The CBs wish to imply that the co-workers caused unrest among the churches by taking a stand on one publication. But in supporting their claim, are the CBs relaying the whole truth, or are they conveniently ignoring some important facts?
In their “Opening Words” the CBs refer to two publications that were released in the 2004 Winter Training and the 2005 Summer Training, respectively, and then they say:
booklets have caused many issues and problems in many local churches. Many saints have
become confused, discouraged or hurt and several churches have suffered because of
disagreements on these issues. Some churches have even been divided.
Elsewhere on their site, the CBs reproduce a letter (in Spanish and in translation) from some unknown brother in South America, offering it as evidence “how some churches in South America (not in
Brazil) were damaged by the promotions of ‘Minister of Age’ [sic] and one publication
by some co-workers.”
If we are to believe the CBs, the real source of these “many issues and problems” is the release of these two booklets and the co-workers’ admonition to the churches and the saints to be restricted in one publication. But I believe that many, many saints in the Lord’s recovery know that long before the co-workers issued these two booklets there were already many issues and problems related to differing publications. The CBs, of course, are not willing to refer to these issues and problems, for if they did so, they would undermine their major “concern.”
The real situation that existed prior to the release of these two booklets is something that many saints and many churches throughout the earth can personally attest to. Thus, the CBs really expose themselves as deceivers before they have much chance of deceiving others who may not be aware of that real situation. But when you are anonymous in your allegations, who cares if you expose yourself? You can be wild and reckless, you can be unfounded in your charges, and you can hope that some poor souls will swallow your unsubstantiated accusations.
I won’t ask for testimony from the many saints who know this (though that is welcome if you wish to comment below), but long before the co-workers issued the first booklet at the 2004 Winter Training, there were “many issues and problems” because of different publications in the Lord’s recovery. The publications of at least two brothers among us were being disseminated beyond the domains measured out to them by the Lord, and not disseminated benignly but in competition with what the saints have been enjoying in the Lord’s recovery for decades. Partisans of their publications were going about, encouraging the saints to take up the publications of these brothers and claiming that these too were part of the one ministry among us. (I know the CBs bristle at this term one ministry, but even that bristling is evidence of their true stand on how oneness among us should be expressed and maintained.) Unfortunately, not all the saints were willing to accept the claim, and there soon began to be many issues and problems among the dear brothers and sisters in many local churches throughout the earth. The co-workers began to get many questions from genuinely concerned brothers and sisters: “Are these brothers OK to read?” “Do you know the situation of this brother who publishes these books? What is his relationship to the Lord’s recovery?" “I am confused. How come this brother publishes so many books? Are there two ministries?” The co-workers in the Lord’s recovery had, of course, been aware of these other publications, and for years they tried their best to avoid the fissures among us that these other publications were leading to. For years the matter was only addressed among the co-workers, and all of them, I believe, tried their best to keep the discussion among themselves. But the cries of the saints were becoming more and more audible. And the cries were not in favor of differing publications; the cries were in complaint of the confusion that these other publications were bringing in.
I am not talking about the places where these brothers are from. I do not think that the co-workers would ever deny that these brothers had the “right” to minster where the Lord had set them to work. By concession and in the way of liberty, the co-workers everywhere tolerated these different publications where they originated for years. But the far dissemination of these publications beyond where they originated was indeed causing unrest among the churches and the saints. The letter from South America that the CBs reproduce touts the value of these other publications alongside those that the saints elsewhere have enjoyed solely for decades. I do not doubt the brother’s genuineness at all. But the brother is apparently ignorant of the many issues and problems that these other publications brought in among the saints outside of South America. However, I am not so certain that it is ignorance that motivates the CBs who use this brother’s letter as their “evidence.”
If these ones were indeed set as ministers in the Body, are they not ministers to all the Body? In theory, perhaps so. But in application, it certainly did not seem that all the Body accepted them as ministers. They may have been accepted in their own “homes,” but they were not so readily accepted in the whole “neighborhood.” I may be a teacher in a vital group, but that doesn’t mean that I should try to get every other vital group to accept me as their teacher as well. When their publications began to be promoted widely, that is when the “many issues and problems” actually began. The co-workers, when they began to write and publish, were dealing with a situation that was already in open existence; they were not creating a new situation, as the CBs would like us to believe. From my observation, it was not the differing ministry* of these brothers that caused the most concern to the co-workers; it was the evangelizing of it, with the attendant factions that were springing up, that required a response.
When the two booklets were released at the two trainings, the genuinely concerned brothers and sisters in the churches were made clear about these differing publications. The questions that they had been asking for years were clearly answered at that point, and armed with a clear answer, the saints in many churches had the boldness to turn away from these differing publications. The CBs either do not know or do not want anyone else to know that many churches and many brothers and sisters were honestly relieved that the co-workers had made a plain statement about one publication. The confusion was cleared up, and the saints knew what stance they wanted to take with regard to these differing publications. The CBs seethe that so many saints wish to turn away from these other publications. While the CBs couch the issue as some defense of human right or as healthy dissension, many saints have exercised their own right to be freed from a state of confusion and to dissent from differing voices in the ministry. They simply do not want the confusion and the differences. Who can blame them?
Of course, those who treasure these other publications will immediately feel that issues and problems are being caused by the two booklets that the co-workers released. In trying to clear up the confusion from differing publications among the churches, the co-workers certainly must call these publications what they are; and in calling these publications what they are, there will certainly be issues and problems among those who promote these differing publications. This is what the letter from South America is actually evidence of. But I do not honestly see how it could be otherwise. Once these publications are identified in the larger context of the whole recovery as being different, what else could regional adherents and general promoters of these publications expect? What is interesting to me is that these adherents and the CBs themselves did not seem to care about the “many issues and problems” that existed before the co-workers released these two booklets. Where were their letters of concern and protestation then? Where was their Web sites of concern and determination to find the truth? They seemed to be content with many issues and problems elsewhere, but now that their comfort in multiple ministries is being disturbed, it is time for them to write letters and publish Web sites. Again, they expose their real tastes in the Lord’s recovery.
The CBs are true to form in hiding an important part of the story about publications among us. They conveniently pick up their narrative with what the co-workers have done and conveniently ignore what was going on before the co-workers acted. If you believe them, all was peaceful in the Lord’s recovery until the co-workers did something. But how trustworthy are the CBs if they exclude from their account the obvious confusion and pain which existed among the saints before the co-workers acted and which existed because of differing publications?
* I will not here go into how theirs is a different ministry, but this is something that should be developed thoroughly and openly. Part of the claim of these brothers who author these differing publications is that they are speaking the same things that have been spoken among us for decades. But I see substantial differences, differences of omission, emphasis, basis, and goal. And although the dear brothers and sisters who have suspected these publications may not be able to enunciate their sense about them, they have nevertheless "smelled" them out, and they wish to reject them.