Operation Rome – 4

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In the previous episode, we saw that the meeting between the high command and Pastor X did not go well. The watchdog of TPM was stiff-necked like Israelites in the wilderness. Pastor X was attacked by the alpha male vigorously. Chief Pontiff howled at X. He asked X questions to X, enquiring reasons for his UN-tpm ways. But Pastor X had fought well. He had struck at chief’s conscience, in the right areas. He explained to him that TPM rules are like walls of divisions; walls of imprisonment for those that are inside, and walls of isolation from people outside. This he said is unlike Christ of the Gospel. This had enraged the chief further. Now we shall see how the chief will play his game.

Scene 1

We see that the chief is busy dialling certain numbers. He is seen discussing with his deputy the next strategy. We are unable to listen to what the two bosses are cooking. Then the chief keeps the receiver down. He thinks for a few seconds and makes a call to connect with centre mother of Riverdale faith home. Frequent calls will be made by chief today, to many of the centre pastors. It is one of the rare moments in the history of TPM. A moment which comes once in a century or at-most twice! A moment when a powerful saint-like centre pastor is to be excommunicated! All faith homes where X has been a minister in past, are to be warned, to be ready of any uprising from believers, who love X. Situations must be handled as silently as they could be handled. Circulars must be issued to all faith homes, to be read on Sundays, to ban all social media platforms. It must be spoken loudly and clearly, that TPM prohibits internet ministry. No video of saints, neither any of their sermon nor anything related to TPM, is to be forwarded in WhatsApp or Facebook groups. Every news concerning X must be restrained. It is a time when dexterity of TPM echelons in safeguarding the image of the institution will be tested.

Scene 1a

Sister Mellissa picks up the phone. The Chief briefs the issue to her. They discuss further course of action at Riverdale. Sister Mellissa comforts her master that she will efficiently manage situations at Riverdale. After talking with the chief, she asks Robin, to break the lock of Pastor X’s room. A hunt is made for belongings of X, to search if he has accumulated treasures with him, with which he might run. All money with X is to be confiscated. Centre Mother then makes few calls to elder believers, asking them to attend tonight’s Wednesday bible study, without fail. After the meeting is over, she asks elders to stay for a discussion for very important matters. Other believers leave faith home. Those bidden to stay get puffed up. They feel happy, that they are somewhat something in TPM. Little do they know, that chief has asked Mellissa to provoke them against Pastor X. Little do they know that it had been better if they had not taken part in the mischievous gathering of murdering the innocent. Just like the psalmist says that it had been better for Judas to be not born, so should we say that it had been better for these believers who are made pawns in TPM politics. Melissa herself is blind to realize that she is some modern version of Jezebel, who called for a meeting of elders of the city, to witness against the poor man Naboth.

The Centre Mother initiates the proceeding of this very important meeting in the life of TPM Riverdale. She informs all the prominent believers who are rich and have been attending TPM since many years, to urgently make prayers for Pastor X. God must somehow show mercy on X, and save him from claws of devil, into which he had fallen. She tells them all that Pastor X had been to TPM headquarters, and in the way between headquarters, the spirits of the world have grabbed him. Malevolent spirits laid hold of X, just like the thieves who wounded and stripped a certain man, who went from Jerusalem to Jericho. All believers get troubled and start saying Sthotharam Sthotharam! They sincerely believe the cock and bull stories that Mellissa is cooking in the name of X. They all start to pray loudly. Many have begun to be filled in spirit. We hear sounds of “Daivame… Andavare….” in mournful tone! A so-called spiritual atmosphere has been created in Riverdale faith home. Few of the highly spiritual believers are beginning to see dreams and visions. They see Pastor X is fighting with a red dragon. Alas, poor naïve believers fail to see that it was the red dragon himself, who had asked Mellissa to conduct this small conference! Finally, Sister Mellissa concludes the very important meeting by saying “We are in last days. Days are evil. Many saints are falling. We should continue faithfully till the end of our life in this glorious ministry, for our end to be glorious.” She wants to tell believers that you should not forsake TPM.  

