Elisabeth Elliot – A Pattern for Good

Elisabeth Elliot (née Howard; born December 21, 1926) is a Christian author and speaker. Her first husband, Jim Elliot, was killed in 1956 while attempting to make missionary contact with the Auca (now known as Huaorani) of eastern Ecuador. She later spent two years as a missionary to the tribe members who killed her husband. Returning to the United States after many years in South America, she became widely known as the author of over twenty books and as a speaker in constant demand. Elliot toured the country, sharing her knowledge and experience, well into her seventies.VIDEO by bibelchannel

Traian Dorz – Povestiri Nemuritoare 1

VIDEO by liviucanada

Poetul Traian Dorz – 100 de ani de la nastere

Poetul şi scriitorul creştin TRAIAN DORZ- scurtă biografie

2 Traian Dorz CredoTV

Traian Dorz (sursa captura youtube)

E o datorie de suflet şi de conştiinţă aceea de a promova valorile majore ale Neamului şi Bisericii noastre. Pentru a le promova, trebuie să le cunoaştem. Între marile personalităţi, prea puţin cunoscute, se află şi poetul şi scriitorul creştin Traian Dorz. Anul acesta se împlinesc 100 de ani de la naşterea acestui poet şi scriitor de excepţie, care ne-a lăsat o operă impresionantă. Într-o lume din ce în ce mai secularizată, în care trăim, mesajul profund creştin al operei sale, este tot mai necesar.

Traian Dorz s-a născut în 25 decembrie 1914, în satul Livada Beiuşului, com. Mizieş, jud.Bihor, ca singurul copil al soţilor Constantin şi Maria, creştini ortodocşi şi buni gospodari în satul lor. În mai multe rânduri, în anii copilăriei sale au intervenit întâmplări care i-au pus viaţa în pericol şi numai prin grija lui Dumnezeu a scăpat din toate acestea.

Mersul cu vitele la păscut, încă de la vârsta de 5-6 anişori, participarea la muncile câmpului alături de adulţi, viaţa creştină a satului transilvănean încărcat de istorie şi suferinţă, singurătatea şi lipsa iubirii celor din jur, peisajul natural generos înfrumuseţat cu cântecul păsărelelor,constituie universul în care s-a format ca „privighetoare” a poeziei creştine româneşti. Dragostea de carte şi respectul faţă de biserică i-au fost insuflate de învăţătorul său, Savu Halbac.

Fiind singurul copil la părinţi, aceştia vroiau să-l vadă ajungând un bun gospodar la casa lui şi un sprijin de nădejde la bătrâneţe. Copilul însă, se simţea născut pentru altceva, mai bun. Iubea cartea, citise tot ce era de citit în micuţa biblioteca a şcolii primare şi în aceea a bunului său învăţător. La terminarea celor 7 clase primare, după examenul susţinut la Beiuş în 7 iunie 1930, copilul Traian Dorz a primit ca premiu cartea „Corabia lui Noe”, scrisă de preotul Iosif Trifa, întemeietorul şi conducătorul „Oastei Domnului” din Sibiu. Cartea l-a zguduit puternic, schimbându-i definitiv sensul vieţii. Iată cum descrie acel moment crucial: „Momentul acela a fost prima mea întâlnire cu numele acestui om trimis de Dumnezeu, părintele Iosif Trifa şi cu numele acestei Lucrari a lui Hristos, Oastea Domnului…A doua zi,ştiu că era Duminica Rusaliilor anului 1930, ziua de 8 iunie.Şi ştiu că,după slujba de la biserică, am stat numai acasă citind la cartea mea, de care nu mă mai puteam despărţi. Era cam pe la ceasul trei după- amiaza, în ziua aceea de Rusalii… Ceea ce m-a zguduit mai mult au fost ultimele cuvinte ale chemării: <Dacă tu nu cazi acum la picioarele Crucii Mântuitorului, să plângi cu lacrimi amare pentru păcatele tale şi nu-ţi predai viaţa ta Domnului Iisus,… tu vei rămâne tot în păcatele tale, până ce, pe neaşteptate va veni şi peste tine potopul pierzării… Sunt numai două stări: ori în corabie, ori afară. Dacă eşti afară, intră îndată în corabia mântuirii, ca nu cumva să vină pe neaşteptate potopul şi moartea şi să te afle nemântuit. Vino chiar acum, înainte de a închide cartea asta şi te predă Domnului,ca să fii pentru totdeauna cu El… > Soarele strălucea puternic pe tot cerul fără niciun nor… Simţeam că trebuie neapărat şi numaidecât să mă arunc undeva în genunchi şi să dau drumul şuvoiului de lacrimi pe care nu mi le puteam stăpâni…  că trebuie să-mi descarc suflatul strigând lui Dumnezeu pocăinţa mea, întoarcerea mea, predarea mea, legământul meu… M-am suit în podul şurii şi acolo, pe fânul uscat, m-am prăbuşit în genunchi, am izbucnit într-un plâns nestăpânit şi cu mâinile ridicate, înălţate, împreunate, am început să strig şi să şoptesc, rugându-mă şi pocăindu-mă… Mă topeam în faţa Domnului şi Dumnezeului meu, inaintea Căruia stăteam într-un fel în care cred că numai o singură dată dintr-o viaţă poate sta aşa un om… Din ochii mei şiroiau pe amândoi obrajii nu stropi de lacrimi, ci două râuri neîntrerupte…Nu ştiu câtă vreme m-am rugat… Când m-am trezit din starea aceasta, sub genunchii mei, fânul era ud de lacrimi…O pace luminoasă şi nemărginită îmi umpluse tot sufletul din mine cu tot seninul şi cu toată frumuseţea cerului şi a pâmântului…”

După acest moment, abia trecut de 15 ani, începe să scrie poezii creştine şi povestiri religioase, care i se publică în ziarele religioase săptămânale ale Oastei de la Sibiu. La vârsta de 18 ani, părinţii l-au silit să se căsătorească, crezând că în felul acesta îl vor lega mai strâns de gospodaria lor. După doi ani, însă este chemat de preotul Iosif Trifa la Sibiu, pentru a-l sprijini în munca de redactare a publicaţiilor de la Centrul Oastei. Scrie intens. Îi apar volume de poezii care se succed unele după altele.

Între anii 1935-1947 îi apar 12 volume de poezii. Contribuţia sa scriitoricească se extinde însă pe arii tot mai largi, fiind prezent, cu texte substanţiale în diverse publicaţii din ţară şi anume: Revista Funcţionarilor Publici (Bucureşti), Prietenul copiilor(Iaşi),Revista Satul (Bucureşti), Revista Penitenciarelor (Bucureşti), Farul Creştin (Arad), Vestitorul Evangheliei (Bucureşti), Beiusul(Beiuş), Glasul Bihorului (Beiuş), Ostaşul Domnului (Bucureşti), Noua Gazetă de Vest (Oradea).

Odată cu instaurarea regimului comunist ateu în 1948, începe şi persecuţia împotriva credinţei şi implicit a celor credincioşi. Traian Dorz este arestat şi închis în mai multe rânduri pentru activitatea sa creştin- misionară. Între anii 1948-1964 îndură teroarea specifică închisorilor comuniste în Penitenciarele din Gherla, Oradea, Ghencea (Bucureşti), Caransebeş, colonia de muncă Popeşti-Leordeni, colonia de muncă Periprava Grind.

După eliberarea din 1964 este ţinut cu „domiciliu forţat” în satul natal. Este obligat să muncească la C.A.P. şi i se fac mereu percheziţii şi este ţinut sub o strictă supraveghere de către Securitate. Cu toate acestea, scrie extrem de mult, mai ales noaptea.

În anii ’70 încearcă să tiparească unele din cărţile sale, trimitându-le unor reviste şi edituri din ţară, precum:

-Revista „Albina” din Bucureşti

-Revistele „Familia” şi „Crişana” din Oradea

-Editurile „Albatros” şi „Litera” din Bucureşti.

Deşi i s-a promis, demersul său a rămas fără rezultat.

În august 1977 trimite 10 volume din creaţia sa literară celor mai importante foruri ale ţării şi anume:

-Uniunii Scriitorilor – prin prof.Ioan Dumitriu-Snagov

-Academiei Române

-Departamentului Cultelor

-Institutului Biblic şi de Misiune al Bisericii Ortodoxe Române.

În 1982, deşi bătrân, este arestat din nou şi închis cu deţinuţii de drept comun la Satu Mare. Acuzaţia care i s-a adus era de posesie şi distribuire de materiale relegioase neautorizate. Este condamnat la 2 ani din care execută 5 luni.  Opera sa literara depăşeşte 100 de volume.

A scris peste 4000 de poezii grupate în 29 de volume; 7000 de proverbe versificate şi comentate, grupate în 7 volume. A versificat cei 150 de psalmi biblici şi poemele lui Solomon.

În proză a scris: 1 volum autobiografic; 4 volume de istorie a Oastei Domnului; 4 volume în seria „Povestiri Nemuritoare”; 7 volume de meditaţii la Evanghelia Sf.Ioan; 28 de volume în seria „Cugetari Nemuritoare”; 6 volume în seria „Indrumări Nemuritoare”; 2 volume de meditaţii la apostolele de peste an; 8 volume de meditaţii zilnice la Psalmi; 1 volum de meditaţii la Poemele lui Solomon; 1 volum de meditaţii pentru toate zilele anului; 3 piese şi montaje religioase; 1 volum cu poezii închinate Maicii Domnului; 1 volum cu poezii şi eseuri închinat unor eroi ai neamului, unor mănăstiri, locuri sfinte memorabile, personalităţi,etc.

Poetul şi scriitorul Traian Dorz a fost înzestrat cu un excepţional talent, opera sa literară fiind o operă de mare inspiraţie. Scris de  Preot Viorel Chirca, Biserica „Sfinţii Ecaterina și Modest” Galaţi. Sursa

Poetul Traian Dorz — 100 ani de la naștere (Clip)

28 Iunie 2014 Galati

Galati: In memoriam Traian Dorz. O viaţă de suferinţă pentru convingeri religioase
Traian Dorz, personalitate literară şi creştină, a fost omagiat, la Galaţi, la împlinirea a o sută de ani de la naştere. A rămas în memoria tuturor pentru că a trăit ani grei de suferinţă şi prigonire pe vremea regimului comunist. Traian Dorz a fost evocat şi în ‘Memorialul Durerii’, realizat de Lucia Hossu Longin.

Traian Dorz a militat pentru convingerile creştine şi asta i-a adus 17 ani de suferinţă şi tortură în temniţele comuniste. În ciuda miilor de poezii, a fost o prezenţa discretă, cu o profundă înclinare duhovnicească, şi un misionar loial convingerilor sale creştine.

Traian Dorz s-a născut în 1914 într-un cătun din judeţul Bihor. La absolvirea primelor 7 clase primeşte ca premiu cartea “Corabia lui Noe”. Aceasta i-a marcat profund existenţa.

Activitatea sa literară este una vastă, cu puternice accente spirituale.

Condamnat la ani grei de muncă silnică, este graţiat după câţiva ani, însă este supravegheat pas cu pas şi împiedicat să-şi manifeste convingerile. A lăsat, totuşi, în urmă, mărturii despre un destin prigonit pentru îndrăzneala de a milita pentru o convingere.

- See more at: http://m.stiri.tvr.ro/article/46769#sthash.1br9lUGE.dpuf

Simpozionul de la Galati (4 ore) se poate urmari aici:

Fa click pe poza pt video (4 ore)

Fa click pe poza pt video (4 ore)

Simpozion la Iași 9 Mai 2014

„Traian Dorz a ştiut ca din suferinţă să scoată bucurie“

Aula Bibliotecii Centrale Universitare „Mihai Eminescu“ din Iaşi a găzduit vineri, 9 mai 2014, simpozionul omagial „Traian Dorz – 100 – un poet necunoscut, victimă a represiunii comuniste“. Organizatorii manifestării au fost Parohia „Pogorârea Sfântului Duh“ – Curelari din Iaşi, Asociaţia Ortodoxă „Oastea Domnului“ din Iaşi şi Fundaţia „Anamnesis“ din Iaşi.

Poetul Traian Dorz a fost omagiat timp de câteva ore la Iaşi printr-un simpozion în aula Bibliotecii Centrale Universitare „Mihai Eminescu“. La eveniment au participat profesori de la Facultatea de Teologie Ortodoxă „Dumitru Stăniloae“ din Iaşi, preoţi din mai multe protopopiate ale Arhiepiscopiei Iaşilor, membri ai Asociaţiei Ortodoxe „Oastea Domnului“ din Iaşi, precum şi numeroşi ieşeni. Evenimentul a fost organizat cu binecuvântarea Înaltpreasfinţitului Părinte Teofan, Mitropolitul Moldovei şi Bucovinei, şi a debutat prin intonarea cântării „Hristos a înviat!“. Părintele Vasile Manole de la Biserica Curelari din Iaşi a amintit că Traian Dorz este unul dintre cei mai prolifici autori de poezie şi scriere religioasă din ţara noastră, însă necunoscut de mulţi români, „care a stat în închisorile comuniste 17 ani“.

Pr. Iulian Negru, consilier al Sectorului de misiune, statistică şi prognoză pastorală al Arhiepiscopiei Iaşilor, a transmis salutul părintesc şi binecuvântarea Înaltpreasfinţitului Teofan, „care s-a bucurat de organizarea simpozionului omagial în cinstea lui Traian Dorz“. „Personal, mulţumesc pr. prof. dr. Vasile Mihoc, de la Facultatea de Teologie «Andrei Şaguna» din Sibiu, pentru prezenţa la acest eveniment şi pentru că este o permanentă inspiraţie pentru noi, preoţii de mir şi pentru familiile de creştini. Îl felicit pe pr. Vasile Manole pentru organizarea deosebită a simpozionului. Nădăjduim că această manifestare va fi o readucere între noi a sentimentului prezenţei lui Hristos“, a transmis pr. Iulian Negru.

