For over 60 years, Open Doors has worked in the world’s most oppressive countries, empowering Christians who are persecuted for their beliefs. Open Doors equips persecuted Christians in more than 60 countries through programs like Bible & Gospel Development, Women & Children Advancement and Christian Community Restoration.
Much has been made of Richard Wurmbrand being prisoner in Rumanian Communist Prisons, his book, “Tortured for Christ” and the suffering he endured as a “Christian pastor” believer in Christ. These things as well as his intellectualism and the fact that he founded what has become known as the Voice of the Martyrs has propelled him and the organization into a huge widely known, and so far, “well-respected” iconic ministry of mega proportions with vast financial resources and power.
All that seems admiral on the surface but what has apparently slipped under the radar is his ecumenical, and Marxist socialist so-called “Christian” apologetics and doctrine.
More recently during this past year of 2012 is the suicide of the US Director of the Voice of the Martyrs, Tom White, under mysterious circumstances, apparently as a result of the molestation of a minor 10 yr old girl.
All well and good you might say, for the organization has all appearances of doing much good for the persecuted Christians of the world……….but, at what expense to the truth of the gospel, considering that from the get go, Richard Wurmbrand, and Tom White, have consistently blended the evil of ecumenism and a pro-Catholic persuasion into the writings of the Voice of the Martyr newsletters and publications, making NO DISTINCTION between the pure evangelical gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the cult of the Roman Catholic church and it’s mysticism. I leave this for the readers discernment and ask you to pray about it. Also, I wish it to be known there is indeed another organization which gives relief to persecuted Christians, that of the International Christian Concern. Please understand I am not enforcing this group, and in fact do not know all there is to know about them, but merely offer this as a possibility for the reader to explore as an alternative to VOM.
Two important persons with respect to the Christian faith passed away in the last two weeks (This was written 2-23-01). They were both prophets. One was John Rushdoony. He was a true prophet of the Lord and made significant contributions to the defense of the Christian faith and the understanding of God’s law, especially in his magnus opus, “The Institutes of Biblical Law”. He was a prolific writer and many of his books were key attacks on the citadels of secular humanism in our society. As a warrior for the Christian faith he will be missed, even if a few of his more extreme theonomic views, such as keeping the dietary laws of Moses, were rejected by most of those who loved and respected him.
The other prophet who has just passed away is Richard Wurmbrand, the premier apostle of the “underground church”. Wurmbrand, best known for his best-selling “Tortured for Christ,” was also a prolific author, and well known for his opposition to the Stalinist terror of the U.S.S.R. and its satellites. What is less well known is his theology. Taken as a theologian Wurmbrand has to be classified as a heretic and a false prophet. Even a cursory study of some of his writings displays a breadth of error, mysticism, idolatry, and confusion that is appalling and at times blasphemous.
The following article about the “underground church” was written back in the early 1970’s and documents, even back then, some of Wurmbrand’s strange and heretical beliefs. As it was written in the Editor’s “wild and wooly youth” (I was in my twenties) please attribute the intemperance of some its statements to the exuberance of youth. The article was scanned in so it may contain a few glitches.
CULTURAL WARFARE II – THE UNDERGROUND CHURCH
FALSE PROPHETS While few Christians have recognized the realities of false prophets, the scriptures clearly do. The Apostle Peter declares, “There were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you”. Paul, too, makes such deceitful penetration of the church a matter of certainty, warning, “For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock”. Christ himself, constantly exposing the false teachers of his day, continually warned the disciples, “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, bur inwardly they are ravening wolves”, and, “Take heed that no man deceive you . . . For there shall arise false Christs and false prophets . . . insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” That Christians who confess the scriptures as the infallible word of God should continue to ignore at their peril the warnings of the Head of the Church and His Apostles, is incredible. Yet the Church in general continues on as if the very problem or the possibility thereof did not exist. Too often the subject is considered exhausted when one has rebuked a Joseph Smith or a Herbert Armstrong, as if such were actually in danger of deceiving the very elect. Neither should the Christ deniers and blasphemers of the National or World Council of Churches pose a problem to the Lord’s people. Christ reserved his rebukes for the Pharisees, who posed as the most zealous and orthodox teachers of the law. Similarly, Paul warns not of every Hellenistic cult but rather of those that are “false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness.” It is with such that the church has to deal, and it is of such that Paul declares, “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you lei him be accursed ” Paul’s churches were prepared to face Satanic impersonations of angels from heaven and of the apostles themselves; today’s churches are not.
DISCERNMENT While Christians often prefer to hide behind such a pious and sell-righteous misquote as, Judge not, that ye be not judged”, the scriptural warnings obviously require some judging and a great deal of discernment. Rather than evade the issues the Apostle John exhorts us, “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment” and to “believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” To discern such requires the inspiration of the Spirit of Truth. The body of Christ is composed of many members, each fitted for their particular function by the respective gifts of the Holy Spirit. And when Paul lists these in I Cor. 12 he includes the ‘discerning of spirits’. Then, as now, the church’s armor is incomplete when she fails to exercise this gift of the Spirit.
THE TEST The Mosaic law had a test for false prophets (Deut. 18:20-22), but what test can the church apply today to ferret out false teachers? False teachers who come in sheep’s clothing, with wonderful testimonies, proclaiming all the fundamentals of the faith, establishing their credentials and winning the hearts of the Lord’s people by being all that could be expected of an angel of shining light. For if they came as scoffers and deniers, they could never accomplish their objective of disarming and destroying the church by the introduction of more subtle heresies. What test, what standard of discernment can be used to identity these emissaries of Satan?
