For 38 years, the program “Ang Dating Daan” has been consistent in touching the lives of people.
From its humble beginning in the Philippines, the program has prospered and has reached almost all countries in the world.
True to its purpose of preaching the Word of God, the program has exhausted almost all means of communication, this time through cyberspace to further its reach.
Through the collective efforts of its members and by the guidance of Bro. Eli Soriano and Bro. Daniel Razon, the Members Church of God International (MCGI) which manages the program, has established broadcasts in all continents reaching as far as South America specifically in its largest country, Brazil.
In Brazil, the program has successfully penetrated even far flung areas in the country.
Almeirim in the state of Para is among the remotest areas in Brazil. To reach Almeirim requires a five-hour travel by plane to reach the closest airport in Macapa, in the states of Amapa. From the airport, one would need another six-hour land travel through the Amazona state to reach the remote village of Almeirim.
One family in the village is thankful to have heard the preaching of the Word of God through the program ‘O Caminho Antigo,’ the Portuguese name of the program ‘Ang Dating Daan.’
“I no longer want to go to church because all I see (and hear) are false teachings,” said the family’s patriarch Francisco Rodrigues in Portuguese.
(L-R) Ednida Rodrigues and Francisco Rodrigues
Having the longing for the true church, Francisco fervently prayed to God for guidance so he would find the Truth.
“I never asked for wealth, new clothes, car, or a life of luxury. I only asked God for a Church, for the Truth. That’s the only thing I prayed to God,’ he said.
“(I just feel that) God has a Church. God has His people. I just don’t know where to find them. But I know for sure there is God’s people, there is His Church,” said Ednida Rodrigues, Francisco’s wife, who was emotional during the interview.
When Francisco was able to hear the program ‘O Caminho Antigo’ broadcasting through the radio, his attention was immediately caught by the manner Bro. Eli was preaching especially when he explained things supported by Biblical verses.
From that moment on, he said, his views on religion changed. His belief that the group Bro. Eli is leading is the true Church of God has grown more and more. He persisted to establish connections with other members of MCGI in Brazil. To his joy, he was able to receive a response and the group even traveled far to visit their place.
Francisco was overwhelmed.
“It was unbelievable that they traveled a long way to get here. Here in this forest area in the Amazon, a very remote place. I just cannot believe it. A brother knocked at the door to finally administer our baptism. I was overjoyed,” he said.
Francisco and his family are all active Members of the Church of God International (MCGI) and listening to ‘O Caminho Antigo’ has become a household routine for them.
Facts and the Bible
Dubbed as the longest-running religious program in the Philippines, ‘Ang Dating Daan’ has archived a massive collection of audio and video clips of religious triumphs in debates with leaders of different religions not only in the country but also in other countries.
Bro. Eli’s strong will as defender of the Truth in the Bible has captivated even the educated or the professionals in various fields to learn the Word of God.
One of them is Architect Ram Aurelio, a former member of the religious group Construction Ministry.
Former member of the religious group Construction Ministry, Architect Ram Aurelio
Ram admits he used to copy Bro. Eli’s biblical explanations on the internet and share them in his ‘testimonies’ in his former church.
“Marami akong napupulot na hindi mo mapulot doon sa iba. In fairness, I’m not against the other preachers or lecturers when it comes to biblical. Pero ang biblical in major aspects of the society when you talk about the economy, politics, ang cultural background natin bilang isang tao, mas marami kang natututunan doon sa kaniyang lectures base sa laman ng biblia kapag hinimay mo,” Ram said who works as an arbitrator at Construction Industry Arbitration Commission (CIAC) under the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
To his surprise, Ram said, he discovered that some of his co-members in the church were also avid listeners of Bro. Eli’s program “Ang Dating Daan” online.
“Halimbawa mayroon kaming adult fellowship. Kapag dini-discuss, sabi ko parang napanood ko iyan. Alam ko kung saan galing yan. Iisa kami ng source. Iisa kami ng reference,” he happily shared.
Ram said it amazes him how Bro. Eli convinces people even those who belong to the so-called upper classes in the society and makes them believe in the Bible with the way he relates things with the verses in the Bible.
