Voice of the Martyrs..too Big to Fail?

I can only imagine the stories that are hidden from plain view concerning VOM….they make it a practice to hide the truth from the public, especially their donating public, guarding the vast coffers of money that comes rolling in on a daily basis, like a dog guards a bone. Nothing would surprise me anymore about this corrupt corporation operating under the banner of holy Christendom.  I came across the testimony of this man the other day who exposes more of the cankered underbelly of VOM. If you are a donor of VOM, you really should read this:

https://thouarttheman.org/2017/05/21/personal-testimony-regarding-volunteering-working-vom/

Janna Chan at the ThouArtTheMan blog stated that they would like to hear my story concerning the bizarre behavior of management at Voice of the Martyrs USA and how I was excommunicated for trying to simply do my job well. So here it is, I write it down almost 15 years after my relationship ended with them.

I have followed the controversy closely based on my experience.  I know who went to the police and who Tom White’s victim is.  The father I run into on a pretty regular basis.  So here it is in all the details.    To be honest I am an introvert who would, in my flesh, prefer to stay out of the limelight.  However, my conscience drives me to take a stand where I see evil inside the Church.

The story starts in the mid 90’s when my best friend introduces me to the “ministry” by giving me a fundraising mailer that he had received. I trust his judgment and my heartstrings are pulled by the heartbreaking stories I read about inside. I start donating to them regularly and generously as I request to be added to their mailing list. In 2001, my wife and I decide to make a big change in order to be able to help out a cause I believed in. We contact both VOM and Gospel for Asia (another fraudulent “ministry”) and we propose to move to one of these towns where the headquarters are at and have my wife volunteer for a six-month period of time after I find a job to support us. My heart was to try to serve God in a practical way. VOM bites on the offer and we plan a trip to Bartlesville, OK and we place our house on the market. So, we traveled there and met with some of staff and came to a mutual understanding. Houses in our neighborhood sold on a average of 45 days so we expected this to happen fairly quickly. That is not at all how it worked out. In hindsight that was, I believe, the hand of God trying to keep me from making a major mistake but I did not recognize that at the time.

During this time we saw the first red flag which we foolishly ignored. When we met with them they made it clear that they had an over-the-top no smoking policy. They did not want any employees or even volunteers to be caught outside the building smoking. They did not want any visitors thinking that any smokers were involved in any way with their enterprise, not even as volunteers. In hindsight, this priority of putting image over substance was a clear warning sign, as was redefining sin: not by what the scriptures plainly state as sin but by some other standard not found in the Bible. Smoking was talked about as a great sin, while other more insidious things were never mentioned.

At 90 days we switched realtors and lowered the price on our house, but still nothing. I got impatient thinking this was a hurdle to overcome instead of a stop sign from God. In early September 2001 we decided to jump the gun and went back to Bartlesville to find a house to buy. This was against the advice of the VOM contact who told us maybe this is not God’s plan. They were right, though not for the reason that they thought. We pushed past that because I thought we needed to have a change in our life. So we made the trip, found a house we liked very near where Tom White lived at the time, and signed a sales contract with an unusually long 90 days to close. We figured that our house would surely sell by then and everything would work out. We drove back staying in a motel on the way. We woke up in that motel the next morning and the date was 9/11/01. I started to wonder if I had made a big mistake as the economy sank. Our home still did not sell so we had to change realtors again and leave it vacant as we moved to Bartlesville.

Despite the problems we were having we were optimistic that everything would work out in the end. We got settled in and started looking for work. When we had done everything we could, we started doing some volunteering part-time at VOM. We started working with blankets and met a couple of volunteers who were using their vacation time to help out. They became important friends and contacts for things that happened later. My wife found a job and then we had enough income to get by. I became a regular volunteer spending four hours a day in the office. They eventually moved me into the IT department with my background and education. I became friends with another tech there who would become an important part of my story. He was on salary and had worked their for a few years. I was still looking for full time work but finding absolutely nothing. Eventually the IT manager said that “he had rearranged his budget” and that he had created a 90 day half-time contract job for me. I worked there in the afternoons for three months in the spring. The IT manager then told me he made a request to hire me on full time to the VOM board at their next meeting. They voted down that idea which was disappointing at the time, but later I became very thankful that it happened. I did not need to get more involved with what I later came to the judgment was and is a scam.

I went back to doing some volunteering in the afternoons when I did not have any interviews or job leads to pursue. It was during this time that I stumbled upon the second red flag. My tech friend was showing me the software that they were using to track the Internet websites all the employees in the building were accessing. The accounting manager, who was very geriatric, had numerous gay porn websites that he had just accessed according to the log. The tech went to report this to his manager which was their policy. Instead of dealing with the obvious, I overheard the manager chewing out the tech for allowing a volunteer to see what people in the building were actually doing. He was much more concerned with keeping up false appearances than dealing with the reality of internal sin and waste.

We managed to get by financially, even though our house had been on the market now for over a year without a buyer. But then things got worse when my wife told me that she had been having an affair the day before her birthday and 4 days before mine. Things went south that day and stayed that way. The affair started when she got angry at how things were working out. I believe she was angry at God and by extension me as well. She was not the type of personality that was easily tempted by this kind of sin. She was prone to depression and her mood and behavior became erratic. I met with my pastor for counsel and encouraged my wife to meet with our home fellowship leader’s wife. She did, but the help only appeared to last for one day.

The IT manager at VOM was nice enough to recommend me to another international ministry for some project work. This became the second charity that I would work for in the early 00’s. As soon as this project was started, my wife just disappeared. She left for work as normal one day but never arrived. She had taken nothing with her. All of her belongings and clothes were still in our house. It was now a full year since we had signed the papers to buy this house. I received a phone call a few days later stating that she was at her parents house and that she had changed her mind on her way to work to just drive 1,000 miles and run away from her problems. She never even bothered to call her employer and quit. She returned two months later to file for divorce. My hope for a better life while finding a way to better serve God in practical ways turned into a nightmare.

