The Hypocrisy Burns: Voice of the Martyrs’ Tom White

While we’re most aware of the Catholic sex abuse cases, this sort of thing is not limited to Catholic religious leaders. There was of course the Ted Haggard scandal: Ted Haggard, then president of the National Association of Evangelicals, a rabid homophobe and anti-gay activist Ted Haggard had been seeing a gay prostitute for years. Then there is Bill Gothard, who has apparently sexually harassed dozens of girls and women ages 15 to 24 for decades even as he ran, and continues to run, the Institute for Basic Life Principles, which promises to create strong values and emphasizes the value of “sexual purity.”

And then there’s this just out: VOM’s executive director for the past twenty-five years, Tom White, has committed suicide. Why? Because he was in the middle of being investigated for sexually abusing a ten-year-old girl. The VOM statement on his death states “none of those in leadership at VOM, including our Board of Directors, were aware of these allegations at the time of Tom’s death.” No apology, just “not us!”

I grew up in a home where The Voice of the Martyrs was always prominently displayed for bathroom reading, and sometimes read aloud over breakfast. For a long time I wore VOM’s “BASIC” bracelet (Brothers And Sisters In Christ). I looked up to the organization, thought it was godly, thought it had good intentions and did good work. And then this. I’m feeling a bit disenchanted at the moment.

Now of course, this sort of thing is absolutely not limited to religious leaders or religious individuals. But these sorts of cases contain something more because of their blatant hypocrisy. Catholic priests sexually abuse children…while claiming to be God’s mediators on earth. Ted Haggard preached against gay rights and condemning homosexuality from his influential evangelical pulpit…while seeing a gay prostitute. Bill Gothard runs a ministry dedicated to raising “virtuous” and “pure” young people…while sexually harassing his own students in that ministry. Tom White ran a ministry dedicated to Christians persecuted for their faith across the world…while sexually abusing a ten-year-old girl. The hypocrisy burns.

  • Fina

    I’d also argue that religious institutions (especially the conservative ones) are more likely to cover up child abuse (or members being gay, but nobody gets hurt there).
    Of course, everyone (say, a law firm) can cover up such things due to being afraid of negative PR. But most institutions don’t have to be afraid of loosing claims of moral superiority, and admit that they are fallible.

    • karen

      Fina, it is not true that “nobody gets hurt” by gay clergy and other members in leadership positions. I was recently fired, without notice, from my church position due to gender discrimination by the gay men in power at this particular church. Apparently they just could not tolerate a woman having a position of influence. It was a cruel mother’s day gift for a single mom putting two kids thru college. There are also many reports of the straight, celibate clergy being discriminated against by the large group of gay clergy in our area. This is a pervasive problem and certainly not a victimless crime. As for VOM, I’ve been supporting them for years and I can only say that, like my church, the members and even the leadership may have issues….after all, we are humans, all imperfect….but the institution itself is still a good one, and need not be tarnished because of the personal actions of its members. I believe that all will work for good in the end.

      • http://N/A Brian Fall

        I like your spirit. How does it all of a sudden destroy an organization if one member messes up? I think that how the organization responds is important however. Sometimes a simple apology such as, ” If these allegations are indeed true, then we are very sorry to the victim, or victims of this violation.” Then you should move forward and seek to reach a lost world. I was in a church where the previous pastor had sexually violated a young lady staying at his home. She had been taken in because her mom had died of Hunington’s disease. Her father had been unable to provide for her and her siblings. This ” kind” pastor had taken her in. Well I guess he wasn’t so kind after all. Here’s my point. The church continued after he resigned and was divorced from his wife. Then the associate pastor took over to help clean up the wreckage. I was a product of a bible study that was taught to me while incarcerated. I came to this same church under new leadership and it changed my life. They could have just shut down the church, but they continued on and did the work of Christ, knowing that human beings will fail. One more point. One of the men that came and taught me a bible study in prison is now going to be going to prison possibly for molesting pre adolescent girls. He’s left wreckage in different part of the United States. It’s finally catching up with him. We live in a fallen world, but the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ hasn’t changed. Thank God there are many more that don’t do these types of things in the church. Does it not say in the New Testament that there would be wolves in the church that wouldn’t spare the flock?

      • Aaron

        Karen, participating in homosexual activities is a sin and so is your desire to preach and excercise authority over men. God has ordained that only men are to serve in positions of spiritual teaching authority in the church. This is not because men are necessarily better teachers, or because women are inferior or less intelligent (which is not the case). It is simply the way God designed the church to function. Men are to set the example in spiritual leadership—in their lives and through their words. Women are to take a less authoritative role. Women are encouraged to teach other women (Titus 2:3-5). The Bible also does not restrict women from teaching children. The only activity women are restricted from is teaching or having spiritual authority over men. This logically would preclude women from serving as pastors to men. This does not make women less important, by any means, but rather gives them a ministry focus more in agreement with God’s plan and His gifting of them.

  • http://jw-thoughts.blogspot.com JW

    I happened to see this on a discussion board that I frequent. Then I googled to find out what the buzz was about and I was in shock to see what happened here. What I find ironic is this guy was in a Cuban jail for spreading the gospel and helping the persecuted around the world but yet he was apparently doing something behind the scenes. It convicted him so much that he thought it better to commit suicide then to face the guilt and charges before him. His act of suicide shows that he is guilty. I used to get VOM every month. I get it every December now and I have a few shirts as well that I wear on a few occasions. I am wondering what will be the ramifications of this on VOM? I may use this as a topic to press some of the christians I talk to about the reality of this mess going on. It is really too easy to just say ‘Pray for the ministry’ which is a cry going up right now on the discussion board I go to frequently. I think more has to be done to root this stuff out.

    JW

    • jw

      After pondering what I said I wanted to share something extra. Why do you think that because Tom White supposedly committed suicide from what the article says that Voice of the Martyrs is not longer legitimate? In my view that is like throwing the baby out with the bathwater, an unfair assessment. I seriously doubt those people have who crossed paths with VOM in some form will say that VOM is no longer valid because of what happened. Most will be in shock but most will not say VOM is no longer a valid ministry. Richard Wurmbrand stated this thing-shall we accuse him as well and start pointing fingers at everyone? Or maybe every man and think he may be a child molester? It is an easy thing to do especially in a ministry but how fair is it?

      • http://patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism Libby Anne

        Nothing in this article addressed whether or not Voice of the Martyrs is “legitimate” or not. I of course am in favor of freedom of belief for everyone, and do condemn the persecution of anyone for their faith. Though I absolutely know that Christians do undergo persecution in other countries (along with lots of other religious groups and nonreligious individuals as well), I personally suspect that Voice of the Martyrs doctors many of its stories and anecdotes to make them more moving, but I don’t have evidence on that and haven’t researched it, so it’s just a suspicion, nothing more. The point I was making here is the blatant hypocrisy of a the head of a major Christian group like VOM doing what he did. It does make me lose some respect for the organization, that supposedly “godly” people in top positions of leadership could fall so easily. I guess it’s disillusioning. But that isn’t the same as saying the entire organization os “not legitimate” or something. Maybe someday I’ll do some more research on VOM, but I don’t have time at the moment.

      • rick deacon

        You can never root all this stuff out of the church. People are people who still sin, although the body of Christ could do a better job of informing people of the dangers that are always lurking in the back of our minds. I believe Tom White was a Christian, but fell into sin ,maybe by not prayng and being in fellowship with God as close as he should have been. Or maybe he got got up in all the work it takes in the position he was in that made him drift from God and got inticed by his own desires and lusts and entertained them instead of seeking God and others for help. God has warned us about abiding in him especially since the devil goes about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. I am not excusing Tom’s actions. I just remember my being enticed with lust for a young girl and it took all my strength and fleeing from it, which is what the bible tells us to do. Only God knows the whole story and my prayers go out too his family and the girl and her family.

    • brian holcomb

      Did not Jesus say He who is without sin let him cast the first stone. We must ask ourselves what drives a man who call on the name of Jesus to do such a thing. Jesus warned us not to judge lest you be judged the same. How do you think you would stand if you faced the deadly demons he had to face. Satan wanted to destroy this man because of the war he waged against his kingdom. I’m making no excuses for what he might have done. This is between him and our Lord Jesus Christ. Our job is to carry on the fight. Keeping our eyes on Christ so this doesn’t happen to us.

      • MadGastronomer

        Did he also not tell people to protect and care for children?
        And, y’know, not all of us are Christian, and therefor we don’t really care what he said to do. Not my demigod.