Pr. lect. dr. Ilie Melniciuc, de la Facultatea de Teologie Ortodoxă „Dumitru Stăniloae“ din Iaşi, a apreciat prezenţa pr. prof. dr. Vasile Mihoc la Iaşi, atât la simpozionul dedicat lui Traian Dorz, cât şi la alte evenimente, creând o „punte de legătură între credinţă, cultură şi învăţământ. În acelaşi timp, pr. lect. dr. Ilie Melniciuc a făcut referire la modelul de trăire al poetului omagiat anul acesta, la 100 de ani de când s-a născut. „Traian Dorz a ştiut ca din suferinţă să scoată bucurie. El a reuşit să înmugurească în inimile multora sentimentul că Hristos nu îi părăseşte“, a spus pr. lect. dr. Ilie Melniciuc. Programul a continuat cu prezentarea unui film documentar despre viaţa poetului Traian Dorz.

„Traian Dorz aparţine întregului neam românesc“

Lect. dr. Puiu Ioniţă, de la Facultatea de Litere a Universităţii „Al. I. Cuza“ din Iaşi, a subliniat că prin simpozionul organizat la Iaşi s-a dorit ca oamenii să cunoască „opera şi statura poetului Traian Dorz, despre care sunt multe de discutat“. „Traian Dorz este un poet cu doar şase clase, autodidact, care şi-a făcut ucenicia la şcoala marilor poeţi români. Nu ştia limbi străine şi nu avea acces la marea cultură. Cultura lui poetică este destul de restrânsă. Este uimitor faptul că poezia lui seamănă în latura ei mistică cu cea a lui Vasile Voiculescu, Nichifor Crainic, Ioan Alexandru, Daniel Turcea s.a. A fost un poet care a tăcut, care a suferit şi care ne-a arătat ce înseamnă credinţa“, a afirmat lect. dr. Puiu Ioniţă, care a schiţat apoi personalitatea poetului Traian Dorz.

Pr. prof. dr. Vasile Mihoc a remarcat că „personalitatea fratelui Traian Dorz este uimitoare şi cu adevărat dătătoare de direcţie pentru tinerele generaţii de ortodocşi din România“. „Suntem prea mici ca să putem cuprinde uriaşa personalitate, creaţie şi moştenire pe care ne-a lăsat-o Traian Dorz. Sunt mulţi români care îl ignoră total pe Eminescu, în afară de numele acestuia, mulţi nu ştiu nimic despre el. Asta nu înseamnă că Eminescu nu e mare. La fel şi în cazul de faţă. Ideea organizării unui simpozion la Iaşi, în memoria lui Traian Dorz, este una firească, deoarece acesta aparţine întregului neam românesc“, ne-a spus pr. prof. dr. Vasile Mihoc.

La finalul evenimentului a avut loc un recital de muzică pe versuri de Traian Dorz. Întrucât anul acesta se împlinesc 100 de ani de la naşterea lui Traian Dorz, în mai multe oraşe din ţara noastră se organizează simpozioane omagiale pentru a putea marca personalitatea şi valoarea poetului creştin. „Traian Dorz, deşi a scris peste 4.000 de titluri de poezie şi de scrieri religioase, este necunoscut. Sfinţii se prăznuiesc la data trecerii lor la Domnul, poeţii la data naşterii lor, iar noi considerăm că poeţii care au avut o viaţă sfântă merită să fie omagiaţi atât la data naşterii, cât şi la data trecerii lor la cele veşnice. De aceea, ne-am gândit să punctăm cei 100 de ani de la naşterea poetului creştin Traian Dorz. Invitaţii care ne-au onorat cu prezenţa în această seară (n.r. vineri, 9 mai) au reliefat valoarea literară, religioasă, şi dogmatică a poetului creştin Traian Dorz“, a mărturisit pr. Vasile Manole.

Sursa http://ziarullumina.ro

Articole asemanatoare

Gabi Lunca – Povestea vietii noastre

Gabi Lunca

Part 1

Part 2

Viata lui Sadhu Sundar Singh – Capitolul 12A – Biserica si Teologie, Ultimii Ani, Ultimul Mister

Citeste

,,Caci pentru mine a trai este Hristos si a muri este un castig” (Filipeni 1:21)

Biserica de care era alipita inima lui Sadhu nu era deloc o institutie vizibila. ,,Eu apartin trupului lui Hristos, spunea el, care este o biserica veritabila, formata din toti crestinii mantuiti prin Isus Hristos, si anume acei ce traiesc aici jos si cei care intrati in lumea de lumina fac parte din biserica triumfatoare”.

Prin botez, Sundar era membru al Bisericii Anglicane a Indiei si intotdeauna si-a exprimat respectul pentru barbatii, care erau responsabili cu bunul mers al ei. El ii recunostea autoritatea, trimitand misionarilor sa boteze pe toti cei ce se converteau prin mijlocirea sa.

Cu toate ca el insusi a fost independent de orice autoritate din afara stabilita in biserica, ei ii recunostea valoarea pedagocica.

Supunandu-se poruncii lui Hristos, ori de cate ori avea ocazia, participa la actul de “frangere a painei (Sfanta Cina)” si aceasta in toate bisericile crestine cu exceptia bisericii catolice. El simtea din aceasta binecuvantare si putere, dar nu credea asemeni doctrinei catolice si luterane, in prezenta reala a lui Hristos in paine si vin.

– ,,Eu nu cred ca painea si vinul devin realmente trupul si sangele lui Hristos. Efectul lor insa asupra credinciosului este tot asa de puternic, ca si cum (painea si vinul) ar fi in realitate trupul si sangele lui Hristos. Nu exista nimic special in paine si vin. Eucharistul ca mijloc de gratie, depinde de credinta noastra.”

Sadhu traia cu gandul unitatii crestine, dar pentru o unitate esentiala launtric-sufleteasca si bazata pe Hristos. El nu credea intr-o federalizare exterioara a diferitelor biserici, nici in uniunea catolicilor cu protestantii.

– ,,Cand amestecati doua culori, obtineti una in plus, adica pe cea de a treia. Acelasi lucru se va intampla si aici, caci veti vedea formandu-se noi secte.  Numai cei ce sunt uniti in Hristos sunt una in cer.”

Daca el n-a putut sa prinda plinatatea semnificatiei Bisericii, greseala nu este a lui Sadhu, ci mai mult diversitatii cultelor crestine. Fara indoiala pozitia lui fata de biserica a fost voita de Dumnezeu. Asa cum scrie profesorul Heiler, faptul ca acest apostol umil, iubitor si cu inima larga Sundar Singh, n-a putut sa se ataseze fara rezerve la nici o biserica, arata fara tagaduire, cat de mari sunt lipsurile crestinismului actual.

Ceea ce este imbucurator, este ca un ucenic al lui Hristos, ca Sadhu, a putut sa vorbeasca liber in fiecare adunare, si ca predicarea sa a fost bine primita de toti. Pentru ca nu apartinea de nici o asociatie crestina, nu exista pentru el nici o biserica eclesiastica.

In toate comunitatile unde Hristos este iubit, eu ma simt in mijlocul fratilor mei. In Hristos toti crestinii sunt una si vorbesc aceiasi limba. Nu exista decat un singur Dumnezeu, atunci de ce sunt atatea biserici si atata impartire?

Sadhu niciodata n-a incercat sa formeze o miscare din acei care au fost adusi la credinta prin predicarea sa. Odata patru sute de tineri i-au cerut sa devina ucenicii lui si el nu a vrut: ,,Eu insumi sunt ucenic, cum as putea face pe altii ucenici ai mei?”

El spunea celor ce doreau sa-l urmeze: ,,inainte de a va darui acestei slujbe, ce seamana cu un ocean agitat de valuri, invatati sa plutiti in lacul vostru. In jurul vostru exista multe suflete care pier. Incepeti cu acestea prin a le salva.”

Daca nu iubesc organizatiunile bisericesti, in schimb iubesc ordinea. Dumnezeul nostru este un Dumnezeu al ordinei. Exista o mare diferenta intre ordine si organizatiunea bisericeasca care adesea nu-i decat un mecanism rigid.”

,,Voi intocmiti programe cu scopul sa-i aratati lui Dumnezeu cum trebuie sa conduca treburile lumii si ale bisericii”. Eu nu apartin vreunei societati misionare si nu depind de nici un comitet. Poate ca oamenii ma socotesc putin practic. Pretutindeni insa pe unde am fost, Dumnezeu mi-a acordat binecuvantari si aceasta fara nici o organizatie. Am vazut rezultate marete, nenumarate convertiri, nu facute de mine, ci de Duhul Sfant. Dumnezeu singur este cel care intoarce sufletele. Cu miile se numara cei care ar fi dorit ca sa-i botez, dar eu n-am fost chemat la acest lucru si nici de a forma vreo grupare. Altora le este dat sa o faca, fiindca exista organizatiuni inspirate de Dumnezeu. . Intrucat ma priveste, lucrarea mea este sa predic Evanghelia si sa dau marturie.

Cu toate acestea el a format o mica adunare de tibetani crestini. Acestia erau pentru dansul subiectul unei mari recunostinte, fiindca desi se aflau izolati si fara ca cineva sa-i indrume, ei au ramas credinciosi. Sundar spera ca unul dintr-insii sa poata veni in India ca sa fie instruit, dupa care sa invete pe propriul sau popor.

– ,,Cu Sundar Singh incepe o noua scoala misionara in India, zice doctorul Five, un misionar prezbiterian. Sadhu a exercitat asupra crestinilor sau necrestinilor, asupra tinerilor si batranilor o influenta care nu a fost niciodata depasita. El ocupa un loc unic in nordul Indiei. Nu exista decat un singur Sundar Singh. In toata istoria misionara, putini barbati au avut o atat de mare sfera de activitate.  Predicile lui au atins atat pe crestinii occidentali cat si pe hindusi si pe budisti. Personalitatea si mesajul lui au descoperit greselile si superficialitatea atat de evidenta a asa zisei crestinatati. El a readus scopul central in crestinism; un apel la constiinta de a se intoarce la Hristos, unicul lucru necesar”.

Crestinismul din Occident s-a ratacit constant in lucruri exterioare, adica in formele dogmatice, in organizatiuni bisericesti, in importanta exagerata data culturii intelectuale. Exista teologi capabili si invatati, barbati bisericosi priceputi, reformatori sociali cati vrei, dar cat de putini oameni ai lui Dumnezeu exista, pentru care Hristos este totul si care pot sa arate oamenilor drumul comuniunei cu Dumnezeu?

– ,,Oamenii in Europa, spune Sadhu, sunt atat de savanti de stiinta si de filozofie, dar atat de ignoranti in realitatile divine, incat nu sufera sa cerceteze  toate regiunile cunoasterei, bineinteles afara de acelea ce privesc conditiunea lor intelectuala. Ei sunt lacomi sa stie cand va avea loc o eclipsa de soare sau de luna sau ce este cu petele din soare; dar de norii pacatului din viata lor nu se nelinistesc deloc!”

-,,Multi teologi au inlaturat viata de rugaciune si de meditatie, si incearca sa acopere goliciunea  crestinismului lor prin frunzele de smochin ale stiintei lor teologale.”

Daca Sadhu a fost atat de sever in ce priveste teologia, se datoreste faptului ca a venit in Europa in anii cand negatiunea divinatatii lui Isus Hristos si critica biblica erau foarte raspandite. De atunci noi asistam la o evolutie a invatamantului teologic, care devine mai pozitiv si mai biblic. De altfel insusi Sadhu a prezis declinul acestei grave erori. ,,Seamana cu o epidemie de gripa care va trece, a spus el, insa nu fara sa fi facut foarte multe victime”.

Pe profesorii de teologie i-a sfatuit sa suspende cincisprezece zile pe luna cursurile si impreuna cu studentii lor sa evanghelizeze regiunile apropiate.

– ,,Intr-o zi pe cand vorbeam in India cu un amic, chimist distins, el facea analiza unei eprubete cu lapte, indicand cantitatile de apa, de zahar si de alte materii continute in lichid. I-am spus: un copil este incapabil sa analizeze laptele, dar experienta il invata ca este bun si ca il hraneste. El nu va sti sa explice cum, insa de stiut o stie. Copilul este mult mai intelept decat chemistul. Tot la fel exista oameni care analizeaza fara incetare laptele lor, dar pe care nu-l beau niciodata. Numerosi sunt aceia in zilele noastre, care stiu cine este Isus Hristos, vorbesc despre El si poseda o cunoastere vasta intelectuala; dar putini din ei pot sa spuna: eu stiu in cine am crezut; Il cunosc, deoarece El locuieste in mine”.

Un candidat de teologie la Oxford, adanc impresionat de predicile lui Sadhu, a gasit ca este fara folos sa mai obtina cunostinte intelectuale. ,,De indata ce voi da primul examen, a spus el, voi pleca ca misionar, fara sa mai studiez teologia”. Sundar fiind pus la curent cu acest incident, a raspuns:

– ,,Nu, n-am voit sa spun aceasta; predicatorii trebuie sa studieze, dar sa o stie, ca fara viata in duh sunt intocmai ca un schelet uscat. In principiu eu nu ma opun stiintei, dar protestez cu toata puterea contra tendintei actuale, care ii exagereaza valoarea. Limbajul Bibliei este spiritual. Pentru a-l intelege, atat profesorul cat si studentul, trebuie sa-l fi fost invatat cu Duhul Sfant”.