Some people at VOM were supportive and kind. One, when he learned that my wife was back in town, went to have a talk with her. He tried but it did not change anything. Another worker raised some cash for me at his home fellowship group and dropped it off in a paper bag. It was enough to pay bills I had for a few days. It was a dark time and I experienced the kind of grief people do not understand unless they themselves had been through it. Christmas time had come now in 2002 and the IT Manager called me to come to his office because he had a project for me to do.

One of the projects I had worked on during the 90 days was the conversion of the Pastor’s Support database. It was kept on a PC and the size of the database had outgrown the ability for the program to keep up with. They kept having issues with it and it needed to be moved onto an SQL server designed to reliably work with that much data. I completed that project without any issues. Now they had the big database to move for the same reasons: the overseas project database. This was the database that contained the names, places and amounts of all money supposedly spent overseas. They had not allowed me to see any of the data in the Pastors Support database, which is unusual. Normally a contractor would look carefully at all the data moved both before and after the conversion to make sure nothing was lost and that data integrity was maintained. They made it clear that I would never see any of the actual project data for this database as well. This project was different in that they needed some of the structure to be transformed as the way it was laid out was not the most efficient way of designing a database structure. That created a problem where I believe God stepped in.

The problem was that after the meeting I set down to try and figure out how I was going to transform the structure from what they had into what they wanted. I just could not see how to make that happen with the tools at my disposal. I had not run into a problem like that before. I think, in hindsight, that God was keeping me from seeing how to do what they asked for. That caused me to go to a friends house that evening.

He had become a close friend as he went to same church I did and was also going through a divorce. It just so happened that he also was a database programmer and that he knew the IT manager. In fact, he had even worked for him as the manager was once his boss at Phillips. I explained in general terms, without showing him any of the actual structure, what was there and what they wanted to do with it. He almost instantly saw the solution which he tried to explain to me, over and over for sometime. I was still not getting it. Finally I threw up my arms in surrender and told him that I would have to call them up tomorrow and give them the bad news that I did not know how to do what they wanted. My friend told me to hold off of that. He knew the manager and he decided he would call him in the morning and offer to do this himself for free! That was fine with me.

I was not feeling completely comfortable with this offer of work for two reasons: one was that the lady downstairs who kept the top secret information and the IT manager could not stand each other and basically refused to talk to each other unless absolutely necessary. The other was that the IT manager was a database specialist himself. He had originally been hired to help them develop their databases in the first place. He knew how to do the stuff he hired me to do. But I do not recall ever seeing this man doing any actual work, beyond playing with his budget, talking with other managers, giving out orders and taking an occasional phone call. It was the two techs that did all of the work of wiring, dealing with technical issues and keeping everyone’s computer working. I guess he came out of a corporate environment and was used to managers who behave like this. The ministry was small enough that it needed a working manager, which was not what it had. He was making $60K at the time, according to the public 990’s which was more than anyone else in the department, and was a lot in a town where houses are so very cheap. I was relieved to get out of this, even though I could have used the money because I was living in my expensive wife’s house she picked out that I was still paying a mortgage on and I was paying taxes and utilities for the other, vacant house. And so I went to bed.

The next day started out as usual until I got a phone call from the friend I had talked with the previous night. He was both upset and confused at the response he had gotten from the IT manager. His former boss had hung up on him and was so angry that he sounded unhinged at a simple offer of volunteer, free expert help. I was perplexed. At the end of the workday, I received another call, this time from the tech friend I had at VOM. He told me how this manager was yelling and screaming after he hung up on my friend. He ran upstairs and talked with Jim Dau, the CEO. He then ran down to the front desk and put my name onto a list not to buzz into the building. And so I was exiled for trying to do my job. I never heard anything directly from anyone in management. I never tried to get in the building after that. Nor did I ever hear once again from anyone there. The whole thing made no sense to me. VOM management did this in spite of the fact that they knew what was going on in my life. They kicked me when I was already at a very low time of my life. I saw nothing charitable or Christ-like in any of that.

In an attempt to better understand what happened, I sat down with my pastor who is friends with one of Tom White’s family members. He told me that I had been “thrown under the bus.” This was the end of 2002, years before Mark Driscoll made that phrase infamous in church circles. I also sat down and had a meal with the director of the other ministry that I was doing some work for at the time. He has remained a friend and so I explained at length, detail by detail, what had happened and he had no explanation for their actions. I saw it as extremely paranoid and I saw no grace in it. I wonder if the IT manager was merely pissed off that he would now have to do actually do work and talk with the dreaded lady downstairs. When Tom White killed himself almost a full decade later, I recognized that I had actually pierced the thin veneer of false spirituality and fake niceness and had touched on the actual evil substance of the place. Tom was paranoid because he was cheating donors and using those funds to commit a terrible, secret sin. VOM management is a white-washed tomb full of sickness, evil and disease.

This is not quite the end of the story. The IT tech lasted a couple of more years until at the same time of year he had a very bad experience with the same manager. It was a case of true Phariseeism, his boss had tied up a heavy and inappropriate burden on him and refused to lift a finger to help him with it. He could not stand it anymore. He left.

Also, remember those volunteers I had met early on on this journey? In between these two stories, one of them had gone on a trip to a closed country in Africa to see one of VOM’s projects up close. It was a building project that had gone astray. He arrived to find that the man VOM had hired to manage the project had no idea whatsoever what he was doing. He had spent a large amount of the total allocated funds just to build a foundation. And that foundation was several times bigger than the final building was supposed to be. My friend told me he had to improvise and figure out how to use part of the foundation and salvage the project so at least something could be built. He changed it to a now smaller building than originally planned and had to leave the project to be finished by the same construction manager. It was quite likely that the building was never finished and the project ended up being wasted donor money, but you will not see a word about that in their polished up and white-washed regular mailers.

Another story that I heard in between those first two, was the story of how Tom White’s personal secretary got fired. VOM had a policy where when really big checks came in, they were supposed to get special treatment. So instead of being handled like every other small check directly through the accounting department, they were sent upstairs to Tom’s personal secretary. At some point in time, the secretary stopped processing them at all and instead merely dropped them into a folder in the back of her filing cabinet to collect mold. One day a large stash of old checks totaling a very tidy sum was found by someone else. Most of the checks had gone way past the standard 6 month expiration date for checks so this had been going on for years, including the time I was there. They fired her, but I still wonder what transpired between Tom and this lady that would get her so pissed off that she would want to screw this “ministry” in this fashion?