      • rita

        Amen Brian.. My Bible also says that the enemy is out to deceive the very elect if possible…It is so sad that Tom was deceived into Satans snares of lust and temptation..It is heartbreaking but this is an incredible ministry(VOM) and I will continue to support them and pray for the families of the vicitms

      • Paula G V aka Yukimi

        I can’t believe there’re adults out there who believe child predators are outstanding citizens who were just affected by Satan and would otherwise have never done that… and that any normal person would attack a child when this fictional Satan influenced them. It’s just delusional. Would you grow up and do the right thing condemning people who commit abuse and people who cover it once and for all?

      • Stephen

        He did indeed say that “he who is without sin, cast the first stone” and “at whatever point you judge a man, so shall you be judged!” The man wasn’t even found guilty, from what I’ve read, these are still “allegations”, am I correct? And yet “christians” are the first to judge? I suggest that you get the LOG out of your eye first, and then remove the SPECK from his!

  • http://cfiottawa.com Eamon Knight

    Bill Gothard was a bad boy, too? I recall in the early 80′s, his younger brother getting caught having affairs with ministry employees, but I didn’t know it ran in the family. When I was in my teens, some of the clergy in my denominational association (though as Church of Christ, they would have rejected the label “denomination”) were big fans of Gothard. I always found his ideas horribly creepy — “God’s Chain of Command”, WTF? May as well cancel the Reformation and re-join the RCC — so I’ll confess to a certain schadenfreude whenever this kind of dirt comes to light. It’s obvious to me that sexual exploitation is enabled by the authoritarianism, and the unidirectional flow accountability.

    • Dani

      It’s really sad when slander is passed around without being substantiated. No, Bill Gothard was never involved in a sex scandal. There’s no evidence of it and there’s never been an accusation of it. Whether or not a person agrees with a religious orientation, sexual orientation, or the views of an organizational leader, it seems pretty disgusting to feel “schadenfreude” whenever one hears that sexual abuse or scandal has taken place. Yikes. I SO totally agree with you that there needs to be accountability in these types of organizations though. Some of them are great at it, some seem to disregard it altogether. Man, it’s so sad.

      • Rich

        No accusation of it?
        http://www.recoveringgrace.org/2012/04/exploited-innocence/
        I emailed HQ asking if this were true, as did Recoveringgrace.org more than ten days ago. Chirp. Chirp. Gothard always had his favorites, and they skewed young, blonde and cute. Too bad the rest of us at HQ didnt bother asking why.
        Rich

      • Ray

        Actually. He was required to step down by his Board of Directors (who are established as the governing “authority” of every organization) because he had been accused of touching a young girl inappropriately in his private office. I grew up in his program and have many girl friends who worked for and with the institute who experienced inappropriate touches gazes and conversations when Gothard would position himself to be alone with them! The man is a manipulative pig and misrepresents God at every turn!

  • smrnda

    I actually think that Christian sexual ethics – which are based on purity rather than consent, are really to blame. When I read lists of ‘sexual sin’ that include say, ‘masturbation, homosexuality and rape’ I get really bothered since most sensible people would know that it’s really inaccurate and insensitive to put those together on a list as if they were equivalent – I mean, the first two being moral issues is a joke, the third is one of the most terrible things you can do. Most people are horrified at sexual abuse and rape and power and oppression – the whole ‘purity thing’ doesn’t seem to single out sexual abuse and assault as special categories worthy of special disdain. The whole ‘sexual sin is sexual sin’ trivializes real wrong sexual behaviors.

    The other thing is that when leaders fall, they never take any blame for hurting the victims – it’s all ‘I let God down” or “I let the ministry down” and then it’s “everybody’s a sinner so don’t pretend I’m worse than you” way to silence victims and make them feel guilty for saying they were wronged or speaking up, or a justification; you cry some crocodile tears, utter the magic words and all’s forgiven, and the victims are forgotten and told that if they don’t snap out of it they’re ingrates.

    What a terrible system. Are you aware of the stop Baptist predators site? It seems like those churches have a huge problem mostly since each church is autonomous – there isn’t really any higher organization they are accountable to, so a lot can be done and avoid publicity. I’ve even heard about a horrible residential facility run by Baptists for girls who have been abused in Indiana (Hephzibah (sp?) house) where they basically just blame the victim.

    I just think that if you base your sexual ethics on consent, then child sex abuse is a uniquely horrible thing. If it’s ‘purity’ it goes on the same list that every triviality goes on.

    • AnotherOne

      Well said, smrnda. I completely agree.

    • ScottInOH

      That is very well put, smrnda–conservative Christian sexual ethics are based on “purity,” rather than consent. Exactly, and all the implications you list follow from that.

  • Graeme Waller

    Whatever the sins, imperfections and hypocrisy of some churches and organizations, whatever the lack of accountability for real crimes, the fact remains that God exists, that Adam’s sin separated humankind from God, that we are all sinners before Him and that He sent his only Son Jesus Christ (God manifest as a human being) to die on the cross to provide a perfect sacrifice for Adam’s sin and for the individual sins of each of us. He is the way, the truth and the life a provides a way for humankind to no longer be separated from God.

    The facts remain that in many countries in the world people are dying or being imprisoned for their Christian faith, as well as people of other minority faiths (for example the Bahai in Iran, Hindus in Pakistan, Muslims in India etc. etc.). Whether a theist, a deist or an atheist, people should be able to believe whatsoever they want and gather freely to express it. As I write a woman in Pakistan (Asia Bibi) and a man in Iran (Youcef Nadarkhani) are in prison facing the death sentence for their Christian faith.

    If we look to a human being or organization and follow and rely on them and never develop a relationship with God through Jesus Christ we will ALWAYS be disappointed, crushed, let down, etc. when their flaws, often not trivial sad to say, are revealed. Those who want to say ‘I told you so; it is all a lie’ will have ample opportunity.

    As regards the Tom White case, at least have the decency to wait until the ALLEGATIONS are confirmed before making a judgment about him or VOM.

    • Kate Dentel

      Well said, Graeme! Thank you! “Let God be true, and every man a liar.” The more evil we see in the world, the more the truth of the Gospel becomes evident. Whether the allegations are true or it’s a set-up (possible but not probable), the situation is terrible. We would do well to pray for both families, the Whites and that of the alleged victim, to reserve judgment until such things are proved, and not hold an entire organization culpable for the alleged crime which he would have taken great pains to conceal from everyone. Too, without standards, there is no hypocrisy, but that is no reason to throw standards away.

      • http://cfiottawa.com Eamon Knight

        The more evil we see in the world, the more the truth of the Gospel becomes evident.

        Funny, I would have thought exactly the opposite (look up “Problem of Evil”).

      • Rosa

        You’d do better to make sure that any organization or church you belong to has good preventative and responsive policies in place to stop these abuses. That victims and whistleblowers aren’t silenced. That people are trained in best behaviors and also how to look for warning signs.

        Prayers can’t hurt but reform does more good, both for the people in the organization and, if you’re a supporter, for the organization itself.

    • http://phoenixandolivebranch.wordpress.com Sierra

      Interesting how these sorts of defenses are always made for the guys on top. Don’t you think Jesus would first be concerned about caring for the victims? When did he ever rush to the defense of the Pharisees? I seem to recall Jesus being the one to actually EXPOSE their hypocrisy.

      Belief in men who can do no wrong is idolatry. Belief that we are all the same as rapists and abusers is taking the side of rape and abuse.

      As for the whole “world growing more evil thing,” it’s not cool to fetishize other people’s suffering. I believe this is called “rejoicing in iniquity.”

    • Mary Lou Harden

      You’re absolutely right. We don’t know — may never know — all the circumstances. Let’s just make sure that WE do the right thing. God is the judge of all mankind and none of us can claim perfection but we do accept the righteousness of God through His son Jesus.

      • MadGastronomer

        And the right thing to do is to believe and protect victims.

  • Skjaere

    My mother signed me up to receive Voices of Martyrs materials a few years back, and I cannot figure out how to cancel them!

    • Chosen to speak

      Why would you need to cancel? Did VOM do something wrong?

      • http://patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism Libby Anne

        Skjaere said her mother signed her up without her okay. She doesn’t want to be signed up, and never has wanted to be signed up.

  • MatthewS

    wow, all those cases really do burn (and I’ve been burned personally by other issues related to Gothard’s ministry).

