Tom White, Voice of the Martyrs: Dealing With Serious Sin and Pain

But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. Matthew 18:6

friends by Benjamin Gimmel-Wikicommons

Friends by Benjamin Gimmel-Wikicommons
So, little girls can be like Bathsheba or Tamar?

By now, most of our readers – an astute bunch – have probably read of Tom White’s apparent suicide. Tom had been the executive director of the Voice of the Martyrs for many years. Voice of the Martyrs is a nonprofit, interdenominational Christian organization dedicated to assisting the persecuted church worldwide. In the interest of full disclosure, I have donated to this fine organization and know the wonderful work they have done, giving voice to those who are persecuted for their faith worldwide. What I am about to write in no way reflects on their many good works. I urge you to visit their website here in order to more deeply understand this vital ministry.

There is one thing that can be said, without hesitation, about The Wartburg Watch. Pedophilia is our hot button issue. Not only were we involved with a pedophile situation at a church and were under duress for doing so, we have had extensive contact with victims, their families and with SNAP (Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests – pastors, too) as well as lawyers who have represented victims on a national scale.

We have advocated, along with Wade Burleson and Tom Rich, for a pedophile database within the Southern Baptist Convention which, unfortunately, has seen its fair share of abusive pastors. So far, we are being studiously ignored.

Here are three posts we have written on the issue of pedophilia. The first two, “A Public Service Announcement : What Is Pedophilia?here and “Profile of a Pedophilehere deal with statistics and research into this sordid area. The last one is “Bill Zeller’s Suicide: Pedophiles Go to Heaven and Catholics Go to Hell” is a deeply tragic story of the suicide of a young man who was molested as a child which received national attention here. Make sure you have Kleenex available when you read his story.

Here is a brief background of the White situation in the past week. According to Tulsa World here

“White was accused of molesting a 10-year-old girl, and police had started an investigation when he disappeared, according to court records. A note in his vehicle indicates that he was suicidal or fleeing police, records show. An autopsy is pending with the state Medical Examiner's Office in Tulsa. Police Chief Tom Holland said Thursday that there was no evidence of foul play. “

This story is garnering a great deal of interest and sadness in the local area. Voice of the Martyrs and Tom White were greatly respected in this community. Police Chief Holland is a board member for Voice of the Martyrs and knew White personally, which makes this story even more heartrending.

Even the local newspaper, Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise, expressed angst in reporting the story here.

 “I can also tell you that for me personally, the decision to pursue and ultimately publish our Friday front-page news was one of the most gut-wrenching that I have ever had to make in my newspaper career.

As much as I might wish this tragic and unseemly story would go away, it will not. I and my staff are duty-bound to report the truth — all the truth — not just the truth that makes us feel good, but also the truth that is sometimes awful to acknowledge and even more difficult to accept.

We know full well that some readers would prefer the newspaper not report this news. Some accuse us of sensationalism. Others argue that the information should be hidden in order to protect family members and others close to the situation from further emotional distress.

Still others will lash out at the newspaper for what they perceive as a smear against a man’s legacy or the organization to which he devoted so much of his life’s work. Others accuse us of showing a lack of “decency” or of even being “anti-Christian.” "I can only tell you this: We have but one agenda — that is pursuit of the truth.”

Christian Today Australia here, fills in the rest of the story with the latest, perhaps most telling, response of Voice of the Martyrs.

“…the nonprofit, interdenominational organization acknowledged that White, 64, was being investigated by Oklahoma authorities for allegedly having "inappropriate contact with a young girl.""Rather than face those allegations, and all of the resulting fallout for his family and this ministry and himself, Tom appears to have chosen to take his own life," the Christian ministry said in an April 20 statement.

It added, "None of those in leadership at VOM, including our Board of Directors, were aware of these allegations at the time of Tom's death. There is no doubt that Tom cared about his wife, his children and his grandchildren. And there's no doubt that he cared about VOM.”

The editor of Benediction Blogs On offered some helpful statistics and expressed his concern with the Voice of the Martyr’s here

He listed the following statistics from the USA National Sex Offender Registry here

  • The average child molester will molest fifty girls before being caught and convicted.
  • A child molester that seeks out boys will molest 150 boys before being caught and convicted and he will commit at least 280 sexual crimes in his lifetime.
  • The standard pedophile will commit 117 sexual crimes in their lifetime.
  • Most sexual abuse happens between the ages of 7 and 13.
  • There are over 491,720 registered sex offenders in the United States.
  • 80,000 to 100,000 of the above offenders are missing.
  • Molesters known by the family or victim are the most common abusers. The Acquaintance Molester accounts for 70-90% of reported cases.”

Bene Diction then adds:

“The young girl White is alleged to have had ‘inappropriate contact’ with was 10 years old. If the molestation allegations are true, she is never going to be the same. While I can appreciate the board is in shock at what their statement acknowledges as an apparent suicide of their colleague in the workplace, this girl and her family need prayer and professional support. An alleged victim is not secondary to an executive directors death. What troubles me is this: will other allegations be forthcoming? Are there other girls and their families who have not gone to authorities?”

Some thoughts.

The Victims Must Come First

Barbara Dorris of SNAP gave us a piece of advice that has served us well. Whenever one becomes involved in these horrible situations, it is easy to lose sight of the main thing. Do not forget the victims!

In fact, Wade Burleson wrote a remarkable post in which he put the victim first. We should all model this approach. It is called “Sin and Suicide of Martyrs “ here.

“Unfortunately, you have suffered the most severe type of personal persecution there is. The invisible physical, emotional and spiritual boundaries that every adult should respect in young girls have been violated by your abuser. What makes your abuse even more horrific is that it came from someone trusted by us all. I am proud that you talked about what happened to you.”

Voice of the Martyrs must sacrificially reach out to the victim(s)

Voice of the Martyrs needs to reach out to the alleged victim as soon as possible. Of course, lawyers will try to prevent them from doing so because they are afraid of lawsuits. I say that a true Christian response should be to do the right thing and let God take care of the potential lawsuits. What does it matter if you “protect the ministry” and lose your soul in the process? Do we not trust God for the process, even if it is painful?

And so what if bankruptcy occurs? Do we not trust God to work in that circumstance as well? As a pastor once told me, “God is far more concerned about the process we take to get to the end result.”

VOM should offer to pay for any counseling and support that will be needed for this alleged young victim and any others that might come forward. It is the right thing to do.

There may be more victims.

Voice of the Martyrs, along with their supporters, must be prepared that, if this occurred, there are probably other victims. Please look at the statistics. “The average child molester will molest fifty girls before being caught and convicted.”

Stop blaming the victim.

Christians who would even considering blaming a 10-year-old victim must get counseling themselves. Do you think this couldn’t happen? Wade Burleson has deleted the comments on this post for good reason. There was actually a commenter who said that this child could be either a Tamar or a Bathsheba! How sick is that?

I know of a teen boy who was asked by a church leader why he allowed his molestation to go unreported since, obviously, he knew it was wrong. This grown man was horribly ill-equipped to deal with such a serious situation. He showed a lack of understanding about relationships in which an older person has the power and can play mind games with the weaker victim. Such a leader is adding to this teen's abuse by such statements. This man should not be a leader, and he desperately needs education on compassion. (Can you teach compassion to someone)?

Could the current climate of severe church discipline and celebrity heroes prevent seriously hurting people from seeking help?

Several of the above quoted sources added this piece of information to the discussion and we believe it is significant. White spent around 18 months in a Cuban jail.

“White made flights over Cuba to drop gospels in the late 1970s after Cuban dictator Fidel Castro ordered the destruction of Bibles. White spent time in a Cuban prison when his private plane crashed there in May 1979. He was released in October 1980. “

A few years back, I encouraged people in a Sunday school class to seek help from the church if they were dealing with serious issues such as substance abuse, pornography, etc. After class I was approached by a woman who said she would never tell anyone in church if she or a loved one had a serious issue. She claimed that the secret would get out and she would be ostracized. I was shocked; thinking how sad it was that she couldn’t trust members of her own church.

Little did I know at that time how right she was. Not only did I experience a church elder spreading (and admitting to) a false rumor about me, but I have since read the discipline contract at Mars Hill for the incident involving Andrew. I have said that a punishing environment could prevent those who desperately need help from seeking that help.

Let’s revisit Tom’s time in jail. I admired Charles Colson’s prison ministry. He advocated for safe jails. Through him, I learned about the rampant rapes and sodomy that is part of the everyday environment in United States jails. Can you imagine what goes on in prisons in other countries?

Is it possible that Tom was severely abused during his time in a Cuban jail? He was there for 18 months. This abuse could have been so serious that he didn't know how to speak of it. When he was released, the Christian community held him up as a hero. But what if  he was hurting and didn't know how to speak of it?  I have been unable to find an article written by a pastor who said that he was expected to be perfect for his congregation. He tried to live up to this false view, but he was dying inside. He spent his time pretending he was the “perfect pastor” that they wanted him to be and soon experienced a breakdown.

Pastors and leaders are as capable of serious sin as anybody else. Yet, sometimes we view those in leadership as untouchable and maybe just a bit better than the rest of us. Hero worship makes this even more difficult. This puts an unbearable burden on such leaders who may feel pressured to live up to that image.

Some Christians have presented a false face to the world, often pointing fingers at those on the outside, while hiding terrible sin on the inside. Those who do so claim they are protecting the church’s witness. They are naïve.The world sees our sin and questions why we present such a “clean cut, we would never do anything bad" face to the world. They then accuse us, rightly so, of hypocrisy as these stories become known. Frankly, such perfect churches with people who are almost perfect do not exist.

I believe it is the role of the church to educate the world that we, in the church, need Jesus just as much as those outside of the faith. We may be positionally holy, but we still functionally sin. That is why we should sing, shout, and point to the grace found in Jesus Christ. Our response to sin within the faith is to first admit it. Then repent of it. And then tell the world that we are forgiven and that they can join in. Let’s admit what the world sees. Our witness is not our “perfect” lives. The Pharisees tried to do that. Let us fess up to our constant need for the grace of Jesus and stop pretending that we have this sin thing under control.

Be assured, this is no excuse for the alleged actions of Tom White. But, has the church gone so far down the discipline road that few would ever reach out for help? If people have been disciplined in some of these churches for merely asking a question, can you imagine what would go through the mind of someone who is involved in serious sin? Could we have created a system which actually stifles some from seeking help?

Here is my plea. For those struggling with terrible sin, seek help. Go outside the church if you must. There are community groups that deal with every sin and obsession imaginable. For the rest of us, may we create a climate that encourages those who are struggling to seek help from the church, no matter how difficult the sin.

Lydia’s Corner: Ezekiel 21:1-22:31 Hebrews 10:1-17 Psalm 108:1-13 Proverbs 27:12

Comments

Tom White, Voice of the Martyrs: Dealing With Serious Sin and Pain — 264 Comments

  1. Pingback: Be true to your cult, ctd | Civil Commotion

  2. Thank you for this post, dee. Having been a victim advocate for 10 yrs., I have seen my share of victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, and molestation.

    During that timeframe, we approached many churches offering to provide training for their staff so they could minister to the victim appropriately and provide helpful resources. In all that time, only one church accepted our offer. Either it’s a well-kept secret that it exists within their congregations, or churches have developed the practice of denial that perpetuates the problem from generation to generation and unnecessarily fails to minister to the victim or the perpetrator.

    As we were not allowed to minister to victims in the ER in terms of religious counseling, it was imperative that churches learn the dynamics of abuse for the benefit of those who need help.

    This is such a sad story. All those involved truly need our prayers.

  3. I had no idea. When did this happen?

    Just goes to show there can be creeps anywhere.

    A man that age doesn’t just wake up one day and find an attraction to a 10 year old girl. You can bet there is a long and sad trail of other victims.

    There are obviously a lot of facts to uncover yet.

    I don’t know anything about White’s background. I have heard of VOM.

    What church is it affiliated with? Nondenominational?

    What church was White affiliated with?

    If there is any history whatsoever to this that people (wive, staff, directors) knew, it is going to be unbelievable.

    At this point everything is speculation. But I hope a full and fair investigation will be undertaken.

    And I hope the Victims get the help and love they deserve.

  4. Anonymous
    This is the head of the incredibly respected Voice of the Martyrs. It is parachurch. They are the chief advocacy group for those who are persecuted for their faith. That is why this is such a shock since they advocate for victims.

  5. Also, on the proposed database that some advocate the SBC start and monitor, it’s not that the idea has been ignored.

    The idea has been considered and the Convention does not believe it is a good idea.

    I am one who does not think it is a good idea.

    Christians should consider each other people of goodwill when it comes to these issues, even though they may disagree about the best remedy for a particular situation.

    I do not favor a database to be started and run by the SBC.

    I do favor a database that would be started and run by private individuals (as either a non-profit or a for profit company) that would be offered to the SBC and other religious organizations.

    I even suggesting working with an advocate on such a proposal, and when I did, the person publicly rebuffed and insulted me.

    It was a strange interaction.

    I am hoping that we can all be united in our opposition to this sort of thing but not descend into name calling just because we have different ideas about how to address the issues.

  6. New International Version (©1984)
    The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?

    New Living Translation (©2007)
    “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?

    English Standard Version (©2001)
    The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?

  7. Though I live in Seattle my parent’s home is within sight of the Voices of the Martyrs headquarters in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. I have given to this organization and was pleased to hear they had a presence in my hometown. It is easy for many to feel sorry for the organization and the perpetrator’s family and forget the victim. To focus on the victim is to cast the perpetrator in a bad light and make the organization look bad. When a church spends a great amount of time and money making itself look good to the public (because they need donations) they tend to gloss over the crime. They don’t want to deal with what happened and its why victims are rarely acknowledged. I know this first hand as I once reported serious sexual misconduct concerning a pastor in a mega church I attended and all I heard was how leadership needed to protect the pastor’s career and his family. It involved multiple victims. I made the difficult decision to press the church’s responsibility to do the right thing and paid a heavy price for doing so. (I was told to leave and take the victims with me). In the end not one victim was reached out to and not a single phone was made. But the pastor (he resigned) with his wife and kids were reached out to, to encourage and help them through their difficult time. When its another church everyone shakes their head in disgust. When its your church there tends to be denial, minimization and total ignorance.

  8. Mike
    We, too, were in a similar situation. We ended up leaving the church and we were chased to the next church who were told that we were trouble. The perp is in jail for 13 years but we were the problems. However, we started this blog and that experience stood is in good stead. If that had not happened, we would have questioned many stories we hear. No more. Your story resonates with us. been there, been through that, learned many, many lessons.You are amongst the few who stood up for the victims. One day, in heaven, you will hear “Well done, good and faithful servant.” If you would ever like to tell you story, let us know. We will be happy to post it, anonymously or not.

  9. Jimmy
    And sometimes the human heart is so damaged by pain and abuse that it no longer sees the truth.

  10. I think this is perhaps one of the saddest stories I have ever read, sorrowful on so many levels. Any way you interpret it – it is a heart-rending tragedy. If the allegations are true – tragic. If the allegations are false (which would seem the less likely option given the turn of events) – also tragic.

  11. Jimmy:

    You said:”New International Version (©1984)
    The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?

    New Living Translation (©2007)
    “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?

    English Standard Version (©2001)
    The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?”

    Care to elaborate? The above covers a lot of ground. Simply put what were you trying to convey in your comment?

  12. Dee, I didn’t know Tom White; don’t know his story, I do know mine; different sins but same heart. I truly understand bat-sh*t crazy, it lurks on a daily basis within this heart of mine.

    But Dee, aren’t you and Deb also condemned by Jeremiah? Or is it only Mahaney, White and Driscoll who suffer the curse of Jeremiah.
    Or, just possibly, ALL of your commenters, who so readily condemn others, are also sick at heart too. I’m thinking they just might be.

    I’m truly sorry for the little girl, truly sorry for the ministry; truly sorry for the Whites.

  13. There is a fountain filled with blood
    Drawn from Emanuel’s veins
    And sinners plunged beneath that flood
    Lose all their guilty stains.

  14. Jimmy:

    One more comment to you today and it is one too many by me. I have yet to read a comment by you here that does not try to change whatever the current topic to something off topic. I have been told you are not a TROLL but you sure meet my definition of one.

  15. Jimmy, I’m condemned by Jeremiah too.

    It’s good to know that we can rely on Jesus for our righteousness.

  16. Dee and Deb:

    I just thought that I would write and say how much I appreciate your concern for people who are injured like this.

    I think that I mentioned that I was involved as a 19 year old (had been active in church for 3 years) with a situation in my home church where an adult, married (35 year old) youth volunteer, whom I loved and respected, was or started to become involved with some of the girls in the youth group. They were older, 16-17, but there was clearly still an imbalance of power. The perp worked mightily to spin the situation, and the church acted very unwisely in some things. But the youth pastor stayed strong and I did, as well.

    Other than that experience, I have not had the occasion to be involved in an abuse situation.

    But in starting a church, I have been able to help set in stone some principles that would make sure that any abuser would be prosecuted vigorously, and also established some procedures that have helped our place operate so that the opportunity for abuse is greatly reduced.

    Keep up the good work.

  17. Jimmy
    Yep, you are right but we are still called to confront evil and repent, just like the prophets (who were not perfect) in the OT, just like Peter who deserted Jesus in his time of need, just like everyone else.So, get with it Jimmy. Start telling us what is wrong with us since you seem to think we are in need of chastisement. We can take it. We let critics and friends alike comment something your Calvinista friends will not do.

    TWW is doing what we are called to do. Why else would two middle aged female nobodies with no famous credentials, who started from nothing with no computer skills and a mediocre format become a relative busy little blog?

  18. Jimmy
    Oh yeah, in reference to mot’s comment, if we are so bad, why have we repeatedly told others that you are not a troll?

  19. Anonymous,

    Just want to say that I really do appreciate your thoughtful comments. We do have tremendous concern from those who have been hurt in some way, whether it be spiritual, physical, or emotional. We continue to stand in the gap for victims who often find themselves isolated, marginalized, and often re-victimized when they come forward.

  20. “But Dee, aren’t you and Deb also condemned by Jeremiah?”

    Seriously? What about Jesus Christ? The Holy Spirit?

    Proof text much?

  21. I saw this story a few days ago and was very saddened and shocked. Our church has worked with VOM. They are a blessing to many. I pray this young girl and her family find peace and healing in the love of Jesus. I pray for Tom White’s family and friends who are left confused and saddened as well. So sad. Lord, please turn ashes to beauty here some how, some way.

  22. A 10 year old loosing innocence – that is sad!

    An old man who lost everything he had – that is sad.

    This old man praying for his own soul – that is hopeful.

    Let us pray for one another that we do well!

  23. Hi, Anonymous, 4:01.

    You mentioned, concerning the database:

    “I am one who does not think it is a good idea.

    Christians should consider each other people of goodwill when it comes to these issues, even though they may disagree about the best remedy for a particular situation.

    I do not favor a database to be started and run by the SBC.”

    Seems to me like you’re advocating believing the best in people when amongst Christians to a fault — where standards of behavior may be communicated and mutually agreed upon, but no one holds anyone accountable. As if confrontation would be far too messy to allow one to continue to believe the best in a person. And you advocate assigning this function to an outside party. For the sake of in-house harmony and comfort and sidestep any mess.

    It’s as if SBC pastors & leaders must treat each other with kid gloves (because they are the spiritual elite and deserve a kind of honor and respect that precludes confrontation? or, because their egos are fragile?), and leave the policing of themselves to someone else so they won’t dirty their hands.

    This seems so odd and counter-intuitive to me. I have to be misunderstanding you. Your statements left much room for interpretation — and there is ample evidence available that would leade me to interpret as I have just done.

    Please clarify what you mean.

  24. A suicide in this situation is not necessarily a confession or result of guilt. Without a confession or note that contains one, we should be careful in assuming guilt. That is NOT to say we should be anything but compassionate with respect to the alleged victim. In our local jurisdiction, we have had false charges based on misunderstandings, and it takes a great deal of expertise, skill and compassion to respond appropriately to such charges, whether true, false or undetermined. It is not a business for amateurs.

  25. Eagle — you’ve described ridiculous christian people.

    But not God.

    (I’m sure I’m not the 1st person you’ve heard say something to thsi effect)

  26. Arce on Wed, Apr 25 2012 at 07:23 pm
    A suicide in this situation is not necessarily a confession or result of guilt.

    Good reminder Arce.

  27. “do not favor a database to be started and run by the SBC.”

    Me either.

    Basically what determine who’s on the list? Convicted of a sex crime? That’s already available.

    Accused of a crime but not convicted? Somewhat shaky ground you’re on.

    Dismissed by a church over a sexual issue? Now you’re really on thin ice if this list is used to prevent someone from renting a house, getting a job, whatever. Especially if there’s nothing in it but an accusation.

    A better approach is to call in the cops whenever a crime occurs and not “handle it within the body”. Sorry but rape is not something most any US church body can handle.

    I expect ARCE can comment more on my thoughts.

  28. Eagle said:
    “I thought Christianity is for the broken. IT’S NOT!! It’s for those who have everything together. Perfect house, counters, closets, marriage, children, job, career, etc… It’s so screwed up..and the system keeps perpetuating it.”

    Eagle,

    This is what’s so confusing to so many. Those who attempt to model perfection aren’t living an authentic Christian life. Please don’t confuse the fake with the real. God doesn’t look at outside appearances, which so often are a facade; He looks upon the heart.

    “But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for [a]God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7 NASB

  29. Note to Jimmy – tell me how you would react to someone getting their hands on your 10 year old daughter. Would you MAN UP, or just say…”gee, I guess he’s a sinner just like me!”

    Note to readers – an excellent resource for churches dealing with sexual abuse/prevention is GRACE – Godly Response To Abuse in Christian Environments.

    Note to those who supported VOM – you supported THE VICTIMS of persecution, not a specific individual.

    Note to VOM – it seems to me that the MORE you reach out to the victim, the LESS likely they would sue!

  30. “Throw The Windows Open Wide…”

    HowDee YaAll,

    …an horrific abuse to God’s little one under tender watchful  care, someone,  someone, someone…trusted by us all?

     Sin, corrupted hands, fallen broken wings… to leave this world praying your god to save your soul?

