ELI Report from Todd Bradley
Have you ever been deceived? Most of us have. Sometimes it’s about a minor issue; other times it is more significant and costly. As we look back on those more impactful deceptions, we get uncomfortable remembering how much we trusted what we heard. It sounded so good, but in the end, it was unreliable and led us in a harmful direction.
As we engage in the Church’s mission of global outreach, ELI sees widespread false teaching in the cultures where we work. Due to the remoteness of much of Latin America, Africa, and other regions, untrained pastors are grasping at satellite ministries that often teach doctrines that are harmful to their people such as health and wealth messages. Couple this with the people’s desperation caused by stark poverty, and you will appreciate their instinct to embrace whatever gives them hope—a spiritual lottery ticket. The sad and frustrating thing is that the majority of these people are sincere believers who are trying to live Christian lives as they understand it. Even sadder are the pastors who want to teach God’s truth but have a limited understanding due to having no opportunity for a legitimate seminary education.
Satan takes full advantage of this. The first warning Paul gave young pastor Timothy was to guard against false teaching (I Timothy 1:3). Indeed, much of Paul’s ministry was teaching sound biblical truth throughout the Roman Empire to those the Lord brought to faith through Paul’s work. Later in his ministry, he met with the elders of Ephesus as he was making his final journey back to Jerusalem. He concluded this meeting with a warning:
I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them (Acts 20:29-30).
“Wolves” is an astute metaphor. False teaching is a serious threat to the health and testimony of the church. Therefore, the proper training of elders is an urgent task since they are the guardians of the doctrinal fidelity being taught to their congregations. Thistakes us to the heart of ELI’s mission – training faithful men to teach others. Again, it is based on Paul’s directive to Timothy—what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also (2 Timothy 2:2).
ELI is committed to teaching well respected elders in a country like Rwanda, who will teach other pastors, who will then strengthen their churches in sound biblical truth.
Thank you for faithfully supporting such a critical work that enables you to share in thisministry with us. The Apostle John speaks to this in his 3rd Epistle:
Beloved, it is a faithful thing you do in all your efforts for these brothers…You will do well to send them on their journey in a manner worthy of God. For they have gone out for the sake of the name, accepting nothing from the Gentiles. Therefore, we ought to support people like these, that we may be fellow workers for the truth (3 John 5-8).
All Saints is a living example of this.