    The story about VOM is new to me and extremely disappointing. I read their stories occasionally, not often. I will say I do appreciate what they do – they are drawing attention to the plight of people who are being imprisoned and tortured for religious reasons. The people and the injustices are real. For example, regardless of whether VOM existed or not, I would think both of these cases are human rights violations that deserve condemnation: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/03/berlin-summons-iran-diplo_0_n_1318331.html and http://articles.cnn.com/2010-04-09/world/yemen.child.bride.death_1_yemeni-marriage-child-brides?_s=PM:WORLD

    Maybe a difference I see between the VOM case and the other cases is that the leader in the other cases almost seems to have been creating a subculture where their hidden hypocrisy can thrive even as they decry the same thing in others. It seems to me from what information is in front of us that VOM was not doing that. If they had reason to suspect this was going on and they covered it up, then they have culpability. But if the executive director of an organization privately fails (think hypothetically, God forbid, if the same thing were to happen to an executive at patheos, the Red Cross, or Big Brothers and Big Sisters), outside the knowledge and ethics of his organization, then I’m not upset at the people in the organization. In fact, I feel for them. They must be devastated.

  • Jillian

    Such an awful story. Truly awful. I will say I’ve had family members who have worked, traveled, and written on behalf of VOM, and can tell you they don’t need to “fluff” any emotional details. They face horrors day in and day out. As I read more about this, I’m truly saddened for the organization, as now they must face a whole knew kind of horror within their own ministry. Shocking.

  • Madelyn

    I am truelly saddened in my heart to read about the death of Tom White, especially the way it happened. But those of you who have no sin, throw the first stone! How sick that people so quickly jump to conclusions, WHO SAYS THAT THIS IS TRUE??????? It might just as well be a big lie and Tom might have had already so much on his shoulders that he couldn’t face this false accusation. For those of you who have written negative things about him, how would you have felt “beign innocent”, if you were accused falsely of something like this. Be careful those who judge, as the same measure you judge, you will be judged….. The investigations might show that he is totally innocent, and even if not, I believe it is for NO ONE to go and sit in the judgement seat. As far as I know, God is the ONLY ONE that has that right, not humans…. I am more saddened about the responses of some and this sickening article than hearing about a brother that “might have fallen”….. Do not rejoice with evil but with good…….. It almost look like you are enjoying gossip and slander, just remember, NO GOSSIPERS OR SLANDERERS will enter the Kingdom of God……be careful!!!

    • Blue Camas

      How ’bout rapists? Do rapists get to enter the Kingdom of God HMMMMMMM? Enquiring minds wanna know!

    • Sa

      Thank you, Madelyn. It makes me so angry that everyone assumes someone is guilty, just because a child accused the. He might be, he might not be. But we should stop talking as if this man has been tried and convicted.

    • Victoria

      Thank you Madelyn for posting this. I was surprised that no one else posted it. Just because he was being investigated does not mean it is true. I have a good friend in my church who was falsely accused and jailed for child molestation because the mother of the child was angry with him about some financial disagreement. Thankfully, the truth finally did come out, and he was never convicted. I know of teachers who have been falsely accused because their students were mad at them. Even if the teachers are able to disprove the charges, they are often never able to find a teaching job again. Both Christian ethics and our justice system say, “Innocent until proven guilty.” However, in our culture the easiest way to injure someone’s reputation and discredit their church or organization is to accuse them of a sexual sin.

  • Dorothy

    I agree, Jillian. So tragic for White’s family, co-workers in the ministry, and for the little girl and her family. All of us who call ourselves Christians must “walk carefully, for our enemy the devil walks about seeking whom he may devour.” Sin is so deceptive! Instead of casting stones we ought to pray for all affected by these tragedies.

    • Blue Camas

      Unfortunately, that attitude in Christian churches devolves into victim blaming. By conflating sexual assaults with sexual ‘sins’ of a consensual nature, it is all to easy for faithful people to let perpetrators walk free, and blame victims for their assaults. Christians really need to rethink their attitudes and think about how to help victims, and how to deal with predators in their midst. And there will be predators – take a look at the statistics of molestation and rape – something like one in 4 girls, and one in 6 boys, have been assaulted at least once sexually by the time they are 18.

  • http://ginambakkun.blogspot.com Gina

    I am saddened for White’s family, VOM, and the family of the young girl, who were expecting a fair trial and justice.

    However, I hold to the belief that all are innocent until proven guilty. I don’t agree with the assumption that his suicide necessarily means he was guilty, although it could mean that; we may never know his guilt or innocence. It is entirely possible that an innocent person, when faced with being charged with something as awful as child molestation, could be compelled to take their own life. They may not want to see their reputation, work, organizations, and families tarnished. His suicide doesn’t prove his guilt or innocence, although it is shocking that a man who stood up to persecution in Cuba did not have the strength to accept the charges and face the trial with humility and love for the plaintiffs.

  • SAVEDBYGRACE

    oh. .BUT WHO ARE WE TO JUDGE????!!! JUDGE NOT, SO YE BE JUDGE. ONE CAN REASON WITH MEN’S SINFUL HEART. BUT IS IS GOD THE ULTIMATE JUDGE. ONE MUST PRAY SO NOT TO FALL INTO THE SAME SIN AND GO TO HELL TO BE WITH THE DEVIL AND HIS DEMONS.. LET THE ALMIGHTY HAVE MERCY ON EVERY JUDGING PERSON OUT THERE AND NOT BE CAST OUT INTO HELL. WE ALL NEED GRACE TO LIVE THIS LIFE NO MATTER WHO WE ARE.. TITLE OR NO TITLE!! JESUS IS THE ONLY WHO KNOWS THE HEARTS, AND WEAKNESSES. HE IS THE ULTIMATE JUDGE, NOT MERE HUMANS LIKE US.. WHO ARE ALSO WEAK WITHOUT HIM

    • http://phoenixandolivebranch.wordpress.com Sierra

      If the allegations are proven true, the only people who will care about the “heart” of a rapist are rape apologists.

      • John Cone

        The county I live in has a sex offender registry that seems to be growing faster than the unemployment roles, but your reply brings up a good point for Christians such as myself – how often do we pray for these names we see listed in the newspaper and on the registries? Time to get serious about praying that human lives our Saviour died for will experience at least His forgiveness and have some purpose before they die. The use of the word “hypocrisy” in this discussion is not a positive reflection on the user thereof – anyone who does not recognize the power that Satan has to deceive and destroy the earthly lives and careers of their greatest hero (even if that is themselves) is playing a game I have no desire to participate in.

    • Contrarian
      • Mattie Chatham

        +1 interwebs points

  • smrnda

    I used to think ‘judge not, lest ye be judged’ was about humility, but seeing how it’s applied it’s basically just a quick way of saying ‘get off my back.’

    And Madelyn, this isn’t about a brother who ‘might have fallen.’ Is that how Christians think of sex abuse ? I thought the possibility was that a child was victimized by an adult in a position of authority. This is exactly my problem with how the church handles child sex abuse – it’s never framed as a child that might be victimized, it’s like the victim doesn’t even exist. A ‘brother might have fallen’ is the guy might have bought a lotto ticket. Please. let’s not use euphemisms to trivialize possible sex crimes.

    How far do you want to take the ‘only God should judge’ philosophy? Should we disband our entire legal system and have no police, no prisons?

    Nobody is ‘enjoying’ gossip and slander here, they’re just reporting events, and it isn’t like there aren’t massive amounts of convicted child sex offenders among leaders in ministry to prove that it happens. It’s a tragedy and it just seems that the structure of religious organizations doesn’t have the same level of accountability that is seen elsewhere.

  • Michael Stubbs

    The Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches recently reported there are around 600,000 clergy serving in churches around the United States. There are not “massive amounts of sex offenders” among them. What have you heard of? 25? 50? 100? I would say there are far less percentage-wise than in other professions or among the unemployed. Another point is that these allegations have not been proven and we don’t know if they are true or just a dark attempt to setup and destroy the ministry of VOM. His suicide proves nothing. I will allow the court of law decide what is true and what is not. I would give you the same courtesy. Judge not or you will be judged was not written for no reason. Maybe it could read, “Don’t judge or you will be given something to be judged for.” It is foolish to judge someone without the facts. My experience is that truth crushed to the ground always rises again. May truth prevail no matter the outcome.

  • Blue Camas

    SIGH. Michael, Michael, Michael. Have you NOT been paying attention?

    A. Our legal system does not put dead people on trial. So, White will never be tried in a court of law.
    B. There are websites and organizations out there dedicated to exposing and fighting abuse by clergy, like SNAP and Stop Baptist Predators. Just cuz you don’t hear about it does not mean it does not exist.
    C. I hate to break it to ya, but religious organizations are no more immune to drawing sexual predators than secular ones. Indeed, religious organizations (be the churches, religious schools etc) are at greater risk because it seems all too often they have no policies to screen employees and volunteers much less have good policies to deal handle situations. They all to often cover up for abusers. All they’d have to do is make sure things were reported to law enforcement and let the legal system sort it out. But, the Catholic Church, Mormon church, JW and others all to often prefer to protect the institution and discourage victims from going to the police. And, sadly, all to often engage in victim blaming. There is even a bizarre theology in some churches about a ‘strange woman’ spirit – that some girls and women are afflicted with a ‘strange woman’ spirit & therefore CAUSED a man to molest or attack her. WOW the ultimate in victim blaming, with a theological excuse tacked on. Awful.
    D. So nice ya wanna pray for predators. Be nice if you could pray for victims as well. Victims often have a long hard road of months, years, a life time to recover from abuse and reclaim their lives as whole human beings again. While some predators can get better with therapy, many do not. So, pray but beware – predators must be watched and not left in situations where they may offend again.