Christ declared that no man can serve two masters, and that a house divided against itself cannot stand. Neither Satan nor his emissaries can deny themselves; they must consistently promote the Kingdom of Anti-Christ. The nature of that kingdom is revealed in Rev. 13. It is an economic dictatorship where the beast controls the right to buy and sell and thus coerces all men to worship him. When the state controls the marketplace it is socialism, and the Kingdom of the Beast will be a Marxist socialist, totalitarian dictatorship. Socialism is internationalism and prepares the way for the one-world rule of Anti-Christ. It is in these areas that the false teacher will strive to establish the kingdom of his lord, and it is there that he will inflexibly affirm that theology of Anti-Christ: Marxism! The resultant Christian Socialism will mightily prepare the way for the coming and acceptance of Anti-Christ. People will have been deluded that the Kingdom of God is to be established here on earth by social reform, and will have accepted the principle that only the state can carry out the sweeping social changes necessary to institute the new world order. Thus, it is in this area that the false teachers and the deceptive apostles will do their subversive work. Such is the American Apostle, Billy Graham, when he identifies himself as a “fundamentalist with an ecumenical heart and a social conscience”. And such are the apostles of the underground church.
THE COMMISSION NKVD agent, Anatoli Granovsky, was one commissioned as just such a false teacher He was instructed to defect and then by his virulent condemnation of communism to gain the ascendancy in anti-communist organizations. Once there, his specific instructions were,
“Most foreign anti-Soviet publications attack us for the alleged poverty of some of our people, for our prisons, concentration camps and Cheka. This sort of attack is not in the least dangerous to our cause- in every country there are poor people, jails and police. Furthermore, Communist sympathizers are convinced that, being loyal to the doctrine, they themselves would never be sent to jail. . . They are quite prepared to believe that our Cheka, concentration camps and restrictions exist because they have to exist . . . If a man is in any way inclined toward the Communist doctrine, he will not be in the least deterred by being reminded of the harder and severer aspects of Soviet government.
‘When you talk publicly against the Soviet Union,’ I was laid, ‘follow the same harmless line as fanatically as possible. TALK OF PURGES, PRISONS, AND THE CHEKA. BUT DO NOT DRAW POLITICAL CONCLUSIONS OPPOSED TO THE MARXIST-LENINIST PHILOSOPHY. If you do that you are finished, finished for good. ” (I Was An NKVD Agent, pp. 148-149, Emphasis mine.)
THE APPLICATION The Bible says, “not everyone that saith Lord, Lord” but rather, “by their fruits ye shall know them” Examining the fruits of the apostles of the underground church is a discerning but disappointing exercise. While vocal in their opposition to communism, they are strangely silent concerning Marxism. While decrying the brutality of their alleged torturers, they often affirm their ideology. They all speak of terror, torture and persecution but they never deny the political conclusions of Marxism. From Wurmbrand’s “Tortured For Christ” to Solzhenitsyn’s “Gulag-Archipelago” they all follow the same harmless line as fanatically as possible.
THE POLITICAL CONCLUSIONS OF MARXISM Richard Wurmbrand is the original and undoubtedly the foremost apostle, if not the patriarch, of the underground church, and all others are but carbon copies. Rather than denying the political conclusions of Marxism, Wurmbrand’s writings reveal a consistent propensity for the theology of the beast.
Marx summed up Communism as the abolition of private property. Wurmbrand agrees, declaring that “Property is theft” and that Christians must renounce the abomination of private ownership of goods (p. 177). Wurmbrand’s endorsement of the socialist welfare state includes a reinterpretation of the text, “If any would not work, neither should he eat” to mean that the state is obligated to feed all men and therefore the state has the right to make them work (p. 176). Thus he endorses the very principle behind every socialist slave labor state. He also advocates a Marxist classless society and proposes. to accomplish this by the nationalization of all the land, the first point of the Communist Manifesto (p. 174). Sounding more like a Trotskyite than a Christian, Wurmbrand reproaches the Communists for not taking the revolution far enough. There are still classes in the Soviet Union, such as ‘Party Members’, Wurmbrand complains, as in his not infrequent praise of Marx’s idealism he affirms the views of those whose only contention with the slave masters of the Kremlin is that they have betrayed the revolution by their infidelity to the ideals of Marx and Lenin.
But the conclusive test is Wurmbrand’s affirmation of the social gospel. For him salvation is not only personal but social, and such social salvation will usher in the Kingdom of God here on earth (pp. 171-172). Here Wurmbrand stands solidly as a Christian Marxist, declaring that there is much common ground between Communism and Christianity and that the good points of the former all stem from the latter. Thus Wurmbrand’s Christian Socialism as well as his persistent Zionism (pp. 190-192) continue to lay the necessary groundwork for the Kingdom of Anti-Christ.
A STRANGE THEOLOGY Theology, the knowledge of God, must he based on the scriptures. Wurmbrand doesn’t think very highly of the scriptures, placing them on the same level as the writings of Shakespeare and other religions (p. 101), quoting the Talmud and the Kabala as frequently and as authoritatively as the scriptures. Wurmbrand doesn’t think very highly of theology either, calling it sin and terming systematic theology an impossibility (p. 186). But if skeptical of the scriptures, he confidently asserts his own opinion, in his defense of atheism, that the Bible is wrong when it considers all atheists fools. Stating that those who pass from a belief in God to becoming God (pantheism) have achieved a religious atheism that is a higher form of Christianity, he declares that those who deny God may be closer to the truth than those who don’t (pp. 131-133). Wurmbrand’s persistent pantheism (pp. 96, 162, 179, 182) ought to be considered in the light of Samuel J. Andrew’s warning that pantheism “lays a broad basis for the deification of man and so serves as a preparation for the Anti-Christ ” (Christianity and Anti-Christianity In Their Final Conflict, p 158)
Much of Wurmbrand’s theology can only be classified as weird. His writings teem with fables and legends, with mysticism and superstition, with Mariolatry (pp. 30, 35-37, 79) and veneration of saints (pp. 67, 72), and even a pagan Hindu deity (p. 169). But of the heart of the Christian gospel, in keeping with his social gospel, Wurmbrand denies the sufficiency of Christ’s blood atonement (p. 156). Wurmbrand’s contemporary popularity should echo Paul’s warning, “for the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine” in the heart of every true believer.
