Africa Watch Update: Missionaries told "not to minister the Word"!
We interrupt our series on how the Emergent Church was formed by the Leadership Network to bring an important update on Africa!
We have been concerned for some time about the activities of Rick Warren and Bruce Wilkinson in Africa for a number of reasons. One of our concerns has been about whether true evangelism would be permitted. As we studied the material pertaining to short-term missionary training and follow-up, and examined the relationships between the 3-legged stool of Corporate-Government-Church partnerships, we began to suspect that these short-term mission projects were simply civic activities and had little or nothing to do with the presentation of the Gospel. We are sad to report that new information has just come in that confirms our grave suspicions.
Below is an excerpt from an article pertaining to this new development. As a matter of background information, on December 23, 2005 Discernment Ministries ran an article on the new AFRICA WATCH section of its website entitled "Wilkinson's Dream For Africa is Shattered" by Prof. Johan Malan, University of Limpopo in South Africa. Just today this article has been re-published and re-released with important new material. Be sure to read Prof. Malan's entire revised article at http://tinyurl.com/coy3j.
[ALSO: Don't miss Prof. Malan's brand new article, posted yesterday, about dominionism in Africa, "Dominionism and its Human Empire," at the AFRICA WATCH section http://www.discernment-ministries.org/AfricaWatch.htm ]
Below is an excerpt from Prof. Malan's revised article. It is the testimony of two eyewitnesses that the activities of Bruce Wilkinson and Rick Warren in Africa are not about the Gospel:
Addendum A. Response of a co-worker
Dear Professor Malan:
Today I was led to the Discernment Ministries web site regarding the Dream for Africa project. I had no idea that Mr. Wilkinson had left the "Dream" and possibly the ministry. I reverted back to the Wall Street Journal article and was truly amazed at what I read. More so, your article considerably put the Dream for Africa project in proper light. This morning I read it three times over and sent it to many friends of mine in the ministry and college.
You see, I was one of the students from Dallas Baptist University who joined over 100 students on the pilot project in May-June 2004. He came to speak at our school in Fall 2003 and asked 100 students to come forth. I felt called. The following winter I interned in Washington, DC with the House International Relations Committee-Subcommittee on Africa under Congressman Henry Hyde. This experience was delivered to me by the grace of God. I learned so much about Africa and US relations, and met many dignitaries.
After this came the trip to Africa. I started to realize that God was birthing a ministry of reconciliation for me, not like others where peace and prosperity came before the Word – as with Rick Warren's PEACE initiative, but true reconciliation between God and Man, repentance, and belief in Christ. I have been trying to strike a balance regarding humanitarian aid/development and evangelism -- wanting to get off on the right footing and establish a God driven ministry from the start. I would like to thank you for being a vessel used by God, and delivering many from deception. This was my cue from God to learn from Wilkinson's mistakes and pursue evangelism full speed, discipleship considered, and humanitarian development following.
We were trained in one week by his ministry. Ironically, we were told not to minister the Word of God and the atoning sacrifice of Christ to the school children. We were completely baffled, we simply excused what we heard and pursued the Great Commission with fervent passion. And a handful of children came to know Christ. We were not willing to compromise the Word for the sake of the making of a name, or represent the programs of man sustained by flesh. It was also confusing for me as a Christian. Was I disobeying authority?
It has been the most difficult season of my walk with the Lord thus far. But this seemingly has put an ending to the questioning of Dream for Africa. Again, thank you for preaching repentance, Godly truth, and delivering it in such an upright matter. I would just like to encourage you to continue the excellent work. I look forward to reading the other articles you have published.
Press on, press on.
Kindest Regards, and in His service,
Addendum B. Response of another co-worker
(This letter is published anonymous)
I was recently forwarded an Article which you wrote regarding the "Dream for Africa." It was a stunning article, because I was a participant in the "Beat the Drum" month long project held in the summer of 2004. I was one of over a hundred American college students, who joined with Swazi, and South African students, to teach abstinence in High Schools around Swaziland. In truth, the experience was a great lesson in faith, and created in me a heart for souls.
Your article however described in perfect detail, the reasons why I felt, that our time and effectiveness in that project was greatly diminished. We were told that we had not come there to preach Christ, which was a surprise to me, because that was exactly why I had joined the team. Thus we were told to approach the terrible HIV/AIDS problem from a secular perspective. I have to say that I rebelled against that, because I took every chance I had to tell people what the real problem was, Sin.
By God’s grace I was able to lead dozens to Christ, and on one occasion an entire class made the life changing decision. I told those whom I preached to that "Christ was the only one who could give us power to live in abstinence before marriage, and faithfulness after. The flesh which wars against God does not have to power to keep such a commitment, but through Christ, we have victory over the flesh. I appreciate your article, because in confirms my thoughts about the approach that was taken, and encourages me to continue preaching repentance. . . Thank you for speaking the truth in this matter and encouraging my ministry in the process. I have also read quite a few of your other articles and have enjoyed them very much.
Praise God for these two young men who were not willing to compromise the Gospel and who were eager to "obey God rather than men" (Acts 5:29).
"For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." (2 Timothy 1:7)
". . . but the Word of God is not bound." (2 Timothy 2:9b)