  • Eugene

    Iam schoked. Both by Toms death and by this terribly uninformed post.
    If your post is true, then we can also assume that everything Jesus was ACCUSED of was true, and make conclusions based on the accusations and act upon them. All those accusations were a staged circus! Are you part of that crowd?

    • smrnda

      As for accusations, the only thing Jesus was accused of (as in a crime) was that he was accused of claiming to be the Son of God and the equal of God. So what he was accused of, by the theology of the New Testament, true. His accusers were accusing him of falsely claiming these things.

      I don’t recall anywhere where Jesus was accused of anything else, except violating certain Jewish purity laws, and when accused of that he basically admitted it, but said the laws were no longer valid. (The “my father works’ line about healing on the Sabbath for example.)

      I don’t recall anyone accusing him of any actual crimes.

      • John_C

        And yet the charges the was accused of were worthy of death. I knew Tom White for a long time and there was never any indication of impropriety. As a ministry VOM does thorough background checks on all it’s people. And submits itself to an independent board of directors from outside the ministry.

        I can see even if innocent why Tom might have taken his life. Simply being accused in this country automaticly makes one guilty in peoples eyes. He might not of wanted to drag his family through that

      • Scott

        He was accused of being the bastard son on a promiscuous teenage girl…which was of course untrue

  • Not much grace here

    I find it quite sad that you assume Tom was guilty. Allegations and investigations do not equal guilt. Even suicide in the wake of the aforementioned two don’t equal guilt.

    Beyond that, recall, there but for the grace of God go I.

      1 Corinthians 10:12   Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.

    I truly hope none of you are never accused.

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  • Steven

    “Whoever has not sinned, cast the first stone.”
    Why do we always rip on people who fall into sin and call it hypocrisy? Do we not live in a broken world. I think post like this are full of arrogance. Calling someone a hypocrite is not right and you need to look in the mirror.
    If you cannot admit that we are all capable of ANYTHING, then something is wrong with you and I would be extremely careful in your life. Because some day you might be humbled. We can’t always think, well that would never happen to me or I would never do that. I am sure that Tom White thought that too. I am a minister and watch ministers fall all the time but it gets publicized so much because these are ministers. I see sin and darkness like this everyday, from people in the church and out. We are BROKEN. Instead of calling people hypocritess, why don’t you go out and love on broken people.

    • Steven

      also this man has done more for hurting people than you can ever imagine.

      • Blue Camas

        WOW. Way to completely misunderstand, Steven. You are lumping all “sins” as the same thing. So being caught in a consensual affair is the same as rape and molestation. WRONG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That is like saying taking a swing at a guy in a barfight is the same as premeditated murder. NO NO NO!! Brutally assaulting another human being is far, far, graver than doing something foolish or stupid (or in the case of an affair, causing emotional pain to one’s spouse and children). This is one of the things that drives me crazy about allegedly conservative evanglicals – they like to conflate all ‘sins’ from swearing to murder as all just ‘sins’, as though they are all the same. Sorry, but some things have far nastier consequences than others. I’ll tell ya Steven, I am quite likely to say naughty 4 letter words in a temper fit, but I sure ain’t never gonna rape or molest anyone. And anyone who does have that urge needs to get themselves professional medical help. And no, I don’t mean just talking to Pastor JimJoeBillyBob he has ‘urges’. I mean real medical help from someone with a serious professional degree a la MD. MMKay? Te entiendes mas mejor ahora?

      • ScottInOH

        (1) People call this sort of thing hypocrisy because that’s exactly what it is. Religious leaders who excoriate (rather than forgive) people who “fall into sin” (even if that “sin” is something like being naturally attracted to someone of the same sex) while doing the same thing or worse are hypocrites. And dangerous ones, at that, since they have influence over their flocks.

        (2) I can’t get over how many apologists are worried and praying about someone whose name might be slandered BUT NOT ABOUT THE 10-YEAR-OLD WHO MIGHT HAVE BEEN RAPED. Or the children throughout the Catholic Church who WERE raped. That is really, really horrifying.

  • Mattie Chatham

    The sheer insensitivity to victims of rape, sexual harassment, and molestation among the commenters here is astounding.

    I agree that Christians are obligated to have compassion on repentant sex offenders and to work with them to restore them to communion.

    But please care about their victims FIRST.

  • A

    Sorr for my bad English. I traveled more than 10 countries with Tom and I can assure that all stories are true. YES it was a mistake to take his own life, but it will never destroy the work he has done for VOM.

    • http://spiritualabusesanctuary@wordpress.com Scarlett

      Hello A says,
      Since Tom White committed suicide, the child who he sexually molested was the only remaining witness to what actually happened during this molestation. Many are claiming Tom White could never do such a thing and are denying he was capable of such a crime. So, if you know something about the character of Tom White during your travels with him, the right and moral thing to do, and for the benefit of the little girl, you are obligated in the eyes of God and of the law to tell what you know. PLEASE! This is very important. This little girl who was molested desparately needs someone to believe her side of the story.
      All you have to do is contact the proper authorities in law enforcement. You can even do so anonymously. Your information may be what’s needed to help settle this matter. If you don’t live in the United States, you can still send an email to the email address below. And I urge you to do this right away. It’s very important.
      This is the website of the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.
      http://www.ok.gov/triton/contact.php?ac=168&id=144
      God bless you for helping

  • Dena

    First, remember that he was under investigation – not having been tried and found guilty by a jury of his peers. (Not saying he was or was not guilty.) Second, why and to whom should VOM be apologizing? Did the molestation he was under investigation for occur at a VOM property or at VOM sponsored event? I didn’t read the board’s statement as they saying “not us” but trying to word a statement regarding something they had no knowledge of.

    • Paula G V aka Yukimi

      I’m not saying that thye know or not but how are you so sure they don’t know at least about the acusations? It is highly unlikely that the police hadn’t contacted friends and the people he worked with to question them. Also, and I’m not saying it was like this, are you sure he didn’t get access to the girl because of his work at VOM?

      The fact that it seems (not 100% sure) every newcomer to the forum has come to support the supposed abuser and no one has said nothing about the victim is pretty sick.

  • smrnda

    My comment about massive amounts is from stories I’ve read, plus the fact that religious institutions lag far behind secular ones in taking proper precautions to protect children and screen adults who work with kids. On numbers, I don’t have them offhand but there’s the problem of a structure that doesn’t really provide children with protection. The main issue is in how organizations deal with accusations and screen the people who work with kids. It’s clear religious organizations do very little.

    As for anyone being capable of anything, i did a great deal of research on the psychology of sex offenders for several years. Some people are more predisposed to things like that; attitudes about sexuality and gender play a role, but sexual predators are not people with impulse control issues. They plan their crimes deliberately, are highly manipulative and know how to exploit other people’s capacity for trust and are great at presenting a good image to the world so that they’ll escape detection. And if they get caught, they always try to present what they did as a lapse of judgment, not something that they consciously and carefully planned to do to avoid detection. The usual attitude towards ‘sexual sin’ amongst Christians seems to conflate everything to a self-control issue. Read the real research – sexual predators do not have impulse control issues. They have a problem with enjoying power, control and domination of others.

    And for broken people, when you put ‘rape’ on a list of ‘sexual sins’ that includes stuff like masturbation, you are hurting rape victims. Victims are hurt people too.

  • William James

    Who am I to judge, there but for the grace of God, go I.

    • http://patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism Libby Anne

      See, this is the logic I have a problem with. It’s simply NOT TRUE. I’m not going to sexually abuse children because I believe doing so is morally wrong – and besides that I have no desire of any sort to do so. I’m not holding off some inner pedophile “by the grace of God.” Saying things like the statement you just made normalize the abusive actions and make it seem like it’s something anyone could do at any time, thus trivializing it. They also get the perpetrator off the hook. I mean what, did he suddenly wake up one day and the “grace of God” was gone so he started abusing children? Sorry, but no. Just no.

