A Suicide, an Allegation and a Cry for Help

Recently I was shocked to discover the apparent suicide of Tom White, executive director of Voice of the Martyrs. That his suicide came amidst reports of an ongoing molestation allegation against him with a 10-year old girl was a greater shock I am still trying to get over.

Voice of the Martyrs is a ministry I rely on to stay up to date with the persecuted church around the world. White’s column is the first thing I often read when I open up the latest issue.

I can’t imagine the amount of despair White must have felt to take his own life amidst this allegation. Many have looked to him to be a voice for the persecuted and now are seemingly at a loss of words as this story has surprisingly gone under the radar.

I can’t imagine the amount of guilt this 10-year old girl must carry by feeling responsible for White’s death. This coupled with the lifelong hurt that may have been afflicted on her (and other children) is too much to bear for any soul.

The Church may respond in shame, staying mum at the news of another apparent fall of its respected leaders. The world may respond in cynicism, adding White’s name to a long list of religious leaders accused of molestation. But my response is simple:

Help.

Help, because I am a father of a young daughter and the thought of anybody lifting a finger against her rips me apart.

Help, because I am a pastor and I would be naive to think that I am immune to the snares and temptations that have taken down others before me.

Help, because there are so many parties affected here that need healing from God, who alone is Faithful and True.

Help.

Lord God, please help.

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“Martyr” defined

I came across this definition of “martyr” in the July 2010 newsletter of The Voice of the Martyrs:

When we hear the word “martyr,” most of us think of someone who dies for a cause, usually religious faith. but the word’s true meaning goes much deeper. St. Augustine said, “The cause, not the suffering, makes a genuine martyr.” The Greek word “martus” means one who remembers and testifies to the truth -an active witness. -VOM, July 2010, pg. 15

Why is this important? The word “martyr” can get thrown around a lot these days as somebody who dies for his/her faith, whether that be a suicide bomber or a person murdered in a religious raid.

But a true “martyr” is a “witness” to the Truth and that is God. How they may die is not as important as who they’re dying for.

For stories of true martyrs of the faith around the world, check out The Voice of the Martyrs website and blog.

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