To CMFI Members
Regarding the ongoing dispute involving certain members of Christian Ministerial Fellowship International (CMFI) and others.
After much prayer and careful consideration, the CMFI Council would respond to requests for it to comment as follows:
- We would, in the first instance, encourage all interested parties to revisit Scriptures relating to the resolution of disputes, to matters of church discipline, and of dealing with false doctrine, in particular: Matthew 18:15-17; Romans 16:17,18; Galatians 6:1; 1Corinthians 6:1-8; 2Timothy 2:23-26; James 4:11; 2John: 9-11.
- CMFI remains of the opinion that central to, and at the core of this dispute, remains the questionable teaching of David Nathan. Had Mr. Nathan responded quickly and privately to requests to clarify certain aspects of his doctrine, it is likely that the situation would not have escalated to current levels. Much of that which has followed has been a deflection away from the issue of doctrine to become an issue of behaviour. Whereas neither bad doctrine nor bad behaviour is condoned, many have lost sight of the fundamental issue at the core of the dispute.
- In regard to bad behaviour, a difficulty in dealing with the ongoing dispute is that this is, for many of us, the first time we have had to process such a dispute taking place in such an open public forum, so widely available to many. The fact that opportunity exists to make derogatory and defamatory statements in a wide range of media, does not necessarily make it right to do so. The anonymity, easy access, and availability of a platform afforded by the internet is no excuse to disregard the authority of the Bible. There is much comment on this dispute, posted on the internet purporting to be godly, made by those who have not in every instance sought to follow Biblical procedure.
- In regard to the internet and social media aspect of this dispute, CMFI is aware that certain of it's members, actively involved in Moriel Ministries, have previously offered to remove all inflammatory content from those sites for which it is responsible. In return, request was made for the other protagonists in the dispute to do likewise. This would have afforded some protection against further damage being done not only to the individuals concerned, but perhaps of greater importance to the wider church also. CMFI is given to understand that this offer was declined by those who continue to pursue certain CMFI members, not all of whom represent Moriel Ministries. CMFI is thankful that Moriel have desisted from retaliating against certain claims made against it, via the internet and social media, though it respects it's right to respond according to Biblical protocol.
- In regard to certain of those claims. CMFI is not aware of any formal investigation being made against Moriel Ministries in any of the countries in which it operates. Furthermore, to the best of it's knowledge, Moriel Ministries continues to operate within the fiscal regulations of those countries in which it and it's associated organisations operate.
- Further, CMFI does not believe that Moriel is a cult which venerates it's own leader. Not only does Moriel not have members, but it adheres to a statement of faith which is broadly that of most evangelical churches. Also, all CMFI members are required to agree with the CMFI statement of faith. Jesus Christ is central to that statement of faith.
- To those who would hold CMFI accountable for the behaviour of its members, we would point out that all para-church ministries are in the first instance accountable to their own board of trustees, and individuals are accountable to their own local church leadership. Where any member of CMFI is considered to be acting in a way that is prejudicial to the interests of CMFI, the CMFI Council will undertake any relevant action internally and privately, and is under no compulsion to make its findings public.
The CMFI Council