      • William James

        Libby, if you would permit me to reply … By “there but for the grace of God go I,” I do not intend to suggest that I have any inner secret desire to abuse children. Such activity is reprehensible, and must be punished by the full extent of the law. Jesus Himself said, “ts is better that a millstone be hung around one’s neck and be cast into the sea, than to cause a little one to stumble.” So I’m not suggesting in the least that this gets anyone off the hook. What I mean to say is that apart from God’s restraining grace, ANY human being is capable of ANY evil. The only reason you or I are not pedophiles or murderers has NOTHING to do with our sense of morality, but with God’s grace. Now you may not see it that way, but that does not in any way make it untrue. Case in point … Apart from God’s restraining grace, humankind executed the greatest evil to EVER have been done – the crucifixion of the Son of God. So much for man’s inherrant moral goodness.

      • http://patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism Libby Anne

        But doesn’t that make wrongdoing God’s fault? If he’s going around restraining or not restraining as he chooses, then how can humans be to blame for how they act? That makes no sense. What about free will? What you’re saying completely negates the idea that humans have free will.

        And just as an fyi, I’m an atheist. So the idea that I’m not a pedophile or a murderer because of “God’s grace” sounds ludicrous to me. I’m not a pedophile or a murderer because I do not sexually molest kids or murder people. Why do I not do these things? Because first, I have no desire to do so, and second, even if I did, I believe that these things are, according to the Humanist code of ethics I ascribe to, morally wrong.

  • William James

    Its sad for me to see the affect that the false gospel taught by modern evangelicalism has had on so many, tossing people into a storm of legalism, moralism, and hypocrisy. Thankfully I was delivered by God’s grace! The truth – Jesus Christ – has set me free, so that I might live in the freedom of forgiveness and grace! There is no need to deny God or suppose there is no truth in God’s Word, merely because of a population and culture that has misused and abused it to serve their own ends. Had brother Tom understood the grace of God, he would not have taken his life – he would have seen that God is more interested in the messenger than the message. Tom was more important to God than VOM. And shame on any organization for being more concerned with their own reputation than with any single individual within.

    • smrnda

      As far as what makes people capable of doing things, I prefer more evidence based fields like psychology and sociology and economics and to some extent biology, rather than platitudes from a dusty old book. You can claim that everybody would kill everyone in sight if it wasn’t for God somehow deliberately restraining them, but to me that’s an unverifiable and unfalsifiable assertion. I’m sure you believe it 100%, but I don’t see the evidence. I mean, in couples, the male partner is way more likely to abuse and infant that isn’t his – I’d say that’s demonstrating a strong biological component to immoral behavior.

      As for warped teachings, the standard evangelical ‘all sin is an equal abomination to God’ trivializes really seriously bad actions like rape, child sex abuse by conflating them with things like ‘eating the last cookie without asking if anyone hadn’t had one yet.’ It would be like someone saying that getting stuck working overtime one day was ‘slavery.’ Plus, by looking at morality only from the idea of ‘the individual offending God by breaking God’s law’ the victims are forgotten – ‘everybody is a sinner’ puts the victim and perpetrator on the same level and ends up being a way to just avoid responsibility and accountability.

      As for people being good or bad, it’s clearly a product of environment and incentive systems. If it was all God’s grace, then why does the much more Christian US have more crime than say, a largely areligious Scandinavia? Is God choosing to bless the people who don’t believe in him with incredible moral restraint? Wouldn’t God realize that this is going to make people doubt rather than believe? Plus, if a personal relationship with God through Jesus is possible, with all this actual power from God why are people doing no better than if they’d just chosen to follow a human moral teacher? I know you’ll say that they either don’t understand grace, don’t really have a real relationship, but those all seem like ways of making the whole idea unfalsifiable.

      • William James

        People have many questions concerning God and His manners and activitities in the affairs of men, but ultimately He stops all mouths when He says in Romans chapter 9:20-22:

        “Who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, “Why did you make me like this,” will it? Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use?”

        If He should so choose to turn over a an apostate “Christian USA” to moral decadence, while blessing an areligious nation with moral restrain – that is His preogative to do so. And such activity is not without example in the Old Testament, where God blessed many Gentile nations while passing over his own hypocritical people.

        Now I realize you are atheists and humanists, so these words from a “dusty old book” mean little to you. And I am not denying that you pose good questions. But your questions do not exclude the idea of a sovereign God who created and orders the universe as He wills. And perhaps I am being foolish, but I tend to prefer “dusty old books” that have withstood the test of time to modern ones which express ideas that change with the wind. And if I ever need any proof of God’s existance, I need look no further than the empty tomb of Jesus Christ.

      • http://cfiottawa.com Eamon Knight

        @William James: IOW, your god’s activities are indistinguishable from those of a non-existent god — thus Ockham’s Razor tells us which hypothesis to accept. And your “dusty old book” has “stood the test of time” only in the sense that a powerful institution has existed to keep teaching and publishing it, despite the fact that when checked against independent evidence, a pretty high fraction of everything found therein turns out to be crap.

      • http://cfiottawa.com Eamon Knight

        BTW (and this is more a reply to smrnda, who actually wants to learn new things, than to William who, it appears, does not), I’m almost finished Pinker’s The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined, in which he spends 600 pages exploring the historical decline of violence (contrary to the alarmists, we are living at the safest, most peaceable time in all our species’ existence), and examining the causes thereof, over exactly the fields you ask for, from the social to the neurological. Highly recommended

  • shadowspring

    I didn’t see this earlier or I would’ve commented.

    VOM, formerly known as Christian Mission to the Communist World, was founded by Richard Wurmbrand, a Romanian (I think, maybe another Eastern Eurpoean country?) pastor. Richard was the real deal, a man who offered compassion and kindess to all comers, without attempts to convert or excuse.

    He and his wife hid Jews from the Nazis, then later hid Nazi soldiers escaping Stalin’s troops. Pretty much, he gave shelter to people whose lives were in danger, without asking anything in return. When the communists took over, he wound up in prison, as he refused to tone down his religion and ran an underground church, offering aid to those who had family members in prison and trying to smuggle aid to the prisoners of conscience he was able to reach inside the prisons.

    He was sentenced to ten years, and upon his release, went back to his former activities and was promptly arrested again. A group of Christians from Finland secured his release with a large bribe to (I’m pretty sure it was Romania). He was a sincere, unassuming man.

    I went to church with Tom White, but even then he was celebrity and I was nobody. He was arrested after crash-landing in Cuba in the late 60s? early 70s? and was returned as part of a prisoner exchange. I think being been imprisoned in a Communist prison himself is why Richard Wurmbrand asked Tom White to open up a US branch of his mission. It was not initially an American undertaking.

    I used to volunteer there for a short period of time, right before the name transition. The end of the Cold War in the 80s meant the need for a new name, even though most of the work they do assisting persecuted religious workers still fits the original name: the only undertake for Christians, and that still largely in the Communist world, though they also help Christians living under non-Christian theocracies.

    All mentioned to say this: the organization was not founded (unlike ATI, BJU etc.) to create greater fundamentalist control over others, but to provide food, clothing, protection, medical care and encouragement to people suffering under totalitarian governments for their (Christian) faith. I support anyone who is doing actual good in the world, as I know VOM has done in the past, regardless of bad conduct undertaken by people in leadership in the organization.

    I haven’t contributed to VOM since Pastor Wurmbrand’s death, for personal reasons. I rarely contribute to overtly religious organizations anymore, choosing to fund more practical relief efforts myself. But overall, providing medical care, for example, to young ladies in Pakistan who have acid thrown on their face because they didn’t want to marry into a Muslim household, remains a worthwhile endeavor, and on that count I wish VOM continued success.

    I am saddened to read of the allegations and the suicide. It’s a messed up world we all inhabit.

    • Laura

      Thank you for your input, I appreciated hearing your perspective.

  • Think before you act

    I cannot believe the amount of comments potentially defending a sex offender.

    I wonder if you would be so quick to jump on the band wagon to defend him, or any other accused of rape, were it your family member.

    I doubt an innocent man would have killed himself. A man with a dirty conscience may very well kill himself. But not one with nothing to hide. It seems like Christianity (along with other religions) is turning into a giant sex predator play ground.
    I used to be a devout Catholic, but saw things that truly don’t belong in religion. I have been an Atheist for many years now, and find it hilarious that Theists can say people with no religion have no moral compass. Shame on you. Look at your “Leaders” and “Shepherds” they are disgracing your faith. Things have to change. Don’t hide them behind religion just because you think they are meant to be “Holy” or “Fathers” they are just humans, just like every ever last one of us. No better or worse… unless they prove otherwise.

    • Jacob

      I am sorry for your experience. I really am. I am in agreement that you should not defend the mans actions. But please with this, think about the other people in the organization that have stood as a pillar of faith to the faithless and to those people who have truly embodied Christ in their dealings. Not everyone is a “Sex Offender”, there are people who love Christ and truly value the words of the Bible. Hope this helps.