“(In) history kasi lumabas din ito, iyong mga history nung architectural facts. Ginagamit din niya. Iyong major aspects of the society wherein the cultural aspect of the society ay ginagamit niya lahat. Mahalaga iyon kasi when you talk about facts dapat alam mo lahat i-giya itong mga ito, kunin lahat. Hindi lang pwedeng ang paguusapan ninyo is all about religion. When you talk about legal, when you talk about economy…kahit saan ka pumunta,” he explained.
Architect Ram said he feels proud that Bro. Eli is a Filipino, someone who is courageous enough to stand for the Biblical truth even against other religions proclaiming themselves as true.
“Proud ako na isa siyang Pilipino. Hindi lang naman ako ang nagsasabi niyan pati yung mga kaibigan ko, na may isang Pilipino na tumitindig pag dating sa aspeto ng Bible,” he said.
Ram hopes to see Bro. Eli in person someday so he could personally ask questions to further widen his knowledge about the Holy Scriptures.
Meanwhile, De La Salle law professor, Atty. Jose Mejia, considers himself a student of God’s law despite being an expert in the Constitution and court laws,
De La Salle law professor, Atty. Jose Mejia
He admits Bro. Eli is his favorite when it comes to exploring the Bible.
“Napaka sensible noong mga sinasabi niya. Ang kaniyang mga message ay very timely, universal at talagang, sa akin, may napupulot ako,” the former member of the Judicial Bar Council (JBC) said.
He testifies that Bro. Eli’s manner of preaching the Word of God is exceptional.
“Very credible. Ang dating sa akin parang hindi yung parang run-off-the-mill. Hindi (gaya ng) some people just mouthing phrases from the Bible. Sa kaniya, makikita mo talagang aral, at talagang may mga batayan yung mga sinasabi niya. Sabi ko nga, universal. Ako, hindi ako kasapi ng Dating Daan, pero pinapakinggan ko siya kasi nga naiaangkop ko ito sa aking pang-araw-araw na buhay,’ he said.
Like Ram, Atty. Mejia admires Bro. Eli’s knowledge in almost all aspects of life which makes him so credible as he relates everyday life with insights from the Holy Scriptures which he shares in his program.
“Sabi ko nga ibang klase itong taong ito. Talagang erudite, I think that’s the term. Aral. Hindi nagpapanggap. Lahat ng discipline mayroon siyang alam.
38th years of unconditional love, hope, and unwavering faith
Through the years, the world has become a stage of chaos, violence, poverty and various evils. People have become lovers of self than being selfless.
But through the works of God, there remain a religious program that advocates genuine love and willingness to serve others without asking for anything in return.
This is how MCGI’s Ang Dating Daan has been known for decades and the people behind it who were taught to honor God through good works.
Among the group’s projects include free ride, medical, legal and dental service; free college education; free facilities for the elderly and orphans as well as regular blood donation drives and other public services.
In celebration of the program Ang Dating Daan’s 38th years of advocating unconditional love, hope and unwavering faith to the Lord, MCGI gives thanks to God for making Bro. Eli and Bro. Daniel instruments in answering questions of faith and reaching out to the needy, regardless of religion, race and status in life.
“That’s one of the reasons why we are not afraid to shout all of these things because we believe that with God’s help, the doctrines that we have heard from Bro. Eli Soriano are doctrines that are purely written in the Bible,” said Bro. Daniel Razon, MCGI’s second overall servant and Ang Dating Daan’s director and producer.
“There are components of true religion. Number one is charity, to visit, to be compassionate to the fatherless, and to the widows, to the less fortunate. To practice charity is part of the true religion in the Bible. It is pure religion and undefiled,” the program’s host, Bro. Eliseo Soriano always tells his listeners.
Ang Dating Daan began airing on AM Radio in 1980 and began its broadcast on television in 1983.
With the advent of modern technology, the program became known in the religious world and reached households across the globe.
It is now translated into different languages specifically English, Chinese, Portuguese, Spanish, Japanese, Korean, Hindi and many more including local dialects. — Marje Pelayo