Well, the context of illiteracy in the title is not the typical worldly education of science and technology but it is a proper understanding of Holy Scriptures and knowledge of Christendom. TPM church does not allow its ministers to enter any good Bible College. When we enquire why TPM discourages proper theological training they give reason saying “There is no need for it as God’s Holy Spirit guides TPM ministers.”. If you are not aware, this is the typical answer that every Pentecostal used to give even before TPM came into existence. TPM just copied this phrase from its predecessors. Michael Brown in his book “Authentic Fire” accepts that early Pentecostals downplayed seminary education using Peter and John saying they were uneducated. John MacArthur mentions the same in his book strange fire. Pentecostals failed to note that twelve apostles were trained by Jesus for almost FOUR years (Mark 3:14). Paul was educated at the feet of Gamaliel. Timothy, says Paul, was from childhood taught about Holy Scriptures. (2 Tim 3:15). In Matthew 13:52 Jesus says – the man trained for the kingdom of God is like householder having treasures. Jesus is saying that undergoing scriptural training is like collecting treasures. In the epistle to Titus, Paul gives one qualification for Bishop – “holding fast word, AS HE HAS BEEN TAUGHT.. (Titus 1:9).” He does say don’t worry about his illiteracy as the Holy Spirit will lead him. Rather that bishop must hold fast the word that he has been taught. In Hosea 4:6 God highlights the danger of downplaying understanding and knowledge. “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee (Hosea 4:6).”
TPM’s Theological Training
You might argue that TPM ministers also undergo a two-year training! However, we all know that in this training period, TPM ministers are made to work like donkeys instead of undergoing proper theological training. They are brainwashed in these two years to spread TPM doctrines. If you want to know why TPM insists on hard work in training rather than theological training, then go to orthodox church and have a look at their tradition which says “For a period of at least three years, the Novice must train himself under the guidance of one skilled in the monastic life …….. TO PERFORM THE OBEDIENCE GIVEN TO HIM ………..This three-year period of preparation has existed from the earliest times, for, in the Life of St. Pachomius, the founder of the Common Life, we learn that he was commanded by an angel: Do not admit anyone to the performance of higher feats until 3 years have passed… Let him enter this domain ONLY WHEN HE HAS ACCOMPLISHED SOME HARD WORK (source: http://holyascensionnorman.org/article.php?id=25 ).”
So we see that an angel commanded the Orthodox Church tradition of making a novice minister work hard physically rather than equipping himself with knowledge of scriptures. TPM being an amalgamation of orthodox Roman Catholic system, therefore, makes its novice ministers undergo HARD WORK instead of proper theological training.
Now one subject covered in theological training is imparting “knowledge of the history of Christendom.” Therefore in this article, we will show you how vital is the study of the history of Christendom for our spiritual growth.
Vital Importance of the Bygone days
In the postmodern world, it is common to find women dressed in apparels that barely cover their bodies. Not only this, girls even enjoy drinking & smoking along with boys. If criticized then the youths laugh and brush aside saying old men ought to become modern! They do not find anything strange or shocking in women drinking or wearing revealing clothes. This is so because they are born and raised in such an atmosphere where these things are ubiquitous. They are constantly hammered with the help of media and movies about girls partaking boys in drinking and smoking.
If you consider the difference in modern movies and old movies, you’ll find that in days of antiquity, drinking was considered ill even for men, let alone women! Heroes were portrayed as good men who do not drink and smoke. In those days when a man went to ask for the hand of women for marriage, it was enquired, whether the man is addicted to drinking, smoking etc. Coming to the case of dressing, two centuries back, even the European women wore clothes that covered their body fully. But now the trend is quite a contrast. Imagine what will be the state in future some 100-200 years from now. People born into the future will have no idea of what is wrong and right. Only those who are 100-200 years old will realize that something is wrong with the world! The point is that people with knowledge of history can at once discern what is wrong in the present system. They at once can notice the difference in the changing system. No wonder bible gives respect to elders. No wonder men with grey hairs are considered wise – men full of wisdom. Knowledge of history helps us identify the changing system around us. There is a verse in bible which reads like this,
….and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the LORD, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel and they did evil in sight of Lord… (Judges 2:10,11).
