As contemporary Bible scholars continue to disregard the cultural setting of Matthew’s gospel and interpret the “exception clause” of Matthew 5 and 19 to be “marital unfaithfulness” or “sexual immorality,” the effect reaches around the world. Marital faithfulness is no longer linked to a covenant made to God but rather it is dependent upon one’s perception of a spouse’s faithfulness or lack of it. Recently a well-known, respected leader from a large network of evangelical churches in Asia sent a certificate of approval for one of his junior pastors to remarry after two previous divorces. In discussion with Asian pastors in the MTM conferences we are informed that this apostasy is perpetrated by Western evangelists and teachers that hold large conferences in their countries. Numerous of these televangelists have not been faithful to their marriage vows themselves and are now spreading their adulterous ways worldwide.
One of the most requested subjects for the MTM conferences has been for teaching on marriage and the family. We have had pastors and leaders come to us numerous times in the course of a conference with comments about how they have never heard teaching like this before. As the stories and principles about family life emerge from the sessions, it is a joy to see the smiles and nodding of heads while the truth of God’s Word sinks into the hearts and spirits of the attendees. The double joy is to see them a year or so later living in deeper commitment to their wives and children as they teach and practice these same principles to the people in their realm of ministry.
TEAM PHOTO: L-R Clinton Weaver, Val & Barb Yoder, Raymond & Naomi Burkholder, and Stephen Burkholder.
Barbara and I thoroughly enjoyed joining Raymond and Naomi Burkholder on October 15-19 for a MTM conference with the Chepang people in Manahari, Nepal. The following week it was a joy to see some of the fruit of those conferences as pastors and leaders brought their wives and children to an EQUIP orphanage leader’s conference in Tansen, Nepal. Though the EQUIP conference was not sponsored by MTM, many of these men have previously attended a MTM conference and are now serving their families and the orphans in their homes by the things they have heard and been taught in previous conferences. A sixteen-year-old son of a Nepalese pastor, who recently spent nine days in prison for his faith, enthusiastically related his excitement about following in his father’s footsteps to get Bible training and then to pastor a church. This is the joy of seeing the two-pronged approach to church growth happening in Asia. The teaching of MTM conferences is encouraging the churches of Asia to grow through the training of sons and daughters in godliness and character as well as to foster evangelism by taking the Gospel to their Buddhist and Hindu neighbors. May the Lord continue to use the Macedonian Teaching Ministry to develop a solid Biblical basis for godly homes that exalt the Lord Jesus Christ in Asia until our Lord returns.
Editor’s Note; The above article was written by Val Yoder who served as guest teacher with MTM. Val & Barb Yoder are presently serving as pastor at Kitchi Pines church in Black Duck, Minnesota. Val served as field administrator of IGo ministries afore time. May the Lord reward you openly for your labor of love among the Chepang people of Nepal.