According to David Barton, the Third Great Awakening has started.
At Glenn Beck’s website, we learn that Beck and Barton talked after Glenn Beck’s Restoring Unity Rally on Saturday about the GA3.
GLENN: I think this is — I think we’re at the beginning. I flew back with David Barton yesterday. And David said, just matter-of-factly, he said, we’re in the awakening. And I said, I leaned up and I said, hold on. What did you just say. And he said, we’re in the awakening. And I said, the third great awakening? And he said, oh, yeah. I truly believe it’s happening now. That’s great that’s great. He’s the one that told me about the great awakening. He’s like, we need the great awakening to happen. And we had people of all different faiths walking together.
I am not a Great Awakening scholar but I am pretty sure you don’t get to declare the beginning of a great historical movement like that.
I am also pretty sure David Barton’s declaration that GA3 is here is a good sign it isn’t.
In Revolution in World Missions, K,P. Yohannan says the money needed by the rest of the world’s churches is held by North American Christians. Because he believes this, he has strong words for church leaders who construct expensive churches:
Is it God’s fault that men like Brother Paulose are going hungry? I do not think so. God has provided more than enough money to meet Paulose’s needs and all the needs of the TwoThirds World. The needed money is in the highly developed nations of the West. North American Christians alone, without much sacrifice, can meet all the needs of the churches in the Two-Thirds World.
A friend in Dallas recently pointed out a new church building that cost $74 million. While this thought was still exploding in my mind, he pointed out another $7 million church building going up less than a minute away.
These extravagant buildings are insanity from a Two-Thirds World perspective. The $74 million spent on one new building in the United States could build thousands of average-sized churches in South Asia. The same $74 million would be enough to guarantee that the Good News of Jesus Christ could be proclaimed to a whole Indian state—or even some of the smaller countries of Asia.
But I rarely spoke out on these subjects. I realized I was a guest. The Americans who had built these buildings had also built the school I was now attending, and they were paying my tuition to attend. It amazed me, though, that these buildings had been constructed to worship Jesus, who said, “The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head” (Matthew 8:20).
In Asia today, Christ is still wandering homeless. He is looking for a place to lay His head, but in temples “not made with human hands.” Until they can build a facility of their own, our newborn Christians usually meet in their homes. In nonChristian communities, it is often impossible to rent church facilities.
There is such an emphasis on church buildings in the United States that we sometimes forget that the Church is the people— not the place where the people meet.
But God has not called me to fight against church building programs—we try to provide adequate church buildings for the small but growing Asian churches whenever possible. What troubles me much more than the waste is that these efforts often represent a worldly mindset. Why can’t we at least earmark 10 percent of our Christian giving for the cause of world evangelism? If Christians in the United States alone had made this commitment in 2000, there would have been nearly $10 billion available for Gospel outreach! (Revolution in World Missions, pp 47-48.)
I am not drawn toward large churches or extravagance so I can relate to Yohannan’s negative reaction. Some of my interest in the Global Fund story at Mars Hill Church was driven by my curiosity about what Mars Hill did with the funds given for missions. As it turns out, much of the money (“the preponderance”) was spent on U.S. expansion rather than supporting the basic needs of mission pastors.
In my interviews with former GFA staff, a recurring topic is the discrepancy between the rhetoric of moderation and the reality of excess. A case in point is the relocation and building of the new GFA compound at Wills Point, TX. The project cost around $45 million. Staff were told that the project would save money. Former staff I have talked to indicate that they had to spend more money to live when they moved to Wills Point than before the move. More about that in the days to come.
Below is a picture of Gospel for Asia’s headquarters completed recently. There is a gallery of the GFA campus posted (for now) at HH Architects website.
Here is the multimillion dollar chapel.
I realize things cost money and GFA needs a headquarters. However, this project required nearly $20 million from “the field” to complete. Believers’ Church in India had to borrow $20 million for GFA’s American offices.* I am trying to reconcile this what I read in Revolution in World Missions.
*I need to add that the project included staff housing, including for K.P. Yohannan. Numerous homes were built along with the HQ.
World magazine is regularly polling 103 leaders/insiders regarding their views of the 2016 presidential contenders. This month Marco Rubio and Carly Fiorina gained ground among the poll participants.
Rubio was considered first choice by 34.5% of the participants while Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, Fiorina and John Kasich round out the top five. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump each got two votes to tie with 2.3% of the participants. Eighty-one percent said they would not vote for Trump, tops among GOP candidates.
Clearly, this group of evangelicals aren’t in sync with GOP voters being polled now. Trump leads the field with 23.5% in Real Clear Politics’ average of tracking polls.
See the Worldsurvey results here.
This morning Christian Today’s Mark Woods reports that the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability is reviewing Gospel for Asia.
Woods takes note of the controversy surrounding GFA and says that the review is expected to last until October. At that time, GFA will provide answers to “outstanding questions.”
Woods and Christian Today have provided some good coverage of this matter while everybody else appears to be sitting on their hands. Perhaps they are waiting for the review results as well.
Waiting for the completion of a review to answer basic questions is puzzling and troubling. One basic question relates to the claim that $58.5 million dollars was sent to Gospel for Asia in India during the calendar year 2013. However, during that same span of time, GFA in India only reported receiving around $6 million from GFA in the U.S. I cannot understand why GFA must wait until ECFA completes a review to address that discrepancy.
Furthermore, the 2013 audit says does not tell donors about the funds sent to Believers’ Church and two other Indian NGOs. Why not? And then there is the 2013 Canadian funds ($15 million CAD) which are not listed as being received in India despite the fact that GFA in Canada told the Canadian government those donations were being sent to India. Why does GFA need to wait until October to answer donor questions such as those asked by long-time supporter Pastor Bruce Morrison?
GFA president says he doesn’t sit on the Indian boards of GFA and Believers’ Church. Legal documents filed by GFA and BC in India say he does. Why do we need to wait until October for K.P. Yohannan to explain that discrepancy? Will Indian documents change by October?
Back room discussions continue…
These days I enjoy watching the Pirates play and enjoyed playing baseball as a younger man. As a catcher, I idolized Johnny Bench (and the rest of the Big Red Machine). My baseball dream died in the second year of college when music and my wife seemed more interesting.