Several weeks ago, information was brought to our attention regarding a ministry many of us know and love and even support financially, Frontier Alliance International (FAI). They have produced several excellent films in recent years and have launched a new app that has become very popular; they are having a global impact and it is growing larger still. This information came to us serendipitously and it relates the account of a former FAI board member who had pioneered the medical unit that runs now in Iraqi Kurdistan. (read his full account here including email at the beginning: https://www.mikereynolds.me/writing/fai)
The allegations made were very serious and none of us had ever heard them before from any source, and so the three of us committed to prayer, fact-finding, counseling and in-depth discussions amongst each other for many days before taking any actions. After hours of direct contact with FAI and gathering as much information as possible from as many sources as possible, the conclusion reached is that the main events alleged did in fact occur and that no public statement of this has ever been made. There does exist one video of a local church service in 2013 that generally brought the original incident up, but nothing of any depth and nothing anywhere of the 2016-2017 incident. This years-long situation is a consequence of the lingering dysfunction caused when sin is concealed. The decision was made organizationally not to reveal the scope of this years-long situation in any public way. The end result today is that the vast majority of current FAI supporters/financial donors do not have the full history of the organization with which to make informed decisions.
We have shared in the mission and teaching of FAI over the past 5 years, hosting films at our churches, referring other ministries to come alongside them in partnership, etc. The three of us agreed that if we had known these things in 2019, we would never have gone to Israel in January 2020 for their “Maranatha Conference”. It wasn’t only the sense of woundedness and personal betrayal we all shared for having no idea about these things, but our common urgent concern for the wider Body of Christ who are similarly in the dark. The damage already being caused - and the potential for exponentially greater damage - to the Body and the global Maranatha message - was our overriding concern. So after these days of prayerfully considering what the right Biblical way to proceed was, we decided to issue a “corporate to corporate” communication; not personally as individuals to the individuals at FAI, but from three concerned mature men of God to their Board of Directors as a whole.
Following the example set forth in 2 Corinthians 5:20, a letter of Appeal was sent to the Directors on Friday, August 28th. Approximately 6 hours later we received a reply kindly acknowledging our opinion but unambiguously declining to revisit the issue or to change course. The three of us again were immediately thrown back into the gut-wrenching well of seeking how to Biblically respond, if at all. Over the weekend of the 29th and 30th, God was faithful to respond with confirming signs from those outside our circle and through a Word given directly to one of us. We felt compelled by the Spirit to send a followup ASAP, so a letter of Imploring was sent to the Directors on Monday, August 31st. To this point, no corporate reply has been given and one may never come. One is left to conclude only that, on this matter at least, the Board is not functional and any appeals to course-correct on this matter will be summarily dismissed.
We feel this satisfies the unction of the Spirit upon us as a group. This Statement is to enlighten those who are tracking with our various ministries to see exactly what has occurred and to be open about our best efforts to try and address it. Please know that we have nothing to gain from this in the natural; indeed there has been little other than distress, lost sleep and agonizing within and among us. It is entirely possible that we will lose many members/followers/friends who read this as a “circle the wagons” mentality rises up. But as in the corporate world, the temptation to view entities as “Too Big To Fail” must not be permitted. “Maranatha” is the core Cry of the Bride of Christ in these dark days; it is not a “brand” to be appropriated by anyone. This Maranatha cry being sullied is not something we - all Christians - can afford to overlook in this generation. Please take the time to prayerfully read this letter and the email contained at the beginning, and pause to ask whether or not God is happy with this situation being “contained.”
If we as followers of Jesus attempt to excuse or paper-over serious transgressions because “the fruit is so good” or the millions of dollars being raised is “justification from heaven”, we are in extreme danger of falling, of shipwreck, of apostasy, of besmirching the image of our perfect King. The era of “Christian celebrity” must end. The Maranatha message must - in word AND deed - be intentionally “decentralized”. No church or ministry - FAI or any other - should be kept from the Altar of sacrifice. It’s all God’s decision what to do and when. We deeply respect the goal of missions to Muslims and Israel and are friends with some of the Directors and other members personally. We do not desire more pain or damage to anyone in the Body. We continue to hold all involved in consistent prayer for healing and restoration.
Your Brothers in Christ Jesus,
Christopher Mantei, Nick Franks, Steve Buckley
September 4, 2020
To reach out with questions or thoughts about this, just send an email to Pastor Mantei at email@example.com