,,Unii predicatori au fost stabiliti de biserica si nu prin Duhul Sfant. Numai acestia ultimii castiga suflete. Nu este suficient sa fi membru intr-o biserica, ci trebuie sa fi membru de-al lui Hristos. John Wesley si generalul Booth, in opozitie cu biserica, au urmat ordinele lui Dumnezeu si se intelege ca au avut dreptate”.

Un pastor elvetian a declarat: Sadhu a diagnosticat bine boala noastra. Voi va gasiti intr-o mare graba si n-aveti timp de rugaciune si viata spirituala. Unui alt pastor, care l-a intrebat, ce trebuie sa faca ca lucrarea sa fie mai eficace, Sundar  a raspuns simplu: ,,Mai multa rugaciune”. In acest domeniu, a spus episcopul Soederblom, Sadhu are pentru noi un mesaj, care vine nu din India, ci din Evanghelii. Activitatea profana din ce in ce mai mare a crestinilor din Europa, nu poate sa despagubeasca slabiciunea vietii lui launtrice.

– ,,Sadhu este mai demn decat noi toti, cei ce am studiat teologia, spune inca un pastor elvetian. Noi am pacatuit contra adevarului, daca refuzam sa admitem aceasta. Cnd un teolog incepe sa adanceasca o viata atat de bogat dotata de harul lui Dumnezeu, constiinta lui este rasturnata din strafunduri”.

Un alt preot elvetian vorbeste astfel despre intalnirea sa cu Sadhu: – ,,Cand l-am vazut inaintea mea si l-am auzit vorbind despre viata sa spirituala, in timp ce eram inconjurat de teologi savanti, o intrebare s-a ivit in spiritul meu: Ce scop tintim prin studiile noastre? Pentru ce trebuie sa invatam atatea lucruri de mica importanta, in timp ce lucrului esential nu-i acordam locul cuvenit? Barbati, ca de pilda acest hindus, pot sa clatine natiuni, dar noi ce-am facut pana acum?”

Este imposibil sa nu fi izbit de asemanarile dintre experientele crestine ale lui Sadhu si ale apostolului Pavel. Convertit printr-o viziune miraculos asemanatoare cu cea de pe drumul Damascului, Sadhu intocmai ca marele apostol dupa ce a urat pe Hristos si I-a persecutat ucenicii, a devenit cel mai fidel servitor. Si unul si altul au primit Evanghelia nu din gura oamenilor, ci printr-o revelatie directa a Mantuitorului, devenind puternicii Lui martori. Cuvintele lui Isus despre Pavel: ,,Acest barbat este o unealta pe care am ales-o sa duca Numele Meu la capatul pamantului si Eu ii voi arata cat trebuie sa sufere pentru Numele Meu”, pot foarte bine sa se potriveasca si lui Sadhu.

Sundar la randul sau a putut sa vorbeasca de suferintele sale in aceiasi termeni ca Pavel: ,, Adesea in pericol de moarte, de multe ori in calatorie am fost in primejdie pe ape, in primejdie din cauza talharilor, in primejdie din partea celor din neamul meu, in primejdie in orase, in primejdie in pustiuri. Eu am fost in lucru si-n osteneala, supus foamei si setei, si am rabdat posturi nenumarate”.

-Va urma-

 

 

 

 

 

Jonathan Edwards Sermon – Persons Ought Not to Rest Ignorant and Unresolved About Their Own State

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Pentru traducere automata, fa click aici – Romanian

2 Corinthians 13:5; Jeremiah 6:30

Know ye not your own selves? Persons ought not to rest ignorant  and unresolved about their own state, whether they are real Christians or not.

Photo credit wikipedia

There were in the Church of Corinth some that were adversaries to Paul and his doctrine, certain false teachers that labored to seduce the Christian Corinthians, and to that end, industriously cast reproach and calumnies on the apostle Paul. They seem to have charged his with lateness and not coming to them according to his promise, with contemptibleness, in his person, that however his letters seemed weighty and powerful, yet his bodily presence was mean in his speech and contemptible. By these, and other such means, they endeavored to draw away the Corinthians from the doctrine that the apostle had taught them. And the Corinthians, so much gave ear to them, some of them at least, that things necessitated for the apostle to not only vindicate his own name and reputation, but to declare what God had done for him and by him, but also to threaten them with using that power that Christ had given him, against offenders, as in the forgoing verses of this chapter.

And because there were such evils amongst them, this occasioned the apostle, in the verse of the text, to be putting them upon examining themselves and trying their own state, whether they are real Christians or not. In the verse, may be observed:

  1. What is the thing to be judged of, namely, whether they were in the faith, or whether Christ was in them. Though all made a profession of Christ and of the faith, the words imply that a man may make a profession of the Christian faith and not be in the faith. And that a man may profess to be a follower of Christ and, yet, not have Christ dwelling in him.
  2. The means to be used in order to judge, namely, examining and proving themselves.
  3. The arguments or motives the apostle makes use of to stir them to it, which are two: Number 1 – The absurdity of being ignorant of themselves: “Know ye not your own selves?” If they did not know whether they were in the faith or not, whether Christ was in them, or not, it was their own salvation that they were ignorant of. For a man not to be acquainted with others that he seldom sees and has but little opportunity to converse with was no wonder. And if he did not know some of his neighbors and relatives, that was not so much to be wondered at. But for a man to be a stranger to his own self, there’s a great absurdity  in it. And no man ought to rest in such ignorance.  Number 2 – The second motive the apostle uses is the great importance of knowing, because if Christ was not in them, they were reprobates.By reprobates, here, is not intended the same sense in which it is commonly used by … for those that are in cause eternal decree, reprobated  to eternal damnation. We can’t suppose that the apostle means that any man that  has not Christ now dwelling in them is decreed to eternal punishment. Christ is not in him now, yet, He may be in him afterwards. He may be converted before he dies. But, by reprobates is intended here the same as false professors. The word in the original signifies disapproved or rejected by the all seeing God. He sees and approves all professors of Christianity and some He approves as sincere and real Christians, and others He rejects and disapproves of as not being of the right sort. Every professor either stands approved or disapproved in the sight of God. They that are disapproved, the apostle calls reprobates. God deals with professors as a husbandman deals with his wheat and chaff, or wheat and tares. Both grow together, but one is separated. One is approved and the other rejected. Or, as a goldsmith does for the silver and the dross. The dross may glisten and look like silver, but the goldsmith tries it and finds it not true silver, and so rejects it. And this is called reprobate silver in Jeremiah 6:30 “Reprobate silver shall men call them, because the Lord hath rejected them.

Doctrine: Persons ought not to rest ignorant  and unresolved about their own state, whether they are real Christians or not.

Reason #1 – It is not a thing impossible for a person to come to the knowledge of his own state.

Not only  conversion, as a thing attainable, but also the knowledge of it. The knowledge of one’s conversion, in some cases, may be obtained with difficulty. Many persons that are truly converted may be ignorant of their conversion. They may be in doubt about their condition and not be able for the present to resolve the case. No, not through the strictest examination that they’re capable of, by the rule of God’s word and by those signs  that are there given. But this is not because the knowledge of one’s conversion is in itself a thing unattainable, but because of weakness of grace or the prevalence of corruption, or the particular infirmity, or temptations, or error, or ignorance that attend that person. But the knowledge of our own state is a thing attainable. Wicked men may know that they have no grace and Godly men may come to know that they have grace. This is evident because we are directed in God’s word to use means to know as in the text. We’re directed to examine ourselves, whether  we be in the faith and approve ourselves. To this end, so that we may know our own selves.

But if the knowing of ourselves in this respect  were impossible, why does the apostle give us directions in order to it? And so, the apostle Peter directs people to endeavor for this: 2 Peter 1:10 – “Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:” If a man could not know that Christ is in him, well then, the man is not to be blamed that he doesn’t know. And, why then does the apostle Paul blame the Corinthians for it, as he evidently does in these words of the text: “Know ye not your own selves?” Where is the absurdity of not knowing oneself, or what wonder is it if we don’t know our own selves, if this be a thing impossible?

And again, it is evident that this thing may be known because Scripture tells us how we may know in

  • 1 John 2:3 – “And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
  • 1 John 2:5 – “But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.
  • 1 John 3;19 – “And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.
  • 1 John 3:24 – “And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.
  • 1 John 4:13 – “Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.

Why does the apostle tell us so much, whereby we may know we are of the truth, if there be no such thing as knowing? Seems therefore, the knowledge of a person’s state is attainable. A person should not rest ignorant and unresolved  about their own state, whether they are real Christians or not.

Reason # 2 – Persons, as long as they remain unresolved about their condition, in many instances, can’t know what is proper for them to do or what work they have before them. (From the first 8 1/2 minutes of a 46 min sermon) 

VIDEO by Christian Praise and Worship in Songs, Sermons, and Audio Books

Jim Packer interview

In May 2009, Dr Jim Packer spoke at the annual School of Theology at Oak Hill College in London, and was interviewed by Mike Ovey, the College Principal. In this first part (of three), Jim Packer talks about “knowing your stuff” and discusses theological training in a climate of cultural scepticism.

Part 1

Jim Packer, part 1 from Oak Hill College on Vimeo.

In this second part (of three), Jim Packer talks about “the faith, taught not caught” and discusses the challenge of being a pastoral theologian.

Part 2

 

In this third part (of three), Jim Packer talks about “training the congregation” and discusses the greatest challenges facing Christian ministers.

Part 3

 

Istorie – Mișcarea Evanghelică Baptistă din Basarabia

Vitalie Marian si Vasile Filat de la Moldova Crestina:

În teza sa de licență, Șemcișin V.P. notează 3 factori care ar fi condus la răspândirea Evangheliei în Basarabia:

  1. Apariția grupurilor mari de molocani la începutul sec. XIX (anul 1806)
  2. Activitatea așa-numitor “purtători de cărți”, care răspândeau Sfintele Scripturi în rândul populației
  3. Influența coloniștilor germani (luterani) și a “ștundelor” lor (ore biblice), în timpul cărora se studia Biblia și se cântau cântări duhovnicești. O contribuție semnificativă a avut-o pastorul I.Bonekemper, care desfășura o activitate duhovnicească în rândul coloniștilor germani.

Un alt factor important a fost disponibilitatea Bibliei în limba rusă. În anul 1818 au fost traduse cele 4 Evanghelii, în 1812 – cartea Psalmii, în 1861 – Noul Testament și în 1872 – Vechiul Testament.

Șemcișin menționează 3 focare ale trezirii spirituale în Basarabia și anume satele Cicima, Akkerman și Chișinău.

Cicima (în prezent satul Strumok, regiunea Odessa)

În prima jumătate a sec.XIX aici s-a stabilit comunitatea molocanilor. În anul 1860, în urma studierii aprofundate a Sfintelor Scripturi, un grup de molocani a descoperit că botezul în apă și Cina Domnului nu au doar o semnificație duhovnicească dar și o formă vizibilă. Astfel, în anul 1870, se atestă un grup din circa 20 de persoane, care s-a despărțit de molocani și s-a numit baptiști. În calitate de prebiter a fost ales Arhip Romanenko.

Akkerman (în prezent orașul Belgorod-Dnestrovsk, regiunea Odessa)

Trezirea spirituală s-a început aici mai târziu de cea din Cicima. Potrivit istoricilor, cel mai probabil comunitatea molocanilor ar fi fost influențată de baptiștii din Odessa și de colonoștii germani. Presbiterul comunității era Pavlov V.G.

Chișinău

Documentele relatează despre așa-numitul grup “Israeliții Noului Testament”, condus de un evreu pe nume Iosif Rabinovici (1873-1899). Se spune că el ar fi construit în Chișinău prima casă de rugăciune baptistă “Betleem”. Comunitatea molocanilor din Chișinău, formată în 1806, era destul de numeroasă. În anul 1900 ea numără circa 200 de membri. Presbiterul se numea Rahmanin Simeon iar numele predicatorului era Ivanov Andrei Feodorovici. După ce a cercetat Scripturile, Ivanov înțelege adevărul despre botezul în apă și se desparte de comunitatea molocanilor, formând un grup separat din 10 persoane.

În paralel, în anul 1902, la Chișinău, din Voronej sosește un tânăr pe numele Hijneakov Tihon. El era un om religios, dar căuta adevărul. Sursele istorice spun că Hijneakov ar fi împrumutat o copie de Sfintele Scripturi de la un prieten de-al lui ortodox și ar fi început să le studieze profund. După citirea cărții Isaia cap.44 și cap.4 al Evangheliei după Ioan, Hijneakov ajunge la înțelegerea că Dumnezeu este Duh, și că El cere de la om o închinare în duh și adevăr, și nu prin chipuri făcute de mâini omenești. Adevărurile studiate îl marcase atât de mult, încât a reușit să motiveze încă 2 familii să studieze împreună cu el Biblia. Pe atunci Hijneakov și Ivanov nu se cunoșteau.

Ei s-au cunoscut ceva mai târziu, și, împreună cu alți 2 frați au format prima biserică baptistă din Chișinău. Acest lucru s-a întâmplat în anul 1908, care se consideră anul nașterii bisericii creștine evanghelice baptiste din Chișinău.

În anul 1909, Ivanov a fost ordinat, de frații din Odesa, în calitate de presbiter al comunității baptiste din Chișinău și responsabil de întreaga comunitate baptistă din țară.

În anul 1910 în Biserica din Chișinău se atestă primele botezuri. Localul în care se adunau credincioșii era neîncăpătoare, fapt care l-a determinat pe Rabinovici să-și ofere casa baptiștilor pentru desfășurarea serviciilor divine. Aceasta era situată pe atunci pe strada Meșeanskaia 20 (în prezent str.Sfatul Țării).

Sursa: “Pomni vesi puti” (Istoria Bisericii Creștine Evanghelice Baptiste “Betel” din or.Chișinău 1908-2008), pag.11-23, autor Turlak Oleg Petrovici.

