After reading the title you may think, “But wait! There are no idols in TPM. We do not even have a cross (unlike those nominal Christian churches!). Our walls are as plain as it can get!”
Well, you are right, there are no walls as white as TPM walls anywhere in Christendom. But the idol worship in TPM is much more subtle, much more deceptive. It is so deceptive that it is impossible to recognize it if you are entangled in the system. You need to look from the outside to understand what I’m talking about.
I’m of course talking about the 5th Malayalam hymn from this year’s convention titled “Saint’s song on Mount Zion”. The same song that 1000s of people sang in the Chennai convention and 1000s more are about to sing in future conventions all over India.
Below is the original and the translation of the song in English.
Yes, it’s that horrible and blasphemous. Imagine what I had to sit through while translating that song to English?
In my experience, when confronted with false teachings from the pulpit, many TPM believers will use excuses like “That’s that pastor’s opinion, it is not a TPM doctrine. We can choose to ignore it”. But can you use that excuse for this song where many of those false doctrines are put into words in the presence of every high-level TPM pastor there is? If they have no problem with songs like this, doesn’t it go without saying the theology present in this song is TPM’s THEOLOGY?
I’m sure there will be many hardcore TPM believers who will see this song and wonder “What’s wrong with this. This is a beautiful song”. I’m not writing this article addressing them. Only God can change such hearts. But for those who are on the fence, I pray this will be an eye-opener.
Then there may be some who will say this song isn’t about TPM pastors who are alive but about those who have achieved TPM’s “perfection” and have died. Well, according to TPM, the 144,000 number hasn’t reached yet. So from TPM’s perspective, the subject of this song will include those alive as well.
The song goes from mild idol worship to full on idol worship as the song progresses. Let us break down the idolatry and heresies in the song.
Breakdown of the song verse by verse
“On Zion’s hill with Christ the lamb, Who are these saints who sing a new song? These are the 1,44,000. What a joy singing this new song!”
On the surface, this section would seem harmless. But those in TPM do know who this chorus is referring to. This is referring to TPM’s white clad ministers. When confronted with this, TPM believers/ministers will say “well, it refers to ANYONE who lives like TPM ministers and holds ‘apostolic doctrines’ like TPM”. The truth is there isn’t one and there hasn’t been one in the past. What TPM calls “apostolic” is an invention of the mid-20th century. It is not apostolic or biblical.
In any case, this chorus is giving glory to men who sit on a stage in a convention rather than giving glory to God.
“I am the LORD; that is my name! I will not yield my glory to another or my praise to idols.” (Is. 42:8)
What does Paul say we must do when we meet together?
“What then shall we say, brothers and sisters? When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. Everything must be done so that the church may be built up.” (1 Cor 14:26)
Did Paul ask them to sing songs about the apostles during worship? Did anyone in the bible say that? No church is built up by singing blasphemous songs in unison.
That doesn’t bother TPM. They have of course received personal revelation from heaven. So who are we to question?
“These are the ones redeemed from among men. These are the ones who received Apostleship. On Zion’s hill in the radiance of Christ, they will serve Christ for eternity”
Like we addressed elsewhere, TPM has a doctrine which says their ministers have a ‘double redemption’. They, of course, take a verse from Revelation 14 to say they have this “extra” redemption. Like the great biblical exegetes they are, they take every occurrence of the word “redemption” in the chapter and foolishly make different categories out of it.
Firstly, the context of Rev 14 clearly shows this to be an event happening on earth. John sees Mount Zion and then says in verse 2 “And I heard a sound from heaven..”. “Heaven” in this context means the sky. So the picture drawn is of the mount on earth and the song is heard from the heavens.
Secondly, let’s assume the event is happening in heaven. Then if we read the passage literally like TPM does, then the 144,000 would include only men. Because verse 4 says “These are those who did not defile themselves with women, for they remained virgins”. No reference of women being included in the 144,000.
Thirdly, if TPM reads this chapter literally, they have a whole lot explaining to do with equating marriage with defilement. They must soon call “Holy Matrimony” as “Defilement Service”.
Suffice to say, TPM’s self-glorifying theory has way too many plot holes. But let me digress.
The biblical meaning of redemption is “bought with a price”, this would mean TPM ministers are worth twice as much as a believer.
The apostles when speaking of redemption speaks includes themselves along with the rest of Christ’s believers. Paul certainly did not believe he had “double redemption”. Then what makes you think TPM ministers have?
“In him, WE have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace” (Eph 1:7)
“Christ redeemed US from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.” (Gal 3:13)
“It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for US wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.” (1 Cor 1:30)
“Along with Jesus they suffered. They followed the lamb. They served and followed the Lord. They stay joyfully with the Lord”
I don’t know what they mean by they suffered along with Jesus. We have ample examples in scripture regarding men and women who suffered and followed Christ. The lives of present-day TPM ministers don’t come close to it.