    Echo…Echo…Echo…Echo…Echo…

    …no-one called us, no-one calls us…’move on’, no-one forces down our eyes, no-one speaks and no-one tries, no-one knows the wheres or whys…something stirs and something tries, something starts our climb towards the light…

    Lord, help me understand the best I can.  No-one sings me lullabies, no-one makes me close my eyes, so I throw the windows open wide, and call your name LORD!, from  across on high!…

    Hear me Lord, when I cry!  (tear)

    (sadface)

    His eyes upon the sparrow, mine eyes upon Him…

    Ipr♥ay

    Sopy
    ___
    Secret Sphere – “The Scars That You Can’t See”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M06u9hgO_R8&feature=youtube_gdata_player

    Recording: Pink Floyd – “Echoes”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HehcJaTyd-E&feature=youtube_gdata_player

    Bonus Video: Pink Floyd – “Echoes” 
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Thwwd3S9rmA&feature=youtube_gdata_player

  31. “Eagle — you’ve described ridiculous christian people.

    But not God.

    (I’m sure I’m not the 1st person you’ve heard say something to thsi effect)”

    Amen sister!!!!! As I tell unbelievers all the time. I will NEVER make excuses for those who claim Christ and treat others horribly. NOR will I ever make excuses for what some call the Church.

    Of course, if you are a Calvinist, you cannot do that. God ordained them to be mean Christians.

  32. A few years back I started to give to VOM. I checked out their financials they have to report to government and what they paid officials and decided not to.

  33. There is no excuse for sexual immorality in the ministry (or anywhere else, for that matter). It is no sin to be tempted; the sin enters in when we entertain and act upon temptation.

    Sexual molestation has a life long impact on the abused. I know. My daughters were molested by a “christian” at church he held in his home. They are in their mid-thirties and still suffer, even as believers. (Please do not placate me with claptrap about Jesus being able to heal them here and now. Real, lasting healing, will not come for them until they stand before Him in Heaven and He wraps His arms around them).

    A friend of Charles Spurgeon was once asked if a man who committed sexual immorality could ever be restored to the ministry. He replied, “Only when his repentance is more notorious than his sin.” Honestly, I have never seen this in any individual that has stood in the pulpit (or ministered in any capacity).

    And I do agree that anyone who even suggests that the victims “tempted” the perpetrator, not only do they need counseling, they need to seriously examine if they are a believer or not.

    I wanted to kill the man who abused my daughters. It was only the strength God gives and his promise that vengeance is his prerogative that restrained me. Yet I have had to endure the insults of others who condemned me for not doing so.

    I have great sadness in my heart for the victim (and, statistically, there are probably many others) and for Tom’s family. They will endure the consequences of his actions till the day they die. No doubt there will be a big funeral with notable speakers decrying the sin while honoring the man. Yet, there is no honor in committing sexual immorality. Imagine how the victims feel when everyone rallies around the guilty while the innocent are forgotten, even shunned?

    This isn’t the first man to fall, nor will it be the last. I believe that the heart of God is broken tonight. May He guard our hearts and minds tonight lest we fall in a similar manner.

  34. Reading situations like this reminds me of how much I long for the day when sin, the effects of sin, and the consequences of sin will be forever gone…New Heaven/New Earth could not come any sooner!

    This is a shocking, heartbreaking situation…

    I truly hope VOM will do everything in their power to reach out to this victim and help in any way they can…

  35. I’m truly sorry for the little girl, truly sorry for the ministry; truly sorry for the Whites. — Jimmy

    THEN CUT THE F’IN CHRISTIANESE, JIMMY!

  36. I think that any list of alleged offenders should not be public, but should be available to a properly identified church officer who is considering the hiring of a specific person for a role in ministry in a church or putting a former church employee in a position of lay responsibility. When asked about a specific individual, the person who has secure access to the list can say not listed, listed because of alleged adult-adult sexual misconduct, or suspected of (whatever child offense — grooming, inappropriate touching, rape, etc.) The person requesting must have been sworn to confidentiality, that is, to merely say only that there has been a past problem (or not) that should (or should not) disqualify the person or that specific safeguards should be in place if the person is hired.

    Most churches do not have sufficient policies and procedures in place to protect children and teenagers. There are resources available with model policies and programs. They must be followed and people must make the effort to keep them up to date and to make them effective.

    Pastors’ offices’ should have glass walls or at least a glass door or window, never covered. And no pastor is the best counselor for someone of the opposite gender! BTW, many adult-adult pastor sexual peccadilloes start with counseling a younger woman about marital problems.

  37. Any such list should be maintained at a national denominational level or at least a state level, so that only very few (2-3) staff at the state or national level have any access.

  38. As a recovering SBC who went through two sexual abuse scandals during my youth (one at my high school, one at my church at different times), I can say that more needs to be done. I do not know if a database is the answer, since each SBC church is different. The church my family now attends, which is SBC, does the following:
    - Every volunteer for the nursery, youth, or children undergoes a background check. No exceptions.
    - Every child under 13 is signed in and out of the nursery/children’s church.
    - Every child must be checked out by an approved person

    I believe these are steps that every church can take, no matter what size or denomination. This church goes further by having security during worship services (helps with traffic also!).

    Another SBC church in Texas my undergrad professor taught at allowed a convicted sexual offender into their church membership because he showed signs of repentance by agreeing to have a police/security escort at all times. Apparently, he was a visual picture of repentance and God’s grace, and it allowed people to feel more at ease.

    A database will do no good if people won’t do background checks. They also will do no good if people accept “I’m sorry” as a sign of repentance. In my past, that just enabled the offender and approved of his character/actions from the perspective of the victims.

  39. Randall
    I am so sorry for the abuse of your children. I do not know how you made it through. I pray that they are healing from the abuse.I am touched by the quote of Spurgeon. We seem to take a quick “I’m sorry” as sincere. It isn’t until much time has passed.

  40. Eagle
    You know me. That is enough to know that things are not perfect here. But, the faith is real.

  41. “And no pastor is the best counselor for someone of the opposite gender! ”

    I agree 100%!

  42. Red -

    I agree. Our church does background checks on anyone working with nursery through high school and they are all volunteers. All staff members have background checks all children through 5th grade are signed in and checked out with showing of a security card. Only females take age 5 and under to the restroom and another female goes with them so that there are two adults. All these policies in place go a long way to protect the children and it sends a message to predators that might be checking your children.

    Do SBC churches not do background checks on staff and volunteers that work with children?

  43. Bridget2,

    Every SBC church is different. Because they are congregationalist, each individual church has different bylaws (same with Church of Christ and many charismatic denoms). Many of the larger churches (500+) require these things, but the older, smaller churches are usually so strapped for staff and money that anyone who attends and seems okay is fine. The thing with congregationalist churches are that even if a resolution was passed SBC, each individual church would have to approve it. It’s similar to a federal law being passed, but must be ratified within each individual state.

  44. In all of your rush to judgement I notice that it went from “alleged” victim to just plan old victim pretty quick. At that point it’s just assumed Tom was guilty and then you attached a “duty” to VOM (which doesn’t really exist even if the charges are true since they as an organization seemed to have no involvement in the allegations). Then you used this as an opportunity to get a quick jab in at the Southern Baptists. Not to mention the mildly confusing pic at the top…??? Added to that the quote from VOM followed by your “statistic” that strongly implies there were more victims yet to be discovered.

    Then you encouraged Christians to look for help outside the church (which by the way is completely contrary to biblical teaching).

    Added to that is the absolute absence of any sense of compassion for Tom’s family, VOM, the Persecuted Church – all of which are going to suffer for the actions and alleged actions of one man. Is that “grace” being demonstrated or some kind of glee?

    You taken a tragic situation with horrible potential repercussions (regardless of it’s truth or falsity) and shanghaied it for your own ends. For shame. This is a sad and tragic enough situation without someone using it to grind their axe. To couch it as a “search for truth” is disingenuous at best.

    For the future, ask yourself, Is your blog post a net win or loss for the Kingdom… If, as in this case, it’s the latter, you might want to demonstrate some restraint.

  45. Randall,

    Every time you make a comment here it is full of grace. I cannot say how sorry I am to hear how your daughters have been mistreated.

  46. Seeker said:

    “Reading situations like this reminds me of how much I long for the day when sin, the effects of sin, and the consequences of sin will be forever gone…New Heaven/New Earth could not come any sooner!”

    Yes. A thousand times over.

  47. Pingback: Tom White, Voice of the Martyrs: Dealing With Serious Sin and Pain … – What Is Abuse

  48. First I’ve heard of this sad sad story. Nothing to add except that here it is mandatory that anyone in the church doing ANYTHING with children or young people attend a child safety course, has a police check done on them, and all pastors and heads of ministries are, by law, mandatory reporters for any kind of child abuse.

    I know something first hand of the consequences of such abuse, even so-called ‘minor’ abuse, and I wish that anyone who dismisses or makes light of it could live 24 hours inside the skin of a victim! Then we wouldn’t hear the silly, victim blaming statements which still happen all too often.

  49. It seems to me that this post is potentially libelous seeing it has not been proven that Tom White was molesting anyone. You write as if there are victims when we don’t even know for sure yet.

    Can you at least have the decency to use the word ‘alleged’ victim or do you know something that we don’t? And does the Wartburg Watch not believe in innocent before proven guilty?

    Your post is very high minded and self-righteous when you have absolutely NO idea what is going on behind the scenes.

  50. Here in Scotland you can’t work with kids or vulnerable adults in any capacity, church or secular, unless you have a background check issued by the government. It doesn’t stop all offenders, of course, but I’m sure it puts off a lot of the previously convicted ones from volunteering for these roles. Would I be correct in thinking that some states in the US must have similar laws?

    Still, if I ever start going to church again I’m going to ask what their policy is on abuse on sexual abuse and domestic violence cases, and take the answer as a measure of how much they care for ‘the least’. I’m sure that the national church (Church of Scotland) must have policies but I don’t know about others.

  51. It’s outrageous that anyone would refer to 10-year old as ‘Bathsheba, meaning temptress, of course. But it also annoys me that so many Christians assume Bathsheba herself must have ‘wanted it’ and was partially responsible for David’s moral failure. It’s like some pastor somewhere played sexual detective and went ‘one final thing, Ms Bathsheba… why were you taking a shower on your roof that night?’ and all the other pastors though ‘good point! Let’s start teaching in our churches that Bathsheba was a hussy! That makes us feel better about out own moral failings, somehow’.

    The fact is, people in the old days commonly washed on their roofs. David was a king – he probably lived in a palace that was much taller than the surrounding houses so he had a good view of their rooftops. Since the nation’s men were away at war, perhaps Bathsheba felt a bit more careless than usual about keeping her modesty protected. And anyway, there is no record of whether Bathsheba wanted to sleep with David because whether or not she wanted to was totally inconsequential at that time in history – he was the king and she was a lowly woman; he had power and she didn’t, and they both knew it.

    We know from earlier stories that David had previously forced a woman to leave her loving husband to become part of his harem. We know that Bathsheba’s husband was a reasonably high status man who yet chose to have only one wife, who valued loyalty and was faithful to both the King and his wife, and who loved Bathsheba – would he have loved the kind of woman who showed little loyalty and was just itching for opportunities to betray him sexually with men of higher status? I doubt it.

    So. A man with a track record of sexual coercion. A situation where he had all the power and she had none. And yet people feel the need to speculate and point the finger and say ‘well, she must have been tempting him on purpose!’ And now this woman’s name is synonymous with being an immoral, scheming seductress.

  52. “Is that “grace” being demonstrated or some kind of glee?”

    “Your post is very high minded and self-righteous when you have absolutely NO idea what is going on behind the scenes.”

    Gentlemen, I will be as polite as possible, yet direct in commenting on your statements.

    There is no “glee” when dealing with child molesters or any kind of sexual immorality. Sexual immorality committed against a child is forever. Almost all, even if they do become Christians, suffer from intimacy issues for the rest of their lives. To state that those who post here get some kind of satisfaction (“glee” as you stated) is truly a statement of your ignorance.

    You also have no idea of what is going on behind the scenes. When my daughters were victimized, it took the authorities weeks to bring charges. They were meticulous in their investigation, questioning family, friends, co-workers, and even us. Finally, after two months charges were filed. The man went to prison.

    If you will read again the interview of Police Chief Tom Holland, you will hear in his voice the pain and anguish of having to investigate his friend. Why would he have such pain if he even suspected that his friend was innocent?

    Innocent men do not kill themselves. Innocent men do not flee. Innocent men stand and defend themselves. Have you read the statistics from the USA National Sex Offender Registry here that Dee wrote of in her post?

    The average child molester will molest fifty girls before being caught and convicted.

    A child molester that seeks out boys will molest 150 boys before being caught and convicted and he will commit at least 280 sexual crimes in his lifetime.

    The standard pedophile will commit 117 sexual crimes in their lifetime.

    Most sexual abuse happens between the ages of 7 and 13.

    There are over 491,720 registered sex offenders in the United States.

    80,000 to 100,000 of the above offenders are missing.

    Molesters known by the family or victim are the most common abusers.

    The Acquaintance Molester accounts for 70-90% of reported cases.

    Children do not make-up stories like this. I have suffered the pain of looking into the eyes of my little girls and see the fear, shame, confusion, and the tears streaming down their faces. I pray that is something you never see.

    I would suggest that you both educate yourselves on this subject. It will both scare and sicken you. If I had little children today, I would never let them out of my sight.

    And what about the victim? She not only must deal with her abuse, but also with the death of her abuser. She will feel that she is responsible for his death. She is scared, confused and dealing with feelings of shame. She feels dirty, spoiled and wonders if anyone will love her after what has happened to her. She is terrified that people will make fun of her. Worse, she feels that no one will believe her. She will cry a lot. She will be afraid of the dark and of being alone. Although she is white as snow in the eyes of God, she will never forget the ugly act committed on her.

    You referred to the comments here as “high minded and self-righteous.” If we are guilty, then may God forgive us. Perhaps you should search your own heart to see if you are guilty of what you accuse us of?

    There is no good that will come of this.

  53. Elastigirl:

    I have objections to an SBC run data base that are along the lines of what Lynn objects to.

    Preachers and the SBC (and other denominations) are all for “doing something” about problems that often amount to window dressing.

    My primary objection to the database is that it appears to promise a solution, but it really does not. No church can be compelled to report to it. One of the most high profile situations lately involved a large, sophisticated church in Dallas who had a pedophile in their midst about 20 years ago. He was caught and left the church. Neither the family of the abused nor the staff wanted to make it public matter, so the guy left. Recently it is discovered that he has been working in churches in Mississippi and abusing people there.

    So to promise some big database that is supposed to help is really an illusory promise. The idea of giving false hope to people really bothers me.

    Also, I worry about competence.

    Also, I worry about whether money that churches donate for missions will be confiscated by enterprising plaintiff’s lawyers.

    You seem to believe that I am against people in the SBC confronting others over problems like this. I am not against that at all.

    When I am speaking about treating Christians as people of goodwill, I am not talking about pastors failing to address these issues.

    I am talking about Christians treating one another with respect even if they have a difference of opinion on the SBC creating a database.

    Some may favor a database. That is fine. I would be glad to discuss the merits with them. Others, like myself and Lynn do not think that is a wise idea. We should not be impugned because we hold that opinion.

    That is what I am trying to say.

  54. Bridget2:

    I like the policies of your church.

    We are an SBC church and we do background checks on all persons working with children – age 0 through 18. People have to sign a release to allow us to do the check when they want to work in those ministries.

    We also have the 2 adults to the restroom deal. And while I think it would be healthy for men to change a few diapers, but because of the concerns of others, we restrict that to women.

    We also have a policy that if there is any complaint of a sexual nature or possible abuse, the police are to be called immediately. The staff would obviously have to have some general understanding to make the call, but NO situations are to be “handled” or resolved by the staff or the elders or the congregation. If there are criminal allegations, the police are to be called. That would be true even if the family doesn’t want to call the police.

  55. Bear
    I fear you misunderstand. In fact your response is the response that many have received in the church when they attempt to discuss pedophilia and molestation. Do not forget, there is a child involved in this situation. You have rushed to the defense of many, but have not spoken one word of compassion to the child who is involved. In fact, it is a prime directive of this blog to stand for the abused. If someone comes onto this blog and does not mention, with great compassion, a child who may have been irrevocably harmed by this action, then we know that this person has an agenda. Please go on over to Wade Burleson’s blog and read his take on this.

    I believe that our post is a net gain for the kingdom. The more we talk about this terrible problem, the more it can be dealt with. We have advocated for victims of pedophilia in the church since this blog started. The circumstances surrounding this situation are pretty clear. You did read the statement from VOM?

    As for compassion, you obviously did not understand the intent of the last part of this post. It was meant to bring understanding to the potential events that may have led to this moment.

    And yes, there are many who have been deeply harmed in the church with horrendous counseling and we have documented that on this site if you would take the time to read it. I said that, if the church seems to be the sort of place in which you would get bad counsel, go somewhere and deal with these dark urges. Get help! So don’t go getting “biblical” on me. That is the tactic of those who ignore and perpetuate the problems in today’s churches. Why don’t you do some reading on this subject before you tell us what is biblical and what is not.

  56. Bear
    To one of your points, I went through the article and noticed that on two occasion I mentioned the victim without the word alleged. I have corrected that oversight. But once again, you must read the comment by VOM. I still say that VOM should have reached out to the “alleged” victim. I would prepare yourself that the statements by VOM and others indicate there is a quite a bit known about this situation.

  57. Rob
    I did use the word alleged. There were two times I didn’t. I have changed that. I am sorry that this situation has occurred. Read the statement by VOM. You can be sure that something very very serious occurred. As for self-righteous, anyone who does not think that pedophilia is a terrible sin and calls it a sin must have his/her head stuck firmly in the sand.

    And there is a child involved. That much is known. There is no way the police would have been able to get a warrant to follow White by GPS. That child is a victim, no matter what happened. Pray for her.

  58. Randall
    Thank you for your comment. My heart goes out to your children. This is a horrible situation. There are so many people who cannot believe that a pastor, Christian leader, etc could be guilty of such a thing. They get upset because their own faith is tied into believing that some people are above such sins. Denial is necessary to deal with their own conflicting views on what they believe to be true about the faith. It is far easier to accept that all men and women are capable of horrible sin and that is why we all need Jesus.

  59. “One of the most high profile situations lately involved a large, sophisticated church in Dallas who had a pedophile in their midst about 20 years ago. He was caught and left the church. Neither the family of the abused nor the staff wanted to make it public matter, so the guy left. Recently it is discovered that he has been working in churches in Mississippi and abusing people there.”

    Anonymous,

    I understand the situation with the database as it will not protect anyone unless they are convicted anyway.

    But I have a question concerning the case above. And while the same players may not be in leadership at the church, I think this is where we really fall down. WE are not a denomination but associations have disfellowshiped churches in the SBC for things like homosexuality and women pastors. Why not for protecting a pedephile and NOT warning other churches? And NOT calling authorities. What is the SBC afraid of? Why not even ask the states to make it clear a church will be disfellowshiped if it is found they did not call the authorities about an abuse case.

    Whether this works perfectly or not, the message is sent. We don’t want you if you protect predators who can go on to abuse others. It does not matter whether the parents want the authorities called or not. If it were anywhere else but a church (oh the irony!!!), the organiztion would be in trouble if they did not report it.

  60. WE are not a denomination but associations have disfellowshiped churches in the SBC for things like homosexuality and women pastors. Why not for protecting a pedephile and NOT warning other churches. — Anon1

    Because Fagginess and Uppity Women (and EVILution) are far more heinous sins than a little pedophilia, that’s why! And the pedo is $aving $oul$!

  61. Randall, I think this lack of compassion for the victims and anger that anyone dare talk about molestation of someone they like just reeks of how hard hearted some “Christians” really are.

    Frankly, I have seen more compassion and understanding from the secular world on this subject. They seem to be more concerned with how the victim will heal and the life long scars of the victim. Ironically, they want molesters behind bars.

    The other thing that really gets to me is how “Christians” will show up in court and beg for a lighter sentence if they are convicted OR they wil give a character witness for a molester because he is a “Christian”. (I wonder if the Holy Spirit was present while he was molesting?)

    Christians are such hypocrites. Do they forget the victims families are there, too?

    What is it? Are the hearts so hard that little children really don’t matter? Maybe it is because they don’t tithe? I know the answer. It is all about image and growing churches. And selling cheap grace helps. Hey, look, you can be a molester and we will support you even give character witness in court! Never mind the victim, she will get over it.

    There is a seemy side of what passes for Christianity that is a wake up call for those of us who want to be feet in the Kindgom now. We cannot coexist in fellowship with those who want to sweep this sort of thing under the rug and look down on victims. We can have no fellowship with these sorts until they are given new hearts by the conviction of the Holy spirit. This is not a matter of disagreement on a doctrine. This is the very heart of what it means to walk in the light as believers.

    This is the line in the sand for me.

  62. Eagle, you brutal honesty is so refreshing, you would be a breath of fresh air to any church who had enough sense to not crucify you. I love your line, “People tend to rail about the part of themselves they hate.” I’m posting it to my facebook.

    As far as Christianity being for perfect people, I can’t in good conscience deny that is how it works out on the ground level for most evangelicals. But certainly we can agree that the whole idea of Jesus dying for the sins of the world was meant to counter that whole system. The thing is, we don’t practice what we are supposed to believe, and in this area in particular, I believe this is why the confessional was created. You got slammed when you were vulnerable and opened yourself up to others, not by any fault of your own, but because you were betrayed. If the person you confess your sins to is wearing a collar, you can take it to the bank that he will take it to his grave. The whole purpose of the confessional was to provide a safe place for Christians to find relief from the burden of their guilt, assurance of God’s full forgiveness, and counsel for dealing with struggles (by some fairly experienced counselors). I’l give you this: Most Christianity is NOT for the broken, but where you see a wooden closet, this is a symbol of God’s accepting of sinners, the very thing Jesus came to do.

  63. Rob, Bear, et al

    I am away from home at a meeting. The more I think about this, the more that I want to clarify something. There is a 10 year old child involved here. The police have said so.

    It was a very serious charge in order to get the police chief, who was a friend of Tom’s, to apply for and receive a warrant to follow a private citizen in his car. These warrants are a serious invasion of privacy, and judges are loathe to allow this to occur. The evidence has to be very, very strong to allow this. To top it off, the police chief was a friend of Tom’s and served on his board. He would not have permitted such a thing if it was spurious.

    The suicide of Tom makes this even more difficult. A court trial would have allowed him to give his side of the story. He obviously did not want this to occur. His death leaves things unresolved. This makes it most difficult for the child since there will be many who will refuse to believe a child’s testimony over a revered figure.

