Loose Ends

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40 Responses

  1. filbertz says:

    one wonders what level of exposure and scrutiny will trigger GFA’s cooperation, transparency, and accountability. Unfortunately, I think it will require a federal level investigation, likely the IRS, which may stain many other non-profits and ministries in the backlash. Troubling days ahead, methinks.

  2. xenia says:

    We (EO) also believe that all the redeemed are saints.

  3. Michael says:

    fil,

    From all indications I have Yohannan will simply stay in India with his millions if people here actually stop supporting the family business.
    This will have some blowback on other non profits and ministries.

  4. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    Doesn’t the EO beatify the “special” ones though?

  5. xenia says:

    Yes. I’ll explain better later. I’m a passenger in a bumpy car on a small cell phone.

  6. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    By all means wait! 🙂

  7. Ellen G. White Disciple says:

    The love of money is the root of all evil. May God bless those who serve faithfully!

  8. Jim says:

    I think Trueman’s take is basically decent. I also think he’s correct.

  9. Jim says:

    …. As Heb 11 is about faith, not leadership.

  10. Michael says:

    Jim,

    That is true…but many leaders are mentioned.
    Commended for their faith despite their character flaws and sins.
    I’m hoping for the same…

  11. Michael says:

    I’m pretty done with sexual sin being the be all end all in terms of disqualification.

    In my mind everyone involved with this GFA debacle is disqualified, at least for a season.

  12. Papias says:

    Good recap by Trueman. I hope that I don’t have to dig that up again sometime soon…

    We had a deacon in our church get caught for embezzling from the city, and he is currently serving time in prison. I think he is scheduled to get out next month.

    Here’s my concern: if the church welcomes him back into the office a deacon, I think we will be looking for another church.

    Am I wrong in thinking that he has disqualified himself from the office?

  13. Michael says:

    Papias,

    The qualifications are so nebulous that I’m not sure we can make hard and fast calls.

    I would say so, but I’m not sure how qualified I am, either.

  14. Steve Wright says:

    No, you are not wrong Papias. The prison (penal) system is to punish – to pay a debt to society. It does nothing to rehabilitate and there is nothing to assume repentance just because the guy’s sentence is up. All the more I would say considering the guy’s crimes were committed while serving as a deacon in the first place. Not exactly a guy finding Jesus for the first time in the jail ministry.

    That said, even if there was true repentance, there are consequences to sin when it comes to leadership and service. By all means, if repentant, welcome him into the congregation to worship with the rest of the people. And if he were truly repentant, he would be the first to accept he has no business serving as a deacon…

  15. Ellen G. White Disciple says:

    And someone who gets demoted from a position of leadership in the Christian Congregation could stil evangelize the gospel outside the position of authority. We are all to preach the Gospel even if we are not all to be elders.

  16. Rob says:

    Several points that I think have not been emphasized enough….

    1. This is a founder-run organization. And, now it is a founder/family run organization. Founders typically operate the organization according to their own criteria. The non-family leadership is typically deferential to the founder/founder family. There is no independent leadership.

    2. The Board of Directors typically have little say in a founder-run organization. They typically know little of the inner workings of the organization, accept the reports they are handed, and largely rubber stamp organizational activities. Board members typically are letter-head prestige positions. The organization has a board so they can claim accountability, but usually the board has little influence. And, serving as a board member on a large intnernational organazition is always good for personal prestige.

    3. GFA is spinning the PR to appear as if they made some accounting mistakes which they are rectifying. Baloney. If that is true, upon getting booted from the EFCA, then why did they immediately adopt the seal of a bogus endorsement agency, rather than fix their convoluted accounting practices? It seems they were more worried about appearing legitimate than being legitimate.

  17. Francisco says:

    Good article by Trueman. I echo Steve’s response at #14.

  18. Michael says:

    Rob,

    Excellent points all…

  19. Papias says:

    From Trueman:

    “Really? Is it so hard to be faithful to one’s wife? To be sober minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach? Not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not greedy for money? A good manager of one’s household, and well-respected in the neighborhood? The list, as far as it connects to personal qualities, is simply demanding what my father would have called ‘basic decency.’ To use the list as if it demands sinless perfection is perverse. Ironically, it can then lead to dismissing it as irrelevant in practice. That actually leads to a lowering of the bar below the level of basic decency, which is clearly an abuse of the text.”