A MARXIST THEOLOGY But if Wurmbrand fails to conform to the scriptures he certainly doesn’t hesitate to conform to that unholy triumvirate, those three prophets of scientific socialism: Darwin, Marx and Freud. The principle of evolution, heralded by Darwin and seized by Marx as the basis for his messianic drive to the utopia of Anti-Christ, finds fertile soil in the theology of Richard Wurmbrand. There we find that God himself evolved (pp. 19, 44), Christ evolved (p. 291, and Christianity as a religion evolved from paganism (p. 11 1).
Although Freud regarded himself as “one of the most dangerous enemies of religion” (Rushdoony: Freud, p. 34), Wurmbrand plunges into the jungle of Freudianism as he proceeds to psycho-analyze Marx, Lenin, Stalin and company. He thus concludes that they were basically good men unjustly harmed by emotional traumas and complexes in their childhood and that society is to blame for turning such talented and beneficial geniuses against itself (Why Am I A Revolutionist, pp. 5-16). Total depravity, apostasy, the rejection of truth and the judgment that follows (Romans 1, 2 Thess. 2) are ignored as the true genesis of these fountainheads of anti-Christianity
But above all it is especially a Marxist theology. Wurmbrand’s morality is a Marxist morality. To the Marxist, peace, the absence of resistance to communism, is the highest goal, and morality becomes anything, including murder, theft, deception, etc. that will advance that single goal. For Wurmbrand, love is the highest goal, and love is to love the communists, for in this religion anti-communism is hate and therefore its single sin. Thus his love is the Marxist’s peace as he declares, “Sin is every second of my life spent on something other than the destruction of what opposes the triumph of love . . . For me the only criterion of a deed is: does it prepare the way for the final triumph of love” (p. 51). While the scriptures say, “If ye love me, keep my commandments”, Wurmbrand says, “Love God, and do what you will” (p. 53).
But Wurmbrand’s Marxism runs deeper than to stop with even such communist amorality. He says that no law can be righteous, even if it is divine, because every law fixes standards for men of unequal abilities who are put in unequal situations, and therefore God’s law is unjust, unfulfillable and evil (pp. 16-22). For Wurmbrand, justice, which is the highest goal of Christianity, is only possible in the Marxist classless society where all men are equal. His hatred of the divine law is only matched by his blasphemies against the divine Legislator (p. 22), declaring that such a God needs forgiveness’ for his evil laws, that such a God needs a Savior like Jesus, too (P. 18).
Again, Wurmbrand’s Marxism runs deeper than even his Freudian justification of the heroes of the U.S.S.R. He holds the Marxist doctrine of Economic Determinism, that all human actions are determined solely by one’s environment, especially the economic environment. Hence Marx preached that human salvation requires a new economic environment, socialism, to replace the capitalistic environment that produces war, racism, and poverty. Wurmbrand agrees, saying that conscience is unfair because “it does not accept DETERMINISM” It does not acknowledge the obvious fact that my action was the UNAVOIDABLE RESULT of my character SHAPED BY MY WHOLE PAST LIFE . . . THE ONL Y RESPONSE which I . . . could give to EXTERNAL STIMULANTS. Conscience attributes to me alone the guilt of an action which was the end result of . . . the PRESSURE OF MY SOCIAL ENVIRONMENT” (pp. 26-27, Emphasis mine). Wurmbrand goes on to justify every sin from adultery and homosexuality through suicide, since obviously society and not the criminal is to blame. And in this faith it is obviously not spiritual regeneration but a revolution in the social environment that is called for. Other than complaining of the environment of terror, prisons and secret police, Wurmbrand’s faith, theology and gospel is Marx’s faith, theology and gospel. A gospel of creating the Kingdom of God on earth by an environment of love through social action. A gospel of social salvation till we have a classless society ruled by love, not law. An international love, an ecumenical love, that will produce One World, One Church, One Race!
NEUTRALISM What is the mission of a false teacher? He cannot destroy the church against which even the gates of hell will ne’er prevail, and he cannot blot the names of God’s elect out of the book of life. Thus his mission is to neutralize. To neutralize the Christians who are the light of the world and the salt of the earth, and to seek to fulfil the words of Christ, “but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.” He knows that that light must be quenched and that salt neutralized before the program of Anti-Christ can succeed. He knows that it is a spiritual battle (For we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers), and if the Christians can be neutralized, then indeed there will be no opposition.
LOVE ? Christians love justice. Wurmbrand loves love, and like most religions of unbiblical love it degenerates into an indiscriminate, promiscuous love of evil. It justifies the wicked in his sin and calls us to love the criminal, the homosexual, and most of all the Communist. Such permissive love knows neither morality nor justice, as Wurmbrand justifies Laban’s deception of Jacob. “But Laban did not allow him to have her (Rachel), unless he took the ugly Leah too. Laban was a just man, and did not allow preferential love. Christian love must embrace both the good and the bad” (Sermons In Solitary Confinement, p. 67) But as Christians face the greatest onslaught of anti -christianity of all history, Wurmbrand’s neutralizing line is, anti-communism is sin, it lacks love. But Biblical love, regulated in terms of God’s law, knows nothing of such indiscriminate love of evil in defiance of God’s word, which declares, ‘ Shouldest thou help the ungodly, and love them that hate the Lord? Therefore is wrath upon flee from before the Lord.” To love evil is to hate the good, to love the Communists is to hate the Christians, to love the Anti-Christ is to hate Christ. Rather than love the evil, the Bible declares, “Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” David’s love of God compelled him to declare, “Do not I hate them, O Lord, that hate thee? . . . I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies.” David’s triumphal song was, “Blessed be the Lord my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight” David rejoiced and gave thanks because, “thou hast smitten all mine enemies upon the cheek bone; thou hast broken the teeth of the ungodly” and “thou hast also given me the necks of mine enemies’ that I might destroy them that hate me.” This is the spirit of militant, victorious Christianity that has carried the Lord’s people onward since the days of King David and must sustain those that would occupy till Jesus comes. And that is the militant Christianity that the Wurmbrands must destroy to prepare the way for the beast.
