African Christadelphians want change
CBM and ACBM violation of the principle of ecclesial autonomy in the ecclesias that they control appears to be widespread. In Australia some NSW ecclesias have ceased donating to the ACBM because of ACBM interference in the affairs of the Taipei Taiwan ecclesia when Lampstand Christadelphians Carl Parry and Roger Evans paid them a flying visit last year to advise the disfellowshipping of bro. Jonathan Burke. This has caused dissatisfaction in Australian Christadelphian circles amongst brethren and sisters who continue to fellowship and break bread with Jonathan despite his Lampstand magazine inspired disfellowshipping. The British Christadelphians seem to be of the same opinion - for the next three weeks Jonathan Burke will be breaking bread at the Watford ecclesia in the UK!
In Africa things appear to be even worse. We find dissatisfaction amongst African brethren and sisters against the dictatorial way that the CBM manage their African ecclesias. We have been told that ecclesial autonomy is overridden in Africa by the CBM committee and representatives who won't allow black African ecclesias to manage their own affairs. CBM welfare appears to be used by the CBM committee as a control mechanism to disenfranchise African Christadelphians. One brother who was disfellowshipped wrote to us of his CBM welfare loss:
"I have lost food, 200 pounds of school fees per term and free medical to family members. Uganda has 70 ecclesias in name, many have no members. Corruption is all over. I doubt who is not corrupt in Uganda!"This same brother had previously married a second wife and was disfellowshipped by an ecclesia in Africa on instructions from the CBM. The local ecclesial recording brother has accepted this brother's repentance and wants to welcome the offending brother back into fellowship. But today we received this email from him:
I have had a talk with the (CBM) linkman (in the UK) about Emma's fellowship and nothing is changed he is adamant that he can't return. Like I told you I am only 35 years not able to lead a rebellion because all people on the (CBM) committee share the same thought like the linkman. If the Theist Ex-Christadelphians can work with Emma to bring about change it would better. Link Emma to liberal ecclesias in the West that fund his activities for change.
If this 'offending brother' had not married the second wife, (in a country where polygamy is legal) she would have been left with a newborn baby in poverty and destitution.
Is this the 'Spirit of Christ' that her rescuer is disfellowshipped by the CBM?
Is this the 'Ecclesial Autonomy' recommended by Robert Roberts in 'The Ecclesial Guide' that advocates independence among the ecclesias and rejects central authorities like the ACBM and CBM dictating to mature ecclesias half a world away how they should manage their own affairs?
Are these outrages what Christadelphians in the UK and Australia donate to the ACBM and CBM for? That a Christadelphian Gestapo be allowed to intimidate ecclesias on other continents dictating who they can and cannot fellowship?
What is this new religion promulgated by the ACBM and CBM that ignores the practice of the Early Church and the guidance of one of the founders of Christadelphianism?
In our work in Africa I have (in my opinion) discovered what appears to be a widespread exaggeration of the numbers of Christadelphians 'converted' by the CBM; many ecclesias that don't exist; abuse of the CBM welfare system that comprises such a huge proportion of their expenditure and this abuse of the Christadelphian principle of ecclesial autonomy.
If black African ecclesias in New York USA and Birmingham UK can enjoy ecclesial autonomy, why is it denied by the CBM to black African ecclesias and by the ACBM to a Chinese ecclesia in Taiwan?
Let the rebellions continue. Let the African ecclesias unilaterally declare their independence from the CBM and may the black African ecclesias in the developed world work with us to free their African brethren in Africa from White CBM control.
Let UK Christadelphian donors demand answers from the CBM and may they find out where their money is being spent. Let them ask why it is that on one page of the CBM website a sister reports that Pentecostals are counted as Christadelphians in Africa to inflate the number of converts? http://www.cbm.org.uk/uganda2015.htm
Let them ask why the Christadelphian first quoted above wrote to us about Christadelphianism in Uganda "I doubt who is not corrupt in Uganda!"
Let more Australian ecclesias follow the NSW example and stop funding the ACBM until they are more accountable to the donors.
Let Lampstand magazine brethren stop disfellowshipping wonderful, moderate, non-Lampstand magazine reading brethren like Jonathan Burke for ridiculously trivial reasons.
Let the Australian Lampstand magazine fundamentalist extremists fund their own mission work and NOT hijack the work and money spent by the moderate Australian ecclesias who are in the majority.
Let the moderate Australian ecclesias stand up for themselves against (in my opinion) the bullying oppression of the Lampstand and Logos ecclesias. May they stop acting like doormats to these scandal ridden hypocrites who alter their Statement of Faith to outlaw many moderate Christadelphians (over Evolution) and bar them from sharing the emblems, even though they are in the exact same fellowship.
