Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Theology of Integral Mission

Theology of Integral Mission

Can the Gospel be used as a mere platform for an ideology?

“Theology of Integral Mission is a [Brazilian] Protestant variation of the Liberation Theology”.
— Ariovaldo Ramos, in the Marxist magazine Diplomatique. Ramos is a former president of World Vision in Brazil.
By Julio Severo
Note: This is a message by me to Brazilian evangelicals, because Theology of Integral Mission is by far the most serious problem in the Brazilian churches, making them prey to political opportunists, and because the dominant political ideology in Brazil, in churches and society, is socialist. I hope that this message may be instructive to international evangelicals too.
 “God heard our prayers!” So said a widow when opening the door of her shabby house and seeing, with her son, several boxes with purchased foods, clothing and other items. Everything was there, at her door, with no identification from the kind donor. But the widow knew that whoever he was he had been used by Him who touches hearts for those precious expressions of love.
Such stories are repeated in all times and places: on their needs, people pray and receive special blessings from unknown donors. These donors are unknown people, moved by Him who is love and humility, and they practice love with no ambition to be showy, as Jesus himself taught,
“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” (Matthew 6:1-4 ESV)
That's the beauty of Christian life: love in action, in obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ, expresses itself in humility. Christian charity is an act moved by pure love, not by ideology.

Love versus ideology

But when ideology takes hold imposition enters and love leaves
Where God gives each individual freedom to help people in real need, ideology uses brute force to take away from others under the guise of helping the needy.
God helps through his servants, by love.
Ideology, through its adherents, imposes in the name of love.
God uses people by their voluntary choice.
Ideology makes use of the State to force people.
This is the basic difference between ideology and love inspired by God.
Ideology likes to deal with money, especially other people’s money. While in the Christian life every follower of Christ uses his own resources to bless those in need, adherents of ideology use money often taken by force from others, and not only to help others allegedly in need, but also to help themselves, just as Judas did.
Judas, the apostle who betrayed Jesus, was responsible for the money that people voluntarily donated to the poor. He used the money to help not only the poor but also himself, and even so took a bribe to betray the Master.
The Master’s betrayal can occur in several ways. When a Christian only helps the poor with other people’s money, lives on it and promotes an ideology defending the State in the role of money-taker from others for alleged charity, the name of Jesus is not glorified. The name of Jesus is betrayed.
For example, what would inspire a Brazilian progressive minister, an adherent of Theology of Integral Mission, to travel to Venezuela to support Hugo Chavez, for his policies supposedly for the poor? Why did not this minister (Ariovaldo Ramos) seek a good job, with money from his hard-earned wages, give charity to the poor?

Selective apostolic assistance

Both the Catholic supporters of the Liberation Theology and the Brazilian evangelical adherents of the Theology of Integral Mission believe they are more apostolic than the twelve apostles of Jesus.
The first apostles had in their church a charity ministry not directed to unbelievers or society, not even to all believers. It was directed exclusively to widows who met certain requirements:
“Honor widows who are truly widows. But if a widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show godliness to their own household and to make some return to their parents, for this is pleasing in the sight of God. She who is truly a widow, left all alone, has set her hope on God and continues in supplications and prayers night and day, but she who is self-indulgent is dead even while she lives. Command these things as well, so that they may be without reproach. But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. Let a widow be enrolled if she is not less than sixty years of age, having been the wife of one husband, and having a reputation for good works: if she has brought up children, has shown hospitality, has washed the feet of the saints, has cared for the afflicted, and has devoted herself to every good work. But refuse to enroll younger widows, for when their passions draw them away from Christ, they desire to marry and so incur condemnation for having abandoned their former faith. Besides that, they learn to be idlers, going about from house to house, and not only idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying what they should not. So I would have younger widows marry, bear children, manage their households, and give the adversary no occasion for slander. For some have already strayed after Satan. If any believing woman has relatives who are widows, let her care for them. Let the church not be burdened, so that it may care for those who are really widows.” (1 Timothy 5:3-16 ESV)
The church assistance was selective. All widows in need had no automatic right to receive assistance. They firstly had to undergo some tests of moral evaluation.
However, more commonly enthusiasts of Christian theories of Marxist extraction use the decision of the first Jewish apostles guiding the whole church to surrender their properties to the apostolic leadership. But, contrary to the interpretation of the Theology of Integral Mission (TIM), the apostles’ intent was never to turn the church into a mega-charity agency for the whole society.
The same chapter 5 of Acts that addresses everything being handed over to the apostles also shows apostles filled with the Holy Spirit: “Now many signs and wonders were regularly done among the people by the hands of the apostles.” (Acts 5:12 ESV)
True Christianity gives charity to those who really need and deserve charity and performs signs and wonders among the people: healings, demon-expelling, etc. TIM fans, who are not known by signs and wonders of healing and deliverance among the people are best known for defending the church’s role as a force of pressure on the State in its ambition to extract resources from citizens for alleged charity acts without the selectivity that the apostles used.

