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Backoround Briefino Fapet::_

Humber 16
Latin America Mission
5465 N.W. 36 Street (33166)
P.O. Box 52-7900
Miami, FL 33152-7900
June 1C:'85
This pacer has been orepared bv the Administration orimarily
for internal use. It may not quoted or reproduced without
permission. It is dated, and subiect to revision at ar:v time.
lJe believe that God's mission to the IJorld is the Church's
central purpose. God, in His sovereign design, has entrusted His Church with
the Word and empowered her with the Holy Spirit so that by proclamation,
teaching and demonstration of power and love Christ may be communicated to
all nations, and that each one who believes may become part of His redeemed
people, obedient to the Gospel and the orecepts of His Kingdom. The life of
this redeemed people should be expressed in witn ess and ser vice to one's
neighbor in beginnir:-g Nith the
household of fa.ith.
The Latin America
t1 i s s i o n a s a e s o u t- c e o f t h e C h u r c h t- e c o g n i z e s t h e f o l 1 o N i n g g u i d i n g
missiological principles for the carrying out of its ministry. Acts 1: 1-11;
16; *
i& The The Centr-alitv of th e Chur ch 1n Godls olan fot- the
r:eter- 2:2-12 .
. . .. The church is :at the '-lery cente;- of God .. s cosmic
purpose and is his appointed of spre ading the
Gospel. But a church which preaches the Cross must itself
be marked bv the Cross. It becomes a stumbling block to
evangelism when it betrays the Gospel or lacks a living
faith in God, a genuine love for people, or scrupulous
honesty in all things including promotion and finance. The
church is the community of God's people rather than an
institution, and must not be identified with any particular
culture, social or political system, or human ideology.
1.2 We rejoice that we, the Latin America Mission, are part of the Body
of Christ, His Church; therefore we express our support for it. To best reach
*These Scriotural references are not meant to provide a complete listing
ot passages to suoport a given orinciple. Rather, they are merely suggestive
of the many Biblical passages that mioht be cited.
A Statement of Missiological Principles
may have to be employed.
The development of its own leadership, programs and
exoeriences strengthen it most.
Permanent ministries shall be given their
autonomy as soon as oracticablc so that local structures
mav be strenothened.
. -
!.3 We recognize our responsibi:itv to participate with the Latin Church
as it carries out the Great Commission through cross-cultural witness and
mission from its own Jerusalem to the uttermost parts of the earth.
It 1 s
understood thaf any effort to establish churches is a commitment to the Church

1 t e E:; ;J c t a f f i l a t e s t D b e a c t i v e p a r t i c i p an t s i n a l o c .ct 1 e ;< p r e s s i on
cf the which share a common faith and practice, to identify with
it, even though its faults and weaknesses may be evident, to respect and
< "
l ...: As C:i mission, 1n our allocc:tions of r E s o u r c e s , e
. ',
\J 1 l l give priority
to those projects and ministries which directly support the Church and its
2 .. The i m D or t an c e of t h e u n i t v of t h e Bod v o t C h t- i ; t an d t h e
r o n s e o u e n t o b l i q a t i o n o f r e c o G n i t i o n .L 1 D \:' e , d c o D D_e r a. t i o n i n c: u m b e n t u o o r:
interoretation nonessential distintivPs.
page 1Bl, as follows:
We affirm that the church's visible unity in truth is God's
purpose. Evanqe11sm also summons us to unity, because our
oneness strengthens our witness, just as our disunity
undermines our Gospel of reconciliation.
however, that organizational unity may take many forms and
does not necessarily forward evangelism. Yet we who share
the same biblical faith should de closely united in
fellowship, work and witness.
. We pledge ourselves
to seek a deeper unity in truth, worsn1p
holiness and
; L-
We seek to take seriously the unity cf the Body of Christ through the
cooperative, catalytic and networking nature of our ministry.
affiliates and as an organization, we accept in Christian fellowship all
oersons and orouos that confess Jesus
as 2avior and Lord.
in ministry requires adherence to a common doctrinal core and ethical base.
