Archive for the ‘CHILDREN AT RISK!’ Category
From the Christian Institute (UK)
Posted for informational purposes to show the danger that children are in in our computer-driven society today and as a reminder to parents to protect their children from pornography and sexual abuse.
At least 200,000 under 16-year-olds saw internet porn in a single month last year, the online video watchdog has said.
The Authority for Television on Demand (ATVOD), found that one in twenty UK visitors to adult websites during December 2013 was under 18.
For the research, the watchdog used data from a panel of around 45,000 people in the UK who agreed to have their internet usage analysed.
The study revealed that one in five of all UK males between 12 and 17 who went online looked at an adult website.
The same age group were responsible for over 110,000 visits to one pornographic website alone. Click here to read this entire article.
By Heather Clark
Christian News Network
MERIDIAN, Idaho – A school board in Idaho has voted to pull a controversial novel from its 10th grade curriculum after parents complained about its profane and vulgar language and anti-Christian sentiments.
The Meridian School Board voted 2-1 this past week to remove The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian from the supplemental reading list. The novel, written by Sherman Alexie, centers on the life of a young American Indian boy who leaves his school on an Indian reservation and begins attending an all-white school. It won the 2007 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature. . . .
[W]hile The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian is an award-winning book, it is also one of the most controversial across the nation. Click here to continue reading.
Letter to the Editor: What To Do When Christian Charities, Such as Compassion, Turn Contemplative/Emergent
Hi Lighthouse Trails!
Thank you so much for your ministry! My family has been learning about apostasy for a little while now, and we stumbled across your website recently. . . We read your article about VOM and Michael Wurmbrand and were deeply saddened by it. We have supported VOM for many years so it made us do even more research on it. I e-mailed Michael, and he responded very kindly; and my family has decided not to support VOM anymore. Thank you for the information that you have provided.
I have a question about Compassion International now. I am truly concerned that Compassion lists Doug Pagitt as one of their speakers. I also read about an upcoming event in which some Compassion Advocacy Coaches will be able to learn how to do contemplative prayer at a retreat in Nebraska. You can read about it here:
I sponsor a child from _________, and I received a letter today from their Child Development Center and they mentioned that the teenage students study themes that require “a deeper reflection, self-discipline and formation…” (underline mine). I have learned enough lately to know that spiritual formation is another term for contemplative prayer. I was not sure if that is exactly what they meant by formation, but I definitely want to know. I called Compassion today and the person did not really answer my question very well, I don’t think they really knew what contemplative prayer was. I want to continue supporting my child since I truly care for him, but I do not want to support a ministry that will teach him New Age spirituality!!!!!! I was wondering if you could give me more information on Compassion, and what should I do about sponsoring my child?
My family is having trouble finding ministries to support since we stopped supporting Samaritan’s Purse, VOM, and others due to their teachings. We are looking for similar ministries to support. We love Ray Comfort and Living Waters; we also love Ken Ham and AIG. Do you have a list of similar ministries to VOM/Samaritan’s Purse that we could support? Michael Wurmbrand told us about a ministry he started in the 70s called Help for Refugees that we are thinking about supporting.
Thanks again for your ministry and all that you do!
While Lighthouse Trails does not make recommendations for churches and organizations (largely because we do not have the manpower to follow up on such recommendations to confirm whether a particular church or organization is still biblically based), we do bring warnings to the body of Christ about groups that have strayed from a biblical viewpoint and become ecumenical, contemplative, emerging, and a part of the liberal social justice movement. Tragically, most of the larger, more known organizations have already taken this spiritual plunge. While we realize that these organizations do help with the physical needs of many around the world, they have come to misrepresent true Christianity and have set aside the Gospel (all together in some cases) in exchange for a powerless substitute. So while they are conduits for helping with poverty, they have become neglectful in the most important thing any human being needs – rich or poor – and that is to have the chance to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ and be given the opportunity to receive Jesus as Lord and Savior. And as long as Bible-believing Christians continue financially supporting such groups, the groups will see no need to change (not that they will change – but at least if support is withdrawn and explanation is given as to why, then the organizations will know why they are losing support and some, perhaps, may examine the issues and have their eyes opened).
While we know there are no perfect churches and organizations (because imperfect humans operate them), we do know by Scripture that the gauge which we can set for ourselves while living in this world is the Gospel (that man is sinful and in need of a Savior and that Jesus Christ died to pay the price for our sins and rose taking victory over death and that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth on Him shall not perish but have everlasting life). The contemplative/emerging belief system rejects this. The contemplative/emerging view is that God is in all people (regardless of acceptance of and belief in Jesus Christ as Savior), that man can save himself and the earth by his own means (bringing about the Kingdom of God), and that Jesus was a good role model and example but did not suffer a painful death for the purpose of atonement (a loving God would never do that, they say). This is why Lighthouse Trails is so determined to warn about the contemplative prayer movement and the “new” emerging spirituality. Where contemplative prayer comes in is as a vehicle. As Ray Yungen has shown in his book A Time of Departing, when a person begins practicing contemplative meditation, over time, his or her spiritual outlook changes (just as Thomas Merton’s and Henri Nouwen’s did), and it begins to resemble one that looks more Buddhist or Hindu than Christian.