    No matter what happens, this child is a victim-of molestation or being encouraged to report a false molestation. I believe that the latter is unlikely. The police chief would not have allowed such a thing to occur unless the report was very, very solid. This child is in pain. She will be in pain. To say there is just an alleged victim is to deny a child who is hurting, no matter the situation. That child is a victim no matter the end story.

    This blog exists to support the other side. Those who are not the ones in power, the ones who have thousands of adherents who believe in “My Christian leader could never do such a thing.” It is often a case of “he said, she said.” We are one of the few voices who support the underdog. Tom White and his family will have plenty of supporters. I think this little girl probably will not. Therefore, our focus will be on supporting and advocating for her.

    I want to say something quite strongly. Anyone who comments on this blog post and does not express concern for a hurting little girl needs to have a heart check.

  64. Anon1:

    I would be in favor of churches censoring churches that protect pedophiles.

    I am not sure of the mechanics, and I think I would be pretty forgiving if the pastor and church came forward and said – we did the wrong thing. This is what we thought was the best thing at the time, but we did the wrong thing and we are sorry.

    But I am not sure of the process to get that done – a resolution, articles, associational action?

    Bringing attention to these cases and getting churches to own up is something I am really in favor of.

    I would be interested in any suggestions that people may have.

  65. Dee:

    Thanks for the kind words!

    If you are ever in my neck of the woods, let me know in advance, and we can make that happen.

  66. I am sad, because I believe this organization is doing such a good work and relieving the burdens of many. Tom White’s sin does not diminish from the fact that VOM as an organization has a pure motive and can keep doing so much good in this world.

  67. All -

    Two people have come on this thread to take up the defense of an alleged perpetrator; to ask for fairness in the perpetrators behalf.

    I am wondering if these two people would do the same for their neighbor who works at the grocery store in town, if this exact same circumstance happened to him and was written about on a blog? Would they come to his defense or accuse him outright and assume guilt? Would they have a different response toward this neighbor since he is just an “ordinary” man?

    I don’t know how the two might answer these questions . . .

    Well known, loved, and famous people always have defenders, the ordinary often don’t. That is why innocent men have served jail terms for crimes they did not commit.

    As Dee pointed out, this young girl has been harmed no matter what the outcome. She is the “least of these.”

  68. Dee,

    Well stated!

    Run of the Mill Church in Pensacola,

    I concur with your statement. We are in no way trying to diminish the VOM organization. It is a worthwhile ministry to support.

  69. To person who wrote this comment:

    “Thanks for the kind words! If you are ever in my neck of the woods, let me know in advance, and we can make that happen.” I am not sure to which kind words you are referring since you left no name or pseudonym. That makes a vista rather difficult. :)

  70. Run of Mill Church

    I believe in a God who is able to keep this ministry going. I think sometimes we rely far too much on personalities and far too little to the Sustainer of all things.

  71. Anon1 +?

    I think it would be interesting to float this past some of the SBC leaders at some of the meetings. In fact, are not delegates allowed to bring resolutions? I hat to be the killjoy here but i am very doubtful that this will be met with favor. People seem willing to fuss at women in the pastorate, etc. but are loathe to discuss sexual issues in the pastorate/church: church leadership. One only has to look at Paige Patterson’s response to women who reported Gilyard’s atrocities. He refused to listen to them, saying that they needed to bring witnesses (yeah, right).

    The only sexual stuff they want to hear about is what the Sexperiment silliness. They endorse those books with wild abandon.

  72. Eagle, so true, so true!! “Christianity is a faith system for the perfect” Although “Christians” would say otherwise, their actions and how they treat people show the complete opposite. Most people in church just cover up who they really are and play in their pretend “Christian” amusement park. I believe that we have more tares in the church than wheat. The Bible says that few will find the way to heaven, not the majority or even 50%. I see this more clearly now. True faith, is genuine repentance and humility, not what we see in most people at churches today.

    Randall, I agree 100%!!! Healing comes when we get to heaven. Not on this earth.God never promised healing in this life. This is a man-made, made up belief. Devastating things have happened in my life that I will never recover from. You just try and cope with it by God’s grace on a daily bases.The people who give you this crap about “healing” are pretending to be “healed” and some just want to give a pat answer because of their own self-righteousness. We are living in a fallen world with a fallen flesh. Whether it is emotional or physical that we are dealing with, God didn’t ever promise to heal us.

  73. Randall Slack,

    “No doubt there will be a big funeral with notable speakers decrying the sin while honoring the man. Yet, there is no honor in committing sexual immorality. Imagine how the victims feel when everyone rallies around the guilty while the innocent are forgotten, even shunned?”

    The thought of a big funeral with notable speakers is sickening. When I read VOM’s statement over the weekend, I was struck by their pleas for prayer for Tom’s family and no mention of his child victim. Typical church response: acknowledge the pain of the perpetrator and his family; forget and shun the victim.

    I absolutely refuse to use the word “alleged”. There is ample evidence that Tom White sexually abused a child. Furthermore, the false report rate is very low – around 3% – and often involves child custody issues. I have two daughters, one of whom is almost 10. If this happened to one of them, I would scream every time the word “alleged” is used. When you are the victim or this has happened to your child, you don’t care about “innocent until proven guilty”. This child (and likely other victims) have been damaged for the rest of their lives.

    Randall, thank you for sharing your heartwrenching story. I’m so sorry for your daughters and for you as their father.

  74. Dee,

    First of all, thank you for allowing comments that don’t fully line up with your position. That shows a high level of mature discourse often lacking in today’s age.

    My point, and it is one of subtlety that may easily be lost in dealing with a highly emotional issue such as this is simply that until there proof, everything else is a “best guess” and we need to tread very lightly on the side of the grace and not “airing our laundry” before the world. I would use the same argument if we were talking about a homosexuality, drug use or embezzlement accusation. Pedophilia, while especially tragic and emotionally charged, does not allow us to throw off restraint in a rush to judgement.

    The truth of the matter is that the police are forced to investigate claims such as these in manner that assumes they are valid. I understand that may not have been the experience of some of the folks on this blog and my heart does go out to them.

    At this point we are dragging Tom, VOM and the church through the mud over allegations that Tom “may” have done something “inappropriate”. The Bible has clear guidance for this “Don’t support an accusation against an elder unless it is brought by two or three witnesses” (1 Tim 5:19). Sorry if that sounds like the “same response” some of you have received “from the church” but it’s biblical. If you disagree with that, your issue is not with me, it’s with God’s Word. Right now we have 0 witnesses.

    I further understand that some of you have suffered, what sound like, grave miscarriage of justice at the hands of people claiming to be Christians. I am sorry for that. These incidents though, tragic as they are, don’t allow such a broad brush condemnation of the church.

    In this particular case, if we start from the assumption that the allegations are true, then we assume Tom was a sleazebag, then we assume there are more victims, then we assume VOM (a worthy ministry is there ever was one) is somehow culpable, then we malign the state of the church, leaders, etc and it becomes a feeding frenzy.

    Now if the reverse is true and these charges are baseless, all this post has done is open up the church to ridicule.

    Just as an exercise, let’s pretend that the police clear Tom of all charges tomorrow and find that he was on an anxiety medicine whose side effects included “suicidal tendencies” (very legit possibility). Re-read your entire post with that thought in mind. Anything you might have wished to hold back on?

    I applaud your mission but I would hate to see a rush to judgement before the facts are in land you with red cheeks at some future point. At that point, the damage will be done and it’s too late.

    This blog is #4 on the Google list for the keywords “Tom White Voice of the Martyrs”. With visibility comes responsibility. Your blog is reaching far more then a select few. You seem wise enough to understand the potential implications of that.

    I do however have to take strong issue with a comment you made about not getting “biblical” on you.

    Pedophilia is a sin, there is but one solution for sin – it’s not jail, it’s not police, it’s not awareness, it’s not therapy – it’s Jesus, the crucified risen Savior of the world. The only place to find healing from sin is from the Savior, true healing can be found no where else. Getting “biblical” is the solution to just about everything…

  75. Wendy
    Thank you for your comment about the word alleged. This post was very difficult for me to write, knowing that the chances of a false report are very low, knowing the chief of police was a board member, cowing how hard it is to get a warrant to invade a person’s privacy,and the suicide itself. Perhaps that is why I was a bit schizophrenic in writing the post, using it and not using it. Watching a church mishandle a pedophile situation was one of the most distressing episodes in my life. It is a major hot button for me.

  76. Please forgive the typo, the verse reference from 1 Tim should have shown verse 19 (1 Tim 5:19).

  77. Eagle,

    It really irks me that we can throw out the ole “innocent until proven guilty” thing and give Tom White the benefit of the doubt, but we can’t give a 10-year old CHILD the benefit of the doubt. This isn’t a court of law. If defense lawyers won’t to toss that around, fine. But we’re not. Using our critical thinking skills to examine the situation, the plethora of research about child predators, false reporting, and statistics, I feel our obligation is to the victim(s). *IF* this is a RARE case of false reporting, then and only then we can go back and discuss the case within that framework.

  78. “I am not sure of the mechanics, and I think I would be pretty forgiving if the pastor and church came forward and said – we did the wrong thing. This is what we thought was the best thing at the time, but we did the wrong thing and we are sorry.”

    There is just too much information out there on the issue for someone play this card.

    Here is what I think the convention could say: We recommend every church call the authorities no matter what if your state has no law saying you have to report it. Let the professionals decide whether to investigate or not. We cannot make you do it but if it comes out you did not call the authorities, we do not want you in the convention. It is up to your state and local association whether to disfellowship you or not. However, we will.

    Think about it from a totally pragmatic view. It is preemptive. Any church that does this that is connected with the SBC that usually ends up in the news and taints everyone in the SBC. Send this resolution, motion, whatever to the news media. And say, we will never protect molesters. Then let’s see if the convention passes it. After all, they took the name change to the media first. Why not something that might help protect children and punish evil?

    After all, “church discipline” is really big now.

  79. “The only sexual stuff they want to hear about is what the Sexperiment silliness. They endorse those books with wild abandon.”

    For the most part, the Reformed wing of the SBC is in love with Driscoll and funds HIS DNA Acts 29 church plants. They do not think that Mark’s recommendation that ‘wives present their backsides when they are unable to have sex” is that big of a deal. Did you ever think you would see the day the SBC would partner and promote someone who affirms sodomy? It really is a new day in Christendom.

  80. Randall-

    Trying to hold back tears right now…..so sorry for all that has happened to you and your children.

    Hoping you are finding some peace in your day!

    doubtful

  81. “New statement was issued yesterday. Nothing about supporting the child at all. The “business” of ministry will continue though…

    I would suggest that maybe VOM is just as sleazy as Focus on the Family, etc… When faith becomes “Darwinistic” and it’s survival at all costs, while mitigating the hurt people… is it any wonder why Christianity in the United States is helping to grow atheism?”

    Eagle, I cannot remember which search I used, but it might have been Charity Navigator or the government site for non profits tax reports. But once I saw the officer’s salaries, I decided not to donate to them. And this was about 7 years ago. And we wonder why “continuing” and playing down the victim aspect is so important? The money dries up real fast in these churches/para church orgs.

  82. Dee,

    I completely understand that it must have been difficult to choose your words. I’m not upset with your post at all or that you felt you needed to use “alleged”. It’s true that, in our country, we’re innocent until proven guilty. You have a wide global audience, and I understand there are protocols. I appreciate this post and that you and Deb stand in the gap for sexual abuse victims.

    As a commenter, though, I won’t use the word alleged. Like Randall said, there will likely be a big funeral with folks saying all sorts of glowing things about Tom White. There will be loads of folks telling his wife and children that “the truth will come out and Tom’s name will be cleared”. I can just hear them now. But there won’t be very many people who will say glowing things about this precious, innocent, and courageous little 10-year old and her distraught family. There won’t be a conference or meeting where notable speakers get up and discuss what a wonderful little girl she is. Instead, she will continue to have accusations and innuendo thrown her way and her family’s way. And she will have to work, for the rest of her life, to try to heal from this pain. The least a mere commenter like me can do is not call her an “alleged victim”.

  83. Bear -

    Are you claiming the eldership scripture for this man to the world? Unless I am mistaken, he ran an organization. Was he also an elder in a church?

    Again, what if no clear resolve is ever reached? What is in store for the young girl? This is what you seem to miss. You have another long post and say not one thing about the young girl or her family.

  84. Bear said:

    My point, and it is one of subtlety that may easily be lost in dealing with a highly emotional issue such as this is simply that until there proof, everything else is a “best guess” and we need to tread very lightly on the side of the grace and not “airing our laundry” before the world.

    News flash: Statements like this ARE the “Church’s” dirty laundry before the world. It’s elitism.

    Oh, and your point isn’t subtle. It’s loud and clear. We “Christians” being the elite chosen group we are need to tread very lightly on the side of grace when our positions of authority are threatened. But we don’t really worry too much about offering the same to those who don’t matter to our mission.

    What about the girl Bear? Where’s the plea for treading lightly and offering her grace?

    You know what I think really ticked Jesus off?

    The use of “scripture” to justify unequal weights and measures.

  85. Bear

    You said “I do however have to take strong issue with a comment you made about not getting “biblical” on you.” I assume that you have not been following this blog. We take issue with people who use the “biblical” sledgehammer to prove that their position is, of course, the correct one since it is “biblical.” People do this with the word “gospel” as well. You said it is not “biblical” to seek help outside of the church when dealing with s a serious sin issue. In fact, many churches do not handle issues such as pedophilia, substance abuse, mental illness in competent ways. Once again, we have written extensively on this issue. If a church is not competent to help in this area and could, in fact, cause further harm, it is within the realm of orthodoxy to seek outside help. I took umbrage with your choice of the “biblical” term because I would contend that my position falls within the realm of orthodox Christian thinking. One only needs to look at how a number of churches, such as Mars Hill, handles some issues to know that churches fail miserably in this area.

    Tread carefully here. “The only place to find healing from sin is from the Savior, true healing can be found no where else. Getting “biblical” is the solution to just about everything…” Our faith is well spelled out. I am happy to have you look upon my life and let you see my devotion to Jesus Christ as the only and final solution. I don’t need a lecture about what constitutes the faith from someone who has hopped on here due to a google search to chastise me or our readers, many of whom are deep committed Christians. You are just as guilty of judging as you claim I am.

    “Police are forced to investigate in this area but that investigation does not usually go to the extreme of GPS pinging.” I dealt with child abuse and neglect as a public health nurse for years. I can assure you that this is a serious situation when such measures are applied.

    As for “airing of dirty laundry”, it is already being done in the media. It would behoove some Christians to recognize that the more people clam up, the worse it seems. In my post, I did use the word “alleged” and direct quoted the public announcements.On two other occasions I did not but I believe I made it quite clear that the investigation is not finished.

    I found that your comment offered much possible defense for White and did no acknowledge the pain of the young girl. There is pain for her, no matter what and this girl is a victim no matter the outcome of this case. This blog focuses on the “others” in these discussion.

    As for my post, if tomorrow the police cleared him of all wrongdoing, I would write an entire post on what transpired and assess my post for error.I would then ask if the police were investigating that child’s home situation because a child who says such lies in being abused one way or another.

    You said painful experiences “don’t allow such a broad brush condemnation of the church.” First of all, separate to whom you are addressing that comment. Where have I “broad based condemned the church?” I think you will find my examples are pointed with plenty of evidence for specific situations. Again, you have to actually read the blog to understand this. Secondly, this blog is open to all, including atheists, agnostics, not so sures,liberals, conservatives, Calvinists and Arminians, comps and egals, YE and TE. Deb and I have elucidated our faith and beliefs. We allow people to come here and express their views, whether we agree or disagree with them. We have instituted a Bible reading program and along with Wade Burleson have created an EChurch for people who have been hurt or who don’t trust or want to go to church. Be very careful about your broad based condemnation of the devotion to the faith by TWW.

    As for red cheeks, we have had a few but so has everybody else. We have the guts to put our names and faces to our opinions and thoughts and we open ourselves up to condemnation, name calling and threats. We have also opened ourselves up to some of the most wonderful people on the planet as well. If you really want to understand us, read our blog beyond one or two posts.

    Finally, you claim that we open the church to ridicule. You are far too late for that. Read the blog. Mark Driscoll, Ed Young Jr., the numbers of pedophiles who have been found in the pulpits, Paige Patterson and John Piper’s statements on domestic violence, Tim Challies and John Piper’s statements about women not being allowed to read the Bible out loud in church, the statements of those who call women gullible and easily deceived, Richard Land’s offensive statement on Trayvon Martin and his admitting to plagiarism , the salaries and lifestyles of your mega church pastors, Mac Brunson calling Tom Rich a sociopath in the Jacksonville newspaper, and many, many more that we have documented on this blog have brought the ridicule to the church. I can well assure that the many people in the world are grateful that two Christian middle aged nobody women are calling the church to account for these things that the world has seen and ridiculed rightly. We are being honest and it is high time Christian get off their high horse and start acting like sinners saved by grace as opposed to saints condemning everyone else.

  86. Eagle
    Your perspective is valid. They should have said that they care about the little girl no matter how this is resolved.

  87. “It’s outrageous that anyone would refer to 10-year old as ‘Bathsheba, meaning temptress, of course. But it also annoys me that so many Christians assume Bathsheba herself must have ‘wanted it’ and was partially responsible for David’s moral failure. It’s like some pastor somewhere played sexual detective and went ‘one final thing, Ms Bathsheba… why were you taking a shower on your roof that night?’ and all the other pastors though ‘good point! Let’s start teaching in our churches that Bathsheba was a hussy! That makes us feel better about out own moral failings, somehow’.”

    Just a picky: The Bible says David was on the roof. It says he saw Bathsheba from the roof, but it doesn’t say *she* was bathing on her roof. It just says she was bathing. But having said that, I agree with the rest of the paragraph.

    “The fact is, people in the old days commonly washed on their roofs. David was a king – he probably lived in a palace that was much taller than the surrounding houses so he had a good view of their rooftops. Since the nation’s men were away at war, perhaps Bathsheba felt a bit more careless than usual about keeping her modesty protected. And anyway, there is no record of whether Bathsheba wanted to sleep with David because whether or not she wanted to was totally inconsequential at that time in history – he was the king and she was a lowly woman; he had power and she didn’t, and they both knew it.”

    When Bathsheba was summoned to the king, she went because she was his subject and she was under his authority–just as I would be required to do if an authority summoned me. IMO, though, once she realized was David had in mind, she went along with it (i.e., she wasn’t raped.) I say this because in the Bible, when a woman is forced to have sex, the Bible’s pretty clear about it.

    “We know from earlier stories that David had previously forced a woman to leave her loving husband to become part of his harem.”

    That would have been Michal, David’s first wife. He did have a right to her . . . but I’m not particularly crazy about how David treated her.

    “We know that Bathsheba’s husband was a reasonably high status man who yet chose to have only one wife, who valued loyalty and was faithful to both the King and his wife, and who loved Bathsheba – would he have loved the kind of woman who showed little loyalty and was just itching for opportunities to betray him sexually with men of higher status? I doubt it.”

    I don’t think so, either. Again, IMO, I don’t think Bathsheba responded to David’s summons with, “Wow, a chance to have sex with the king! Goody!” I don’t think she knew *what* he had in mind. I think, though, she went along with it once she knew that David intended to seduce her–maybe because she feared Uriah would be harmed if she didn’t, maybe because she was swept up in the moment . . . we don’t know, because the Bible doesn’t say what she was thinking.

    “So. A man with a track record of sexual coercion. A situation where he had all the power and she had none. And yet people feel the need to speculate and point the finger and say ‘well, she must have been tempting him on purpose!’ And now this woman’s name is
    synonymous with being an immoral, scheming seductress.”

    It’s interesting that when Nathan confronted David, ALL of the blame was placed of David. There is nothing in the Bible condemning Bathsheba. The onus was on David, and David knew it. Some of us treat Bathsheba worse than the Bible did–we blame her for what happened when the Bible does not. David was looking where he shouldn’t have been, he lusted, he took, he arranged to have Uriah murdered.

    And yet, despite David’s sin, Bathsheba is named in the lineage of Jesus, one of the five women who are so named.

  88. Wendy
    You go, sister! As for statements about Tom’s name being cleared, I do not think that is going to happen. The most recent statement by VOM appears to be hanging crepe on the situation. They are getting more bleak each time they say something publicly. I think they could be preparing people for worse news.

  89. Bear -

    “Pedophilia is a sin, there is but one solution for sin – it’s not jail, it’s not police, it’s not awareness, it’s not therapy – it’s Jesus, the crucified risen Savior of the world. The only place to find healing from sin is from the Savior, true healing can be found no where else. Getting “biblical” is the solution to just about everything…”

    I don’t agree with the totallity of this statement.

    Jesus is the means for forgive of all sin. But God uses all means of help and good works, combined with our efforts (working out our salvation also called sanctification) to bring healing (you can ask any alcoholic). It does not always come instantaneously from meditating on scripture or holding up a Bible to ward off sin and claim healing.

    Jesus forgave the murderer who hung on a cross next to him. Your logic would say this murderer should be set free/healed (as you call it) because he believed Jesus. Should he then be taken down from the cross, and completely trusted to never murder again. Jesus didn’t allow that did he. He forgave the man, yet the man still received the consequence for his action, a physical death, yet would spent eternity with God. Sometimes consequences are negated, sometimes not.

    I don’t know what you mean by “biblical.” It sounds like you mean some sort of mystic ceremony that always ends with success.

  90. Bridget
    These days “biblical” and “gospel” are being used as adjectives to “prove” that the speak is on the side of God and that means the one who is disagreeing is not on the side of God and might even not be a Christian. So, if CBMW says that they are the Council of BIBLICAL Manhood and Womanhood and I disagree with them on some issues, I must not be “biblical.” Implied is that I am treading on heresy and am probably not a real Christian to boot. I am getting sick and tired of these two words being pulled out willy nilly to support someone’s latest doctrinal discovery!

  91. I, too, am one to side on the side of grace and believe in the witness clause in the Bible. There are a lot of accusations thrown around to ruin reputations. This even happened to Joseph in the Bible.