Something else you will never read about is the saga of Pastor Joel who worked as a director at VOM and as a worship Pastor at a local Wesleyan Church. I found out about it shortly after my exile. It appears Pastor Joel started having an affair with his secretary at VOM. He ended up getting fired from both gigs and then divorced his wife so that he could marry the secretary. These events occurred not too long before I came to town. My friend who had so graciously offered to convert their database for nothing started dating Pastor Joel’s ex-wife. So I heard about it from her point of view and from the tech’s too. The tech told me that management had suspected that Pastor Joel had sex inside his office with his secretary. Their solution was to remove the regular doors off of all the offices and replace them with glass. If they had only chosen to do the same thing regarding transparency to their donors, I would not have to be writing this whole testimony down now. VOM buried this situation. I believe that charities owe it to those donors who pay the bills to let them know not just spin about what is going right for them, but also what is not. There should have been some transparency about this moral failure but obviously there never was about either this or anything else immoral that happened inside the organization. They could not hide Tom’s dead body, although they probably wished he had killed himself somewhere else.

One final story from inside the office. While I was in the office, one day two attractive, college age women showed up working inside. I found out that they had just been hired by the accounting department. They were there just a few months and then they both were suddenly gone having been hired and fired as a pair. The tech told me a story of what had happened. He said that the two were very loose, flirting with men in the office including him. One day the two made him a proposition that he responded to with basically a “if I entertained that thought for a second, my wife would kill me” response. He walked away. Soon after that, one of the ladies became pregnant out of wedlock and they both were promptly fired.

In summary, the big lesson I have learned from all this is how much I should hate the worldly and devilish practice of corporate image polishing. The very root of deception in our world is the polished and skilled liar who knows how to spin facts and white-wash what is, in reality, a septic tank. People pretend the septic does not stink. The image is a lie. The reality is something very much uglier than a dozen or so employees and volunteers standing outside the building during break time smoking. I have no doubt that many more stories exist that I have never heard about. I no longer think that merely giving Mammon to organizations is true charitable work. I see being a donor now as a two-edge sword that has blessing on the top side and cursing on the bottom. Give the Mammon to a good person and it still may end up doing great harm without excessive caution and care be exercised from start to finish. Give it to someone evil and you have just funded Satan’s work on this planet. The love of money really is a root of every kind of evil.

Mr. Jesperson

Related Reading: Letter by Michael Wurmbrand exposing corruption in VOM

 

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Voice of the Martyrs: Foxes Running the Henhouse?

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Get a load of the Voice of the Martyrs new building entry way….nothing seems to be too lavish or grand for VOM or Bartlesville, Oklahoma.

JL to Scarlett:

“One of the revelations after Rolland Lamb aka Tom White’s death, is the spiritual blindness and oppression that exists in …Bartlesville”

“Continue the good work. I am certain my comments have made individuals very uncomfortable of late. I’m glad to be in the company of Christ while a new persecution begins. The

police force in Bartlesville now follows me to and from work. I say that to acknowledge that I know I have been found out and Tom Holland is insecure enough to issue this Nazi like

practice. It is quite interesting to me that it is Chief of Police Holland who built a reputation as a CIA agent but on 9/11 used that “service” to enhance his career as a security expert. The

landed him roles with Philips66 whose world headquarters was based in Bartlesville and then on the Board of Directors at VOM. He continually asserts in public speaking opportunities

based on VOM affiliation, that FBI representatives notified Philips66 and VOM that they were “on a list that targeted those two organizations the same day”. WHO ELSE HAS SEEN

THAT DOCUMENTATION? No one, because it doesn’t exist. Tom Holland made it up! However, how much did he financially profit via consulting contracts with Phillips66 and VOM?

It is Tom Holland that designed the security features of VOMs $39M (paid off) facility. features that includes a moat on the back half, and concrete pillars off of the main parking lot.

Security guards actually carry guns, but as retired Tulsa police officers may need a 2 minute 45 second notice to draw a weapon in defense. However, the warehouse, where the real work

is done… distributing news letters and orders, has no security. Tom Holland made his consulting fees, and is now back a Bartlesville police chief and memorable member of the “worlds

worse bosses”. His jokes would make a navy sailor cringe. The ONLY way he is still on VOM’s board of directors is because he has dirt on Tom White a nd others in leadership on the board.

I apologize if this seems like a rant. However, if VOM and Bartlesville continent to simply turn a blind eye toward VOM, OKWU and First Weslayan Christian school, then I will not back down.

So, I need to end now and deliver some coffee and cookies to the officer hanging out on my street.”

JL

Note from Scarlett: Friends, please pray for this brave man who has laid his very life and livelihood on the line in this town on the behalf of the Lord Jesus Christ and the Truth.Pray for his safety, and that this stalking and surveillance will cease immediately. Neither Bartlesville or VOM are above the law.

North Korean Christians: Will Jesus say, “When I was Hungry, You Fed Me?”

I thank the Lord Jesus Christ that we still live in a country where we have access to good food, and won’t be killed for not worshiping a mere man instead of the Savior. I thank Him that I’ve never been this hungry.  I thank Him that here in America, we can help the least of these, our brethren, who are suffering lack, and living in an unbelievable nightmare. We can help! http://www.heavensfamily.org/ Heavens Family Ministries- Love Link to the Least of These- doesn’t have a large expensive headquarters so they can save money to place donations right at the points of need.
Dictator Kim Jong Il is portrayed as a god to the people of North Korea, even though millions starve due to his policies. Heaven’s Family provides food for North Korean followers of Christ…all of whom are enemies of the state.

North Korean Christians

Living in the most hostile nation on the earth can be a death sentence. Because of the North Korean government’s poor agricultural management policies and their reluctance to accept international aid, almost 4 million people (18%) of the population perished during the early 1990s due primarily to a lack of food. Severe shortages still exist inside North Korea, and many are driven to desperation.

Reliable reports have surfaced of children being abducted and killed for food. Others have testified of the sale of human flesh on the black market. Christians, considered enemies of the state, suffer more harshly than average citizens.

We received the following letter from inside North Korea.