When we consider that Doug Pagitt is listed on the Compassion International website as one of their regular speakers (see link above), it is difficult to fathom how Compassion can say on their website that “God’s Word must have the final authority in regulating compassionate treatment of every human being, including children.” Doug Pagitt, who is one of the founders of the new Brian McLaren CANA Initiative—a liberal, emerging think-tank—has consistently promoted contemplative spirituality and the emerging church for many years. Compassion also lists Tony and Bart Campolo (Tony is a leader in the Christian Palestinianism movement), Mark Scandrette (An Emergent Manifesto of Hope), mantra-meditation advocate Gary Thomas, emergent writer Ann VosKamp (One Thousand Gifts), and a number of other emergent-type figures. Their speaker list is actually transforming into a contemplative/emergent who’s who. In our minds, Compassion’s partnering with Doug Pagitt and other emergents sends a loud message that they do NOT consider God’s Word as a final authority. How could they and still lock arms with emergent leaders?
In Doug Pagitt’s book A Christianity Worth Believing, Pagitt denounces the idea that the Bible is our final authority. The following is a short book review on Pagitt’s book done by one of our free-lance writers. Please read this as it will help show where the “new” emerging “Christianity” is going (and sadly, taking lots of Christian organizations, like Compassion, VOM, and World Vision, with it):
“Doug Pagitt’s New Book – A Christianity Worth Believing – NOT Worth Believing”
by Ezra McGill
In his book, A Christianity Worth Believing, emergent leader Doug Pagitt presents a theology that is worth exposing, because it is neither biblical nor Christian. This is the unfortunate power of media-savvy emergent leaders–errant theology is couched in Christian terms, and the undiscerning are drawn in.
As others have noted, Doug Pagitt undoubtedly cares about his flock, the homeless, coffee farmers in Guatemala, and the environment. Yet, if the emergent movement could be summed up in one phrase, perhaps it is this: “Tiny men shaking tiny fists at the biblical God.”
The Bible tells us, “The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the LORD shall have them in derision.(Psalm 2: 2-4)
The author of A Christianity Worth Believing vigorously disputes the authority of the Word of God. He writes, “The inerrancy debate is based on the belief that the Bible is the word of God, that the Bible is true because God made it and gave it to us as a guide to truth. But that’s not what the Bible says” (p. 65).
He further explains, “This is how it works. We are characters in the stories we hear. The living Bible invites us to step into the stories, not as observers, but as participants in the faith that is alive and well and still being created” (p.67).
That’s right. Pagitt believes Christianity is still in the process of being created. Obviously, this theology that is being created is in total opposition to biblical Truth. Like the author of The Shack, Pagitt categorically denies the substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ.
He states, “the early evangelists recognized they could help the Jesus story make sense if Jesus was seen as someone who was chosen to appease the wrath of God—hence, the ‘anointed one’ who could do what no one else could do” (p. 181).
So, minus our Savior, how does this emergent leader view receiving forgiveness for sins? Before we get to this, let us understand that he spends a good deal of time making the artificial distinction between Christians’ alleged Greco-Roman understanding of God (Pagitt sees this as a distant God), and the Old Testament Hebrew God (always present, understanding, and intimate).
Incredibly, the author presents the Old Testament as his “proof” that there has always been accessible forgiveness for sin. He notes that his wife was raised in a Jewish family, and she “tells [the congregation] each year that the Jews would celebrate the Day of Atonement by gathering lint from their pockets, every little corner of them. She invites us to do the same. Then we write confessions on pieces of paper or pick up leaves to represent each sin and walk to the edge of a stream. As we drop our leaves and papers into the stream, we read from the Psalms” (pp.163-164).
Psalm 103:11-13 is then read to Pagitt’s congregation: “For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him.”
Following this, he writes, his wife, “reminds us that just as the water carries our words away, God takes our sins from us. As far as can be, sin is removed, taken, gone. Yes, sin exists, and when we find it, we should get rid of it” (p. 164).
But what defines “sin” if the Bible is not really the authoritative Word of God? If Christ is not Savior? Pagitt never really gives a satisfactory answer to this.
“Thy prophets have seen vain and foolish things for thee: and they have not discovered thine iniquity, to turn away thy captivity; but have seen for thee false burdens and causes of banishment”(Lamentations 2:14). Pagitt assures us he understands this new theology can be upsetting. “This can come as a shock to those Christians who are so used to hearing that Jesus is the solution to sin that they assume that the remedy started with the death of Jesus. The Jewish Tradition tells us otherwise” (p. 163).
A Christianity Worth Believing is the presentation of a distorted version of our faith. It is the tepid celebration of a powerless, false “christ.” It is textbook emergent heresy. Those reading this book who do know and love Christ may feel disgust, disbelief, even scorn. Well and good. But may we also be very afraid for those who are exposed to such teaching.
“But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:14).
One gets the sense that Doug Pagitt seems compelled to deny the Truth–he simply cannot see it. He is the angry blind man striking out with his cane. He swings, he slashes; he jabs and stabs. Unfortunately, that sharpened cane has poked out many an eye.
And seems poised to pierce many, many more.
“And he spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch?’” (Luke 6:39)
Southern California Mariner’s Church Wraps Up “Holy Yoga” Sessions (And Answering the Question: “Are Yoga Positions Harmless?”)
The popular mega Mariner’s Church, located in Southern California, is wrapping up their “Holy Yoga” session that began earlier this year. Mariner’s website reads: “Connect your entire being–body, mind, and spirit with God. Experience this time of worship, fellowship & fun! 100% Jesus; 100% Yoga. Bring water and a mat.”