    However, siding with grace does not mean we do nothing. It means that we do MORE because that is how we offer grace to a broken world. We minister to the accused and the accuser, and we make sure that BOTH get warranted attention, whether in therapy or prison. It means that, instead of writing off the accuser, we find out how these things can be prevented so that the light of innocence isn’t snuffed out too soon and see how we, personally, can be ministers of grace in those areas. No matter what people say, counseling and companionship ARE necessary and the victim should never be made to feel they are a lesser Christian for seeking them out. The church (organization) should front all of these costs for life since new challenges (i.e., marriage, children) will cause emotional trauma.

    Instead of pushing the accuser into jail, we can be a friend/companion during one of the most lonely, depressing times in the accusers life. It is possible Tom did not have those things, while it is also possible he was escaping responsibility. Regardless, we must make sure justice is served and not avoided because of “repentance.”

    Siding with grace is not easy. It is, in fact, the most difficult thing imaginable. And we should be doing much more of it.

    Side note. On the “airing of dirty laundry,” this is usually the only way victims feel the freedom to come forward with their stories. It is actually EXTREMELY important that we “air the dirty laundry.” For my situations, we tried to do things quiet and we were frustrated when the local news became involved. However, the number of victims began to skyrocket. They went from 5 to 25 overnight and continued to climb. I am convinced that would have never happened had the “dirty laundry” never been aired.

  92. Tina – I wonder whether Bathsheba’s initial encounter with David *was,* in fact, a rape.

    Even though the accounts are pretty frank in terms of David’s wrongdoings, they also seem to have been written by people who favored David and his dynasty.

    In the absence of further evidence (is there anything else, from other textual sources, about David, Bathsheba, et. al.?), we’re left with – imo – some ambiguity about this.

    I *do* think David used her.

  93. Good questions, Numo. While it’s my opinion that she went along, you do bring up some interesting points.

  94. Bear

    We seem have a “biblical” misunderstanding about the word – “church.” And other stuff.

    “Church” is in the Bible – a “Biblical’ word – BUT…
    When I say “Church” – and you say “church” – It just ain’t the same “biblical” thing.

    A – It is called “The Church of God.” Where Jesus is the head of the body – the Church.

    Z – the church of man – The 501 (c) 3, non-profit, Tax $ Deductible, Religious $ Corporation.

    Did Jesus shed His Blood for a building, a organization, a denomination, a Corporation?
    (Should a disciple of Jesus call a $ corporation – The Church of God?)

    Or did Jesus shed His Blood for His ekklesia? His Church? His People? His Sheep?

    In the bible, did anyone – Lead church? Go to church? – Join a church? – Tithe to a church?
    Apply for membership in a church? – Hire, and Fire, a Paid Professional Pastor in a church?

    Hmmm? Seems lot’s of NOT-so-biblical things going on in – the church of man. Yes???

    Your values seem to be misplaced. I can appreciate “Innocent until proven guilty.”

    What troubles me is with – Apr 26 2012 at 12:14 pm…

    1 – “ not “airing our laundry” before the world.”

    2 – “we are dragging Tom, VOM and the church through the mud”

    3 – “These incidents though, tragic as they are,
    don’t allow such a broad brush condemnation of the church.”

    4 – “then we malign the state of the church, leaders,”

    5 – “all this post has done is open up the church to ridicule.”

    Seems your focus is on protecting – the church of man – The $ Corporation.
    .
    I’ve been ridiculing, maligning, condemning, dragging through the mud,
    and airing the dirty laundry, of “The Abusive Religious System” – the church of man…
    since I left “the Corrupt Religious System” in the ealry 90’s – thru much “Spiritual Abuse.”

    What is popular is not always “Truth.”
    What is “Truth” is not always popular.

    Most of what the 501 (c)3, $ Corporation does is NOT in the Bible. And NOT “biblical.”

    I can just see Paul telling folks – We have lot’s of False Apostles. Many False Prophets.
    False Teachers. False Christs. Wolves in Sheeps Clothing. Evil Workers…

    But – don’t tell the faithful, or the world, this truth.
    They might think badly about us holy ones.

  95. Bear – there is only one “ultimate” solution for SIN…but in the case of the SIN being PEDOPHILIA…..I for one would like to see the solution for sin happening from behind prison bars. God is as available there as anywhere else…and the little girls are safe…….

  96. Please don’t connect the disturbing allegations of Tom White with Voice of the Martyrs. This is sickening to us who have worked with this great ministry for years. Our hope is to lift up those who have been persecuted for their involvement in propagating the blessed gospel of Jesus. Most of us do not get paid for our work with VOM and sacrifice for those who are unable to self-defend.
    As a mother and victim of a violent crime, I would never ignore the victim and call this evil allegation what it is. Sexual contact with a minor is disgustingly self-centered with NO regard for the victim. Praying for this young girl to be counseled and find healing in our wonderful Savior. Praying for the family who have to live with reality that there was a wolf among the sheep.
    Hoping for men who are tempted by this sin that comes from the pit of hell to run to a counselor or friend and not hide this problem.
    When a pervert crosses the line with a child we must confront and make sure we do NOT tolerate this! God protect the children.

  97. Hey all,

    Just to say what others have already said:

    Although the “full” evidence has not come out as far as we know..it seems that all things are pointing in the direction of this accusation to be correct.

    I don’t like to jump to conclusions based on little to no evidence, but this situation has a lot more than “little” evidence.

    And I agree fully with what has been said..If these accusations prove to be false..then this girl has been used in a pretty sorry way to further someone’s endeavour.

    I don’t see the latter happening, but if it does, the girl is still a victim in this situation. I also agree that we should pray for Tom’s family and VOM as they deal with this situation. They need Godly wisdom and direction to handle this situation appropriately, and prayers should be raised for them along with this little girl’s family.

    A. Amos,

    Not to interrupt your response to Bear, but I just wanted to comment on your response:

    You said,

    “In the bible, did anyone – Lead church? Go to church? – Join a church? – Tithe to a church?
    Apply for membership in a church? – Hire, and Fire, a Paid Professional Pastor in a church?”

    The “way” we assemble as the body of Christ has transformed dramatically in the last 2000 years…there is no doubt about that..

    But I believe the New Testament give pretty ample evidence that there were “Elders” or leaders in the church who cared, guided, and led the body of Christ under Christ Himself. They were not authoritative leaders, but leaders who had the attributes given of Elders in scripture.

    As far as go to church—If you mean they assembled together as the body of Christ…that should be obvious..

    They didn’t join as what we consider “joining” today…but it seems they were committed to each other as the body of Christ for Christ…

    To me, “joining” today represents a similar commitment in many cases.

    They gave joyfully (tithing) and in some cases Paul discussed financial support (although that was a far cry from the $$$ that many pastoral leaders make today)…

    I think many of the things you consider “man-based” are “biblical” in the sense of being part of the people of God…If that was what you were referring too..

  98. Anon1:

    I agree. Nowadays, it is inconceivable that churches would not call the authorities.

    20 years ago, maybe. I don’t know.

    There are church situations that are pretty isolated culturally, however.

  99. Jimmy:

    You said:”“Siding with grace is not easy”

    I’ll say amen to that.”

    I’m still waiting for you to say even one word in support of victims.

  100. “I’m truly sorry for the little girl, truly sorry for the ministry; truly sorry for the Whites.”

    Quoting myself; earlier post.

  101. Tom White died in the workplace.

    That’s another issue that raises concern.

    Like family suicides, research has shown co-workers are vulnerable when an employee chooses the venue of their work place to take their life. Suicidal ideation and behavior goes up among leadership and employees. (especially with male workers)

    There are about 125 employees at VOM USA. Statistically some will be dealing with mental and emotional health problems. My point is, co-workers are vulnerable and I hope that VOM seeks outside support for staff.

    The funeral was held yesterday at VOM US headquarters, officiated by Rev. Joe Colaw of First Wesleyan Church.

  102. No name 2:47

    I started off this post to say that I think highly of this ministry. What Tom White may have done does not reflect on VOM. I know that most (if not all) people in VOM are devastated. The only thing that I might suggest is that any further public statement by VOM express love and concern for the alleged victim and her family.

    Thank you for the work that you do on behalf of those persecuted for the faith. You will receive jewels in your crown in heaven. Keep doing what you were called to do. I am praying for you.

  103. Theological issues I am seeing on Pedophilia. It just shows how the evangelical mind will “side with grace” when grace is no longer grace.

    How does one’s natural libido turn from desiring women toward desiring sex with children?

    Answer: God has completely abandoned that person’s mind and heart to perform the will of their own libido. (See Romans 1:24)

    God is no longer “siding with grace” when He has said that He abandoned you to go after your own lusts. I am seeing a lot of standard format evangelical one-liners in the comments here.

  104. We are being honest and it is high time Christian get off their high horse and start acting like sinners saved by grace as opposed to saints condemning everyone else. — Dee

    “Deliver me, Lord, from the mercies
    Of saints who have Never Been Caught…”
    – poem I heard somewhere; I think Eagle would concur

  105. Seeker

    Many reasonable thoughts – Kinda like what I believed, and taught, when I was a “Leader.”

    My point was, Bear was using the word “biblical” to kinda say – Hey I’m right, I’m biblical. End of discussion. IMO- we ALL can, and tend to, use the scriptures to validate our lifestyle and prove our point. God created things by speaking them into existence and so for me “Words” are important.

    Was wondering – With a name like “Seeker” have you ever researched the word “Church?”
    From the Bible? How was the word used in the Bible? And what does it mean?

    Not what “Your Elders” taught you. Not what “Todays Religious System” teaches.
    But, your own research. Going to the Bible – Asking Jesus to show you “Truth.”

    John 16:13 KJV
    Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth…

    John 14:26 KJV
    But the Comforter, [which is] the Holy Ghost,
    whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things…

    John 6:45 KJV
    It is written in the prophets, And they shall be ALL taught of God.

    Deuteronomy 4:36 KJV
    Out of heaven he made thee to *hear His voice,*
    that *He might instruct thee:*

    Psalms 32:8 KJV
    I will instruct thee and teach thee
    in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.

    1 John 2:26-27 KJV
    These [things] have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you.
    But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you,
    and *ye need NOT that any man teach you:*
    but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie…

    Be Blessed… Being a “Seeker”of truth… Jesus…

  106. The most recent statement by VOM appears to be hanging crepe on the situation. They are getting more bleak each time they say something publicly. I think they could be preparing people for worse news. — Dee

    Assuming that –

    (1) The suspicions about and accusations of the late Tom are true; and

    (2) others at VOM did not know or suspect this (or if they did suspect, didn’t want to know);

    The VOM staff would be in shock by now. A “How Could He?” situation — not believing, yet in hindsight the evidence builds. I would not expect them to be thinking straight. This might be an initial-denial circling the wagons, with the cracks starting to show as evidence mounts up against their wishes and hopes until the choice is between reality and their Christian self-image.

    And Eagle is right; this has shot the credibility of their ministry, and if they don’t come out on the side of the victims and soon they will lose everything. I’m Catholic; look at how the priest-pedophilia-coverup scandals have damaged my Church. Morning drive-time radio calling the Pope “Patron Saint of Child Molesters”, afternoon drive-time appending “-Pedophile” to every church title when a churchman makes a public statement: “Father-Pedophile”, “Bishop-Pedophile”, “Cardinal-Pedophile.” Just because VOM isn’t Romish doesn’t mean the same thing can’t happen to their ministry and its public reputation.

  107. What I said earlier:

    “That is NOT to say we should be anything but compassionate with respect to the alleged victim. . . .it takes a great deal of expertise, skill and compassion to respond appropriately to such charges, whether true, false or undetermined. It is not a business for amateurs.”

    We need to be compassionate for all involved and stop leaping to conclusions. There are professionals with appropriate training who are involved in this circumstance. Regardless of how we feel about this matter, we need to be careful, restrained in our responses, and extend grace and compassion in our speaking and writing.

    I have worked with churches who have had the pastor go astray. It is a very difficult situation. I expect this to be no less difficult for the people at VOM, at his church, and in his family, and likely more difficult given the apparent suicide. Let us temper all of our comments with grace and compassion for all involved.

  108. Send this resolution, motion, whatever to the news media. And say, we will never protect molesters. Then let’s see if the convention passes it. After all, they took the name change to the media first. Why not something that might help protect children and punish evil?

    After all, “church discipline” is really big now. — Anon1

    Only when used to keep the proles in line and tithing.

    As for the Anointed/Party Members, remember Comrade Napoleon: “Some Animals are More Equal Than Others.”

  109. HUG
    The best thing to do is to come out, straight on, and say they are shocked (presuming they knew nothing which could very well be true), that they are wanting to reach out to the victim, assuming this happened, and maybe set up a section of their organization to reach out to those who are victims of molestations. It would be synergistic with their ministry.

  110. Arce said: “We need to be compassionate for all involved and stop leaping to conclusions. There are professionals with appropriate training who are involved in this circumstance. Regardless of how we feel about this matter, we need to be careful, restrained in our responses, and extend grace and compassion in our speaking and writing.

    I have worked with churches who have had the pastor go astray. It is a very difficult situation. I expect this to be no less difficult for the people at VOM, at his church, and in his family, and likely more difficult given the apparent suicide. Let us temper all of our comments with grace and compassion for all involved.”

    [Indeed]

  111. Just remembering today 4 friends in Christ who were taken from us in a similar tragedy.
    These excerpts are from the NY times in 1989:

    A gunman armed with a shotgun and handgun broke into the home of his former wife early today and killed her, their two daughters and her new husband before killing himself, the authorities said.
    …the man left a note telling his parents he was ”sorry for what he had to do.”
    … the marriage broke up in 1987 after his wife accused him of sexually molesting their daughters.
    The accusation, investigated by state child protective workers, did not result in criminal charges against Mr. B_____ the records on file… show. Allegation of Abuse Denied.
    Mr. B_____… denied the allegations in the divorce and custody papers, calling them ”a wilfull and malevolent” charge.
    A restraining order was issued in February 1988 that barred Mr. B_____ from contact with his daughters and from living within two miles of his former wife’s home.
    A psychological examination in September 1988 found that if Mr. B_____ was ”seriously inclined to do her harm, he would already have done so,” the custody dispute records show.

    Of course, the trained professionals in this case tragically, and perhaps unusually, dropped the ball. The one bright spot, if there could be one, is that our church steadfastly stood by the victims. There were several occasions we might have done otherwise and grieved the Spirit, while following some letter.

  112. The best thing to do is to come out, straight on, and say they are shocked (presuming they knew nothing which could very well be true), that they are wanting to reach out to the victim, assuming this happened, and maybe set up a section of their organization to reach out to those who are victims of molestations. It would be synergistic with their ministry. — Dee

    My entire life is filled with after-the-fact realizations of what I should have done or should have said; only I didn’t think of what to say or do until AFTER the opportunity had gone.

  113.  ”レインボー/コニー タルボット” *(1)

    HowDee YaAll,

    I have racked ma brainy-brain, try’in ta make sense outa dis…

    hmmm…

    Sometimes bad things happen,
    Sometimes good people do bad things,
    Sometimes bad things happen ta good people,

    Yet…

    God is good,
    God sent His Son to rescue us from bad stuff,
    God is not finished yet, but Jesus’ sacrifice is completely finished,
    We can run to Jesus and be safe, no matter the size of the storm…that Jesus is bigger and mo-bedder!

    Sooooooooo…

    “If happy little bluebirds can fly beyond the rainbow, why, oh why can’t I?”

    Ipr♥ay

    S㋡py
    ___
    *(1) translation: “Over the rainbow”  
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Na6evCIv9Ls&feature=youtube_gdata_player

  114. Sopy,

    What a wonderful comment!

    I hope our TWW community will keep the young girl and Tom White’s loved ones in their prayers.

  115.  ”When A Leader In A Christian Ministry Loses Their Will to Discern?”

    HowDee YaAll,

    This tragic situation has sparked in my mind a thought John F. MacArthur once pointed to:

       Are we experiencing yet another example of a christian societal moral structural failure? Another example of reckless faith, when a leader in a christian ministry loses their will to discern? In this narrow case, it would appear that a cranny of christian society is apparently turned wrong side up.

    It would also appear that this situation  is another extremely tragic example stressing the need to make Scripture the true foundation on which our lives and christian ministries are built. 

    What?

       It is in situations like the one apparently found here, that reminder, however painful, is found. That is this: that God has given us His supernatural revelation in His inspired Word, the Bible. That is -Scripture is God’s faithful revelation to us. It is true because God is true (Rom. 3:4).

       For what if some, by their actions, -certain christian ministry leaders, should bring discredit upon themselves and possibly their christian ministry? Shall their actions render the faithfulness of God ineffectual, and without effect -will it?  Let no one ever think such a thing. Yes!, let God be true, but every man a liar, as it is written…Hence, God is always being justified in His sayings and will mightily overcome any judgement pressed His way. ”Well then—again…if, as it appears in this case, a certain one did not exercise proper discernment; -their lack of discernment will not render the faithfulness of God ineffectual, will it?  Again, let no one ever think such a thing. 

    Ever endeavoring to guard God’s Word & our hearts ever so closely? 

    hmmm…

    Grief struck, numbed in disbelief that these type of situations could even happen in a well ordered christian ministry; does this not demonstrate once again, the important need to take God at His word? A ‘watchful word’ when those in christian leadership lose their will to discern, n’est-ce pas? 

    hmmm…   …those ‘favored sparrows’ may benefit the outcome… dont’cha think?

    hum, hum,hum…♫♫♫ Eyes upon the sparrow: behold the fowls in the air: they do not sow, neither reap, not a barn in sight!; yet our heavenly Father, He faithfully feeds them…   …♫♫♫ For His eye is ever on the sparrow, and I know for sure that He’s is watching me, so why should I be troubled when His tender word I hear? I will rest on His goodness -in my doubt, and in my fear, and  I will sing because, because, because…His eye is ever on the sparrow, and I know He’s watching me!

    “Here’s the interesting story about the origin of that song, in the words of the author Civilla Martin:

    “Early in the spring of 1905, my husband and I were sojourning in Elmira, New York. We contracted a deep friendship for a couple by the name of Mr. and Mrs. Doolittle—true saints of God. Mrs. Doolittle had been bedridden for nigh twenty years. Her husband was an incurable cripple who had to propel himself to and from his business in a wheel chair. Despite their afflictions, they lived happy Christian lives, bringing inspiration and comfort to all who knew them. One day while we were visiting with the Doolittles, my husband commented on their bright hopefulness and asked them for the secret of it. Mrs. Doolittle’s reply was simple: “His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.” The beauty of this simple expression of boundless faith gripped the hearts and fired the imagination of Dr. Martin and me. The hymn “His Eye Is on the Sparrow” was the outcome of that experience.”

    hum, hum,hum…♫♫♫ His eye is ‘ever’ on the sparrow, and I know He’s watching me.

    Ipr♥ay

    S㋡py
    ___
    Audrey Assad – “Sparrow”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7bYWdLPWZ_M&feature=youtube_gdata_player

  116. I had a comment regarding the mentally ill and sexual immorality, but deleted it before I posted it. To try to link the two together is sheer stupidity. My oldest daughter is by-polar and I am greatly offended by anyone who would try to make mental illness an excuse for sexual immorality. Those that do so should be ashamed of themselves.

  117. Thank you all for your kind thoughts and prayers. May God direct our hearts to pray for the victim and the devastated families he left behind. God knows they are going to need it.

  118. Deb/Dee,
    where, oh where, is the Thursday post? It’s bedtime on the EC and I’m missing my daily treat :) Oh well, I least I have all our fine post-its!

  119. Deb, it’s ok. Just gives me something to look forward to tomorrow. Btw, I read F. Shaeffer’s tirade about Chuck Colson. It saddens me. I interviewed him when he came to Liberty University with his dad in 1983. I was a writer for the campus newspaper. How things change. I so enjoyed both his mom and dad when they would speak and his dad’s book on art was just the best.

  120. Anon1 mentioned salary. According to Charity Navigator, Tom White was paid $144,900 a year. While that is comparable to many charities, and did not affect their 4-star rating, it is way higher than most VOM supporters make, or their pastors. Easily a hundred times more than they pay some of their “martyrs” in the field.
    Some other thoughts. First, does this reflect on VOM? It depends. On the one hand, no, if Tom molested the girl as a private citizen and not under the aegis of his authority as Exec of VOM. On the other hand, yes, if it turns out that Tom was using his computer at work to inflame his lusts and there was not system in place to hold him accountable (something not even rated by Charity Navigator or anyone else that I know of). I hope the Chief of Police not only inspects Tom’s computer in his criminal investigation, but in his capacity as Board Member I hope he puts in place a system of accountability for how staff computers are used.

  121. A Amos..

    “Was wondering – With a name like “Seeker” have you ever researched the word “Church?”
    From the Bible? How was the word used in the Bible? And what does it mean?

    Not what “Your Elders” taught you. Not what “Todays Religious System” teaches.
    But, your own research. Going to the Bible – Asking Jesus to show you “Truth.”

    A. Amos,

    Thanks for your response…To answer your question…Yes, I have read/researched the scripture in these things..

    I fully believe in the Holy Spirit’s ability to teach and lead us..I never denied that or said that did not exist…

    However, I also affirm that the Bible includes people whom can care, guide, and even teach others within the Body of Christ in scripture (Elders, etc)… I believe these people by no means replace the Holy Spirit’s guidance in our lives, but their existence IS part of the CHURCH according to scripture…Do you deny this?

    I also know the word “church” in scripture has nothing to do with a building or the religious institution that we see today.I fully agree with your points on this…BUT, it has everything to do with the Body of Christ…Do you deny that this BODY assembled together in scripture or history? To me, “going” to church means just that…assembling with the body! I find that to be vitally important to my life…

    In scripture—Believers joyfully gave to the body for the needs of the body—Today, the body still may have needs…although I know much of this function and practice has changed and is less than ideal with what we consider tithing today. However, the basic premise is still in place.

    As far as the paid professional situation..I tend to agree with your sentiments on this…it is much harder to come to a conclusion of churches supporting “full time” ministers based on what we see in scripture…

    BUT, scripture refers to churches supporting their leaders in a variety of circumstances…along with those leaders supporting themselves..

    To me..the wisest thing to do in this situation is for churches to use great wisdom in hiring pastoral leaders and paying them….If they are making $$$$$ and ministry opportunities for the poor and others are relatively ignored in the church…..we got a problem..

    Don’t misunderstand me here…I am not affirming the “church” as a religious organization..but as the body of Christ, His people… But to me..how that body assembles together can be a unique situation depending on circumstances..

    It could be in a single room in a “secret church” in Asia—Or the building down the street with pews, an organ, and a pulpit…The assembly is unique..the body is the same!