    (I did have to correct the word “neighborhood”, since the English like to use the OU when just an O will suffice).

    I will posit that since this man committed his crime while holding the office of a deacon, his “not greedy for money” and “respected in the community” qualifications were by definition disqualifiers from holding the office now.

    Welcome him back to fellowship – YES, by all means.

    Reinstate him the office of a deacon – no.

    Like I said, I hope we don’t have to look around for another church because of this matter.

  20. Em says:

    “Some people are really, really, stupid.” yes, they really are and some Christians do think that not thinking is a sign of piety … or so it seems to me

    it is our bodies we’re to sacrifice (i assume that means we no longer cater to our dying flesh), but our minds are intended to mature … Romans 12:1-2

    IMHO a functioning, RENEWED mind is a wonderful tool …

  21. Em says:

    glad i read the linked World magazine article (subscribed for years – very informative) the last 4 paragraphs tell me all i need to know … at best, this organization has gone off the rails … none of us should donate to them now

  22. Josh the Beloved says:

    Michael, does previous sexual sin disqualify a believer from a future ministry if the sexual sin happened while he was a believer but never was ever in the ministry. I hope that makes sense.

  23. Michael says:

    Josh,

    I’m to the point where I think we have to take these things on a case by case basis.
    In any case where we’re dealing with disqualification, I think time and proved repentance say a lot about a persons qualification for leadership.

    To be blunt, I have a real problem with the fact that lying,cheating,fraud, and abusing or neglecting abuse of the flock aren’t on anybody’s radar when we have these discussions.

  24. Josh the Baptist says:

    No one is “disqualified” from ministry.

    God is loving, faithful, and forgiving.

    However, a man of conscious will probably realize when he has no business being in the pulpit and step down on his own.

    Also, a hiring church should utilize wisdom and take into account the lifestyle of the applicant.

    Finally, the member should exercise wisdom and refrain from going to a church that has hired a scoundrel.

    These are the three checks in place in every church in America.

  25. Ted Sherwood says:

    I have just published an updated review of the Australian office of GFA, including an assessment of its compliance with our (less demanding) equivalent of the ECFA: http://tedsherwood.com/gospel-for-asia-australia-inc-charity-review/.

  26. Michael says:

    Josh,

    Not every church.
    We will have a story next week on unrepentant adulterer Steve Mathesons new gig.

  27. Michael says:

    Ted,

    Well done, sir!

  28. Josh the Beloved says:

    So is it the local church pastor that disqualifies a person from future ministry or is the Lord or both. Or what if the Lord hasn’t disqualified a person but a local pastor with the denomination has rendered a person disqualified. What does this person do, does he submit to this ruling to never to be in ministry because per the pastor he is disqualified but he is encouraged to attend church and worship with his family. Or does he leave that church and go else where because the he isnt disqualified by the Lord. ?

  29. Josh the Beloved says:

    Sorry for typos and errors on cell phone

  30. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Who reads those books? I read only from the people others plagiarize.

  31. Michael says:

    Other Josh,

    One singular person can’t biblically disqualify another.

    It’s supposed to be a group process.

  32. Andrew says:

    Regarding Carl Trueman’s article. It may not be obvious to some but the requirements for ministry seem to go way beyond “basic decency” to actually being a family man. Single guys with no children need not apply.

  33. Francisco says:

    In response to #33. Andrew would that mean guys like the apostle Paul need not apply?

  34. Andrew says:

    Francisco or even Jesus himself.

  35. Ellen G. White Disciple says:

    Again, a Christian who has to step down from eldership can still minister, it just cant be in a position of eldership until the leaders deem it proper. Ministry can always be outside the 4 walls. Door to door and street evangelism.

  36. Michael says:

    Andrew,

    I think those standards are a framework, not a woodenly literal prescription.
    The church has had single people in leadership from the beginning.

  37. Andrew says:

    Michael, I agree with you. However, the term “decency” in Trueman’s definition is completely irrelevant to a single person. All Trueman did is take the biblical narrative and assign a modern subjective word to it potentially confusing both meanings.

  38. Billy says:

    Ellen G. White Disciple,

    Just for grins : -)

    http://www.christianway.org/forums/Topic19132-23-1.aspx

  39. Ellen G. White Disciple says:

    Billy,

    That thread seems to be about Mary Baker not Ellen White

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