Caryl Matrisciana discusses Yoga positions:
To experience the stilling or emptying of the mind, Yoga practitioners must first master the physical postures and movements of Yoga meditation. The physical exercises, themselves a religious Hindu ritual, are designed to bring a person into contact with spiritual beings. Speaking of her Yoga sessions, Cindy Senarighi said she noticed she was “in the presence of God in a way that I had never been before. The more I practiced, the more I experienced God’s presence.”1
Yoga positions facilitate altered states of mind so that one may experience a mystical presence. But does Yoga facilitate God’s presence? Can the use of a mantra or Yoga meditation really bring Christ into our lives? George Alexander, author of Yoga, the Truth Behind the Posture, answers this important question:
You cannot force Jesus to come into your life. But [a] mantra is something that . . . force[s] a spirit to come into your life. [The] Bible very clearly teaches you cannot force the Spirit of God to come into your life by repeating His name.2
The Bible teaches that the presence of God cannot be manipulated by man’s desire for His presence. One is granted access to the biblical God only through Jesus Christ His Son, who declared, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6).
The born-again Christian has a personal connection with God because of the saving grace of Jesus Christ. Jesus has promised to abide with us as we abide in Him through His grace and the power of His Spirit. There are no body movements or special positions necessary to bring one into communion with God’s Spirit. The only connection to God has been made by Jesus Christ Himself.
Demons, however, easily make contact with individuals using visualization, imaging techniques, mantras, and so forth. They are able to manipulate people’s minds, to make themselves appear as benevolent or superior beings or even as Jesus Christ Himself. Through Eastern meditation techniques, many mistake evil spirits appearing as Jesus for the actual Jesus Christ. The real Jesus is the only way to God the Father—no one else can also be a way to God—not Mary, not an angel, not a spirit claiming to be Jesus, not any other being.
God is not deceived by appearances. Putting Christian labels on conjuring techniques does not change His mind about them. Whatever conjures up a spirit is always an offense to Him and sin for us. Whether ignorantly conjuring up a spirit by the Kundalini energy released by Yoga exercises, or deliberately conjuring up spirit guides through meditation, the silence, contemplative prayer, it is all part of enchantment or divination: “discovering things secret by the aid of superior beings, or other than human means.”3 God clearly forbids this kind of activity:
Ye shall not eat any thing with the blood: neither shall ye use enchantment, nor observe times. . . . Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I am the LORD your God. (Leviticus 19:26, 31)
Interestingly, George Alexander says that the serpent “is a very prominent deity” in Hinduism. He explains the significance:
If you look in the picture of Lord Shiva in Hinduism, you see a snake wrapped around his neck. They believe that the serpent power is in every person and the serpent power is sleeping in you. By practicing Yoga, it awakens that Kundalini power in you. . . . [W]hen the Kundalini power is awakened, that goes up to the brain and awakens the psychic power.4
This is why the positions in Yoga are so important; they are based on serpents’ movements to facilitate the flow of the Kundalini serpent energy. Western Yoga practitioners think this energy is a neutral force. It is not. Yoga exercises do not release the energy from within a person’s own spine. The sensations of Kundalini energy and an altered state of consciousness are produced by a demonic presence.
Most cultures view the serpent positively and worship it for its wisdom. Only the Bible describes the serpent as man’s enemy, a usurper who wishes to take the Creator God’s rightful place in the mind of mankind. In Hinduism, the serpent (Kundalini) is believed to be awakened through Yoga meditation, granting the practitioner an awareness of God, a stillness, a god-consciousness.
The Bible records that Satan, in the serpent, cunningly beguiled Eve and seduced her mind, corrupting her from a sincere, whole-hearted and pure devotion to God. He deceived her into believing a lie: that she, through her mind, could be like God. Ironically, Yoga, through arousal of snake power, the mind-altering experience of the Kundalini spirit in the body, continues to deceive all its practitioners with the same lie (excerpt from Out of India)
1. Yoga Uncoiled: from east to west (Menifee, CA: Caryl Productions, 2007) quoting George Alexander, quoting Cindy Senarighi.
2. Ibid., quoting George Alexander.
3. Smith’s Bible Dictionary, http://www.bible-history.com/smiths/D/Divination.
4. Yoga Uncoiled: from east to west, op. cit., quoting George Alexander.
By Laura Markoe
Religious News Service
(This article is posted on Lighthouse Trails for research and informational purposes.)
WASHINGTON (RNS) The Green family that owns the Hobby Lobby craft store chain believes the federal government ran roughshod over their religious liberties when the Affordable Care Act required their company to cover the full range of birth control options in employee health plans.
Steve Green, president of Hobby Lobby, speaks at the Religion Newswriters Association conference in Austin, Texas, in 2013. RNS photo by Sally Morrow
As Christians, the Greens argued, they could not comply. In their view, four of those birth control methods can cause abortion, though many major medical voices disagree. On Tuesday (March 25) the Supreme Court will hear the case.
Combining fundamental questions of religious rights, corporate rights, Obamacare and abortion, the case is, for many people, the most important the Supreme Court will decide this year. It will be bundled with a similar lawsuit filed by the Mennonite owners of a wood cabinetry corporation who hold views similar to those of the Greens. Click here to continue reading.
Richard Wurmbrand’s Son, Michael Wurmbrand, Comes Forth – Asks VOM to Allow Independent Investigation
On March 14th, Lighthouse Trails received an e-mail from Michael Wurmbrand, the son of the late Richard Wurmbrand, founder of Voice of the Martyrs. In order to verify the authenticity of the letter we received, we contacted VOM first. A man answering the phone and listening to our question transferred us to a message machine. We left our question but did not receive a call back as of the writing of this article. We then searched on the Internet and found a phone number for Michael Wurmbrand. We called and had a ten-minute conversation with him. We also have had e-mail correspondence with him since. After our phone call with him, we were convinced that this letter below is indeed from Richard Wurmbrand’s son. We have also been able to verify many of the statements he has made below. We also believe Michael is not making these statements out of any vindictive motive.
