Why Eternal Truth Ministries?

Philosophers have often divided the world of men into two groups: the "givers" and the "takers" or "consumers". The philosophers are not characterizing people by their actions but by what motivates them--the values which determine their choices and actions.

Jesus' tough offer to the rich young ruler is instructive in defining the term "giver". The young man thought he could give to get and Jesus disabused him of any such proposition. Such a distinction is also an important one in disciple-making. Note that Jesus required His disciples to give up their economic production (fishermen) in order to become spiritually productive (fishers of men). Peter and John had learned so well that in Acts 3, Peter says, "Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give to you"--a giver remains a giver even without money, perhaps especially without money. When trusting Christ for salvation, all are "takers". Disciple-making is simply the deliberate teaching/modeling/accountability process of training "believer-takers" into spiritually mature "disciple-givers"--able administrators (as opposed to consumers) of the manifold grace of God (I Peter 4:10).

The reason that the "love of the Father" and the "love of the world" are mutually exclusive is that one is for givers and the other for takers. All human loves require a response (a taker) while the Father's love is distinctive in that it is given (by grace) with no expectation of receiving in return. Learning to love Father's way in the spiritual maturing process is simply to learn how to give. "Takers" are deceived to the very end: 1) the unbeliever thinking he has to give something in exchange for his soul; 2) "believer-takers" giving to God in exchange for the Father's continued material blessing; 3) "pastor/missionary-takers" dutifully serving God but always mindful of how much they have given up.

Tracking investments and returns, the taker lives just one major reversal away from bitterness--"I've gone to church and tithed faithfully for 25 years; now my business is belly up, the pastor ran off with the pianist and my daughter is lesbian." Whereas the giver looks creatively for new ways to give, never doubting the Giver of all good gifts. To glorify God and enjoy Him forever one must graduate from market logic.

What happens when all the leadership resources of a local church are absorbed by political maneuvering and struggles for control of the budget (takers) with no experienced disciple- makers (givers) functioning in leadership? So here is the reason for Eternal Truth Ministries.

Disciple-making requires spiritual maturity, biblical thinking, time and a personal relationship. ETM works with local church leadership for evaluation, goal setting, counsel and accountability based on a personal relationship and the mutual desire of the local church leadership and ETM "to present every man perfect in Christ Jesus." Since churches rarely seek help until they are financially troubled, ETM maintains a "no charge" policy for its services. ETM maintains a facility in North Carolina where pastors, elders or missionaries from the churches we work with can come for specialized training, refocus or recovery as needed to reach our common objective--to restore disciple-making as the goal and primary focus of church ministry.

Here is a study that may help clarify what we mean.