A few months ago the brethren assembly in Leipzig excommunicated me from the church. Here is what happened.
Being born and raised in India, I have my roots in an independent fundamental church, thanks to my Christian parents. My family moved to an NIV Calvinist church when I was 13 years old and since then there has been no real service to Jesus in my Christian life. I moved to Germany 7 years ago and in 2016, I started to attend the EFG Brethren Church in Leipzig, located in Jacobstraße. The Brethren Church is a conservative church compared to all others and they maintain the biblical principle of not encouraging women pastors or women preachers. After being integrated in this congregation not only did I become an official member of the church, but I also became a worship leader. I led a music team and led the congregation in praise and worship regularly. I also participated in other activities like weekly prayer, house cleaning etc.
Step 1: Removed from leading Praise and Worship
Eventually, when I started listening to true biblical preaching of the NIFB movement, I began to take my faith seriously. It began to make sense about what it means to be saved and it also pushed me into going out and winning souls for Jesus. I started posting clips and sermons of NIFB preaching on my Facebook feed and it led to a lot of commotion among the members of the church. Eventually, the elders of the church warned me that if I don’t stop condemning homosexuals and posting sermons of Pastor Steven Anderson, they would remove me from leading worship.
Now, some of the doctrines held by the NIFB movement, although biblically accurate, are deemed controversial by the world. It was never my intention to introduce these doctrines in the church and neither did I expect them to embrace them. All I did to get into trouble with the church was posting sermons and excerpts of NIFB preaching on Facebook.
There was a series of discussions between me and the Pastor (Philip Bußkamp), and two other elders (Friedemann Volke and Benjamin Förster). The main problem they had with me is me openly condemning and hating the sodomites. Now, the Bible teaches that it can get too late for certain individuals to ever get saved. Jesus also mentions that those who blaspheme against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven. According to Romans 1, one of the end results of such people is that they become homosexuals. That’s how they get there, nobody is born that way. Just like many watered down Christians, this church does not believe in the reprobate doctrine and they also condemned the idea of hating anyone.
Shouldest thou help the ungodly, and love them that hate the LORD? therefore is wrath upon thee from before the LORD.2 Chronicles 19:2 b
King David also says in Psalm 139:20, “Do not I hate them O Lord that hate Thee? I hate them with a perfect hatred.” Obviously, Christ commanded us to love our neighbors, but you will never find in the Bible that we should love every single person on this planet. We should definitely not love reprobates (homosexuals, paedophiles, sodomites). The Bible commands in Leviticus 20:13 that sodomites should be put to death. And today, when the government does not apply the death penalty to them, we Christians should have nothing to do with them. We should not let them in our circles and churches and we should preach against them, protect our fellow Christians and children from these predators.
At this point Mr. Förster would say, “That’s Old Testament. Show me something like that in the New Testament.” He did not know that when Jesus was saying “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself”, he was actually quoting Leviticus 19:18. This is the same portion that also states the death penalty for sodomites and a few other sins. If I should love my neighbor, I should also love the death penalty because it protects my neighbor. However, when you show parts of the NT which do encourage the death penalty (Matt 15:4, Mark 9:42, Romans 13:4), these phony elders would not accept it. Regardless of what the Bible says, ‘we Christians should not have any contempt for the lgbt people’ is what they preach. That is twisting scripture for the sake of not getting into trouble with the world.
Another issue Pastor Bußkamp brought up was the fact that I called John Piper a false teacher and said that he is on his way to hell. Piper teaches that you are not saved by faith alone, one must do the works in order to make it to heaven. He adds, you must try your best hoping that you might make it. That is damnable heresy, once you believe in Jesus and trust Him a 100%, you have eternal life. If you can loose your eternal life, that isn’t eternal. And God doesn’t give a temporary life as gift, He gives eternal life.
At this point, Pastor Bußkamp would quote the famous verse from James 2 which says that ‘Faith without works is dead’. If you compare scripture with scripture, (Ro 4:2,5, 1 Cor 3:15, Ti 3:8), you will come to the conclusion, that without works, a believer is like a dead man. You are not useful to others. That does not mean that without works, a believer will go to hell. If salvation also depended on our works, then no one would be going to Heaven. This proves that Pastor Bußkamp of EFG Jacobstraße is a lying hypocrite. If he preaches that you must repent of your sins to go to heaven, then did he repent of all his sins? We are saved by faith alone, not by works lest any man should boast (Eph 2:8,9).
Mr. Förster however concluded that I could keep my doctrine and discuss it with people in private, but I should not talk about it openly nor should I post homophobic things on facebook. I did not agree to their deal and decided to drop out off the stage myself. From August 2, 2020 I did not lead worship anymore but I continued to attend the church to fulfil my other responsibilities.