Some may be asking why we are posting this, given the fact that VOM works to help persecuted Christians worldwide. A few comments on that:
First, as Lighthouse Trails has always maintained, the power of sin lies in its secrecy; and this is especially true in cases of child sexual abuse. According to Michael Wurmbrand’s letter, after VOM director Tom White committed suicide on the same day a police investigation was opened on allegations that White had molested a 10-year-old girl,1 Michael Wurmbrand requested that an independent investigation be conducted, especially given the fact that the Chief of Police in Bartlesville (the city where VOM exists) is also on the board of VOM, and the Bartlesville police closed the case shortly after White’s death. Michael explains below what happened after he made that request.
Second, if indeed Michael’s statements are true (and we have no reason or evidence to doubt they are), then in all fairness, the body of Christ needs to know these things.There have been other concerns about VOM (ecumenism, Catholic sympathies, contemplative, etc.), and to ignore these important issues is wrong, especially in view of the acceleration of worldwide spiritual deception happening today.
Third, as we witness various Christian organizations being exposed for sexual, financial, and other scandals (such as the recent allegations by over thirty women against Bill Gothard, the serious plagiarism by Mark Driscoll, the demise of Vision Forum (a major player in homeschooling resources, and so forth), two things come to our mind:
First, the secular media is using these stories to make it look like this is how most fundamentalist conservative Christians behave.
Second, we think of the Scripture that talks tells us “judgment beginning in the house of the God” (1 Peter 4:17). The evangelical/Protestant church is in big trouble. It needs to be shaken in order to return to its “first love.” Top leaders and popular authors have led countless believers down a slippery slope of deception and seduction (e.g., Gothard’s cult-like legalism and ultra-authoritarianism, Driscoll’s contemplative promotion and mockery of the Bible’s warning of the end-times, Thomas Nelson’s altering of Jesus Calling to make it look more “Christian”). The church is filled with mega-corporation-style organizations that act as if they can do anything they want while they toy with the emotional and spiritual lives of millions and play catch-me-if-you-can. Add to this the utter catastrophe of contemplative mysticism (i.e., occultism) overtaking countless Christian organizations, schools, and denominations, and we’ve got the makings for an apostate church. But many of these Christian “leaders” are beginning to be exposed. While we know that the liberal secular media and the emerging church will use these stories for political gain and actually to cause confused Christians to come over to their side, we also know that God can use these situations to bring about genuine conversion and repentance among many. Already Lighthouse Trails has heard from many believers who have repented after being deceived by the “Jesus” of Jesus Calling.
And this is why we are compelled to post articles like this letter below by Michael Wurmbrand—to bring light to areas of darkness but also to defend true Christianity, to say to the world that there are believers in Christ all over the world who day after day, year after year serve the Lord faithfully, who do not molest children, do not plagiarize, do not practice the contemplative “stillness” in order to know God, and do not steal money or grow monstrous corporations that knock down everything in their path. While we know that 1 John tells us we are liars if we say we do not sin (1 John 1:8-10) (for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God), it also says if we continue in sin, we do not have God in our lives (1 John 3:6-10).
While it is not the intention of Lighthouse Trails to destroy any ministry, we cannot in good conscience push under the rug situations that come to our attention when they affect so many. Our hope for these ministries is that they would walk in repentance and godliness just as God has called all Christians to do so.
We do have a concern in the midst of these “kingdoms” crumbling and that is for the Christians who have been followers of these organizations. Many of them are sincere conservative Bible-believing Christians, and they are the ones who are going to be most hurt by what their leaders have done. For example, millions of homeschool families have sought out the teachings of Bill Gothard. As they learn that their leader has been sexually assaulting young girls for the past number of decades, will these dear families swing to the opposite of the pendulum and enter the emerging/new spirituality? We have heard rumors that this is already happening to some of them. They now realize that Gothard’s teachings were wrong; sadly, rather than finding what true biblical Christianity is, many will merely turn to another extreme and perhaps even away from God all together, blaming Him for what man has done.
This situation with homeschoolers is serious. Even Michael Wurmbrand told us that VOM has been targeting American homeschoolers with campaign literature. And it was just recently that a major homeschool curriculum CEO (from Vision Forum) stepped down after admitting to an extra-marital affair. The entire organization shut down, leaving a vacuum within the homeschool world. What is going to happen to these homeschoolers? Who or what is going to fill the void? Sadly, it may not be true Christianity.
We have carefully and prayerfully considered the ramifications of posting this letter from Michael. We are not the only ones doing so in a spirit of deep concern. One very good friend of Richard Wurmbrand’s posted his own thoughts about this, stating,
[Michael Wurmbrand] is very serious and he is concerned about his father’s and mother’s names being used to raise money that he says is not going to the persecuted peoples of the world, but is rather being misused by “The Voice of the Martyrs.”
There is one more issue we want to address and that is the allegations of sexual abuse that were brought against Tom White by the parents of a 10-year-old girl. When we first posted the story about White’s suicide last year, someone commented to us that it was unlikely that Tom White molested a child and that perhaps this was a conspiracy of murder against White by Muslims angry at VOM for their work in Middle-eastern countries. As we have examined the facts that we have been able to obtain (including the testimony by Michael Wurmbrand to us by phone where he told us he knew the family, as well as a pastor who spoke with the father of the girl and posted the account online and who stated: “there is no doubt the abuse occurred”), we have no reason to doubt that the allegations are legitimate. Thus, it is more than reasonable for Voice of the Martyrs to be willing to allow an independent investigation into these allegations and also any other possible sexual abuses against children that may have occurred within their organization. It is a proven fact that most child predators do not molest just one child during the course of their lifetimes.