But Wurmbrand’s strategy goes further than just neutralization. Though any real opposition is sin, we are allowed to fight communism by adopting it. He says, “But, as a Christian must be a Jew to the Jews and a Greek to the Greeks’, so in dealing with Communists, in the same sense we must be Communists. It is . . . impossible to win them if we adopt an anti-Communist approach” (Christ On The Jewish Road, p. 177).. Thus, Communism is not to be opposed with militant, scriptural Christianity but rather with Christian Marxism, as Wurmbrand leads the way showing us the ‘good’ points of communism and the common ground of socialism and Christianity. Wurmbrand, moreover, adds that communism thrives on the injustices of capitalism. Injustices which can, of course, only be rectifiers by adopting socialism, the only path of successful resistance. Thus are the Lord’s people called to surrender and adopt the theology of Anti-Christ.
ATHEISM ? While often steeped in Marxism, the universal objection of these ‘apostles’ to communism is that it is atheist. This, too, is a neutralizing thrust. Atheism may have been a legitimate complaint in Old Testament times, but it certainly is not in the New. The issue now is the claims of the historic Jesus of Nazareth, which men cannot ignore but are universally called upon to affirm or deny. And accordingly all are then classified as Christian or Anti-Christ.
Atheism is a sin of omission. It can easily, be corrected by adding a belief in God. If Communism is merely atheist, that poses no serious objection to it, it being all well and good but merely insufficient. It then becomes only necessary TO ADD A BELIEF IN GOD AND COMMUNISM WILL BECOME ACCEPTABLE! Atheistic Communism can easily be transmuted into Christian Socialism. Clearly, this is Wurmbrand’s line and the extent of his opposition to Communism. Clearly, this is also the way Communism must develop. The Society of Anti-Christ will not be an atheist society but a religious society where a counterfeit Christianity has flourished. Thus Wurmbrand’s position not only neutralizes the Lord’s people and prepares them to accept socialism, but it is also a necessary prerequisite for the establishment of the beast upon his throne. Again, the only refuge from such subversion is the firm belief that Communism is Anti-Christ. Christian Anti-Christianity is a logical impossibility. Only then does the clear alternative ring out to the Lord’s people: Resist it to the death, seek its total destruction and strive for total victory over it without thought of co-existence or compromise. That is the only path of duty and safety, and that is the straight and narrow path from which these false teachers are luring the very people of God.
CREDIBILITY The professed heroics of the ‘Soviet Saints’ abound in tales of the impossible. We are told that Christians have infiltrated the Soviet secret police, the KGB, and even the Communist Party, and thus protect their persecuted brethren, warning them of raids, etc. Granovsky’s testimony of the life of an NKVD agent shows the utter moral impossibility of the former. And any brand of Christianity that would join the ‘Party of the Beast’ to survive is far removed from the standards of loyalty that the Savior established for his church. And are we really to believe that Christians bound by God’s law could beat the masters of deceit at their own game? Then we hear that Brezhnev’s wife is a Christian and that Khrushchev himself was converted in retirement at a Christian Businessman’s meeting in Odessa, U.S.S.R. One is almost tempted to think that there must be free enterprise and prayer breakfasts throughout the Soviet paradise. In fact, Wurmbrand assures us that there is much open evangelism and even public protests by Christians in the U.S.S.R. (If That Were Christ Would You Give Him Your Blanket?, pp. 11, 12, 17, 19, 20). He tells us that there are 45 million underground Christians of the ‘Orthodox’ faith alone, another 4 million Baptist, and that one quarter of the Soviet population are secret Christians. We are told that one whole area of the U.S.S.R. is exclusively populated by Christians and that the phenomenal total of 1,500,000 secret Christians are jailed annually in the Soviet State (Ibid. pp. 31, 37, 50). And thus does Wurmbrand statistically affirm his neutralizing line that while Christianity is weak and decadent in the capitalist West, it is well and thriving under the culture of the beast. And all this we are expected to believe! ! !
And it is being believed! The “Christian Crusade Weekly” of Sept. 1974 featured an article by a student of American Christian College. The student wrote a glowing report of the summer that he had spent evangelizing Russia in a Volkswagen bus. Accompanied by an interpreter, though not knowing a word of Russian, he had gone about contacting the underground churches and passing out Bibles. It seems that although the NKVD has been trying unsuccessfully for over 50 years to smoke out these ‘secret’ Christians, anyone from America, even an immature college youth, can do so with ease Then the “Christian Beacon” of March 6, 1975 haled Solzhenitsyn as a ‘committed Christian’. The same Solzhenitsyn that is the darling of the left, that was heralded by the liberal “New York Times”, was awarded a Nobel Prize generally reserved for socialists and communists, was released by the Soviet government with his family and all his papers, and now follows the same harmless line as fanatically as possible And both these papers regularly feature Paul Voronaeff, another “Soviet Apostle”. But apparently the Soviets still think highly enough of him to employ him as an interpreter when they visited this country with a delegation of other phony churchmen, the official Communist clergy (Christian Beacon, March 20. 1975). Truly, as long as Christians exercise such little discernment, the false teachers need scarcely be masters of deceit.
CONCLUSION Much, much more could and should be said, but one newsletter can only say so much. Paul commended the Berean Christians because they “searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” Even so, today’s Christians must test the spirits and see if these ‘things be so. We are faced with cultural warfare and the destruction of that Christian liberty and culture that we need to survive as the Church of Jesus Christ. It is a spiritual warfare that far exceeds the barbed wire and machine gun mentality of shallow and artificial anti-Communism. Christianity is being choked out of existence by the political conclusions of Marxism. The false prophets of the underground church represent merely another, a more sophisticated, phase of that same cultural warfare. They are sent to penetrate the church and subvert the remaining foundations of Christianity in the West.
