Did Jesus exist only as a plan?
The "Iglesia Ni Cristo" teaches that Jesus did not pre-exist, but he was part of God's plan. They often use this teaching to explain passages that point to the pre-existence of Christ, such as John 1:1. Is this a valid way of viewing the Father's relationship with the Son before Jesus was born?
On a case by case basis, the scripture in question can be examined to show that this is not true. However, the idea that Jesus only existed as a plan fails to accomplish its intended purpose.
God is sovereign so all are in the plan of God.
Ephesians 1:11 (ESV) - 11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will,
If God is truly sovereign as Ephesians 1:11 teaches, then all things are a part of his plan. If verses such as John 1:1 speak of Jesus existing only as a plan, how is it saying anything about Jesus that is unique to him? John is obviously writing something grand and amazing about Jesus, but the idea that John is merely saying that Jesus was planned says nothing other than the obvious.
God is omniscient so God knows all that he will create.
Jeremiah 1:5 (ESV) - "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations."
As the INC knows, God is omniscient. He knows everything and everyone that will ever happen. If verses such as John 1:1 only speak of Jesus as being a part of God's plan - something he knows will happen, how is this communicating anything significant?
Jesus cannot be God's "first plan" in a chronological sense.
In attempting to show that Jesus was planned in a special way, an INC member may say that Jesus was the chronological first plan of God. If God is truly omniscient, which means he does not think thoughts like us creatures and must not be bound by time, then he cannot plan something in a chronological sense, one plan before another. If he did, then he would have known more as time progressed. If the INC wants to say that God thinks this way then they must reject God's omniscience.
Jesus cannot be God's "first plan" in a logical sense.
Another way the INC may attempt to show that Jesus was planned in a special way is to say that he was the logically first plan of God, in that all his other plans revolve around him. Where is this revealed in scripture? We have no reason to draw such a conclusion from statements such as "the Word was God".
God did not plan Jesus. Jesus has always existed and is co-eternal with the Father. The INC's doctrinal creativity, which calls Jesus Christ a "plan" does not suffice since it would render much of scripture superfluous, not revealing anything special about Jesus, elaborately describing him as just like everyone else: planned and known.
Not only this, but their attempt to force their creativity on Scripture has consequences about what the INC must believe about God that are contrary to what is clearly revealed. It would be better for INC members to submit their thinking to what is revealed in Scripture than to rely on false teaching from the organization known as the "Iglesia Ni Cristo".