Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Was I peddling the gospel?

When I returned from a short-term missionary trip to Saltillo, Mexico, I felt happy about contributing to the Lord's work. Imagine my surprise when the minister of the house church chided me for peddling the gospel.

From my newly-published memoir, How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity, here's an excerpt that shows how the cult leader's withering criticism spoiled my joy.

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I don't like the idea of peddling books to pay for preaching the gospel," Brother Herald opined as he, Sister Roberta, Sister Eileen, and I ate supper in Sister Eileen's kitchen one Wednesday in January. "The gospel should be presented freely. Paul never charged for his missions work and neither should that outfit you were with, Bruce."

While he pontificated, hurt and anger boiled inside me. The mission leaders explained to us during their morning evangelism classes that we needed to sell the books so people would value them.

"Jesus said, 'Freely ye have received,'" Brother Herald continued as he glared at me. "The gospel is not for sale. If those book peddlers wish to evangelize, let them work first. I would have no more to do with them if I were you."

As our minister continued his diatribe, I silently wondered, Have I sinned by going on that trip with Operation Mobilization?

I heeded his directive but I still kept in contact with a few short-term missionaries from that organization.

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I wrote extensively about that house church in my newly-published memoir, How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity. Please check it out at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Virtual Bookworm.