Vasile Filat:

Baptiștii din Republica Moldova

Recent am citit volumul II al lucrării “Istoria Baptiștilor din România” de Dr. Alexa Popovici. Cartea cuprinde perioada anilor 1919 – 1944 și este foarte bine documentată și interesant scrisă. Pentru că cea mai mare parte din această perioadă Basarabia a făcut parte din România, autorul face dese referințe la Baptiștii din teritoriul cuprins între Nistru și Prut. În acest articol doresc să prezint 12 fapte interesante despre baptiștii din Basarabia și astfel, sper să vă motivez să faceți rost de carte și să o citiți. În mod special recomand aceasta carte tuturor slujitorilor bisericilor baptiste pentru că vor avea multe lucruri de învățat din această istorie.

Deci, iată acele 10 fapte interesante selectate de mine:

 1. În Basarabia baptiștii aveau o comunitate bisericească la Chișinău, formată în 1924 al cărei președinte era Boris Bușilă, păstorul bisericii din Chișinău. Comunitatea era persoană juridică de drept public. Constituirea comunității s-a făcut pe baza legii din Rusia Nr.1728 din 17 Octombrie 1906, care la capitolul II paragrafele 7-14 arăta formalitățile de inființare a Comunităților, formalități ce se trimiteau la administrația gubernială care avea dreptul de a autoriza constituirea. (p. 57)
2. (Anul 1920) În Basarabia au fost de asemenea persecuții mari. Într-un raport al Comisiei Centrale de Anchetă din Basarabia, înaintat simultan Grupului Militar General Popovici, comandantului Corpului 11 Armată, ministrului Octavian Goga de la Culte și Inspectoratului General de Jandarmi Rurali, în care se arăta următoarele: “Jandarmii și celelalte autorități administrative opresc prin mijloace violente liberul exercițiu al acestui cult, închizând localurile de închinare, arestând pe partizanii baptismului și confiscându-le cărțile lor religioase. Plângeri în contra persecuțiilor al căror obiect ar fi baptiștii din Basarabia au fost, de asemenea, formulate de la tribuna Parlamentului.” Raportul mai arată în continuare: “În Basarabia prima comunitate baptistă a luat ființă în anul 1875, și … credincioșii s-au bucurat sub trecutul regim rusesc de libertate a cultului.” (p. 100)
 
3. În memoriul nr. 39 din 28 Februarie 1924 depus de Uniunea Baptistă din România la Ministerul Cultelor sunt enumărate șase categorii de persecuție pe care le îndură baptiștii. La punctul 5 este trecută următorul fel de persecutare: “Organizarea a convorbiri religioase sub conducerea misionarilor ortodocși, la care baptiștii sunt aduși cu forța de jandarmi ca să asiste și să fie interogați; aceasta mai ales în Basarabia. (p. 124)
 
4. Preotul ortodox Dr. Grigore Comșa a fost s-a manifestat ca unul din cei mai mari prigonitori ai baptiștilor. În anul 1927 a publicat broșura “Noua Călăuză în cunoașterea și combaterea sectelor religioase” unde la pagina 61 recunoaște că în comuna Sângerei, din aproximativ 2000 de familii, au trecut la baptiști peste 250 de familii și că în comuna Iablona mai mult de jumătate din locuitori sunt baptiști. (p.151)
 
5. În Chișinău lucrarea se începuse încă în anul 1908, prin Tihon Jihnicov, A.N. Lebedenco și A.I.Ivanov. Toți aceștia fuseseră internați într-un spital și acolo a venit cineva și le-a împărțit Noul Testament. Prin citire, ei au ajuns credincioși.  (p.318)
 
6. La Chișinău, în capitala Basarabiei, A.I.Ivanov a botezat în 1920 un tânăr student la medicină, Boris Bușilă, fiu de preot ortodox, care studiase înainte teologia și familia dorea să-l facă preot și pe el. După botez, el a început să lucreze cu mult zel la răspândirea credinței baptiste și să activeze printre tinerii din biserică. La 12 Decembrie 1921 a fost ales păstor al bisericii, iar la 1 Octombrie 1922 a fost ordinat de o comisie prezidată de C.Adorian, care, împreună cu alții, l-au lansat pentru propovăduirea Evangheliei. La 1 Ianuarie 1926, în entuziasmul său, tineretul bisericii s-a hotărât și au și început să adune bani și să creeze un fond, ca biserica să zidească un spital al ei. O trăsătură specifică a bisericii din Chișinău a fost faptul că acolo erau cel mai multe naționalități: ruși, români, germani, bulgari, turci și evrei. Școala Duminicală era condusă de surorile Evanghelina și Maria Goroholinschi și Erubocki. Între fetele din biserică lucra Raisa Bușilă, soția păstorului, și ea tot fiică de preot. Boris Bușilă a păstorit biserica până în 26 Iunie 1941, când a fost arestat și nu s-a mai întors. (p.319)
 
7. Tot în Chișinău (str. Hajdeu 94)  era o misiune pentru încreștinarea evreilor, condusă de L.Averbuch și M.Tarlev, care au strâns în jurul lor sute de evrei. (p.319)  
 
8. Succesul lucrării din Basarabia a fost neegalat în alte provincii. Aici lucrarea s-a răspîndit cu o repeziciune uimitoare. Fiecare membru devenise un adevărat misionar, iar lumea era dornică după vestirea Evangheliei. Astfel, în 16 Iunie 1929, în comuna Anchista din județul Cetatea Albă a fost ținut un botez cu 56 de suflete, îndeplinit de Tihon Hijnicov. În comuna Izvoare, județul Orhei, la 18 Iunie 1924, tot Tihon Hijnicov a ținut un botez cu 17 persoane, în Slobozia Mare, în 24 Iunie 1924 a fost un botez cu 16 persoane și peste trei zile, în 27 Iunie 1924, a fost un botez în Noua Criona cu 36 de suflete, aceste două din urmă oficiate de Vasile Asiev. (p.319)
9. La finele anului 1921 în Basarabia erau înregistrate 16 biserici baptiste care întruneau 336 membri. (p.329). La 28 Decembrie 1942 în Basrabia erau 337  biserici baptiste care întruneau 17.775 membri botezați și 24.434 membri aparținători (copiii ai credincioșilor). În total erau 42.209 membri. Media pe biserică era de 125 membri. Baptiștii din Basarabia alcătuiau 18,94% din totalul baptiștilor din România. (p.330)
10. În anul 1923 a venit în Basarabia, ca misionar al Bordului de Misiune în Străinătate, Walter Craighead cu soția. Ei au învățat atât limba română, cât și limba rusă. Astfel, în scurt timp, el a început să predice fără traducător. Cum lucrarea în Basarabia era la început, prezența aici a unui misionar bine pregătit era prețioasă și chezășuia creșterea credincioșilor baptiști în învățătura sănătoasă. (p.352)
11. După recucerirea Basarabiei și Bucovinei de Nord au fost trimiși acolo preoți și învățători, autorități administrative și polițienești. Imediat preoții au adunat date și au trimis rapoarte, spunând că cei care au colaborat cu comuniștii în Basarabia au fost predicatorii baptiști, că ei au primit însărcinări importante de la sovietici, iar casele lor de rugăciune ar fi servit și pentru cluburi comuniste, etc. În stare de război în care se găsea țara, nimeni n-a mai avut timp să verifice asemenea informații calomnioase, ci au fost luate ca adevăruri. De aceea, începând cu luna August 1941, atitudinea Ministerului Cultelor față de baptiști s-a schimbat radical. (p.441)
12. În anii 1942-1944 foarte mulți baptiști au suferit. Doar în ziua de apoi vor fi descoperiți toți cei care au fost arestați, duși la Nistru și acolo împușcați, fără vreo judecată și aruncați în apele Nistrului, care i-a dus înspre Marea Neagră. Închisoarea de la Cernăuți a fost plină de baptiști. De asemenea, în cea din Chișinău zăceau sute de credincioși baptiști, care după ce au scăpat de ruși, au fost luați de români. (p.449)
Dumnezeu să ne ajute să le urmăm pilda bărbaților și femeilor care au crezut din toată inima în adevărul Evangheliei, au trăit conform acestui adevăr și au propovăduit cu mult sacrificiu Cuvântul lui Dumnezeu.

Ballor on Bonhoeffer (Trinity Evangelical Divinity School)

Photo credit Facebook

This lecture will provide and introduction and orientation to Bonhoeffer’s ethical thought, particularly with regard to his mature doctrine of divine mandates, consisting of family, work, church, and government. The relationship between the personal and the social will be considered, as Bonhoeffer’s social thought is rooted in his understanding of the doctrine of vocation and “vicarious representative action.” Bonhoeffer’s social thought provides a dynamic and compelling vision of human social life, and a way forward beyond the sometimes stultifying debates of the twentieth century.

Jordan Ballor on Bonhoeffer – VIDEO by Henry Center

A powerful Prayer by Leonard Ravenhill

leonard ravenhill

Pentru traducere automata, fa click aici – Romanian

Read the history behind the hymn quoted in Leonard Ravenhill’s prayer here – “Make Me a Captive, Lord” – The History behind the Hymn

Leonard Ravenhill: Father, we think of those that we have sung of in these wonderful hymns tonight. And as we sang it, we think of the tribes of millions that are still without God, and without hope. We sang about the sacred throng, when you wind up all the affairs of this terrestrial ball on which we live, when you end all empires, industrial or the great empires of Kings or rulers. And between here and there, there may be many tribulations and trials. But we thank you again that as you’ve brought us so far, you’ll take us further, right to the end of the trail. Grant, Lord, this meeting which is not very large, but it’s large enough to make an impact on this world, if you get your way in every life tonight. We pray Lord for your glory, not for ours, not for the preacher, not even for Last Days Ministry, but, we pray for your holy namesake, that you will invade this sanctuary tonight. We pray you’ll work spiritual revolutions in us. We pray that some of us may go to our own funerals tonight and die to self, and end all the failure and all the weakness and all that’s been our handicap, all that’s been our hangup. Do it by the precious, precious blood of Jesus, the cleansing blood, the sanctifying blood.The blood of the everlasting covenant.

Again, we ask in honesty with desire that this will be a very, very bad night for the devil. We pray that lives, here, where he’s had dominion, that that dominion will be broken. Where he has been deceptive, that he [the devil] will be unmasked tonight. Where he has tried to make us fearful and intimidated, oh, give us a revelation of your glory and your power! We pray that the very angels in heaven may have a good time tonight, rejoicing over all bondage that shall cease. Take the veil away from your Word. Take the veil away from your understanding. Open the Word, open our minds, and then open our minds to tell what great things God has done.

As we think of the millions again, tonight, some of them lying, as we saw in the newspaper recently, lying with their bones breaching, haven’t got the strength to stand up in areas of Africa and other areas, Lord, where there is total dissolution of their lifestyle, and other areas where there’s prosperity, yet they’re without God and without hope. Father, again, save us from being earthly minded. Let the things of earth grow strangely dim; they look strangely grim when we get into eternity. We’ll look back and see how often the devil fooled us and how often our own flesh fooled us and how often we were unwilling and undeserving and we gave up when we should have gone on. Change our thinking tonight. Change our desires. Change our aspirations. Make us captives. There’s an old saying, said in England years ago,

Make me a captive, Lord,
and then I shall be free.
Force me to render up my sword,
and I shall conqueror be.
I sink in life’s alarms
when by myself I stand;
imprison me within thine arms,
and strong shall be my hand.

Oh God, we bless you that you’re more radical than we could ever dream of. I think, Lord, that when we get to eternity, some of us will have lived many years, but, if you were to carry us all up tonight and sweep us all up into eternity, we’re only in spiritual water up to our ankles, not to our knees, not to our loins. We’re still paddling at the edge of the oceans of the possibilities of grace. Put a holy dissatisfaction in us tonight, and then holy desires.  Our supreme desire is that from this meeting Jesus shall see the travail of his soul and be satisfied. We give you praise in His name.

VIDEO by SermonIndex.net

Este Bine cu Sufletul Meu – istoria furtunoasa din spatele acestui puternic imn crestin

Click to READ THIS ARTICLE in the ENGLISH LANGUAGE here – The story behind the tempestuous song: It is well with my soul

Photo wikipedia

Horatio G. Spafford. (Traducere Agnus Dei)

La sfarsitul anilor 1860 viata a fost buna pentru Horatio G. Spafford si sotia lui Anna. Ei locuiau intr-o suburbie din partea de nord a orasului Chicago, impreuna cu cei cinci copii ai lor: Annie, Maggie, Bessie, Tanetta si Horatio Jr. El era un avocat proeminet in orasul Chicago. Usa casei lor era totdeauna deschisa pentru activisti si era locul unde se intalneau in timpul miscarilor de reforma din acea vreme. El era foarte activ in miscarea abolitionista. Spafford a fost un crestin dedicat si servea ca diacon la o biserica  Presbiteriana. Lideri evanghelisti printre care si Dwight L. Moody, au fost adesea musafirii lor.

Pana atunci, Horatio si Anna Spafford traiau o viata ca-n povesti. Totul mergea in favoarea lor. Totusi, in 1890, credinta lor a incercata de tragedie. Baiatul lor de patru ani, Horatio Jr., a murit de scarlatina. Ei au fost foarte devastati. In Octombrie 1871 cand a izbucnit Marele Foc din Chicago, Horatio a fost din nou foarte greu incercat. Cu cateva luni inainte de izbucnirea Marelui Foc din Chicago, Spafford fiind un om instarit, si-a investit aproape toata averea in case imobiliare de pe malul Lacului Michigan. Nu numai ca focul a distrus cea mai mare parte a orasului Chicxago, dar si aproape toate proprietatile ia care au investit sotii Sparrow au fost distruse. 250 de oameni au murit in Marele Foc din Chicago si 90 000 au ramas fara case.

