Wednesday 16th. April to Saturday 19th. April 2014
Elly Achok is one of the pastors in the Gospel Missions Agency church in Mumias. He completed the PTC in Nairobi at the end of 2012. He has just got a book printed entitled ‘Hell’s Best Revealed Secret – reflections on the invitation system’. Having been sold out to the system for 17 years it comes with full personal knowledge and passion as well as a balanced view of the Reformed Faith. If you are interested in his report of the Conference, please email him at Elly Achok firstname.lastname@example.org.
The yellow poster outside the church building says, ‘Reformation Conference 2014 Recovering Biblical Religion’. I believe this is the 4th. year of the Conference with a very specific aim of bringing the Reformed Faith to a town and wider area where the Word of Faith teachings dominate in Churches, and Islam has a tight grip.
The Conference started on Wednesday and by Friday over 250 people had registered. There were over 400 registered by Saturday, with many coming to witness the graduation of a family member or friend. Well over 50 claimed to be leaders, including some women.
Almost all the people present have as their immediate spiritual background, the Word of Faith movement. It is the background that Elly and Barnabas come from and they wish to be as zealous in exposing its great errors as they were in promoting it for so many years. Martin Mokoyan, one who completed our PTC in Nairobi many years back, came and was overwhelmed thinking that the Reformed Faith is only preached in TBC Nairobi. He lives in nearby Bungoma and so much desires to do church planting there.
Apart from myself, the main speaker was Barnabas Olare (left), a Pastor of GMA Mombasa, who is in the 3rd. year of the PTC in Nairobi. The translator into Kiswahili is his fellow Pastor, Alfred Omondi, who would also like to join the PTC one day.
My brief was to expound 6 basic Christian doctrines, and I took: The Bible is the Word of God, the Trinity, Person of Christ, Effects of the Fall, Salvation by Grace and Work of the Holy Spirit.
Barnabas’ sessions. He had the responsibility to specifically deal with the errors both historically and to date.
(1) Why we must expose false teaching (2 Corinthians 13:5).
(2) Attacks on the Bible. Basing it on Matthew 15:1-9, he explained about Marcion and Montanus in the Early Church, dealt with the Catholic attitude to the Bible as they add unwritten traditions and authority of the church, and showed how the Word of Faith is just like Neo-orthodoxy in its attitude to the Bible.
(3) Attacks on the doctrine of sin. He dealt with Pelagianism and Arminianism, and then Finneyism.
(4) Attacks on the doctrine of grace. This was masterful as he dealt with Roman Catholicism: first grace is only available in the Church, then specifically in the sacraments, finally extra grace in the saints. He showed how similar the Word of Faith teaching and practice is to Roman Catholicism.
(5) ‘The Word of Faith’ and faith. Previously he had called this, ‘The Death of Faith in the Word of Faith’! He gave 3 characteristics of faith: it has an object – God (Hebrews 11:6), a foundation – The Bible (2 Peter 1:19-21), and a character – obedience (Hebrews 11:8), none of which are true of faith in the Word of Faith. He told us that for them even God is subject to the same principle of ‘faith’ so that faith is their ‘god’!
(6) Contending for the Faith (Jude 3). He likened the letter to a general who receives intelligence information about an enemy attack (false teachers, vv. 5-19), and then shows them how the enemy is to be defeated (vv. 20-23). He interestingly said the aim of false teachers is always to draw Christians away from the love of God.
There was also a very useful Q & A session. Elly Achok introduced the Conference with the question, ‘Will the Church of Christ survive?’ Of course it will (Matthew 16:18)!
WISDOM TRAINING CENTRE
Elly Achok runs a part-time 9 month course which is basically going through Systematic Theology, a simplified version of what is done here with the PTC. It can also be done online. 21 graduated in their academic caps and gowns and there was great jubilation African style! One said that many of them only came for a certificate, but the Reformed teaching has totally changed his life.
GOSPEL MISSIONS AGENCY CHURCHES
Bringing reformation to a church from the extreme of the Word of Faith to the opposite Biblical ‘extreme’ of the Reformed Faith has not been smooth. Yet this is what both Elly Achok in Mumias and his older brother Barnabas Olare in Mombasa are seeking to do step by step. Many have left their churches, and former friends have turned against them. Making the transition from endlessly repetitive choruses to Biblically meaningful hymns has been slow but they are almost there. The constant very loud preaching has been ameliorated so that the style does not detract from the Biblical content. I so much benefitted from the ministry I received.
Please PRAY for these 2 brethren, pus 2 others were are training in the PTC in Nairobi from Mumias – Noah Ikari and Geoffrey Isambo. They have contacts in many places in Kenya and even in other countries of East Africa. May the true gospel run and be glorified!