And now, the letter we received from Michael Wurmbrand:
Dear sisters and brethren in Christ:
This sad letter you are reading comes from Michael Wurmbrand, the son of the late Rev. Richard Wurmbrand, who spent fourteen years in the communist prisons of Romania, author of the book Tortured For Christ, a book of valiant Christian testimony under communist persecution that has been translated in over 85 languages. My parents died in 2000-2001, and I am now 74 years old.
Against my express request NOT TO DO SO, the mission Voice of the Martyrs of Bartlesville (VOM), Oklahoma, USA and its international affiliates, continue to use Richard Wurmbrand, Sabina Wurmbrand, my parents’ persona, pictures, writings and books, my persona also to obtain your donations!
Tom White, the past Voice of the Martyrs Chairman for more than 20-years, committed suicide in April, 2012, only two to three hours after an accusation of child molestation (pedophilia) of a 10-years old girl was formally filed by her parents with the local police, and while the Bartlesville, OK. police were searching to arrest him. This terrible event made world news. At the time of his committing suicide, Tom White had a $140,000+, plus perks, yearly salary and very substantial travel and expense accounts used in his extensive and frequent international travel year after year. Since the suspected perpetrator was dead, the police closed any further investigation of the molestation. The police chief and the former mayor of the town of Bartlesville, OK. were personally serving on the Board of Directors of Voice of the Martyrs. Some directors are related or get income from the organization.
I asked in writing of the Voice of the Martyrs Board of Directors for an independent investigation, to be undertaken from outside of VOM. The investigation in the famous legal action in England of Jimmy Saville, the BBC children program head while alive, started with only 2 cases BUT there were more than 600 pedophilia complaints after Saville died. In the last 4 years, the state of Arizona, for instance, failed to investigate 6,000 cases of children molestation. Being the son of Richard Wurmbrand, a person of my background and position could have more inside information than I can discuss publicly. I asked therefore for an independent investigation!
The main question in the letter I wrote to the entire Voice of the Martyrs Board of Directors was worded as follows: “In a Christian spirit of love and faith, if you want to continue using the names, persona and copyrights of my parents, I ask first that you do not try to accomplish this in an adversarial way through lawyers, etc. but rather in an amiable way by fulfilling only one request for the board to decide and approve: Please allow and pay for an independent “blue ribbon” commission … to investigate within the next two months, back at least two years, all Tom White’s travel points, contacts and especially financial expenditures to establish and put to rest any suspicions re. child molestation. Sorry, whether you like it or not, this unpleasant event that happened to VOM with its Chairman during twenty years cannot be dispensed with as just ‘a family affair’ or an unfortunate sudden decision. If you do not intend to accept the above request, the other decision I ask you to take is not to use the name Wurmbrand any more.”
Only 4 days after I addressed this letter to the Board of Directors, I received a curt letter of termination of employment. No “sorry” and no “thank you” for my founding the organization or the many years of service! My letter now for more than a year, has not been answered!
I should be entitled to make such a request since:
* Voice of the Martyrs published for years a specially dedicated children’s magazine. This was done by sharing mailing lists with organizations focusing on families and children;
* My person, my life, and our family Wurmbrand story was used in this magazine;
* Without my knowledge, without my permission, a very laudatory biography of mine was written, printed and distributed to tens of thousands of American children;
* In order to obtain donations from the parents, the organization tried to gain credibility and goodwill with tens of thousands of Christian children in home-schooling families.
Donors should be aware that:
* Voice of the Martyrs (VOM) spent $28 million dollars — not on the mission field but to build its own headquarter thus in economic times difficult for us all, encouraging construction in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, USA, a town of only about 32,000. To my knowledge, the previous headquarters of VOM in the same town cost in the neighborhood of about $90,000! To read more, [click here]. The present chairman of VOM is a former mayor of Bartlesville and was part of the city leadership.
* This was done in secret, until the buildings were erected. Neither I nor the donors were told of such grandiose projects. It is hard to believe this could be done, but correspondence I display on the web (see link below), should convince you. I worked with VOM from Los Angeles, California, USA and never was part of the VOM board of directors. The donors only saw money spent for projects, and they trusted that the word “projects” referred to missionary work, like helping widows of Christians killed in Nigeria!
* A repeated offender 3rd degree felon, who as of 2013 was STILL UNDER A-10-YEARS CONVICTION SENTENCE AS AN EMBEZZLER was named the Voice of the Martyrs Vice President. Tens of thousands of dollars out of contributions for supposed missionary work were extended as a loan to him to pay back some of what he stole and escape parole supervision. To read more on this convicted felon, [click here or here].
*All of the above occurred while, at the same time, without any reasons proffered, they sent a termination of employment letter to me, Richard Wurmbrand’s son, who founded the mission, four days only after I asked for an independent investigation of the expenses and travels of the suicidal and suspected pedophile past chairman of VOM, USA.
* Voice of the Martyrs had agreed reluctantly in 2001 to help about 100 believers who were imprisoned 5-10 years for their faith in communist prisons in Romania, currently destitute in their 80s and 90s, with less than $1 (yes, one dollar) a month. As outrageous as it sounds, considering tens of millions of dollars solicited from you, it is documented. It was raised in the following year to the value of about 2 tanks of gas/month worth of help only because I wrote feet of email messages and renounced a total of over $100,000 of my salary over four years (I accepted being paid only $500/month!) just so these Christian martyrs would be helped. To read more on the “VOM claims of pretended lack of money,” [click here].