    Going to church=Body Assembling together

    Tithing=Joyfully giving to Body’s needs

    Church leaders=Those who have gifts to shepherd, care, teach others in the church (Elders, Deacons found in NT)

    Maybe I am misunderstanding where you are coming from—Maybe we are on the same page—But you seem to call a lot of things “unbiblical”–Guess I am having a hard time seeing that..

    So instead of assuming your position, if you don’t mind, explain to me where you stand on all this..

    What do you consider church to be? Is the “church” supposed to assemble together?

    What is your take on elders, deacons, and other leaders in the early church? I know many leaders today look nothing like those people who were in the early church—but can we really deny that there are those in the body of Christ who can guide/care for us via the gifts of the Holy Spirit?

    I like to look at scripture as a whole..and history shows that this “body” and how we assembled has transformed significantly over the past 2000 years, but the basic foundation of this body, how this body works, and how the body assembles is still in existence today..

    Thanks for your blessings! May you have the same as we both continue to seek Jesus!

  122. DaveAA
    What a horrendous story. I wouldn’t be surprised if there were some who still denied he did anything wrong and he did this act because he was angry at being accused.
    But, you give me hope when you say your church stood by the victims. So many churches do not do that. Some of the stories that I read at SGM Survivors and some of those folks who have posted here have caused me many sleepless hours wondering how some pastors and leaders live with themselves.

  123. HUG
    That is why these stories are so important. We can learn and hopefully do it a better job the next time around.

  124. “BUT, it has everything to do with the Body of Christ…Do you deny that this BODY assembled together in scripture or history? To me, “going” to church means just that…assembling with the body! I find that to be vitally important to my life…”

    We are individually members of the body. 1 Cor. 12

    Regardless of how many members of that body gather together, and regardless of where they gather together, they ARE church. If several families get together for dinner, or a barbecue, they ARE gathering together for fellowship. Scripture records meetings of believers in houses, synagogues and in open outdoors to listen to preaching. The location and the number are immaterial.

    Where two or three are gathered together…..

  125. Randall
    You make a good point here “mentally ill and sexual immorality, but deleted it before I posted it. To try to link the two together is sheer stupidity.” There was an excellent article in Christianity Today about a year ago, I know I wrote on it here, written by a schizophrenic who is a Christian write about his life and his relationship with Jesus. I think immorality is just that. Mental illness is an illness that needs to be treated as such. To say that a schizophrenic who ran out of a room without clothes on in the midst of a schizophrenic episode is an immoral nudist is ridiculous and shows a misunderstanding of the issue.

  126. Victorious,

    No need to tell me this..I agree with you wholeheartedly!

    Did you notice what I said about the “secret church” in Asia—Most of the time, those situations have only a handful of people..

    But again…”Going” to church means the body assembling together. It is important..and needs to take place!

    How that assembly is supposed to look is entirely unique from place to place…person to person…

    I think I know where A. Amos was heading with his point…but for him to imply that “going to church” is unbiblical is a bit of a stretch for me.

    Assembling with the Body IS Biblical—and that is what most people mean, whether they realize it or not, when they say “going to church”…

    I am all for barbeques, home churches, etc….I have been fortunate to participate in such settings around the globe several times in my life..and they were some of the most amazing “assemblings” I have ever been a part of..

    However, to imply that going to a building down the road with pews, organs, and a pulpit is “not biblical” is just not true in my point of view…

    It may be a different setting..but the CHURCH (body) is there none-the-less..

    This may not have been what A. Amos was trying to say..that is why I am waiting to see what his viewpoint is in all of this..

  127. Wow. I don’t have time to read all of the comments. Hmm…okay, I grew up in church (not SBC) and was molested first by an in-laws nephew (he was 16, I was 2 1/2) and then later by an older cousin for several years (7 – 12). The pastor when I was 2 was a pedophile (liked the teenage girls). The last pastor I had would prey on the women who came to him for marriage counseling and had abusive husbands. One of those women was (and still is) my best friend.

    Here’s the thing – the incident when I was 2 was known about by both his and my mother. Nothing was done except to tell me that I had better never tell or it would (somehow) ‘hurt’ God and he would be angry with me. Seriously. The one when I was was 7 -12, well – after what happened when I was 2, why on EARTH would I TELL anyone?! Not to mention the heavy preaching on how sinful sex was…. this seriously messed me up. I just turned 49 and am still working through to sanity. It is ONLY the Grace of God that I remained sane – because HE was the only one who did not throw me under the bus. It took me a l-o-n-g time to understand that the church and the religion called ‘Christianity’ were completely separate things from God – from Jesus – from Emmanuel… thank God!

    And here’s the other thing: in the case with both of these pastors, when they got caught, the church leadership threw the victims under the bus – kicked them out of church and did their best to convince them (or their families) to move out of town. They then proceeded to practice serious CYA. They covered it up, slandered the victims – in the case of the first (pedophile) pastor, when he got caught, he would eventually get shuffled to another church in the denomination. I just saw his obit and I am sad to admit that I felt relief that he was gone – ministering right up to the end.

    The other pastor got sued by my friend and eventually decided to settle out of court when they couldn’t scare her off. And he is still pastoring. And people know. It is sick.

    The reason that many are advocating for a database within the SBC is because without it, there is NO WAY for churches to have any knowledge of behavior that was never CRIMINALLY reported. And most cases of sexual abuse are NOT reported to the police – especially if they are reported to the church leadership and the victim is met with more abuse. This tends to quench the strength to further report.

    A fellow blogger, Danni Moss, had a site dedicated to this very thing within the SBC. Unfortunately, she succumbed to cancer a couple of years ago, but her siblings have kept her site up (comments off) as a resource. Sexual abuse is rampant in the church – SBC and many others.

    Thank you guys for posting this. It hurts to read it. Randall is right. There is now ‘getting over’ being molested. There is healing, but it is not something that is reversible. Things can and do get better with good (not necessarily ‘Christian’) therapy. But it is something that will always be a part of you. Thank you for not forgetting the victim.

  128. Jeannette Altes –

    I am so sorry for what you have had to edure through your life. I am so glad that you have beens sustained by the grace of God and have found refuge in Him. I pray that you continue to heal.

    One thing I don’t uderstand about the SBC is why would they need a separate way of keeping track of sexual offenders. By law, they should be reporting any abuse and when someone is prosecuted they are then on a national registry and will show up on a background check.

    Is the SBC trying to deal with sexual abuse offenders under the table within a church governance mode?

  129. Eagle, I cannot believe that people are pedophiles or molesters because they are mentally ill. My friend Alan Adams over at http://morethancoping.wordpress.com/ has devoted his blog to dealing with the mentally ill (as he himself suffers because of a pedophile), trying ti correct stereotypes like yours.

    Now I have no problem believing that those who molest, etc., would use mental illness as an excuse for their sin. But to say that mental illness is the reason people molest is ignorant.

  130. Any reporting system needs to include sexual offenses that are not reportable as crimes, including sex with congregants or those seeking pastoral counseling. There are more cases of pastors who have sex with a person over the age where it is prosecutable as child abuse than of cases involving children. To me, it is still abuse of position and should result in the pastor being out of the ministry. Perhaps, with counseling and time away, restoration may be possible after a first offense, but never after a second.

  131. Not all pedophiles are mentally ill, but some who are mentally ill become pedophiles, and some forms of mental illness when severe can remove some of the moral constraints we expect of adults.

    More to the point, I am aware of cases of mentally retarded people who are physically adults, but mentally not, who have had sex with a teenager under the age of 17, which is legally statutory rape (aka, sexual abuse of a child, which may not be forcible, but for which, by age, consent is not possible). Diminished mental capacity can be a cause.

    What mental illness or mental retardation can do is result in diminished moral constraint on behavior.

    It is important that we keep clear the difference causation and a co-occurrence where neither event is the cause of the other.

  132. Come on now,

    This is all about Money….

    They can’t let a $50 million Christian Ministry go down because of one outed deviant, now can they? (especially since it was one from that beloved state of Oklahoma ; )

    He hasn’t even been charged, tried or convicted.

    Oh , but wait , there could be more that have been swept aside under the rug and many more unexposed.

    Whatever happened to that Holy Spirit dwelling within stuff and “Behold all things become new” ?

    Religion is turning out to be a white wash, that makes people feel good about themselves and look good to others….

    That way you can put down anyone who would criticize your faith, defining it as persecution.

    Shush, if your not careful, you’ll have the Jesus Mafia to deal with.

    Inquisitions anyone?

  133. Arce -

    Wouldn’t the abuse of pastoral position resulting in sexual misconduct come under true church discipline. I would think a pastor doing that would be disqualified for life as a pastor since he abused a person and misused his position. Forgiveness – yes. Back in the same position again -???

  134. Bridget2

    Yes, sexual misconduct can be forgiven and then they are put right back into leadership, maybe somewhere else, but still reinstalled.

    Not a unpardonable sin, right Wade

    Remember:

    Chuck Phelps
    Darrell Gilyard
    Paul Williams

    Even dr Albert Mohler, brags that we must have these people in our churches to “prove” the gospel works?

  135. Seeker

    Thanks for the conversation. And yes – “assembling with the Body” is a favorite pastime. ;-)
    And yes – “people can care, guide, and even teach others within the Body of Christ.”;-)

    I would add…
    In the Bible – ALL can, and are expected to, guide and teach, when assembled. 1 Cor 14:26.
    NOT just those with Titles/Position, “Elder/Leader” as in “The Corrupt Religious System.”

    It looks like we agree about many things. On the same page with many things. :-)
    And also question many things about “Todays Religious System.” As many do today.
    Seems many today know something’s wrong and are leaving “The System” to find Jesus.

    I’ll try to reply to some of your questions and postions.
    But for now – “Church” is a good place to start in the next comment.

    Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts,
    seek that ye may excel to the edifying of *the church.*
    1Co 14:12

  136. Seeker

    Here’s one explanation for my thinking today about the word “Church.”

    When someone asks – Hey Amos – Where do you “Go To Church?”
    I often reply with – I can’t “Go To” some place that – I am… Some place that – we ARE…

    Mostly I get a quizzical look. Then I continue…
    You might NOT realize it – but – You Just asked me – Where does Amos “Go To” Amos?
    More strange looks – And you can see the gears in their brain grinding to a halt. – Huh???

    I continue… In the Bible – Folks did NOT – “go to church.” – Or tell anyone – “go to church.”
    In the Bible – They became The Church of God. In the Bible – Believers, ARE – His Church.
    His habitation. His body. Where God lives, and moves, and has His being.
    God NO longer dwells in temples made with the hands of man. He wants to live in you.
    The Kingdom of God comes NOT with observation – The Kingdom of God is within.

    I love the body of Christ – The Church – And talking about it to unbelievers and believers.
    Most today think – church – is a building with a steeple on it. Or – A Pastor, in a Pulpit, Preaching, to People, in Pews. BUT – That’s NOT in the Bible.

    How many, still in the world, still dead in their tresspasses and sins, will know that “church” in the Bible refers to us, you and me, believers, God’s kids, Kings and Priests, Brides, Servants, Sons of God, Ambassordors of Christ, Disciples of Jesus? And they, the unbeliever, can become the Ekklesia of God?

    One reason they don’t know is because of the way – Believers – use the word “Church.”
    We’re taught to invite folks to “Our Church.” But – that’s NOT in the Bible.
    We tell them – Go to a good Bible believing Church. But – that’s NOT in the Bible.

    What if we asked some one to a meeting of – the sons of God – who are “Led” by the Spirt. And then tell them – Yes, you can become a son of God,”Led” by God. And, you can “Hear His Voice,” the voice of the creator, and “Follow Jesus.” You can be His Disciple – learning from Jesus directly. He wants to be your friend. You can be a King and  Priest unto God. You can be – An ambassodor for Christ – delivering His Message of Love to a broken world. You can lay hands on the sick and see them recover. This is available to ALL who believe. NOT just to a special clergy class. NOT just to those who have taken “Titles” NOT found in the Bible. Available to ALL who believe.

    IMO – We have deceived the very people we are trying to reach out to.

    The world has NO idea what “Church” really means. Neither do most believers.
    Go ahead – ask some folks to describe the word “church.” See what you get. ;-)

    Jesus – He is the head of the body, (the ekklesia, the called out ones.) The Church.

    The Church of God, The Ekklesia of God, in the Bible are…

    Kings and preist’s unto God.
    The Bride of Christ.
    Servants of Christ.
    Sons of God.
    Disciples of Christ.
    Ambassadors of Christ.

    Instead of asking people to go to church – Why not ask them to become the church?

    God loves me and forgives me all my sin.

  137. A. Amos,

    Awesome thoughts! Thanks for your clarity in this…I agree with you and I like what you said at the end, instead of asking them to go to church we ask them to “become the church”…

    There is certainly something missing in the modern day system of “church” that I believe the early believers shared…in many cases, we have traded the good news of being part of the body of Christ with an obligatory system of religion..

    And also, the genuine excitement of being a part of the body of Christ can be found in many places…Using lingo such as going to church, for many people, simply means assembling with the Body of Christ, not attending a building or organization….but I agree with you, many still think Church is that building with the pastor, the pews, and the organ along with the ministries that come out of this organization..

  138. I live in this town. And the silence here is deafening. And I’m wondering WHY? If the same set of circumstances, such as a suicide to avoid disclosure, prosecution, scandal, over allegations of the sexual molestation of a minor child had involved one of the plain unwashed masses, you can bet every single detail allowed by the law would be plastered all over the media, such as whether the individuals PC had child porn on it, etc etc. But not so here, it’s like the entire town has been rolled up. No one is talking.

  139. Harry -

    What about the back in the same position again part?? That seems to lack wisdom to me. But I’m just a middle aged woman. Forgiven and in fellowship is one thing – leading again is another . . .

  140. Hi, you share a lot of good things on behalf of the victimized girl, but it’s better to wait for the autopsy results before saying too much concerning Mr. White or the girl (whom we know nothing about at this time). If he did indeed commit suicide, then in the minds of perhaps most people, he will go into history, not as the man that had a positive impact on literally thousands of lives, but as a pedophile. But your article, though you acknowledge the fact that he’s not yet been proven guilty, pretty well presumes his guilt, and seems to presume that he probably molested MANY other girls before this one. I don’t believe that’s the Lord’s Heart, to presume the guilt or sin of others based on circumstantial evidence, or based on the statistics of other sinners. Is that the Lord’s Heart, to presume that Mr. White is probably guilty of being a pedophile, having molested multitudes of girls before this one? Why can’t you wait until the facts are in before sharing your thoughts and opinions?

    I’m not sure what stance you want VOM to take, when they don’t even know FOR SURE (yet) that their director did the thing he was accused of. They loved him and his family. If this was YOUR son or daughter being accused of perversion, and the circumstances seemed to point to their guilt, but yet it wasn’t completely proven, how would you speak concerning their situation? Definitely you would hope that somehow the evidence comes out in their favor. So it is with VOM; until he’s proven guilty they’re not going to have much to say to the public. I’m not sure I agree with your belief that VOM should take responsibility for the girl’s needs UNLESS it turns out that Mr. White and the girl were somehow connected with his work at VOM. Does McDonald’s take responsibility for the actions of pedophiles that have worked for their company? If somehow McDonald’s was connected or responsible for the man’s actions, then yes, they should be liable. But If Mr. White is guilty, but it had absolutely nothing to do with VOM, their ministry or property, then why should they be liable for his actions? If it is revealed that Mr. White did indeed do this sin, and that VOM should in any way take responsibility for it, I have confidence that they will do the right thing. Pray that Truth will prevail, and that others also will think about this situation (whether he’s guilty or not), and become more careful to take thoughts captive and not compromise their walk with Christ. In Him, Dan

  141. A reason some of us reserve judgement in matters such as these is that we are instructed that total rejection by men is a sign that we are to receive a huge blessing in heaven. What could cause a man to be more uniformly rejected by men than a false claim of child molestation? Judge all you like. This man could have submitted to a polygraph and didn’t, but save your breath before telling me that some of these church leader are not suffering persecution. Follow the money..

  142. Here is what I do not understand about White committing suicide. Why put VOM in such a position? Why not face the music and make sure the VOM is not tainted in any way by his alleged actions? Why leave his family wondering about truth?

    Here is a man who suffered prison, spent many years around first hand stories of real persecution. People who were “tortured” for Christ.

    It is mind boggling.

  143. “Give me a Bible and a place to stand…”

    Eagle, 

    HowDee,

    How’s you Dad?

    Per your Eagle comment; (4/26/12 (11:58 pm) :

    Yes, an epochal, strategic moment of time for you no doubt! 

    (sadface)

    As for your ‘concerns respecting John MacArthur’, -Yes, apparently excess is the order of the day. 

    Mum said: “Don’t believe all of what you read, half of what you hear”. It has served me well.  

    The strength of Mac, however, is not his famed ‘highwire’ exploits, but  IMHO — his un-tiring belief that the scriptures are ‘true’; that they are God’s inspired words; that they can be trusted; that they are proven; that by following them for sole faith & practice, one is sure to obtain excellent results. 

    As for your ‘concerns respecting Tim Challis and his Charles Colson comment’, -Yes, apparently an excessive example of poor timing, and  insensitivity.

    However,

    “ECT (Evangelicals and Catholics Together) made the Reformation a mistake or an over-reaction and sought to draw Protestant and Catholic back together. It made little of the gospel, suggesting that there was no unbridgeable difference between the gospel of the Reformation and the gospel of Roman Catholicism. This had potential to do terrible damage to the church and its gospel witness.”   -Tim Challis, about Chuck Colson & his creation: Evangelicals and Catholics Together.

    Begs the question: Can Catholics & Protestants come together and bridge their difference between the gospel of the Reformation and the gospel of Roman Catholicism?

    “ΠΑ ΒΩ ΚΑΙ ΧΑΡΙΣΤΙΩΝΙ ΤΑΝ ΓΑΝ ΚΙΝΗΣΩ ΠΑΣΑΝ.” ?
    -Archimedes

    Birth’d a Reformation son,
    * Sola scriptura! Follow’d, 
    The Lord battles dark! 
    Long light the Reformation sight!
    Long live King Jesus upon His forever throne!
    Rescued Bride, the vail rent.
    One day the children won’t have to eat the crumbs! 
    -Sopy

    *

    What Is The Gospel, Anyway?

    (Or What Is The Scriptural Contents of Saving Faith, or What We Must Believe in Order to Be Saved?)

    1. According to Bible scripture, in order to be saved we must: believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. John. 20:31—“But these are written, that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you might have life through his name.” (Compare 1 Jno. 5:1.)

    2. According to Bible scripture in order to be saved we must: believe the gospel. That Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.” The gospel is, that “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures … was buried … and rose again.” (See 1 Cor. 15:1–4) (See also Rom. 1:17–25.) 

    3. According to Bible scripture, in order to be saved we must:  ”believe that God has raised the Lord Jesus from the dead.”

    4. According to Bible scripture, in order to be saved we must: “believe that Jesus can and will forgive our sin.”

    “For the joy set before Him…”     …secured His Perl! 

    Ipray4U

    Sopy
    ____
    Travis Cottrell – “Jesus Saves”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WFgAnhHhesk&feature=youtube_gdata_player

    * By a contrast to the Reformation’s Sola scriptura:
    1. The Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Oriental Orthodox Churches teach that the Scriptures are not the only infallible source of Christian doctrine. For them Scripture is but one of three equal authorities; the other two being Sacred Tradition and the episcopacy. -wikiP
    2. These churches (Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Oriental Orthodox)  believe that the Church has authority to establish or restrict interpretation of Scriptures because, in part, it implicitly selected which books were to be in the biblical canon through its traditions, whereas Protestants believe the Church passively recognized and received the books that were already widely considered canonical. -wikiP

  144. Dan
    I have made it clear that it is an “alleged” victim. I said very nice things about VOM in my opening paragraph.I even showed some compassion for Tom White.

    But to be honest, I am a bit startled by your comment. If you are telling us that a Christian organization should function in the same manner as McDonalds then I have heard everything! Good night!!!!! We are so far apart on the sacrificial love of Christians that we will never be able to see eye to eye. I can see the ad now “First Christian Church-We serve it up like McDonalds. Have it your way.”

    If you have read our blog, you will know that we are very, very concerned about the numbers of pedophiles that are found in churches and Christian organizations. We have documented some of these stories here and I hope that you will read them. Many of these incidents are covered up or treated like a one time occurrence. It is one of the goals of this blog to educate people who come here on the issue.

    I am sorry that you find the stats offensive. But, my guess is that you would have no trouble accepting the stats that a morbidly obese person is at high risk for Type 2 diabetes. If a 350 pound woman came into the office of an internist, should he blow off the fasting blood sugar and A1C because not ALL morbidly obese people have Type 2 diabetes? Of course not, but then again, morbid obesity is not as embarrassing to the faith as pedophilia. Why would you not take similar precautions for an arrested/convicted pedophile-investigate and see if there are more victims because there is a HIGH possibility that there are?The police and VOM are morally obligated, if this is true, to make sure there are no other victims since stats clearly indicate that a pedophile has likely molested large numbers of children PRIOR to his/her first arrest.

    This is an alleged molestation that the police were investigating. If it turns out to be true, then there are ramifications. If it is true, then, in my opinion, VOM must do everything in its power to provide care and help to the victim(s), just as they would for any persecuted Christians around the world.

  145. Sopy

    “The Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Oriental Orthodox Churches teach that the Scriptures are not the only infallible source of Christian doctrine. For them Scripture is but one of three equal authorities; the other two being Sacred Tradition and the episcopacy. ” Remove the catholics and orthodox and substitute Piper, Challies, DeYoung, Mohler, etc. Are we really any different?

  146. Except “we” have thousands to millions of Popes, each with a completely-different Sacred Tradition. In a web of ever-changing alliances denouncing others as Heretics, Apostates, and (in Deb & Dee’s case) Witches.

  147. Read this month’s new magazine. Read Tom White’s letter. I may be wrong, but it appears to me that the mystery is over. I felt it had to be someone he knew well and worked with the family. But, is it true? Now I really wonder.

  148. Interesting to read the responses to the original blog. No one seems to have focused on the elephant in the room – misogyny! Hatred of women is endemic to ALL Abrahamic religions – and a large number of others. Religion’s role in subjugating women to second class status and powerlessness leaves them, at all ages and stages of life, vulnerable to male abuse. Until religionists let go of their belief in the bible abusers will continue to flourish. How could it not when men are taught this kind of sh*t!?