Step 2: Banned from speaking
The Brethren Church has a part during their service, where members could go upfront and share a testimony or a verse from the Bible which inspired them during the week. I used that opportunity to share my soul winning experiences; about how I do it, how it works, how people are getting saved, etc., and I always quoted a verse that has to do with the gospel and eternal security.
This church hardly does any kind of soul winning. They have teen groups, camps, mid-week prayer etc., but they almost never reach the unsaved. I once asked Pastor Bußkamp if we could go soul winning together and get people saved. His answer was, “I don’t talk to strangers, that’s not my style.” I went around the church asking several people the same thing. Thankfully, there were one-two people that did join me occasionally, but most people were not comfortable with it. Eventually, during a sharing time on Sunday, I read the verse, “The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few;“ (Matthew 9:37). A Sunday later, I read another verse, „he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.“ (Matthew 12:30).
One fine Sunday, I shared a soul winning experience and explained what it means to bear fruit. According to the Bible, when you do not win people for Jesus, when you do not make converts, you are not a fruit-bearing Christian. Love, peace, joy, etc., are the fruit of the Spirit, but your fruit is the person you win to Christ. The following week on October 29, 2020, I received this email:
During the last elders meeting, we discussed about your theology and we also argued about it within ourselves. We realized that most of your contributions have to do with ‘soul-winning’ and that you are telling us also to be soul winners according to your understanding. You’ve said that the fruits we bring to God’s kingdom are converts. Although you are not entirely wrong, you’ve displayed a strong and instructive character which seemed very one-sided in details.
This is a time where we would like to have worship and devotion. We want to look to Jesus and arrive at an inner and outer praise. There should not be theological and doctrinal messages during this time. These issues belong in the sermon and not during the worship time. Because your statements are often provocative, we request you not to come forward and share during the open time anymore. Please accept the decision of the elders.
So I had received a speech prohibition. Funny thing is, everyone else who goes upfront and shares something, are often saying something theological and doctrinal. The next week, there was this lady who shared about how she told a colleague about Jesus and admonished the congregation that if you are ashamed of Jesus, Jesus will be ashamed of you in Heaven. She rebuked the congregation strongly that if they do not stand for Jesus, they will not enter into Heaven. Although that is false teaching, they did not have any problem with it because that theology does not bother them as much.
I confronted the elders during a meeting on this about why she is allowed to give all her theological input during the sharing time, but not me. That’s when these foxes revealed that they have a problem with my theology, not the fact that one is allowed to give theological input. Philip, the joke of a pastor said, “I don’t believe in eternal security. Just because someone believes and calls upon Jesus to save them, doesn’t mean that they’re saved. If there are no works, you are not really saved.” Friedemann continued, “Until you die you cannot know if you will go to Heaven or not.”
Just imagine my vexation listening to this load of crap coming out of their mouths. These bozos are not saved. There is no gospel in this church. They are on their way to hell because they are not trusting Jesus. They are trusting in their good works–a ‘filthy rag’ as security for salvation. The Bible is very clear, “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.“ (Romans 4:5).
I humbly accepted their decision and continued attending church using it as an opportunity to meet people. Because I am no longer allowed to speak my ideas, I decided I would have verses printed on my t-shirt. Some of the things I had on my t-shirt were, “once saved, always saved” , “Straight pride – Lev. 20:13”, etc. A lot of these were simply verses from the Bible.
Leipzig International Homegroup
The LIH is a mid-week bible study/prayer group associated with the EFG Brethren Church. It was started by Rev. Christian Samraj, a Lutheran pastor from Tamil Nadu, India. This meeting takes place every Friday and is primarily focused on inviting unbelievers and people of all denominations to sit around a coffee table in a living room. It is mostly a circle of friends having a good time and the number of people attending could range from 5 – 20. There is a time of singing, reading and discussing the Bible and praying for all the issues people have. This group also associates itself with charismatic tongue-talkers, catholics, and several unsaved people saying that as long as we proclaim the name of Jesus, we all should come under one roof and worship and have fellowship together.
In other words, it’s lame and watered down. It’s an open mic without a clear leader/preacher. Everyone contributes to what they feel and there is no clear direction of thought when it comes to bible discussion. Postive, feel-good only thoughts are encouraged and deep, theological things are frowned upon. Negative things in the bible should be avoided and only Jesus should be the focus, as if not the entire Bible is spoken by God. These people want to be loved by the world, want to please man and therefore they ignore much of the Bible. They don’t evangelize the city of Leipzig, they’re all about having fun and experience some spiritual high singing and praying on the sofa.
