Back to India 2007
The Open Letter Power Point Slide Show
AN OPEN RESPONSE TO JACOB CHUKKA'S OPEN LETTER
From: Jacob Chukka <email@example.com>
Date: Oct 24, 2007 10:26 PM
Subject: American team bringing division in well estalished churches in India.
To: Joshua Mahendranath <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Mr. Joshua Mahendranath and the team from America (Bobby Homes)
American team bringing divisions in well established churches in India.
REPLY: Mr. Chukka has made serious charges against us and against brethren in India. In this reply we will answer his accusations point by point, using the Bible as our guide and standard. Please consider everything we say and everything Mr. Chukka has said in the light of the Scriptures (2 Tim. 3:16-17).
What we have brought to India is the pattern of sound words concerning the work and organization of the Lord’s church (2 Tim. 1:13; Acts 20:27). The truth of Christ will indeed divide truth-lovers and truth-followers from those who profess to know God, but deny Him by their works (Matt. 10:34-36; Titus 1:16). The Bible reveals who is the real divider in Israel (1 Kgs. 18:17-18); it is those who are not holding fast the pattern of sound words who are the dividers of God’s people.
Greetings in the name of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ.
We are working in India for the last 32 years to plant the Lord’s churches in many corners of our country with the help and support of ministers sponsors from Churches of Christ at USA. Some of the congregations in India are self supported.
REPLY: Gospel preachers do not “plant churches,” they plant the seed, the word of God, that saves souls (Rom. 1:15-16; 2 Tim. 4:2; 1 Pet. 1:22-25). Local churches are established as saints in each place join together to work and worship according to the New Testament pattern (Acts 2:42-47). Such terminology as “planting churches” is not from the Bible; it is the language of the denominations. To talk in such a way is not speaking as the oracles of God (1 Pet. 4:11).
“Sponsoring churches” are not found in the New Testament. This is one of the errors we preach against as we call brethren back to the word of God and away from the innovations of men. In the New Testament, churches did not “sponsor” preachers, they had fellowship with preachers by supporting them as they preached the gospel (Phil. 1:5; 4:15-16; 2 Cor. 11:8; 1 Cor. 9:14; 1 Tim. 5:18; Lk. 10:7). As long as churches of Christ in America arrange sponsoring churches and brethren in India participate in this unscriptural arrangement, we will oppose it both in America and in India (Jude 3-4).
In the recent past years, your team from America have come to India and took shelter under us to proclaim the gospel with the good spirit and in the interest of Lord’s work. We have introduced and allowed the pulpit in the congregations.
REPLY: We have taken no shelter under Jacob Chukka or any other man. What we teach is open and public for all to examine. The truth of the matter is we came preaching Christ, not the innovations and perversions of the faith that have corrupted many churches of Christ around the world. We show a good spirit toward all, not to gain an advantage, but because we are following the example of Jesus Christ (Lk. 6:27-28, 31; Rom. 12:21).
When invited to speak in churches of Christ in India, we accepted the invitations and spoke the whole counsel of God that is not being heard in many churches in India. Jacob Chukka’s objection is due to the fact that he rejects the pattern of God’s word on the work and organization of the local church. Therefore, he has set himself in opposition to the preachers who reject liberalism for the pure gospel.
He has repeatedly refused to meet with Bobby Holmes and Joe Price to discuss these matters face to face. He cancelled a gospel meeting that he and the church in Bangalore had invited Bobby to preach for them. Twice he refused to meet with us face to face to discuss this matter. He said he would come and meet us, but repeatedly he did not come to the meetings we arranged.
We are still ready to meet Jacob Chukka, whether publicly or privately, to study the Bible and present what the Bible teaches on these matters. This continues to be our only objective and our only conduct in India; to preach and teach God’s word, to warn of error and to call sinners to repentance. And, that includes sinners in churches of Christ.
Later we came to know that they are preaching that-
REPLY: These charges are full of misrepresentations, distortions and prejudicial statements that prevent brethren from hearing what God’s word really says on these things.