The apostles’ decision: state, ideological or merely ecclesiastical inspiration?

Was the apostles’ decision of ordering all church members to have everything in common aimed to:
* Make members poorer and make apostles richer, as in modern Theology of Prosperity.
* Create a political system to take from those who have to give to those who have not, as proposed by the Theology of Integral Mission.
If you chose one of these two options, you missed what the apostles did was not a means of enriching themselves at the expense of members, and they were not also using the church to create a political system. It was only an internal decision, a decision directed only to the Jewish church. Their intention was never to turn their church experience into a socialist theocracy, pressing the State to impose on society a forced distribution of possessions.
A transfer of this system to the secular sphere would impose certain measures:
* All citizens should submit to the authority of the state apostles and noncompliance would entail the same consequence as Ananias and Sapphira suffered, death penalty.
* All citizens should surrender all their possessions to the state apostles.
Even if we dare to consider the possibility of the apostles accepting the secularization of their private, ecclesiastical decision for their church, transferring it to the society, what would the result be?
The 12-apostle Jewish church suffered a lot economically when it was hit by a great famine that affected the entire Roman Empire. But the churches founded and directed by the Apostle Paul in Asia Minor and Europe, which were also in the Roman Empire, not only had the strength to prevail over the economic crisis of hunger, but even sent aid to the impoverished Jewish church.
There was a significant difference: Paul did not want to bring to his own churches the practices from the Jerusalem apostles, who had set everything in common. (See a more detailed study here .)

Forced welfare

If a famine hit the world — and where there are prevalent socialist policies, poverty is inevitable in the short or long term — even Christian churches will be affected, including churches run by the apostles.  However, churches not infected by the worldview that is at the service of an ideology of false compassion will escape.
Consider the proposal of the Theology of Integral Mission (TIM) by using as basis the apostolic practice:
TIM wants the State to compel all people to share their income for its welfare programs.
The apostolic church only used church funds to support the church itself, never using these resources for welfare in the world.
TMI supports any corrupt and immoral government, as long as it does “welfare.”
The early church had no such welfare or political proposal or example. What the early church had was a program of assistance to widows. This program requires two clear things: A) The duty to support widows belongs to their families. Those who had no families could count on church assistance if they met certain conditions of good Christian witness. B) Widows without a good witness were left out. Therefore, to be eligible to church assistance was not enough to be poor, widows had also to have a good life story.
However, TIM supporters want the State in the place of both families and churches. Although they label themselves as Christian and use the Gospel out of context, their actions show that they are working to create a stronger State, transferring to itself the family and church responsibilities.
Under Marxist inspiration, but with a strategic biblical garb, socialist theocracy is now by far the most popular and predominant Christian political action, where progressive Catholics and evangelicals make pressure on the State to impose on society a forced division of properties from citizens under the socialist guise of social justice. Indeed, the socialist theocratic State breaks down every separation between church and state, by removing from churches and families their traditional rights on education, health, charity, etc.
In the name of compassion for the poor, the basic ecclesial communities of the Brazilian Catholic Church, infected by the Liberation Theology, preached a socialist theocracy to be fully justified. With sufficient biblical basis from the Liberation Theology, a Marxist CNBB (National Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Brazil) granted its approval to the socialist Workers’ Party and Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva and his friends rose to power. Next, Theology of Integral Mission adherents also signaled that Lula and his gang had the support from evangelicals to take off.
Today, thanks to the Liberation Theology and the Theology of Integral Mission, Brazil has a more and more socialist state allegedly dedicated to “the poor”. There should be no misunderstanding. Although the word “theology” may appear often, what matters is ideology.  Ariovaldo Ramos himself acknowledged in the Marxist magazine Diplomatique, that “Theology of Integral Mission is a Protestant variation of the Liberation Theology.” Catholic Liberation Theology is the most important religious variant of the Marxist ideology. They are two sides of the same coin.
Adherents of this theology in Brazil, who also call themselves “progressive” have a proven history of Socialist connections.
As I have told in one of my Portuguese articles,
They cause untold damage to the spreading of the Gospel by perverting it and putting it in the service of an ideology that has nothing to do with Jesus Christ. Each attempt to establish a human kingdom of this ideology brought the manifestation of the kingdom of darkness: slaughters, genocide, lies, destruction and horrible persecution of the true followers of Jesus Christ.

