How to Be an Effective Slave to Your Pastor

Don’t YOU wash your pastor’s car?

Don’t you have your wife clean your pastor’s house, cause his wife is too busy?

Don’t you have your wife do the pastor’s laundry, and iron his shirts?

Don’t you have your wife watch his kids, so the pastor and his wife can have a date night out?

Don’t you wash your pastor’s car?

Don’t you mow the pastor’s grass?

Don’t you shine your pastor’s shoes?

Don’t you buy special gifts for your pastor’s birthday, pastor appreciation day, wedding anniversary, at Christmas time, Valentines Day, Father’s Day, Kwanza, Lent and Ramadan? You know how pastor likes to be eccumenical.

Don’t you pay all the tithes to the church to support the pastor so he and his family can live their best life now? Would a man rob God?

Aren’t you an armor bearer for the pastor, so that he can withstand the attacks of the enemy?

Hey, just what kind of a Christian are you anyway?

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God doesn’t Dwell in a House Made with Hands

God has been calling multitudes out of the four walls of the so-called “church” into gathering in houses, meeting together to break bread, and sharing Jesus with one another, just as the early church did in the book of Acts.

How simple the Lord made this for his people, yet man has complicated the simplicity of the gospel with all manner of rules, regulations, man made doctrines and traditions of men that have watered down the gospel of Jesus Christ, and in the process have weakened the original gospel rendering it nearly powerless and ineffective from what it once was.

“Yet the Most High does not dwell in houses made with human hands; as the prophet says,
‘Heaven is my throne,
and the earth is my footstool.
What kind of house will you build for me, says the Lord,
or what is the place of my rest?
Did not my hand make all these things?’” Acts 7:48-50

What is it going to take for many church going people to realize what has changed from the original truths in the bible, into a man made system not ordained by Jesus Christ? Over so many 100’s of years, this system has become an addiction, and man made tradition, taking on a life of it’s own so prevalent and pervasive that it has replicated itself on nearly every corner and back street of Christendom; even though called by different names and operating under various doctrines, they still resemble one another.

The “church” preaches, “You can’t put God in a box”, which is true…yet hypocritically, that is precisely what they have attempted to do.

Strangely and ironically, the organized “church” itself dwells in boxes of various sizes and styles, very seldom leaving their collective boxes to go out into the highways and byways, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom. Or…showing forth kindness and being good Samaritans to those beaten up, bruised and abused by the world.

(And even if they do wander out occasionally, it’s mainly to gain new converts to their individual box).

Remember that Jesus pointed out that it was a priest and a Pharisee that walked right by the wounded man, ignoring and neglecting to minister to the poor fellow, illustrating the callouness of the organized religious system.

It’s not much different today…in fact, the “churches” have become havens for wolves in sheeps clothing who beat and abuse the sheep and drive them out into streets.

These things should not be so…Jesus was gentle and kind, calling us to follow HIM; to love and care for one another, and to care for the poor and needy.

Conversely….

Instead of giving to the poor, the box builders sow back into their boxes, even to building bigger and supposedly better and more elaborate boxes. And they call these the “houses of God” as though He lived in a bunch of different houses made with sticks and bricks, which he does not.

On the contrary, he lives in clay containers called human beings. They are those who are the temples of the Holy Spirit.

It’s my guess that the Most High God is going to blow their boxes to smithereens spiritually. And the sooner the better, even if it takes persecution or tribulation…then perhaps we can get on with what we were called to do, and that is to abandon the zillions of sects, denominations and man made
“churches” and get on about the Father’s business of being unified in the spirit: worshipping God in spirit and truth. Being witnesses to a lost and dying world, with enough power and strength from on high that the lost and hurting will actually listen and be drawn rather than either laughing or running away.

Come quickly, Lord Jesus!

Voice of the Martyrs-Breaking News!

wurmbuildsmall

http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=14889
This in from Lighthouse Trails Research includes a letter written to them from Michael Wurmbrand, the son of the late Richard Wurmbrand who founded Voice of the Martyrs.