Our life on this side is like going deeper and deeper into a mountain range: we live expecting it will be better every year, but faced with ever harsher reality, it cannot be explained with anything. Such a boundless misery, the whole population is suffering from starvation. That is, there is no compensation for struggle no matter how great; there is no profit in doing business. Consequently, beggars continue to increase in number on the street.

Occasionally, homes [become] empty overnight, and rumor goes around saying the occupants ran away somewhere. It is now common everywhere to disregard a person lying dead on the street and for no one to care. It is because such things happen too often. So, in the midst of this, it became possible not only for us to overcome this hardship, but also to share with those who are suffering around us.

Indeed, if God hadn’t helped us, we’d have become beggars now. We do not know how to repay your favors. We can only tell and pray to Him. We have experienced God’s marvelous works here. Truly we thank you.

Heaven’s Family is partnering with other ministries to serve our brothers and sisters in Christ in North Korea. We have purchased tons of food and other aid that will be delivered to underground believers whose names and face we may never know due to security reasons. We also help rescue some believers who have been put in dangerous situations. Through underground channels we help them escape to safety in South Korea.

Some might say a drop in the bucket is worth nothing, but that drop is literally saving hundreds of lives—and many drops together can make an ocean. This overwhelming need presents us with an opportunity to show our love for Jesus, who will one day say to the sheep on His right hand, “I was hungry, and you fed Me.”

nk

Heavens Family-Ministry to Persecuted Christians

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Persecuted Christians Ministry

http://www.heavensfamily.org/

Pastor Prabhudass was walking home after performing a wedding ceremony when he found himself surrounded by an anti-Christian Hindu mob who told him, “We don’t want your Jesus in our village.” They attacked and brutally beat him, leaving him for dead in a ditch along the road.

Thankfully, some people walking along the road heard the sound of his groaning and called the police. He was rushed to the hospital and his life was saved. But he suffered serious head concussions and both of his hands were broken. At the time of this writing he is waiting for further tests regarding internal injuries.

This was the second time pastor Prabhudass had been attacked by a mob. Many Hindu people hate him because he is a powerful preacher who has planted thirty house churches in twenty villages of his region of Andhra Pradesh. He has personally baptized over one-thousand new believers, most of whom were former Hindus.

Like most pastors in India, Prabhudass has no medical insurance, and his current bill had run up to about $2,000, a huge sum to him. Heaven’s Family (that’s you!) was honored to follow the example of the Good Samaritan and pay his bill.

It has been estimated that 200 million Christians in the world live with the reality of severe persecution, such as threat of imprisonment or violence for following Jesus, while another 400 million believers face non-trivial deprivations of liberty. Your gifts will help us assist members of our spiritual family who are suffering because of persecution for their faith, like pastor Prabhudass.

Note from Scarlett: There are other ministries such as this one, Heaven’s Family, that are totally devoted to  serving the Lord Jesus Christ that are truly evangelical, who have no eccumenical agenda written into their newsletters and service.

Please check out this worthy cause and pray about your stewardship. And may the Lord Jesus Christ increase you and prosper you as your soul prospers.  I LOVE that name, “Heaven’s Family”, don’t you? Cos, that’s what The LORD wants us to be. Amen!

https://www.heavensfamily.org/special_reports/2016-04

 

 

persecution

 

Voice of the Martyrs Hires Convicted Embezzler as Vice President

Meet Stephen J Lindquist, VOM’s Vice President.To all those donors who are still supporting Voice of the Martyrs financially, please ask yourselves why Voice of the Martyrs would hire a convicted embezzler to work at VOM and then name him as a Vice President.  Besides this mugshot of Mr. Lindquist, something seems to be wrong with the picture at Voice of the Martyrs. Where did they even learn about him?

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The following is taken from an Open Letter Richard Wurmbrand’s son, Michael, posted on the Internet in protest of  Voice of the Martyrs operations: 

And: http://www.amarillo.com/stories/041504/new_linquist.shtml

      • All of the above occurred while, at the same time… Without any reasons proffered, they sent a termination of employment letter to me, Richard Wurmbrand’s son, who founded the mission, four days only after I asked for an independent investigation of the expenses and travels of the suicidal and suspected pedophile past chairman of VOM, USA.”
      • http://www.wurmbrandmichael.com/

A former Globe-News employee pleaded guilty Wednesday to two felony theft charges linked to embezzlement of company funds.

Former Production Director Stephen John Lindquist pleaded guilty to two counts of theft over $20,000 but under $100,000. District Judge Abe Lopez of 108th District Court sentenced Lindquist to 10 years of probation and ordered him to pay restitution totaling $90,789.38.

Lindquist, 45, paid $10,000 toward his restitution Wednesday.

A Potter County grand jury indicted Lindquist on the two theft charges last year.

One indictment alleged that Lindquist unlawfully exercised control over U.S. currency valued at between $20,000 and $100,000.

The indictment alleged the theft was part of a continuing course of conduct that began June 8, 1999, and continued until Aug. 14, 2002.

The second indictment alleged Lindquist unlawfully exercised control over U.S. currency valued at between $20,000 and $100,000.

It alleged the theft also was part of a continuing course of conduct that began Feb. 22, 1999, and continued until Sept. 20, 2002.

Assistant 47th District Attorney Adrian Castillo said the thefts involved two schemes. One scheme involved falsifying invoices paid to a company owned by Lindquist’s father, and the other involved improper receipt of funds from recycled scrap metals, Castillo said.

The charges are third-degree felonies punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

Lindquist, accompanied by attorney Charles Rittenberry, agreed to pay restitution over a 10-year period and told the judge he understood the plea would cover all claims involving the Amarillo Globe-News.

Lindquist, who had no previous criminal record, also submitted a restitution schedule to the judge but said he would increase his monthly payments if he is financially able.

“If I can do more than that I will do so,” Lindquist said.

Globe-News Publisher Les Simpson said he was glad to have the case resolved.