*A fundraiser for VOM was promised to be paid a percentage or cut of the funds he raised! We are far indeed from charitable actions through which one sacrifices for the interests of others.
After I brought all of these facts to light, I was asked also to keep quiet, not to rock the boat. Before being laid off I was offered substantial contractual financial incentives not to “badmouth” VOM. Some of the organizations endorsing Voice of the Martyrs have interrelated employees and interests. When I approached them, they were shy and sore afraid for their own interests to insist my letter be answered. Some pathetic answers like: “Do not cast the first stone,” “king Solomon made mistakes,” “we might also sin,” or “promise to keep correspondence private only” displayed the hypocrisy to protect the flow of donations rather than any interest in protecting possible children victims! Some answers were outright sarcastic, as if my requesting a proper investigation regarding suspected pedophilia among “Christian missionaries” would be some joke.
In the past, Voice of the Martyrs had written a dedication about myself sent to tens of thousands stating: “To the Rev. Michael Wurmbrand, who has lived his life in a fishbowl among both friends and enemies, and has done so with dignity to the glory of God. We are grateful for the numerous personal interviews in which he shared his memories with patience and enthusiasm.” As soon as I asked for this independent investigation, the VOM attitude of respect towards myself I enjoyed for years turned into one of incredible vindictiveness. Christians who were in the know could not believe how it was possible. The false answers given to those who inquired were that this is a personal (?!?) conflict with Michael Wurmbrand we try to solve with prayer and mediation! In reality, VOM employees were expressly forbidden to have contact with me, so as not to lose some income and employment positions from [one of the] largest employers in Bartlesville, OK. Same employees had before vied to be photographed with me and get my autograph.
The worst vindictive act towards myself though was the refusal on the part of VOM of my simple request to dump or allow myself even pay to withdraw immediately from the VOM circulation advertising, about 2,000 copies of Tortured For Christ, my father’s book, published by VOM with a preface by, and having right in the middle, a portrait of Tom White, the past chairman who had committed suicide after the police-filed accusation of suspected pedophilia. I was answered IN WRITING (by the convicted felon-embezzler who had meantime become Vice President of VOM, see above) that my request is morally wrong. I was written: “Tom White was VOM,” and according to VOM, I have no right to ask that my father’s name not be associated with this past chairman — even if he committed suicide under a strong suspicion of pedophilia. VOM even claimed to know apparently better than the parents of the victim, if there was or not substance to the police complaint. To spite me, the book showing Tom’s picture continued to be widely advertised and even offered for free for 6 more months following Tom’s suicide. VOM knew that during the first month my family arrived to the United States in the end of 1966, I had personally typed on a clunky typewriter four manuscript versions of this book. How could my request be refused?
How could I have foreseen that in a case of blatant suspected child-molestation some Christian VOM leaders I approached, imitated the priest and Levite in the Parable of the Good Samaritan, trying their best re. suspected pedophilia, to “pass by on the other side,” so as to maintain their perks! John the Baptist was not beheaded because he sermonized in general asking people to repent. Against his own personal interest, he put his life at risk to denounce the sin of Herod, the ruler of the day. What about “missionary outreach” to poor “persecuted Christians?” Voice of the Martyrs, with its opulent ($28 million) headquarter built out of your sacrificial contributions, makes a mockery of the sacrifice of persecuted Christians like my parents. Imagine a surgeon insisting to operate, having no time to clean his hands after searching in garbage. What patient has any use for such a surgeon? The betrayer of [our] Lord Jesus, Judas, in his apparently most “unselfish” enunciation of a project to help the poor, was but a thief. (Indeed the Gospel of John 12:6 writes: “This he said, not that he cared for the poor, BUT BECAUSE HE WAS A THIEF!”)
VOM published even how within months of our arrival in the United States, from 1967 on, I worked together with my parents Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand, to start what is now Voice of the Martyrs. Recently released documents from the archives of the Romanian secret police prove the communists had issued an order to kill our entire family.
We started what is now Voice of the Martyrs under a communist sentence of death. When I was only a child, the communists forcefully took away my parents to communist prisons. I suffered plenty. My parents died with a good name. I do not want to allow VOM to use my parents’ good name, to raise money under false pretenses. I wrote the VOM directors: “If you enjoy, for motivations of your own, to wallow in the mire of suspected pedophilia go ahead. If you do not want to accept an independent investigation and complete transparency of your dealings, I begged you do not use my father’s long years of suffering in communist prisons and the intense suffering of his whole family to raise money from naive donors.” I was written by VOM, when asking help for formerly persecuted Christians under communism, now in their 90s, “we are technically out of money!…there will be NO check requests approved for anything other than absolutely essential” only to find out later that $9.5 million were available not for mission work, but for construction work in Oklahoma (see above link).
Christian parents please protect your children! Consider how grave it is to allow your children to trust and be reached by a missionary organization having had a case of suspected pedophilia and a suicide because of it in its midst, and then terminating me, its founder so as not to have to respond to a request for an independent investigation of possible child molestation. After all the laudatory words published of me, they also tried to badmouth me. If you are a minister, I can only beg you to share this letter with your congregation.