Ever since I had moved to Leipzig, I have been an active participant of this group who taught them a lot of new songs, led music, played the guitar, preached from the Bible, and engaged in other fun activities. I eventually realized that there is no gospel there. Most of them are not saved. Lord Jesus is a just a Mahatma who shows us how to love and if anything else about the Bible is discussed which seems controversial, you would be smeared as bringing division. It is the same atmosphere like when the children of Israel were all united in bowing down to the statue of Nebuchadnezzer, but the ones who stand up for Biblical truths would not be tolerated.
So, when I started to preach, “Hey! It’s not all about fun, we should literally get out there and reach out to the people on the streets. We should go soul-winning because it works. People are getting saved. We need to take a firm stand on God’s word, preach all things and not compromise with the world. Hey let’s not get lazy and occupied with ourselves in our comfort zone. Nobody is getting saved here. We should do it God’s way. Let’s do something big. Hey! Let’s be a voice that draws a clear line against the LGBT perverts. Let’s not have women to teach us on spiritual things, let’s have some spiritually strong men take lead and guide us.” And you know what? They hated me for it. I did not cram it down their throats all of a sudden. It was a slow pace because I understand that people do not learn new things overnight. It took almost two years until they could not bear me any longer.
When they cannot dispute your theology, they will attack your personality. Apparently, they do not like the way I say it, I am lacking grace, I am too direct and aggressive. I am not loving, I am a division-maker.
At the same time, I started a YouTube channel and used that as a platform to express my thoughts on different topics. I once went to LIH with Leviticus 20:13 printed on my face mask and another time with a t-shirt which says, “It is shame for women to speak in the church” along with the verses. Pretty soon, I was kicked out. A church-affiliated, Bible-believing prayer group kicked a guy out for having Bible verses printed on his t-shirt. The words of Jesus are too offensive! We would rather have a hippie Jesus whom we have imagined in our mind. We hate the Jesus of the Bible. And since that is the Jesus you proclaim, we do not want you here. Please stop coming to the home group. From February 1, 2021, I was no longer part of this group.
Since group meetings were restricted due to Corona, I recorded myself on a video exposing all the false teachings accepted by the home group. I went in detail, showed scripture and warned them of the dangers which lie ahead in taking this compromising path.
Step 3: Excommunicated from church
On April 12, 2021, I received an email from the church:
It is with a heavy heart that we, as church leadership, intend to exclude you from the Jacobstraße Congregation. This also means that we prohibit you from attending the events of the Church. We also ask you to refrain from spreading your teachings and messages among the members and friends of the congregation.
This decision is the result of a lengthy process. We had some controversial conversations with you. Some of the teachings that you emphatically spread (including the ‘reprobate’ doctrine, hating others, the role of women, the unforgiveness of homosexuality, …) do not correspond to the overall statement of the Bible and our understanding of the Bible. In the way you emphatically advocate, they are to be rejected from our point of view as false doctrines and “foolish issues” (Titus 3: 9 + 10). Unfortunately you were not ready to correct your point of view even after the critical inquiry of the church leadership. You claim as if you yourself know the only valid and infallible biblical truth in these doctrines.
Although you have previously accepted the ‘prohibition on speaking’ during the time open for all to share, you however increasingly used other channels (YouTube, Facebook, WhatsApp, T-shirts, …) in order to convey your messages and points of view in an aggressive and a subtle way. Your attitude and your appearance hurts others, judges others, irritates and sows discord. To protect others from false doctrines and personal injuries, we are forced to differentiate ourselves very clearly from your doctrines and to reject your views and their consequences as unbiblical.
Since you have shown yourself to be incorrigible in your approach and are spreading these messages further, we intend to take this step of excommunication.
You may find a church where they agree on some of the issues that are important to you. With this step we want to make it unmistakably clear to you that we see you as going on a massively wrong track and we ask you to check this before the Lord!
Exclusion from the congregation could only be averted if you immediately stopped spreading these heresies and asked forgiveness from the members you injured.
Perhaps it makes sense to have a conversation with some elders after a few days to think about it.
On behalf of the board of elders, …
At the same time, the following email was exchanged between the church and the home group:
Dear brothers and sisters of the international homegroup,
After the video message from Moses there was a conversation between Reinhold, Martin and us elders. In the conversation we emphasized again that we see your homegroup as part of the church ministry of EFG Jacobstrasse and that we protect you regarding the doctrinal attacks set out in the video.
We have shared with the leaders of the homegroup our views on individual doctrinal points, which largely coincide with theirs. The views that Moses proclaimed differ greatly from ours. His recognizable attitude ‘I am right and you are wrong’ does not come from love and is in strong contrast to Phil. 2:3. His view is that it is right to hate people who God loves and that the Scripture legitimizes this, which he expresses in his posts and Whatsapp messages; we strongly disagree with him. He also comes into conflict with German laws.