In the letter, Michael expresses many of the same concerns that I have in this blog since the suicide of Tom White. And…not just about Tom White, and the child molestation, but of the VOM organization itself, which I have said before seems to have morphed into something quite different from Richard Wurmbrands vision of being “servants to the persecuted church” to “being servants to themselves“.

At this point, I am blown away, and very grateful to Michael Wurmbrand for coming forward with this information, and am thanking God that at last this is being made public.

I am also urging all who have supported VOM, with either financial support or volunteer work, whether presently or in the past, to write VOM directly demanding answers, and also that Michael Wurmbrand’s request for an independant investigation be required. This is not just for the sake of Michael Wurmbrand, or his parents, but for the supporters of VOM themselves, as well as the persecuted whom VOM is supposed to be serving in the name of Jesus Christ. We need and deserve to know the truth.

Tom White of VOM-Activist-Pragmatist-Not an Icon or Great Christian Leader

In this video interview from 2008, Tom White describes himself, and “we”, (meaning apparently,  his associates  who were also activists before joining up with the Wurmbrands), as a “bunch of activists, and  pragmatists.”

It’s true that activists and pragmatists can do much good work for a cause. They can also be very good business heads running a large company if they are gifted in that ability. In Tom White’s case, apparently he was.  I personally don’t believe he was ever intended to be anything other than that, an ministry head. Certainly not an icon, idol or great religious leader, per se. Those placed on pedestals by others have this nasty habit of toppling over and falling. This should be a lesson to those who insist on placing mere men in such precarious positions. If you have done that with your pastor, spiritual shepherd, Tom White or anyone…please repent of it, and do not repeat such a sin. Mankind has a flaw in his character that seems to want to be led by other men, where as God rightly deserves and even demands that honor.

 

 http://www.persecution.com/public/newsroom.aspx?story_ID=NTA0

Read the testimony…the need is real. The issue is, with VOM, there does need to be a corporate head to take the helm at this time. However, if VOM is indeed to continue as originally planned by Richard Wurmbrand, as a work of God, then does it not stand to reason that there should be a board of godly men to hold the corporate end accountable? And by that, I mean, not a board of men hand picked by the present leadership, but by a council. This may or may not happen. Hopefully, something similar should take place in the very near future.

Those who are in control of a situation are usually loath to relinquish even a small measure of power to a group of men, no matter how capable they may be. Mark Driscoll’s firing of his elders at Mars Hill Church is just such an example.

One can only hope the present leadership of VOM will see the need- and choose of their own accord, as was done in the Book of Acts, to provide oversight, to police, if you will, their own operation of the ministry, to keep it accountable before man, and most importantly, before God.

The Catholic Side of Billy Graham

“My beliefs are essentially the same as those of orthodox Roman Catholics”

~Billy Graham



http://www.worldviewweekend.com/worldview-times/article.php?articleid=7895

“To understand Billy Graham, his involvement in the Ecumenical Movement, and why he would accept something like the Templeton Award, we must understand his relationship with Rome. While the principles of ecumenism can be traced back for centuries (through the Gnostics, Rosicrucians, Freemasons, and of course the Parliament of World Religions) it was Rome’s Vatican II that “officially” launched the modern ecumenical movement. Vatican II opened the doors of Roman Catholicism (which the world largely views as the oldest form of Christianity) to all other religions of the world. This is why Vatican II is often referred to as “the ecumenical council.” As such, as the relationship of Billy Graham developed with the Vatican and the popes, his views became increasingly ecumenical. This has confused many people because they don’t make the Rome-connection. Graham, like many other Protestant Evangelicals, seems to be working to fulfill – not the Great Commission – but the mandate of Vatican II. Once this is understood, the rest of what Billy Graham has done begins to make sense.

 

The subject of Graham and Rome has been handled by many Christian writers, not the least of which is Ewin Wilson in his book, The Assimilation of Evangelist Billy Graham into the Roman Catholic Church. Wilson writes:

 

“For some unexplainable or even mysterious

reason, Billy Graham is unable to discern the

theological, moral, and spiritual soul of Roman

Catholicism. Likewise, he has failed to grasp,

or worse still, has chosen to ignore the historical

character of the entire Vatican system. Instead,

he has chosen to become attracted, impressed,

and finally to honor and follow the Holy See.

