First off, let me be the first to admit that I used to be exactly how this article describes a TPM believer. I realized that if I’m honest with myself after having accepted all of TPM’s doctrines, insecurity is the end of it. Though I say TPM ‘believers are insecure’ many times in this article, let that not be seen as an insult to you. The insecurity in the result of the poor exegesis coupled with man-made doctrines that is prevalent in TPM. Anyone who accepts all of TPM’s doctrines at face value will be stuck in that maze. There are no two ways about it.
TPM believers are insecure in more ways than one. As with many other cults, because TPM’s foundation is not infallible, inerrant scripture, they have no solid ground to stand on and defend. TPM’s foundation is its pastors. “My pastor says, so it must be true” is what TPM believers live by (well, the staunch ones anyway).
TPM’s soteriology is a maze of legalism that has them in constant turmoil over their eternal state. They live in fear because their salvation depends on their performance on this earth. They might say “I’m saved” but they’ll be lying to themselves. All it takes is an aspirin pill for you to be left behind!
TPM is a cult. Since they are taught to just repeat “we are the best church”, “we have the best teaching” etc., but have nothing substantial from scripture to prove that claim, they often run away from the discourse. We are yet to encounter a single TPM believer who can stand his ground and defend his beliefs using scripture and that has been disappointing.
Insecure about their salvation
What does it take for a TPM believer to say that he is saved? Sure, he will say that he is saved by believing in Jesus. But in the TPM system, the best one can hope for if a person believes in Jesus is to be left behind by his saviour. Is that really the salvation? If a TPM believer is honest and consistent, he will have to admit that only when a person practices sinless living (a.k.a living by the rules, doctrines, and regulations of TPM perfectly) can one be truly considered “saved”. A TPM believer’s salvation only partly depends on the work of Christ. The majority of it depends on if he can practice sinless living. This is another way of saying “we are saved by our own righteousness”.
Let me present a few excerpts from TPM sermons from various speakers to drive home the point.
Pastor Gulam said this in a message. This is consistent with what we know of TPM’s soteriology. Like I said in a previous article, TPM has several steps of salvation. Many of those steps involve legalistic striving to achieve a human standard.
“Victorious life is the seventh steps of salvation in Christian life and to do a victorious life, one should pass all the other six steps of salvation; viz. born-again, water baptism, baptism of the Holy Spirit, divine healing, separation life, entire sanctification, etc.”
In the recent International convention, a pastor made this statement while explaining the Gospel. This flies in the face of what Paul said to the jailer when he asked: “What must I do to be saved?”.
“It is not just believing in the name of the Lord, having a Christian name, going to Church or obeying the doctrines that you can be seen at the coming of the Lord. If sin is in our lives, we will not be right in the sight of God”
He later goes on to say the following scripture is addressing believers when it is clearly speaking of unbelievers. Talk about twisting scriptures, right? The pastor says the wrath of God is waiting to be revealed even upon believers.
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power, and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honour Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.” (Romans 1:18-23)
Pastor Lalu said this in a sermon in 2012
“When you commit a sin or trespass, immediately Satan accuse you before God the Father, then He says, how long I will bear him, let me throw him out, then Jesus goes to the presence of His Father with His own blood and plead for your sake. He changes the mind of Father. Because His intercession you and I are still seen in His presence (Lam 3:23. Every sin and transgress demands restitution or punishment. Wages of sin is death (Rom.6:23), but because of the intercession of Jesus Christ and His saints, we are made righteous.”
What a preposterous statement! TPM treats like our salvation is hanging by the thread every time we sin. God the Father is somewhat like a villain who is waiting to throw us into hell every single time we sin and then supposedly Jesus “changes” the mind of the Father. Haven’t they read that God loved the world that He gave his only begotten son? (John 3:16). Wasn’t Jesus the express image of the Father (Col 1:15? Didn’t Jesus exegete the Father (John 1:18)? Hasn’t anyone who has seen the Son, seen the Father (John 14:9)?
Did you catch the last part? We are made righteous because of the intercession of Jesus and the “saints”! To those who thought English hymn 385 was a one-off, this should clear that up. TPM clearly teaches our justification is partly based on humans because of the self-proclaimed “saints” of TPM.