“I’m glad we are ending this sad chapter of the Globe-News. Justice was served and now we’ll move on,” Simpson said. “I’m very appreciative of the hard work of the district attorney’s office to help us on this case.”

http://amarillo.com/stories/041504/new_linquist.shtml#.Vz6uh74Wa90

http://docapp065p.doc.state.ok.us/servlet/page?_pageid=394&_dad=portal30&_schema=PORTAL30&doc_num=473029&offender_book_id=276347&imageindex=3

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As a Christian ministry necessarily required to be accountable to it’s supporters, who through their donations account for 95 % of Voice of the Martyrs revenue, should they not want to be very careful, as well as frugal, in the handling of all the donor’s contributions?

In any case, the bible we and they go by says this:Abstain from all appearance of evil.” 1st Thessalonians 5:22

And frankly, this doesn’t look good for VOM.

Richard Wurmbrand-Orthodox or Evangelical?

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An early picture of Richard Wurmbrand, his wife Sabrina, and their son.

Most Christians familiar with Richard Wurmbrand know that he founded the “Voice of the Martyrs, Servants of the Persecuted Church”, which has been widely purported to be a Christian organization. Richard Wurmbrand himself is reverenced in nearly saintly regard by those who support his work, “VOM”, which has grown to a massive worldwide organization with branches in all free countries.  The US and main headquarters of VOM is in Bartlesville, Oklahoma.

New Voice of the Martyr building, Bartlesville, OK in the US

New Voice of the Martyr building, Bartlesville, OK in the US

It has been generally assumed by most Christians who support Voice of the Martyrs that Richard Wurmbrand was Prostestant, due to his title pastor, and designation as a Lutheran preacher.  However, very little is generally known about what his personal beliefs were, although many of them are clearly contained in the books and articles he wrote over the years.  We will examine some of his beliefs in this and following posts.

There has been a never ending debate about what constitutes a Christian. Evangelical Christians, at least most of them, maintain that Catholics are not Christians.  Catholics and Orthodox Catholics, on the other hand,  maintain they are most certainly Christians…and so, there is a divergence of opinions on the matter. 

Should the religious beliefs of Richard Wurmbrand be scrutinized for the purpose that the supporters of VOM might know what the religious views of Richard Wurmbrand and  the general tone of Voice of the Martyrs have been, both in Wurmbrand’s own writings and the articles, and newsletters of VOM? I think so!  The reason for this being, that when support and money is being poured into any organization, it is critically important to examine the roots of that organization, who the founder was, what he or she believed and stood for, what he or she taught, and what the financial support of donors would be used for.  Or, of much more importance, whether by supporting VOM, one is aiding and abetting heresy and ecumenism, thereby giving consent to it in disobedience to the commandments of Christ. This is the crux of the issue and not to be taken lightly by any means.

That said, I am posting the following rather obscure article, in it’s entirety, found on the Internet which had been published in the Orthodox magazine, “Again“,  for the examination and discernment of all, which I hope will shed some light on the personal religious views of Richard Wurmbrand.  Comments from readers will be welcomed.

Orthodox Outlet for Dogmatic Enquiries Personal ExperiencesAtheism
Pastor Richard Wurmbrand: Finishing the Race

by Hieromonk Damascene

Source:  http://ancientfaith.com/files/uploads/wurmbrand_again.doc

Our St. Herman Brotherhood and Monastery has for a long time had great respect and appreciation for the life, testimony and work of Pastor Richard Wurmbrand, a Jewish convert to Christianity who suffered for fourteen years in Communist prisons in Romania due to his unrelenting Christian activity. Back in 1979, our co-founder Fr. Seraphim Rose spoke about Pastor Wurmbrand to seminarians and pilgrims at Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, New York. In succeeding years we corresponded with Pastor Wurmbrand himself, sent him Orthodox materials, and met with him at some of his speaking engagements.

In 1996 our Brotherhood made personal contact with a man who had been in Communist prisons in Romania at the same time as Pastor Wurmbrand, and for the same reason: the Romanian Orthodox priest, Fr. George Calciu. Fr. Seraphim Rose had also spoken at great length about Fr. George and his courageous preaching of Christ in Romania. We were overjoyed to get to know him here in America, learn from his faith, and benefit from his wisdom and experience.

It soon became known to us that Pastor Wurmbrand and Fr. George were friends. Fr. George told us that Pastor Wurmbrand had confessed to him many times in the United States—not as a sacrament, since Pastor Wurmbrand was a Lutheran—but as before an Orthodox priest and friend. Before these talks, in which he disclosed his struggles, Pastor Wurmbrand would always cross himself.

Pastor Wurmbrand had also confessed to an Orthodox priest many years prior to coming to America, when he was in Communist prison. He told Fr. George about this when he met him in Pennsylvania in 1989. In a recent letter Fr. George informed us about what Pastor Wurmbrand had told him:

Pastor Wurmbrand was in a prison hospital for terminal illness. The majority of the people from this prison had to die.

One day, a new transport of prisoners came to the jail. Among them was a very humble Orthodox priest from a village. He seemed so simple that the guards made all kinds of jokes about him. The prisoners were in the courtyard—a special place surrounded by a fence—and the guard brought in the newcomers, all in rags.

The guard said to them, “Look, guys, this is a priest. He was sent here by the prison administration to hear your last confession—all of you.” He was alluding that they all had to die, including the priest.

Pastor Wurmbrand said, “He [the guard] prophesied: in less than six months, everyone came to this priest and confessed. I was among the first.”

In 1998 Pastor Wurmbrand was in critical condition in a hospital in southern California. He had not eaten for ten days, and it looked like he was dying. He was asked which pastor should be called, and he asked for Fr. George Calciu. Fr. George was telephoned and was prepared to come, but the danger passed and Pastor Wurmbrand got better. Still, Pastor Wurmbrand was in such a condition that he had to be kept in a nursing home—a Catholic nursing home in Torrance, California.

In July of 1998 Fr. George went to see Pastor Wurmbrand. Shortly after this visit, he sent us the following message:

Pastor Wurmbrand was very excited to see me. He is in a nursing home, very weak; he cannot swallow anything, even his own saliva. I found him sleeping, because he wanted not to be tired and to be able to talk longer with me. After half an hour he awoke and was pushed in his wheelchair to a small yard, where there was a statue of the Mother of God. We talked a few minutes all together: his wife Sabina, two Romanian ladies, Nicolae Popa and a young man.

