Trans World Radio

Gospel of Christ to the World?

-  1992 marked the 40th anniversary of international gospel broadcaster, Trans World Radio (TWR). TWR was incorporated as International Evangelism, Inc. on 2/11/52 by Dr. Paul E. Freed, its founder and present-day president, for the purpose of reaching those areas of the world yet unreached with the gospel. TWR began with a 2,500 watt station in Tangier, Morocco called "The Voice of Tangier." The fledging station went on the air on 2/22/54 in two languages, Spanish and English, with broadcasts to the people of Spain. Today, the gospel is transmitted to 46 countries in Europe, North Africa, and the former Soviet republics in at least 36 languages from this one station alone.

Since these modest beginnings, TWR has become one of the world's largest missionary broadcasters -- TWR transmits over 1,000 hours of gospel programming each week in 90 languages from seven transmitting locations, reaching approximately 80% of the world's people. Trans World Radio has 37 national partners and/or offices in 30 countries, including such international organizations as ERF International in Germany and Norea Radio Evangelistic Association in Norway. Approximately half a million letters are received annually in response to the broadcasts.

-  Unfortunately, TWR reaches its vast audience with rock music, government propaganda, Billy Graham, National Religious Broadcasting style charismaticism, neo-evangelical inclusivism, etc. For example, TWR participated in Urbana '90 and promoted the Billy Graham School of Evangelism in Moscow. TWR has also set-up a transmitting station in a Moscow Baptist church (a KGB-controlled showcase church!) with the equipment being jointly owned by TRW and this "church." TRW is also a member of the neo-evangelical EFMA/IFMA (see below). (Reported in the 12/15/91 Calvary Contender.)

-  TWR is a member of the IMFA (Interdenominational Foreign Mission Association), along with TEAM, RMBU Int'l., Overseas Christian Servicemen's Centers, Jews for Jesus, Back to the Bible, Far East Broadcasting Co., etc. IMFA is a highly neo-evangelical missions organization, made up of 59 such agencies and 6,500 missionaries. IFMA accepts missionaries from liberal denominations or churches as long as they agree to the doctrinal position of the mission societies. Missionaries thus find themselves cooperating with these churches in order to represent their ministries. Obviously, separation from ecumenism is practically impossible in this situation. Some of its members even accept World Council of Churches' (WCC) funds to aid their medical or educational ministries, thus finding themselves entangled in WCC commitments in spite of the fact they make pronouncements against the liberal WCC position.

Since some of the member agencies/societies have resigned over the years as IMFA has become more ecumenical and more neo-evangelical, we can only assume that TWR's continued membership is an indication of agreement with IMFA policy. For example, does TWR agree with this IFMA statement?:

"It is recognized that within liberal groups there are some individuals which are concerned that the Gospel go forth in its fundamental, evangelical form. IFMA missions provide a channel for missionary giving for many of these, and for independent nondenominational churches as well."

In recent years, the IFMA has begun to work closely with the EFMA (Evangelical Foreign Mission Association), the two associations being represented on eight joint committees. The EFMA has a number of tongues-speaking pentecostal groups as members.

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