A Statement of Missiological Principles
3.1 The Covenant, "The Power of the Holy Scirit" !Article 14,
p a g e 3 3 ) , e: s f o l l o \J s
We believe in the power of the Holy Spirit. The Father-
sent his Spirit to bear witness to his Son; without his
witness ours is futile. Conviction of sin, faith in
Christ, new birth and Christian growth are all his work.
Further, the Holy Soirit is a missionary Spirit; thus
evanqelism should arise spontaneously from a Spirit-
filled church. A chur-ch that is not a missionary church is
contradicting itself and quenching the Spirit. Worldwide
evangelization will become a realistic possibi!ity only
when the Spirit renews the church in truth and wisdom,
faith, holiness, love and power. We therefore call upon
all Christians to pray for such a visitation of the
sovereign Spirit of God that all his fruit may aopear in
all his people and that all his may enrich the body
of Christ. Only then will the whole church become a fit
instrument in his hands. that the whole earth may hear his
3.2 This princiole reflects the posture of the Mission as to: I 1) the
broad spectrum of Latin American evanoelical churches with which we work; and
121 our desire to manifest the Spirit of recognizing our deoendence uoon
Him tMrough prayer and through exercise of faith. With reference to the
expression of the gifts of the ::,pir-it, the following action was taken by
LAM's Board of Trustees in
;:. 7 ""') J
L i I .i.. 1
Scrioture places primary emohasis on wholeness and unity in
the Body of Christ, and sees the gifts of the Holy Spirit
as means to that end. We believe that full and sensitive
respect must be given to all the Holv Spirit's gifts,
including the oift of tongues, as they are used to build up
the Church. However, great care must be exercised not to
give to any gift a iore imoortant role than Scripture does,
lest an emohasis be divisive and thus fail to
contribute to the unity of the Body. (Note such oassages
I Corinthians 12-14.)
The orimacv of evanoelism carried out throuoh the
mobilization of thP Church, uslno all believers and resourcPs. Isaiah 55!5;
Co ;-i nthi ar!;; i5: i-11"
To evangelize is to spread the good news that Jesus Christ
died for our sins and was raised from the dead according to
the Scriptures, and that as the reigning Lord he now offers
the forciveness of sins and the gift of the
4 A Statement of Missiological Pr i nciples
Spirit to all who reoert and believe .
presence in the world is indisoensable to evangelism, and
so is that kind of dialogue whose is to
sensitively in order to understand. But evangelism itself
is the proclamation of the historical. b( blical Christ as
Savior and Lord, with a view to persuading people to come
to him personally and so be reconciled to God. In issuing
the Gospel invitation we have no liberty to conceal the
cost of discipleship . Jesus still calls all who would
follow him to deny themselves, take uo their cross, and
identify themselves with his new community. The results of
evangelism include obedience t o Christ, incorporation into
hi ::. chu;-ch 2.nG responsible ser\/ice in the
4.2 has been the heartbeat of the LAM and is program since its
beginnings. In addition, the "mobilization of all believers for continuous
evan g e 1 i s m li i s C!. c a r d 1 n a 1 p r i n c i p l e of t h e h i s t or i c E v c: n g e l i s m- i n -De p. t h
4.3 The Mission accepts such contemoorary emohases as "church growth" and
"reachino the unreached peoples." We also recognize the holistic nature of
church with the numerical emohasis, there are also at least the
organic, conceptual
r-. r!
C..iiU identificational dimensions.**
4.4 We expect that affiliates will engage in oersonal evance i ism and
discioleshio, regardless of the nature of soecific ministry, and
encourage other believers to do likewise.
4.5 We are committed to missionc:.r'/
. . . ..
a.s;;13t 1n ;.:ne of the
movement of the Church in the Latin world in cross-cultural witness.
