BGCT VS ICA & CHURCHES
The Baptist General Convention of Texas, known as BGCT, under the motto of “Together we do more”, leaves the Bible aside and takes legal action against one of its affiliated churches since the year 2000: Iglesia Cristiana Alianza (Christian Alliance Church) and Pastor Armando Vera.
The BGCT proceeded unethically and without using the most elementary biblical principles when they chose to publicize a costly private investigation, which at the same time was intimidating, tendentious, uncorroborated, with many errors and had a cost of $150,000. This amount was perhaps inappropriately paid to people who were misinformed in the aspects of the goal of church planting, as well as the spiritual battles and obstacles that are faced when starting a church. Many times we told the BGCT that church planting “is not like opening up a small business, it implies much more than the perception of the global organization”. The money spent on this senseless investigation, could have been used to start many more churches and help keep the majority of the existing ones in function. Unfortunately, these were closed due to the scandal caused by others who are ignorant of God’s ultimate purpose.
BGCT directors had the urgency to come up with answers at the BGCT Convention on November of 2006. They had to respond to speculations they, themselves had promoted through the Baptist Standard, newspaper owned by the BGCT. This scandal was published in an unprofessional, manipulative way and sadly, violating many basic biblical principles.
It’s also necessary to mention that Baptist Standard received offerings from our church as well as others affiliated with the BGCT. These offerings many times were sacrificially sent for years. The morbid scoffing ridicule that the BGCT stirred up, reached such magnitude that not even they were able to stop this disgraceful event from making them look like gullible, incompetent and carnally guided not by the Holy Spirit. As a result, the BGCT had to pay a high price: Leaders from the highest levels were removed, revealing the real problems within.
After all this, we are blessed. Wrongs have been perpetrated against us, we were: Blamed, intimidated, judged and sentenced, without having been given the least opportunity to demonstrate our innocence. This is a delicate, sad and shameful situation for Christ Our Lord, His church, Baptists, Hispanics and all Christians. The BGCT always knew and authorized the way funds were managed. These funds were sent to start churches in the homes of Iglesia Cristiana Alianza (Christian Alliance Church), and we need to remember that the BGCT continually encouraged us to put more effort on starting new Churches in Homes.
In several occasions we served the BGCT in proclaiming that they were fulfilling the Great Commission, recognizing us publicly for the fruit given from the new churches in homes, which were never “ghost churches”, as they now disingenuously declare. The BGCT, awarded plaques, certificates, including a bell to us, awards that we proudly display, in the building of our mother church, as a proof of our work in the starting of new churches during 2000-2005.
Shamefully, the BGCT declared: Presenting themselves as victims, that they would abstain from pursuing us as a church before a civil court because:
1) Of the high cost the BGCT would have to pay lawyers since it would be higher than the “embezzled funds”
2) Of the fact that some of the accusations had legally expired.
3) Of the uncertainty of recuperating funds that according to them we embezzled
Nonetheless, they decided to continue pursuing this ridiculous case through federal entities, urging one of their highest rank Hispanic leader to declare that he was in contact with the FBI so that they would promptly press charges against us.
We ask ourselves:
Where did the BGCT and its church affiliates place the Bible? They are proceeding against a church and a servant of God who has been proven in honesty and integrity, let’s not forget the fruit of his labor.
Where does the BGCT leave: Matthew 18:15-22; 1 Corinthians 6:1-11; Galatians 6:1-10?
Do we see God in the middle of all this?
The consequences of this process has been the closing of churches, division within the church, families leaving the church, discouragement, illnesses, and family crises. We have also had to pay large quantities of money, due to the need to defend ourselves. We have had to hire attorneys who specialize in church legal service. Additionally, an accounting consultant was hired so that the funds provided by the BGCT, managed by Iglesia Cristiana Alianza, were audited. Pastor Armando Vera’s accounts were audited as well, even though he never managed these funds in his personal account. These were always received and managed by the church administrator. These professionals were contracted to prove ourselves innocent of the wrongful accusations. This was done, in spite of the results of the investigation which concludes: “It was not proven that the funds awarded by the BGCT were utilized for personal gain/profit”. The BGCT will not admit, before October 31, 2008, the seriousness of the mistake they made by slandering us, which could open the doors to lawsuits and being repaid evil for evil.
The Bible says that “the wicked man flees though no one pursues...”. Could our problem be that we are Hispanic? And that the people who have risen against us, lying, are Anglos and Hispanics? Something that we constantly ask is: Wasn’t there spiritual Baptists, who were sensitive to Scripture or the Holy Spirit? Were all of them blinded and cauterized by something that many of them don’t even believe much less preach about: “A satanic japanese spirit” and its demons”, who used, deceived, utilized and confused an organization for God to which we also belong?
Is it a coincidence that a majority of the ones who started this whole situation were rewarded, promoted, benefited and protected? Would it have been handled the same way if we were Anglo? So, if our accusers decided to put the Bible and God aside, we have decided to persevere, trusting the Lord and His promises. We are willing to pay the price of being persecuted, slandered, and despised for the cause of Christ.
We may wrongfully appear before a court made up by men; have the most powerful attorneys in the nation against us: struggle against diabolic authority hidden in powerful men who have strayed from away from God and receive a salary from the BGCT, but let us not forget that God cannot be mocked and that all of us will appear before God’s judgment seat.
Join us in prayer for this cause, that these accusations against the church of the Lord Jesus, all baptists all hispanics, and his true servants be proven false and may the name of Jesus Christ be glorified.
“A sincere effort does not cause guilt: We did receive money to start churches and we started them, having an indubitable proof: the baptism of over 700 believers.”
But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead. Philippians 4:12
Links of vituperation: Valley Funds Scandal coverage
* BGCT - River Ministry awards ring a bell.
* Rio Grande pastors to BGCT: ‘Tell them we are not thieves’:
* The full investigation report is available here as a pdf document.
Valley Funds Scandal: http://www.baptiststandard.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=5846
The Bible say:
- Matthew 5:10-11 "Blessed ..."
- 1 Peter 3:14-15 "But even if you ...
- 1 Peter 4:14-19 "If you are insulted ..."
- Matthew 5:38-42 "You have heard ..."
- 1 Corinthians 6:1-11 "If any of you ..."
- Galatians 6:1-4 "Brothers, if some is caught in a sin ..."
- 1 Thessalonians 5:12-22 "Now we ask you ..."
- Revelation 2:8-11 "To the angel of the church ..."
- Revelations 12:11 "They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb ..."
And The Holy Bible has more and more and more.