Scene 2

The winds of Chennai have started moving and is slowly turning violent. Dark clouds are looming over the city of Madras. Pastor X is engrossed in penning down his resignation letter. He knows there is no hope for this organization. He tried but the chief isn’t ready. This is the last thing he could do. He writes, “Dear chief pastor…” He has used word dear to designate the leader of the wolf pack team, who had howled at him. He has no resentment, no anguish. His heart is free of animosity. He can forgive his enemies those who howled at him. He is liberated, unlike the chief, who is chained in malice, and revenge towards X. He, therefore, was able to address the chief with prefix dear. He continues to write his heart in words similar to Martin Luther, Unless I am convinced by the testimony of the scriptures or by clear reason, I will not pull back. I am bound by scriptures I have quoted. My conscience is captive to the word of God. I cannot and I will not retract anything, because it is neither safe nor right to go against conscience. I am resigning from The Pentecostal Mission as a full-time minister.” His pen seems to flow fluently and graciously, in stark contrast to the turbulent atmosphere of rage in the heart of the chief. He is unaware of the storm developing in the city of Chennai, where the chief is sitting in telephonic councils with prominent leaders of this organization. 

Scene 2a

We see deputy assistant chief pastor (3rd in order) knocking at the door of Pastor X.

Pastor X: Oh..When did you come, pastor? Sorry I didn’t notice you coming inside.

AD-chief: What are you writing?

Pastor X tries to hide the letter he is yet to finish. He had not expected Assistant Deputy Chief at this point of time in his room. Assistant D Chief is a good old man. Unlike chief and deputy, you cannot call him Assistant Deputy as a wolf. He is sure in the delusion of the Pentecostal mission, but nevertheless not an expert in politics of TPM. He doesn’t understand even the P of politics. He has known X since he was minister of the town, where X was a youth boy in faith home. He is come down to warn X of the plans of the chief, to excommunicate X. He wants X to ask forgiveness to the chief.

Pastor X: Appachen I don’t want to continue any more in this institution which binds me with chains of manipulations.

AD-chief: No…h……! You should not say that…  Once we have put our hands on the plough, we can never look back. We cannot even think of leaving the ministry of God.

Pastor X: I am not stopping to serve God, I am only unshackling myself from this organizational bondages. I had a small discussion with the chief pastor. I tried to explain to him. But he is not in a mood to listen. Now, it is high time, that I must begin the work of correction from outside.

AD-chief: I know, not all saints are good in our mission! But think about the sheep which God has given to you to guide them. Have you seen a shepherd run away when a wolf attacks sheep?  Devil wants you to run away from the battlefield so that he can devour our Master’s sheep.

Pastor X: You do not understand! Chief wants me to be a salesman!

AD-chief: Salesman?

Pastor X: Salesman of products of which my conscience does not endorse.   

AD-chief: Which product? What a salesman?

Pastor X: It is a metaphor pastor.

AD-chief: Do you no longer believe in our church? Is this is how you describe expanding the work of God as a business of the salesman?

Pastor X: My point is that we are no longer connected with the perishing world. We have built walls of the doctrine of separation. We remain away from the perishing world, letting it die. We remain closed in our closets while the poor men get robbed and wounded by thieves and robbers. We are very unlike to the Good Samaritan.   

AD-chief: What are you saying? We should follow the doctrine of life of separation. Don’t you know that the church which is married to the world will get widowed soon?

Pastor X: Look at the world around us. It is burning like a fire in the Australian forest. Evil is spreading like cancer. There are so many wounded people around us. We should be like doctors on the battlefield. So many wounded men and women are lying around us. Just because of fear of getting attracted to beautiful a wounded girl, just because there is a possibility that I may get attracted to her, and get married to her, I cannot keep myself enclosed behind these walls. This is fearful selfishness. A drama of holiness without charity will reap nothing for us. If I don’t go to the world, then it will someday come inside these walls. It will then eventually take me with it outside. It is better to fight courageously trusting in the power of God than to stay inside hiding like a coward. Our problem is that We keep building walls all the time, but the truth is that the real danger is still inside us!

D-chief: What danger? What are you talking about?   