I tried to document the facts recited above, but think on your own: How can “Christian missionaries” in a good Christian conscience even indulge to build themselves an opulent $28,000,000 headquarter from your donations, while withholding help to persecuted Christians in far away lands badly in need of your donations? Love of money is the root of all evil. A way to stop evil is to stop financing it. If you were inspired by the Wurmbrand family story of suffering to donate to Voice of the Martyrs or its international affiliates in the ICA, as the only son of Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand, I humbly ask you not to. My parents’ Christian life-vision has been misused by Voice of the Martyrs.
Tortured for Christ circulated throughout the world with more than 10,000,000 copies. Inside the $28 million Voice of the Martyrs headquarter prominently named as the Richard Wurmbrand Center, there is a Wurmbrand museum. My own mother’s Bible to be displayed there was obtained from me under false pretenses. I have both moral and legal rights to the persona of my parents, even regarding the unauthorized use of my own name, pictures, etc. It would take a very long time and a lot of money to try to stop such use through courts. VOM would employ the millions of dollars of donations to fight me in court while my income is very limited. If you still want to help projects started by my parents, Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand, now hanging in the air, please help me reclaim my parents and my family name. Like the first Christians please ask: “Brethren, what shall we do?” (Book of Acts 2:37) You may write to me at the address below.
PO Box 5161
Torrance, Ca. 90510, USA,
LTRP Note: We urge readers of this article to contact Voice of the Martyrs and beseech them to allow an independent investigation in order that other children connected to VOM may be protected.
Contact Information for VOM:
Phone: (877) 337-0302
P.O. Box 443
Bartlesville, OK 74005-0443
Bill Gothard Resigns from Institute in Basic Life Principles Under Allegations of Sexual Abuse (And How to Spot the Signs of a Sexual Predator)
LTRP Note: On March 7th, Bill Gothard, the founder and president of the Institute in Basic Life Principles resigned from his position in the organization after allegations from over thirty women were made public that Gothard sexually harassed, and in one case out right sexually abused, these women while they were teens or young women. In preparing to make this announcement to Lighthouse Trails readers, we searched both secular and Christian media for a news story that would give a good representation of the situation. However, after we were unable to find such an article, we decided to post the article directly from the group—Recovering Grace—who blew the whistle on Gothard in the first place.
One of the women who has come forth is a woman named Charlotte. She has publicly testified that while she was a young homeschool teen and was sent to “work” at the Institute, Gothard preyed upon her, which led to his sexually abusing her. The cult-like, legalistic, abusively authoritative teachings1 of Bill Gothard’s Institute provided a “perfect” platform for sexual abuse to occur where young girls were not taught to defend themselves against abuse (on the contrary, the opposite occurred). According to the criteria of the Lighthouse Trails book Seducers Among Our Children written by investigative sergeant Patrick Crough, Bill Gothard fits the profile of a sexual predator.
Below the article by Recovering Grace, we have posted two excerpts, one from Seducers Among Our Children titled “What is a Sexual Predator of Children?” by Patrick Crough and one titled “A Predator’s Toolkit” written by Gregory Reid, author of The Color Pain (also published by LT). These two excerpts are given to provide some help to parents to protect their children from sexual predators. Also below are some other resources such as a recent radio interview between Patrick Crough and Jan Markell and a video preview of a DVD called The Kinsey Syndrome (Adullam Films) (exposing the truth about Alfred Kinsey who was instrumental in the high incidence of sexual molestation today). The reason Lighthouse Trails has published and carried resources like this is because statistics show that a huge percentage of boys and girls are sexually abused before they are 18 years old. There has got to be voices speaking up and protecting them. Sexual abuse scars children. As Patrick Crough says in his book, we are to be the shepherd’s of children, protecting them from the wolves.
Let us remember that God’s Word does not take harming children lightly:
But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. (Matthew 18:6)
On March 6, 2014, Administrative Director David Waller communicated via email to ATI families that Mr. Gothard has “resigned as president of the Institute in Basic Life Principles, its Board of Directors, and its affiliated entities.” Mr. Waller indicated the board’s desire to appoint interim leadership, and named Chris Hogan as one who “will play an active role in the upcoming conferences as president of ATI.” This follows the report on February 27 in which World Magazine confirmed that the Board of IBLP had placed Bill Gothard on administrative leave, “in order to further investigate the mounting claims of sexual harassment and misconduct that have been reported on the Recovering Grace website.”
The letter goes on to state that Mr. Gothard has “communicated to the Board of Directors his desire to follow Matthew 5:23–24 and listen to those who have ‘ought against’ him” and states that his resignation is motivated by a desire to give full attention to the issues at hand (view the full letter).
On February 3, Recovering Grace made a public case that Bill Gothard had disqualified himself from ministry by his actions. In doing so, we called for Mr. Gothard to repent and be reconciled to those who have been damaged under his ministry and teachings. While we acknowledge the range of emotions that our readers are likely feeling in light of this letter, we do not take joy in this announcement, and we understand the gravity and sadness of this situation. Mr. Gothard’s resignation will doubtless produce relief in some of our readers and deep disappointment in others. Nonetheless, we realize this is an important moment. Click here to read this entire article.
What is a Sexual Predator of Children? by Sergeant Patrick Crough (author of Seducers Among Our Children)
Some pedophiles’ deep-seated desires to have sex with children will eventually override their inner control mechanism to suppress and forgo such an action. When they choose to step out of their dark closet, they begin to reveal their true intentions as they maneuver to gain access to the very children they target. The child predator’s method of pursuing a potential victim is very similar to that of an animal hunting in the wild. Like the wolf or cougar who studies the flock to select an easy target, the child predator seeks the one who is the most vulnerable and accessible to him. He will use his profession or participation in a community program such as a church youth ministry, sports league, school activity, or recreational program to get on friendly terms with specific children and their parents.
