(Recap): In the previous article, we had seen that Pastor X had resolved to say bye-bye to TPM. He had determined that he would continue his ministry in God’s field, albeit outside boundaries of institutional organizations. After having read Martin Luther’s acts, he had said to himself, if God can give courage to Martin Luther to stand against the only church in the world, to indomitably oppose its heresies, then why not me against TPM? Therefore he had exported himself to the office of the chief. His plan was to confront the chief, to free men bound with chains of error, and to tell the Pharaoh of “Egyptian Pentecostal Mission” to let God’s people go out in freedom. Standing outside his gates he was waiting for his time. Now we shall see what happens next when he is called inside.
(Scene): Doors open and Pastor X gets inside. Chief is sitting on a chair kept beside his bed. His bed is covered with soft white bed-sheet, having tiny blue flowers printed on in. Every worker is adept in the art of selecting the right bedsheet for the chief pastor. It is not such a hard skill to learn. Chief’s bed-sheet is not a very different kind than any other bed sheet used in TPM. Only that sister buys costlier and more comfortable sheet for the chief, in comparison to others, she buys from the local market. There is only one rule for selecting the right bedsheet. It cannot have large flowers printed on it. Large flowers make bed-sheet appear coloured. And you know saints never sleep on coloured bed sheets. Yeah, many have reported having seen two saints commit dark sins on white bed-sheet, but never the sin of sleeping on coloured bed-sheet. Selecting the right bed sheet is one of the small nitty-gritty skills that one has to master by experience in The Pentecostal ministry.
A junior aspiring to be a minister must also learn that everything which the chief uses, has to be reserved exclusively for him alone. The bedsheet, the curtains, the vessels he uses, everything! For example; bed-sheet which chief pastors use is not given to sister as her bedsheet. A plate in which chief pastor is served his food, and the coffee mug which he uses for milk, coffee or mango juice, are all kept separately from other things used by other workers. When X was still a small boy, a faith homeboy, it was since then, he has mastered these skills. Sisters used to serve him kanji in a separate mug (not the mug used by centre pastor). A centre pastor’s mug was kept in the cupboard, and was only taken out when CP used to visit the local faith home.
Pastor X must now forget all these deeper arts learned inside the TPM faith-home. Soon he will have to put off all these practices when he quits TPM. Many backsliding workers backslide for these traditions when they quit TPM. X must also forget all these things. However other possibilities also exist. It is also possible that X is able to put the dagger of the truth of fromtpm in the dark heart of the chief! Then, the entire TPM machinery will have to erase all these dark arts, which it has been propagating since the year 1923.
There is also a table and a chair placed for the chief pastor near his bed. On this table is laid an mp3 player. It appears like its made in Japan. Probably it is imported! Most of the things the chief pastor has, whether he uses it or not, are imported. Don’t be mistaken! Chief Pastors doesn’t buy imported stuff. They don’t waste God-given money to fulfil the desires of their selfish hearts. How can they do a sin like this? They are leaders of a tribe, where leaders believe in forsaking old parents, young wife, and little helpless children, for sake of living a simple life in service to God, and of course to God’s people. Saints living the life of renunciation of the world cannot be seen buying worldly things. That which they have renounced, they do not buy it. We can, therefore, be cent-per cent sure that chief pastor has not purchased the imported mp3 player, which is seen lying on his table. It was gifted to him. Many workers gift each other many things. They buy stuff for their co-workers and gift it to them. The co-worker then buys stuff for them and presents them a return-gift. Gifts thus keep getting exchanged. No one buys anything for his personal use. All of them get them as gifts. All can thus claim we got things by faith life, we have not purchased it. Pastor X also has many such things which he uses like ten toothbrushes, twenty soaps, ten undergarments, and three luggage bags which he used to say he got by faith.
There are many junior workers in TPM, who desperately long for imported stuff, like the ones chief pastor possesses (other than the mp3 player). Those juniors who by sheer luck possess such imported stuff, take utmost care that the size of the stuff gifted to them is small. So small that it can be hidden in their bags, unnoticed by jealous senior workers. Like a drug gets confiscated by police, so likewise the imported stuff get confiscated by elders if they happen to notice a junior worker using them. Hence the size of stuff accepted is small and never too big to be noticed.
There is also a study lamp placed on the table near the bed of the chief pastor. I don’t think the chief pastor uses this study lamp. He doesn’t study at night. He doesn’t even study scriptures during the day time! He merely reads the bible. There is a difference in studying, researching and reading. Hence, it is my opinion the lamp on chief’s table should be called as “reading lamp” rather than a “study lamp.”
But the chief does not even use this reading lamp for reading the bible. Why should he use it? He stays in his private room, reserved exclusively for his private use only. Nobody will get disturbed if he keeps the lights of his room ‘turned on’ for the whole night. There is no need to make the room dark and use the night lamp. The reading lamp, therefore, is merely a showpiece item on his table. It has no use. Somebody gifted this lamp to him. And it is no different than the torch which also he never uses. He has many gifted items which he never uses. We call it gift-unused. But he has a gift which he uses frequently! A gift of speaking in tongues! Many naïve believers think that the gift of tongues which chief pastor frequently uses is of a higher order than the gift of tongues spoken by normal believers or normal workers. Besides tongues, the chief does not have any other spiritual gift, – like say the gift of healing or a gift of miracles! God didn’t give spiritually imported gifts to him! Chief Pastor doesn’t possess the gifts imported from heaven! Men have gifted chief many valuable gifts, but God has not!