Pastor X: We know that our pastors, our sisters, who live inside these walls, had lived a life of sexual immorality, over so many years. Many have become paedophiles, sodomite and immoral. What did we do stop their disease from communicating?

D-chief: We solve it!

Pastor X: Solve it..? How?

D-chief: We ask them to repent!   

Pastor X: And then we move them to a different parish and different faith home, where they repeat the same evils. A saint, who lusts for a woman in one faith home, will keep lusting for another woman in a new faith home. Lust is inside him. Separating him from a worldly woman will not heal his inner lust. Transfers and rules of life of separation cannot heal the inner demon hiding in us. We are deluded to think danger is outside. Our building of walls of rules and regulations is vain. We have never bothered to look at our own insides. We like God never change. Sins we committed in the past, will be the same ones we will commit in future! Like a little lump which leavens the whole lump, we propagate the disease from one location to another by transferring these zombies, instead of excommunicating them.

D-chief: Should not we forgive them who do immoral sins in faith home by mistake?

Pastor X: Yeah and we should excommunicate believers for simple mistakes, which perhaps may not be a sin at all! Sins like marrying their children in another church or taking part in Lord’s table in another church! These things make us excommunicate believers, but not the sexual immoralities of those who wear white clothes and live with us under the same roof!

D-chief: How do you think we should handle then?

Pastor X: Sin is like a wound. It is not a stain which can be washed away by confession. No matter how many times we confess and ask for forgiveness, year after year, meeting after meeting, it will never get removed, unless we treat the wound from within. Forgiveness and transfer are not enough. The Wound must be treated not washed. When John baptized people, he asked them to repent. But the one who came after him had the power to change their hearts, and he did not merely wash them of waters of repentance!  

D-chief: What do you want us to do?

Pastor X: Change! Bring amendments to our beliefs, rules, which are all outward drama we do about fake sanctification. Our holiness is bogus upon which our church is built. It is a hoax, an outward show, like cleaning of vessels from outside and painting white of our tombstones. Whom are we deceiving?

D-chief: We are not a small church. We have thousand and thousand of faith homes. Ours is a complex and very complicated system. It is very difficult to bring amendments. Many centre pastors and workers may not agree. Any attempt to trickle with this magnanimous edifice will make it crumble from top to bottom. It will destroy the church completely. Don’t be silly to take action if tides of emotion.

Pastor X: Why do you think so negatively always? We have changed so many times in the past. First,, we used to wear saffron-coloured clothes as a uniform for workers. Then we changed it to white. We used to say no to voting, no to UID Aadhar cards. Then we made Aadhar card for every worker in TPM. Change is the law of nature. We must evolve with time. Letters make words and words make sentences. Sentences then evolve into a book. A collection of books make a library. New words are added to the dictionary and archaic words are removed! Books get edited as the first edition, second edition and so on. The entire library keeps updating the list of books. Everything in world changes! Nothing is stable in this world, except God! Do we claim to be God to remain unchanged?  

D-chief: See son! When you get a chance to be the chief pastor, then I will be seeing how you will bring changes in this complex system. Right now, as an old man, my advice to you is to pray to God and surrender all in his hands. Wait for God! Who knows God may use you to repair the broken walls of our church?  But until then be silent.

Saying so, Assistant deputy chief stands up and begins to walk outside. He was perhaps right. God used raven to feed Elijah. God used a donkey to teach erring Balaam. Maybe an assistant deputy chief is an instrument like raven and donkey in hand of God. When Adam fell in sin and made entire mankind sinful, it needed renewal of entire humanity instead of mere repair. God initially tried to do repair work. He told people of the Old Testament to cease their erring ways. He kept sending his prophets to repair them. Finally, he sent his Son, not to rectify mankind for their sins, but to completely renew them from scratch. Old must be dead and new must be born. Similarly, Old TPM needs to die and be completely dead. It is then only it can be renewed. But that is only our speculation. Maybe this organization will never change. Maybe they are like those wicked, who are made for the day of punishment. There is a hope for a tree. If it is hewn down, its trunk remains. With the scent of water, it will begin to grow again. But TPM! Only fire is reserved for this organization. It is beyond repair.   

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