Afterwards, everybody left Richard and me alone. We started by remembering the time in prisons, and he remembered something very touching. He said: ‘I was in prison with different people: Orthodox, Catholic, Romanian, Hungarian, German, etc. And I noticed that the Hymn to the Mother of God existed in all the languages, except Hebrew. And I decided to compose this hymn in Hebrew, because Mary is a Jew and Hebrew was her language.” He started to sing, with his weak and trembling voice, the hymn in Hebrew. The melody was very Jewish, composed by him. I was deeply impressed. The statue of the Mother of God was there, watching and blessing us.  . . . He told me that, in his heart, he loved Orthodoxy, but considered he was not worthy of it, and because of this he did not succeed in becoming fully Orthodox.

If you go to Richard and talk to him, ask him to sing “Ave Maria.” And be prepared to tape the song. He loves very much the Mother of God, and I am sure he will be happy in his heart to let this song be a testimony of his secret Orthodoxy. I was not prepared and failed the occasion.

Thinking that this might be our last opportunity to meet and talk with Pastor Wurmbrand, we set off to see him almost immediately after receiving Fr. George’s letter.

Hieromonk Gerasim, Mother Nina (who had spent two years in a monastery in Romania) and I arrived at the nursing home in the morning of July 28. Pastor Wurmbrand greeted us with love and was happy to see us. We went with him in his wheelchair to the same courtyard in which Fr. George had spoken with him.

His first concern was what he could do for us. We were moved by how he, so weak and enfeebled himself, was so desirous to give to others.

I asked him how to face persecution, if and when it comes. He told us not to be fearful of persecution. “Persecution must come to all Christians,” he said, “but do not be afraid.”

Mother Nina asked him how to bear suffering. He said that he had always been afraid of suffering, but then he began to be joyful in suffering. “Be joyful!” he exclaimed, “leap for joy!” As Mother Nina remarked later, as he said this his eyes seemed like a sea of light opening into eternity.

Mother Nina asked him about the song he had composed to the Mother of God in Hebrew. Immediately he sang it for us, and we recorded it on tape (audible from min,7 of recording) as Fr. George had urged us to do. Mother Nina wept. When he finished singing Pastor Wurmbrand said that Mary was the closest one to Jesus, and was the only one to change His will. (Evidently he was speaking about Christ’s miracle of changing water into wine. According to the commentary of St. Cyril of Alexandria, at that time the Mother of God did indeed persuade her Son to do something He did not desire; He did it out of obedience to her.) We could see, as Fr. George had told us, that Pastor Wurmbrand had great love for the Theotokos.

Soon we were joined by friends of Pastor Wurmbrand: a Romanian woman, her two sisters, and her American husband. Pastor Wurmbrand’s legs began to hurt him; he was wincing from the pain, and asked to be taken back inside to his bed. (As we later learned, the pain was due to severely advancing leg neuropathy contracted during his three years of solitary confinement, when he was obliged to stand interminable hours, being kept on a starvation diet.)

Once he was settled into his bed, he sang for us once again his song to the Mother of God: first in English, and then in Hebrew. He explained to us the circumstances under which he composed it (this, too, we recorded on tape). “I was in a very bad situation in prison,” he said. “Prison was not always very bad. Sometimes there are better times, sometimes worse times. It was a very bad time. And I prayed that the times would change, and they did not change. Then I promised that if it [the situation] changed for the good of the prisoners, I would translate this song into Hebrew. In five minutes the situation changed.”

We began to sing Orthodox hymns with Pastor Wurmbrand: “Christ is Risen” and “Holy God” in Romanian. Even though it was hard for him to sing and he would choke and cough, he sang the hymns with his whole heart.

I asked him if he would like to be anointed with holy oil, and he gladly consented. Anointing three times his head, hands and feet with oil from the reliquary of St. John (Maximovitch) of Shanghai and San Francisco, I said aloud the prayer of blessing to our Lord Jesus Christ, asking for St. John’s intercessions. After this anointing Pastor Wurmbrand looked more peaceful and ceased to show obvious signs of being in pain.

We were there for almost three hours. We returned in the evening and were met by Sabina Wurmbrand, who beamed with the same joy as did her husband. She too was very glad to see us, especially Mother Nina. Sabina had been in Communist prison for three years together with Orthodox nuns.

During our second visit Pastor Wurmbrand asked us to gather close to him, and he kept asking us for a “word.” He was extremely interested to hear about the missionary work of our Brotherhood.

I was impressed with his humility. When, for example, I mentioned Fr. George Calciu to him, he said, “Fr. George is a great man. He loves sinners. That’s why he loves me.”

He asked Sabina for their checkbook, because he wanted to give a donation toward Mother Nina’s upcoming trip to Romania. We assured him that it was not necessary for him to go to the trouble, but he said emphatically, “We have to show our Christian love through concrete acts.” (Sabina did not have the checkbook at the time, but soon thereafter she sent Mother Nina a letter with a sizable donation, which was then given to an Orthodox publishing house in Romania.)

After a while Sabina began to be concerned that her husband was becoming too tired, and said she thought everyone should leave and let him rest. But Pastor Wurmbrand did not want us to leave, and tried to postpone our departure as long as possible. Finally we did go when visiting hours ended. He expressed his gratitude to us, and as we walked out of the room he looked at us with longing.

We ourselves were truly grateful for this meeting. We were able to experience firsthand Pastor Wurmbrand’s love for God and neighbor, which had been tested and tried in the crucible of suffering for our Lord Jesus Christ. We were witnesses, too, of his love for God’s Most Pure Mother, and of the respect and esteem in which he held the Orthodox Church and her tradition.

 {{{{{{

 
Hieromonk Damascene Christensen is from St. Herman of Alaska Monastery, Platina, California.
From left to right: Hieromonk Gerasim, abbot of St. Herman of Alaska Monastery; Pastor Wurmbrand; Hieromonk Damascene; and Mother Nina.

