he regarded those who wrongly wants to exercise more dominance and supremacy. As proof, he reprimanded Apostles James and John when they wrongly wanted more authority and power. Christ instead encouraged them to be slaves and serve their subjects. (Mark 10: 35-45)
Did Christ expel Peter for denying him on three separate occasions? Did he expel James and John for being drunk with power? No. He corrected them and kept them as Apostles.
Let me be clear. I am in no way encouraging anyone to deny our Lord Jesus Christ in any way. Nor is my intention to belittle any of the Apostles for I respect them greatly. I am merely emphasizing the forgiving nature of Christ. And since we hold on to the resolve that Christ has purchased our sins with his blood and death, despite being unjustly expelled, we hold on firmly to the same resolve that we have been and still are true parts of His Body, The Church Of Christ.
Paul Criticizes And Opposes Peter (Galatians 2:6-21 The Living Bible)
And the great leaders of the church who were there had nothing to add to what I was preaching. (By the way, their being great leaders made no difference to me, for all are the same to God.) 7-9 In fact, when Peter, James, and John, who were known as the pillars of the church, saw how greatly God had used me in winning the Gentiles, just as Peter had been blessed so greatly in his preaching to the Jews—for the same God gave us each our special gifts—they shook hands with Barnabas and me and encouraged us to keep right on with our preaching to the Gentiles while they continued their work with the Jews. 10 The only thing they did suggest was that we must always remember to help the poor, and I, too, was eager for that.
11 But when Peter came to Antioch I had to oppose him publicly, speaking strongly against what he was doing, for it was very wrong. 12 For when he first arrived, he ate with the Gentile Christians who don’t bother with circumcision and the many other Jewish laws.[a] But afterwards, when some Jewish friends of James came, he wouldn’t eat with the Gentiles anymore because he was afraid of what these Jewish legalists, who insisted that circumcision was necessary for salvation, would say; 13 and then all the other Jewish Christians and even Barnabas became hypocrites too, following Peter’s example, though they certainly knew better. 14 When I saw what was happening and that they weren’t being honest about what they really believed and weren’t following the truth of the Gospel, I said to Peter in front of all the others, “Though you are a Jew by birth, you have long since discarded the Jewish laws; so why, all of a sudden, are you trying to make these Gentiles obey them? 15 You and I are Jews by birth, not mere Gentile sinners, 16 and yet we Jewish Christians know very well that we cannot become right with God by obeying our Jewish laws but only by faith in Jesus Christ to take away our sins. And so we, too, have trusted Jesus Christ, that we might be accepted by God because of faith—and not because we have obeyed the Jewish laws. For no one will ever be saved by obeying them.”
17 But what if we trust Christ to save us and then find that we are wrong and that we cannot be saved without being circumcised and obeying all the other Jewish laws? Wouldn’t we need to say that faith in Christ had ruined us? God forbid that anyone should dare to think such things about our Lord. 18 Rather, we are sinners if we start rebuilding the old systems I have been destroying of trying to be saved by keeping Jewish laws, 19 for it was through reading the Scripture that I came to realize that I could never find God’s favor by trying—and failing—to obey the laws. I came to realize that acceptance with God comes by believing in Christ.[b]
20 I have been crucified with Christ: and I myself no longer live, but Christ lives in me. And the real life I now have within this body is a result of my trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I am not one of those who treats Christ’s death as meaningless. For if we could be saved by keeping Jewish laws, then there was no need for Christ to die.
Peter Denies Jesus And Weeps Bitterly (Luke 22:54-62)
54 Having arrested Him, they led Him and brought Him into the high priest’s house. But Peter followed at a distance. 55 Now when they had kindled a fire in the midst of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat among them. 56 And a certain servant girl, seeing him as he sat by the fire, looked intently at him and said, “This man was also with Him.”
57 But he denied Him,[f] saying, “Woman, I do not know Him.”
58 And after a little while another saw him and said, “You also are of them.”
But Peter said, “Man, I am not!”
59 Then after about an hour had passed, another confidently affirmed, saying, “Surely this fellow also was with Him, for he is a Galilean.”
60 But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are saying!”
Immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster[g] crowed. 61 And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had said to him, “Before the rooster crows,[h] you will deny Me three times.” 62 So Peter went out and wept bitterly.
Walk in Light (Ephesians 5: 8-14 NKJV)
8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the Spirit[b] is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), 10 finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. 11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. 13 But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. 14 Therefore He says:
“Awake, you who sleep,
Arise from the dead,
And Christ will give you light.”
Only One Gospel (Galatians 1:6-10 NKJV)
6 I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, 7 which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.
10 For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.