“The word of God cannot lose.”
This was just one of Bro. Eliseo F. Soriano’s memorable quotes that proved to be true during a live debate held last February 7 this year. There were more than 20,000 guests in attendance all over the world.
Presiding Minister to the Members Church of God International (MCGI) Bro Eli emerged as the debate’s victor against Mr. Eusebio Catarinen, a pastor of the Church of Christ in Negros Oriental.
Catarinen signed the theme of the debate, which reads: “I will prove that the true Church was built by the Lord Jesus Christ, and it is He who owns it according to the Bible.” The pastor was in the affirmative, while Bro. Eli was in the negative.
The pair faced off via satellite from two points: Catarinen was situated at the MCGI Coordinating Center in Guihulngan, Negros Oriental, while the Ang Dating Daan host addressed his challenger through a video streaming platform from South America.
Mr. Simplicio Villegas Mijares, former Mayor of Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental moderated the event, while Janice B. Bulandres (New Apostolic Church member) and Roejen M. Tejamo (Born Again member) served as the official timekeepers.
The debate was watched in 1,281 remote points simultaneously all over the world, aside from a number of online viewers.
On social media, the hashtag #DebateBroEli became one of the top five trending topics in the Philippine Trends on Twitter.
The official Twitter accounts of MCGI’s religious program @AngDatingDaanTV and @TheOldPathTV tweeted the debate events as it happened.
Mr. Catarinen and Bro. Soriano both had three 20-minute stands during the debate. In between each stand, a 15-minute cross-examination for either party ensued.
The edge-of-your-seat debate which lasted for 4.5 hours, ended with Bro. Soriano’s win. Before the night came to an end, Bro. Soriano and Mr. Catarinen both gave their closing remarks.
“The intent of this debate is not to show that one has lost, or one was defeated, and the other, triumphed – because triumph belongs to God; glory belongs to God,” remarked Bro. Eli.
The debate winner further emphasized on the reason why all through these years, the preacher involves himself in Bible-based debates.
“I want people to realize that we are holding debates not because of hatred. We are holding debates, we are engaging in debates, to prove the truth,” said Bro. Soriano.
“I am thankful to God because He gave me the chance to have faced Bro. Eli Soriano,” stated Mr. Catarinen. Before he ended his closing spiel, he said that he “would continue studying the teachings of Eli Soriano.”
The debate moderator, former Mayor Mijares, also took the opportunity to express his gratitude to the organizers of the debate. “I thank you all for inviting me here, and I am also thankful for I have learned many things,” remarked Mr. Mijares.
“May God bless us all, and may we continue our quest for the truth as long as we live,” said Bro. Eli Soriano in the conclusion of the event.
(Written by Pauline Arellano)