Sotii Spafford insa nu au cazut in disper. Casa in care locuiau nu a fost distrusa, si isi avea familia. Dumnezeu a fost bun. Cu toate ca sursele financiare le-au fost in mare parte epuizate, Anna si Horatio au folosit resursele pe care le mai aveau ca sa hraneasca pe cei flamanzi, sa ajute pe cei fara adapost, sa ingrijeasca pe cei bolnavi si raniti si sa mangaie pe vecinii care erau loviti de durere. Marele Foc din Chicago a fost  o mare tragedie americana; Sotii Spafford au folosit-o ca sa arate dragostea lui Christos celora in nevoi.

In anul 1873 sanatatea lui Anna Spaford a inceput sa se inrautateasca si cu speranta de a  pune la o parte pierderea tragica a copilului lor si focul, si ca sa aduca un beneficiu sanatatii Annei, ei si-au  pus in plan o calatorie in Europa. Ei aveau de gand sa se urce la bordul unui vapor cu abur numit Ville du Havre, spre Europa, impreuna cu cele patru fiice ale lor. Spafford nu numai ca a vrut sa viziteze Europa, dar el a vrut totodata sa-l asiste pe Evanghelistul Dwight L. Moody si pe Ira  D. Sankey, in evanghelizarea de trezire spirituala pe care o efectuau in Anglia.

photo credit blog.praisesong.net

Ei si-au planificat sa plece in calatoria lor spre Europa in luna noiembrie. Asa cum uneori se intampla, Dumnezeu a avut alte planuri pentru Horatio G. Spafford. In ziua cand ei trebuiau sa navigheze inspre Europa, Spafford a avut o afacere de urgenta si nu a putut placa. Nevrand sa-si dezamageasca sotia Anna si pe cele patru fiice ale sale, el le-a trimis pe acest vapor, si el si-a pus in plan sa mearga cu un alt vapor cateva zile mai tarziu. Impreuna cu Anna Spafford a fost si gurvernanta ei, frantuzoaica Emma Lorriaux, mai multi prieteni si lucratori evanghelici.

In data de 22 noiembrie 1873, vaporul cu abur Ville du Havre a fost lovit de un vas britanic din fier, cu numele de Lockhearn. Vaporul cu abur Ville du Havre, la bordul caruia era Anna Spafford impreuna cu cele trei fete a ei, s-a scufundat in 12 minute in mijlocul Atlanticului. Numai 81 din cei 307 de pasageri si membri ai echipajului au supavietuit acest naufragiu tragic.

Telegrama prin care Ana la informat pe sotul ei ca e singura care a supravietuit naufragiul – Photo credit www.ideafountain.ca

Cu toate ca si vasul Lockhearn a fost in pericol de scufundare Anna Spafford care a cazut inconstienta, a fost ridicata dintre ramasitele care pluteau de echipajul de pe vasul Lockhearn. Un vas american de transport de marfuri cu numele de Trimountain, a ajuns la timp ca sa salveze pe cei ce-au spravietuit acest naufragiu. Annba a fost luata si dusa la Cardiff, Tara Galilor, de unde a trimis un telegraf sotului ei Horatio. Mesajul Annei a fost scurt si sfasietor: “Singura salvata. Ce sa fac…” Fiicele lui Anna si Horatio s-au inecat. Imediat dupa ce  a primit telegrama de la Anna, Horatio a plecat degraba sa-si duca sotia acasa. Navigand peste Oceanul Atlantic, capitanul vaporului la chemat pe Horatio pe punte. El l-a informat pe Horatio ca: “Sa facut o investigatie amanuntita si cred ca acum trecem peste locul in care Ville du Havre a fost naufragiat. Apa are 3 mile adancime.” In acea noapte, singur in cabina sa, Horatio G, Spafford a scris cuvintele acestui imn faimos al sau “Este Bine cu Sufletul Meu”.  Credinta lui Horatio in Dumnezeu niciodata nu s-a clatinat.

Dupa reunirea in Europa, Horatio impreuna cu sotia sa Anna s-au reantors in Chicago pentru a-si incepe viata din nou. Dumnezeu i-a binecuvantat cu trei copii. Au avut un fiu in anul 1876, pe care l-au numit din nou “Horatio”. L-au numit asa nu pentru tatal sau ci pentru fiul pe care l-au pierdut. In anul 1878, s-a nascut fiica lor Bertha. Tragic, cand micutul Horatio  a implinit varsta de 4 ani, la fel ca si fratele sau, a murit de scarlatina. In anul 1880 Anna si Horatio au mai avut o fiica pe care au numit-o Grace. Dupa pierderea micutului Horatio ei s-au hotarat sa paraseasca casa lor din America si sa se stabileasca in Ierusalim. Asa ca in septembrie 1881 familia Spafford impreuna cu cativa prieteni de-ai lor au parasit America pentru Israel.

Cantarea si o mica naratiune de John Piper la mijlocul video-ului

Cantarea, cu slideshow de poze despre familia Spafford

 

Susanna Wesley – Fereşte-mă de rugăciuni nechibzuite şi pripite

photo credit

“Fă-mă în stare, Doamne, să îmi adun Şi să îmi ordonez gândurile înainte să mă apropiu de Tine în rugăciune. Tu eşti prea măreţ pentru a putea fi luat în râs, prea înţelept pentru a fi tras pe sfoară de o închinare batjocoritoare şi deteşti o jertfă nesinceră. Ajută-mă să păstrez mereu vie amintirea desăvârşirii Tale, ca un nepreţuit sprijin împotriva purtărilor formaliste şi reci. Fereşte-mă de rugăciuni nechibzuite şi pripite şi de momente în care să mă refugiez în propriile preocupări sau plăceri, ca şi când niciodată n-aş fi cunoscut rugăciunea.” (Susanna Wesley, mama lui John & Charles Wesley)

via Tim Dubhy

(Nota editoriala – Susanna Wesley a fost al 25 -lea copil la parintii ei si ea insusi a nascut 19 copii, dintre care doar 10 au supravietuit, doi dintre ei fiind fondatorii Metodismului si copozitori de imnuri – John si Charles Wesley.)

A Film Documentary on Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Credit vimeo.com

Pentru traducere automata, fa click aici – Romanian

We have received this email from the Martyn Lloyd-Jones Trust, bearing some great news  and describing the new film that is in the works:

A Christian filmmaker called Matthew Robinson is making a documentary on Martyn Lloyd-Jones entitled “Logic on Fire”. The website for the film is http://www.logiconfire.org. News of the film was announced at this week’s “Together for the Gospel” gathering in Kentucky, right before a panel on the influence of Martyn Lloyd-Jones on the evangelical community.

Matt and his team have already started filming interviews with Christian leaders such as Iain Murray (who wrote the authorized two volume biography on Dr. Lloyd-Jones), and will in Britain later this month interviewing members of the Lloyd-Jones family and visiting key locations in the life of Dr. Lloyd-Jones in England and Wales. The film is due for release in 2015.

We also wanted to let you know that while we are very  excited about this project, and have greatly appreciated the care that Matt has taken to make sure that Dr. Lloyd-Jones’s descendants and the Trust are comfortable with his approach, this is an independent venture. The MLJ Trust is not funding the film and will not be receiving any proceeds from it. Our mission is to make the 1,600 audio sermons of Dr. Lloyd-Jones available for anyone who wants them at no cost, and that is where all our efforts and resources are focused. Our hope is that interest in the film will lead to interest in the Gospel message contained in all of Dr. Lloyd-Jones’s sermons.

If you feel that you might like to support our work, you can make a donation by clicking on the following link: MLJ Donate. The MLJ Trust is an all volunteer organization with no staff or office, and is a registered 501 (c) 3 charity.

Every blessing to you,

Jonathan Catherwood
MLJ Trust

Follow us on Twitter @TheMLJTrust

You can listen to Martyn Lloyd-Jones sermons at -

http://www.mljtrust.org/sermons

Martyn Lloyd-Jones Panel at the 2014 Together for The Gospel (Mark Dever, John MacArthur, Iain Murray and Jonathan Catherwood)

Pentru traducere automata, fa click aici – Romanian

Credit Wikipedia

VIDEO by MLJTrust – Mark Dever (moderator) hosts a panel that includes Iain Murray (biographer of Martyn Lloyd-Jones and Co-Founder of Banner of Truth), John MacArthur (Pastor-Teacher of Grace Community Church), and Jonathan Catherwood, President of the MLJ Trust, and one of Dr. Lloyd-Jones’s six grandchildren.

I have taken down notes from the first 25 minutes of the panel discussion. There are about another 20 minutes of great conversation on Dr. Lloyd-Jones in the video below.

John MacArthur on Martyn Lloyd-Jones’ influence:

I did not know him, but at the kind invitation of the Lloyd-Jones Trust, Grace To You partnered with you (speaking to Jonathan Catherwood, President of the MLJ Trust, and one of Dr. Lloyd-Jones’s six grandchildren) all that time, and you didn’t know it at the time, what the Doctor meant to me. There are probably two things I would say: Nr. 1 is reading the 2 volume biography and finding out what a kindred spirit he was to me. And I could break that down into categories-

1) He had the same view of preaching that I’ve had, and I needed to find a hero that I could follow. And that was that exposition had to be relentlessly doctrinal. And you (Iain Murrary- Martyn Lloyd-Jones biographer) have a statement that Lloyd-Jones, during his time as an expositor with a doctrinal emphasis was alone in the UK. Well, that would have been true here, but I was convinced that the whole point of Bible exposition was so that the doctrine would emerge. And all preaching had to be doctrinal. That was a huge influence to me

2) Unscheduled exposition  influenced me – that he didn’t know how many sermons there would be in Ephesians 1, until he finished. And then, there were 38. He didn’t know. He took it as it came. That was a model for me to  preach Sunday by Sunday, by Sunday, and see what you get when you finished. Lloyd-Jones said, “The failure of preaching is not because preachers don’t know enough about man and his problems. The failure is they don’t know enough about the Word and the Holy Spirit.

3) Consecutive exposition -

4) Content – He was focused on the sovereignty of God and the glory of God in all of his preaching.

5) Another thing his ministry did for me was to show me the path of maintaining biblical authority  in epic confrontations. And that really came at the fore, not only in the Anglican confrontation, but it was exacerbated in the Billy Graham years form 1954 to 1966. And he would not equivocate on biblical authority. He would not sit on a platform with men who denied biblical authority. He wouldn’t be a part of cooperative evangelism. In fact, you  [Iain Murrau] write about the fact that he, I think it was sometime in 1966, for that Berlin event, when the [Billy] Graham organization asked him to be the chair of that event and he said, “I’ll do it on 2 grounds: 1- you remove all people from prominent positions, who are not faithful to the authority of Scripture and 2- you take out the invitation with the decisionism.” And there was no deal.

Credit amazon.com

6) One other immense influence on me was  his book on the Sermon on the Mount.  He, rather effectively, took shots at the old traditional dispensationalism in which I was raised.  When I started into the ministry, I had been taught that the Sermon on the Mount belonged in the millennium, and had nothing to do with the church age, which I didn’t understand or believe. And systematically, page by page by page, the Lord used Lloyd-Jones to dismantle that notion. And by the time I got done preaching through chapters 5-7, people on the dispensational side thought I’d abandoned the faith. I hadn’t, but I think I had come to a correct understanding of that greatest of New Testament sermons.

When as a medical doctor he was invited to speak to the Welsh people, he went in and decried the degraded state of Welsh preachingHe told them that the decline of the country was from the decline of the church and the decline of the church was related to the decline in preaching.  Iain Murray: Yes, it was the tradition of preaching that had become traditional and professional. And it wasn’t doctrinal, and people were easily made church members. MacArthur: When he said that, at the time, he was still a layman. Iain Murray: He spoke in South Wales and the newspapers caught up on what he was saying and they thought this was very arrogant, I suppose.

Iain Murray:

on hearing Lloyd-Jones preach a couple hundred times at Westminster: With all good preaching, if it is good preaching, in the biblical sense , you very quickly forget the man who is preaching. And that’s what happened with Lloyd Jones. God was speaking to you, and I think that is the mark of real preaching. you forget about the man himself. The great deficiency that we suffer from is that way back in the 1950’s nobody thought of gatherings like this, and the result is, as far as I know, we don’t have a single recording of a full service at Westminster Chapel. And that is a real loss, because the service led to the sermon. And they were united; and he led the whole service, and you didn’t notice him doing it. I believe it was the work of the Holy Spirit, as with Spurgeon. People didn’t say, when he was preaching, “Why doesn’t he let other people do things?” When the Holy Spirit is speaking, the man himself is in the background. But, that is a real loss that we don’t have a recording of a full service.

[MacArthur asks: So, tell us what a typical Sunday would be like.] Murray: He would come quietly into the pulpit, bow his head for a moment at the desk, then, the doxology would be sung without intimation. And then he would lead in a brief prayer. And then, the first hymn, which he would announce  and it would be a hymn leading into worship, and perhaps, especially for the Lord’s Day. And then the evening service would always include one madrigal song, there would be full sermons, the long prayer, the pastoral prayer, and brief notices by the church secretary, who had been at princeton since 1906, and in the 1950’s he was still attired as if at Princeton 1906. Then a hymn before the sermon and then the sermon. But by the time the sermon came, generally, you were gripped. There’s no question of the preacher having to get the attention of the people, and tell them a little story to interest them.