    “No wickedness comes anywhere near the wickedness of a woman…..Sin began with a woman and thanks to her we all must die” (Ecclesiasticus 25:19,24).

    “A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I don’t permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner”
    (I Timothy 2:11-14).

    “The birth of a daughter is a loss” (Ecclesiasticus 22:3).

  149. Hi Louise
    Welcome to our blog and thank you for your comment. I can well imagine that you perceive misogyny in the Christian faith. There are some who are that way and they are wrong. This blog aims to fight against this trend, amongst others, which you see in all religious faiths as well as in the nonreligious.

    Since we are Protestant in our theology, we do not recognize the book of Ecclesiasticus although we recognize Ecclesiastes which starts out “Vanity, vanity, all is vanity” which somehow seems to fit this topic.The quote from the Book of 1 Timothy is contested. It was written when the new church was first formed. Women had not been allowed in the Temple and were relegated to the Court of Women. After Jesus’ Resurrection, they could come to church. Some believe that this passage was asking women to be silent and not disturb the services.In other words, it was a bit of Miss Manners. That same apostle who wrote Timothy-Paul-also counted Junia, a woman, amongst the greatest of the apostles.So, it is difficult to believe that he meant this for all time and eternity but there are some who will contend such a thing.

    Mankind is afflicted with the sin of pride which causes us to want to place ourselves above others. We are constantly comparing ourselves-who is smarter, who is more handsome, who is more talented, etc. Pride started this mess and pride still reigns. Pride and the love of money caused racism. Pride and money caused the sin of slavery.Pride, self indulgence and power cause domestic violence as well as pedophilia.

    I have no excuse to give you.I can only tell you this. There are many wonderful people in the faith who are not misogynistic and believe that women have as much to contribute as men. Our sins are on display for the world. Thank heavens that Jesus is my Redeemer because I know if anyone were to get to know me, they would see the failings in my life as well.

    I hope you will continue to visit us off and on. You seem like you have explored this issue and I really enjoyed your well documented comment.

  150. Dee, Wish you well but I won’t be back, I stumbled on your blog by accident and do not choose to spend my remaining time on earth discussing what was meant by the authors of a 2,000 year old fairy tale. I’m too busy living my LIFE and trying to abide by the universal canon of “Do nothing to others you would not want done to you.” Good luck – keep looking forward!

  151. catchicksme,
    Read the May newsletter as well which was probably on route before Tom’s death. Although there was a creepiness factor reading it, believe the 11 year old girl mentioned in Tom’s monthly editorial was not the girl of the allegations. VOM posted a new letter on their website expressing thanks for all the kind support they are receiving, but more importantly they say they have been in contact with the girl and her family and expressed support and care for the girl and family, calling for prayer and sympathy. They even sought the approval of the family before releasing the letter. In the letter they state that the girl and her family had nothing to do with the ministry, while the parents of the girl in the editorial are musicians who perform during VOM conferences.

    Thankfully, VOM has done the right thing and shown support for the girl and her family. Increasingly, hope is dimming that the allegation would be shown to be untrue. And based on the stats in the post, it is a concern that this girl may not be the only victim. If there are others, hopefully they will have the strength to come forward as well. . . there is healing after the pain when things come to light. While a week ago there was just no good part to this story, that whatever way you looked there was pain and suffering. . . if care and attention and understanding can be shown to the victims, which include the White family, then maybe grace will be seen in the healing of the damaged and their dark night be over and their morning may dawn.

  152. Louise,
    Speaking as a man who loves his wife, what the Bible has taught me is that I am to love my wife as Christ loved the church, and give my life for her as Christ gave his life for the church. I’m supposed to sacrifice my own interests so that she can thrive. In my marriage, our greatest struggles have come when I have been selfish.

    What I find in the life of Jesus is that he treated women he met with respect and raised them up. He treated them better than the those around them did, and often better than their actions may have deserved. Sitting here, I’m hard pressed to think of any example in Jesus’ life where he was harsh or unfair to any woman in either word or action. There are many accounts where he stands against the hypocrisy of the Jewish leaders, but these are all male.

    I don’t think it is possible to find in Jesus the warrant for mistreating women, and men who follow Jesus and believe they have a right to do so are more than hypocrites.

  153. Alan, …there’s a chill’d beverage in da fridge, Bro…You’ve earn’d it!  oo-rah!

    …Care, attention, understanding, grace, healing, and morning dawn!

    Sitting here, I’m hard pressed to think of any better words to describe the things most needful in a situation most pressing.

    Sopy

  154. Sopy

    That’s the nicest, and heartfelt, “amen” I’ve ever heard. ;-)
    Love your hearts – ❤

    —————-

    Alan

    Thanks for the wonderful way of presenting Jesus as our example…
    One who loves and respects… ALL.

    IMO – The Jesus I see in the Bible would be considered – a womens rights activist – today.

    —————-

    dee

    Thank you for your compassion, understanding, and love, for those who are hurting.
    It’s refreshing to see.

    This has been some tough days, tough subjects to cover, so many have been abused.
    Spiritually, emotionally, and physically. Thanks for your continued diligence.

    dee – much agreement when you write…
    “Our sins are on display for the world. Thank heavens that Jesus is my Redeemer because I know if anyone were to get to know me, they would see the failings in my life as well.”

    —————-

    Thank you Jesus – for your blood…
    …without shedding of blood is no remission.” Heb 9:22.

    Thank you Jesus – You heal the broken in heart and bind their wounds – Psalm 147:3

    Thank you Jesus for letting us know why you come to us…
    So many of us have been broken and bruised…

    The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
    because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor;
    he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted,
    to preach deliverance to the captives,
    and recovering of sight to the blind,
    to set at liberty them that are bruised.
    Luke 4:18

    And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold:
    them also I must bring, and they shall **hear MY voice;**
    and there shall be “ONE” fold, and “ONE” shepherd.
    John 10:16

    One Fold – One Shepherd – One Voice

    {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}

  155. Alan, I am not convinced by your argument. This family apparently was part of the VOM ministry and traveled with them to perform. In the letter to NK that the young lady had written that was posted in the Tom White letter, and then for all of this to happen subsequently, it just seems too coincidental. They had known each other for a few years it seems and could have been in any kind of compromising situations. Right now, I believe, no matter how VOM tries to protect the family, that this is the key. It was like a lightening bolt from heaven when I read it. What do others think?

  156. alan
    i am grateful that they reached out to the child and the family concerned. It was the right thing to do. In fact, I hope it becomes the standard response of the Christian church which has been known to circle the wagons and pretend the such incidents do not occur. I am praying for all those involved. Imagine the pain of White’s family who will not be able to come to a full resolution in this life.

  157. @Alan,

    I don’t think Louise was Talking about the Lord Jesus, when making her remarks. She was talking about many scriptures, that seem infer the authority of Men and or Husbands, over Women and or their Wives.

    The Bible has been used in the Church to figuretively beat others over the head with, especially when it comes to husbands and wives.

    One of the problems I have had, is I didn’t find in the four gospels, anything about male authority over Women, in fact I saw just the opposite, in Jesus’s dealings with Women. He treated them as equals.

    But then jump ahead to Paul’s letters to the believers in various places, and then you start seeing what appears to be preaching about Male Authority in the Church, and Authority and Headship over the Wife in the marriage, and the way I see it, more people choose to understand the scriptures to mean Male Authority in the Church, and Husband Authority over his Wife, rather than seeing that these passages may not mean that at all.

    In fact, the more fundamental and conservative a Church gets, the more narrow minded they get about these passages. One incident that happened for me, was when there was going to be a sex education class, for the young people in a Church I attended, and the Pastor’s Wife came to me to let me know about it, so that if we wanted, our kids could come, and I said that it would be great, and our kids would go, and then She said to me that my Husband would have to asked and they would get his consent, and I said that if I said yes, that was ok. She said well we will have to ask him, well I told my Husband, and our kids didn’t go, because he thought that my permission was good enough.

    The sad fact is, that many in the Church are taught to interpret certain passages in the Bible, to mean Male and Husband Authority, even if it is so called benevolent authority, however the Wife still understands there is a division of authority.

    You sound like a very nice Man, who doesn’t believe the Bible gives you an Authority or Headship Your Wife doesn’t have, but I am afraid this is an understanding of the scriptures, that many do not want to give up.

  158. Morning… Sopy and AALove, the kind words were appreciated, as were Dee’s. The pain and probably guilt that the Whites are feeling can be crushing. Some years ago, attended a small church (<100) and a lady took her life. Beyond the pain of the loss of this sister, there was guilt that I didn't know her well enough to know that she was suffering. As to circling the wagons, that's like trying to contain cancer. When there is a lack of genuineness about things, to that extent things are corrupt and dead, and that comes thru.

    cat. . . you may be right that it was more than a coincidence and the girl in the newsletter may be the one at the heart of the allegation, but found myself thinking that the end of that discussion bears little benefit. Whoever the girl may be, her pain is the same.

    safe place, firmly believe that as one gets further away from Jesus, and we talk about the rest of the New Testament apart from him, that the opportunity for confusion and misinterpretation increases. . . Jesus should always come into view. The letters of Paul, James, Peter & John bring to light who Jesus Christ is, and what being in Him should mean and look like for us. For marriage, there are spiritual principles involved that are miles removed from taking titles and 'authority.' Husbands are to love their wives as Christ did the church, and wives are to submit to their husbands as the church does to Christ. Marriage is meant to be a living relationship that testifies to Christ and His body. For the husband, he is to love his wife by giving himself up for her as Jesus loves his church. . . in love, husbands should serve their wives. For wives, the call to submission is to be a living testimony of what it is to take up the cross and follow Jesus. . . there is a beauty in being able to live that out in practical ways with their husband. The call to submission is not a call for wives to be second to the husband. Others should be able to look at a Christian marriage and see more than the love of a particular man and woman, there should be a living testimony of Jesus and His church. . . something beautiful that means life to others.

    To take that living thing and reduce it to doctrine misses it. And for a husband to take 'authority' over his wife based on a text, without in Christ learning what it means to give themselves up for their wives, leads to hardship and pain and all kinds of dysfunction. There is a need for genuineness in things. . . if one finds in Christ the capacity to truly give up his life for his wife, there is authority found in such genuineness. Generally find it to be true that those who are quickest to take 'authority' over their wives based on a text are the ones who do not give themselves up for their wives.

  159. cat, while there is a logic to your speculations that make sense to my head, they are little comfort to the heart since there is so little known of the facts and circumstances yet. . . the truth may be wholly other. Until the investigation is completed and more known, will need to live with the uncertainty of things which is uncomfortable. I too hope that Tom is in some measure vindicated and the what ifs and the worst possibilities are removed. Knew Tom as generous and kind and dedicated, and remember him as such.
    Hope that brothers and sisters going thru persecution remember Tom as someone who stood with them and for them thru their trials.

  160. Cat -

    You didn’t just say that did you?? The girl may have encouraged it?!?! She is 10 — he was 61.

    PLEASE tell me you believe that men CAN and SHOULD control themselves no matter what!!

    I might be sick . . .

  161. Wendy UNITED STATES on Thu, Apr 26 2012 at 12:19 pm
    Wendy said,
    “Eagle,

    It really irks me that we can throw out the ole “innocent until proven guilty” thing and give Tom White the benefit of the doubt, but we can’t give a 10-year old CHILD the benefit of the doubt.”

    This is the first thing said that has made a lick of true sense.

    Dee,
    Tom HAS gone to a court of 3 or more, according to you, by the sheriff getting a warrant. They have evidence!

    I want you to know that I am perfectly capable of separating the innocent family members, VOM, from Tom White.

    I do not assume anything on the part of the family and VOM.
    But by hell I do assume that Tom White has done something.
    Ya dont shoot your head off cuz ya are innocent.

    Tom has handled many battles in behalf of the church and he stood for VOM. He knew how to handle those things. However he did not know how to handle the truth against him.
    So he took his life. I am not being calloused.

    I have had a child molested, a three yo. He testified what was done to him before a grand jury. It was a Christian man we trusted. I know of what I speak.

    I personally met Pastor and Mrs. Wurmbrand, I support their ministry. Tom was a caretaker in their behalf. Caretakers do wrong things.

    In no way should they nor their family take on the sin of Tom. But they will.
    It was difficult for me to believe my 3 year old when he told me what happened to him.
    However I immediately said to me, I will be loyal to this innocent child. My son. I will not waver. In doing so it helped him heal. I can tell ya that today he thinks the world of me. He is so thankful I went to battle for him. It made him feel safe as a child.He has told me so.

    I went head first after the Christian man that was outwardly a wonderful man,but inwardly a pedophile. I called the police and got the ball rolling. I had no idea what would be in the next 3 years from the fall out. Not fun.

    To do otherwise would of been an injustice to the both of them.

    He admitted to being guilty, was found guilty in a court of law. Served a sentences.
    We moved out of the area.

    All of this gobble goop is just that.

    Like you said Dee the family and VOM will have tons of support.
    The family that has been betrayed needs support. I can tell ya no Christians from our church gave us a lick of support. I had tremendous guilt for befriending the pedophile and his family.

    This was 32 years ago. I am still hurting from it.
    Thank you Wendy for your comment.
    Thank you Dee too.

  162. “Who knows the girl may have encouraged it”

    Are you kidding me? This Tom White was a coward. Rather than face the consequences of his actions he decided to make an exit. Tom killed two people here- himself and that little girl. Sexual abuse kills a person, kills a soul. A childs brain and personality is not fully developed and sexual abuse deforms a persons brain for life. Everything that child experiences the rest of her life will be looked at thru the lens of abuse. The world is no longer a safe place when one is the victim of such evil.

    I’m amazed that so many people assume Tom White was saved. And while I don’t claim to know the truth of that matter, I do know that saved people are known by their fruits. I would not think that John Wayne Gacy or Ted Bundy was saved while they were comitting their serial crime sprees. I put sexual offenders in that same category due to the heinous nature of their crimes. I’ve seen enough people in ministry positions whose private lives are a big sham, but they sure can pray the right prayers and look like they’re making a big difference for Jesus. Usually it’s for kudos and money.

    catchicksme you scare me teaching children in our schools

  163. gotheart
    I am so sorry and sick over the molestation of your child.What a strong parent you are! I do not know how you handled such pain and I stand in awe that you fought the pedophile and did the right, albeit hard thing. I agree. The parents who stand up for their children who have been abused help their child enormously. I know a family who did the same thing and, because of their unfailing support and taking on a less than honest leadership,he is doing well today.

    You also did it without the support of people in your church. Unfortunately, that scenario is played out in churches all over America. In the situation of which i was part, thankfully a small band of brothers and sisters surrounded the family and went to war. I cannot imagine how you managed on your own. I am so impressed with you.

    I appreciate your insight into this situation.You, more than many others, understand the pain of this situation. Thank you for your comment and your transparency.

  164. JTerry
    It is very, very hard for me to understand how anyone could harm a child. The only thing I can imagine is that they are deeply wounded themselves. Stats appear to indicate that a large percentage of those molested in childhood go on to do the same. Does such a thing permanently wound a person? The ones who don’t go onto have a high rate of substance abuse and serious mental illness. Sometimes, I cannot bear to read of these things. I used to do child abuse and neglect followup when i first became a nurse. After three years, I couldn’t cope with it anymore.

    To this day hearing of such acts against children causes me much pain. How much mores for their parents and family members! That is why we are dedicated to exposing this issue. Our hearts are with the victims since very few people stand side by side with them. TWW is one place that makes them the priority.

  165. Again, it is important to give support, appropriate medical and psychological treatment to any child that claims to have been abused. It is important that doubts are not expressed to the child but it is also important not to provide bolstering to the story being told by the child. Similarly, support needs to be provided to the family of the child.

    At the same time, Christians need to be careful about leaping to conclusions regarding the guilt of the alleged perpetrator. Mistakes are occasionally made, and those outside of the professionals dealing with the situation need to withhold judgment.

    In a mid-sized Texas town, there was a girl who at the ages of 15 and 16, would make up and dress up and look like she was early 20s, which is what her fake ID said. Because she had been abused by a family member when young, she was out to destroy the lives of as many men as possible. So she would go to a bar, pick up a man, have sex with him, change makeup and clothes and go to the ER have have a rape kit done and make a complaint. Did it multiple times, ruining the lives of at least ten men over a two year period. Most of the cases were resolved with plea bargains that took into account the issue of the apparent age and fake ID, b/c she had been drinking in the bar when picking up the men involved. When a party stood up and said they wanted a trial, the girl refused to testify, and the charges may be dropped.

    Sometimes younger children also make up stories sometimes when coached by an adult. And sometimes, without adult coaching.

    We just need to be very supportive, very careful, and not leap to conclusions until the matter can be fully investigated and confirmed by a plea or trial.

    And please do not attack a church or other organization that reports that an allegation has been made. At least they are reporting and trying to do the right thing.

  166. With a Ph.D. in Psychology and working as an attorney, I have been qualified for some time to be appointed as ad litem (legal representative) for a child when parents have been accused of abuse or severe neglect of a child. Until recently, I did not file the necessary paperwork to be appointed, because I was unsure of my own ability to control my temper when a child had been abused. I am an unabashed advocate for children and a kid person, and have been since I was a teenager. I could never imagine hurting a child and do not understand how anyone else would be able to do that.

    My advice to be careful in such instances is not to defend any adult that has harmed a child. It is that all of the expressed hate when facts are as yet unknown does not help the child and may come back to harm the child. It is better to wait, pray, and be supportive of the child and the child’s family, but without presuming guilt of the adult involved prior to completion of the investigation and prosecution.

  167. Hi, Alan.

    “The call to submission is not a call for wives to be second to the husband. Others should be able to look at a Christian marriage and see more than the love of a particular man and woman, there should be a living testimony of Jesus and His church. . . something beautiful that means life to others.

    i dunno…. a little too much “shoulding on people”. Why can’t my husband and I just make the most of our relationship for its own sake, and for the sake of our own little family? Why load it down with extra shoulds? My marriage has absolutely nothing to do with the “Others”. It’s not for them. I absolutely hate the religious pressure to be in the counter-cultural spotlight all the time with — as if the chief purpose of life is how one comes across.

  168. Another counter example.

    A man was accused and arrested for inappropriate contact with a child. The allegation was that, while the child sat on the man’s lap, he had an erection that she, while fully clothed, was sitting on. It actuality, she was sitting astride one of his thighs and in his pocket was a cell phone. Charges were eventually dismissed, but the man has an arrest record for sexual abuse of a child, lost his job, etc.

    Before that case was resolved, a young teen that had heard of the first allegation and was angry with a member of the man’s family who was in her school, made a charge of sexual abuse. Because of the charge, the man was rearrested, even though the detective did not believe the teen and it was quickly shown that the charge was false. Another arrest on his record.

    Now he is a target, though innocent of any offense, and can never have a job in education or ministry.

    Please be slow to condemn.

  169. Dee I know what you are saying about people who are abused then grow up to be the abuser. But I’m not buying it that one can be saved and commit serial heinous crimes such as sexual abuse of children. If that is possible then the Holy Spirit doesn’t look so good does He? I too have been deeply wounded but do I think I’m capable of sexual crimes against children? A short answer is no. I have the Holy Spirit restraining me. I have seen too many people in my life profess Christ but there is no real life change. They have an intellectual understanding of the Gospel but they have not repented and their hearts are not changed. Even the devil knows that Jesus is Lord and died for our sins.

    I’m glad that you are exposing this issue, people need to be educated on what sexual abuse really is. So many are ignorant and don’t want to hear about this evil side of life. This is what piuts our children in danger because these offenders are so sneaky and excellent about presenting a nice facade to the public.

  170. J Terry, I will overlook the insult and sadly comment on your naivete. When you are around young women and male teachers day in and day out, you observe things. That does not make one a bad teacher. These teachers are always caught – either by their victims or stupid actions. I do not know if this is what happened – but I do know it is a possibility in this broken world in which we live. And, I firmly believe with all my heart that Tom White is in heaven. Not a doubt.

  171. catchicksme,

    Can we please not speculate about the culpability of a ten year old in this situation?

  172. Cat-

    Having loved a few people that have committed suicide, I understand some of the pain you are going through. You’ve lost someone you loved and respected. It hurts….bad.

    But at some point, you are going to let yourself go down that road, and consider that Tom, while standing up for the persecution of others….may have abused this girl sexually. It wouldn’t be the first time in the history of the church, that an older man in ministry, sexually abused a child.

  173. My biggest concern is the persecuted Christians who were saved by him and looked up to him. That is another tragedy.

  174. hey elastigirl,

    Didn’t mean to add on extra burdens to marriage relationships, and certainly not that we need to be a religious show for the world or anyone else. However, unless you are living alone and apart from others, it is just the reality of things that you will have impact on others, for good or bad. . . whether it is among your friends or co-workers, your community or church. The focus of things is not how we appear before others but what we are at heart, and this is seen.

    In this case, in marriage, if a husband is in Christ able to give himself up for his wife, and the wife is in Christ able to live with her husband as in submission to Christ. . . if these are genuine from the heart, then I would suggest that it is not adding or overlaying religious meaning or baggage, rather it is finding in Christ a better and more satisfying way to be husband and wife. . . certainly better than what is found in the world and more than what you can do on your own.

  175. cat-

    I understand…it WILL be confusing for those whose lives he helped make better, or in some cases, even saved.

    But if their is one thing I’ve learned from the pains of abuse or suicide, is that you have to let people process it…all of it.

    I hope I am not adding to your pain by this conversation. Just trying to share my perspective, for what it’s worth.

  176. Catchicksme- I think my comment was in response to your comment about a 10 year old girl encouraging an old man to sexually abuse her, not a teacher. And I’m naive? Your thinking is twisted. And of course your biggest concern is the persecuted Christians who were saved by him (oh I thought it was Jesus who saves) and looked up to him, not the little girl who was abused by him. Bottom line, if what Tom White did was true that makes him a pervert, pedophile and sexual offender.

  177. The comment about a man “saving” persecuted Christians referred to Christians being rescued from persecution and/or the risk of physical harm or death by VOM.

  178. No. I loved VOM. I don’t know if I will continue to support them. They have been a huge part of my prayer life for 15 years. As simple as that. Please, don’t jump to foolish conclusions.

    And, by the way. A friend just sent me Wade Burleson’s blog. He says the father of the girl called him today and they talked for 45 min. I’ll try to find the link.