Intro to Pastor Wurbrand’s own article:

Throughout the era of the Communist domination of Eastern Europe, there were many heroes who suffered and died in prison for trying to help Christians behind the Iron Curtain. One of the most well-known of these heroes is Pastor Richard Wurmbrand, a Lutheran minister who started an underground ministry in Romania in 1945. Of the next twenty years, he spent fourteen in prison. Finally ransomed out of Romania in 1965, he established a ministry to smuggle Bibles and practical aid to the families of Romanian martyrs. He died in February of this year, suffering to the end from the maltreatment he had received at the hands of the Communists.

AGAIN Magazine featured an article by Richard Wurmbrand in its September, 1987 issue. As this article, reprinted here, clearly shows, Pastor Wurmbrand was deeply impressed by the faith and dedication of the Orthodox Christians he met in Romania. Fr. Damascene Christensen recently spent time with Pastor Wurmbrand near the end of his life. Fr. Damascene’s reminiscences of those meetings show how Wurmbrand’s attachment to the Orthodox Faith persisted and deepened into his dying days.

Pastor Wurmbrand himself and those whose stories he relates are shining examples of how faithful Christians can not only survive, but be illuminated through the dreadful sufferings of imprisonment.

With My Own Eyes
A Lutheran Pastor’s Firsthand Account of Prison Life

by Pastor Richard Wurmbrand

I am a Christian from an Orthodox country—the country of Romania. Having been in prison for fourteen years for my faith, it is now my missionary work to help persecuted Christians in Communist countries. I would like to tell you the stories of several Orthodox Christians with whom I was privileged to come into contact during my time in prison. Their examples and their deeds have been a constant source of encouragement to me throughout the years.

“Always Rejoice”

The first man was a priest who was put in jail at the age of seventy. His name was Surioanu. When he was brought in with his big white beard and white pate, some officers at the gate of the jail mocked him. One asked, “Why did they bring this old priest here?” And another replied with a jeer, “Probably to take the confessions of everybody.” Those were his exact words.

This priest had a son who had died in a Soviet jail. His daughter was sentenced to twenty years. Two of his sons-in-law were with him in jail—one with him in the same cell. His grandchildren had no food, they were forced to eat from the garbage. His whole family was destroyed. He had lost his church. But this man had such a shining face—there was always a beautiful smile on his lips. He never greeted anyone with “Good morning” or “Good evening,” but instead with the words, “Always rejoice.”

One day we asked him, “Father, how can you say ‘always rejoice’—you who passed through such a terrible tragedy?”

He said, “Rejoicing is very easy. If we fulfill at least one word from the Bible, it is written, ‘Rejoice with all those who rejoice.’ Now if one rejoices with all those who rejoice, he always has plenty of motivation for rejoicing. I sit in jail, and I rejoice that so many are free. I don’t go to church, but I rejoice with all those who are in church. I can’t take Holy Communion, but I rejoice about all those who take. I can’t read the Bible or any other holy book, but I rejoice with those who do. I can’t see flowers [we never saw a tree or a flower during those years. We were under the earth, in a subterranean prison. We never saw the sun, the moon, stars—many times we forgot that these things existed. We never saw a color, only the gray walls of the cell and our gray uniforms. But we knew that such a world existed, a world with multicolored butterflies and with rainbows], but I can rejoice with those who see the rainbows and who see the multicolored butterflies.”

In prison, the smell was not very good. But the priest said, “Others have the perfume of flowers around them, and girls wearing perfume. And others have picnics and others have their families of children around them. I cannot see my children but others have children. And he who can rejoice with all those who rejoice can always rejoice. I can always be glad.” That is why he had such a beautiful expression on his face.

“Heaven’s Smile”

Let me interrupt to tell you about another Orthodox Christian. He was not a priest, but a simple farmer. In our country, farmers are almost always illiterate, or nearly so. He had read his Bible well, but other than that he had never read a book. Now he was in the same cell with professors, academicians, and other men of high culture who had been put in jail by the Communists. And this poor farmer tried to bring to Christ a member of the Academy of Science. But in return, he received only mockery.

“Sir, I can’t explain much to you, but I walk with Jesus, I talk with Him, I see Him.”

“Go away. Don’t tell me fairy tales that you see Jesus. How do you see Jesus?”

“Well, I cannot tell you how I see Him. I just see Him. There are many kinds of seeing. In dreams, for instance, you see many things. It’s enough for me to close my eyes. Now I see my son before me, now I see my daughter-in-law, now I see my granddaughter. Everybody can see. There is another sight. I see Jesus.”

“You see Jesus?”

“Yes, I see Jesus.”

“What does He look like? How does He look to you? Does He look restful, angry, bored, annoyed, happy to see you? Does He smile sometimes?”

He said, “You guessed it! He smiles at me.”

“Gentlemen, come hear what this man says to us. He mocks us. He says Jesus smiles at him. Show me, how does He smile?”

That was one of the grandest moments of my life. The farmer became very, very earnest. His face began to shine. In the Church today there are pastors and theologians who can’t believe the whole Bible. They believe half of it, a quarter of it. Somehow they can’t believe the miracles. I can believe the whole of it because I have seen miracles. I have seen transfigurations—not like that of Jesus, but something apart. I have seen faces shining.

A smile appeared on the face of that farmer. I would like to be a painter to be able to paint that smile. There was a streak of sadness in it because of the lost soul of the scientist. But there was so much hope in that smile. And there was so much love and so much compassion, and a yearning that this soul should be saved. The whole beauty of heaven was in the smile on that face. The face was dirty and unwashed, but it held the beautiful smile of heaven.

The professor bowed his head and said, “Sir, you are right. You have seen Jesus. He has smiled at you.”

“Pure Orthodoxy”

Now, to come back to this priest, Surioanu. He was always such a happy being. When we were taken out for walks, in a yard where there was never a flower, a piece of herb, or grass, he would put his hand on the shoulder of some Christian and ask, “Tell me your story.”

Usually the men would talk about how bad the Communists were. “They’ve beaten me and they’ve tortured me and they’ve done terrible things.”

He would listen attentively; then he would say, “You’ve said plenty about the Communists; now tell me about yourself. When did you confess last?”

“Well, some forty years ago.”

“Let us sit down and forget the Communists and forget the Nazis. For you are also a sinner. And tell me your sins.”