John MacArthur on Lloyd-Jones, the preacher:

He’s always been so compelling to me. Just one little illustration of that is he believed in law work, evangelism. You had to preach the law, confront sin. He not only believed you needed to tell the sinner he was a sinner, but you needed to prove it to him. And so, there was all of this argument that was going on. This logical argument. He was pinning the sinner down, and that’s what you get with Lloyd-Jones when you listen to him preach. You’re swept up and you can’t see the skeleton. This thing is fleshed out.

Iain Murray: Thank you for saying that, John. That’s so important.

He meant to disturb people. People complained, “This man talks to us as if we’re sinners.” And when Lloyd-Jones heard that, he was encouraged. And sometimes, people left Westminster Chapel, vowing to never come here again, but they did. They did come again. So, he did speak very plainly to people. And again, it was the sense that it wasn’t simply Lloyd-Jones speaking to them, there was something more happening, conviction.

John MacArthur:

That’s true even with things he said to Christians, in his series on Romans 11- the Benediction. You’re so overwhelmed with the flow of thought and the grasp that he has and the intensity, the energy and the strength of his argument, his unpacking, that you really are… the Lord is speaking through this instrument.

Lloyd-Jones books recommended (during the panel discussion):

  • Sermon on the Mount
  • Knowing the Times
  • The Plight of Man and the Power of God (addresses he gave in Edinburgh in 1939-1940)
  • Authority (Authority of Scripture, authority of God)

Audio sermons recommended

  • Book of Romans – the very first sermon “A Man Called Paul”. A full throated defense of the apostle Paul, and his whole approach to king expositional series
  • Ephesians 2 – a sermon called “But God” having described the problem with man and the state of sin  and the utter hopelessness that we find ourselves in. (A very powerful sermon).

The following is a 40 minute panel discussion at last month’s Together for The Gospel conference in Kentucky on the life and ministry of Martyn Lloyd-Jones.

Credit amazon.com

The discussion might be particularly interesting to those who are relatively new to the Lloyd-Jones sermons, as it provides some context for his ministry, and a perspective on his ministry and life by those who either knew him or are church leaders today.

The panel was chaired by Mark Dever, Senior Pastor at Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington DC, and it panelists were Iain Murray, who was once an assistant to Dr. Lloyd-Jones and wrote the definitive two-volume biography on his life; John MacArthur, Pastor-Teacher at Grace Community Church in California, and yours truly, participating as one of Dr. Lloyd-Jones’s six grandchildren, and representing the MLJ Trust.

Iain Murray – Understanding Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Pentru traducere automata, fa click aici – Romanian

Credit amazon.com

Iain Murray speaks about Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones at Master’s Seminary-

Some Martyn-Lloyd-Jones quotes from Iain Murray (his biographer):

  • “To know God is life eternal. Our work is important, our work is a privilege, but brethren, you should never make it the greatest thing. I did not live for preaching.”
  • “Preaching is theology coming through a man that is on fire.”
  • Martyn Lloyd-Jones believed that the Bible contains a message about God, and that message should be foundational to all our preaching.

Martyn Lloyd-Jones, born in 1899, the end of that century. When he was 14, his father’s business got into difficulties and his father went up to London to look for work. Martyn Lloyd-Jones and his family went with him and became a school boy in London. At the age of 16, he had done so well in school that he entered into St. Bartholomew’s medical college at one of the great teaching hospitals  of the world at that date, and it still is. He graduated in medicine at 21, caught the attention of Sir Thomas Horter, who was the physician to the King. Horter asked him to become his assistant, so the next 5 years, Lloyd-Jones was mixing with the men at the very top of the medical profession. He seemed on a ladder to guaranteed success. And then, to everyone’s astonishment, in 1926, he announced that he was leaving his post and he was going to a mission hall in South Wales to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He married that same month, in January 1927, when he began his ministry in South Wales. He was there for 10 years. Then, in 1938, Campbell Morgan invited him to Westminster Chapel in the heart of London. He was there for 30 years. He ended his ministry in February 1969. God had spared him some 12 years, important years because prior to that date, Lloyd-Jones had given very little attention to books. I think he never wrote a book in his life, but thankfully, sermons have been recorded, and in those next 12 years, many books were taken down, somewhat edited and brought out to the world. There were exceptions. His sermon on the mount was published earlier, in 1959-60, and to my mind, that’s a starting point. If you haven’t read Lloyd-Jones ‘Sermon on the Mount’, make that a starting point. So, that’s the outline of his life. He died March 1st, 1981.

I want to talk about understanding Lloyd-Jones. After being a preacher for more than 50 years, he could preach no more when his health was gone, close to the end. One day, a visitor came to see him, and to encourage him. They said to him, “It must be a disappointment that you are no longer able to preach. “Not at all,” he said. “I did not live for preaching.” Now, that statement is a key to understanding Lloyd-Jones, “I did not live for preaching.” What did he live for? Well, he believed that every Christian should live for something much greater than preaching or any work. He said, “A life spent in communion with God is the only life worth living.” To reconcile to God, to live in His presence,  is a far greater privilege than any work we do for Him. And he would often quote to younger men, the words of our Lord, when the disciples came back rejoicing that, indeed, the spirits are made subject to them, and our Lord told them, “In this rejoice not, but rather that your names are written in the heaven.” “To know God is life eternal. Our work is important, our work is a privilege, but brethren, you should never make it the greatest thing. I did not live for preaching.” (MLJ)

The thing with my address, really, this morning, is that to understand Lloyd-Jones, you have to start with God. And if you start with God, you have to start with theology. Theology means talking about God. There’s a quotation of Lloyd-Jones that’s often repeated. He says, “Preaching is theology coming through a man who is on fire.: But, when that is expounded, that  statement, the emphasis is usually on the man and the fire. But that’s not where Lloyd-Jones had the emphasis. It’s theology, coming through a man that is on fire.

There are books about Lloyd-Jones and there’s a fair sized one published recently, called ‘Engaging with Martyn Lloyd-Jones’. And my great objection to it is that theology is almost without existence in the book. That’s an exaggeration, but, there’s no concentration on it. At one point, one of the writers gives a warning that Lloyd-Jones read history from a firm calvinistic basis. That’s meant to be  a warning. He doesn’t tell you whether he thinks calvinism is true or false. The question is: What was his theology? Why was it so important to him? And it was vital to him, because he believed as we ought to believe that the message is far more important than the messenger. Details about Lloyd-Jones’s life and how he prepared sermons is all very interesting. But, actually, what he believed and what his theology was, is far more important. It’s really the key to understanding the man.

When he was a medical student, he learned that elementary principle that when a doctor, first sighting a patient, has to look at not the particular details that the patient may mention, but look at the whole person, look at the whole picture. Start with that and the same with his life and the life of other Christians; look at the big picture. And with Lloyd-Jones, the big picture is what he believed about God.

He believed that the Bible contains a message about God, and that message should be foundational to all our preaching. And the message is that God, for His own glory, and for the salvation of sinners has purposed a salvation for a great multitude. He has planned it, He has determined it a success. It’s about the giving of eternal life. The God who cannot lie promised before the world began. That’s the starting point. Let me give you this quotation from Lloyd-Jones: “The sovereignty of God and God’s glory is where we must start and everything else issues from here. If it were not for Gods grace, there would be no hope for the world. Man is a fallen creature with his mind in a state of enmity toward God. He is totally unable to save himself and to reunite himself with God. Everyone would be lost if God had not elected some for salvation, and that unconditionally. It is only through Christ’s death that it is possible for these people to saved. And they would not see or accept that salvation, if God through His irresistible grace, the Holy Spirit had not opened their eyes and persuaded them, not force them, to accept the offer. Even after that, it is God who sustains them, and keeps them from falling. The church is a connection of God’s elect.

So, my argument is, if people bypass Lloyd-Jones’s theology and just begin to talk about his life, and this and that, they’re missing the big thing. This is the key. Now, it’s quite possible someone could object to this statement and say, “Well, I’ve read Lloyd-Jones and I don’t find him talking about calvinism; I don’t understand how you can say it’s a key to his thinking and his theology. And the mistake there is that Lloyd-Jones didn’t believe in using labels. And he wasn’t really happy with people that were always parading what their label was. It is true, he didn’t often use the word calvinistic. But, what those truths represent were at the very core of his life and his heart. Not long before his death, he said, “Finally, nothing matters, but the fact that we are in God’s hands. We and our works are nothing. It is His choosing us, before the foundation of the world that matters. And He will never leave us, nor forsake us.” This was the greatest thing for him.

How did he come to that theology? He didn’t come to it from his denomination, surprisingly perhaps, because he came from a Welsh Presbyterian Church, which is also called the Welsh Calvinistic Methodist Church. It was once soundly calvinistic. But, by the time of his youth, like other denominations in Britain, had drifted a long way from it. When Lloyd-Jones was 14 years old, a friend asked him to write in his autograph book, and he wrote these words, a verse: “For we are all like swimmers in the sea, poised on the top of a huge wave of fate, which hangs uncertain as to which side fall, and whether it will heave us up to land, or whether it will roll us out to sea, we know not.” That’s what he wrote. The words of the poet Browning. He was 23 before that belief was turned upside down. In the midst of his medical work, rubbing shoulders with these great and mighty men. St. Bartholomew’s hospital was a sort of center of rationalism, evolution. Science was king, almost worshipped, and this was the atmosphere in which he was living. But, by the time he became about 23, he confronted a problem that science couldn’t begin to answer. And that is the problem of “What do you do with guilt and selfishness, and greed, pride, envy, lust?” He could see these things in colleagues, and then, more and more, in himself. And, God convicted him of sin. At the age of 24 he became a real Christian. He loved medicine. But the thought that prevailed with him, finally, was: What’s the use of healing people’s bodies, if their whole eternity is going to be one of misery and wretchedness. He knew so little of Gospel preaching that was going on, and it was born in his heart that God was calling him to the Gospel ministry. It was a big struggle. He lost a lot of weight, before he made up his mind that God was calling him to preach. He then began to preach in South Wales, in  1927. (Transcript from the first 12:50 minutes, with 32 minutes remaining of the video)

Master’s Seminary. VIDEO by Joshua Crooch

It is well with my soul – the tempestuous story behind the powerful hymn

Photo credit Wikipedia

STORY from the Christian Post

If you have ever wondered what sequence of events inspired the lyrics of the timeless Christian hymn “It is Well” by writer Horatio Spafford, theologian John Piper unveils the tempestuous story behind it during a hauntingly beautiful rendition of the song on Jimmy Needham’s new album “The Hymn Sessions.”

In a video performance of the song posted on Vimeo, Piper reveals the devastating tragedy that inspired the powerful song in the late-1800s.

“In 1871 the great Chicago fire virtually ruined Horatio Spafford. It was almost the biggest trial of his life but not the biggest,” began Piper at the 3-minute mark in the video.

“Two years later, 1873, he puts his wife and his four daughters on a ship to sail for England and the ship runs into another ship and sinks very quickly, and all four girls died and his wife barely escapes. He hears about the accident and he receives a telegram from his wife: ‘Saved. Alone,'” he noted.

“He (Spafford) gets on a ship and heads to be with his grieving wife and as he passes over the part of the ocean where the girls went down and were at the bottom, he wrote, ‘when peace like a river attendeth my way or sorrows like sea billows roll,'” continued Piper.

He then explained why Spafford was able to say it was still well with his soul even after enduring such a tragedy.

“And you can hear the point ‘where sorrows like sea billows roll whatever my lot you have taught me to say it is well, it is well with my soul.’ So the question is how could it be well?” asked Piper.

“He knew Christ loved him. He saw it in the cross. And when he gets to the end, he has Christ coming back with a great triumph not to judge him but to save him and to raise his daughters from the dead so ‘it is well with my soul,'” said Piper.

“No song quite gets it in terms of its cadence, its tune and especially its words. It doesn’t get any better than sorrowful yet always rejoicing through ‘it is well, it is well’ with my soul,” he ended.

John Piper starts to narrate at the 3:00 minute mark-

Horatio Spafford

via Wikipedia

Horatio Gates Spafford (October 20, 1828, Troy, New York – October 16, 1888, Jerusalem) was a prominent Americanlawyer, best known for penning the Christian hymn It Is Well With My Soul, following a family tragedy in which four of his daughters died. 

Son of Gazetteer author Horatio Gates Spafford and Elizabeth Clark Hewitt Spafford, he married Anna Larsen of Stavanger, Norway on September 5, 1861, in Chicago. The Spaffords were well known in 1860s Chicago. He was a prominent lawyer, a senior partner in a large and thriving law firm.He and his wife were also prominent supporters and close friends of evangelist Dwight L. Moody. A series of family tragedies began in 1870 when their only son died from scarlet fever at the age of four.

Spafford invested in real estate north of an expanding Chicago in the spring of 1871. When the Great Fire of Chicago reduced the city to ashes in October of that same year, it also destroyed most of Spafford’s sizable investment.

Photo credit blog.praisesong.net

The wreck of the Ville Du Havre

Two years later, in 1873, Spafford decided his family should take a holiday somewhere in Europe, and chose England knowing that his friend D. L. Moody would be preaching there in the fall. He was delayed because of business, so he sent his family ahead: his wife and their four children, daughters eleven-year-old Anna “Annie”, nine-year-old Margaret Lee, five-year-old Elizabeth “Bessie”, and two-year-old Tanetta.

On November 22, 1873, while crossing the Atlantic on the steamship Ville du Havre, their ship was struck by an iron sailing vessel and 226 people lost their lives, including all four of Spafford’s daughters. Anna Spafford survived the tragedy. Upon arriving in England, she sent a telegram to Spafford beginning “Saved alone.”[6] Spafford then sailed to England, going over the location of his daughters’ deaths. According to Bertha Spafford Vester, a daughter born after the tragedy, Spafford wrote “It Is Well with My Soul” on this journey.