Theft in the name of compassion

In the name of compassion for the poor, the socialist theocratic government takes from you and I a lot of money through greedy tax policies.
Let us now consider some examples of the use of our money by the Brazilian government:
* My money is forcibly taken from me to help “poor” Fidel Castro and his “poor” communist government.
* My money is forcibly taken from me to help the “poor” Palestinian Authority, which needs to persecute Christians and help their “poor” terrorist groups against Israel.
My money is forcibly taken from me to help “poor” homosexual groups to promote their homosexual orgies, including promoting homosexuality in public schools.
* My money is forcibly taken from me to fund pro-abortion groups to help “poor” women and “poor” doctors to rid society of “oppressing” unborn babies.
* My money is forcibly taken from me to help “poor” socialist politicians in Brazil to travel throughout the world to meet terrorist and dictator friends.
* My money is forcibly taken from me to help many other “poor” individuals, as the government sees fit.
Since we’re in a theocracy, everyone must obey without question. Have you ever seen someone willing to question God? But, you ask, if we are in a theocracy, where is God at the center? Oh, they forgot to tell you! As soon as Liberation Theology and Theology of Integral Mission become reality in a nation, there is a small “government” shift. The merely symbolic role of God is discreetly removed and the socialist state occupies the throne! “Hey, God! Thank you for letting us use your name to advance our revolution! Thanks also for letting us borrow some parts of your Gospel through Liberation Theology and Theology of Integral Mission”.
However, do not be shocked: Liberation Theology and Theology of Integral Mission ensure that the central concern is the poor, and whether socialist theocracy has God or the state on the throne is somewhat unimportant. What matters is to do all in the name of compassion and the poor!
Jesus Christ is for the poor, but his compassion has nothing to do with socialism. He teaches us to love and help the poor voluntarily. I and many Christians would like to do more, but the socialist theocracy has been choking all the resources that citizens should have available for voluntary acts of charity: Huge amounts of taxes are swallowed up by the State in the name of compassion for the poor to finance huge socialist welfare policies that create a big stable of voters who support socialist theocracy.
With the true God you have the choice and free will to help the poor, as you want, the way you want and when you want. With the false god of socialist theocracy, the choice and free will are beheaded. Whether you like or not, you and especially your pocket are called to contribute involuntarily to the socialist theocratic revolution HERE AND NOW.
There is a cosmic difference between Jesus and the state.
Jesus does not use the state to deceive the poor, neither using it to take money from anyone nor using it to force anyone to lose their free will. Jesus comes to a man and asks, “Do you want to follow me? Do you want to help your neighbor?”
But socialist theocracy behaves very differently. Its representatives come to you and says:
We need to help the “poor”.
Then you answer:
Cool! With what will you help them?
“With your money.”
But I cannot give right now…
“We are not asking for your cooperation. We are demanding your money.”
Wait a minute. Jesus wants me to help, but even he never forces me to give anything.
“Do we have any similarity to Jesus? Give your money immediately. Otherwise, you will be arrested for insubordination to the State.”
Having no choice, you give your money. Your pockets are emptied, and the pockets of the powerful “in the service” of the “compassionate” state are filled to brim.
What is the difference between Prosperity Theology and Theology of Integral Mission?
Both make your pockets empty: the first one, on the church altar, the second one, on the state altar.
In the Theology of Prosperity, you make church leaders richer, if you want to give. Remember: Theology of Prosperity does not force anyone to enter their church and give money.
In the Theology of Integral Mission, you make state officials and their crazy policies richer, whether you want or not. Remember: the Theology of Integral Mission advocates a socialist theocracy where everybody is forced to give money on the state altar.

