RECIFE, Brazil (BNC) — A fourth evangelical pastor has converted through classes in the School of the Bible and renounced his religious title, missionary Randy Short said today.
On the day of his baptism, Elies Mauricio wrote,
“Because of my biblical conviction and my recent decision to follow biblical principles, both in the church and in my personal life, I wish to communicate to all that I relinquish the ministry of ‘pastor,’ for I do not have all the qualifications to exercise such a ministry in the church (because of my lack of age and experience, seeing that the word ‘presbyter’ means ‘older’). Consequently, the consecrations of people that I appointed as pastor (or presbyter) have become invalid and are therefore annulled, and I can no longer be responsible for them. So I ask friends and brethren that they no longer call me ‘pastor.’ I am merely a brother in Christ. I will be simply exercising by biblical principles the ministry of evangelist in the church of Christ in Porta Larga. This ministry I am able to exercise. And to those whom I consecrated as pastor, I counsel you to do the same as I did by beginning to conform yourselves to the biblical patterns. I thank everyone for their attention and hope you understand me, for I want to do things in the right way. Any questions, please read 1Tm 3.4-5; Gl 1.10; and 2Tm 1.13.”
Randy shared how Elies, along with his congregation at Porta Larga, finally made his decision.
“They kept studying and making changes. They asked me to study with them about evangelists as opposed to pastors. I prepared the material this past Wednesday morning (Oct 29) and presented it to them. Neither one of them had been baptized, thinking their baptism was biblical. For some reason, after a very good study, I mentioned something about baptism and Elies said he had decided that his baptism was not valid. I said what are you going to do about it. He said be baptized. I said when. He said now. I asked why. He said for the remission of my sins. I said so you are not yet saved. He said no. We filled the baptistery and took care of business. He posted this communication (above) the same afternoon.”
Randy concluded his email to BNC, saying that it is
“really amazing the restoration that is going on here despite continued problems with some negative influences from the past. It is so gratifying to work with people so hungry for the truth. They just soak it in like sponges and are willing to face any ridicule for the cause of Christ. Beautiful!”
Randal and his wife Vicki have lived and worked in Brazil since Nov. 1984. They have three children, two daughters-in-law, and five grandchildren. He likes to read novels in his back-porch hammock. http://randal.us