  179. Hi, Alan. Thanks for the response.

    I guess the religious language just trips me up. Why can’t my husband & I just treat each other the way we ourselves want to be treated? This “golden rule” is really the heart of the matter.

    I have a secret for you: so-called “christian” marriages are no better than “of the world” marriages.

    The friends we have who are not religious have great marriages. We have spent a lot of time with them in different settings, so I’ve been able to observe. They simply treat each other with respect — you know, that Golden Rule thing.

    It is no different from what you are describing. Just without the overlay of religious language.

    Christians take themselves so darn seriously. Does a corporate chill pill exist?

  180. elastigirl

    Divorce rates for Christians are higher than those for atheists and Hindus. Maybe the “patriarchal” thing is not all its cracked up to be.

  181. Hey elastigirl,

    BTW. . . love the name. It’s certainly no secret, statistics show that Christian marriages end in divorce at the same rate as non-Christian ones. And not suggesting that Christians have a monopoly on respect, love or morality. But do want to suggest that the golden rule is not the heart of the matter.

    Christianity makes the (outrageous) claim that God thru His Spirit can dwell in you now. . . that something real from God is in you in living ways in this world now. If that’s not just words, that’s a huge thing. And because of that, what we are as people is not just better, but new and different and other. . . that in this world now that we would think and talk and act like Jesus.

    If that’s true, then at the heart of things there should be difference between a Christian and a non-Christian. If it is true that God in Christ lives within by His Spirit, then it is not a question of comparing how moral or virtuous a Christian is compared to a non-Christian, or a Muslim or Hindu, but rather is there any likeness to Christ.

    On the other side, if these things have no reality to them, what is the point to things? They merely become a belief system with no power to change anything. . . and the Christian marriage is like the non-Christian one, for better or worse.

    Hope this doesn’t come across as just artificially tacking on a religious perspective to things, but your post raises the question: does Christianity make a difference? You were talking about marriage but it could be in any area. . . does Christ being present make a difference and what is it? If “Christ in you” is not just words then there is a living present reality that should make a difference and call into view whether there is a genuineness about us.

  182. OK, Alan…. (didn’t mean that to sound abrasive)

    Couldn’t agree with you more about the outrageousness of the actual Holy Spirit, the very one, living inside of us. The outrageousness of being an extension of God himself, being God’s hands and feet and sounds and words, etc. Through whom he can love and speak and touch and heal and care for. And indeed patience and self-control with one’s soul mate can take on supernatural proportions.

    Regarding “but your post raises the question: does Christianity make a difference?”

    I’d put a much finer point on it by saying christianity is a subculture with its own very odd language and tangles of contortionist requirements, all feeding into the moneymaking, powerbuilding business that it is.

    The Holy Spirit makes all the difference. (I suspect you would heartily agree)

    Just seems where the buzzword “marriage” is concerned, it’s all about a checklist of behaviors (some very nutty) with that are expected to look a certain way.

    Ugh — let me just stop trying to sound intelligent and anaylical and cut to the chase — popular christianity’s fixated discourse on “marriage” IS EMBARRASSING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    memo to popular christianity — leave me and my husband alone!

  183. Christianity, broadly defined, is as varied as human beings, or maybe moreso. Many take the teachings of Jesus as primary (rather than Paul or the OT) and seek to live a life of service to others and to share the good news or forgiveness and redemption. Others turn it into a set of laws and rules and seek self-aggrandizement and wealth. Some preach grace, but it is a grace that many cannot understand (Calvinistas — by God’s grace some are chosen for heaven and others destined to hell, without regard to anything they may do, including confessing Christ!). Others just try to be the loving presence of Christ, as the hands, feet, voice of love to those who need love the most.

    Yet we commonly call all of them Christians!!!!

  184. Arce,

    I can’t argue with the fact that we commonly call of them christians. I’m just sick of the attenuating baggage that comes along with the political term.

  185. Hey elastigirl,

    “The Holy Spirit makes all the difference.” Believe we are the same page with things.

    May be reading between the lines but seems like you may have been beaten up by what is common and accepted being laid upon you and your marriage. When the Spirit is not present in a living way in people or churches, find that the only resort is to doctrine that is used to keep people in line, and if allowed, will crush. There is a law in Christ but the law of the Spirit of life in Christ sets you free…

    Apart from the reality of being alive in Christ by the Spirit, Christianity is but a shell that has nothing to offer this world. But when true, it makes all the difference. (to quote a wise elastic person) All my original post to safe place meant to say, is that when things are genuine, when there is life in things, when husband and wife are alive in Christ with each other, then there is a difference in being married that those apart from Christ cannot know or live.

  186. elastigirl – sounds like you are talking about one specific subset of white evangelical/charismatic/whatever Christians here in the US, no?

  187. Hi, Alan and numo.

    ‘ppreciate the attenshun yer givin’ me….

    Yes, we were in First Church of Masculine Male Mandom for a season. Devastating.

    Beyond that, I have simply OD’d on american christian culture. Objectivity is eroding away. It’s become a characterture of itself. Like an alternate reality that is actually a Christopher Guest Film (think Mighty Wind, Best In Show, For Your Consideration, Spinal Tap).

    I’m sure we all could name the cast of leading characters.

    I’m just after something real, raw, genuine, unvarnished…

  188. Hey elastigirl,

    Measure things according to Christ and you’ll be able to see thru all the other stuff. In following him, it’s OK to leave lesser things.

    If you want to see real and genuine, you could do no better than looking at brothers and sisters who are persecuted yet faithful. Their life in the Lord is far removed from that practiced by American Christianity. In those who from the heart genuinely love the people who persecute them, you can see Christ. Walking with the Lord has become so much more and better for me since embracing them. . . they are an encouragement and example to press on.

    If you enjoy reading good books, ‘Radical: Taking Back your Faith from the American Dream’ by David Platt is worth the time. He’s a pastor who after spending time with the underground Church around the world, when he returns to the US is hired as the pastor of a megachurch in the south. The book is about the disconnect and challenge for him between his megachurch and the reality of believers in Christ he had been with overseas. . . you will be encouraged that genuineness in Christ is possible in this world.

  189. Thanks, Alan, for your kind words.

    Yes, I’ve seen video footage of large numbers of people in China (packed tightly in a hot smallish building) pouring out their hearts to God with abandon. Nothing inhibited or tidy about it. If ever something was real it was that.

    Put things into perspective, that’s for sure.

    I have plenty of real and genuine at the Moms In Touch prayer group I’m in, so I’m not completely deprived.

  190. I work at VOM and have for several years. I work in a department that caused me to work closely with both Tom and Jim (president) daily and the board (including Chief Holland) frequently.

    I can’t speak to Tom’s guilt or innocence, simply because I don’t know. I can comfortably say that no one at VOM knew. They are reeling just as much as the public, if not more. Not just the shock and grief over death, but added to that the shock and pain that this might be true of someone you thought you were close to. For many of us, we were family, spending time together with our families, etc. Think of it as if this had happened to your brother or uncle. Even though you may see him as now this evil, perverted person, he is not fixed in our minds as that, right or wrong. We love him, even if you can’t understand that. While we do hurt and cry for the little, she is an abstract in our minds; we don’t know her like we knew Tom and so her pain can’t extinguish our love for him that easily. It will take time for us to reconcile what is happening with what we personally know and have experienced for years. On top of that is trying to hold together a ministry that can be very hurt by all of this.

    I can also say unequivocally that VOM is working with the family of the little girl to help her in any way we can. Her family has asked that nothing be in the public eye and we want to honor that. And also, human nature is that for us we want to hide too. We are humiliated and have no desire to throw ourselves out to your wolves. We will absolutely do that if that is what the girl’s family decides, but for now, that is not the case. But it is a mistake on your part to assume that VOM is not trying to help the family because you are not hearing about it.

    Chief Holland has tried his best to avoid all breath of impropriety since this began. When the allegations were made, he immediately made clear to the department that all measures were to be taken so there could not be any implications of friendship covering a crime. I don’t think that necessarily adds weight to the “he must be guilty” side of the equation; I think it just should assure that the investigation is fair.

  191. Holly
    I hope that you read all three posts on the Tom White situation. I believe that the second post started with “I commend VOM” regarding reaching out to the child. I have also commended the work of VOM. I have thought highly of your organization for many, many years. I brought up Chief Holland to underscore that this was a serious issue. He would not have allowed this investigation to proceed if he believed that this was spurious charge. We trust that he is impartial and never said otherwise. I also spent some time wondering about White and even came up with a possible scenario for what may have contributed to his alleged pedophile behavior. I believe that TWW has been fair.

    It is vital that you understand that the little girl is as “abstract” to us as is White. But, folks like Wade Burleson, some of our readers and ourselves have a gut wrenching empathy for that child despite not knowing her. Many of us have been involved with situations that have involved pedophiles and the church. The focus of this blog is victims. Children who are molested earlier in life can have serious issues for the rest of their lives: higher rates of substance abuse, suicide, and the worst thing of all, many of them go on to become the next generation of pedophiles.

    Your very comment demonstrates one of our points. Christian leaders who fall from grace have tons of people who surround them and defend them. It is often the victim who is left with very little support. It is the aim of this blog to change that.We plan to focus on the child. We understand your shock. Some of us have been in similar situations in which trusted people in our lives did things that were hard to accept.

    You said “On top of that is trying to hold together a ministry that can be very hurt by all of this.” Please let God handle that process. He allowed this incident to come to light and He is in the business of redemption. Trust Him to redeem VOM and its ministry. You don’t have to carry this burden. Serve as you have been doing and let God do what He will with rebuilding your ministry. Often things that rise out of the ashes and fire come back stronger for their trials. May that be the case here. Thank you for your comment.

  192. If fathers would step up and be the spiritual leaders in thier home that God has told them to be (and the wives would obey and let them), there would be less opportunity for pastors/leaders to do these harmfull things.
    Dont rely on the church to educate your children about God. That is not what it is there for. The church is there for corporate worship.
    I have been to too many churches that have allowed the world in, and largely closed God out. He has already warned us about this.

    Jason

  193. Jason in Maine
    You said “If fathers would step up and be the spiritual leaders in thier home that God has told them to be (and the wives would obey and let them), there would be less opportunity for pastors/leaders to do these harmfull things.” Why?

  194. Hi, Jason in Maine.

    I’d be interested to hear your definition of “the world”.

    (“I have been to too many churches that have allowed the world in, and largely closed God out.”)

  195. Holly said, “Think of it as if this had happened to your brother or uncle.”

    Abstract hell. Then do likewise for the little girl and her family.

    Think of the little girl as your daughter or niece. Family of God remember, we are all suppose to be in the family of God.

  196. This is all beyond my understanding. As a male I know all about sexual temptation. Most of the churches I’ve been in are super conservative. We have all the rules in the book which we get ridiculed for, then one of our most respected has done something with a 10 yr old?? Is there somewhere you can find out why a grown man could do something like that – and esp someone who is a church leader?

    Second. Stories like this scare me. I have children. I used to think that there were people you could trust. I honestly don’t know whom I could trust to be alone with my daughter anymore, and that makes me feel terrible. A few times a kind wholesome looking man has shown special attention to my daughter, and it freaks me out. Now I look at my friends and think of course they would never do anything like that, but then probably if I knew White, he would have been the last person I would even think of doing something like that. Am I right or wrong for now feeling that the only males I would trust to be alone with my daughter are myself and my own Dad?

    I just don’t understand this. A man or woman being tempted with an affair, or reading the wrong literature I have heard of and understand. But, after news like this and others I don’t know who around me is normal.

    One thing is obvious. Being a leader and doing lots of great things doesn’t mean you aren’t capable of the worst things imaginable. I had hoped it was different.

  197. Christian Man,

    Thank you for your comment. It’s gut wrenching to realize how much danger lurks both inside and outside of Christendom. We can’t be too careful with our children these days – both sons and daughters are at risk.

  198. You do not know if this was a singular event or a habit. I doubt he could have lived a double life for long. His reaction at being found out proves this.

  199. Commenter at 3:46AM

    “You do not know if this was a singular event or a habit. I doubt he could have lived a double life for long. His reaction at being found out proves this.” I would urge to read the statistics of pedophiles. In fact, people can lead double lives for a long, long time. The average pedophile has molested @ 50 girls or 150 boys by the time he is caught. Frankly, look at the church. How many do you know who have hidden affairs or a pornography addiction for years? I urge you to do some reading on this subject.

    Finally, one molestation is bad enough.That is one child whose life has been irrevocably changed. I wish you had thrown a bone to the victim and her family. This is about far more than Tom White.

  200. Hi all,

    This situation breaks my heart! I just found out today when I received a letter from VOM. This is just awful! It sounds like my reaction mirrors many of yours. May the Lord cover Tom’s family and this little girl and her family. What a sad, sad situation!

    I want to address the molestation and sexual immorality within the walls of the church. I have always found it unsettling that parents would leave their kids in the care of the church to do what is their own responsibility to do. Parents are to teach their children, guide them, PROTECT them, love them and train them up. It’s OUR responsibility, not the church’s, not the pastor’s, not the youth pastor’s. Unfortunately, we live in such a day that 80% of church members are not followers of Christ–this goes double for the youth groups. Then, children are left alone and vulnerable with adults and other children out of the watchful eye of their parents. WHY? Why are parents not taking responsibility for their own children? The most awful immorality and character degradation begins in youth groups. These are not safe havens, but parents treat them as such.

    The day that churches are accepting of FAMILIES being together, learning together, worshipping together and fellowshipping together, is the day that I will rejoice. If you have your children with you, you are met with looks of disdain disapproval. After all, isn’t that squirmy 1 year old supposed to be in the nursery? When did going to church mean the breakdown of the family unit? In a culture where children are a hindrance, a noise, an afterthought and not a blessing, is it any wonder why so many are left open to attack?!

    Protection starts with families coming together and refusing to divide up to please the masses. It does not start with background checks and checks and balances. The very fact that children are at risk should be a wake up call, but nothing changes and more are hurt. Where is the accountability!?

    We have but one chance to protect our children – ONE! Don’t waste it. Their lives can be changed in a minute’s time. They are precious. Teach them about molestation from an early age! Teach them how to respond. Teach them about everything long before they experience it! PREPARE the smallest of children for all circumstances. One day you might just be glad you did.

  201. Christian Man
    If you are referring to pedophilia, we can’t fully stop it. It is an embedded sin that will be with us until Jesus comes again. As Christians we must speak out against this horrific crime, stop defending the pedophile, understand that pedophilia can be found everywhere, including the pastorate and the most well know pastors and leaders, and institute measures to protect our children. As for forgiveness and ministry to the pedophile, that can be done quite well in jail. A convicted pedophile must never again be alone with children.

  202. Karl
    I dealt with lots of abused children years ago as a public health nurse. No amount of training can overcome the advantage of a powerful adult over little kids. I once saw a film called Stranger Danger. One child had been taught very well by his parent not to go off with strangers. The producer showed the parent, via camera, how an adult could talk his kid off a playground in less than 3 minutes. This is a well educated kid!

    I do not know what percentage of people in churches are Christians but there is no question that Tom White lived and served a ministry for many years. I do not pretend to understand what he believed. But, I do know that even Christians struggle with sin and I no longer believe that just because people are Christians means that they are “good” people.

    I personally have no problem with Sunday school geared to little kids. I also sent my kids to a Christian school and have good friends who sent their kids to both public and secular private schools. The Boy Scouts dealt with this problem a number of years ago when they had a slew of pedophile complaints. They set up a series of regulations to make sure that a child is never alone with an adult, even for a minute. They prohibit things like FaceBook (for friending-not for announcing campfires) and transporting kids alone with one adult in a car.

    However, until the Christian church wakes up and stops disbelieving that people can do horrific things and stop blaming the child victims (in this case, several people tried to do so which resulted in a new policy here at TWW) then we will look like fools.

  203. I’m tired of the press thinking they have the right to be the judge jury and executioner (of chararter) knowing they don’t have all the facts. For all we know this could be a false accusation. IT IS WRONG to say that VOM owes an apology when the Org. Had nothing to do with the situation!!!!!!! You speak of truth, how about fairness!!!

  204. Smitty
    Have you read Wade Burleson’s discussion with the family of the child? Here it is.http://www.wadeburleson.org/2012/04/tom-white-abuse-vom-and-power-of.html

    Perhaps you did not read what we said with the care this situation warrants. We said that VOM had an obligation to express concern for the child. They apparently agreed and did so. Finally, you did not express any concern for the child who is involved. That concerns me. I fear you will be deeply disappointed by the outcome of this situation.

  205. President Reagan said “Trust but verify.” Churches, schools, and other organizations where children are present must do more than that. Rules that require two unrelated adults, preferably of opposite gender, involved with any children or youth activity, and that with fairly frequent rotation, so that opportunity to “groom” does not arise. Spaces with windows on hallways and glass doors. (can be mirrored on the inside so that those outside can see in, even if those inside cannot see out). All church offices should have window walls so other staff and members can see who is inside and what is happening.

    Good fences around play areas so that children cannot be enticed away. etc., etc. Think about what could do wrong if you were wrong about a person in the organization and take steps to prevent it, both system steps and physical construction steps.

    And at the suggestion of a problem, call in the professional child advocacy people who have experience in talking with children and youth and getting a straight story from them, and let them know that there is a suspicion. Then,if there is any confirmation or physical evidence, immediately contact the sexual offense unit of the local police department.

    And do not attempt to cover up, or deal with it as a sin issue. It is a criminal issue first and foremost, and only after that is clear and acted upon, then does a conscientious ministry seek to deal with the sin. Instead of focusing on the sin, focus on the victim and the needs of the victim for support, for encouragement, and for PROFESSIONAL counseling by a counselor with training and certification in child or youth sexual abuse.

  206. Interesting reading some of the posts, Christians picking each other’s comments apart. I’ve supported VOM for a few years (even visited once). I felt they’re work was some of the most important on earth. Well, what can be said ?? The ‘church’ as a force in our culture is DEAD, I believe. The salt is gone, our country is falling.
    If you haven’t noticed, we now live in a sex-drenched society, it bombards children as well as adults. Surely, VOM was a no. 1 target on satan’s do list (if you really believe such things) regardless of the details, this is a major blow to what is left of the ‘church’ in America. My personal belief, is that our nation is on the verge of something evil and disastrous.

  207. This suicide of Tom White is horrendous. I have had problems with VOM for years. This is off topic, but perhaps this story will help someone to think twice before getting involved with VOM. My beloved deceased mother gave soo much money to VOM for many years. She also took out a $10,000 annuity. After her death I was supposed to receive a monthly payment for the rest of my life. The organization that VOM allows to handle this is Funds for Life. I NEVER GET MY CHECK. I have to make dozens of phone calls where I can only leave a voicemail. When I call VOM they tell me they are no longer affiliated with Funds for Life. Everyone passes the buck. Now I am going to notify the Attorney General to have both VOM and Funds for Life investigated. VOM never had a problem accepting my mothers $$, but now that she is deceased and I am on the receiving end, they pass the buck and this Funds for Life in TX is the worse, and as far as I am concerned VOM is not far behind. But the pics they show of all the starving children and martyred missionaries will tear your heart out. They know how to get to ya. God Himself will hold them responsible some day. Judgement Day is not far off. Shame on all of them.

  208. @Dee, I agree.

    I can’t really imagine but, I would think that if a person had abused a child, and was absolutely repentant, that they themselves would understand that they shouldn’t be alone with a child again.

    Because basically, there aren’t really any good reasons why a child needs to be alone with an adult anyway.

    Basically, as a male I don’t spend time with a girl alone anyway. And these days, I purposely don’t – not because I’m worried about getting accused, but because I don’t think it’s good for a girl to get comfortable being with a man, because she will probably just then trust the next guy who could be dangerous.

  209. I have read many of the comments, but I only began reading after there were over 250 posts so I haven’t read them all.

    I just found out about this tragic story Monday, May 14th. I told the friend who shared this information that she was wrong..that she had to be thinking of some other organization. She told me that “the head guy of Voice of the Martyrs” was being investigated for child molestation. I really wanted to tell her to get her facts straight before blurting something like that out. I had just read the May issue of VOM. However, I was driving, and she pulled out her iphone. When I told her the “head guy” of VOM was Tom White, she looked up the story. Not only did it agree with her, but she sat in my car and read the part of the story that neither of us could even have imagined..that Tom White “apparently” committed suicide to avoid facing the allegations and hurting his family.

    This is a game-changer for me. It is truly earth-shattering news. Though my friend and I had gotten together for a fun break from our busy jobs, I was shattered and deeply grieved. It would have been news bad enough to learn that Tom White died a natural death (although I could have taken comfort in his home-going), but under these circumstances, the news was more than just a little sobering.

    I have supported VOM for years. It was the ministry that got me out of the selfish hoarding of my paycheck. I read the magazine with tears, had it sent to my friends, passed out Richard Wurmbrand’s book “Tortured for Christ,” and have mentioned their work proudly to anyone I know.

    If the allegations are true, then I have to rethink Jesus’ words to pluck out our eyes if they cause us to sin. I have never taken that command literally (only that I believed Christ’s language was intended to be strong against sin which damns us). But here is a godly organization of good works, incredibly blessed, that is diminished or threatened by the alleged actions of a leader. Plucking out our eyes seems a small thing by comparison. This organization supports suffering, voiceless Christians. It takes the Word of God to the darkest corners of the earth.

    The thing I most have to remember is that Satan is prowling about, waiting and hoping to devour us. “Devour” has new meaning in this situation. This was heartbreaking and terrifying.

    The last thing I want to say is that I have to suspend judgment for now. I have a hard time believing it still. It didn’t enter my mind to pray for the victim at first because I was grieved over Tom White’s death. I will pray for the victim as I have for White’s family and VOM. To immediately pray for the victim would have been to have immediately believed it was true. I didn’t & couldn’t.

  210. Yes,this is incredulous! But do remember that VOM has accomplished wondrous things for multitudes without hope—their actions are not to be villified ,just one man if,indeed, it is proven that Tom White is guilty.

  211. Sara
    I made an effort to not vilify the wonderful ministry of VOM. Neither did our commenters. I think most people get it,with the exception of those who cannot believe that one man can be capable of great sin. It is the human condition and Christians, above all, would be the ones who are not surprised when terrible sin occurs. Thanks for your comment.

  212. Linda, reading your comments – I thought I was reading my own thoughts. Everything you said is true of me and my dedication to VOM. I completely agree with you.