The evangelical churches have been very severely penetrated with Marxism. The scriptures, the foundation of Western Christian Civilization, have been increasingly replaced with the political conclusions of Marxism. And it is on such a foundation of sand that the Wurmbrands and their adherents ask us to fight the Beast of Anti-Christ. If the church is seduced in this respect, when the storms come, great will be the fall of it.
In the final hour of history the church will be called on as never before to be loyal to Christ and to exercise spiritual discernment. Christ commended the Church of Ephesus because “thou hast treed them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars”. Let us likewise, enduring to the end, finishing our course, keeping the faith, and exposing all the unfruitful works of darkness, seek to earn the commendation of our Lord, till he returns in power and glory to destroy the whole Anti-Christ conspiracy with the spirit of his mouth and the brightness of his coming. Amen!”
I’ve been getting many inquiries from Christian women on the subject of domestic violence in the home. For that reason I will be starting a series on this issue which has been so misunderstood and caused so much pain to so many good Christian women who were endeavoring to both love and honor their husbands, and their Savior through obedience to the Word of God.
We’ll begin with a study of “The Great Ecclesiastical Conspiracy”
Both Christian men as well as women need to study this epic teaching. It is in-YouTube Video form as well. It explains that King James himself had a vested interest in making sure that certain words were put in this translation. Words like”rule” and “submit” were intended to reinforce his headship and control over his kingdom. It’s only when we become aware of the truth that it has the power to set us free from the shackles of legalism. The Lord said, “My people perish for lack of knowledge”. Knowledge of what? God’s Word! Indeed, knowledge is power. Let’s make sure we are armed with the truth so that we will not succumb to the lies and deception. As one of the Lord’s sheep, even though your pastor or husband is bound by man-made doctrines and traditions of men, of legalistic teachings, by studying the truth, prayer and fasting, you will not have to be. Jesus said to those disciples who believed him, “If you will continue in My Word, then you will be my disciple indeed and then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free” Jesus and his pure doctrine supersedes the faulty, unloving notions of men.
“THE GREAT ECCLESIASTICAL CONSPIRACY”
This is HARD!! Many will not be able to hear this at all!
Is it really possible that the Authorized King James Version of the Bible was INTENTIONALLY DOCTORED to reinforce and support a “priest class” and institutional, political hierarchies. The Protestant Reformation didn’t go far enough. It didn’t really eliminate the temple worship and priest class, it just put a nicer face on it.
This explains why things are this bad. It explains why most of this thing we call “Christianity” is in fact, not at ALL what Jesus had in mind. This explains why so many are being abused in a “system” that was NEVER what God designed in the first place.
My Story of an Encounter with an Abusive Christian misogynist: I hadn’t been posting much for quite some time. Looking over the web offerings, I figured there were enough sites to offer help,warning and healing for those who had just come out of spiritually abusive situations, or….were still in one, and looking for answers. I was wrong. Just when you think there is nothing new to add, some new abuse presents its ugly head, or perhaps an old abuse presenting itself in a new and novel way. So…I guess it’s time to fire up the blog once again.
I post quite a few resources offering “other” folks help, warnings, etc…but this time it happened to be me that got spiritually stung and hurt…again. Me, who should know better how to avoid such situations and people. Me, who has had her guard up and warns others about how to avoid snares, spiritual abuse and the pain that goes along with it. So….how and where did it happen? On an Internet voice over chat room called PalTalk. PalTalk has a fabulous potential for interaction with other Christians, but it can also be a very dangerous place, especially for vulnerable believers who have been isolated, and left abusive church fellowships and/or even been rejected by friends for leaving these churches.
What happened was that I had been visiting, with great caution, spiritual radar detector turn on, a few spiritual chat rooms and had begun to meet a few people there I felt fairly comfortable with and that seemed to be mature Christians with a healthy grasp of scripture and sound doctrine. This seemed to be a godsend because I was needing the fellowship with like minded believers…perhaps more than even I recognized at the time. However, Satan, never a day late or a dollar short, recognized it and I now believe I was set up for a hurt. Looking back, thank God it was only a hurt and not something much worse.
I had been listening to a man who seemed to be above average in godly wisdom and experience. A really interesting man as well, who I’d seen in various Christian chat rooms, sometimes speaking, or other times posting comments and scripture. We began to cross paths, and he developed an interest in me. To be frank, I was both flattered and also, a bit in awe of this guy. This was filling a need in me for fellowship after having been isolated for so long after leaving the apostate church. We were on the same page…..or so I thought.
After about a month of meeting in various chat rooms, and also spending long hours in private chat rooms, sharing and talking about God, and our experiences, what we had in common, laughing, and praying, I began to trust this man and let my guard down. Something I haven’t done in a long time, and I’m not sure I realized just how much I opened up to this man at the time.
With male, female relationships in any realm, there is always the issue of dominance, but especially in the spiritual realm of Christianity and God ordained authority. I’m not going to get into the scriptural aspects by posting scripture on here. Most of you reading this blog are already aware of what the bible has to say about it. As for me, I don’t have a problem with allowing men to be men, and the authority figure in spiritual relationships………as long as they don’t abuse it, and in the process, begin to abuse me. I am God’s and he is and always will be my husband and the final authority.
If a person has been spiritually abused they will usually be very guarded about boundaries. With me, this is extremely true. Very guarded, even with women. God has given me a level of discernment through hours of prayer, tears, and experience that I am very grateful for. But experience is very expensive in terms of having gone through situations and learning from them, (as you learn not to stick your hand in the fire after the first time, or take fire to your bosom and expect not to get burned).