The same case is applicable to TPM. TPM pastors and believers are unaware of the history of Christendom. They do not know anything about the evolution of first-century church into one universal church or how the so-called one universal church split into two parts during reformation or what were the various doctrines, teachings, interpretations in each age during all of these 2000 years of working of Holy Spirit. They do not know what kind of tribulation, sufferings, and persecutions the church of God underwent in history and so on. As a result, TPM pastors and believers are unable to discern right from wrong. They think that their version of interpretation is the only truth. They are incapable to discern between the old and the new because all they have is new. The option of old (historical knowledge) is missing from them. It is like a frog kept in normal water and heated slowly from beneath will not jump out of it and dies being heated compared to the frog who quickly jumps into the already heated water. For a person who is even half aware of what persecutions the church underwent in 2000 years, he cannot even in his dream make tall claims like TPM ministers do.
Glimpse of the World before 1800
Let me begin by taking you just a few centuries back. Do you know when the first cycle was invented? Answer: in 1816! It was named velocipede. Ok! Do you know when the first train was run? Answer in 1827! This first train lost to horse in a race! Dynamo the first electricity-producing device was developed in 1831. It was invented by Michael Faraday a Christian (Read his biography by F W Boreham in the book titled a handful of stars!). The first light bulb was invented in 1880. First electric fan was invented in around 1880-1900. The first airplane was invented in 1903. All these modern inventions like the fan, lights, modes of travel, cycle, bus, train, cars etc. gradually became a necessary part of our lives. These necessities of our daily life were non-existent before 1800. Now imagine a life without electricity, light, fan, and conveyance of travel. I do not know about you but I cannot even stay 1 hour without a fan. To travel even for few kilometers, walking is impossible for me. Imagine a night without light! Life was so different two centuries back! Now, look at the map below.
You can see a map of the spread of Christianity in the 1st century A D. Imagine the labor and pain the people took to spread Christianity in the whole world (during times without lights, fans, cars and so on). Think about the difficulties in travelling from one end to another without light, electricity and modern modes of travel, storms of sea, perils of thieves and robbers, in danger of snakes, scorpions, insects, heat, cold, rain, strange land, strange people, and so on (c.f. Acts 8:1,4, 11:19. 14:6-7, Matt 10:23). Read how Paul describes those labors.
Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness (2 Corinthians 11:25-27).
Now compare the luxuries enjoyed by TPM celibates who make a loud noise of sacrificial life. We have in our earlier articles already informed you about luxuries of TPM celibates like special food for pastors, pastor’s kitchen, workers dining area (restricted for believers), packaged mineral water, cars, ac train travel for pastors, plane travel for chief pastors etc. This life of luxury for TPM celibate is not the hallmark of modern days but it the enjoyed in TPM right from its inception. Read the biography of Paul Ramankutty. “Pastor Paul prayed for a car, to facilitate transport and conveyance during the ministry….. Lord honored the faith of his children and gave them a car without further delay…(Wow! enjoying the luxury of the car from the beginning in age of 1940s!)….. the car fell into a huge ditch. Since it was a terrible accident….The car was in a badly damaged state… (Chapter 6)”So the luxury of a car which is still a dream for at least half of poor believers in a TPM church was enjoyed by TPM pastors right from its inception – some 70 years back. Remember what Peter said? – “Silver and gold I have none (Acts 3:6).” Can you see the difference in labors taken for ministry?
Do you know what I have heard from reliable sources? The Chief Shepherd of TPM would not even walk a 100 yards from his bungalow to the Meeting Hall? He needs a Posh car with a chauffeur service and people opening up and closing the doors. This is a great example of the service that the TPM Chief is doing to his followers.
Glimpse of the Persecution suffered by the early Church
Read John Fox’s book of martyrs, to learn about heroics of martyrdom. How courageous those Christians of the first century were! I’ll narrate few for you. For example, during Nero’s reign Christians were tied to a pole and covered with wax and were made as light for the palace of Nero, while Nero used to play the violin! Can you even imagine what they underwent for becoming a testimony for Jesus Christ! I do not think that God will count them worthy of third category place called new heaven while TPM saints enjoying the highest place called Zion! Many people were burned – right from Polycarp in 162 AD to John Huss in 1500’s.