State sinner

In its excuse to help the poor through its incessant and cruel tax increases, the government commits three sins:
* It violates one of the Ten Commandments which requires us not to steal.
* Takes from citizens their opportunity to help the poor voluntarily.
* It supports a heavily expensive populism to consolidate its power.
Jesus taught clearly in Matthew 6 that each man — never the State — has a responsibility and option to help the poor directly. Jesus also taught the way to give: no one is to be aware of your giving.
However much the Theology of Integral Mission and the Liberation Theology adherents want, the government is unable to obey both teachings for a very simple reason: they are directed to people in the church, not to the State.
When the State invades the church sphere to fulfill the role of her members, perversion results. While a man or a woman that loves Jesus helps the poor with his or her own resources, the State, that does not love Jesus, forcibly takes away resources from its citizens and in contrast to what Jesus commanded,  the State propagandizes and publicizes to the whole society every crumb it gives away, making trumpets sound on itself and making its opportunistic populism strengthened.
Does the government spend from the people’s money so much in crumbs to the poor as in propaganda in order to keep its image of “protector of the poor”.
Visualize the picture: A man is determined to follow the instruction of Jesus to help the poor. So, he goes to his neighbor and says, “Hand me over your money!”  When his neighbor refuses, the man threatens him, finally being able to get the money. With his neighbor’s money in hand, he propagandizes to the whole city that he is going to help the poor. He takes part of the money and gives to newspapers, in order to publicize his generosity. He takes another part and gives to his homosexual friends, to help them go party. He takes another part and gives to his friend that has a pro-abortion advocacy group. He gives another part to more of his friends. He takes some for himself and then finally, not to be unfair to his populism, awaits journalists, cameras, TVs, radios, etc., to hand over his “assistance” to the poor.
This is charity without God.
This is state charity.
How were some Christians able to plunge into it?
I believe that Jesus Christ gave to Christians the authority and power to perform signs, miracles and wonders, including expelling demons (see Mark 16).
It is long overdue for Christians to expel from their midst the Liberation Theology and the Theology of Integral Mission.
Portuguese version of this article: Teologia da Missão Integral
Spanish version of this article: Teología de la Misión Integral
Source: Julio Severo in English:

1 comment :

katrinka said...

This line of Theology has "smelled bad"to me from the beginning, especially because it's new "prophets" act as if this has never been done before in Missions. My Mom was born in Bolivia, where her parents worked for 40+ years in the Bolivian Altiplano with the Indians, and that included "integral care" if there ever was one. But first and foremost they taught the Bible and many people were saved. My grandfather started churches and established a Seminary.
Then my family came to Brazil in 1955, i.e., my parents and I, and we worked out interior establishing churches and having non-Americans at our daily for meals, my Dad would be called to take his Jeep and go out to the farms to pick up pregnant women to take them to the hospital or deceased people and bring them into town to be buried. They taught English classes, gave "religious education" in the Brazilian schools my sisters and I went to. In the beginning, there was no electricity or indoor toilets, no paved roads or streets. We fed people, gave them of our own clothes, and taught the Word as often as possible, and in every place possible (in farms in other states after crossing rivers, in the jailhouses, in the "red zone"...
Now these famous, rich guys come and try to tell us that we need to changed everything in Missions and the way we do church....
Deus tenha misericórdia!