Reply: This completely misrepresents the issue and what we teach. What the Bible teaches is that we must have Christ’s authority for all we say and do (Col. 3:17). The local church has authority to assemble to worship God (1 Cor. 14:26; Acts 20:7; Heb. 10:25). Therefore, the local church has authority to provide a meeting place to obey the commandment to worship God.
But, where in the Bible is there authority for the local church to plan, promote and provide social activities for its members? There is none, the Scriptures are silent. Without Bible authority, the local church is sinning to do such things, whether it provides the social activity in their building or in any other place. To add such things to the work of the local church is to add to God’s word (1 Cor. 4:6; Rev. 22:18). That is the real issue.
Reply: Bible schools that are supported by churches of Christ have no Bible authority to exist. The local church, under the leadership of its elders, the service of its deacons and the working of each member, is a fully sufficient organization to do its work. For churches to build, promote, fund and operate another organization, whether it is a preacher training school, a secular school, a college, an orphanage or a home for widows – all such arrangements are without Bible authority. That is the truth about what we preach.
The local church has been given the responsibility to teach and train its own members in the word and work of God, and is fully capable of doing so without the addition of another organization like a preaching training school with its director, staff and students (1 Cor. 14:26). That is the truth about what we preach.
We challenge those who practice church support of additional organizations to do its work to give us the Bible verses that approve it. We challenge Mr. Chukka to publicly debate these issues so all can hear his Bible defense of church-supported organizations. Will he do so? So far, he prefers to slander our name, misrepresent our work and refuse to meet us to discuss these Bible subjects. That is the real issue.
By the way, we do not give out any certificates to those who come and study the Bible with us, nor do we honor certificates from any school. Where is the Bible authority for giving certificates for Bible study or baptisms or anything else? There is none, and so, we do not practice it nor honor it. It is another denominational practice that is now being practiced by liberal churches of Christ.
Reply: There is absolutely nothing wrong with women meeting together to study the Bible. However, if a church organizes another organization for women, then we firmly disagree. Again, the real issue is not whether women can meet to study the Bible. The issue is that the local church does not have Bible authority to organize a new organization within the local church that oversees teaching God’s word to women.
Reply: Orphanages, widow and old age homes that are supported by churches and overseen by an eldership, a director, or some other organizational structure, have no Bible authority to exist. James 1:27 does not teach about the work of the local church; it teaches about the responsibility each individual Christian to do good to the poor and weak, just as Galatians 6:10 also teaches. We practice these commandments as individuals, since that is who is commanded in these verses (see Jas. 1:22-26). We do not twist the Scriptures to make these passages, which speak of individual Christians work, to also apply to the work of the local church. The Bible teaches that the individual Christian and the local church are not one and the same (1 Tim. 5:16; Matt. 18:15-17). It cannot be scripturally said that “whatever the individual can do, the local church can do.” The above Scriptures prove that to be false. That is the real issue.
Where is the Bible authority for an eldership of a local church to also oversee orphanages, widow and old age homes? Churches have as much authority from God to use instrumental music in worship as they do to build, operate or support human organizations. Both are without Bible authority. Period. That is the real issue.
Reply: Just like the misrepresentation about women meeting to study the Bible, this charge is another distortion of what the Bible teaches and of what we teach. Churches have authority to teach the Bible to all ages (1 Cor. 14:26). But, the local church does not have the authority to plan, promote, provide and arrange social activities for its young people (or anybody else). That is not the work of the local church; that is the responsibility of the home (Eph. 6:3-4; 1 Cor. 11:22, 34).
It is when churches of Christ have “youth ministers” or any other arrangement that provides and oversees social activities (whether for the youth or for anyone else), that it is acting without Bible authority. That is the real issue.
Reply: The word “fellowship” is never used to describe social get-togethers in the New Testament. This is another error of denominationalism that has corrupted many churches of Christ. Brethren have been taught that eating meals or having other forms of social activities is the “fellowship” we enjoy in Christ (1 Cor. 1:9). It is not. The fellowship we share in Christ is entirely spiritual in nature (1 Jno. 1:1-7; Eph. 4:1-3).