- For example, have a look at the boldness and courage of Ignatius. When he was caught and taken to Rome, to be devoured of wild beasts, he preached and professed Christ and comforted the churches as he passed the road to his death. He wrote a letter in which he said, “Now I begin to be a disciple. I care for nothing, of visible or invisible things, so that I may but win Christ. Let fire and the cross, let the companies of wild beasts, let breaking of bones and tearing of limbs, let the grinding of the whole body, and all the malice of the devil, come upon me; be it so, only may I win Christ Jesus!” And as he was placed in the amphitheater to be watched by the audience, being devoured of lions, he spoke (on hearing the roar of lion) – “I am the wheat of Christ: I am going to be ground with the teeth of wild beasts, that I may be found pure bread.” Just imagine the courage and joy they had in being so dreadfully killed. We do not know the truth of what he preached or whether the history is true or not. But can we even in our dreams think that God will send such men to third category place called new heaven or new earth and send TPM workers to the most glorious place called Zion?
- In A.D. 303 a man named Victor, who used to help poor and afflicted people lying on roads, with all his fortune during night time, was one day caught and asked by the king to denounce his faith. When he denied the king, he was severely tortured on an instrument called the rack. A rack was an instrument used to torture Christians. A person is made to lie on the rack and his hand above him and his legs spread are tied to four corners of the rack. Then each of the hand and legs tied to four corners are rotated with pulley mechanism so that they are tortured. After two-three such torturing sessions of Victor, he was kept in a dungeon. There in the dungeon, he preached the gospel to the prison guards and converted them. When the king came to know about this, he ordered him again to the persecution of rack and after a severe affliction, one idol was placed before him and he was asked to offer incense to it. Victor was so bold that he went ahead and kicked the idol with his legs. He was then put in grinding mill to be ground of heavy stones.
- A lady of a place called Sicilia was well known for her works of piety. The Governor of that area tried to lure to have an intimate relationship with her. But she refused and maintained her chastity. After long allurement, the governor became revengeful and ordered the lady to be persecuted for her Christianity. She was made to lie naked on the bed of coals and then carried to prison where she expired. Now compare her chastity and works of piety with TPM sisters (you know what they do behind the wall of TPM faith homes – how we have witnessed news of affairs in every faith home and about condoms and other unspeakable things in so called house of God). How can we imagine that these TPM white washed sepulchers will go to the highest place called Zion and that God will forget what Christians suffered throughout the 2000 years of Christendom?
Glimpse of Christendom outside TPM
Have a glimpse of persecution of the church in present times. There is a website called www.opendoorsusa.org which strives to keep a record of how Christians are martyred and persecuted around the globe. Read biographies of missionaries. For example listen to following biography of David Livingston https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mu9FlbJrsV0 or read biographies of other missionaries or read about lives of Christians in Korea, China, Pakistan. Read a book called “insanity of God”.
Scriptures clearly say “Precious in sight of the Lord is the death of his saints (Ps 116:15).” It is disheartening to imagine that as soon as TPM believers and workers read this verse they think “Saint=TPM White clad celibate” . I think that martyrdom suffered for Christ is worthier to be called as precious in sight of God than the luxurious lives of lived by TPM ministers. Jesus in a very lucid speech told “BLESSED ARE YE WHEN men shall revile you and persecute you… GREAT IS YOUR REWARD IN HEAVEN (Matt 5:11,12). But TPM says the reward of persecuted martyrs is third class/third category place of new earth and a new heaven. [For more reference on the reward for sufferings and persecution see Rom 8:17, Titus 2:12, II Corinthians 4:11,16-17].
I assume that after knowing the extent of sufferings which millions of people suffered for Christ’s name, we can only hide our faces, filled with shame (we who live luxuriously and lives full of comfort compared to the great pain and labor bore up by witnesses of Christ). We cannot even dare in our dreams to think that God will esteem their labors worthy of third class/ third category place called new earth or new heaven. Yet TPM shamelessly dares to do it! The reason for such haughtiness of TPM is their illiteracy and ignorance of history. They neither know the history of Christianity nor do they educate believers. They only teach and brag about much hyped and biographies of TPM pastors. Apart from this, they have nothing to do with Christianity of 2000 years. Haughtiness and scriptural illiteracy go hand in hand.