So what does it really mean to be “saved” in the TPM system? Jesus said those who come to Him believing will have eternal life (John 6:47). TPM says that’s not enough. One must live by the rules and regulations that are conjured up by a denomination that was founded in the 20th Century.
You can never have any meaningful assurance as a TPM believer. TPM says your salvation depends on what you do. If you live sinlessly and follow all of the doctrines and rules of TPM, you’ll be “raptured”. If not, you’ll be left behind and the “doors of grace will be shut” and then it depends on your threshold for pain as the Anti-Christ tortures you. If you have a high threshold for pain, you’ll be killed and be saved and put in a far-off planet called “New Heaven” away from where God is. But don’t worry, God threw his friend Abraham, the man after God’s own heart, David and many others like Enoch, Elijah, Isaiah, John the Baptist etc., there as well so you’ll have very little to complain about!
TPM makes a caricature of the gospel message to make themselves seem better than everyone. If you want to hear the real gospel message, look away from TPM. The true gospel isn’t there.
Insecure about their beliefs
TPM believers are often taught that we should never approach Jehovah’s Witness missionaries. Some even go as far as to say to never even greet them or say “Praise the Lord” (This, for example, was hammered down in almost every class of my Sunday school, as far back as I can remember).
What horrible advice!
Instead of giving them tools to defend the faith, TPM believers are taught to run away. Is it any wonder that when they grow old, they are ill-equipped at defending their beliefs in front of their critics? This is a cultic mindset. They believe they alone have doctrines and teachings like no other and deceive themselves by thinking that the reason other disagree with their teachings is that they don’t have a mind that can understand such “deep truths”. That’s pride and deception in one package!
This is the command that Peter gives
“Always being prepared to make a defence to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you, yet do it with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15)
Yet, TPM believers are taught to run away from reasoning and critical thinking. They shield their members from what others have to say.
TPM claims to have “millions” of members. Why is it that after so many articles published in this site, there is not even ONE believer who can make a coherent rebuttal from scripture? It is because they have no legs to stand on. A TPM believer’s beliefs hinge on the revelation received by their pastors and not on scripture. If it were scripture alone, they would have had no problem making their case heard.
Insecure about their numbers
TPM believers have this constant need for justifying they are the biggest Pentecostal group on earth. MT Thomas keeps harping the number time and again. To achieve this they often inflate their numbers or just pull the numbers out of thin air. In the fasting prayer on 1st May, the in-charge pastor said that 15 years ago, the number of TPM members were 1.5 million and it has tripled by now, i.e. we have 4.5 million members. TPM Wikipedia page (edited by a TPM believer) until a few months said TPM has 20 million members.
Let’s do a simple calculation for a minute. According to TPM, there are 890 TPM churches in India (Let’s assume this claim is true and that 90% of TPM believers are from India). If we take an average of 300 members per church (which in itself is a very high number but let’s go with it to show the ridiculousness of their claim), the number would be 267000. We all know that apart from centre faith homes, the rest of the branch faith homes never have high attendance.
TPM is actually one of the smallest Pentecostal denomination. No matter how much you jack up the numbers in your head, this is the reality. It is a characteristic of cults to inflate numbers just to show to others how big they are.
Dear TPM believers, stop trying to glorify your denomination. Denominations are all man-made. Give all glory to God. Have a look at the ground on your standing on. Do you really want to hang your hopes on mere men that proclaim themselves to be apostles when so many things that they teach are in direct violation of the word of God? You use these white-clad saints as your crutch. Let me suggest you throw that away and take up the word of God instead. Let your devotion be to God alone and not to a denomination.
Sola Scriptura! Sola Fide! Sola Gratia! Solo Christo! Soli Deo Gloria!
Scripture Alone! Faith Alone! Grace Alone! Christ Alone! Glory to God Alone!
We have noticed that the site doctrineoftruth.com has been pulled off the net as we have been picking points from that site for heretical teachings of TPM. Dear Readers, you need not worry as we have it copied and it is hosted as a subdomain for our website. You can access it at http://doctrineoftruth.fromtpm.com . Our God is great who tells the Prophet Elisha about what is happening in the King's Chamber.