Everybody confessed to him—I confessed to him, too, and I remember that as I confessed to him, and the more I told him sins, the more beautiful and loving became his face. I feared in the beginning that when he heard about such things he would loathe me. But the more I said bad things about myself, the more he sat near to me. And in the end he said, “Son, you really have committed plenty of sins, but I can tell you one thing. Despite all of these sins, God still loves you and forgives you. Remember that He has given His Son to die for you, and try one day a little bit, and another day a little bit, just to improve your character so it should be pleasant to God.”

My experiences with this priest were among the most beautiful encounters of my life. He is no longer on this earth. He was an example of what real Orthodoxy is all about. There exists such Orthodoxy. I don’t see much point in becoming an Orthodox from a Lutheran background or from a Baptist background or from any other background unless one desires that kind of Orthodoxy. His was an excellent Orthodoxy, a pure Orthodoxy. May God help us all to be truly Orthodox, after the example of so many saints who are depicted on the icons, and after the example of so many saints alive today.

“A Good Confession”

There was a brigade in Romania which was only for priests, bishops, pastors, rabbis, and laymen—whoever was in prison for his faith. One day a political officer came to inspect that brigade. Everybody stood at attention, and at random he called out a young man (whose name was Coceanga) and asked him, “What have you been in your civilian life?”

And he replied, “Sir, what I have been in my civilian life, I will be forever. I am a priest of God.”

“Aha, a priest! And do you still love Christ?”

The priest was silent for a few seconds—seconds as long as eternity, because he knew that his eternal destiny would be decided in those seconds. The Lord said, “Whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 10:32, 33).

And then after a little meditation, his face began to shine—I have seen so many shining faces—and with a very humble but very decided voice he said, “Captain, when I became a priest, I knew that during Church history thousands had been killed for their faith. And as often as I ascended to the altar dressed in those beautiful, ornate robes, surrounded by the respect and love of the congregation, I promised to God that if ever I had to suffer, if ever I wore the uniform of the prisoner, I would still love Christ.”

“Captain,” he went on to say, “I so pity you. We have the truth, and you have whips. We have love, and you have iron bars on prison cells. Violence and hatred is a very poor argument against truth and love. If you were to hang all the professors of mathematics, if all the mathematicians were hanged, how much would four plus four be then? It would still be eight. And eight plus eight would still be sixteen.

“You can’t change the truth by hanging those who speak the truth. If all the Christians were hanged, it would still remain so that there is a God, and He is love. And there is a Savior; His name is Jesus Christ, and by confessing Him a man can be saved. And there exists a Holy Spirit, and a host of angels around the earth. And there exists a beautiful paradise—you can’t change the truth.”

I wish there was a way to convey the tone with which he said those words. We, the others, were ashamed because we believed in Christ, we hoped in Christ, but this man loved Christ as Juliet loved Romeo and as the bride loves the bridegroom.

“An Undying Love”

When I was in jail I fell very, very ill. I had tuberculosis of the whole surface of both lungs, and four vertebrae were attacked by tuberculosis. I also had intestinal tuberculosis, diabetes, heart failure, jaundice, and other sicknesses I can’t even remember. I was near to death.

At my right hand was a priest by the name of Iscu. He was abbot of a monastery. This man, perhaps in his forties, had been so tortured he was near to death. But his face was serene. He spoke about his hope of heaven, about his love of Christ, about his faith. He radiated joy.

On my left side was the Communist torturer who had tortured this priest almost to death. He had been arrested by his own comrades. Don’t believe the newspapers when they say that the Communists only hate Christians or Jews—it’s not true. They simply hate. They hate everybody. They hate Jews, they hate Christians, they hate anti-Semites, they hate anti-Christians, they hate everybody. One Communist hates the other Communist. They quarrel among themselves, and when they quarrel one Communist with the other, they put the other one in jail and torture him just like a Christian, and they beat him.

And so it happened that the Communist torturer who had tortured this priest nearly to death had been tortured nearly to death by his comrades. And he was dying near me. His soul was in agony.

During the night he would awaken me, saying, “Pastor, please pray for me. I can’t die, I have committed such terrible crimes.”

Then I saw a miracle. I saw the agonized priest calling two other prisoners. And leaning on their shoulders, slowly, slowly he walked past my bed, sat on the bedside of this murderer, and caressed his head—I will never forget this gesture. I watched a murdered man caressing his murderer! That is love—he found a caress for him.

The priest said to the man, “You are young; you did not know what you were doing. I love you with all my heart.” But he did not just say the words. You can say “love,” and it’s just a word of four letters. But he really loved. “I love you with all my heart.”

Then he went on, “If I who am a sinner can love you so much, imagine Christ, who is Love Incarnate, how much He loves you! And all the Christians whom you have tortured, know that they forgive you, they love you, and Christ loves you. He wishes you to be saved much more than you wish to be saved. You wonder if your sins can be forgiven. He wishes to forgive your sins more than you wish your sins to be forgiven. He desires for you to be with Him in heaven much more than you wish to be in heaven with Him. He is Love. You only need to turn to Him and repent.”

In this prison cell in which there was no possibility of privacy, I overheard the confession of the murderer to the murdered. Life is more thrilling than a novel—no novelist has ever written such a thing. The murdered—near to death—received the confession of the murderer. The murdered gave absolution to his murderer.

They prayed together, embraced each other, and the priest went back to his bed. Both men died that same night. It was a Christmas Eve. But it was not a Christmas Eve in which we simply remembered that two thousand years ago Jesus was born in Bethlehem. It was a Christmas Eve during which Jesus was born in the heart of a Communist murderer.

These are things which I have seen with my own eyes.

Note: Pastor Richard Wurmbrand was the founder of Christian Missions to the Communist World, Middlebury, Indiana.

Article published in English on:  24-12-2012.

Last update:  24-12-2012.

Tom White Suicide-VOM Child Molestation Scandal Update

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;

http://www.worldofprophecy.com/smf/index.php/topic,10044.0/prev_next,prev.html#new

« on: May 15, 2011, 07:32:03 AM »


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=bWFpbl9tZW51 This 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 thevoice@vom-usa.org.  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.”

http://www.lighthousetrai…research.com/blog/?p=5235

Also….

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. 

http://www.persecution.com/

This is a snip from that statement:

“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].”