Chief: How was your journey pastor?
Pastor X: Very comfortable pastor. Thank you for sending the BMW to pick me up from the airport.
Chief: BMW…….? (Chief frowns being surprised) I think we sent a Scorpio to receive you?
Pastor X: Yeah it appeared Scorpio from outside, but the interior comfort was no less than the BMW. I love this technique employed by the centre pastors nowadays. Buy a car that looks Tata Sumo from outside and spend lakhs of money for making it comforting like an airplane from inside.
Chief: Next time get an auto rickshaw for yourself. Save us from sending our escort services to you!
(Scene): Battle has already begun. Chief is no kid to play with. It was not he who started the fight. He had no intention to speak bluntly to the man of the centre pastor’s stature. He had greeted him courteously. But X has shown why he doesn’t deserve chief’s benevolence.
Chief (continuing): By the way, why did you come to India?
Pastor X: I have some very important things to discuss for the development of the church.
Chief: What developments? Are you still reading the website of those enemies of god?
Pastor X: I don’t think fromtpm boys are enemies of God.
Chief has no time to discuss whether they are enemies of his god or not. He will rather question the behaviour of X, which has become a hot topic for people in TPM these days. It is high time his deeds be questioned.
Chief: Where do you escape every morning from faith home? Are you having an affair at this age?
Pastor X: I think you should stop listening to fantasies of Mellissa. I have told her several times that we should preach the gospel to those who go for the morning walk. I go to ‘Joggers Park’ and communicate Jesus to people gathered in the park.
It is taboo in TPM to do morning walk or go to a place like Joggers Park. An excuse like preaching the gospel while doing morning walk does not work in TPM. Chief is not at all amused by the response of X. He thinks X is doing things considered taboo by TPM community.
By the way, X does many things considered taboo by TPM. He thinks that Jesus impacted sinners instead of letting sin impact him. Jesus kept sin away from him and not sinners. But TPM pastors are opposite to Christ which they claim to follow! They keep sinners away, but not the sin. They fear the impact sinners can have on them than the impact they can have on sinners.
Therefore X does these taboo things, taboo in the sight of TPM leaders. Not only is he absent from the faith home in the morning, but he gets absent from faith-home, even during night time. He doesn’t go for visiting with sisters. He sends sisters to visit believers who already are aware of the gospel. But he himself visits them who do not believe in Jesus. He wears clothes like a common man and visits small hotels during the night. He searches for men who are alone – men drowned in sorrow, men looking for comfort in a bottle of wine. Pastor X tries to dine with them and slowly introduces Jesus to them. He knows the peril of getting caught eating in a hotel, but he believes that God knows the honesty of his heart. He needs no certification from men. Let them think what their minds can imagine.
Chief: I have also heard that you travel on trains with believers. During conventions, you eat with believers on the same table?
Pastor X: Why should I take special treatment, pastor? Why should I eat special food in my private room when all the believers eat together?
Chief: So you want to show to them that you are very humble. You want to tell them that chief pastors are like Pharisees who love the special treatment and the uppermost rooms in the feasts? Do you want to accuse the rest of the servants of God in the sight of believers?
Pastor X: It is not for blaming you, pastor. I had a choice to eat privately or to eat with everyone. I made my choice. It is up to you and others to decide.
This conversation is making chief angry. X is stubbornly giving lame excuses by which the chief is not at all pleased. Chief thinks it is not only believers who should follow the life of isolation from unbelievers but saints also should follow a life of isolation from normal married believers. But X has negative opinions on TPM doctrine of life of separation. He thinks workers take special treatment under the guise of life of separation. They enjoy special food, special travelling facilities and other exclusive facilities, under the cloak of preserving holiness.
Chief: Another thing… I have heard … Do you give communion to those who are not worthy according to rules laid by our saints?
Pastor X: I believe that communion is not a reward for the virtuous. It is a spiritual food of “reassurance of salvation.” It is not to be given as a reward for the people who have followed our rules, but it is Lord’s Table which is to be shared with sinners who seek forgiveness in the great sacrifice of Christ.
Chief: So you will continue to do, what you think is right? You will not do what our seniors have been teaching for decades since our church began?
Pastor X: I believe I am not doing anything wrong!
Chief: God gave wisdom to the founders of this church to make rules. We should draw lines…don’t you understand……everything is for holiness.
Pastor X (interrupts chief in between): Drawing lines does not mean we should erect walls. Walls divide people! Holiness is not an excuse to depart from charity and the love of Christ.
Pastor X: Did Jesus build walls? Mark 2: 17! He said I came not to call righteous but to sinners… not to build walls, but to break the veil of partition between the holy and most holy… to reconcile sinners unto righteous God!
Chief: So you are more knowledgeable than our founders…Aren’t you?
Pastor X stays silent. He has understood that the chief is intent on his own words. He is like a man who argues saying “my Hen has four legs.” He is not willing to understand. He is debating not discussing. X remembers the sayings of Mark Twain, “never argue with a fool. He will drag you to his level and beat you down with his experience.” X, therefore, prefers to stay silent. Chief, on the other hand, is angry. He thinks X is violating our traditions. Soon chief picks up his phone and begins talking with someone. For twenty minutes he ignores X. X understood that the chief wants to say goodbye to him. He is ignoring him. Pastor X walks out of his room thinking that the opportunity has been lost. Things didn’t turn out as he expected.