      • Rosa

        If people belong to an organization that they feel is good and supportable, shouldn’t they be the first to do something about this kind of abuse, so the abuser doesn’t tarnish the reputation of the organization?

        I mean, aside from it being the right thing to do, shouldn’t those people be the first working to prevent or punish this behavior, instead of covering it up?

    • Crys

      I can tell you from experience that innocent people have taken their lives for being accused of something they did not do. People who know nothing of the situation jump to the conclusion that they are guily and spread the word like wild fire. My own son was accused of a crime he did not commit. Before the day was out, people were assuming he was guily and had told other who told others who told my son…. It did not involve anything sexual, but the fact that those who called themselves his friends had turned so quickly disheartened him to the point of giving up…. I don’t know if this man was guilty or not, or even what SPECIFICALLY he was accused of. “Inappropriate contact with a young girl” is a far cry from saying he was accused of rape…. All I ask is that we learn to listen for TRUTH, and stay with the FACTS before we form our opinions. Yes, we need to defend those who are victimized. That is what VOM is all about. But we also need to allow the compassion that Jesus showed us flow out of us. For all who have been hurt by people is authority, and especially by those who exercize their authority in the name of Jesus, I grieve. I, too, was hurt by people like that. I pray that some day all the dark clouds associated with those hurts will be replaced with the warm sunshine of our Loving Father’s grace…..

      • MadGastronomer

        “Inappropriate contact with a young girl” is a polite euphemism for child molestation. False accusations of rape and child molestation are really very rare, especially when the accused is powerful in some way, even just within the community of the accuser. It is much, much more common for those who actually commit such crimes to entirely get aware with it. Insisting that we not believe such accusations — under whatever excuse, and yours is an extremely common one — when it is far more likely to be true than false serves to shield rapists and molesters rather than to protect the innocent. Feminists and other activists refer to it as “rape apologism”, and that’s what you’re doing. You are protecting rapists and molesters, in general, with your nonsense. How does that make you feel?

  • Pingback: Sex Abuse, the First Stone, Judge Not, and All That

  • Jacob

    I am not trying to be a rude or even in the slightest defending what Tom White did or did not do. I just want to state that I feel it’s horrible that you can blame a whole organization or the faithfulness of their ministry on one person. What he did is outrageous, a monstrosity and it’s gross to the name of Christ. But, does that mean everyone who has ever worked for them is the same? I think not. That’s like saying if you work for K-Mart and someone steals that works there, that you must steal because you work there. Please judge people based on what they have and have not done. It’s dangerous to go around saying that the whole ministry of VOM is horrible because of one person. Does what he did, take away from the fact that many bibles did get distributed through out the world? Or that people received the medical attention they needed?

    There are plenty of faithful people in that organization as well as in the priesthood, as well as in the churches of Ted Haggard and others. Can we say that all men are unfaithful because these few were? Isn’t God’s redeeming love bigger than that?

    Do we say one bad example, makes everyone else a bad example? By earthly standards it does because that is how our society views things, but according to God. Should we stop reading Voice of the Martyr because of one guy? No. That’s just foolish. People pray for your leaders, that could have been anyone if they weren’t strongly rooted in the biblical truth of Christ.

    • Caravelle

      That’s like saying if you work for K-Mart and someone steals that works there, that you must steal because you work there.

      If you work for K-Mart and your boss catches you stealing, K-Mart is the first to call the cops. At the very least you’ll be fired on the spot.

      What many organisations have a pattern of doing, most notably the Catholic Church but it was the same thing with that football coach whose name I can’t remember, is covering for child molesters. That is absolutely something an organisation can be blamed for. If K-Mart had an employee who stole customers’ stuff, and K-Mart got reports of this but didn’t transmit them to the police, tried to hush up the accusations, moved the employee to another store where nobody knew about the whole affair, and did this repeatedly for years… Would you call this “covering for a thief” ? Do you think K-Mart shouldn’t be held responsible as an organisation ? Do you think that blaming K-Mart for its actions would be the same as saying every K-Mart employee is a thief ?

  • http://patheos.com Brian Potts

    Two things. First, an allegation is not evidence. And second, Jesus would like to know which one of you would like to throw the first stone.

    • MadGastronomer

      I will. I will always believe a victim over her abuser. I know that actual accusations are far more likely to be true than false, but very unlikely to be believed, and anyone who has gone through something that terrible deserves to have people supporting them.
      And I don’t give a damn what Jesus wants to know. I’m not a Christian. My gods tell me to make up my own mind, and to make my own judgements in life. The blogger here is an atheist, I don’t think she much cares, either.

      But it’s so funny, how many Christian babble about first stones and judge not when it’s one of their own who’s accused of something like child molestation or rape, but so eager to judge and throw stones when it turns out a member of the congregation is gay, or someone of another religion or race is accused of something. Pack of raving hypocrites.

  • Steve

    Do You Know the Lord?

    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.

    Saved by His Grace, through faith in Jesus Christ,

    Steve Rugg

    • http://patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism Libby Anne

      Actually…I’m an atheist. :-P

      • Steve

        You have more of an ear to hear than 99% of the “professing christians” in America! There is more hope for you, it least if you are “searching for truth,” than those who wrongly think entry into heaven only requires getting a “ticket.” BTW–I was an atheist into early adulthood.

      • http://patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism Libby Anne

        BTW–I was an atheist into early adulthood.

        And I was a Bible believing Christian into early adulthood.

      • Steve

        Most non-churched adults today share your views about life and God and have good reason to not want to go to a “christian” church. I had to have a personal encounter with the risen Lord Jesus Christ before the things I believe (from the Word of God) became real. BTW2–I do not currenly attend a “church.” If I could “wish” for something it would be for 99% of the “christian” churches close down for two years and see of the secular world notices anything different. The true Body of Christ represents genuine Christians that have been changed from within, by God through Jesus Christ. Not by men, not by affirmations, not by religious institutions, and not by self. Through the ages, they represent every tongue, color of skin, height, weight, age etc.–that is why Christianity as a faith relationship (as opposed to a religious system) cannot be destroyed.

    • Cal

      Bravo Steve, I agree 100 percent of what you have just stated. All of these religious organizations that are so well known are compromising the true Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Most have not truly known the Lord Jesus Christ of the bible. The tares are being revealed, the ones planted by satan himself. The true wheat, planted and born of God is being separated from the false. This poor man through pride took his own life. If his trust was truly in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord would have stopped this suicide, the “misconduct” would have been averted. A faith built upon the law will sucumb to death, the law kills, Grace grants life. It’s traditional religiousness verses “saved by grace, and not of works, lest any man should boast”. It’s about man being saved by the will of God, not by man’s will to be saved, there is a great difference. How many so-called believers believe not in the one True God and Lord, they are not built up and saved by God’s grace according to His purpose and predestined Will. It’s of “their” own choosing, this is deception not the gift of Grace by God given Faith.
      It would seem the condemnation that was upon him was overwhelming, and I will state that Judas came to my mind. Judas acted as “if” he was a true believer, but he was not, he did all the good works, but behind the scenes he was set to deceive, and the guilt drove him to suicide.
      That is the terrible trap of not being truly born of God’s Spirit, but religious, they think all their so-called good works is the proof they are the Lord’s, when in fact they are not. They have believed in a false Jesus, and a false Gospel, their end is death. It’s all very sad, but truth is truth, and their is no getting around it. You must be born again by the will of God, and not by a religious belief through traditions.

  • Ian

    The issue with religious leaders, pastors, evangilists, etc….. is we/they are all still human and in most cases broken. It sucks that this stuff happens. Not becauseit gives a black eye to teh orginization or faith but that we as “believers” havent found that place that we can fend off the character flaws that we have that are considered “sin”. I’m a faulty person. I have hang ups and things in my life and mind that cause me to wonder why I’m like this. I cant imagine that I’m alone in that and I guess even when in a positiona of leadership and “power” that there are soem things that we allow and ……………. in Tom’s case do. I still believe in VOM and hoep that this doesnt break their vision but first adn formost the child that was abused……….. I pray she can find healing and that her family finds a way to help her through this. Poor little girl. I can only imagine what she and her family are going through. The pain one person can cause is emmense.

  • Theresa

    Satan’s a jerk.