With abusers, somehow they have the uncanny ability to avoid being detected at the very beginning of an encounter with their victims. Even when one has developed a level of spiritual discernment, if they have an opening, such as loneliness, or need for fellowship, as I did, they are fair game for a predator to slip through the boundary and get inside where they can do damage.
So, to describe the scenario further, there was no question of a romantic relationship developing, so that seemed to make this friendship safer where I could relax and enjoy this mutual love of God with this man…He was well read in the scriptures, and shared many spiritual experiences that gave me no reason to doubt or be afraid of him. For the most part, I felt safe, and anyway, wasn’t I a safe distance from him in PalTalk. How could this godly man possibly hurt me? But in all relationships, sooner or later, traits will begin manifesting. One of the first “disagreements” I had with this man, was over the issue of misogyny. He was adamant that women were the worse abusers of men, and that men were “just as” or more abused than women. In fact, he was a little too adamant about it…to the point that I might have thought at the time he was a misogynist himself, a closet woman-hater. Little did I know at the time, just how right on my discernment radar was absolutely spot on. But……I chose to ignore it, but the red flag was up.
The saying goes that women have a high level of intuition, and I think there is something to this…..but especially true with spiritfilled women who have spent much time in the scriptures and in prayer. In any case, the red flag was up.
Sooner or later, a persons true colors will manifest, as the scriptures say, “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks”. On PalTalk, for those who aren’t familiar with it, there is a way to talk directly to a person, just like you would talk to them on the phone. Also, there is a way to text little messages to a person, or leave notes for them. So, what happened next between me and my new spiritual friend is this, I’d left a text note for him to read later. The note was a short synopsis of my understanding of “Paul’s thorn in the flesh” and I wanted to make sure we were on the same page. I told him if he agreed with this to just disregard my note. What happened was that he didn’t read or understand what I’d said in my text note, and became irate, accusing me of “being a rebellious woman in the church and one of those women who usurp male authority in the church”, as well as some other accusatory, nasty and overweening remarks aimed directly at me. This floored me, and cut to the quick. I was not only astonished but felt attacked and falsely accused…..which I was.
I have been abused by both women as well as men in the church, but this frankly, was a new experience. I had let my guard down and this woman hating predator got through the door. I sent him a note in text, politely explaining my position and that in no way was I or ever had been a rebellious woman seeking to usurp male authority. He sent back a lame excuse. I began trying to quietly shy away from him. The trust had been broken. However, not satisfied he came back and contacted me again and began criticizing me, telling me what I should think, what I should do, and “to obey”, not exactly explaining whom I should “obey”, but rather indirectly indicating it should be him.
By this time, I am wanting out. And also by this time, his true colors are showing and he is in full attack, wolf mode and begins to rip me up, telling me everything, (in his opinion), that I’ve done wrong, and what is wrong with me, and that I’m not really “walking in the spirit”.
After this last attack, I sent him back a note saying that Jesus would never talk to me, or treat me the way he did, and that I was not going to accept being spiritually abused in this way. After that, apparently he realized he was not going to be able to dominate me or manipulate me, and so sent back a hateful note with more accusations telling me I was not willing to accept “admonition”, (a handy buzz word for handing you your lunch), and then blocked me from further contact with him, as if that were going to be a problem for me. I was grateful it was over. However…there was the aftermath to deal with.
The aftermath was and is the old spiritual wounds this man left in his wake. Old wounds from the past abuse I thought were healed and now have found out they were still lurking under the surface, and this man ripped them open again. Now, I am praying,Jesus, just please come and love me, comfort me, heal me once again. And LORD, I thank you that you revealed to me what was going on, and that I have the right not to obey mean and cruel commands set up by those assuming false authority in your name. Or accept down in my heart false accusations of wrong doing, by those who would make sad those you haven’t made sad. And also, Jesus, I don’t know who or what made this man the way he is, but please convict him, heal him but keep him from hurting anyone else this way”.
Friends, there is a reason for having healthy boundaries in our lives and guarding our inner circle. Please pray for wisdom and discernment in all your relationships. There are spiritual abusers out there who will cut your soul down to the roots if you allow them to. If you see you’ve opened the door to one of these…back out, run away quickly and never forget to ask the Lord Jesus Christ for help and protection. He is our gentle and good shepherd. He is our protection from wolves that wish to rip us to shreds, and He will never do anything to spiritually hurt and wound us.
As someone who has followed and admired the ministry and work of Richard Wurmbrand and Voice of the Martyrs since they set up headquarters here in Bartlesville, OK, and as someone who has volunteered and contributed to VOM, I have more than just a casual or voyeuristic interest in the recent events. Of utmost importance concerning any Christian ministry is it’s spiritual integrity, including it’s leadership and doctrinal issues. For that reason, in view of the recent tragic events, I felt the need to attempt to find whether Voice of the Martyrs, under Tom White’s leadership has held to the same spiritual standards that it’s founder Richard Wurmbrand did.