A slideshow of Stafford’s life and trials set to his song

It Is Well with My Soul lyrics

The original manuscript has only four verses, but Spafford’s daughter states how later another verse (the fourth in order below) was added and the last line of the original was slightly modified. The music, written by Philip Bliss, was named after the ship on which Spafford’s daughters died, Ville du Havre.

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.

(Refrain:) It is well (it is well),
with my soul (with my soul),
It is well, it is well with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.
(Refrain)

My sin, oh the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to His cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!
(Refrain)

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pain shall be mine, for in death as in life
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.
(Refrain)

And Lord haste the day, when the faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.
(Refrain)

Later years

Following the sinking of the Ville du Havre, Anna gave birth to three more children. On February 11, 1880, their son, Horatio Goertner Spafford, died at the age of four, of scarlet fever. Their daughters were Bertha Hedges Spafford (born March 24, 1878) and Grace Spafford (born January 18, 1881). Their Presbyterian church regarded their tragedy as divine punishment. In response, the Spaffords formed their own Messianic sect, dubbed “the Overcomers” by American press. In August 1881, the Spaffords set out for Jerusalem as a party of thirteen adults and three children and set up the American Colony. Colony members, later joined by Swedish Christians, engaged in philanthropic work amongst the people of Jerusalem regardless of their religious affiliation and withoutproselytizing motives—thereby gaining the trust of the local Muslim, Jewish, and Christian communities. During and immediately after World War I, the American Colony played a critical role in supporting these communities through the great suffering and deprivations of the eastern front by running soup kitchens, hospitals,orphanages and other charitable ventures.

Four days shy of his 60th birthday, Spafford died on October 16, 1888, of malaria, and was buried in Mount Zion Cemetery, Jerusalem.

The telegram Stafford’s wife, Ana, sent to inform him of the death by drowning of their 4 daughters on a ship bound for England. Photo credit www.ideafountain.ca

Here is a more detailed biography, from Yahoo voices:

Horatio G. Spafford:
The Story Behind the Hymn “It is Well with My Soul”

In the late 1860s life was good for Horatio G. Spafford and his wife Anna. They were living in a north side suburb of Chicago with their five children, Annie, Maggie, Bessie, Tanetta and Horatio, Jr. He had a successful law practice in Chicago. The doors of the Spaffords’ home were always open as a place for activists to meet during the reform movements of the time. Horatio G. Spafford was quite active in the abolitionist movement. Frances E. Willard, president of the National Women’s Christian Temperance Union as well as evangelical leaders like Dwight L. Moody were often guests in their home. Spafford was a Presbyterian church elder and a dedicated Christian.

Until now Horatio and Anna Spafford had led a charmed life. They had everything going their way. However, in 1870 their faith was tested by tragedy. Their four year old son, Horatio, Jr., died of scarlet fever. The Spaffords were devastated. In October of 1871 when the Great Chicago Fire broke out Horatio faced another test of his faith. A few months before the Great Chicago Fire, Spafford being a wealthy man, had invested much of his wealth in real estate by the shore of Lake Michigan. Not only did the Great Chicago Fire destroy most of Chicago but most of Spafford’s holdings were destroyed. 250 people died in the Great Chicago Fire and 90,000 were left homeless.

The Spaffords did not despair. Their home had been spared and they had their family. God had been good. Even though their finances were mostly depleted, Anna and Horatio used what resources they had left to feed the hungry, help the homeless, care for the sick and injured and comfort their grief stricken neighbors. The Great Chicago Fire was a great American tragedy; the Spaffords used it to show the love of the Christ to those in need.

In 1873 Anna Spafford’s health was failing and hoping to put behind the tragic loss of their son and the fire and to benefit Anna’s health, the Spaffords planned a trip to Europe. They would sail on the French steamer Ville du Havre to Europe with their four daughters. Spafford not only wanted to visit Europe but he wanted to assist Evangelists Dwight L. Moody and Ira D. Sankey in a revival they were conducting in England.

Moody and Sankey had met at a convention of the Young Men’s Christian Association in Indianapolis in 1870. After hearing Sankey sing, Moody at once invited him to come to Chicago and assist him in his evangelist work there. Ira D. Sankey considered Moody’s invitation and after much thought and prayer, decided to accept. Six months later he joined Moody in Chicago.

Dwight L. Moody and Ira Sankey were in the middle of a revival meeting when the Great Chicago Fire broke out in 1871. Moody and Sankey barely escaped Chicago with their lives. It is said that Sankey was on a row boat a long distance out in Lake Michigan where he watched as Chicago burned. With most of Chicago having been destroyed, Moody and Sankey decided to accept an invitation to visit England. In 1873 Moody and Sankey started a work in England. Moody and Sankey made such a profound impression in England their names became household words all over Europe.

The Spaffords planed to leave in November on their voyage to Europe. As sometimes happens, God had other plans for Horatio G. Spafford. The day they were to sail for Europe Spafford had a business emergency and could not leave. Not wanting to disappoint his wife Anna and their daughters he sent them on ahead and planned to follow on another ship in a few days. Accompanying Anna Spafford were her French governess, Emma Lorriaux, several friends and several ministers.

On November 22, 1873 the steamer Ville du Havre was struck by a British iron sailing ship, the Lockhearn. The steamer Ville du Havre, with Anna Spafford and her daughters aboard, sank within twelve minutes in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Only 81 of the 307 passengers and crew members survived this tragic shipwreck.

Even though the Lockhearn was in danger of sinking the unconscious Anna Spafford was picked up from floating debris by the crew of the Lockhearn. An American cargo sailing vessel, the Trimountain, arrived in time to save the survivors of the Ville du Havre and the Lockhearn. Anna Spafford was taken to Cardiff, Wales where she telegraphed her husband Horatio. Anna’s cable was brief and heartbreaking, “Saved alone. What shall I do…” Horatio and Anna’s four daughters had drowned. As soon as he received Anna’s telegram, Horatio left Chicago without delay to bring his wife home. Sailing across the Atlantic Ocean the captain of the ship called Horatio to the bridge. He informed Horatio that “A careful reckoning has been made and I believe we are now passing the place where the Ville du Havre was wrecked. The water is three miles deep.” That night, alone in his cabin Horatio G. Spafford penned the words to his famous hymn, “It Is Well With My Soul.” Horatio’s faith in God never faltered. He later wrote Anna’s half-sister, “On Thursday last we passed over the spot where she went down, in mid-ocean, the waters three miles deep. But I do not think of our dear ones there. They are safe, folded, the dear lambs.”

The following account is taken from the Christian History Institute.

“Anna Spafford later spoke of being sucked violently downward. Baby Tanetta was torn from her arms by a collision with some heavy debris, with a blow so violent that Anna’s arm was severely bruised. She flailed at the water trying to catch her baby. Anna caught Tanetta’s gown for just a moment before another smashing blow tore the little girl out of her arms forever. Reaching out again, all she could find was a man’s leg in corduroy trousers. Anna, barely conscious, was then swirled about in a whirlpool before surfacing near the Loch Earn. She instinctively clung on to a small plank and the next thing she recalled was the splash of an oar as she lay at the bottom of a small boat. Bruised and sick, her long hair was matted with salt and her dressing gown shredded. But the pain in her body was nothing compared to the pain in her heart as she realized that her four daughters had been lost in the disaster. A young male passenger, afloat on a piece of wood, came upon Maggie and Annie, the two oldest Spafford children. At his direction, each girl grasped one of his side pockets as he tried to find a board large enough to support all three of them. After about 30 or 40 minutes in the water, he found a piece of wreckage and struggled to help the two young girls climb atop the board. But as he watched, their weary arms weakened, and he saw their eyes close. Their lifeless forms floated away from his own fatigue-paralyzed arms. No clues ever surfaced about the fate of little Bessie.”

After Anna was rescued, Pastor Nathaniel Weiss, one of the ministers traveling with Anna and Horatio’s group remembered hearing Anna say, “God gave me four daughters. Now they have been taken from me. Someday I will understand why.” Anna was utterly devastated. Many of the survivors watched Anna closely, fearing she may try to take her life. In her grief and despair, Anna heard a soft voice speaking to her, “You were saved for a purpose!” It was then Anna remembered something a friend had once said, “It’s easy to be grateful and good when you have so much, but take care that you are not a fair-weather friend to God.”

Following their reunion in Europe, Horatio and Anna returned to Chicago to begin their lives again. God blessed Anna and Horatio with three children. They had a son in 1876, again called “Horatio.” Not so much for his father but for their lost son. In 1878 their daughter Bertha was born. Tragically, when little Horatio reached the age of 4 just as his brother before him, he died from scarlet fever. In 1880 Anna and Horatio had another daughter they called Grace. After the loss of little Horatio, the Spaffords decided to leave their home in America and settle in Jerusalem. In September of 1881 the Spaffords and a few of their friends left America for Israel.

The group settled in the old part of Jerusalem and started a work which later became known as the “American Colony.” There they served the needy, helped the poor, cared for the sick and took in homeless children. Their only cause was to show those living about them the love of Jesus. Swedish novelist Selma Ottiliana Lovisa Lagerlõf wrote of this colony of Christians in her two volume Nobel Prize winning work “Jerusalem.”

A Christian historian wrote of Anna and Horatio: “Moved by a series of profound tragic losses, Chicago natives Anna and Horatio Spafford led a small American contingent in 1881 to Jerusalem to form a Christian utopian society known as the ‘American Colony.'”

Bertha Spafford Vester, wrote the following in her book “Our Jerusalem.”

“In Chicago, Father searched his life for explanation. Until now, it had flowed gently as a river. Spiritual peace and worldly security had sustained his early years, his family life and his home……. All around him people were asking the unvoiced question; ‘What guilt had brought this sweeping tragedy to Anna and Hoaratio Spafford?’…. Father became convinced that God was kind and that he would see his children again in heaven. This thought calmed his heart, but it was to bring Father into open conflict with what was then the Christian world…. To Father, this was a passing through the “valley of the shadow of death,” but his faith came through triumphant and strong. On the high seas, near the place where his children perished, he wrote the hymn that was to give comfort to so many:”

The Story of Horatio Spafford –
It is Well With My Soul

An open letter about Voice of the Martyrs, from Michael Wurmbrand, Richard Wurmbrand’s son

Pentru traducere automata, fa click aici – Romanian

Dear sisters and brethren in Christ:

mihaiThis sad letter you are reading comes from Michael Wurmbrand, the son of the late Rev. Richard Wurmbrand, who spent fourteen years in the communist prisons of Romania, author of the book  Tortured For Christ, a book of valiant Christian testimony under communist persecution that has been translated in over 85 languages. My parents died in 2000-2001 and I am now 74 years old.

Against my express request NOT TO DO SO, the mission Voice of the Martyrs of Bartlesville (VOM), Oklahoma, USA and its international affiliates, continue to use Richard Wurmbrand, Sabina Wurmbrand, my parents’ persona, pictures, writings and books, my persona also to obtain your donations!

Tom White, the past Voice of the Martyrs Chairman for more than 20-years, committed suicide in April, 2012, only two to three hours after an accusation of child sexual molestation (pedophilia) of a 10-years old girl was formally filed by her parents with the local police, and while the Bartlesville, OK. police were searching to arrest him. This terrible event made world news.  At the time of his committing suicide, Tom White had a $140,000+, plus perks, yearly salary and very substantial travel and expense accounts used in his extensive and frequent international travel year after year.  Since the suspected perpetrator was dead, the police closed any further investigation of the sexual molestation. The  police chief and the former mayor of the town of Bartlesville, OK. were personally serving on the Board of Directors of Voice of the Martyrs. A few other directors are related to each other or derive some form of income from the organization.

I asked in writing of the Voice of the Martyrs Board of Directors for an independent investigation, to be undertaken  from outside of VOM.   The investigation in the famous legal action in England of Jimmy Saville, the BBC children program head while alive, started with only 2 cases BUT there were more than 600 pedophilia complaints after Saville died.  In the last 4 years, the state of  Arizona, for instance, failed to investigate 6,000 cases of children molestation.  Being the son of Richard Wurmbrand, a person of my background and position could have more inside information, than  I can discuss publicly. I asked therefore for an independent investigation!

The main question in the letter I wrote to the entire Voice of the Martyrs Board of Directors was worded as follows: “In a Christian spirit of love and faith, if you want to continue using the names, persona and copyrights of my parents, I ask first that you do not try to accomplish this in an adversarial way through lawyers, etc. but rather in an amiable way by fulfilling only one request for the board to decide and approve:

Please allow and pay for an independent “blue ribbon” commission … to investigate within the next two months, back at least two  years, all Tom White’s travel points, contacts and especially financial expenditures to establish and put to rest any suspicions re. child molestation. …. Sorry, whether you like it or not, this unpleasant event that happened to VOM with its Chairman during twenty years cannot be dispensed with as just “a family affair” or an unfortunate sudden decision. If you do not intend to accept the above request, the other decision I ask you to take is not to use the name Wurmbrand any more….

Only 4 days after I addressed this letter to the board of directors I received a curt letter of termination of employment. No “sorry” and no “thank you” for my founding the organization or the many years of service! My letter now for more than a year, has not been answered!

I should be entitled to make such a request since:

  • Voice of the Martyrs published for years a specially dedicated children’s magazine. This was done by sharing mailing lists with organizations focusing on families and children;
  • My person, my life,  and our family Wurmbrand story was used  in this magazine;
  • Without my knowledge, without my permission, a very laudatory biography of mine was written, printed and distributed to tens of thousands of American children;
  • In order to obtain donations from the parents, the organization tried to gain credibility and goodwill with tens of  thousands of Christian children in home-schooling families.