When the Corinthian church introduced common meals into the work and worship of their local church, the apostle Paul rebuked them:
“What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and shame those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you in this? I do not praise you.” (1 Cor. 11:22)
The apostle did not praise the church for this sinful conduct, therefore, why should we?! We will not! He said Christians have houses to eat and drink in. But, Jacob Chukka and his brethren say “we have the church building to eat and drink in.” The Bible condemns the local church arranging and providing social meals. Who will you follow; Jacob Chukka or Christ and his gospel?
Again, the apostle Paul said,
“But if anyone is hungry, let him eat at home, lest you come together for judgment.” (1 Cor. 11:34)
The apostle taught that we condemn ourselves when we “come together” as a church to eat meals that satisfy hunger.
The only meal we eat that is called “fellowship” is the Lord’s Supper; it is communion with the body and blood of Jesus (1 Cor. 10:16; 11:20). Eating common meals as a part of the work of the local church is not fellowship. That is the real issue.
Reply: Here, Mr. Chukka accuses Bobby Holmes, Joe Price and other brethren with hypocrisy. This is a slanderous lie that is completely without proof.
We do not have “team leaders” – we do not even use such denominational and unbiblical terminology. When we ask brethren to help us arrange students for the Bible classes we teach, we have not formed “team leaders” and we are not practicing “bossism.” More lies.
Jacob Chukka condemns himself in the allegations he makes: “Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things.” (Rom. 2:1)
None of our brethren are “directors” who hold control over money and over preachers like Jacob Chukka (and other “directors”) does. We oppose such ungodly control over men and churches that violate the independence and autonomy of local churches, because such conduct has no Bible authority (Col. 3:17).
We do not tell preachers where to preach and what churches they can preach for, like Jacob Chukka (and other directors) does. We oppose such ungodly control over men and churches that violate the independence and autonomy of local churches. Such conduct has no Bible authority to approve it; it is sin.
So, we ask Jacob Chukka; where is your Bible authority to receive and direct the distribution of money from sponsoring churches in America? Where is your Bible authority to form “team leaders” and control their movements? Where is your Bible authority to tell churches the preacher who will preach for them? Where is your Bible authority to tell preachers which church they will work with? WE DO NONE OF THESE THINGS. By doing such things you have overstepped your authority from Christ and are practicing things that are against the doctrine of Christ (2 Jno. 9; Gal. 1:6-9). We will not have fellowship with anyone who comes teaching and practicing these false doctrines, including you (2 Jno. 10-11). We will follow the word of God and expose false teachers and their false doctrines (Eph. 5:11; Rom. 16:17).
At every turn, Jacob Chukka has misdefined, misrepresented, distorted and completely lied about what we teach and practice. That is the real issue.
We call upon him to repent of all of these sins. We also call upon all truth-loving brethren in India to reject the traditions of men that have been introduced into India by American churches and preachers, and that is now being spread by the many preachers they have trained and put into positions of power and control. “Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord.” (2 Cor. 6:17)
So we have disassociated and discouraged your team. Taking advantage of our introduction and hospitality with the congregation, they have taken liberty and attracted some preachers with more money than what they are getting, In some other congregation, where there is no support to the preachers, they attracted with support. They not only named us As liberals, but also showed us as notorious wherever they went to gain people’s sympathy, kindness and moral support and corrupted the clean hearts.
Reply: We have not preached anywhere we have not been invited, including where Jacob Chukka preaches in Bangalore. We accepted the invitations and preached what the people needed to hear. When we preached, we did not scratch itching ears to satisfy the false doctrine of false brethren (2 Tim. 4:2-4). Because of this, Mr. Chukka says we have brought division. He is wrong.
We have never, never offered money to any man or any church to accept the truth we preach. This is a lie, Mr. Chukka, and you know that no liar will inherit eternal life, Rev. 21:8. (By hearing this slanderous lie we are made to wonder how many men has Mr. Chukka offered money if they will continue to work with him?)
You are liberal in mind and deed, Mr. Chukka. You go beyond what is written in the New Testament, as we have noted in this reply. When will you cease your sin, Mr. Chukka?
We do not preach to gain men’s sympathy or favor, but to please the Lord (Gal. 1:10). The word of God does not corrupt clean hearts; it is the errors of false doctrine like Jacob Chukka teaches and practices that do that.