  • Stacy Tracijik

    Personal attention:
    James E. Dau, President, and the rest of the VOM Board of Directors
    We have supported VOM for years, appreciated Mr. White’s messages and shared them with many others. Your letter sounded more like a marketing attempt to regain lost market-share, rather than Christians mourning and attempting a healing. Perhaps there’s a writer on staff that can express the deep loss we all feel for a fallen brother.
    What about the victim(s),alleged. It’s not enough to say, “nobody here knew anything about it”. Tom White was VOM. He was its weekly spokesman. He was its executive director. As a Christian organization, you should publically reach out to the victim’s family with support, help, and love. It’s nice to sympathize with Mr. White’s family, but what about the victims?
    Your one-sided letter only prolongs the doubts and suspicions. You must demand a full and complete investigation into the alleged crime. You must be on the side of openness and cooperation with the alleged victim. Mr. White was executive director at the time. Don’t just say, “we have important work to do, lets bury the hatchet”.
    For the sake of the volunteers, the doctors, the teachers, the missionaries, the supporters of VOM, for the sake of its rich history and engraved part of our Christian legacy, don’t fail us now. There must be a healing, not a partial explanation and a back to business. Mr. Dau’s letter was only a small first step.
    Sincerely;
    Stacy Tracijik
    PS Suicide. It’s a difficult subject because we’d rather not talk ill about the deceased. I’ve had two suicides in my immediate family. Sadly, suicide is rampant amongst our brave troops, and after they return home from service.
    But suicide is wrong, there are no justifications, no matter the circumstances. It is an act of extreme moral cowardice. And it leaves behind nothing, only pain, guilt and accusations for years and years. Your statement,
    “I personally believe that rather than face those allegations and the resulting fallout for his family and this ministry, Tom chose to end his life”, tries to put a positive spin on a cowardly act. It only perpetuates its evil. Christians are supposed to be lights to the world, please clarify VOM’s position on suicide.

  • daniel san

    It is probably impossible to know what really happened. Did he give a hug wrong? Did he give a pat on the backside? or was he a genuine pedophile? He lived his entire life serving the persecuted church.
    and the suicide does not gaurantee total guilt. Just being accused of such a thing, and bringing shame on VOM and all that has been accomplished. In Japan the honorable way out was to kill yourself in order to clear your family name when great shame was brought upon it. It’s NOT a cowards way out.
    Lets be honest, in America we live in a sex-drenched society EVERYONE is being bombarded, people now say it’s ‘good porn’ as long as everyone is over 18, and it is on your TV, computers and iphones.

    • MadGastronomer

      What nonsense. All this is is one more way of defending the perpetrator instead of the victim. If the victim’s statements have been made public, we can certainly know what she said about it. Victims of rape and molestation have very little reason to lie once they’ve made the decision to come forward. You would believe someone who told you they’d been robbed, and assume that was what happened, why the hell not believe someone who’s been molested?

      • Stacy Tracijik

        yes, yes, yes
        The Church and the family must come clean. No secrets.

      • Stacy Tracijik

        sorry for not using precise words. Yes, the Church and family (generally speaking) must come clean. The alleged victim and family has already taken the first big step, going to the police.
        A few comments back, that suicide is honorable, is hog-wash. A son that buries his father, the wife that buries her husband, after the act of suicide, is scarred for life. Any close relatives that live through it will tell you, ANYTHING is better than suicide.

  • http://www.godrules.net Anthony Woodcock

    I found the whole news disheartening as well.

    However, I do believe it points to a problem within the church that has on various occassions been addressed, albeit wrongly.

    I believe this type of hypocrisy and deviancy is a result of those in the Western church having an over anti-sexual approach to the point of even any form of sexuality is a sin.

    We are essentially told that good little Christians do not think sexual thoughts and not only that, we are not even allowed to fraternize with the opposite sex.

    This can be seen with many ministries, like theBill Gothard ministry, which told Christian men and women to not fraternize at all with the opposite sex.

    So, sexuality is pigeon holed into this very small point and since there is no release, people become hypocritical.

    In the hypocrisy they become confortable, as the conservative Christian approach to the matter essentially does not fit reality. The physical design does not fit the teaching.

    People then become comfortable in hypocrisy. And then they also become deviants in some cases as well.

    If one is told, to be a priest, you can not marry a woman, we find then they find another outlet. Porn, children, who knows..

    I would say of course porn would be far better than my child. Atleast then, he is not hurting someone.

    Yet, the point being, he is told he can not marry.

    This anti-sexual stance found in many churches is what leads to all of this hypocrisy and wickedness.

    Silly rules about dress, telling kids they can not masturbate.. Telling them if they have a sexual thought they will goto Hell.

    And one wonders why many are turned off by Christianity, or should I say, a Christian theology that is not biblical and does not fit reality.

    For instance, many believe that Matthew 5:27-28 says you can not ever think a sexual thought. However, I show the actual meaning of the passage on this article here:

    http://www.godrules.net/articles/mat5.htm

    Sincerely
    Tony

  • Mary

    First- as a christian, my first thought, IF HE WAS PROVEN GUILTY, would be: there is no punishment too harsh! I do believe that we are called to protect victims, and that covering up abuse, for any reason is NEVER ok. Furthermore, I think church leaders who cover up abuse make themselves culpable as well before God. Remember the bible verse that says it would be better for a person to drown than to harm “the least of these”? If this guy is guilty, I have no sympathy whatever, and I definately don’t think that but for God’s grace we’d all be child molesters! I think it takes a special kind of monster to hurt a child like that. That said- allegations don’t mean guilt. I think children, on their own, rarely accuse without cause- but there are also unscrupulous adults out there who will manipulate a child into accusing an innocent person. I know of a guy who was completely innocent, but his ex who was mad at him got his two mentally handicapped daughters to accuse him. (and yes, I’m sure of his innocence- he loved his kids dearly and would never lay a hand on them. There was nothing in the family’s history, the kids’ behavior, or anything else to raise a red flag before the ex got mad that he was going to be given custody and decided to try and ruin him) Now he can never spend time with them again, at least for the remainder of their childhood. I also don’t think that suicide is a reliable indication of guilt. I can see being accused of something like that and maybe being afraid of a wrongful conviction taking their own life- while I’m not saying he’s innocent, and I would never excuse him if he’s guilty, it seems unfair to take allegations as fact.

  • William

    According to the Bible to never judge is a sin:
    1Th 5:21 Test all things, hold fast the good.
    1Th 5:22 Keep back from every form of evil.
    1Co 2:15 The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one.
    Phi 1:9 And this I pray, that your love may yet abound more and more in full knowledge and all perception,
    Phi 1:10 for you to distinguish the things that differ, that you may be sincere and without blame for the day of Christ,
    Joh 7:24 Do not judge according to sight, but judge righteous judgment.
    2Th 3:6 Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.

    In the same chapter as the oft most qouted “do not judge” is this:
    Mat 7:15 But beware of the false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inside they are plundering wolves.
    Mat 7:16 From their fruits you shall know them. Do they gather grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles?
    Mat 7:17 So every good tree produces good fruits, but the corrupt tree produces evil fruits.
    Mat 7:18 A good tree cannot produce evil fruits, nor a corrupt tree produce good fruits.

  • Marie

    Human beings are born in sin, and even with Jesus still often make terrible decisions with dire consequences. This does not and never will change the character of who God is and was and always will be. We are ALL hypocrites. You would do well to remember that he who is without sin should cast the first stone, and maybe instead of spending your time focused on the sins and hypocrisy of others take some time to get on your knees and ask God to have mercy on you, a sinner.

    It’s just a thought.

  • Tom

    Does anyone know the cause of death, usually on a suicide where the weapon was a gun or knife,,it is isclosed. How come no cause of death in the police report. Also, there were allegations ,,nothing proven as far as i know. could it be that just the allegations were enough to put a man over the edge. every one knows that even if you are proven innocent, the allegations the trial etc would be hell on earth. and the stain would always be there, no matter the outcome of the trial.

  • Tom

    Does anyone know the cause of death, usually on a suicide where the weapon was a gun or knife,,it is disclosed by the police at the time, How come no cause of death in the police report? Also, there were allegations ,,nothing proven as far as i know. could it be that just the allegations were enough to put a man over the edge. every one knows that even if you are proven innocent, the allegations the trial etc would be hell on earth. and the stain would always be there, no matter the outcome of the trial.

    • guilty until proven innocent

      seems he is being tried and convicted when all he was, was allegedly being investigated? something doesnt sound right about the whole thing. Persecuted christians are strong. i dont believe he commited suicide. he was found in a warehouse, vom president et all says they did not know anything about him being investigated? then one article says the police dropped the investigation?one article says he died from an overdose of some drug?

  • L Thielen

    You are right not to condone or protect sin. We are called to look first within, confess our own sins, and walk in the Light. It’s dangerous to loosely accuse people, when all facts are not known. In the case of the IBLP minstry, it was not Bill Gothard, but hi’s brother who conducted himself shamefully, which situation was dealt with publicly many years ago. In the case of an accused who dies at his own hand, the truth may never be known. Jesus said, let he who is without sin cast the first stone, knowing that no human is without sin. Our culture is a cesspool, and we need to turn back to the Bible for our main input, where the the Truth blazes a path to walk uprightly, relying on God’s Spirit to prevent us from stumbling. Let’s not be distracted by failures of men, detrerring us from praying and helping in any way we can our suffering, perscuted bros & sis in Christ. As we lift our eyes to Jesus, and immerse in His Word we can continue in our high calling in Christ. Remembering, it is after all, the enemy of God, the Evil One, who seeks to discourage ang destroy all of us.

