|Corruption in the Philippines|
From: Ron Halbrook, RonHalbrook
Good to hear from you. Thanks so much for your inquiry. I am in a meeting in Marietta OH and Donna forwarded your message. When I arrived here, I learned the attacks on Jim McDonald & myself along with Filipino brethren such as Rody Gumpad have intensified again.
Before Jim and I took the benevolence during the terrible drought of 1998, we discussed at length the very concerns you express about the dangers of abuse and corruption where money is involved. We sought the wisdom and advice of other men who have worked in third world countries about how we might handle the benevolence and avoid the danger of corruption. We tried in every way possible to do all things honest in the sight of men as well as of God. While we certainly do not claim perfection in any of our efforts, I do not know anything we could have done differently. If we had it to do over, we would proceed as we did before.
How then do we explain the reports by Wallace Little and Glenn Hamilton of widespread dishonesty, corruption, lies, deception, etc.? We realize that honest people reading these reports will be in a quandry. Here are a few points for consideration:
1. This battle and these charges against Jim and me began long before the benevolence distributed in 1998. This began in 1995 because Ken Marrs, Jim McDonald, and myself would not concede to Little's insistence that we not address such issues as MDR, eating blood, Rom. 14, fellowship, false teachers, and related matters. He insisted there was no need for it. The truth is that the errors of Jim Puterbaugh were working as a leaven in the Philippines just as such errors have been doing here in the U.S. Wally twisted our doctrinal warnings into a supposed "personal" vendetta against Puterbaugh, claiming we only wanted to run Puterbaugh out of the Philippines, become "brotherhood dictators," and similar aspersions attacking our motives. We do not intend to be intimidated and stopped from sounding scriptural warnings about false doctrines and false teachers simply because our character has been attacked. Wally mailed out several barages of attacks against our work in 1995 and it has not stopped since then. First he used traditional mail and then added computer messages.
2. The charges made from 1995 until now are very much the same as the charges hurled at New Testament preachers by both aliens and apostates as recorded in Acts, 2 Cor., and other epistles. Dishonesty, causing disruption and division, sectarianism, breaking the law, etc., etc. were charged against Christ, the Apostles, and the early saints. The number and repetition of the charges did not prove them to be true.
3. Glenn Hamilton has joined with Wally in making various charges and spreading them far and wide. Just as in the U.S., there are 3 attitudes in regard to these current issues. Some have embraced false doctrines and spread them. Others have sounded a warning about the leaven of error. A third group claims to believe the truth on controverted issues but attacks those defending the truth and works in full fellowship with those propagating error. Glenn is of this third mentality. Glenn works hand-in-hand with Little and Puterbaugh and with other false teachers who visit the Philippines (Don Wilson, etc.), while claiming to not believe their distinctive errors on such issues as are mentioned above (see point 1). Glenn does not so much as come to hear sound and faithful men who visit the Philippines.
When Connie W. Adams was in Tuguegarao in Feb. of 1999, Glenn was in town and stayed in a house next door to the very place where Connie was preaching without ever coming to hear him. Connie went to him and asked why he refused to come, and offered him time to speak if he disagreed with Connie's preaching . Glenn said one of the brethren threatened to murder him. Connie sent for that brother. When he got them face to face, the brother denied he ever made such a threat. The man had said he might request Glenn's deportation for causing so much trouble and friction among Filipinos. This man and others resent Glenn constantly making false charges against brethren which are damaging to their reputations. Still, Glenn did not come to hear Connie preach. You may verify this by contacting Connie by phone (502-957-2257) or computer (email@example.com).
4. There can be unworthy men in the Philippines just as in the U.S. and we do not ignore that danger. When we can document and verify that a man is unfaithful, we supply that information to his supporters so that they can investigate and respond as they see fit. Wally and Glenn make mostly undocumented and unverifiable charges and only occasionally offer some supposed documentation. If we see charges which we believe merit attention, from those men or anyone else, we seek documented information. We have verified the misuse of supposed documentation by those men. In other cases, we have verified their charges are false by finding documentation of the true facts. In other words, we do not ignore charges which appear to be serious or charges which appear to have some documentation. Again and again, we find charges made by Wally and Glenn are simply not true.
5. In regard to the case at hand, Greg D.L. Reyes still preaches for the church at Sampaguita and the work is progressing. We have identified his two supporters. He receives a total of $100 per month. If there are additional supporters and amounts of money, Glenn should document his charges. He cannot do so. He will not do so. Rody Gumpad continues now as he has for many years to serve the Metro Tuguegarao Church of Christ by preaching the gospel. He has worked in harmony with the elders of this church, men whom I know personally. Attendance continues to run about 100 (113 on Sunday, Dec. 5, 1999). Rody does not claim to be "the evangelist" over the Cagayan Valley region, but simply preaches wherever he has the opportunity, as all of us do. Other charges currently being made are likewise false.
6. As the battles continue between truth and error, false charges will continue to be made. We shall not assume every charge to be true without investigation, documentation, and verification. We shall continue to be cautious about the work we are doing, to seek the counsel of faithful and reliable men, and to expose any abuse which is verified. We regret that one of the main results of the multiplication and circulation of so many false charges will be that some U.S. brethren will become confused and skeptical to the point of withdrawing all participation in the Philippine work. That is the greatest tragedy of all.
Thank you for your interest in these matters and your willingness to seek information.
In Christian love, Ron Halbrook
[Editor's Note: For the record, much of the documentation found on this site was gleaned from Glenn Hamilton's files. Wally Little also contributed the documentation that he gathered as well as several other people.]
[Editor's Note: Given the fact that contributions are sent by independent churches and individuals, this request is impossible to document without the cooperation of the receiver.]