I submit the following for the discernment of the readers here:
Voice of the Martyrs Warning-Dr. Scott Johnson:
Voice of the Martyrs Warning-Dr. Scott Johnson http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tI1nXEn1wuQ From the July 18, 2010 Bible study and current events teaching by Dr. Scott Johnson I found this to be interesting. It seems the Jesuits have infiltrated voice of the martyrs. Anything to convince people that catholicism is real, and that following Jesus is synonymous with catholicism. satan must be tickled. Get all the unsuspecting, undiscerning, uninformed american ‘christians’ to believe that catholicism is Christian. This is in reference to the story from Iraq. These pictures reveal the good ‘christian’ that Catholic Archbishop Emil Nona is. http://www.khoranat-alqos…showthread.php?t=11876The dagon hat is a nice touch. The man is a pagan devil worshipper, the people in the photos are a bunch of pagans who need the words of God to break through the darkness that V.O.M. and american ‘christians’ labels as ‘christianity’. It’s got nothing to do with the real Jesus, nothing to do with spiritual truth in reality. Although they are much closer to where these catholic practices came from. Pagan idolatrous wickedness started in babel, trickled around the world, got mashed together in Rome, and finally all the filth is back in the hands of the Chaldeans. Like a satanic ‘return to sender’ 35 hundred years in the making lol. They worship the false gods that their ancestors worshipped. Nimrod and Semiramis would be proud. After looking at the photos on that website, come back to the VOM paragraph, but keep a barf bag handy. “Ask God to guard the hearts of Iraqi Christians against fear so they can continue serving him with boldness.” Anything to broaden “god’s” love and mercy. All catholicism is, is Satanic baggage in a trojan horse. If satan can get ppl to embrace the trojan horse into their hearts and minds as ‘christian’ then there’ll be all kinds of ungodly, unbiblical, strong delusion lies and filth to smuggle in also. And with great ease. My heart is grieved that so many people can be so deceived, both the Chaldean Mary worshippers, and ‘christians’ in america who thing catholicism is legit. I wouldn’t think it was so easy to trick human beings if i didn’t see it for myself. I guess you can convince people to believe just about anything. And with great ease. Romans 16:18 -Eric P.S. – Please don’t ever buy one of those dagon hats”
Please remember that Tom White, the director of the US headquarters of VOM for many years was responsible for what was or wasn’t part of the monthly newsletters. In fact, he wrote the monthly editorials which were sent out to subscribers.
Another website poster has taken issue with some of the questionable content in Tom White’s editorials;
November 11th, 2010 | Author: Lighthouse Trails Editors
FOLLOW UP NOTE 11/19/10: ON NOVEMBER 19TH, PERSONNEL FROM VOICE OF THE MARTYRS CONTACTED US BY E-MAIL AND ASKED US TO GIVE THE FOLLOWING LINK TO OUR READERS FOR THOSE WHO WOULD LIKE TO CONTACT THEM REGARDING THIS ISSUE. http://www.persecution.co…px?clickfrom=bWFpbl9tZW51This person who contacted us told us that Tom White is the one responsible for the Guyon article.
In the November 2010 Voice of the Martyrs magazine, there is a feature “Christian Martyrs” article on 17th century mystic, Madame Jeanne Guyon. Lighthouse Trails contacted Voice of the Martyrs last week to discuss their article and to remind them that they had brought some attention to themselves in 2009 when they promoted emerging futurist Erwin McManus’ book, The Barbarian Way, and Eugene Peterson’s The Message paraphrase. Lighthouse Trails did not write an article over those incidents but contacted them and offered to send them free copies of A Time of Departing and Faith Undone. We sent the two books but never heard back as to whether VOM president Tom White or other VOM officials read the books.
Needless to say, when some of their supporters contacted Lighthouse Trails last week troubled over the Guyon article, we were concerned too. Voice of the Martyrs has done a long-standing important work of defending and helping persecuted Christians throughout the world. The ministry is the inspiration of founder, the late Richard Wurmbrand who suffered persecution and imprisonment under communist rule.
The article in the VOM November magazine, titled “Madame Jeanne Guyon – June 9, 1717,” states:
Throughout her years of ministry, she continued to seek a deeper union with God, to the point that she felt God spoke and acted through her. Madame Guyon practiced a philosophy called “Quietism,” which teaches that spiritual perfection can be attained when self is lost in the contemplation of God.”
It is taught by contemplatives that if one practices the contemplative [spiritual] “disciplines,” he or she can become more Christ-like. As Richard Foster and other contemplatives teach, anyone of any religion or belief can connect with God through contemplative prayer (it has nothing to do with a relationship with Jesus Christ).
Quietism is described by one source as “a Christian philosophy that swept through France, Italy and Spain during the 17th century, but it had much earlier origins. The mystics known as Quietists insist, with more or less emphasis, on intellectual stillness and interior passivity as essential conditions of perfection. . . . Quietism has been compared to the Buddhist doctrine of Nirvana.”1
The Voice of the Martyrs article on Guyon says that Guyon was challenged by church (Catholic) authorities for her prayer beliefs. She was eventually sent to prison for seven years (no doubt the VOM writer considers her a true martyr for this). VOM continues:
In one of her short works, “A Short and Easy Method of Prayer,” Madame Guyon distinguishes between three kinds of prayer: the prayer of meditation; the prayer of simplicity, which consists of keeping oneself in a state of recollection and silence in the presence of God [LT: this is contemplative prayer]; and active contemplation, in which the soul leaves God to act and renounces all its own interests [LT: this is the altered state that contemplative prayer induces] .
As with most long-term contemplatives, Madame Guyon became panentheistic in her beliefs. She stated that: “Here [in the contemplative state] everything is God. God is everywhere and in all things” (Guyon,Willigis Jager, The Search for the Meaning of Life, 1995, p.125). The God of the Bible would not have someone say that God is in everything. This very mindset is what prompted contemplative Brennan Manning to quote Thomas Merton in his book, The Signature of Jesus:
During a conference on contemplative prayer, the question was put to Thomas Merton: “How can we best help people to attain union with God?” His answer was very clear: “We must tell them that they are already united with God.” Contemplative prayer is nothing other than coming into consciousness of what is already there. (The Signature of Jesus, pp. 211, 218 , as cited in A Time of Departing)
As Merton and Guyon did, those practicing contemplative prayer ultimately come to believe that God is in all people and in all things. This is the “fruit” of contemplative prayer. The reason for this is that in that altered state of silence (the same as the Hinduistic Transcendental state) are demonic influences. It’s as simple as that.