    Now, I cannot give to VOM…I will have to wait and see. I did get an email advertisement for some of their apparel – and it seemed to be in such bad taste, I thought it must be phony. Did anyone else get this email?

    I am waiting for a thorough explanation of Everything – in the US and the effect this is having on their ministry with the persecuted church. It is a grievous wound.

  213. Unless “Dee” has evidence or information that suggests otherwise, I find this post disgusting and improper as “Dee” has found Mr. White basically guilty without a proper investigation completed. Because he committed suicide, it does not mean he’s guilty. An investigation sets out to prove or DIS-prove allegations. I don’t have time to read 200+ comments, but the ones I read already have convicted the guy. One day you may find yourself in the same situation. Think how you or his family might be feeling.

  214. Oscar
    I certainly hope you read Wade Burleson’s post on his discussion with the father of the little girl. You did something that we at TWW call a “violation of our prime directive.” You did not mention, once, the possibility of a wounded ten year old girl. And you better wonder how her family feels as well. Your response, unfortunately, is typical and the reason that pedophilia continues to be a problem in our churches and parachurch ministries. Please, please, please think about the little girl who is a victim.

    Go to this link and rethink your comment. link

  215. Oscar
    Not once, in your diatribe, did you mention the pain of a little 10 year old girl. It is such a comment that demonstrates why pedophilia continues to haunt our churches and parachurch organization. You need to go to the following link and reconsider your response. There is a child in pain and Wade burleson spoke to her father.

  216. Kc,

    Thanks for your response. I do want to say that the proverb came to mind as I grieved over this, “He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame to him.” (18:13) It does seem that we’ve “heard” by the actions that were apparently taken by Tom White, but I still will want to know how this is settled. I also understand your not wanting to contribute to the organization at this time. Your trust has been violated. Who would just brush it off as “we’re all sinners?” This is a person who was in leadership at VOM. Actually, I think the president of VOM indicated that Tom White was “the face” of the organization.

    One of the things that really endeared me to VOM, is that they always wrote a scripture on their receipt of your contribution. Every single time, there was a handwritten reference with a brief word of encouragement. My sister also began to contribute, but she couldn’t afford more than a few dollars, and she would send it in cash in her envelop. She would get the same hand-written scripture on her receipt of giving. It gave her such confidence in their sincerity of service. This has not been like other organizations to which I’ve given, and I have received all sorts of expensive trinkets to get more. You get the feeling with VOM that your money goes right where you’ve asked them to put it.

    I was asked to work as a volunteer for VOM at one time, too, and I really appreciated that. Though I have to work full time and couldn’t be near Bartlesville to contribute with service, I really loved getting that personal phone call, and being asked to serve. I loved that they ask for volunteers. I would have been overjoyed to do it. I think it was to pack and ship Bibles.

    I also love their “hands on” ways to contribute and connect with persecuted or suffering Christians. My granddaughter and I sent our hand-stuffed care packages through VOM to Afghanistan one year for Christmas. That was a great activity to do with my granddaughter. We imagined someone on the other side of the world receiving it, and hoped that they would be comforted by them.

    VOM has as often asked for just your prayers and not your money. They have said many times that the persecuted Christians themselves ask for prayer and not our giving. They have also asked for our used Bibles and told us that other Christians around the world love to see what we’ve underlined in ours. What a connection to the persecuted church!!

    Something I’ve never done, but have had on my “to do” list, is to write a letter on behalf of someone who is in prison. VOM gives us the means and the words to appeal for the safety and release of suffering Christians. I also loved that they asked us to send a little chocolate for the prisoners in hopes that they might get it and have their day brightened.

    Just wanted to say these things. I have loved VOM, and still do.

  217. Although it seems apparant that he likely did this abuse to not only this 10 year old, but quite possibly many other children, I do not believe that one should turn their sites on VOM as if they are the ones who did the rape.

    The fact is, Tom White is the person who potentially did the abuse, not Richard Wurmbrand or anyone else in the ministry.

    So, should the ministry go bankrupt? Would not the devil love this.

    Could such a plan of the Devil be devised. Do not be foolish. Of course the Devil devised it.

    That does not negate the one who was tempted into doing such things. His sin is very grievious.

    However, for VOM to pay for everything at this point, does not make logical sense, seeing we still do not know all the facts surrounding it and believe it or not, it could be untrue.

    One of the pastors at my Methodist church growing up was falsely accused by one women of sexual harrassment.

    She was found out later to have done the same at another church and was able to get money in the process.

    Of course, this girl is 10, but the fact is, we should not be throwing darts just yet here.

    And the fact is VOM has to defend itself. If your brother molested someone, would you take the blame and offer to pay for counseling, when there still is not complete proof he had even done it?

    My personal opinion is he likely did it, but my opinion is irrelevant until all the facts have been collected and things have been settled.

    Sincerely
    Tony

  218. Tony
    I did not say that VOM should pay anyone. I said that they should express concern for the victim which, to their credit, they did. This issue is not some woman claiming sexual harassment. I am not sure why you would even mention such an example. This is a 10 year old child, for goodness sake. She is hurting .Jesus spoke quite harshly of those who would hurt a child.

    I am sure you read Wade Burleson’s contact with the father of the child.He is convinced that something terrible occurred. Just remember this. The chief witness killed himself and thereby left questions behind. His suicide will forever allow some to say that it was never “proved.” I stand by the victim here.Suicide leaves behind much pain and unresolved issues.

  219. Eagle
    Wade Burleson is involved with the family at this point. That gives me confidence that things will be handled correctly.

  220. EAgle: I wrote exactly the same thing on another board 2 weeks ago. I looked and looked – in all the area newspapers – nada. Like it never happened. All this secrecy makes it look like something else is at play here. How did Tom die? Pills, hanging, guns, no one knows. What did he say in his last note or letter?What exactly did he allegedly engage in with this girl?

    I guess I will have to admit that until everything is on the table, I will remain unconvinced that Tom White did anything like this. I cannot process it and make it make any sense. Sorry, everyone.

  221. As a man who has worked in pastoral counseling with victims of sexual abuse, I am appalled by the responses on this website. Tom White was ACCUSED of this, NOT convicted. His suicide is not proof of his guilt. Any person with half a mind would know what a public display this would be whether he as guilty or innocent. It would mar his family and the ministry he so dearly loved.

    In America, we are innocent until proven guilty. I am also aware of many cases of false memory syndrome and the manipulation of those who are against the cause of Christ.

    I don’t know if Tom White is innocent or guilt. But neither do you. So stop talking like he was!

  222. Tom
    So he committed suicide to protect the ministry from an unjust accusation? Forgive me for having trouble with that tortured explanation.

    There is far, far more to this story. I suggest that you check out Wade Burleson’s blog. He spoke to the family of the young girl. They are not against the cause of Christ. The child is in pain.You say you have worked with victims of abuse but your comment does not reflect it. You did not express concern, ONCE, in your comment for the child.That is a violation of our prime directive, a directive with which, you, as a counselor, should applaud.

  223. "Dear friend, don't let this bad example influence you. Follow only what is good. Remember that those who do good prove that they are God's children, and those who do evil prove that they do not know God." 3Jn 1:11
    Every time I read comments from "Christians" sharing their opinions and feelings about anything, I need to remind them and myself… what does God's Word say? I don't need your opinion or my opinion. I only need to know what God says and then apply it.
    God is NO respecter of persons. He does not have a different standard for me and you. Celebrity or mother Theresa. It's the consequences sin that we're all left with that makes it difficult to reconcile, but Jesus told us how to know a man (or woman)…
    "A good tree can't produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can't produce good fruit. Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions."

  224. Does anybody know about any autopsy report forthcoming?

    Does anyone know what the content of his suicide note (?) said?

  225. Gadfly

    I have heard from a local person that the case has been closed by the police because the suicide resolved the concerns. Rumor has it that people no longer wish to talk about it. But, I iwll check it out.

  226. Even if a case is closed, is not public disclosure required or freedom of information available to the public?

    I have found that secrecy (withholding of information) is the friend of confusion and spin.  This sad event should be aired out and we, the informed public should move on to prevention and restoration.

  227. Even if a case is closed, is not public disclosure required or freedom of information available to the public?

    I'm not sure of the law and I am sure it varies by state. But a police investigation can turn up a lot of details about various people that those people may not wish to be made public for a lot of different reasons. Which is why totally open records of police investigations are maybe not a good thing.

    Someone who was raped 20 years ago in another state may not want this kind of stuff dregged up again. Or a former spouse who was involved in crime 20 years ago and is long since dead. Who knows what the police may find when they start digging that in the end has no bearing on the situation.

  228. I think your last statement "no bearing on the situation" is correct; and in your examples you rightly focused concern on the victims.  However, the perpetrators should have no such immunity of information, even 20 years later.  If we error, we should should do so on the side of prevention and protection not on the side of the privacy of perpetrators.

    As to your point of state by state administration of law…understood.

  229. Tom was a member of the church I attended as a youth.  He mentored us and helped us on our path.  I can not know what happened with certainty and no one probably ever will.

    The Evil One will attack in anyway possible to stop the Word and in some cases an allegation alone will suffice.  Sometimes there is truth and other times not.

    There is no way to come out unscathed in an allegation such as this whether true or not.  I chose to believe in Tom and the work of his Ministry.  His entire lifes work for God would be forever tarnished, innocent or guilty.  His Family would always have others look at them in a different light, innocent or guilty.  The life he had lived was over, innocent or guilty.  If he stayed and fought, he would lose, innocent or guilty.  Innocent until proven guilty has an aura that would hang around his neck forever.

    I know an individual who was innocent of same charges, spent his lifes savings and was forever vilified and crushed from a pillar in his community to a quiet loner life till he died.  The victims recanted as it was their mother trying to get a payout – but it came years later and the penalty and scarlet letter was already permanent by then.

    Tom chose to go to His Lord, he had fought a good fight.  I have counseled many families of suicide victims in their grief and we can never know what occured when the person chose that route.  Tom was a servant of God and I Love him and Pray for Him and his family.

    The alleged victim is forever going to believe they are responsible, innocent or guilty. 

    Unfortunately only Attorneys with billable hours to be made benefit, innocent or guilty.

    Prayers for All, Forgiveness for All, Love For All!

    Rest Tom, You Truly Fought a Good Fight!

    In Him,

    G

     

  230. Glenn

    I am thankful for attorneys. Many of them comment here. Do not inuslt them as you proclaim the innocence of your friend. It diminishes you.

  231. Glenn

    You have also violated our Prime Directive. You never ONCE mentioned the possibility of an abused child. How sad. 

  232. At least 2 weeks ago, the press release was issued that said: no more investigation, no more info will be released.  Case closed.  Forever. I wish I had kept the link, but I am sure it is out there somewhere. We will never know any details – the funeral itself is shrouded in secrecy and has been covered up as a part of this defunct investigation. How did Tom die?  Where?  When? What did the note say? Why no autopsy? Why is nothing, nada, zero available now  – to anyone? Ever?

    That did it for me. No transparency, no more support. I was a long-time contributor until this happened. This terrible event has been handled IMO poorly, secretly, sloppily – pick any adjective. I took my name off their mailing/email list.  Cutting all ties.  And, lo and behold, yesterday, someone on a cell phone in LA, named Tony A? called me to discuss VOM…to thank me for my support.  I missed the call, but the caller left a message on my answering machine.  It appears they are in deep trouble now: PR, financially, maybe spiritually.  The last VOM magazine bore no resemblance to the ones that have preceded it all these years.  Something terrible happened at VOM and in IMHO it is being covered up.  For me, that is THE END.

  233. kc

    The autopsy is supposed to be public record. i will try to get it. It will show, however, that he committed suicide. And for some who have commented on this site, that will be interpreted that White committed suicide to save VOM because he knew he would be unjustly accused and convicted. They will say this was all a big legal game for attorneys to get rich. And none of them EVER mention a little girl She no longer exists.

    I disagree with them. In this case, Tom took the coward’s way out and left forever the questions. he left before a little girl and her family could confront him. He was able to find strength to face off against the communists because they were the bad guys and he was on the Lord’s side. But was unable to face himself, and his sin, in the long run. This is very sad.His faith could not stand in the face of potential personal failure.

  234. How do you know he committed suicide? I'll bet you will not get anything from public records…that is what the press release said; no info to be released ever.  Where did he die?  In the warehouse? How?  Did he take pills?  Shoot himself?  Hang himself? The public has been told nothing except that he died, PROBABLY suicide.  I have lived long enough to be suspicious of stuff like this.  It does not ring true.  Who knows?  Maybe the government has taken over…what if something sinister happened in relation to his ministry to the persecuted?  The way this investigation and any transparency was cut off makes one think it could be anything.  I am a very smart person, and I do not believe what I am told if it isn't backed up with good evidence. As I said. I am done with all of them. The end.

  235. kc

    The sad part of this is the victim and her family do no have resolution because there are a bunch of self-righteous people running around, declaring Tom’s innocence. These are the same people who get involved in pyramid schemes and believe that anyone they follow could do no wrong. They have not been reading their Bible.

  236. Dee,

    With all due Christian respect, your comment about reading the Bible doesn't answer any questions. I can find scripture in both the OT and NT that can support either view.  None of us know exactly what happened because we have not been privy to any transparency by VOM.  So, at this point, there us no view to defend. IMHO

     

  237.  

    kc (or anyone else who knows)

    the press release was issued that said: no more investigation, no more info will be released.  Case closed.

    Who issued this press relese. VOM? Police? DA?

  238. Glenn,        As so many people in the "church"  are in a state of delusion, so are you.    You worship man instead of Christ.   Just because he had the outward appearance of a believer, that doesn't make him one. The Bible is clear about the wheat  and the tares. The disciples were even fooled by Judas but eventually the truth of what he was came out. 

  239. kc

    You said "With all due Christian respect, your comment about reading the Bible doesn't answer any questions."

    I am sorry. What I meant to say did not come through. The Bible teaches us that all men, throughout the Old and New Testament are capable of great sin. That iis hwat shocks me about the response to this situation. There are so many people who cannot believe that Tom White could be guilty of such sin. I say that he is capable and disagree with protestations to the opposite. 

  240. I just heard about this. After reading many of the comments here, I can’t help but notice the pervasive attitude that a man accused of sexual abuse of a child is considered guilty, regardless of proof or its lack. In this case, there seems to be no evidence forthcoming and the alleged abuser is dead. Yet the accused has done great things for the cause of Christ for many years. How do we know he is not himself a martyr for Christ?

    Recently I have been personally touched by the stories of two pastors who were falsely accused of child sexual abuse. One served time in prison, the other is currently serving time, while his wife and children and church suffer his absence. The system is rigged, there is no justice for the accused. Christians are being persecuted in the USA today, under the guise of child protection, but it’s all a sham, used to hide the truth. And no, I’m not violating your “prime directive” and ignoring the victims. I see victims all over the place, of all ages, men, women and children, people of God, who suffer as their lives are ruined by false accusations akin to the ones used by ungodly emperors of Rome to justify the persecution of Christians nearly 2000 years ago.

    I cannot say, without evidence, that Tom White abused a child, so I cannot advocate for someone who may not be his victim at all. However, I do feel badly for all the children caught in the middle of this mind-numbingly horrifying game, because they are victimized by the system, whether they were ever victimized by a rapist or not. And at this point I can only hope Mr. White was not a rapist, and that his testimony remains pure.

    I pray that God will see this through to the furtherance of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which is of far greater importance than anything else being discussed here.

  241. Ethan

    Wade Burleson spoke with the victim’s father. He is convinced molestation occurred.

    Tom White may have done great things for God. However, he is a sinner. To default to say he was a martyr for Jesus Christ is naive at best. Good night! Tom White did the cowardly thing. He didn’t stay to defend himself. He did not stay to show He trusted in His Father to be his defense. There will be nothing “forthcoming.”

    The event is closed. Be very sure to understand that this means the police believe the perp is dead. Child molestation occurs in private. It is the child’s word against the adult. And if the man is a “certified Christian hero” the child is thrown to the wolves. This is because Christians are hero worshippers and cannot accept that their hero can be a sinner. This shows a distince lack of understanding of the Gospel.

    I believe that he probably did something very bad, was caught and knew how it would be received. Tom White was capable of this. All men are capable of great sin.

  242. Puke. Seriously. Ethan, are you for real?

    You said, “And at this point I can only hope Mr. White was not a rapist, and that his testimony remains pure.”

    How about: I can only hope Mr. White was not a rapist, AND THAT NO LITTLE GIRL HAD TO SUFFER THAT WAY BECAUSE OF HIS SINFUL SELFISHNESS!

    You said. “I pray that God will see this through to the furtherance of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which is of far greater importance than anything else being discussed here.”

    How about: I pray that God will bring comfort and healing to the victims of Tom White whom he hurt through his selfish choices, including his ministry, his family, and MOST ESPECIALLY TO HIS YOUNG VICTIM AND HER FAMILY.

    That type of thinking, the idea that avoiding stain to the “furtherance of the Gospel” is “FAR MORE IMPORTANT” than “anything being discussed here” is EXACTLY the thought process that causes churches and ministries to cover up the sins and crimes of perpetrators in their midst.

    Do you honestly think that the Lord Jesus Christ would place the ‘honor’ of a man or a ministry over the devastating pain and suffering and fear and confusion of a small child?

    How does that accord with Jesus who stopped along the way to heal and to comfort those in need because He was moved by compassion?

    How is that anything like Jesus who took time to bless the little children and rebuked His self-important disciples who thought He should be seeing about “far more important” things?

    How does that sound anything like the One who made Himself of no reputation to save us, who willingly suffered shame and scorn, who was mocked for keeping company with the lost and lowly, who said “woe to him who causes one of these little ones to stumble”?

    Our God does not need us to deny or conceal truth to defend His honor. He requires us, instead, to live and practice truth. And the truth is that all of us sin, often in terrible ways and sin with disastrous consequences, but that Jesus came to save sinners.

    God didn’t hide the sins of our forefathers in the faith to make their stories ‘nicer’. From Adam to Noah to Abraham to Moses to David to Peter and on and on and on — they sinned! They sinned in awful and unfaithful ways, and they felt the pain of that, but God forgave them and worked in and through them. That is the story of redemption.

    Could Tom White have done the sinful, selfish things that have been reported? The Bible says he could. Everyone involved in the situation says he did. His actions when accused as much as admit he did.

    It betrays not only wrong thinking but also a wrong heart attitude to pass by the innocent victim to rush to the defense of the guilty, just because the case makes us discomfited.

  243. @Ethan

    Recently I have been personally touched by the stories of two pastors who were falsely accused of child sexual abuse. One served time in prison, the other is currently serving time, while his wife and children and church suffer his absence. The system is rigged, there is no justice for the accused.

    How do you know they were falsely accused? Was the evidence fabricated?

  244. I have been sad all around for this happening. Devastated inside, even. I have prayed for Tom White through writing….my first book which was a memoir was dedicated in part to him, his wife, and Richard & Sabina Wurmbrand. Mr. Wumbrand’s testimony helped me endure my testimony.

    And by the time that I was writing my second book my prophetic feeling for Voice of the Martyrs had changed considerably, to the point that I don’t read their materials. I didn’t know what was going to happen, but I sensed something. That something is so confusing it is really beyond words. I only knew my spirit did not witness to their magazine. Someone touched on it in this discussion…they use guilt tactics in America to get our money. And while we have given to this ministry because I bleed inside for my persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ across the world, I realize now that Gospel for Asia is much better at communicating to Americans than VOM has been after Richard Wurmbrand passed on.

    I wonder what Richard Wurmbrand would have done concerning this issue with Tom White?

    What I did know about VOM for the year or two before Tom White killed himself due to alleged (and probable) molestation is that they are a very….doctrinal (read: they don’t lend themselves toward prophetic or other gifting and they are very staunch spiritually according to my husband who has been there a couple of times to serve) place. But who cares? The persecuted are helped. Except that it is painfully clear now that they needed more sight because Satan has destroyed the victim family and also the White family. Oh God help us, the painful questions of ministers falling is something which cannot ever possibly be answered. But I know this: the current way we American Christians handle these situations causes much glee in hell. Satan uses the hard-hearted, stiff-necked habits of much of the leadership within Christianity to do much more damage….to the victims in America and abroad. And if it is so for Christians, what is it for the downtrodden of the world? Judgment should come first in the house of God as according to First Peter.

    I call on Mrs. White to stand up and do the right thing for the sake of the persecuted in America. Stand up and be an elect woman of God and disclose what she knows,forgive her husband in the Name of Jesus in writing, and pray for the victim family publicly. STAND UP AND FIGHT MRS. WHITE!!!!

    I think VOM should, no matter the consequences, also delve into this and allow full disclosure. It is now July and I see no statements on the internet of either prayer for the victim family or full disclosure. They fully expect to go on with business of the persecuted and leave the victims and persecuted of America take it. How so very un-compassionate, and I forgive them. But remain silent I will not…..because there are the persecuted in America. And this is why I quit supporting them though I prayed deeply for VOM and Tom White with my first book by putting him and his wife in the dedication.

    This comforts me a little bit. A very little bit. But my heart cries because I didn’t put that precious little girl and her family anywhere in anything because it hadn’t happened then. But my second book deals with this issue of leadership sexually messing up the children in this country all the while lining their ministry pockets with our hard earned cash. The Catholics have done it, the Protestants have done it, and ministries in between have done it. Guilty, guilty, guilty as hell. Now. Why in the world are the leadership of Christianity across America NOT on their knees every single Sunday leading us in repentance? Why? It is not conducive to professionalism or financial security to do it, perhaps? Or fear, which torments us according to First John chapter one? We need to delve into the love of Christ and do the LOVE thing 24/7 across 50 states and across all denominational and non-denominational lines of both the Catholic and Protestant movements. It’s not like we don’t have freedom of religion in America. Which government agency is stopping us from getting on our knees en mass in our homes and in our church buildings across this land?

    May God heal the sexually wounded precious children in America. Oh how I weep inside to think of it. I cry out to God. I cry out for mercy, mercy, mercy for the weak and downtrodden in America.

    Think of the healing some of you precious ones here, and your counterparts, in America could have if the leadership would begin to repent publicly, in writing, in media, everywhere. God help us, it is a vision of pure love in Christ that I glimpse that we could have tomorrow if we will but see that the only way God is going to lift us up in horrendous situations like this is for us to humble ourselves before God.