After the predator becomes smitten with a particular child, he will critically assess the child’s circumstances. Are the parents overburdened with their responsibilities? Is the child from a broken home? Is the child a social outcast? Is the child involved in some activity at which the child predator is proficient? Can he pose as a highly sought-after coach, mentor, or tutor, appealing to the parents’ desire to nurture their children to their fullest potential and thus help procure for them the greatest scholarships and the most opportunities? These are all criteria the child predator evaluates and weighs carefully when selecting a potential victim. The predator will go to great lengths, expending a great deal of time, energy, and money to place himself in what he would perceive to be the best position possible to grant him unlimited access to children and their parents. Once the predator attains an advantageous position and wins a parent’s or guardian’s trust, he sets his diabolical plan into motion.
From a parental standpoint, the child predator is the most insidious of the three profiles because he specifically targets children. While most parents and children have been educated about “stranger danger,” the kind of individual they should be most concerned about is the one who lives undetected among them and is usually someone they know and trust. Based upon what I know of these three types of offenders, if a parent protects their child from the child predator, they will automatically be protecting them from both the pedophile and the opportunistic sex offender.
A Sexual Predator’s Toolkit by Gregory Reid (from The Color of Pain)
Note: Gregory Reid was sexually abused as a child and has written about boys but this material would be relevant for girls too.
Most “professional pedophiles” have turned molestation into a fine science. They are precise in their plans and use well tested lures and traps to get kids in a place where they can be molested. The following is a “profile of seduction,” an overview of how a predator works.
1. Drugs (Voluntary and involuntary)
2. Alcohol (To lower the victim’s inhibitions and make them confused and vulnerable)
3. Pornography (Printed and video, to lower the sexual inhibitions and arouse the victim)
4. Music, video games, etc.
The predator is current on music trends, video games, movies, etc. and their homes often look like a kid’s paradise.
5. Prestige & Status.
To a boy or teen, hanging around with a dynamic, fun adult with a nice house and a fast car is a very powerful lure, a major ego booster.
6. Money & Gifts.
Predators shower their victims with gifts and money, which is very seductive to a kid who may not have much materially, and it also puts the boy in a place of “obligation” to the giver.
7. Physical affection.
Predators can sense kids who have little affection at home, which is something every boy or teen needs, and he slowly begins giving that affection to the boy a little at a time, making him dependent on it, craving it to feel loved and liked and special.
8. Emotional support.
Predators go out of their way to listen to a boy, sympathize with his problems and offer help and advice as well as encouragement. This goes a long way with a kid who doesn’t feel like he’s worth much.
9. Sexual gratification.
Predators are experts on how to seduce, entice, arouse and sexually stimulate a boy or teen, and like it or not, it can become an addiction for the boy, especially if it’s his first sexual experience. Mix that with needed affection, and soon the boy won’t know the difference between sex and affection, love and arousal.
Time is the predator’s most powerful tool. Unlike normal adults who have lives, jobs, children, families, hobbies, and other interests and obligations which all play important but somewhat equal parts in life, the predator has a job, a career, interests, hobbies, etc., only as props to support his addiction—kids. Since this is his all consuming addiction, money, time, and interests are all expended toward this one goal—to find his fantasy child or teen and molest them, photograph them, use them. Since the other things like work and family are just asides, they have enormous amounts of time and energy to devote to the finding of kids, the luring of kids, the prepping of kids, for the seemingly endless amount of time spent listening to kids and going places with them and buying them things and doing things with them, all in hopes of the ultimate—sex with a minor.
Once a predator determines to find a victim, this is the general train of events that often follows:
1. He finds the desired child or teen.
2. Befriends them, gains their trust.
3. Gains the trust of the parents so they won’t suspect.
4. Makes the boy feel important through lots of time and personal attention, makes him feel he is more important to him than anybody.
5. Flatters him. Tells him he’s handsome, smart, etc.
6. Makes plans for private time with him,
a. Counseling him,
b. Going to movies,
c. Going to the park, video arcade, beach, pool, concerts, etc.,
d. Plans a camping trip with him,
e. Hires him to work around the house or business,
f. Helps him with his schoolwork.
7. Treats him like an adult.
8. Builds non threatening affectionate physical contact.
9. Introduces or allows “adult” activities; smoking, drinking, drugs, pornography, swearing, etc.
10. Starts slowly discussing sex, gaining as much intimate knowledge of him as possible.
11. Remolds his thinking about what is “normal sex,” eventually disclosing his “normal” desires for sex with the boy.
12. Having changed his thinking, gained his trust and dependency and accelerated physical contact, the boy is now totally vulnerable to being molested.
13. The predator plans the time and place where there will be no suspicion or interference or time constraints.
14. After prepping him with alcohol, pornography, etc., while he has broken down the walls enough to start molesting him, he tells him:
All guys do it.
He knows some of his friends who do it.
He loves him.
The boy is “turned on” and that’s normal and means he wants it too.
Guilt is wrong.
He’s the greatest kid in the world.
15. After he’s molested him, he makes the boy feel he started it, threatens to tell if he has to, tells him he will be destroyed if the boy tells—whatever it takes to keep him quiet.
16. After he has outgrown his attraction for him, the predator keeps the photos or videos as a memento and searches for a new kid.
This is a general picture that doesn’t fit every victim or every predator, but fits many of them, and in that respect it is very painfully accurate. Knowing your enemy is half the battle in stopping him.
Below: Preview of The Kinsey Syndrome