This was not a post that I wished to make, nor was it something that could be written in a hurry. It takes time and prayer to make sure what is being said is what should be said, and to know that is the case.
Nevertheless, I will begin.
For those of you who are unfamiliar, Voice of the Martyrs is an organization dedicated to raising awareness of persecution of Christians all around the world. They are faithful to tell the stories of those who are suffering, but also to provide means of providing support for them as best they are able. As far as this goes, it is a good thing that they do. Vital, really.
And yet, there was a tragedy in Voice of the Martyr’s not too long ago, but the tragedy extends beyond what VOM wishes to acknowledge, and probably the majority of Christians do not wish to go this far either. However, for the sake of keeping the reputation of the Church pure, this is something that must be made clear.
Nearly a month ago, VOM’s executive director Tom White was found dead in a warehouse at VOM’s headquarters, and it has been deemed a suicide. Prior to his death, he was being investigated for possibly molesting a child. Now, to my knowledge he has not been found guilty of any wrongdoing in this, so for now the allegations must remain that – allegations. I am not interested in speculating about those here. Let that wait for the proper authorities to determine.
So while it cannot be said that he was a child molester, there is something that he certainly was: a murderer.
Please do not get me wrong. I do not like to declare this. It would be wonderful if I could join the chorus of those honoring his memory and all the good things he did for the kingdom of God… but to do so does not bring honor to God. Rather, it dishonors Him by saying that His Spirit dwelled in a sinner. The only response the Church can make is that White was a sinner who did not know God.
Let’s make something clear: suicide is a form of murder in which the aggressor and victim are the same person. So emotional attachments aside, anyone who commits suicide also commits murder. The thing is, in John’s first epistle, John wrote that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.
The tragedy is that a sinner took a position of authority in a church ministry and remained a sinner. The tragedy is that he never turned from his sins, but even in the end committed an act of extreme selfishness. (Even VOM’s response speculates that he took his own life rather than face the allegations.)
Remember that people are known by their fruits. Not just that, but good cannot produce bad, and bad cannot produce good.
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them.”
This is not to say that evil people cannot do good things, because they can. Those who hate God are quite capable of giving to the poor and helping their neighbor, for example – and they do these things. Rather, it’s different from that. You cannot just look at the outside, and we cannot know their motives all the time (although sometimes it is evident).
But self-murder shows quite firmly what camp he was in.
Christians, please do not further insult God by claiming White was one of His. Recognize what he was, speak against it, but continue the work of VOM, even though VOM’s credibility is also at stake. They have shown a distressing lack of discernment lately.