With this motive they grabbed not only preachers whom we have trained, but also converts, church buildings and properties. If once they have attracted the preachers, they never visit those congregations again, but invite the preachers to submit the reports at the meetings which they conducted in hotels. In the absence of your team in India, these preachers would sit before the computers and send false and fabricated reports to their sponsors, as if the conservative Christian teachings are effective and developed in the congregations. But it is true that the congregations who fell prey to your team, still preaching and teaching and practicing what was taught earlier.
Reply: Mr. Chukka continues to judge our motives for preaching the gospel. Yet, all the while he reveals his own selfish motives and sinful practices. He holds control over preachers and churches, directing their support and where they preach – we do not. He is concerned about “church buildings and properties” – he does not show concern about giving Bible authority for what he does and teaches.
We cannot possibly visit every congregation of faithful Christians in India. We do not live in India; our time and resources to do so are limited. But, this is not a good enough answer for Jacob Chukka. He also accuses faithful gospel preachers with lying, saying they write “false and fabricated reports to their sponsors.” Bring forth the evidence, Mr. Chukka. Your allegation of lies is not proof of it. Show us the proof of the lies, show us that lies have been fabricated and we will call the sinners to repentance. But we will not stand by and let you accuse faithful men simply because you say what they report is false.
Is it now a sin to meet brethren in a hotel, study the Bible with them and encourage them to be faithful to Christ? Is it a sin for them to them report about these things? Evidently, Mr. Chukka thinks so. Like Israel of old, he “calls evil good, and good evil” (Isa. 5:20).
Now, he also accuses brethren and congregations with lying and hypocrisy. God hates “a lying tongue” as well as “A false witness who speaks lies, and one who sows discord among brethren” (Prov. 6:17, 19).
Bring forth the evidence that preachers are lying about what they teach and practice. Show us the proof of churches that have rejected liberalism but who continue to practice it. No doubt, brethren need to continue to learn about refusing to compromise with error, and refuse it. The work of the preacher includes helping to ground Christians in the whole counsel of God so they will do so. That is very different than charging churches with lying and hypocrisy.
Some preachers who are taking support from your team and still continue to taking support from those who were supporting earlier. In this way the team is making the preachers to misappropriate the Lord’s money and promote committing sin. If you visit these congregations without prior intimation, you will see the true colors. The preachers whom you are supporting are the people of our converts trained by us and now they are posing and boasting that it is their labor (please refer the scripture 2 Cor 10: 12-18)
REPLY: Mr. Chukka continues to misrepresent the truth. Preachers do not take support from our “team” – that is what he does! The preachers we know are being supported directly from churches or individual Christians, as well as their local congregation when possible – not through a director or a “team.”
We have learned of some who continue to have fellowship with liberalism by taking support from them as well as from sound brethren. When we have discovered these, we have rebuked them to the face and called them to repentance. We have plainly told them that unless they repent of this sin we will inform the church or Christian supporting them so they can decide what will be done with the support they receive. Faithful brethren will not support men in such sinful conduct. WE DO NOT APPROVE OF SUCH HYPROCRISY; WE CONDEMN IT.
We know of no such “boastings” of which he speaks. We know brethren who have reported they now reject the liberalism they once practiced. We know of brethren who have withstood your efforts to intimidate them if they did not return to you and your error. Each church has the God-given right to decide for itself the preacher who will work with it – that right is not given to any person who is not a member of that local church – including Jacob Chukka.
It is our challenge, if half of the amount of your support is curtailed half of the preachers whom you are supporting will disappear from you. If the full support is stopped none of them will stay with your team.
REPLY: Mr. Chukka continues to define everything in terms of money. We suspect it is due, in part, to the power and control he uses over preachers and their financial support.
The fact is that men have rejected full support from Jacob Chukka and liberal churches in America in order to end their fellowship with the errors of liberalism. Mr. Chukka knows this, yet lies about brethren, saying that they are being driven by money.
We tell every preacher in every class we teach that we do NOT bring any promise of money to them. We tell them that if that is why they have come to our Bible classes they have come for the wrong reason. Covetousness is a sin that we preach against and warn our brethren about (Col. 3:5; 1 Tim. 6:9-10).
