Corruption in the Philippines
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From: Dan Peters <danielj.peters@pcnet.ro>
To: Ron Halbrook <RonHalbrook@compuserve.com>
Cc: Roger Wanasen <rmw-fcss@mozcom.com>,
"Rody C. Gumpad" <rodycg@cag.pworld.net.ph>,
Steven Locklair <locklair@deltech.net>,
STEVEN DEATON <105043.1716@compuserve.com>,
Lordy Salunga <lsalunga@hotmail.com>,
"Connie W. Adams" <cwadams123@aol.com>,
"Jim Mc Donald (E-mail)" <jim_mc@juno.com>,
"David Amos (E-mail)" <daamos@earthlink.net>,
"Daniel Halloway (WL) (E-mail)" <dlh10ac@juno.com>,
"Bill Gunn (E-mail)" <bgunn@tez.net>,
"Dale Smelser (E-mail)" <DalSmelser@aol.com>,
"Jeff Smelser (E-mail)" <JSmelser@erols.com>,
"James M. Whitt (E-mail)" <jamawhit@POP1.cbu.skyinet.net>,
"Donald Hamilton (E-mail)" <dwhamilton@juno.com>,
"Don R Wison (E-mail)" <donrwilson@jps.net>,
"David Dyer (E-mail)" <dyerdw@saprc.isl.net>,
"David Dyer (E-mail)" <dyerdw@sparc.isl.net>,
"Ney Rieber (E-mail)" <ney@interpath.com>,
"Roderic MacArthur (E-mail)" <thoughtful@juno.com>,
"Rod Rutterford (E-mail)" <TFTWORLD@aol.com>,
"Ken Guthery (E-mail)" <kenguthery@juno.com>,
"Keith Greer (E-mail)" <kteach0254@aol.com>,
"Joe Fitch (E-mail)" <fitchj@webwide.net>,
"Wallace H. Little (E-mail)" <whlittle@snakebite.com>,
"Steve Rudd (E-mail)" <srudd@bible.ca>
Date: Mon, 15 Nov 1999 22:41:08 +0200
Subject: Re: Edification or Clergy?
Message-ID: <38306FE4.E1ED6939@pcnet.ro>
References: <199911120104_MC2-8CB9-FC31@compuserve.com>

To Brother Ron Halbrook & all,

I do not like to get involved in these kinds of discussions. I have tried to be silent. But if I am silent it's like what Jeremiah felt, "But if I say, "I will not remember Him Or speak anymore in His name," Then in my heart it becomes like a burning fire Shut up in my bones; And I am weary of holding it in, And I cannot endure it." (NAS Jeremiah 20:9). I am not a prophet, nor the son of a prophet. Actually I am a nobody, and least of all saints.

The fire that is in my heart started 6-7 years ago during a phone conversation with Jim McDonald. After reading most everything he wrote on the Philippines in the GOT, I decided to give him a call. I was seriously considering going to the Philippines. After about a 20 minute conversation, I asked him "how do you go about actually doing the work" or something very close to that effect. He told me that after almost every service they feed the people and also give them bus money because the people are so poor. I hung up rather disgusted, and resolved not to go to the Philippines. I would not stand for something my Lord was against (John 6). But I will say this to Jim McDonald's credit that he has told me in a letter...", "As to providing transportation; I announced to the brethren on the past trip (before I received your letter, incidentally) that on future trips I would not assume such responsibility". At least Jim is no longer paying people "transportation" money as they come out to hear him preach, although he still is feeding them.

I can not believe you said... "Nothing more or less than the weapons of truth in God's Word are used. "The weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds" (2 Cor. 10:3-5)."

Does giving them food (John 6:26), bus money etc. when they come out to hear the gospel constitute "carnal"? And for preachers who support such ideas, you encourage buying them brand new cars... I guess that's not carnal either? It's no wonder there are "newly baptized preachers" all the time in the Philippines. (More on this later) I can understand how this might get started. You have some very well meaning brethren in the States that want to help. They send money and hear great things
thereafter. They feel good that they have sacrificed. But after more time has passed, and more money, can you not see the corruption? Those brethren who gave may have not gone to the trouble of seeing where their money has gone. They may have heard Rody preach, etc. But have they spent some time in the Philippines to know what it is like?

A year or two after my phone conversation with Jim McDonald I met Glenn Hamilton. I verbally expressed my opinion of what I thought of the work in the Philippines to Glenn. But he corrected me, and told me not all the work in the Philippines is done like Jim McDonald' work. A few years after talking with Glenn, I spent two weeks in the Philippines. At the end of that trip I
spent about 2 days with Roger Wanasen. Of all the Filipino preachers I met, he was the one I was most impressed with. I will tell you why. It is not because he has his own business, speaks several languages well, and a good Bible Student (although all the above is true), but when we talked about the Bible he was willing to express his opinion, whether I agreed with him or not.
This shows me he had integrity, something missing in some of my American brethren sometimes.