May the moderate Australian ecclesias be alarmed that they allowed Lampstand assassins to reach across the ocean to get Jonathan Burke out of fellowship.
May the moderate Australian ecclesias be deeply ashamed that they allowed this grief and humiliation to the wonderful, moderate, Christadelphian Burke family and they have done little or nothing to defend that family from this injustice.
We are flying laptops and other equipment out to Christadelphians in Africa to enable them to more easily communicate with us and with each other. Soon they will be able to discuss with each other in Africa and with us in the Developed World. I am encouraging them to join Christadelphian and Ex-Christadelphian Internet discussion groups to expand their understanding of the religion and to let us know what is going on out there. The CBM portrayal of them as ignorant natives is nonsense. On one page of the CBM website they are called "babes" http://www.cbm.org.uk/zambiapic.htm
The black African Christadelphians that I am discussing with are university graduates, successful businessmen and others who are smart enough to realise that all is not right in the CBM version of the religion. They are poor and they need help and encouragement to become independent of the CBM.
Black African ecclesias in the US and UK are welcome to use our resources to save their African brethren and sisters from White CBM control. UK Christadelphian donor ecclesias are welcome to use our laptop network in Africa to communicate directly with Black African Christadelphians and bypass the CBM to ask if their money is being spent appropriately or not.
I was about to press 'Publish' to upload this article when I received this email from Mbalanga Francis in Zambia. As it is on topic of this article I print it here for you to read. It will give you a taste of the sort of thing that I am getting from Africa on a daily basis. I don't have the time to correct the spelling and grammar so I will upload it as it is. Francis has to walk 6 Kms in the hot rainy season to reach an Internet café to send us this stuff. He arrives soaking wet and exhausted so please excuse his mistakes. English is not his first language. His new laptop from us is well on its way to him by air freight and he should receive it any day. Then he will be able to discuss with us from his own home and contribute to our discussion without the 12 Kms round trip walking to and from the Internet café!
By Mbalanga Francis (Zambia)
John B. I am surprise on one issue can you remember that one brother from CBM wrote to you that you should not send the money to Mbalanga in Zambia because it will not take care or spent well. I learnt from Joseph Strong that there in UK Mike Aston stole 300 time an African's wages is very years for a decade. What are you going to tell me about that? This is a white CBM not an African CBM? Can you please explain to me about this type of thieving?
Sorry John i would like to ask you some question i would like to ask and know just for 2years budget for CBM Donors for 2015 and 2016,how much did they send fund in 2015 and 2016 only for African? The money which the CBM Donors give to CBM to came and fund African CBM. What is it for? What work is that money suppose to work in African? What type of mission that money should work in Africa? Why should CBM Donors funding African CBM? Are these people UK CBM or African CBM?
Mancott wrote that he want proof about the work of CBM in Africa there are more proof .Even the court of law their are looking for evidence for me Mbalanga i have more evidence for CBM UK work in Africa. The second Linkman for CBM Zambia Brother Paul Genders for he made fire camp in Flingila Farm .Paul G came with brethren and Sisters for UK,South Africa and Australia the remains were from Zambia. We were there for three days. I Mbalanga they give me an address for to go DRCongo Lubumbashi for Lubumbashi to Kipushi after i went to Kipushi and the mission to go to DRC was Sister Miriam Funiss from UK team. The mission was for me to go and see and meet bro/sist for the to start fellowship together on this mission their did not give me even a cent to use or travelling or food.What they gave me french books to take to DRC.I went there with my own money,i organised people there ,fed people who cane to listen in hat mission i was sent for this was because i wanted the work to go forward and for people to know Christadelphians .I spent 3days there after i completed this mission i took the report to Zambian CBM and i also sent the report to UK CBM team to these who sent me. They did not do anything about it,they forgot me. They start sending people direct from Tanzania bro. Mukendi to DCOngo Lubumbashi and Kipushi to Congo every where with out my concerned just because i opened the road for them this is evidence(no1)If they want i can even go with i them and show them those people are still there.
Evidence (no2)Here in Zambia the CBM came here in 1970 must of the people in Zambia don't know if you ask some one about Christadelphians(CBM) many people will tell you that we don't know it name. Because of love of this CBMi went on printing calendars in A2 papers full colours and distrubited in districts,provinces and towns,market places,etc so that this Religion get known to the people in Zambia. I paid for anouncement on Catholic radio Chengelo in Copperbelt,Province in a week they use to anounce 3 days and some copies of these Calendars i sent the CBM in UK,America and Australia. No body appreciated about work for canlendars. That work may be it was just from an African Mbalanga Christadelphian no body dared to empower me so that this work grow in Africa. All this i have wrote to you how do you look at it? How can you encourage me? As Ex-Christadelphians. Mbalanga F.