Recently, Brother Denzel via his comments informed us, that his relatives are trying to criticize him for preaching liberty in Christ unto them. He said, “I was reportedly told off, to consider the fact that other church ministers do not kneel down and pray. They do not know deeper truths. They do not ask or manna from God. TPM workers qualify to lead Church because of 4 O’clock praising and because pastor kneels while praying for the message.” Denzel’s case is not unique. TPM devotees are hardwired to utter such nonsense (in-spite of having the book of Romans in their bible). It is very common to hear TPM believers say, “Our saints have left their homes and family to serve Christ. They do not take a salary. They have not married and wake up every morning to pray for us.”
The religious lifestyle of not marrying, fasting, forsaking families and jobs and living on alms given by devotees is in Ashrams/Monastery is called an ascetic lifestyle. This idea to assign “special importance to ascetic life” has ensnared almost all TPM believers and workers. They think God assigns a higher value to an ascetic lifestyle. This old chicanery has been used by Roman Catholic Church since the fourth century. Let us check whether the God of bible assigns a high value to asceticism or not.
Ascetic life of The Pentecostal Mission and their boastings
Below as tabular comparison between TPM workers and independent pastors. This table makes independent church Pastors score zero in comparison to TPM ones.
Comparing the Ascetic life of TPM Ministers and other such ascetics
Brother Denzel, when they are showing you the above table. It’s high time for you to show them the below tables, which compare Roman Catholic Priests with TPM Pastors. See also next table which compares TPM/RC monks with Bramhakumari and other hermits of India.
Dear TPM workers and believers, why don’t you compare yourselves with monks of other religions or Catholic monks? If you have some more excuses please Read 1 Corinthians 4:6-7
6 And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another.7 For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?
Ascetic life of John the Baptist and Christ’s verdict on that
Let us now compare the ascetic life of one Biblical saint with all above religious gurus and see what bible says on asceticism. Below is a table comparing the life of John the Baptist with all others (including TPM ones). We know that John did not marry. He left his family and lived a life of separation in the wilderness away from the seductions of this world. His food was simple, his clothing was non-fashionable. See the table below.
From the above table, it is very clear that life of asceticism and consecration of John the Baptist was many times better than the best of TPM saint. It was better than any other RC monk. No wonder Jesus said, “Verily I say unto you, among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist…
(Matthew 11:11a)” Jesus has thus exalted John above every man born on earth. Yet in the very next instance, he showed that such a life is meaningless in sight of heaven.
Matthew 11:11 further says, “… notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he” (Matthew 11:11b). Jesus in this verse says John the Baptist was the greatest man ever born on earth. No man born of natural birth can be greater than John. His consecration was higher than all men. But then Jesus says that such consecrated life is accounted as nothing. To say the least in heaven is greater than the greatest man born of woman, is another way to say greatest man born by natural human birth is unworthy of heaven. If passing mark for entering heaven is 35 marks and someone scored 35 and is gone to heaven then that person will be least in heaven. Now what Jesus is saying is that the greatest man born of a woman (John the Baptist) is smaller than one who scored 35 marks. This implies John the Baptist scored less than 35 makes (in-spite of all his consecration) – which is passing marks to enter heaven.
Conclusion: Life of consecration is not a way to heaven! Yet TPM and RC monks lay much stress on the life of asceticism.
Ascetic Life of The Pentecostal Mission Vs The Gospel of Christ
TPM believers think that there is righteousness in not marrying or kneeling or waking up every morning or living in a hermitage called faith home. But what does the Gospel say? Apostle Paul says, “And be found in him, NOT HAVING MY OWN RIGHTEOUSNESS, which is of the law, but that which is THROUGH FAITH of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith (Phil 3:9). Did you understand the words highlighted in above verse?
Let me ask you one question. How did God account Jesus as a sinner if he did no sin?
Answer: Even though he did no sin, yet our sins were imputed to him and he was punished as if he committed those sins. Similarly, we who are not holy and righteous are imputed with righteousness and holiness which we haven’t lived or attained. This is imputed to our accounts by faith. Paul, therefore, says, “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one, shall many be made righteous (Rom 5:19).” Now if you are imputed with holiness and righteousness for which you labored not, but it was put to your account without having worked for it, then why do you still strive to attain holiness by your ascetic life? It is only because you do not understand the gospel.
Turning to Catholic style ministry based on Asceticism
This little passage from the history of Christendom is inserted into this article to show you the scriptural teachings that were the foundation of separation of Protestants from Catholics. When you return to Asceticism from this theological point of separation, then you actually are turning back the Reformation. It’s like turning to Jewish faith from Christian faith. It is like turning back into the bondage of Egypt after you have been redeemed from death. It is like Apostle Paul returning to a Pharisaic life of righteousness by works of the law. Allow me to take you back into that moment of reformation and protest of Protestants against the popish religion.
Martin Luther was brought up in the fear of God by his father. Children were not even allowed to laugh, as laughing meant mocking others. This was considered as sin and children would be punished if they were found laughing at a joke. Imagine the piousness in which his father raised Martin Luther and his other children. He knew he was standing on top of the mountain and any mistake would land straight in the fire of hell. After entering monastic life as a Roman Catholic monk, he used to frequently fast to ask forgiveness, for even the smallest of sins that he would accidentally commit. Deep down in his heart, he hated righteousness of God that was so daunting.
As an RC monk, he didn’t marry. He left his profession, parents, family, and home, and entered Catholic ministry to serve God. He later says that if any monk would have ever entered heaven by his life of piety then he would have certainly. This reminds me of the Apostle Paul who says that if righteousness was credited in accordance with Law then he would be blameless (Phil 3:6). He was once given chance to visit Rome. Pilate’s staircase was brought to Rome in those days. It was said that he who climbs the staircase on his knees (penance), he would receive a pardon from sins. As Martin Luther was climbing the staircase a voice came into his heart and that changed history.
The voice reminded him “The Just shall live by faith.” What Martin Luther was doing until now was that he sought eternal life by his own life of holiness and asceticism. The verse told him that righteous man would live eternally (not be condemned) by his faith and not by works! Just man shall live eternally by his faith in Jesus. Martin Luther was trying to attain righteousness by walking the staircase and afflicting his body/Soul. He at once left the staircase and thus were born Protestants – who seek righteousness and eternal life by their faith in Jesus instead of their own pious works and ascetic life.
It is, therefore, Protestant ministers marry and don’t live in cloistered houses and earn their own bread (some of them).Why? Because they follow and seek after righteousness by faith and not by works (Rom 9:31,32, 10:3). And Paul Ramankutty turned this reformation back to a life of asceticism. TPM posterity that followed Ramankutty, kept boasting about their monastic life because they had no understanding of the Gospel. They keep harping the same ugly rhythm again and again.
TPM Pastors and believers, wake up out of your slumber ! Let the blinders fall off from your eyes. We are ringing Gospel chimes again and again for you people. Repent of your empty claims. Trust righteousness which comes by faith instead of righteousness that comes by law. Sola Fide, Sola Gratia, Sola Scriptura, Solus Christus, Soli Deo Gloria!