By Robert Clarita and Jason Veran
Muntinlupa, Philippines – Despite the distance of locations, the Walking-Bible Preacher did not miss the chance to put on a good fight with an Iglesia ni Cristo challenger. Bro. Eliseo Soriano, during the live Bible Exposition held on November 30, 2010, once again used his biblical skills to enlighten the INC advocate as well as the thousand audiences who attended the event.
An hour-long debate took place on-the-spot when an inquirer, an INC member, challenged the Ang Dating Daan host. This was least anticipated for that moment as inquirers were supposed to ask questions related to biblical matters. The question-and-answer portion is part of the regular exposition program
The issue raised by the challenger was that there is no god called “Real God” in the Bible except one, the Almighty God.
The Iglesia ni Cristo’s eminent doctrine is that Jesus Christ is human and never a god. This is the crux of the stand of the challenger. Bro. Eli, in contrast, had defended the MCGI belief that Christ is God according to the Bible.
The INC challenger cited Jeremiah 10:10-11. He interpreted that the verse stated that the real God is the one who created the heavens and all of the creations as well. His supposition was that the Creator was alone during the time of creation, and that Jesus Christ is human because he was also a creation of God the Father. He also stated that other gods are not real gods and shall perish. He supported this argument with the verse with John 17:3, stating that the verse cited “only true God”.
Bro. Eli took his turn and he agreed that false gods will perish by also citing Jeremiah 10:10. However, he strongly refuted the challenger’s claim that Christ is not a real God. Citing Hebrew 13: 8, he emphasized the obvious statement in there that Jesus Christ shall live forever. Christ is not included in those who will perish; therefore Christ is real God, as Bro. Eli explained.
The Ang Dating Daan host also gave an explanation of Christ’s deity. Upon creation, God the Father casts the foundations of the heavens and Christ was with the Father then. Christ is a witness of the creation. These were the explanations of Bro. Eli citing the book of Proverbs 8:22.
Bro. Eli also added that in I Corinthians 1:24 and I Corinthians 2:6 -8, Christ is the power and the knowledge of God. The biblical fact mentioned had disproved the claim of the opponent that Christ wasn’t part of the creation.
Addressing the other claim of the INC challenger that Christ is human and countering it, Bro. Eli read John 1:18. It stated that the son of God came from His bosom. Christ was not created but he was brought out from the bosom of God. In contrast man was created from dust. Therefore Christ is not man but God, as explained by Bro. Eli.
The debate reached three rounds before it wrapped up. Bro. Eli had no record of being defeated by any religious debate since he started leading the organization, Members Church of God International (MCGI). The recent debate is no different from the previous ones.
In concluding, Bro. Eli addressed his opponent’s hardcore belief, stating sympathy to the opponent’s state and wishing him to have his understanding in the Bible be corrected.
Although there were many incidents and attempts of debates during the live Bible Expositions, the recent debate once again reminded the audience of Bro. Eli’s flair with the Bible.
Bro. Eli, is the only preacher today who could hold programs like “Itanong Mo Kay Soriano” and Bible Exposition series that are dedicated for the audience’s queries with their concerns basically about the Bible and spirituality. For that, he became very much in-demand with his broadcasts both in local and international territories. This also attracts enemies who wanted him down.
Early quarter of 2011, countries like Argentina and India were the most recent additions to the countries where Bro. Eli’s broadcast could be heard through radio and Television programs with the international title of the program “The Old Path.” In India the reception of the audience was overwhelming through letters being sent to the administrators also by the number of the listeners as reported to the congregation during the weekly gathering of MCGI.
The debate that took place is viewable in the YouTube and it became almost viral within the debate-aficionados and followers of Bro. Eli’s broadcast alike.
Bro. Eli is actively preaching over the Internet through live stream broadcast in his web video site, Truthcaster.com and also in his official blog Esoriano.Wordpress.com. He has been in media broadcast for 30 years now and is in his 47th year in leading the MCGI congregation.