It is clear that Mr. Chukka and his associates are consumed with money and use it to hold power over preachers. We preach against this, and he is feeling the pressure of the truth of God as men reject his ungodly hold over preachers and churches through the power of money (support).
It is our sincere advice to the team to go to perishing souls in India and not to the congregations which are already established to bring division and confusion among the churches. Let your supporting so called preachers, start a new congregations, and prove their capacity that they are knowledgeable preachers. Showing and entering our labor to you and boasting and posing, is nothing but unscriptural, you are encouraging such kind of cults and part taking their sin.
REPLY: Jacob Chukka evidently believes there can be no sin or “perishing souls” in churches of Christ in India. He says do not preach to us; preach to the lost. We will continue to preach to the lost and to brethren who have departed from the faith by teaching and practicing things that are not in the word of God (1 Tim. 4:1).
Again, we have only preached in churches where we have been invited to do so. When Paul was invited to preach in the synagogue, he preached what his audience needed to hear (Acts 13:14ff; 17:2-3). Jacob Chukka says do not preach what people need to hear – if you do, you are the cause of trouble and you are bringing division! That is what many said about Paul, but they were lies then and they are lies now (Acts 13:45, 50; 17:5-6; 28:22).
We have not called another’s labor our own. Everywhere we preach we call saints and sinners to repent of every sin and follow the pure gospel of Christ. This is not bringing division to India; it is bringing peace with God through the truth of His Son, Jesus Christ. (1 Cor. 2:1-5)
When you are calling us liberals, Why you need our converts and our property ?. Are you not ashamed of this? Let your supported preachers get out from our labor, and of our property. This is nothing but stealing and robbing , and grabbing. Two Congregations understood the colors and drove their preachers out. You are buying so called preachers with American dollars.
REPLY: Another lie. We have not come to seize control of churches and properties. Furthermore, it is not for you to decide what churches believe and teach, or what they do with their property, Mr. Chukka. Each local church decides whether or not they will reject false doctrine. You cannot direct the churches and the preachers; you do not have that power from Christ – you have usurped it for yourself. Have you no shame, Mr. Chukka? Repent while you can.
Nobody is stealing, robbing and grabbing property. Mr. Chukka uses these terms because brethren are making their own decisions without asking for his permission and approval. He sees his power and control decreasing as brethren stand up against the errors of liberalism. Have you no shame, Mr. Chukka?
Not every congregation remains faithful to Christ (Rev. 2-3). When that happens it saddens us and we pray for them. And, we will teach them the gospel and call them to repentance when given the opportunity.
We are not “buying so called preachers with American dollars.” Again, he lies. Furthermore, he implies that men who reject liberalism and are now being supported by churches and individual Christians in American are only “so called” preachers and not genuine gospel preachers. Slander is a sin, Mr. Chukka; “Whoever hides hatred has lying lips, and whoever spreads slander is a fool” (Prov. 10:18). Again, we urge Mr. Chukka to repent. Have you no shame, Mr. Chukka?
Beloved team, this is not mine or your money but the Lord’s money which is being misused by you to the notorious liars and cheaters. These notorious liars and cheaters are not only cheating us, but also cheating you and American brethren and God. One day we are all accountable to the Lord at His judgment seat. (2 Cor 5:10) .
We are praying for your repentance.
REPLY: We are glad to hear that Mr. Chukka understands it is the Lord’s money and not his. Now, we call upon him to act like he believes it. He must not misuse the Lord’s money by being an unscriptural director over it. Support should go directly from churches to preachers without any sponsoring church or director interference. That is the pattern taught in the New Testament and the pattern we will continue to preach and follow. Why don’t you follow the Bible pattern, Mr. Chukka?
We agree that the Lord will call every liar and cheater to account on the day of judgment; of that we are sure (2 Cor. 5:10). The Lord wants all to repent and come to the knowledge of the truth, and so do we (2 Pet. 3:10). We pray for all who are presently consumed in the sins of liberalism.
In love for the truth and for lost souls,
Bobby Holmes, Joe Price and Joshua Mahendranath