The Making of a Preacher: How to Date Daan’s Brother. Eli took the path no one thought he would take

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News of Bro’s death. Eliseo “Eli” Soriano sent shockwaves among his millions of followers on Friday morning, two days after appearing in a Bible study on his long-running program, “Ang Dating Daan”.

The announcement was made by Members Church of God International (MCGI), the religious organization he served for 56 years. The 73-year-old preacher born in Pampanga (he will be 74 on April 4) is based in Brazil, according to his website, where he leads his evangelistic and charitable work.

Soriano is well known for his Bible exhibitions, where he urges the faithful to find the truth in the Bible. Aside from his famous expression “Basa“, An invitation to refer to particular biblical passages, we often heard him say to his flock:”Wang kang magpatumpik-tumpik. Pagkakasumpong mo ng mabuti, gawin mo agad”—Which means, according to one follower, to conform and be faithful to the Word of God as soon as it is found.

According to an MCGI member’s Facebook post, Soriano “stood up for his faith and biblical principles” and “did what he could to preach the spotless word of God, expose religious deception and answer questions about questions of life “.

The harsh-speaking evangelist’s very direct and uncompromising approach to “expounding” biblical truths, has led him to heated debates with various religious sects, such as the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) and the Catholic Church. Roman. One of them even led to his conviction for defamatory remarks against the head of the international ministry of Jesus Miracle Crusade, Wilde Almeda.

The making of a preacher

With his hard-hitting comments on his program, it’s hard to imagine Soriano a shy, introverted boy. In an interview broadcast on UNTV, however, Soriano admitted that he had a severe inferiority complex as a child.

Nagtatago sya in a parador, minsan sa ilalim ng kama para huwag syang makausap. Minsan kahit kamag-anak namin ayaw niyang makipag-usap», Shared his brother Robert.

Because of this shyness, he often refused to go to school. He would find excuses – faking an asthma attack or sliding down a muddy slope – to be able to skip classes. He only came once or twice a week. No wonder he hardly succeeded in his subjects.

But something in one of their rites of recognition motivated young Eliseo to overcome his shyness. Seeing his classmates wearing medals struck something in him. “Nagkaroon ako ng pagnanasa sa puso ko na patunayan [sa mga guro at kaklase ko] na hindi ako bobo“, he recalled in the interview.”Naiintindihan ko ang ginagawa nila. I was just too shy to volunteer, to answer questions, to raise my hand.

From then on, he started to excel in the classroom. In high school, he was sometimes assigned to act as a substitute teacher. He remembered being in third grade and asked to teach fourth grade students. That he, he said, was open to the “thrill of teaching, to the honor, to the prestige” of the profession. He was also elected president of the student council and became a cohesive promotion major.

His teachers, even the principal of the school, saw the many things he could be: a chemical engineer, a teacher, a good doctor or a scientist. But young Eli’s mind was still not fixed on anything. “I didn’t dream of being someone,” he said in the interview. What he knew for sure was that he loved science, life and reality.

Soriano received the title of Minister of the Church in 1972, before Bro. Perez died in 1975. Photo by Bro. Eli Soriano’s Facebook page

Faith and religion

Something also intrigued him about this time: why was he not interested in attending Catholic classes given to Catholic students like him? Instead, he enjoyed being outside the classroom, joining students from other religious groups (Protestants, Muslims, and Jehovah’s Witnesses, etc.) and discussing their religion.

In a November 2020 interview with Rab Chana’s podcast on Spotify titled “Happiness Now,” Soriano explained that he came from a very religious family and was actually raised in a Catholic environment. Her mother was a devout Catholic, the type who kneeled to the church altar. Her father was a sacristan. At least five of his cousins ​​are Catholic priests. He also grew up in the care of a Catholic aunt. But Catholicism never seduced him.

“Outside [the classroom], we discuss things like “Si Kristo ba tao? »« If Kristo ba ay Diyos? “I didn’t know the Bible at the time,” he shared in the interview. So he started looking for the answers. “It opened my mind to religion.” He didn’t know he was already planning his future.

According to his biography, Soriano began reading the Bible and attending the community of the Church of God in 1964 thanks to the goad of his father. Three days after his 17th birthday, on April 7, 1964, he was “born in the spirit” and a few years later he decided to devote his life fully to ministry. He became a preacher, or as he put it “living a life of inquiry among religions”.

He trained under Bro. Nicolas Perez, who led the Church from 1928 until his death in May 1975. Soriano received the title of Minister of the Church in 1972, before Br. Perez is deceased. The latter’s death led to the congregation being split into three — with Bro. Eli led the Church of God of Members, the Pillar and Foundation of Truth in 1977, later renamed as Members, Church of God International.

Ang Dating Daan started airing on IBC 13 in 1983, starring Bro. Daniel Razon, then still in high school, who held the position of general manager of production and Sis. Luz Cruz, as executive producer, researcher and makeup artist. To date, the show has counterparts in 70 countries.

Ang Dating Daan (The Old Path), Soriano explained in the podcast, “represents the will of God, the commandments of God – whatever you need to do in life as you live here on earth.”

This implies, he said, that “there is a path that a good human being must walk prepared by God so that he can walk.”

Making a Preacher: How to Date Daan's Brother.  Eli took the path no one thought he would take 4
It has been called a “Truth Caster”, which is also the title of one of its programs. Photo from his Facebook account

Truth Thrower

Soriano was asked in the podcast interview why there are people who hate him. He replied, “Because you see, when you say black is black, there are people who hate to hear that they are black… There are people who don’t want to accept the truth. Especially if the truth is ugly, he said. It has been called a “Truth Caster”, which is also the title of one of its programs.

Soriano made it clear in the interview that he was not against anyone. “I am against bad principles, criminal activity, greed… I am against all these injustices that are happening in our world, but I am not against anyone.

Asked about his thoughts on pastors asking their people for money, he said “religion is no business” and the same is true of “taking advantage of the poor”. ANCX asked a Dating Daan member if the religious organization collects contributions and donations from its members. She said, “Kusang loob.”

Soriano said that the true meaning of religion in the Bible is “to sacrifice your property for the good of others”, “to take care of orphans and widows”, not to get rich. “Money is by no means bad. What is bad is loving your money above your fellow human beings, or loving your money above your God. Money must be spent to love our fellow man and love our God.

The evangelist revealed in the interview that before becoming a pastor at 19, he opened a restaurant at 14 with his mother, Catalina. That turned into 10 restaurants, including some in Brazil, where he also owns a farm. “These are businesses that make money to take care of the needy,” he said.

His income from his business, he said, has enabled him to support feeding programs and various orphanages, charities around the world, including in Haiti, Africa, Brazil and the Philippines. These can be found on its website. Soriano is said to have remained single his entire life, choosing to focus his time and energy on his service.

“I am so lucky that through the Bible I found the truth in my religion. I have found happiness and contentment in my religion, ”the pastor told Chana. “My faith in the Bible taught me to take care of others. ”

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