How do you know if TPM abuses its power?
The below excerpt is from an unbiased site who probably have never heard of TPM (apologetics index) that lists the signs of an abusive church. How many of these gets a “check” when you compare it to TPM?
1. Abusive leaders base their spiritual authority on their position or office rather than on their service to the group. Their style of leadership is authoritarian.
TPM calls it the “office of the apostle”. The disparity in treatment between those who have truckloads of money and the poor are visible in broad daylight in TPM. TPM’s authority comes from their self-designated “apostolic ministry” and none can question them. Violation of Matthew 23:4 and Obstructing anybody who follows 1 Thes 5:21, Acts 17:11, Proverbs 14:15
2. Leaders in abusive churches often say one thing but do another. Their words and deeds to not match.
How often do we see TPM ministers call themselves “servants” and yet act entitled? They have their own kitchens and most of them do not eat the same food that is served to the believers during convention times. Believers are expected to kneel before them as they pray for you. They call themselves “servants” and accept treatment from believers that are worthy of kings. The Entire Chapter of Matthew 23 deals with these types of leaders.
3. They manipulate people by making them feel guilty for not measuring up spiritually. They lay heavy religious loads on people and make no effort to lift those loads. You know that you are in an abusive church if the loads just keep getting heavier.
This is a common sight in every sermon. They take random verses from the bible and twist them to make people feel guilty. Believers are taught not to let their kids play any sport or let them go on excursions and yet we see believers taking pastors on a citywide “sight-seeing” during convention days. Believers are taught not to take any medicine, but then church leaders order special toothpaste from other countries for their toothaches and take protein supplements for their diabetes. Violation of Matthew 23:4 , 2 Corinthians 10:12
4. Abusive leaders are preoccupied with looking good. They labor to keep up appearance. They stifle any criticism that puts them in a bad light.
TPM ministers seldom appear as real human beings and hence nobody can relate to them. They always wear white clothes for the sake of showing themselves to be holy. They use the whitest lights during their conventions so that people outside will fall for it and think there is no other church more holy than this church. Jesus tells about them in Matthew 23:5, Matthew 23:27. Paul Speaks about them in 2 Timothy 3:5
5. They seek honorific titles and special privileges that elevate them above the group. They promote a class system with themselves at the top.
This is the very foundation of TPM. Their unbiblical doctrines of “Zion” and “New Jerusalem” has firstly created a two-class system within the denomination and secondly and three-class system within Christendom. They call themselves “apostles”, “pastor”, “center pastor”, “chief pastor” etc and place themselves on the top and look down on others. Violation as seen in Matthew 23:5-10
6. Their communication is not straight. Their speech becomes especially vague and confusing when they are defending themselves.
Vagueness is a trait in all of their publications. You will neither get a straight answer when you question their doctrines. Most of the times you might get answers like “everybody has their own revelation from God” and “each must live according to the revelation God has given them”. Violation of 1 Corinthians 14:33
7. They major on minor issues to the neglect of the truly important ones. They are conscientious about religious details but neglect God’s larger agendas.
Here TPM seems to have majored in making a mountain out of a molehill. They’re obsessed with making believers apologize to the congregation over the most trivial of things but they happily forget to teach regarding helping the poor or evangelizing. Violation as seen in Matthew 23:23
8. They consider themselves very highly important than the believers of their fellowship
Though they call themselves servants, please check out their actions which speak louder. Watch any holy communion in TPM, the Pastor, and his TPM associates partake of the Lord’s table First and then thinks of sharing it with the congregation. Violation of Luke 22:26-27, Philippians 2:3
Do you find the disciples of Jesus fighting over titles? Was any disciple in the first century called the “Chief Pastor”? In fact, there is only one chief shepherd and He is Jesus Christ. Did they condone people falling on their knees before the disciples? Didn’t Peter rebuke those who fell to their feet? Did the disciples demand special treatment? Did they have “apostles kitchen” and refuse to eat what the rest of their brothers had?
How much control does TPM have over you?
Are you filled with dread at the thought of leaving this denomination? Are you under the impression that once you leave this church, you’ll have no one to take care of your spiritual needs, no one to pray for you, no one to love you the way TPM leaders bombard you with “love”? Are you so much under the “TPM spell” that you think you will be like sheep at the slaughterhouse and that Satan will have his way with you if you leave TPM? Do you feel like you will be backsliding and deserting the presence of God?
If the answer to the above questions is YES (as was mine a few years ago), then rest assured (or rather wake up!), you are under the bewitching spell of TPM that has conditioned your heart and soul to believe these lies and has managed to keep you firmly under its control.
Below is an excerpt from a Voice of Pentecost magazine and gives a glimpse into the mindset of TPM leaders.
“One of the duties of the Cherub is to cover. “Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so” (Ezek. 28:14). As the cherubim cover the Ark of the Covenant, they appear to protect it and all its contents (Exo.25:16-22). The saints of the New Testament Church have been vested with the authority and responsibility of guarding, defending and protecting the Church from the onslaughts of the enemy. Paul says he was “set for the defense of the gospel” (Phil.1:17).” (Voice of Pentecost, February 2003)
By now we all know when TPM mentions “saints”, they refer to the church leaders. Anyone who has been a member of TPM long enough knows the lengths TPM go to control its members. On the outside, they like to use words like “guarding”, “defending” and “protecting” to show off their intentions as noble, but the more you think about it, you’ll realize that is not the case. TPM loves control. They love to micromanage every little detail of your life. Much of it has to do with making sure you don’t leave the organization. The more people are enslaved to it, the more the flow of money into the organization is steady, and they like to keep it that way.
When TPM speaks of “guarding, defending and protecting the Church” what they actually mean is that they want to keep you blinded to other points of view. Pride makes them think they alone are right in all of their doctrines and others wrong in theirs. Deep down they know, a deeper unbiased study of the word of God will expose their false doctrines. Debunking TPM doctrines is child’s play to anyone with even a basic exposure to biblical exegesis. So they ban posting TPM materials on Whatsapp and Facebook and give ridiculous reasons like “non-TPM Christians looking into the doctrines and teachings of TPM is akin to looking at Mount Sinai when God’s glory descended on it”.
None of the apostles tried to control any other brother/sister in Christ. They saw each other as equals, as brothers who were co-heirs with Christ. The picture painted in the NT is that of ONE HEAD and ONE BODY (1 Corinthians 12). The only head is Christ and rest are members each having its own function whose end goal is to give glory to God (not to a denomination). The hand can’t have authority over the leg and vice-versa. Each member is to surrender to Christ and Christ alone.
But in TPM, in addition to Christ being the head, there are many other “heads” that seek absolute control over other members of the body of Christ. Such spirits that seek to control aren’t from God. They seek to destroy your relationship with Christ.
God’s church is an entity that upholds truth and shines the light of Christ to the world. 1 Tim 3:15 says the church (ekklesia) is the ground and pillar of the truth. As explained in a previous article, pillar and ground are architectural terms that are used to “hold something up”. Paul here says that God’s ekklesia holds up the truth. It is the church as a whole that does it. But in TPM, the pastors have made themselves the self-appointed protectors of the sheep and sadly many have fallen prey to their fear tactics over the years.
Don’t let your TPM pastors be your substitute “chief shepherd”. It is Christ who protects his sheep and we need to hear His voice. There are no middle-men here and no one has the authority to control you with unbiblical doctrines and rules.
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.” (John 10:11-16)