Visit to the Philippines ~ April 10-24, 2006
The true Bible Believers of the Philippines have always had a place in my heart since I first visited some believers in the year 1982. Back in the 1980s and the early 1990s the visits found me staring at the many so-called revelations that were being propagated among the churches throughout the many islands. Coupled with the fact that there were ministers who were not ministers of the Lord but of filthy lucre and sought only to propagate certain doctrines as long as financial supports flow in from foreign lands, especially Canada, USA and Europe, the situation was in dire straits.
As a missionary to the Philippines, I too have been approached often times by ministers seeking financial help. True, every saint and every minister, who are able to assist other fellow believers, should extent their hands to meet their needs. However, there must be wisdom and discernment on the part of the givers. We should ask ourselves questions, such as, “Are the ones requesting help truthful in their requests? Are the needs genuine?”
Not only in the Philippines but also in other countries, many requests for help are simply a process to obtain money because missionaries/preachers from rich countries are viewed as “rich” believers. And if foreign preachers simply give, just because they have the money, they would sooner or later find out (as some have) that they have been contributing to making beggars out of those “poor” ministers whom they think they have been helping, not forgetting that many of those “poor” ministers were not really building up the spiritual life of their flocks. Forgotten focus on the preaching of the Word has eaten into the life of many preachers. Some are even hunting for treasures, literally.
I have seen churches in which small assemblies of worshippers were gathered in large well constructed church-buildings. Not that it is wrong but usually the money for the buildings came from overseas in which the spirit of proselytizing existed and the pastors of these churches are now under the control of “higher authority” from which the money came. A nice church-building is an image to many preachers and lay-people. If “strings” are attached to financial assistance and “proselytization” is one of those “strings”, then woe unto the givers and the receivers (cf.Matt.23:15).
In the past I have ministered in a church here in the Philippines whose pastor never really thought much about my teachings, even till this day. Yet, when his church building was burnt down and assistance was requested, my assembly aided him in contributing towards the rebuilding of it. Of course, I was accursed of trying to “buy” him, a thought that never entered my mind and I have never entertained such since being called into the ministry. Evil in thoughts some preachers will behave as “rumour mills” milling out such flier of words as “scarecrows” to keep others away from me and/or my ministry.
No matter, TRUTH will always prevail. Over the years the many churches here in the Philippines that I have come to associate with in the ABSOLUTE WORD of the IN-BREATHED SCRIPTURE have grown and matured in the revelation of the Word. They are not looking for handouts as they once were. They are looking for Truth and growing from one stage of glory to another in the grace of the Lord as they look for the coming of the Lord.
On the whole this present visit to the Philippines has been a blessing for me to see the saints continually walking and growing in the grace of God after they have been established in the present truth. I am glad to see them standing fast in the Word of the Lord and being led by the snow-white dove of the Living God.
Í BUTUAN CITY
Blessing comes in different ways.
SAN PEDRO - LAGUNA