On the evening of December 28th, 2017, Lighthouse Trails friend and co-laborer in the Gospel Larry DeBruyn passed away in a hospital in his home state, Indiana, due to complications from pneumonia. Larry was 73 years old.
Larry was a graduate of Taylor University (B.S., 1968) and Dallas Theological Seminary (Th.M., 1974) where he received the Charles A. Nash Award in Church History. He spent some time as a public school teacher before becoming a pastor. In the course of forty-three years, he ministered to three churches in Michigan, Missouri, and Indiana. He also taught on the adjunct faculties of Taylor University, Upland, Indiana (1979); Crossroads Bible College, Indianapolis, Indiana (1990-1999); and Word of Life Bible Institute, Tóalmás, Hungary (2006). Since 1990, he ministered in Eastern Europe teaching numerous times at the Kiev Theological Seminary, assisting to plant churches and ministries in Lithuania and Ukraine, and preaching, teaching, and evangelizing in Latvia (2011), Australia (2010, 2011, 2013), New Zealand (2011, 2013), Turkey (2013), Russia (2013) the Republic of Georgia (2015), South Africa (2016), and Zimbabwe (2016).
For many years up until his passing, Larry wrote cutting-edge articles and books exposing the New Spirituality (i.e., contemplative, emerging, etc) that has entered modern-day Christianity. He was a brilliant articulate writer and was never afraid to speak the truth in both love and strength. He was also an astute researcher and worked together with several discernment ministries, providing insights and documentation that were often overlooked by others.
After retiring from formal pastoring, he devoted his time solely to writing and speaking. In 2016, he spoke at The Berean Call Conference in Bend, Oregon; he also did two radio interviews with Berean Call’s T.A. McMahon on contemplative prayer and quantum spirituality that same year. In one of these interviews, Larry discussed those who say we need some form of mantric-like meditation in order to experience the presence of God in our lives. He stated:
It’s all about seeking “the presence,” you see, of God, because the idea is that through meditation, it can come first through “experiencing the presence of God.” But we know that the Lord Jesus Christ has promised to be present with us always, even until the end of the age. The book of Hebrews tells us that the Lord will never leave us nor forsake us. So the question that I have for anyone who would think that they could contemplate themselves into the presence of God, why do you contemplate when He’s already present with us and in us?
Larry’s contribution to exposing the unbiblical structure of both contemplative spirituality and the New Age movement was surpassed by few. Books he wrote include Church on the Rise (Why I Am Not a “Purpose Driven” Pastor)’ Drumming Up Deception: Whether in Celebration or Contemplation – “Feeling” the Beat; and Unshackled, Breaking Away from Seductive Spirituality. His articles as well as his books give a biblical perspective that is so needed in the church today. Some of his articles and reports were “The Music and the Mystical,” “Who Goes There? Encountering Voices in the Silence of Contemplative Prayer,” his series reports on Steve Berger’s Have Heart book that promoted necromancy, and on Bill Johnson’s (of Bethel Church) co-authored book on quantum spirituality, The Physics of Heaven. Larry’s writing on these topics left no stone unturned, and his documentation was irrefutable. His writings can be accessed on his website Guarding His Flock Ministries.
In addition to Larry’s own work, he offered great support and encouragement to many who were fighting the battle to bring discernment to the church including Warren B. Smith and Ray Yungen (who preceded Larry in death by 14 months). He was also a great friend and encourager to several pastors including Pastor Robert Gifford of Virginia.
Larry has left behind his wife (to whom he was married for over 50 years) and two grown sons. One of Larry’s favorite poems to quote was “A Mind at Perfect Peace With God” by Catesby Paget (1868-1930):
A mind at “perfect peace” with God,
Oh, what a word is this!
A sinner reconciled through blood;
This, this, indeed is peace!
By nature and by practice far,
How very far from God!
Yet now by grace, brought nigh to Him,
Through faith in Jesus’ blood.
So nigh, so very nigh to God,
I cannot nearer be;
For in the person of His Son,
I am as near as He.
So dear, so very dear to God,
More dear I cannot be;
The love wherewith He loves the Son,
Such is His love to me.
Why should I ever careful be,
Since such a God is mine?
He watches o’er me night and day,
And tells me “Mine is thine.”
Larry DeBruyn lived what he believed. He knew there was an eternal home waiting for Him while he was passing through this present temporal world. He saw no price too great to give to His Savior who had purchased him with His own blood on Calvary. Larry was a great example to so many of a life uncompromised for Christ, and he will be missed tremendously. Yet, while he has departed from us for now, his writings and research will live on for years to come. Farewell dear friend until we meet again.