Is Voice of the Martyrs as iconic and flawless as we’ve come to believe?
To be sure, there is a need to help and pray for the persecuted brethren as commanded, but if we, as Christians are going to be honest before the LORD JESUS CHRIST, whom we profess to believe and serve, then we are going to have to examine the obvious facts and not be in denial, and/or be deceived. If we’ve been wrong, then we need to repent and turn.
The more I think about the shocking and tragic events of the last several weeks since Tom White’s apparent suicide on the heels of a pedophilia investigation focusing on him as the primary suspect, the more apparent it becomes that indeed, VOM has been, if I may coin a word, “ecumenicalizing” VOM. It’s unmistakable. Those who have received Voice of the Martyrs newsletters, and read their material online, have seen it, whether recognized as such or not, in black and white…or…, with the typical VOM flare, shiny well scripted pages in beautiful color.
Most of us, eager to read the latest news about our persecuted brethren and the work VOM is apparently doing in so many places all over the globe, didn’t seem to notice what was hidden in plain view, VOM’s obvious ecumenical sympathies, or leanings. Whether this was done deliberately, or in just plain spiritual ignorance, is not quite clear at this point. What is clear, is that the truth is coming out about it and something needs to be changed.
This is going to make a lot of people very mad, and in fact already has, even in the evangelical camp, that anyone would have the audacity to suggest that VOM was promoting a group as “Christian” that was NOT Christian, and that is, Catholics and related branches of Catholicism. To understand this dilemma better, please read the following article by Steve Rugg who has been kind enough to furnish us with this information about VOM, and how it has incorporated ecumenism into it’s work and public relations. If this is scripturally balanced and I believe it is, this constitutes nothing short of apostasy.
Something else that may tend to make people angry is the question Steve dares to ask the reader…”Are You Saved?” Something to think about…I am. We are admonished in scripture to examine ourselves to see if we’re in the faith. Let us then examine ourselves by scripture, and not by what some teacher, preacher, priest, or religious doctrine tells us.
“Are You Saved?”
by Steve Rugg
“It takes an event in a human institution such as the one we have witnessed in the last several weeks from the Voice of the Martyrs (VOM) leadership that perks our attention to reassess what is important.
The question I raise today and ask you to solemnly ponder in your heart in prayer is: why does today’s church in America bear no similarity to the first century church? All I ask of you is to set aside your personal prejudices for a moment or two. We will use the Word of God as the standard measure of the things written here. Bear in mind: “All scripture [not theology] is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man [and woman] of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Tim 3:16-17).
Many professing Christians don’t think anything is wrong with VOM referring to non-Christian organizations as “Christian.” Tom White was Executive Director of VOM and recently, “allegedly” committed suicide. He and his leadership carefully crafted a public relations machine that pandered not only to the evangelical (denominational) church and I believe to the Roman Catholic Church. VOM does not differentiate between Biblical Christians, Roman Catholics, Seventh Day Adventists and Jehovah Witnesses. The problem VOM has and many, many professing Christians have is: Does the Word of God have something to say about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and those who have turned to “another gospel” (Gal 1:6,8-10)?
Ecumenism has been in the works for many years, spearheaded by the likes of Chuck Colson, co-author with Roman Catholic Richard Nuehaus of ECT-1 (Evangelicals and Catholics Together, 1994) and ECT-2 (Evangelicals and Catholics Together, 1997). The so-called Christian pop star leadership signed on to ECT. In addition to a number of signatories from Roman Catholic leadership, Pat Robertson (700 Club), Bill Bright (Campus Crusade), Max Lucado (author), Charles Colson (Prison Fellowship), J.I. Packer (Regent College), etc., signed on as well. It should be no surprise that ECT-2 was published in the December 1997 issue of Christianity Today, a magazine founded by Dr. Billy Graham.
We have the likes of Joel Osteen, Rick Warren, Robert Schuller and countless other hirelings with multi-million dollar salaries and “ministries.” We had Promise Keepers (for those who could not keep a promise) and several other movements that helped to slowly and seductively move Christian churches away from their biblical moorings. Easy believism has intruded into virtually every church in America with the so-called altar call invitation (courtesy of Charles Finney in the 1830s) to the legitimization alien bible translations (which are not translations) like “The Message” and the gender neutral 2011 NIV “bible.”
We had worldly luminaries like Billy Graham chum around with popes, cardinals and presidents, preach a false gospel message for at least 50-60 years to countless millions on how to be saved instead of telling them that they are sinners in need of a Savior (like Peter did in Acts, chapter 2).