After I came back from the Philippines nearly every letter I received, was from preachers asking for support in one form or another. While with Roger we talked to a couple of preachers. One preacher frankly lied to me and Roger repeatedly. First he said he did not have any "regular income" although he was being supported at least $400 a month (about three times an average wage). Secondly, he admitted he did not pay taxes on this income. When asked what did Jesus mean when He said, "Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's; and to God the things that are God's." this man then said "I need to study on that some more". (I could not believe that answer then, nor can I believe it now). Then he freely told us that he cashes his checks from the US on the black market in Baguio City (a full day's drive to accomplish). All that to say this, I was told that this man
was encouraged to preach by none other than your friend with the new car, "Rody Gumpad". This young man's name that I talked to is "Rosendo Gumpad". Rosendo also had a car while I was down in the Philippines, I was told it was bought and paid for by Americans.
Not the kind of man I would want to support, but even though I told Jim McDonald all this, he still defended Rosendo. (Although Jim acknowledged these things were wrong, he accused me for blowing the whistle on Rosendo.)

Here is a small part of my letter to Jim McDonald, as the general message was to him, I now address it to you...

"We must love like Jesus did, and be as wise as serpents like He showed us. Did Samuel believe Saul, when Saul said, "Blessed are you of the LORD! I have carried out the command of the LORD." 1Sa 15:13. No, Samuel did not, for not only had the Lord told him about Saul's disobedience, Samuel could hear it himself, ""What then is this bleating of the sheep in my ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?" 1Sa 15:14. The evidence was too great, but Saul didn't back down so quickly, did he?
No, he rushed headlong and said, "They have brought them from the Amalekites, for the people spared the best of the sheep and oxen, to sacrifice to the LORD your God; but the rest we have utterly destroyed." But all of Saul's arguments did not undo the evil that Saul had done. Love believes all things, but when there is enough evidence, and if our eyes and ears are open to enough evidence, love rebukes.

I look on you brother, as sincere, not like Saul, but, like the Saul of the NT. When the evidence mounts up with the corruption in the people, I think it's hard for you to kick against the goads. But I will not stop goading, I hope you will not only stop paying the transportation, but also stop providing a way for so many to be caught in this "spiritual welfare state". ...

"I spent one afternoon talking with 50 of the newly baptized preachers…(So said Jim McDonald)"

That's an interesting phrase "newly baptized preachers". I know what you meant, but it's rather revealing to me. It reveals that these men are recently baptized, then start to want to preach right away. And if they can get support right away, they do that too. If you doubt this, I will forward you some evidence. But I don't think you need it, you likely have 100 times the letters I have.

In asking such a question to these "newly baptized preachers", you (Jim M.) must have felt compelled to ask such unusual questions. I might ask, and I hope you answer (Jim has yet to answer), just what brought you to ask them.

(Jim asked these "newly baptized preachers") "When you were baptized, were you promised any pesos for being so?… promised any support…"

Just what was it that caused you (Jim M) to ask such a question of "MOTIVE"? If any of them were promised such, do you expect them to tell you so? Any person who would be baptized for pesos, would he tell you the truth? Did Jesus not tell us to be wise as serpents? Did you ask each of them in private? Or in a group? Just how did you go about this? It has become clear that when you asked this question to them, you have now become aware of the problem."

--End of my quote from previous letter to Jim McDonald.--


Your friend Jim McDonald has failed to answer such questions. Since you and Jim have worked in the Philippines, I was wondering if you would answer such questions. Perhaps you and Jim disagree now on the "transportation issue". Jim has stopped paying preachers to come to his meeting, but you are encouraging brand new cars to be purchased for them? Paul said, "All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all things edify. (1 Corinthians 10:23)

Frankly, buying a brand new $15,000 car for a preacher who has a wonderful house, plenty of land, while others are getting by with next to nothing is not profitable. (Besides just reading Wallace Little's recent letter to you, I read many such letters while in the Philippines about Rody, his houses, vehicles, land etc.) When I heard "this bleating of the sheep in my ears, and the lowing of the oxen", and then I read the letters by Rody to others, and others against him, the truth was not too hard to find. This was too much evidence to be overlooked.

I am now preaching in Romania, although I considered going to the Philippines. But when I saw such a mess, a mess caused by American brethren, I thought less of going to the Philippines. I hope this letter will perhaps cause some to stop, and consider what is really going on. But, if it does not... at least I spoke up, as Paul said, "according to what is written, " I BELIEVED,
THEREFORE I SPOKE, "we also believe, therefore also we speak". If I have spoken something that is not true, I am sure you will correct me and inform me. I will be more than glad to take back anything I said that is not true. Test me on this, for I fear God. Nor do I have any reason to be against you or Jim McDonald, except this one thing. I think by your approach to preach the gospel, and feed the hearers and the wealthy, you have greatly damaged the work in the Philippines.

There are many more things I would like to bring into this conversation, but this letter is already longer than I wanted to make it.

"They hate him who reproves in the gate, And they abhor him who speaks with integrity" (Amos 5:10)

"Therefore, at such a time the prudent person keeps silent, for it is an evil time" (Amos 5:13).

I would have kept silent, but there was fire in my bones, I had to speak up.

In His Name,
Dan Peters