Some of our readers might enjoy a brief word about where CAF has come from and where it is going. Many of you have been supporters of CAF for years and can remember the days of ministry under the leading of Jack Gracie, I don't know about you, but that name brings back a flood of very fond memories.
At it's inception CAF was a few dedicated souls, some of which had been graciously saved from non-Christian cults, and who now wanted to follow God by exposing the errors of cults such as these. The first of many meetings were held in the Gracie's home. Thinking back, I believe that this lead not only to dedicated Christians coming together to confront the cults and teach others, but also to the establishment of a tight knit group whose members were able to share the difficulties involved in a ministry of this kind. CAF has always been more than co-workers or even friends, we were able to find bonds in Christ that probably would not have been found in any other way.
One of the goals of CAF has always been to see the one involved in the cult come to faith in Christ, not just to remove the person from the cult. Jack used to say "We're not doing a person any good if we get them to leave, Mormonism, for example, and not lead them to a relationship with Christ." So CAF was begun with evangelization of the cults as a formost goal.
Some of our most and memorable times have come when we were involved in one on one evangelism with those trapped in the deception of the cults. Year after year CAF would meet brothers and sisters from other ministries around the country to share with the people of Salt Lake City, Utah at the Utah State Fair. Watchman Fellowship, local churches, Utah Missions and others would spend the better part of a week or two sharing the gospel with literally thousands of people who do not know Christ, but are followers of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Other times during the year CAF could be found passing out gospel tracts and sharing Christ with the Jehovah's Witnesses at the Tucson Convention Center during their annual Watchtower Convention. As with the Mormons, the Jehovah's Witnesses we spoke with assured us that they were indeed Christians, for after all, they very closely followed the gospel as taught to them by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. It became quickly apparent that while a lot of the words were the same, both of these groups were actually quite different from the faith that those of us in CAF held to, namely salvation by God's grace through faith in His son Jesus Christ, alone. Our emphasis is as always to confront the error of the false teaching as compared to Holy Scripture, not to assault the person of the leader or followers of a group.
Since witnessing to the world of the cults about Jesus is a mission much too large for a few people in Tucson, a great part of our ministry has been to provide Christian brothers and sisters with the information and the knowledge in how to recognize and confront the error of the cults. Many times this was done through the showing of films discussing the differences between a certain group and biblical Christianity. Often CAF has held seminars and classes concerning a particular group or just emphasizing solid biblical doctrine. We are confident that the believer’s priority is to study and know the truth. The better one knows the genuine article, the more easily one can recognize an imitation. At other times our ministry has been able to supply written information to those wanting to study, and desiring to have God use them in a situation concerning a cult or false teaching.
Christian radio has been a very wonderful blessing. We were able to present, A CLOSER LOOK, short segments demonstrating the differences between some common false teachings and the teachings of the Bible. A CLOSER LOOK was heard on over 20 stations across the country. We also were featured in live call-in programs, in which listeners were able to ask questions concerning a particular group or teaching.
As the years went by God began to call some in CAF to other areas of ministry, whether within their local church fellowship, pastorship and even missionary work in Nairobi, Kenya. This is always a test of our faith because we know that we are losing a vital resource, maybe a director or officer, a prayer warrior and a friend. We praise God for those times. We have seen him work in mighty ways in the new ministries of the ones who have left and through those who have remained.
Since the days of meeting in the Gracie’s home CAF has seen a few changes in our physical operation. For a time we were donated office space on west Prince Road. Now we’re located in a wonderful office with great potential located at the Calvary Chapel of Tucson complex, just south of Interstate 10, off Palo Verde. CAF is an independent 501 (c) 3 ministry now under the spiritual accountability of the leadership of Calvary Chapel. This is something that many of us have felt was a much needed relationship for our ministry.
Through this, God has continued to bless the efforts of our ministry. He has continued to provide us with first rate leadership in Jack Gracie, Tom Perkins, and now Duane Burgess. We look forward to gaining a more clear focus and direction for CAF through Duane, and trust that God will show us the unique portion of his work that he designed our ministry to perform. As always we covet the prayers of our readers for strength and direction as we follow Christ.
It is has been interesting to see the directions that the Lord has taken us throughdifferent leadership of CAF. Under Jack, a great deal was focused on the more well known cults such as the LDS Church and the Jehovah’s Witnesses, then later adding a focus on the New Age concepts which are so prevalent in our education systems.
With Tom Perkins as president, CAF continued a strong testimony against the New Age Movement and at the same time began presenting a biblical defense against the teachings of Satanism, Witchcraft and the Occult. Yearly visits to the Fourth Avenue Street Fair proved that this was an area of interest growing in popularity within the Tucson community. A biblical answer, based on a rock solid faith grounded in Christ through His Word, is the way to confront and wage war against the cults and the occult. A good foundation of biblical doctrine, resulting in the proper faith and a humble attitude, is God’s example of a defender of the faith.
Christian Awareness Fellowship’s newest president, Duane Burgess, has been active with the ministry for several years engineering our radio programs, writing articles and teaching. He also has been involved with other ministries dealing with strengthening the believers’ faith. In particular, Duane has been involved in promoting the importance of supporting Biblical Creationism. For much too long the world has blindly accepted the theory of evolution as “fact”. The Institute for Creation Research (ICR), Answers in Genesis (AIG), and Duane’s new work, Sensible Faith Ministries, have been instrumental in getting the Christian community back on their feet in the battle against the false teaching of evolution. For far too long the war has raged against the idea of a literal creation, the scientific theory of evolution has bulldozed it’s way into most non-Christian and even some Christian minds. CAF is joining the many Christian ministries confronting this lie.
From the response to seminars on Creationism by CAF and other ministries around the world, we see a Christianity that is ready to start fighting back in this area. We hope that CAF and like ministries will be able to provide the ammunition needed to win significant victories in this area.
As we continue the work that Christ has set before us we want to remind our readers of the importance of prayer concerning this ministry. With new leadership, and the wise counsel of our dedicated Chaplain George Greene, comes a need for a clear vision and direction for our ministry. Other needs include God’s continued provision of funds for literature, office supplies and equipment as well as a newsletter publication. We cannot express enough our appreciation for your prayers concerning these needs. Please continue to join with us in prayer for the work of CAF as we seek to follow the Lord Jesus and provide the Church with solid Biblical answers to defend the truth.Updated
Under the leadership of George Greene, the Board of Directors and staff, our web page caftucson.org is now a reality. We are informing pastors that we will do their research on cults, the occult, and the satanic realm at no charge.