“They received teachings and doctrines of Christ and they make the church perfect.”
Is Christ caught in two minds? Did Christ suddenly scrap all of his teachings from the Bible 60 years ago and give new teachings and doctrines to TPM? Why is it that these teachings the TPM so proudly boasts have little evidence in the life and teachings of apostles in the New Testament?
Jesus said, when the Holy Spirit comes, He will lead the disciples to ALL TRUTH (John 16:13). We know Jesus isn’t a liar. We can believe without a doubt that the early apostles were led to ALL TRUTH like Jesus promised. So anyone claiming to have received “teachings and doctrines from Christ” in the 20th century, makes the word of God redundant. The early apostles were already led to ALL TRUTH. There was nothing lacking in the doctrines that they received.
Jude 3 says “Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people.”
It was once for all entrusted in the 1st century. So the way we contend for that faith is by holding scripture as the ultimate standard because it is in them that these teachings are contained.
“They received the priesthood after the order of Melchizedek. They received it with their consecration and are blameless”
This is heresy. The priesthood after the order of Melchizedek belongs to Christ. He alone is the high priest. You can read the book of Hebrews a million times and you will not have a shred of support that TPM pastors are priests after the order of Melchizedek. In fact, scripture unequivocally names Christ and Christ alone as the high priest. But that doesn’t stop TPM from usurping Christ, does it?
“For it is witnessed of him, “You are a priest forever, after the order of Melchizedek.” (Hebrews 7:17)
“..But this one was made a priest with an oath by the one who said to him: “The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind, ‘You are a priest forever.’” This makes Jesus the guarantor of a better covenant. (Hebrews 7:21,22)
“They are blessing for Churches all over the world.”
At this point, the songwriter has almost run out of superlatives to praise TPM ministers that he calls them a blessing for churches all over the world. I’ll let the readers decide how much of a blessing they can be when they shun every other Christian to “New Heaven” and “New Earth” and hardly ever preach unadulterated truth from the scriptures.
“They have reached character perfection. Like Jesus who is perfect in love, they have become equal to Jesus in love”
I wouldn’t have believed TPM had written the above verse if I hadn’t read it with my own eyes. Do you know of any of Christ’s disciple who claimed to be sinless? Not only that, TPM stoops so low as to belittle the love of God. Like Jesus who is perfect in love, TPM pastors have become EQUAL TO JESUS IN LOVE?
Dear TPM believers, do you realise what was just said in this song? The same Jesus who sacrificed his riches in heaven and came down to earth to live a sinless life, who exegeted the heart of the Father to us, who was slain on the cross for our sins. The same Jesus’s love that Paul prays that we should be able “to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ” (Ephesians 3:18). Here TPM equates that great love to the “love” shown by TPM’s ministers. I sincerely hope, people who are blinded in TPM will have their eyes open as they read this stanza.
Dear TPM believers, you shake your heads in disappointment when you see idols of Mary being paraded on the streets on St Mary’s feast and when you see Mary being elevated to a near god-like figure. Then why don’t you see the problem with TPM who have time and time again written songs that exalt them to God’s level?
They haven’t left any qualities unique to God. They receive “character perfection”, they are “sinless”, they are the “high priest”, they “bear your sins”, they are “equal to Jesus in love” and they take the place of the Holy Spirit in Eternity. When will you put your foot down and say “enough is enough” and shake the dust off of your sandals and walk out?
“They have received respect from the Father. They have completed the glorious ministry. They have received a glorious golden crown. They will rule forever with Christ”
What’s a TPM song without a little pride and elitism in the mix? After all the heresies in the song, they claim that the Father respects them and have completed the “glorious ministry” (not like those nominal Christians who die for the gospel and certainly not like Stephen who was stoned to death but will only get New Heaven).
This song has one purpose from start to finish. To praise and exalt TPM ministers. They merely use God as an excuse to accomplish that goal.
I have a few questions for the TPM hierarchy
- Aren’t you getting enough worship from the members already that you keep writing songs about yourselves for the convention?
- Do you honestly believe God is pleased with such songs?
- Do these songs glorify God or glorify man?
- Aren’t you guilty of forcing Idol worship on the masses who are clueless?
- Do you realise you invite non-Christians to your conventions only to make them sing praises of men?
- Do you find any difference between a Roman Catholic singing praises to Mary and you making the congregation sing your praises? (At least Mary was chosen by God and the angel himself said everyone will call her blessed. What excuse do you have?)
Dear readers, this level of heresy can be seen is just one song that TPM has written this year. There is a song on Zion, in Tamil as well as Telugu this year. In the years past, there have been many. Isn’t it time to say no to idol worship and start giving all glory and honour to God alone?