Archive for April, 2008


Posted in Mission Updates 2008 on April 6, 2008 by filerofish

Dearly beloved in Christ,

America has had the most powerful history of revivals of any nation in themorning session in chapel world. Experts in revivals tell us that America is long overdue for another revival. In the past, there has been a spiritual awakening approximately every 50 years. That means that each generation of Americans has experienced revival in one form or another. Our own Restoration Movement gained momentum as an indirect result of the first Great Awakening (1730 – 1740). When a nation ceases to seek God wholeheartedly in supplication and humble repentance, then judgment usually follows. Is God getting ready to judge America?

In 2004, my son Neftali and I were flying to North Carolina for missions rally when I was suddenly overcome with a heaviness of heart, and a huge burden for America. I was so affected by this state of mind that I had to hide my face between my legs and weep for nearly an hour. That sentiment has only grown since then. God is lifting His hand of protection over this nation because of all her grievous sins of debauchery, murder, drug abuse, homosexuality, fornication, adultery, and abortion. American media has effectively become the devil’s propaganda machine covering the entire world. Will God be mocked by this debased generation? Will He not be moved to wrath? Did the country truly repented after 9/11? We have become the sickest nation in the world! How easily we forget the many lessons of history! We have been overcome with a spirit of fear instead of a spirit of righteousness. We have ceased to trust God for our protection.

The Spirit has been convicting me regarding the state of the church in America as well. We have ceased to pray as the early Christians did. Believers are bored with expository Biblical teaching,and the lack of spiritual discernment is epidemic. Much of what is called “youth ministry” has become an entertainment industry. Kids in church are just as likely to go out and have sex with their girlfriend as those who are in the world. Churchgoers seek to be entertained by 20-30 minute sermonettes for Christianettes that are designed to make us feel good, but never to convict. People are filling giddy in church and believers are seeking after a “touch” from God, but they are not seeking God for who He is. They are not falling on their faces in His presence, overwhelmed by His awesome holiness. We are living in a virtual spiritual Disneyland, void of reality. Christians are being persecuted and killed all around the world while we sit in church laughing. God is seeking for a people who are sighing and crying for the grave abominations that are a stench in God’s nostrils. Where are those people who are so convicted by God’s Spirit that they are willing to intercede for the souls of men? Where is the true spirit of prayer? God is desperately looking for a remnant that will stand in the gap for His world.

There is a wholesale abandonment of the “faith once for all delivered” on behalf of formerly faithful Christian Churches and Churches of Christ. Those of us who continue to stand by the plea to restore pristine New Testament Christianity are few and far-between. It appears that a new generation that “knew not Joseph” has arisen among us, and there is much disregard for the principles and values that have distinguished the Restoration Movement for nearly two centuries. No one seems willing to tackle the hard questions anymore or wrestle with the Scriptures as our forefathers did. Are we standing firm on the Biblical plan of salvation? Are we building up the Christian Churches/ Churches of Christ on the mission field? Etc.

The Lord has been impressing upon my heart the urgency of the the hour in which we are living. The burden for the unreached Mexican people is so great that I sometimes feel like I might crumble under the sheer weight of this calling. Since my father first came to this mission field 50 years ago, the need for the the Old Jerusalem gospel has not decreased. If anything, it has increased immensely do to population growth, the proliferation of pseudo-Christian cults, and the increasing ecumenicalism of neo-evangelicalism. The bottom line is that Mexico has never really seen a spiritual awakening or revival. Here Mexico is so close to the U.S., and has never experienced a nation-wide move of God. What will it take to move the church out of its comfort zone and into the firing line?

So-called “short-term missions teams” are being sent out under the banner of a sponsoring Christian Churches/ Churches of Christ, but the vast majority of them never enter into contact with local Christian Churches/Churches of Christ, or with their missionaries. So where are they going? During, the last two decades of the 20th century, we have seen a plethora of para-church organizations come into being that have been effectively siphoning off resources that were once destined to direct-support CC/CofC missions. The proliferation of these quasi-mission agencies has caused irreparable damage to the cause of New Testament Christianity, and have set us back even further in our efforts. These leech agencies have found a profitable niche in the missions market, so they are not prone to exercise any discernment in regard to the people they choose to work with. Most of them charge a fixed fee for their services, a practice that I personally find intolerable. Nevertheless, youth ministers and/ or team leaders don’t seem to have any problem with this arrangement. They are perfectly willing to pay extraordinary amounts of money for these “services” if they are given a packaged deal and don’t have to do all of the prep-work. What they seldom realize is they are also paying for the agency’s overhead expenses as well.

These para-church missions-agencies of which I speak, are usually interdenominational in nature and have little regard for sound Biblical doctrine. In many instances,they are not interested in working through local church leadership so that the people who benefit form their aid might come into contact with the body of Christ. When they do happen to involve local churches, these are not congregations of the Christian Churches or Churches of Christ, but some denominational group or some fly-by-night sect that is here today but gone tomorrow. There is no follow up or spiritual accountability for the resources that are being invested. If this practice continues unchecked, we will inevitably see the rise and fall of direct-support independent missions among the Christian Churches and Churches of Christ within the next five to ten years.

Yours 4 Christ,

Philip & Miriam Watkinson