Problem Provides Big Opportunity
The Andahuaylas Central IEP church, which is our Peruvian church home, has long had a problem of allowing anyone who said that they were a preacher to preach, without checking their credentials or doctrine. Allowing many people to preach is a hallmark of many Latino churches and often allows young men to hone their skills. So it is not uncommon for a church to have 20 or more people preach at various services during a year. However, these are usually qualified church members.
Although Mike has taught doctrine classes, at the church’s request, with great attendance from the church members, many church officers did not attend .
All this came to a head when they let a university professor; unknown and new to town, preach several times. He claimed to have several special revelations from God. He was good at fundraising, and the church was building a new building and the costs turned out to be much greater than budgeted. Additionally, the church, with its majority Quechua membership, has always been looked down upon by upper class “whiter, more Spanish” Catholics. The church officers were eager for the status that a university professor preacher might bring.
We told several of you about this man, who made up cards with the denominational logo that said he was a pastor who did miracles, healings, weddings, and baptisms.
His wild preaching was the last straw for several conservative church members. Some of these demanded that he be stopped from preaching. Others left and just joined other churches.
The loss of membership was what it took for church officers and even the local denominational officers to sit up and take notice - and to think that sound doctrine might matter more than slick talking and good fundraising skills. Their response was to limit who could preach in the church, as well as who could be invited as guest speakers. Now only local pastors, denominational officials, and Believers Bridge missionaries are allowed to preach in the Peruvian Evangelical churches.
This is great! because It cuts out a lot of the so-called apostles and prosperity gospel teachers.
In the meantime, our invitations from other denominations have also increased!
Cayo Cardenas’s brother Zosimo who holds a degree from the seminary of Lima, is now helping out as a part-time (unsupported) missionary. He subscribes to our statement of faith, and is accepted by the churches that work with us. He is applying to work with us as a full-time missionary.
But sadly, it’s more than we can cover.
Please pray for more missionaries, either from Peru, or the US, who can preach and teach sound, Biblical doctrine biblically.
Also pray for wisdom for us as we decide which invitations to accept and which we have to decline.