  • Mark

    Quite humorous reading about “homosexual clergy” … talk about hypocrisy!

  • Jean Ram

    One thing we all must learn… to follow the example of Jesus. Humans are imperfect. Only God is perfect. We are not to put our hope in people, but in God alone. We cannot criticize a religion, a church or institution, a charity, etc. for the deeds of a minute few, or maybe one who through some fault or weakness of his own, acted irrationally, or out of greed, etc. If a simple man can deter you from following Christ, you have made that man stronger than your faith and your God. In that case, continue to follow that man and his sins, because you are carrying the baggage of his sins and intensifying them on yourself with your judgements and beliefs.

  • Jean March

    Let us follow God, not man. Let us not carry our judgements or perception of anothers sin as the excuse for our lack of faith and hope in God. Let us not condemn a whole church, an institution, a charity, or anything of its kind because of a minute few or one person who did something irrationally due to mental illness or because of greed or selfisn ambition. If we hold these things in our heart we carry the baggage the sin left behind and give that original sin more strength than our faith and hope in God. God has more power than any man. Let not the tides of Satan hold you down.

  • Kimberly Beaty

    I stumbled upon this. . . seeing the author’s description kind of gives me a bit to wonder if there’s some chips on the shoulder? Christians are saved sinners who still yield to sin. We are still human and we still fall. To write off a man or an organization when he/they have exposed that human depravity still runs through their veins – JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE’S – to me seems to be in line with a Pharisee spirit – let’s see who can cast the roughest stone. Is molesting a child excusable? Nope. Is lying? Na-da. How ’bout getting a chip on our shoulder toward another human who fell. . . fell in a deeper pit than we think we are susceptible to so therefore we are justified in chucking the stone? That also has to be a resounding NO.

    Whatever caused one to turn into an atheist and away from the Truth might be worth examining – banking one’s soul on it just might cost one. . . and the price is. . . one’s soul. Dare we blame God for each other’s humanity? If the author drops into a pit so deep and so dark. . . one never thought possible. . . will it change all this? Will it soften the heart and call it back to the Bosom that made it? I so deeply hope so. <3

    • smrnda

      The whole ‘don’t throw stones’ or whatever seems to be based on an idea that everybody is all equally bad and that all ‘sins’ are equally sinful. I mean, I could take the worst stuff a lot of people have done, and for a lot of people I’d probably think that the worst things those people did were only human mistakes that anybody can sympathize with. However, certain actions are clearly worse, and take a very different sort of person to be capable of such actions. My neighbors can be jackasses and play loud music when I would like to be asleep. That’s not nice of them, but that’s certainly not an action that’s outright horrible. The ‘everybody’s a sinner so let’s not judge’ is just a cheap and easy out for really bad people who turn their victims into villains for expecting people to care that they were hurt.

  • Devin

    I’m just going to say this, as a Christian this stuff bothers me. Are all Christians marked as hypocrites because of a few? The mistakes of a few don’t, and shouldn’t condemn the whole. Hypocrisy IS rampant in the Church, and we Christians need to do all we can to get right with God so we can fulfill our purpose.

  • Isis Amadan

    Interesting interpretation “not us,” verusu an apology. . . when those are the same questions one asked about Penn State. The organization hadn’t committed the crime, just that idiot White, but then how human to slander the entire organization because of one criminal. Criminals and hypocrites come in all shapes colors and sizes. . .and yes *shock* even athiests.

  • Richard Arroyo

    Every entity is bound to have its bad apples. Regardless how dignified their cause, there is an invisible arch- enemy that is out to bring down anything that stands for God’s goodness and righteousness in the world today. Even Jesus Christ and his band of disciples had a bad apple amongst their ranks, Judas. Yet, that wasn’t enough to stop the work of God. One thing every Christian must never forget is this; that every cause that is bent on
    magnifying the Name of Jesus Christ and His cause will suffer persecution of one form or another. Yet Jesus said that not even the gates of hell would NOT prevail against His Church. Jesus also said,”I have overcome the world and you also shall overcome.” The bottom line? One must keep faithful until the end, if one expects to receive the crown of life. Someone once said that a winner never quits and a quitter never wins. which side will you choose to be on?

  • Richard Arroyo

    p.s. You remove the bad apple and then you move on!

  • Richard Arroyo

    p.s.s.
    I don’t condone the evil work that was committed and I am very sympathetic towards the victim who suffered this devastating violation and traumatic experience. That child needs everyone’s prayers and empathy. I’m saying that one bad incident should not cause an entire organization to fall. The perpetrator will have his day in court.

    • http://blog.luigiscorner.com/ Azel

      The USA judge the dead ? Because if the perpetrator is Tom White and the USA don’t judge the dead (whether you should is another thing entirely), he won’t have its day in court, that’s the point.

  • Minnie

    “TIME ranks Southern Baptists’ rejection of sex-offender database as a top “underreported” news story of 2008″

    http://stopbaptistpredators.org/index.htm

  • louise

    I will continue to support VOM. I know the devil attacks you more when you are coming close to a breakthrough. VOM is helping and reaching people who are considered unreachable. God Bless. Suicide for your misdeeds is not an answer. God is Faithful, even if you’re not.

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  • Steve

    Any grown person attracted to a pre-pubescent child is either a psychopath, has serious brain damage, is demon-possesed, on a coctail of crazy drugs or some combination of the above. Sins such as these do not fall within the realm of normal temptation and indicate complete Satanic control and demoralization of man.

  • MiMi

    Coming late to this discussion. I recently came across the distinctive red and brown padded binders and Character Sketch Volumes that I received while attending an IBYC seminar in my youth, back in the 70s. That made me curious and I began searching the Net to determine what had become of Bill Gothard and his organization. I ended up on a virtual odyssey of sorts, reading a variety of material all weekend long, and this is one of the sites that my wanderings led to…

    Humans are spiritual beings. They perceive, and yearn for, connections beyond the material and concrete, beyond the visible plane of existence. But it is fallacy to think that the answers, the path to completeness, or enlightenment or what have you, can be found through the narrow legalistic teachings/preachings/requirements of another mortal being, or any organization created by humans.

    Religion is a wholly man-made convention and is fundamentally about control and subjugation – not about spirituality and communion with God. That is why it is so rigid with rules and fraught with dark secrets. Religion needs to keep its adherents fearfully or emotionally shackled in order to keep an upper hand. Power-hungry men exploit the spiritually-hungry masses and find them surprisingly compliant, because the human soul, desiring a close association with a Maker, or perhaps a balm for a gnawing Emptiness, or an answer to the Meaning of Life, is ever seeking peace. Unfortunately for many, they become all too willing to abdicate their intuition, their internal judgements, their natural intelligence, in order to fall in line with the requirements and principles of a particular denomination or sect or leader. Disaster often ensues. Disaster, pain, betrayal, abandonment – in fact, every kind of wrong — physical, verbal, emotional, spiritual, financial — that can be perpetrated by one person against another abounds.

    It is no wonder that the world’s religions are rife with incidents of abuse. How anyone can excuse such abuse of power as a lapse in spiritual judgement, or a temporary, unfortunate fall from grace is astonishing. Call it what it is: a conscious choice; a calculated breach of trust; an intentional and reprehensible exploitation.

    People selflessly helping people is worthwhile. Individuals helping and counseling others to find their own path to spiritual meaning is uplifting.

    Organized religion is stifling and dangerous. History bears this out.

  • guilty until proven innocent

    well where did it say he was convicted of molesting a ten year old girl? Gee didnt the new say he was being investigated? Guilty until proven innocent> how do you know he wasnt murdered? How do you know the accusations are true or false?

  • John Adams

    You sound like a bitter hypocrite.

  • stan

    like king David we r all one step from disaster, we all need the help of JESUS every moment

  • waytongod

    I don’t think any of us are immune to sinning, even Christians. There was only one perfect man in history. It is true there is an expectation that Christian leaders will be perfect in morals and above reproach in behavior. How does the Bible warn us that we will all be attacked and tempted, both Christians and non-Christians? “And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.” 2Cor11:14-15 —Tom White was clearly conflicted and ill. Our temptation is: will we let his illness taint our view of Voice of the Martyrs (which is also the victim in addition to the 10 year old girl) and will his illness taint our view of what Jesus did for us?