As tragic as it is that Billy Graham preached a false gospel at crusades across America, his assimilation into the Roman Catholic Church is well documented—he served his master well by handing over “decision cards” collected from his crusades to the Roman Catholic Church. This man has embraced every Roman Catholic idolatrous belief that has been taught by the Roman Catholic Church for 1700 years (with additions over time) since Constantine, the emperor who embraced idolatry with the symbol of the cross. This same Roman Catholic Church persecuted Christians during the Reformation period, the Vatican committed atrocities during World War II, and most recently the cover-up of large scale pedophilia, and wholesale ruin of young boys by Roman Catholic priests. (Note: open source documentation provided on request)
While ecumenism, or more properly the compromise of Biblical Christianity by Protestants, has gained broader appeal by biblically illiterate and largely complacent professing Christians, this ecumenism “movements” so-
called greatest evangelical of the 20th century was Billy Graham—the “preacher” America loves. That statement should make you wonder—what was Jesus talking about when He said: “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” (John 15: 18-21)?
I am not picking on Billy Graham. I am only using him as an example of the countless not born again (born from above) professing Christians who need to abandon their idols and their religious traditions (of men). Protestants today are able to hold and possess a Bible because of the blood of the martyrs who died for Jesus. That is God’s Grace.
Satan has done what he is only capable of doing–seducing, deceiving (counterfeiting) and enslaving the progeny of fallen Adam. Even an early edition of the New England Primer (for elementary school), for the letter “A” said: “In Adam’s Fall, We Sinned All.” Do your children have a clue what children were taught 200 years ago in New England? Do you live the life that bears the image of the risen Christ or do you just play a game with God in the false hope of impressing Him with your religiosity?
Your denominations are not going to help you; they are nothing more than institutions of indoctrination into their particular theological brand of religious philosophy that run for power and prestige. Biblical doctrine is not theology. Most leaders in churches are hirelings looking for their slice of pie. If they are not teaching outright lies, not supported by Scripture, like devotees to Calvinism (instead of having a Biblical understanding of God’s Sovereignty), and false doctrines, fear always works to get people’s attention: fear of hell, fear of government, etc.
To the unsaved, the Bible says: “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both the soul and body in hell” (Matt 10:28, Jesus speaking of fearing God). Do today’s peddlers of fear in some ministries preach the fear of God? To the saved, He says: “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Tim 1:7).
To those who seek the Truth, Satan works against tirelessly. The rest he generally leaves alone: to live and die as sinners who love their sin. The church in America has no likeness to the first century church. The persecuted sons and daughters do honor our risen Lord and Savior. Most professing Christians in America are a disgrace to our Lord (Matt 25:31-46; Matt 7:21-23, 25:11-12).
Why are they a disgrace to our Lord and Savior? Because they have not repented, been baptized (spiritually) for the remission (forgiveness) of sins. The primacy of repentance cannot be overlooked and anything less than repentance cannot produce Christians that can be born from above. “For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted, but the sorrow of the world produces death” (2 Cor 7:10).
Paul the apostle warned of wolves (Acts 20:26-30) coming after his departure and indeed it did not take long–the judaizers, the gnostics, Constantine (the birthplace of Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy) and hundreds of other heretical teachings to our day.
The tragedy at VOM and Tom White is to serve as a wakeup call. The question to be asked among every professing Christian is: To whom do I serve? Does your heart and life reflect in activity (Faith) that “Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life” (John 14:6)? If it does not, it can, but you must take Jesus at His word. Jesus did what He was sent to do, at His word: provide a sacrifice to atone for your sins. He did not come to keep you out of hell (and He cannot do that because of one’s unbelief), He did not come because you deserve heaven (you do not). He came because His sacrifice was the only true expression of His Love and the Love of the Father which I believe happen to be the greatest among His attributes. If you are not willing to die to self, you cannot live the Christian life.
God’s Grace is bigger than the VOM, and if the VOM ceases to exist tomorrow, God would make a way where there seems to be no other way. An idolatrous pagan culture at VOM was built after the loss of Richard Wurmbrand and became the face of the persecuted Christian around the world. The Lord said: “A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master” (Matt 10:24). Why is it then that men, who profess godliness, strive to be like another master than Jesus?
Why do people follow these men and institutions of mass deception? The divinely inspired Word of God is the only place you will find the answer. Anything else is vanity.
The “great falling away”
has been in motion for some time. Those currently interested in knowing the rest of the story of VOM, I believe, fall into three groups: 1/ those who feel “vindicated” that God is not on the throne and Christianity is a fantasy; 2/ those who will form their own opinion based on emotional sentimentality and lastly, 3/ those children of God, born from above, who grieve in the Spirit, pray for the lost and those who need our prayers and know God’s plan is still the ONLY Plan. The VOM leadership, like the carnal nature of man, cannot be reformed. It must be regenerated or replaced by regenerated men and women of God.
If that does not take place, the Lord will take VOM down and provide another means to help those dear persecuted brothers and sisters in faraway lands who are doing His will, for His Name sake. We, who have been faithful in providing prayerful and financial support, have been deceived and saddened for those who need financial support and Living Bread—in my opinion, VOM is no longer a channel for God’s work.
The last question I ask you dear reader is more important than the first question I posed at the beginning of this letter:
Does the Lord Know You?
If you know the answer to this question affirmatively, you are a true child of God.