Thursday, June 15, 2006

Liberalism's "progress"

To the right you see part of a recent liberal scheme in the Dominican Republic. There are over 110 liberal churches in the country and not all of them have their own building, particularly the newer congregations and those in the resort areas, where land is at a premium.

In order to help, the national association of churches of Christ voted or somehow decided that each church should make a contribution to a "building fund", which would be given to a different church each year to help with their building. As it happens, this year it is Puerto Plata. The list on the right is the list of the churches that have pledged to this fund and the amount. The one on the extreme right is a list of the members of this church and what they have pledged.

It is quite commendable that churches in the Dominican Republic don't want to depend on American money to buy their church buildings--most of them in the Caribbean have been built with American dollars. But doing something that is right in the wrong way makes even the "right" wrong--there is no authority for one church to help another build a church building.

But an even more important point to me is how one wrong leads to another. The national association of churches of Christ has caused even many of those who had been associated with the liberals to back up and question things, which has opened many doors for us. After a few years, the national association has led to a national building fund. The national association already has its own oversight and will likely soon have its own treasury--funds with which to do its own work. When this happens (and history shows it almost always does) you will have the individual church doing its work while supporting the "national" church which is doing a different work. Where in the New Testament do we find churches banding together to form a larger organization to do a work? We don't.

A "mission team" has also recently been sent to Santiago, a city of 1.3 million people to "plant" a church downtown, even though there are already 3 there. They were "given" a church as a base and have already published their propaganda kit--the mission statement, the accomplishments of the various team members (both men and women), and a flow chart of all the various ministries and which of the team members is in charge. Those in the liberal churches there have already been to one meeting and it shocked most of them, as they could easily see where many of the "members" of this church would likely be coming from--themselves.

We have preached for more than 20 years in the Caribbean that liberalism will progress farther and farther. Many brethren refused to believe, just like many brethren in the States did in the 50's. And just as brethren have left liberal churches in the States as they got "too liberal" so they are beginning to distance themselves from liberalism in the Caribbean.

Tol Burk

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