Guyon embraced a prayer method in which one is to enter a state of non-thinking during prayer. Brennan Manning backs this up by saying, “[T]he first step in faith is to stop thinking about God at the time of prayer” (The Signature of Jesus, p. 212). Guyon explained it thus:
May I hasten to say that the kind of prayer I am speaking of is not a prayer that comes from your mind. It is a prayer that begins in the heart…. Prayer that comes out of the heart is not interrupted by thinking!—(Guyon, Experiencing The Depths of Jesus Christ, p. 4)
All that is of your doing, all that comes from your life-even your most exalted prayer-must first be destroyed before union can come about. All the prayers that proceed from your mind are merely preparations for bringing you to a passive state; any and all active contemplation on your part is also just preparation for bringing you to a passive state. They are preparations. They are not the end. They are a way to the end. The end is union with God! —(Guyon – Experiencing Union with God Through Inner Prayer)
Ask any Hindu or Buddhist or New Ager, turning off the mind is the goal in meditation so that an altered state of consciousness can be reached. As Ray Yungen puts it, it is like putting the mind in neutral, this stilling of the mind. This is not what the Bible means when it says “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10 — the classic Scripture used by contemplative teachers). This instruction meant to stop worrying, settle down, and trust the Lord. There is absolutely no indication anywhere in that or any other Scripture that we are to go into a meditative state in order to hear God or to “really know Him,” as many contemplatives say.
It is a known fact that Madame Guyon is known also for her “automatic writing.” Mystic Evelyn Underhill ”refers to Guyon as a ‘medium’ exhibiting clairvoyance, prophecy, telepathy, and automatic writing in bewildering profusion” (“The Mindless Mysticism,” Fisher). Underhill said:
When she [Guyon] was composing her works, she would experience a sudden and irresistible inclination to take up her pen; though feeling wholly incapable of literary composition, and not even knowing the subject on which she would be impelled to write. If she resisted the impulse, it was at the cost of the most intense discomfort. She would then begin to write with extraordinary swiftness. “In writing I saw that I was writing of things which I had never seen: and during the time of this manifestation, I was given light to perceive that I had in me treasures of knowledge and understanding which I did not know that I possessed.” (Underhill, Mysticism)
One writer explains:
As she fasted to the extreme and often went without sleep, her mystical experiences increased. She experienced what she thought was union with the essence of God. She had mental delusions or demonic visitations such as envisioning “horrible faces in blueish light.” She went into trances, which would leave her unable to speak for days. During some trances, she wrote things that she believed were inspired (Guyon, An Autobiography, p. 321-324). This is automatic writing, and she was doubtless influenced by demons. (“The Delusion of Madame Guyon,” Cloud)
We hope that Voice of the Martyrs will reconsider their apparent promotion in contemplative/emerging authors. Otherwise, they may be leading people down that slippery slope of mystical deception, and that would be truly tragic. It is sadly ironic to realize that someone like Guyon, who was imprisoned largely because of her mystical activities and writings, would be put in the same category as true martyrs who have defended the biblical faith, and this being the cause of their affliction and martyrdom. Thus we have written this article with the past and present Christian martyrs in mind, hoping to help maintain the dignity and integrity which they so deserve.
Below are a couple letters we have received over the past year or so from Voice of the Martyrs supporters. We hope that VOM will read these and see that it isn’t just Lighthouse Trails saying this; others are concerned too.
Dear Lighthouse Trails:
I have been a supporter of Voice of the Martyrs but recently was distressed to open my monthly newsletter and find Tom White supporting the book “The Barbarian Way.” [by Erwin McManus] The tone of his letter that month was disturbing, seeming to be mocking those who are looking forward to heaven, a common attitude today.
Dear Lighthouse Trails:
First of all I want to thank you for all the work you do. My reason for writing is my concern for Voice of the Martyrs magazine. I have enjoyed getting it in the mail for several years but in the February 2009 issue on page 2 there is an article by Tom White where he quotes Erwin McManus from his book The Barbarian Way. ( page 108-109) This greatly concerns me. I wondered if you would want to warn Mr. White about Mr. McManus. The email for the magazine is email@example.com. Thank you.
The following is a letter written to VOM President Tom White, which was sent to us by the person who wrote it (who gave us permission to post it):
To Dr. Tom White :
As regular supporters of Voice of the Martyrs and Bibles Unbound, we were very shocked and disappointed to see in the front of the sample “Extreme Devotion” booklet we recently received in the mail from VOM, that on the copyright page, it states: “Scripture taken from The Message by Eugene H. Peterson…”.
It is our sincere prayer that Tom White and all of the staff at VOM will educate themselves immediately on the dangers of this so-called “translation” by Eugene Peterson.
“The Message” is a contemplative, mystical distortion of God’s Holy Word. On the surface it simply appears to be written in “lingo” that is easier to understand for today’s average American – however, dig deeper and you will realize that it “adds to and takes away” from God’s Holy Scriptures, which we are warned, specifically at the end of Revelation, not to do….
[W]e would like the assurance of VOM/persecution.com that the foreign language Bibles we are sending out [through Bibles Unbound] are NOT translations/interpretations of “The Message”/Eugene Peterson’s so-called “translation.”
Voice of the Martyrs made a statement online to address the concerns many have had regarding whether or not the ministry has offered help to the little girl in question. It does tend to trouble me they continue to use the term, “alleged activity” and “allegations of abuse”, etc. In spite of the fact they “allegedly” felt compelled to both go to the girl and her family and compelled to make a public statement, all of which tends to make me think the molestation of this little 10 yr old girl actually happened and more than mere allegations. I’d like to see a full investigation done into what happened, including into the VOM ministry. There should be zero tolerance of anything that even hints at a cover up.
“Many have asked about the young girl who reported the allegations of abuse, and her family.
Both her family and the White family have asked VOM to respect their privacy during this time and not comment on specifics of the investigation. After listening to both families, and because the alleged activity did not take place at VOM and was unrelated to Mr. White’s work with the ministry, VOM’s leadership believe it is appropriate to honor their request [prior to issuing this statement VOM asked members of both families to review it].”