Donors should be aware that:

  • Voice of the Martyrs (VOM) spent  $28 million dollars —  not on the mission field but to build its own headquarter thus in economic times difficult for us all, encouraging construction in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, USA, a town of only about 32,000. To my knowledge, the previous headquarters of VOM in the same town cost in the neighborhood of about $90,000!   To read more type in your internet browser:   http://michaelwurmbrand.com/vom-construction-costs.pdf   Thepresent chairman of VOM is a former mayor of Bartlesville, and was part of the city leadership.
  • This was done in secret, until the buildings were erected. Neither I nor  the donors were told of such grandiose projects.  It is hard to believe this could be done but correspondence I display on the web see link below,  should convince you. I worked with VOM from Los Angeles, California, USA and never was part of the VOM board of directors.   The donors only saw money spent for projects and they trusted that the word “projects” referred to missionary work, like helping widows of Christians killed in Nigeria!
  • A repeated offender 3rd degree felon, who as of 2013 is STILL UNDER A-10-YEARS CONVICTION SENTENCE AS AN EMBEZZLER was named  the Voice of the Martyrs Vice President. Tens of thousands of dollars out of your contributions for supposed missionary work were extended as a loan to him to pay back some of what he stole and escape parole supervision. To read more on this convicted felon whose sentence will expire after 10 years on 4/14/14, type in your internet browser:  http://docapp065p.doc.state.ok.us/servlet/page?_pageid=394&_dad=portal30&_schema=PORTAL30&doc_num=473029&offender_book_id=276347&imageindex=3

And:  http://www.amarillo.com/stories/041504/new_linquist.shtml

  • All of the above occurred while, at the same time… Without any reasons proffered, they sent a termination of employment letter to me, Richard Wurmbrand’s son, who founded the mission,  four days only after I asked for an independent investigation of the expenses and travels of the suicidal and suspected pedophile past chairman of VOM, USA.
  • Voice of the Martyrs had agreed reluctantly in 2001 to help about 100 believers who were imprisoned 5-10 years for their faith in communist prisons in Romania, currently destitute in their 80s and 90s,  with less than $1 (yes, one dollar) a month. As outrageous as it sounds, considering tens of millions of dollars solicited from you, it is documented. It  was raised  in the following year to the value of about 2 tanks of gas/month worth of help only because I wrote  feet of email messages and renounced a total of over $100,000 of my salary over four years (I accepted being paid only $500/month!) just so these Christian martyrs would be helped.  To read more on the “VOM claims of pretended lack of money” type in your internet browser:  http://michaelwurmbrand.com/VOM-claims-lack-of-money.pdf
  • A fundraiser for VOM was promised to be paid a percentage or cut of the funds he raised! We are far indeed from charitable actions through which one sacrifices for the interests of others.

After I brought all of these facts to light, I was asked also to keep quiet, not to rock the boat. Before being laid off I was offered substantial contractual financial incentives not to “badmouth” VOM. Some of the organizations endorsing Voice of the Martyrs have interrelated employees and interests. When I approached them, they were shy and sore afraid for their own interests  to insist my letter be answered. Some pathetic answers like: “Do not cast the first stone,” “king Solomon made mistakes ,” “we might also sin” or “promise to keep correspondence private only” displayed the hypocrisy to protect the flow of donations  rather than any interest in protecting possible children victims! Some answers were outright sarcastic, as if my requesting a proper  investigation regarding suspected pedophilia among “Christian missionaries” would be some joke.

In the past Voice of the Martyrs  had written a dedication about myself sent to tens of thousands stating: “To the Rev. Michael Wurmbrand, who has lived his life in a fishbowl among both friends and enemies, and has done so with dignity to the glory of God. We are grateful for the numerous personal interviews in which he shared his memories with patience and enthusiasm.”   As soon as I asked for this independent investigation, the VOM attitude of respect towards myself I enjoyed for years turned into one of incredible vindictiveness. Christians who were in the know could not believe how it was possible. The false answers given to those who inquired were that this is a personal (?!?) conflict with Michael Wurmbrand we try to solve with prayer and mediation! In reality, VOM employees were expressly forbidden to  havecontact with me, so as not to lose some income and employment positions from this possibly second largest employer in Bartlesville, OK.  Same employees had before vied to be photographed with me and get my autograph.

The worst vindictive act towards myself though, was the refusal on the part of VOM of my simple request to dump or allow myself even pay to withdraw immediately from the VOM circulation advertising, about 2,000 copies of Tortured For Christ, my father’s book, published by VOM with a preface by, and having right in the middle, a portrait of Tom White, the past chairman who had committed suicide after the police-filed accusation of suspected pedophilia.  I was answered IN WRITING (by the convicted felon-embezzler who had meantime become Vice President of VOM, see above)  that my request is morally wrong. I was written: “Tom White was VOM”, and according to VOM, I have no right to ask that my father’s name not be associated with this past chairman —  even if he committed suicide under a strong suspicion of pedophilia. VOM even claimed to know apparently better  than the parents of the victim, if there was or not substance to the police complaint. To spite me, the book showing Tom’s picture continued to be widely advertised and even offered for free for 6 more months following Tom’s suicide.  VOM knew that during the first month my family arrived to the United States in the end of  1966, I had personally typed on a clunky typewriter four manuscript versions of this book. How could my request be refused?

How could I have foreseen that in a case of blatant suspected sexual-child-molestation some Christian VOM leaders I approached, imitated the priest and Levite in the Parable of the Good Samaritan, trying their best re. suspected pedophilia, to “pass by on the other side,” so as to maintain their perks! John the Baptist was not beheaded because he sermonized in general asking people to repent. Against his own personal interest, he put his life at risk to denounce the sin of Herod, the ruler of the day.   What about “missionary outreach” to poor “persecuted Christians?”  Voice of the Martyrs, with its opulent ($28 million) headquarter built out of your sacrificial contributions, makes a mockery of the sacrifice of persecuted Christians like my parents. Imagine a surgeon insisting to operate, having no time to clean his hands after searching in garbage. What patient has any use for such a surgeon? The betrayer of Lord Jesus, Judas, in his apparently  most “unselfish” enunciation of a project to help the poor, was but a thief. (Indeed the Gospel of John 12:6 writes: “This he said, not that he cared for the poor, BUT BECAUSE HE WAS A THIEF!”)

VOM published even how within months of our arrival in the United States, from 1967 on, I worked together with my parents Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand, to start what is now Voice of the Martyrs. Recently released documents from the archives of the Romanian secret police prove the communists had issued an order to kill our entire family.  See: http://michaelwurmbrand.com/killing-wurmbrands.htm. We started what is now Voice of the Martyrs under a communist sentence of death.   When I was only a child, the communists forcefully took away my parents to  communist prisons. I suffered plenty. My parents died with a good name. I do not want allow VOM use my parents good name, to raise money under false pretenses. I wrote the VOM directors: “If you enjoy, for motivations of your own, to wallow in the mire of suspected pedophilia go ahead …. If you do not want to accept an independent investigation and complete transparency of your dealings, I begged you do not use my father’ long years of suffering in communist prisons and the intense suffering of his whole family to raise money from naive donors ….”  I was written by VOM, when asking help for formerly persecuted Christians under communism, now in their 90s, “we are technically out of money!…there will be NO check requests approved for anything other than absolutely essential…” only to find out later that $9.5 million were available not for mission work, but for construction work in Oklahoma (see above link.)

Christian parents please protect your children! Consider how grave it is to  allow your children to trust and be reached by a missionary organization having had a case of suspected pedophilia and a suicide because of it in its midst, and then terminating  me, its founder so as not to have to respond to a request for an independent investigation of possible sexual child molestation. After all the laudatory words published of me, they also tried to badmouth me. If you are a minister, I can only beg you to share this letter with your congregation. If you had respect for Richard Wurmbrand, my father, please send this letter to all your email and affiliate lists, Christmas lists, spread it among your friends.

I tried to document the facts recited above but think on your own: How can “Christian missionaries” in a good Christian conscience even indulge to build themselves an opulent $28,000,000 headquarter from your donations, while withholding help to persecuted Christians in far away lands badly in need of your donations?  Love of money is the root of all evil. A way to stop evil, is  to stop financing it.  If you were inspired by the Wurmbrand family story of suffering to donate to Voice of the Martyrs or its international affiliates in the ICA, as the only son of Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand, I humbly ask you not to.  My parents’ Christian life-vision has been misused by Voice of the Martyrs.

Tortured for Christ circulated throughout the world with more than 10,000,000 copies. Inside the $28 million Voice of the Martyrs headquarter prominently named as the Richard Wurmbrand Center, there is a Wurmbrand museum. My own mother’s Bible to be displayed there was obtained from me under false pretenses. I have both moral and legal rights to the persona of my parents, even regarding the unauthorized use of my own name, pictures, etc. It  would take a very long time and a lot of money to try to stop such use through courts. VOM would employ the millions of dollars of  donations to fight me in court while my income is very limited.  If you still want to help projects started by my parents, Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand, now hanging in the air,   please help me reclaim my parents and my family name.Like  the first Christians please ask: “Brethren, what shall we do?” (Book of Acts 2:37) You may write me to address above.

God Bless, Michael Wurmbrand 11/25/13

Michael Wurmbrand, PO Box 5161, Torrance, Ca. 90510, USA, Email: wurmbrandm@yahoo.com

 

Carturari si Farisei de Costache Ioanid (Matei 23:1-31)

In Evanghelia dupa Matei gasim un capitol intreg  unde Domnul Isus s-a adresat Carturarilor si Fariseilor, on Saptamina Patimilor. Uneori  ne putem si noi identifica cu actiunile pe care  Domnul Isus le condamna in ei. Sa ii cerem Domnului sa ne ierte, sa ne schimbe si sa ne dea putere sa ne corectam.

Cărturari şi farisei stau pe scaunul lui Moise.
Ascultaţi-i, voi iudei, dar nu faceţi ce fac ei.
Căci sunt oameni după veac, una zic şi alta fac.
Căci ei leagă sarcini grele cum se leagă un samar,
dar ei nu se-ating de ele nici cu degetul măcar.
Căci ei strâng argint în pungi, dar îşi leagă peste coate
filacterii cât mai late peste ciucuri cât mai lungi.

În biserici şi la mese îşi aleg un loc în faţă
şi le place când le iese în răspântii şi în piaţă
gloata lumii cea lipsită de-a învăţăturii zestre,
zicând: Doctore, maestre!

Voi să fiţi doar ucenici. Când se strânge tot poporul
ca să-nveţe cu folos, unul e Învăţătorul: E Cristos!
Iar toţi ceilalţi, mari şi mici,
robi şi preoţi şi-mpăraţi, nu sunt alta decât fraţi.

Deci pe nimeni de-azi-nainte voi să nu-l numiţi părinte.
Unu-i Tatăl Creator, Cel ce v-a vorbit pe munte.
Cine vrea să fie-n frunte, să vă fie slujitor.

Vai de tine, vai de tine, fariseu cu suflet greu,
care-aveţi în mână cheia către patria promisă,
care ştiţi că nu-i departe însă ţineţi uşa-nchisă –
şi o ţineţi pân-la moarte, cu o ură furibundă,
ca nici voi să n-aveţi parte, şi nici alţii să pătrundă.

Vai de voi, vai de voi scribi cu inimile sloi!
Căci voi jefuiţi pe-ascuns văduvele şi orfanii,
prigoniţi pe robi şi slugi, dar vă ţineţi în litanii
şi în nesfârşite rugi.

Vai de tine, vai de tine fariseu cu suflet greu
care-nconjori tot pământul ca să faci un prozelit,
dar îl faci mai împietrit şi de două ori mai rău
decât însuşi duhul tău!

Vai şi-amar, vai şi-amar, suflet gol de cărturar!
Căci tu dai a zecea parte chiar din chimen şi mărar,
însă laşi cât mai departe crezul, dragostea şi mila.
Scoţi din blidul tău ţânţarul şi nu vezi că-nghiţi cămila.
Speli pe faţa lui paharul, însă nu te prinde sila
de lăturile din el.
Doctori, călăuze oarbe, lupi flămânzi cu chip de miel!
Căci voi sunteţi mai degrabă ca mormintele spoite,
smălţuite-n flori de Rai,
pe deasupra cu podoabe şi-nlăuntru putregai.
Căci zidiţi acum, şireţi, toate sfintele morminte
ale marilor profeţi, şi strigaţi în lumea largă,
printre lacrime fierbinţi, că de-aţi fi trăit în vremea
adormiţilor părinţi
n-aţi fi stat cu ei alături în acel vrăjmaş sobor.
Dar mărturisiţi cu-aceasta că sunteţi copiii lor.
Căci voi omorâţi pe sfinţi, dar aţi împlinit măsura
ucigaşilor părinţi.

Pui de şerpi cu inimi reci, cine vă va scoate oare
din jăratecul de veci?
Iată, vă voi mai trimite încă soli pe la răscruci.
Voi să-i fugăriţi cu gloate, din cetate în cetate,
şi să-i ţintuiţi pe cruci, ca să vie-asupra voastră
tot şuvoiul revărsat de la sângele lui Abel
pân-la sângele curat care-a curs din Zaharia,
când a fost lovit cu-amar între tindă şi altar.

Vai, Ierusalim al Vieţii, munte binecuvântat,
care ţi-ai ucis profeţii şi pe soli i-ai lapidat.
O, de câte ori cu milă v-am chemat să fiţi ai Mei,
să vă mântui din furtună, să fim veşnic împreună,
să vă scap de anii grei,
cum o pasăre-şi adună puii sub aripile ei.
Şi n-aţi vrut. De-acuma, iată,
Templul slăvilor străbune, Casa neasemănată,
vă va rămâne pustie pân-la vremea când veţi spune:
Binecuvântat să fie Cel ce vine…
Cel ce vine în Sion să-Şi zidească Cetăţuia!
Binecuvântat să fie!
Aleluia!

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