Dear Pastor Need:
Thank you for the 30 copies of the February 2005 Biblical Examiner which is a good issue. I am glad that I was able to contribute slightly to the content of this issue with my article on the Temple in Jerusalem With Animal Sacrifices. This same article was featured for a while on the home page of the Baptist Missionary Association of Texas (it is now in their archives). This may be a sign that Christians in general are getting tired of the emphasis on promoting the Jewish religion and are ready to get back to promoting Christianity like we should have been doing all along. We can only hope so.
I am including an e-mail that I received from "Bread of Life Baptist Church" in Lima, Peru. I sent them a box of Bibles several months ago, and also included a bunch of Spanish articles, including almost everything I have ever written in Spanish. In their reply they have thanked me for the literature but they have mentioned only one item by name, your booklet, "The Other Jesus - The Gospel Perverted." It sounds as if a revival has broken out in Lima as a result of their reading this booklet.
Here is the translation of this letter, as best I can figure it out:
"Dear Pastor Thomas, It is with much joy that I inform you that at the end of December we have received your donation of Bibles and Christian literature. I want to repeat the gratitude in the name of the Director's Council of Prodic-Jireh. And likewise I want to share how important and marvelous have been to us the literature you sent, above all "The Other Jesus - The Gospel Perverted." Know that having been confronted with the word has been of great impact for our own lives. For some, our salvation had been put in doubt and in others they have discovered that they never had it. Personally, having placed in my heart all that I have read and meditated upon, I wanted to confirm my salvation to the Lord Jesus Christ, and my wife and children have truly been born again - now all my household are sure that we are heirs of the Kingdom of Heaven" [I am not sure what the writer is saying - I showed this to a Spanish pastor, and he thought it was saying that this writer believes he was previously saved, but his wife and children were not previously saved. I am not sure what they mean to say, but it is clear that they now have assurance of salvation after reading your booklet].
"Now all that the Lord has revealed to us, from the place that God has now placed us within the church where we meet, we are preaching like we always should have been preaching the Gospel of Salvation of our Lord Jesus Christ. Now in our "... Baptist Church" in the district of Villa El Salvador, City of Lima, many of our brothers among the leaders, teachers and members have understood the true message of salvation, they are preaching in the central worship at the altar, and through the Sunday Schools (adults, young people, teens and children) and in the home cell-groups.
This complete revelation of our salvation has filled our spirits with the spirit of God, and therefore we have immense joy and strength to evangelize all the dwellers of our locality.
"God is showing us a new vision for the walk of our institution ... It is totally evangelistic, but without setting aside the care of our children, even an evangelism specially for them. In Villa El Salvador there are more than 10 Baptist churches, and we want to be prepared to share with them that which is revealed by God, so we would be thankful if you can supply us with this booklet in order to transmit it to the other Baptist churches, and sharing with them (?) to have an evangelistic campaign, all in the same language Christ and His substitutionary work for me, for you and for all humanity. Dear Pastor, we would be delighted if you could visit us and make for yourself and your congregation this evangelistic labor, meeting in the first place with all the churches of the district in order to receive your teachings and secondly a campaign clearly evangelistic directed at lost souls.
"We are a small and new institution and we would like to do a great work in the service of the people of God and of all those who want to know Him. Your visit is important for us, please confirm if you can visit us this year and what would be the expenses that we can provide for your stay in Peru. We thank God for what is being done in our lives, and how He has used you and your congregation as an instrument of faith and strength in our locality. God keep you and bless you always, ... ."
That is the letter, as best I can figure it out. As you can see, there are some places where I am not absolutely sure what they are saying. There is no way I would be able to go to Peru, but if you know of any Spanish speaking preachers who would like to visit this group or minister to them in any other way, please put them in touch. If you print this letter in the paper or on the Internet, I would strongly suggest that you not publish their address or phone number (which appear on the second page of the e-mail) because I really don't know anything about this group or who they are affiliated with except that they use the Baptist name, and if you publish the contact information, this could be used by some group that we may not approve of, in order to get them to affiliate with this other group. [I have thus removed the name of the church and pastor from the above.) I have not sent them a second box of material, but I am going to consider doing so. Also, it just occurred to me to send a copy of this letter to a pastor I know in Chile who may be able to assist this group, whose convictions are mostly in line with ours, but he is located about 2000 miles south off Lima. If you know of any missionaries down there that you trust, please feel free to share this e-mail with them and see if they can make contact.
Yours in Christ,