The fundamental principles for a modern Christian Church

Wednesday April 10, 2013 ()

General Aguinaldo and Bishop Aglipay
(General Aguinaldo and Bishop Aglipay)

(A speech by Bishop Gregorio Aglipay at an assembly of Aglipayans to draft the Constitution of the Filipino Independent Church, Tondo, Manila, in December, 1902.)

We have come together to make the Constitution of our National Church, basing it on the doctrines of our Lord Jesus. In such a moment as this, it is fitting to recall to our minds the words of Jesus when he founded His Church. He asked Peter three times: "Do you love me, Peter?" And it was only after Peter had answered Him affirmatively also three times that Jesus said to him: "You are a rock, and on this rock I build my Church". This means, my dear brethren, "You are the virtue of love, against which will dash to pieces all the temptations of the devil, and upon this indestructible and inviolable virtue, I build my Church".

To love Christ is to love His doctrines. According to the Bible, there are three of these doctrines: First are the eight beatitudes, embodied in the sermon on the mount. These give the rules which should guide the conduct of every Christian, namely, to console the afflicted, to feed the hungry, to help the weak and to always feel a thirst for justice. These make up the Christian Moral Code. Then follows the teaching which makes the family stand on the principle of monogamy, and reminds us of the cases of the bad shepherd, the prodigal son, and the farmer who planted his seed on rocky soil. These constitute the basic elements of Christian civil life. Lastly, the doctrine that says, "Give unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's", which signifies the absolute separation of Church and State, forms the basis of the Christian Political Code.

The fundamental principles for a modern Christian Church

These same teachings and principles should form the basis of our Church Constitution; but, above all, it should be guided by the light of reason illumined with Science, for God Himself is Science and, therefore, all Churches should love it. Science is the revelation of the truth of all things that exist in this world and they are all works of God. So we should love Science and we must not condemn and persecute the wise.

Gems of Philippine oratory; selections representing fourteen centuries of Philippine thought, carefully compiled from credible sources in substitution for the pre-Spanish writings destroyed by missionary zeal, to supplement the later literature stunted by intolerant religious and political censorship, and as specimens of the untrammeled present-day utterances, by Austin Craig, page 47, University of Manila, 1924.


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