The result has been a tragic failure on his part

to understand the difference between the truth

of God’s Word and the utter blackness of

Roman Catholicism …” 5

 



 

Tom White and the Ecumenical Leadership of Voice of the Martyrs

New United States Voice of the Martyrs Headquarters
Bartlesville, Oklahoma

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.
 

Tom White Suicide- Sex Scandal at VOM- Just the Tip of the Iceberg!

(Note: There have only been a few comments on this blog so far about the Tom White VOM scandal, but I have been simply amazed at the number of viewers visiting this blog from all over the world!

It is staggering to comprehend the wide-spread influence VOM has, and because of that, I feel it’s a Christian RESPONSIBILITY on my part,  that I should re-blog a powerful comment made by a very astute reader,  Steve Rugg,   who posted some information not generally included in the Voice of the Martyrs publications. I think many people are going to be shocked by what Steve has to say…as follows):

“A letter I had sent to Tom White, VOM that mirrors your email blog (above):

March 22, 2012

Tom White
The Voice of the Martyrs
P.O. Box 443
Bartlesville, OK 74005-0443

Dear Tom,

I am writing this letter as a result of a careful reading of a small book I received recently from VOM, The Persecuted Church Global Report 2012.

I was bothered by several references made about certain countries representing significant Christian populations as a percentage of the total population. Some examples were quite surprising to me:

70.5% Christian in Belarus (Eastern Orthodox)
94.4% Christian in Colombia (Roman Catholic)
12.8% Christian in Egypt (Coptic Christian)
56.5% Christian in Cuba (Roman Catholic)
32.0% Christian in Lebanon (Maronite Catholics)

I am not writing this letter in an effort to convince you of anything, but those five examples sadly do not represent countries with significant populations of Christians. Biblical exegesis speaks clearly of what a Christian is. Religious institutions (like Roman Catholic & Orthodox) are NOT “the keepers of the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven.”

My question to you is:
• Does VOM make a distinction between persecuted Christians and persecuted Catholics for example?
• Does VOM aid persecuted people groups that happen to be Orthodox or Roman Catholic as persecuted Christians or aid these groups in a humanitarian mission?
• And lastly, is the presentation of the gospel by VOM considered off limits to Catholics and Orthodox believers?

In your Global Report you reference “harassment” of evangelicals by groups, such as the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, Maronite Catholics, Orthodox or Roman Catholic churches. I believe that description of “harassment” greatly understates the persecution of non-religious Christians. It is no surprise the extent of Muslim persecution of non-Muslim groups, especially Christians. Absent Muslim oppression, these dominant religious systems (Catholic or Orthodox, for example) persecute Christians just the same but perhaps without the same level of violence found from Muslim persecutors.

A note of interest:

The narrative of Chiapas in the Global Report is interesting. Roman Catholicism is fundamentally idolatrous and pagan since its inception. Every year Catholics in Mexico, Central and South America engage in several unchristian religious festivities and practices including parties, drinking and pagan parades.

The small number of people groups unreached by the gospel (using Colombia as an example) is patently incorrect. The majority of Roman Catholics worldwide have never opened a bible, do not know what is in the bible and are reminded by their priests that they will tell them what they need to know.

Some bible references I believe are clear on these matters:
1 Cor 10:7, 14
Col 2:8
Matt 15:8
John 3:3, 5
John 14:6

There are well over several hundred bible passages that define “what is” and “what is not” a saint, a child of the Father, a Christian, how to be saved (by faith and by not works), etc.

I would be saddened to find out that VOM avoids ministering to lost religious multitudes who are not saved.

I hope to receive a response from you. My wife and I have been a part of VOM ministry for several years but we are concerned with what seems like ecumenism where all beliefs are “Christian” even if they do not accord with the Scriptures.

Thank you for your time.

Saved by Grace through Faith in Jesus Christ,

Steve & Katherine Rugg

Endnote: This letter was answered by some VOM public relations person who responded as if he had not even read my letter. His response was ecumenical and a whitewash–the Word of God does not matter to them.”
–Steve