News from Africa/Europe Area Director Bryce Whiting
“And more than ever believers were added to the Lord,
multitudes of both men and women…” (Acts 5:14).
It is interesting to note that this multiplication of the church took place soon after Peter was filled with a holy boldness to confront a self-seeking couple who were lying to God. When the church confronts the darkening clouds of rebellion within, freedom is restored. Worship is good again. Gospel proclamation is more powerful.
One of our African conferences has a testimony of confronting such spirits. This conference prefers to remain anonymous in the hopes that those put to shame will one day repent and return to the body of Christ. Despite the anonymity, their story needs to be told.
Three respected leaders of the conference were grumbling together. Two of them are very talented musical performers. They travel to many churches and other settings putting on concerts, singing and dancing. The third is an aggressive evangelist and a director of various ministries. The three are well-known and have very influential personalities within this conference of churches.
Then the talk began. One had been replaced as a leader in a vote of the conference and his bitterness began to show itself as he spoke ill of the new leaders. He mocked their abilities and projected that their labors were doomed to fail. His two friends joined him in decrying the poverty of the conference churches. “How could these churches EVER succeed without the money needed?” The next step was to report on the strength of other denominations who had more money. “Let’s go join them!”
Several times their attitudes were confronted with the hopes of repentance and restoration, but the resistance continued. Finally, the conference council of brothers was unanimous in its decision. The three were told they were being suspended from the fellowship of the conference. The suspension will remain in effect until such time as genuine repentance is evidenced and the Spirit of God bears witness to their spirits to reopen the door of fellowship.
Immediately, one of the three apologized and asked to be reinstated. The council sadly but firmly held to its decision, saying it was too early for this brother to fully understand the damage he had tried to inflict on the body of Christ.
You may guess what is now happening. The church went to prayer and fasting. After seven days of fasting and prayer, more souls are being added to the kingdom of God.
… And the family of God continues to grow.