The way Bro. Eli uses strong words in Filipino such as “Tanga” (Stupid), “Gago” (fool), and “Ulol” (Crazy), really caught my attention. This preacher is cool, I thought, because he is the only preacher in the world that I know who uses those words.
By Franklin Catunao
I come from the Division of Metro Manila. I was raised in a very religious family of the Catholic Faith wherein I learned how to recite the repetitious prayers of “The Apostles Creed, “ “Hail Mary,” “Our Father,” “Glory Be,” “Salve Regina,” and all sorts that Catholics recite.
As a family, we also had a routine going to Church every Sunday as our family bonding. I used to get irritated whenever I encountered people criticizing the Catholic Belief like those members of the INC, Evangelicals and Baptist Churches. The only reason why I watched their programs on television was because there’s nothing else to watch in the morning and religion is my favorite subject next to Science because I find it very controversial.
Although we were a Catholic Family, we also entertained preachers from other religious denominations to conduct bible study in our home as referred by our family friends. Some of them came from “The Seventh Day Adventist Church,” “ Iglesia ng Dios Haligi’t Suhay” and the “Evangelicals” or the Born Again Movement.
We also welcomed the missionaries of the “Jehovah’s Witnesses” whenever they conducted their house-to-house missions and bought some copies of their books and magazines. We even attended the “El Shaddai” group of Mike Velarde. However, none of them ever convinced us from leaving the Catholic Faith completely. We just had a belief that all religions that existed came from God and each of them has a different approach to salvation.
I was able to hear Bro. Eliseo Soriano on radio in different occasions like his broadcast on DZXQ in the morning and on DZBB on Don Manolo’s Program. I saw him preaching on IBC 13 and RJTV 29 but I didn’t pay much attention to him. It just irritated me whenever he attacked “Christmas” and “Tithes” on his radio and television programs.
However, the way Bro. Eli uses strong words in Filipino such as “Tanga” (Stupid), “Gago” (fool), and “Ulol” (Crazy), really caught my attention. I thought that this preacher is cool because he is the only preacher in the world that I know who uses those words.
Whenever being asked why he uses those words, the preacher would respond in a very biblical and logical manner. Although his beliefs are very different from the beliefs that I learned from childhood, the way he rationalized things with Biblical basis really convinced me that he is telling the truth.
I also found it exciting to watch his debates with other Pastors and the way he was able to put them to shame. His style on pointing out the flaws of the other camp is very unique. Some famous lines that I recall were, “Kung mabasa ko, tatanggapin mo talo ka na?” (If I can read to you a proof from the bible, will you accept that you are now beaten?) and “Kung mapatunayan ko, tatanggapin mo manloloko ka?” (If I can prove, will you accept that you are a deceiver?).
Those lines really had a big impact on my life. It came to a point wherein I found myself using them whenever I discussed things with my classmates. In fact, my classmates described me in our Yearbook as someone who will challenge anyone to a debate, armed with tips from my idol, Bro. Eli Soriano. Later on, I tried to seek the nearest locale in our place in order to attend ADD’s church services and request for a Bible Study in our home. The brothers and sisters convinced me to attend Mass Indoctrination because a Mass Indoctrination is better than a Bible Study in many ways. I attended Mass indoctrination twice for I wasn’t able to finish it the first time because I was very busy at school.
When my friends from “Iglesia ng Dios Haligi’t Suhay” learned that I am an avid fan of the Ang Dating Daan program hosted by Bro. Eli, they tried to conduct Bible Studies in our home again. This time, they brought news that Bro. Eli is an excommunicated member of their Church because of evil deeds. Surprisingly, this was the same time where Bro. Eli Soriano was also answering these allegations.
Bro. Armando Policarpio who was a Defense Minister and Baptizer of “Haligi’t Suhay,” was negotiating to reconcile both parties and was his guest. I also asked my friends and their Church Worker Eddie Española different questions regarding the Bible which were commonly asked to Bro. Eli Soriano.
Most of their answers were similar to what I’ve heard from Bro. Eli except for questions which came from the preacher himself which they couldn’t answer. After throwing questions at them which I’ve heard from the ADD Program, they would acknowledge that Bro. Eli Soriano is really good in discussing Biblical Matters but they would later on point out that he is an evil person.
After a series of Bible Studies with them, they suddenly gave up on me and stopped coming to my house anymore. I almost got completely convinced on everything that they said about Bro. Eli. However, I believe that God had intervened because their allegations were also answered by Bro. Eli the same time that I still got contact with them.
I later on decided to go back to the nearest ADD locale to continue with the Mass Indoctrination. Although at times I still needed to escape our house in order to attend it, I was baptized on exactly the same day that the group of Bro. Armando Policarpio decided to join ADD. I am now very happy that after searching for truth from different churches, God was able to lead me to the right Path which I believe would lead me to salvation.