“One of the revelations after Rolland Lamb aka Tom White’s death, is the spiritual blindness and oppression that exists in Bartlesville.
The majority of employees, volunteers, regular donors and visitors come from Wesleyan, Mennonite, Quaker and similar backgrounds.
Mr. White was a “sanctified” member of the First Wesleyan Church in Bartlesville, OK. Like most executives and leaders at VOM, who also attend the same church, they are convinced that they have obtained “Wesleyan perfectionism.”
Growing up in Bartlesville, and attending that same church for many years, my family members were labeled with Wesleyan perfectionism, sometimes called entire sanctification, which was a view held by John Wesley that taught that Christians could to some degree attain perfection in this life. Wesley described it as, “…that habitual disposition of the soul which, in the sacred writings, is termed holiness; and which directly implies being cleansed from sin, ‘from all filthiness both of flesh and spirit’; and, by consequence, being endued with those virtues which were in Christ Jesus; being so ‘renewed in the image of our mind,’ as to be ‘perfect as our Father in heaven is perfect’ ( A Plain Account of Christian Perfectionism, p. 12). Furthermore, “In this is perfection, and glory, and happiness: the royal law of heaven and earth is this, ‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all they heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength.’ The one perfect good shall be your one ultimate end”. Lastly, perfection is “deliverance from inward as well as from outward sin” and “a Christian is so far perfect as not to commit sin”.
When Mr. White committed suicide, an entire ministry, congregation, denomination and even collegiate system was shaken to the core of their beliefs. They were faced with a clear choice in their theological belief, either Mr. White was a skillful and venomous pretender in the faith or he was innocent of the allegations brought against him. For those that adhered to the Wesleyan doctrine tightly, there was no middle ground.
Those who chose to believe he was innocent, bought into a lie to protect their way of thinking and avoid the possibly difficult task of looking deeply into oneself and acknowledging that even now, many of their own actions aren’t just “mistakes” but they are indeed “sin” and they can not be perfect or sanctified here on earth. Further, it meant the way they have treated people in the past, using scripture to rip into people with “Truth” isn’t justified. The plank in one’s eye must be removed first before one earns the right to be heard in “Love.”
Those who chose to believe the allegations, challenged the teachings of the church and VOM and were shot back at with an oppressive spirit. “It’s not our story to tell,” “We don’t know what really happened in action or in his heart.” “It’s not your place to judge.” “We need to move on so that the fellowship with those who are persecuted, can continue.” That message forced followers back into their own cage of spiritual slavery where only “works” matter.
This spiritual oppression is spread even further by an unholy trinity of organizations in Bartlesville: VOM, First Wesleyan Church and Oklahoma Wesleyan University.
Many political conservatives have rallied in immediate support of Mr. Piper in his meticulous and meteoric thrust into the FoxNews spotlight recently as seen here: http://insider.foxnews.com/2015/11/30/oklahoma-wesleyan-president-everett-piper-not-day-care-it%E2%80%99s-university
The most tragic piece of this story, is that the student isn’t even aware who Dr. Piper is referring to in this rant. Mainly because the account has been so twisted, it’s not even a real account. This was a calculated opportunity taken in conjunction with Dr. Piper’s relationships with Ted Cruz and Jim Bridenstine to further a specific world view agenda as both candidates use OKWU as a springboard for their campaigns. Dr. Piper tells of a student that approached him stating that he felt uncomfortable with the message to love like Jesus. The reality of the story is that the student didn’t approach Dr. Piper at all. In fact, most students, like I did, avoid him like the plague. He is pompous and self-serving and reminds no-one of Jesus, especially in his $350k home. The student approached another faculty member, Kyle White (interesting last name, don’t you think), convicted by the Holy Spirit and sincerely seeking advice, said something to the effect, “I don’t know how anyone can love like Jesus on their own. I really struggle with that.” That’s all Dr. Piper needed to create a story and get on the news as the “non babysitting college.” That story has amplified into the perfect media opportunity for him, his choice of candidates, and his school.
Dr. Piper’s executive assistant resent resignation has now turned into a public retirement in another attempt to manipulate and coverup a story.
So back to our previous conversations… Ronald Lamb aka Tom White committed suicide, living under an oppressive version of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He molested a little girl and by all appearances, he struggled with that sin throughout his life. He was never able to confront or gain victory over that sin because of the oppressive, self-serving, mutation of the Gospel practiced at VOM, First Wesleyan Church and Oklahoma Wesleyan University. It would not surprise me if there were others, in the same or similar traps that can’t get out.
Recent claims of financial fraud by the financial manager at First Wesleyan Church has caused him to quietly set down. The athletic director of the High School connected to First Wesleyan Church has stepped down after making false claims and unable to account for athletic funds.
All this while the Pastor of First Wesleyan Church quietly waits his turn to take Max’s Colaw’s position as District Superintendent upon Max’s retirement.
Are you aware that VOM does not allow typical Christmas decorations in their facility? Of course, Santa’s and reindeer are not present; but even bows, colored lights, celebratory decorations or drawings from kids, are seen as unnecessary excesses by the VOM President and First Wesleyan Church member.
The President for all his “service” traveling and taking pictures, is set for life with his six figure salary and tens of thousands of dollars in bonus payments over the last several years. These excesses received from the hearts of widow who may donate half her social security checks and eat Ramen noodles each month so that they can help the persecuted in other countries.
The Enlightenment Continues….”