At the women’s retreat last weekend, both Vicki and Leila had ladies come up to them and tell them, excitedly, that they’d heard about our move to their city and state to work. Apparently, they’d heard that I was going there to teach and missed an important detail that it would be for a week only. Perhaps they heard that Vicki would be coming with me and from there made the jump.
It almost makes sense, since a teacher was suddenly released from the preacher training school there, and maybe they figured I’d be his replacement. At first, I thought that maybe news of our support problems might have entered in, but it’s not likely they’d have heard about that.
An innocent mistake, and people were glad at that rumor. Vicki said she almost hated to burst the lady’s bubble who told her about it.
On Sunday I told the saints here and in Taubaté about the rumor, in case they heard it. In the latter city, one sister has family in the congregation where the rumor started. I wanted to let them know it wasn’t true. And today I put a note about it on our Portuguese Project Reach website.
Though certainly other rumors must have swirled about us in the past, I remember only one other.
Several years ago I taught about the nature of the church in one of the northeast’s large gatherings. I warned people both before and after not to take my remarks out of context. Then I said something to the effect that, if I ever stopped believing truths like the necessity of baptism for the forgiveness of sins and the non-denominational nature of the one church, I’d become a Baptist, because they take better care of their missionaries.
The remark tried to capitalize on a frequent complaint of Brazilian Christians here, that the denominations are so much better funded, organized, etc., than we are, and it represented my attempt to say, we are what we are because we follow the Bible. I specifically told people listening, and repeated it, not to go out saying I’d decided to become a Baptist, because I firmly believe the teaching of the New Testament about the church.
Some time later, somebody told me they’d heard I was entering the Baptist denomination. I don’t want to think ill of anyone, and I won’t speak of what I don’t know, but I wouldn’t be surprised to know that there was some ill will behind that rumor.
People across Brazil have heard my teachings repeatedly. They know what I believe and how strongly I believe it. I’m one of a few — you can nearly count them on one hand — of people who speak up against the liberal movement among the churches. Yet somebody thought I was converting into a Baptist.
Looks like we’re 1-1. One positive rumor, one negative. Probably not a bad score after 26 years.