,,; ; '
l l l
5. Social Resoonsibilitv. The demonstration of lnve and cnrial
.;.s :::,;z e ;oec-c :1f the mi::.:::iDn of the Church. Deutere:ncmv 15: 11;
- . -

We affirm that God is both the Creator and the Judge of all
men. We therefore should share his concern for justice and
reconciliation throughout human so=iety and for the
liberation of men from every kind of oppression. Because
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regardless ot religion, color, sex,
"organic" as tne proper internal relationship of its members;
il :: ern c eo t u a l a as g r- o t h i n b i b 1 i :: a.l k n oN l 2 d g e ; 2 n d :; i o 2 n t i f i c 2 t i on 2. 1 ;; ..., ..
insertion into the life of the communi t/
-. . .
3.S Lt"";r-l=.t Himself a. = i n c a. r n a. t e 3.n d
identified with the people of His day.
A Statement of Missiological Principles
[physical limitation] or age, has an intrinsic dignity
because of which he should be respected and served, not
exploited. . When people receive Christ they are born
again into his kingdom and must seek not only to exhibit
but also to spread its righteousness in the midst of an
unrighteous world. The salvation we claim should be
transforming us in the totality of our personal and social
responsibilities. Faith without works is dead.
5.2 The expression of social responsibility by Christians has
demonstrated that evangelism is furthered by concern for one's neighbor. This
has been clearly evident in the ministry of LAM-related institutions throughout
5.3 As a mission with its major offices in the U.S. and with LAM
affiliates who are usually noncitizens of the countries in which they serve,
much sensitivity to the positions of the local bodies of believers and their
institutions must be exercised regarding political issues. The principle of
bearing witness to the judgment of God upon social and political sin, as well
as the Christian's obligation to take advantage of opportunities to improve the
society that surrounds us, is important.
c.. Cu.l ture. A recoonition of the need OT the Church in Latin America
to the Gosoel in the of its own cultural backorounds
contemporary situations. Philippians Corinthians 9:15-23.
6.1 The Lausanne Covenant, "Evangelism and Culture" (Article 10
..::.. -'}
The development of strategies for world evangelization
calls for imaginative pioneering methods. Under God. the
result will be the rise of churchEs deeply rooted in Christ
and closely related to their culture. Culture must always
and judged by Scripture. Because man is God's
some of his culture is rich in beauty and
Because he is fallen, a!l :a:nrej with
sin and some of it is demonic. The Gospel does not
presuppose the suoeriority of any culture to another, but
evaluates all cultures according to its own criteria of
truth and righteousness
and insists on moral absolutes in
Missions have all too freouently exported
with the Gospel an alien culture, and churches have
sometimes been in bondaoe to culture rather than to
Christ's evangelists must humbly seek to emoty
themselves of all but their personal authenticity in order
to become
1_ j i::::: servants of others, churches must seek to
transform and enrich culture, all for the glory ot God.
6 A Statement of Missiological Printiples
6.L A continuec, conscious effort should be made to encourage, develop
and involve national leadership for the ministry of the Gospel in Latin
i ca ..
6.3 Missionary affiliates are encouraged to as proficient as possible
in the language of the people they serve, and to seek to relate increasingly to
the local cultures in their highest expressions.
6.4 Contextual sensitivity normally produces flexibility in strategy
which should be in line with Biblical princioles.
; & { .P Inteoritv. The imoorta.nce o-t resoonsible
administratinn of thP Psalm 26:6-7: 2 Corinthians 4:2.
-. r-. rl
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7.1 Being members of the Body of Christ in submission to Him and to each
other calls for accountability in everv aspect of the Mission's administration
and ministry in relation to God, to missionary affiliates, to churches in the
Latin and Anglo worlds, to individual and to cooperating

7.2 Responsible stewardshio must also be exercised in scrupulous
accounting procedures, respect for the use of designated
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reporting, and maintaining at aoprooriate levels monies used for the
promotional and administrative aspects of the work.
ClB.ytDn L. berg, Jr.