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Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA)

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Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA)

Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA)


According to its website, the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association, is:

[..] an international, not-for-profit, trade organization serving its industry by promoting excellence and professionalism, sharing relevant data, stimulating Christian fellowship, raising the effectiveness of member houses, and equipping them to meet the needs of the changing marketplace.

However, unfortunately, there is a 'buyer beware.'

n a dangerous development, in July, 2002, the ECPA admitted Living Stream - the publishing arm of the Local Church which, theologically, is a cult of Christianity - as a voting member:

In June, Living Stream executives met religious officials in China, laying a foundation to get their publications off the cult list. Validation closer to home came in July, when the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association, an industry association, admitted Living Stream as a member after a debate over Witness Lee.

"We define a cult as a group with an all-powerful leader with the final word," said Doug Ross, president of the publishing trade group. "Living Stream doesn't have a single person. At one time, that may have been true, but we don't think it is today."
Source: Strong opinions surround Lee's Local Church, The Orange County Register, Oct. 13, 2002

Note that ECPA president Doug Ross apparently does not know how to evaluate whether or not a specific group or movement is, theologically, a cult of Christianity. In the article quoted above, Ross merely refers to just one of many sociological characteristics of a cult. The fact that ECPA has admitted Living Stream as a member shows that the ECPA's principals either a) do not know how to discern between orthodoxy and heresy, and are therefore unaware of the group's heretical teachings, or b) have no qualms about promoting heresy.

That said, according to the ECPA's website, among the qualifications for a "voting member" is that the publisher provides literature "which promotes, encourages, confirms, defends, or establishes the individual in his or her Christian belief of evangelical Christianity in general, and is not in conflict with the Association's Statement of Faith."

Clearly, the folks at ECPA dropped the ball on this one. Evangelical Christians, whether members of ECPA or not, must address this serious error in judgment.

LSM's signing of the ECPA statement of faith "means very little," said investigative journalist, author and cult-watcher Richard Abanes. "Many doctrinally aberrant organizations could do the same thing. The [ECPA faith] statement only deals in general terms using language that such organizations could agree to given how they radically re-define doctrinal terms."

Watchman Fellowship President James K. Walker said: "Evangelicals should be very cautious about accepting Living Stream Ministry or the Local Church of Witness Lee as one of us."

About this page:
Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA)
First posted: Dec. 2, 2002
Editor: Anton Hein
Copyright: Apologetics Index
Link to: http://www.apologeticsindex.org/REPLACEURL.html
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