In mid-April, we told Moses that we were withdrawing his membership from the church. We made this step because of his lack of insight and obvious unwillingness to turn back, despite many conversations on our part, which already have taken place. We informed him of this combined with the request to no longer come to the events of the Jacobstraße congregation and also not to send any emails or messages on social media to brothers and sisters of the congregation or the homegroup. He agreed to this in an email to Benjamin Förster.
Moses is therefore no longer a member of our church. We hope that this step will help him to come to his senses and to leave the doctrinal path that he has chosen. We are still ready to talk to him at any time. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Benjamin, Philipp or me.
on behalf of the Elders of EFG Jacobstrasse
Of course I was expecting that. Although there is truth in what they accuse me of, you can actually accuse Jesus and the apostles on those same terms. Jesus was thrown out of synagogues and the apostles were beaten and cast out. Lord Jesus would not be tolerated in this church for a second. He would be excommunicated on the grounds of hate speech and creating division. These elders would literally throw Jesus on the street if he ever showed up.
Whenever I come to conflict with people over Biblical teachings, I try to help them understand that they are wrong, and the Bible is right. Since they do not like it, notice how they pin it on me saying, it is ‘unloving’ of me to say ‘I’m right and you are wrong.‘ These are just lies and false accusations fabricated to make me look as if I had an evil agenda.
The same week, I made another video focused towards the church exposing their heresies and explained the true Gospel and also what the Bible talks about the reprobate doctrine displaying my passionate hatred for the homos. I sent the video to every single member of the congregation, about a 150 people. This video is unlisted and not public, because I made it exclusively for the church members and I also took names.
The reactions were mixed. A handful of people communicated that they were challenged and inspired to go witness to their colleagues and neighbors after listening to me. Two people got saved after listening to my gospel presentation in this particular scenario. Most messages I received were rebuking in nature, some threatening, some out of concern that I would get in trouble with the law. However, even among the heathen, when you speak the truth in all boldness, it will not come back empty handed. There is always someone who identifies false teaching and is hungry for the truth.
And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sakeMatthew 10:22a
Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake.Luke 6:22-23
Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.
In conclusion, life is not meaningful if you do not take a risk for Jesus, for his Word. I am a foreigner living in Germany. I do not care if they put me in prison. Even if they deport me back to India where I am from, persecute me or whatever, I will not back down from preaching everything the Bible says – both positive and negative things, in season, out of season. His Word is my only anchor until I will be with Lord Jesus Christ in person.
The EFG Brethren Church is a false church. They are founded on the false teaching of dispensationalism. They embrace the satanic Elberfelder Bible (Darby Bible) which is heavily corrupted. They do not believe in salvation by faith alone, neither do they believe in eternal security. They preach that Jesus died for us so we can receive grace and inspiration to work our way to heaven. That is Baloney! Even though they say that we are saved by Grace alone-by Faith alone, they preach that if you don’t do the works, you aren’t really saved. They preach another Gospel, another Jesus and according to Galatians 1, let them be accursed. This is a church which will roll out the red carpet for homosexuals, but those who take the Word of God literally, they will throw them out.
In fact, almost every church in Germany is in the same dark condition and because people do not have the guts to preach what needs to be preached from the pulpit, Germany today as a whole is spiritually very dark. If there is any light left, it is being shone by the few soul winners who go through the streets, door to door and getting people saved.
1. Why did you not leave the church as soon as you realized that they are teaching heresy?
I was already integrated in the congregation. I had friends, well-wishers, experiences and memories together. Familiarity is something which is not easy to let go. Also, there is no other better church I could go to in town. They are all watered down or even worse. If I left the church, I would be lonely, therefore I might as well stay, be myself and deal with it.
2. Why did you not remain silent and just went along?
I cannot pretend to agree with damnable false teachings. I cannot fake it. If I have an opportunity, I will use it to say what the Bible says. If there is freedom, time and opportunity to say something, why not tell the truth? Or at least, why not read verses the way they are?
3. Are you now without a church? What do you do on Sundays?
I am currently church-hopping, which means I am going to a different church every Sunday in and outside of Leipzig hoping God would lead me to a church where they at least believe the gospel. I introduce myself, talk to people and give them a business card with a link to my youtube channel, so in case they are curious, they could see where I stand.
4. How are you handling rejection?
Obviously, it is not a happy situation. It is lonely and sometimes depressing seeing what I am having to go through. But what encourages me is knowing that Jesus and the Apostles quite often went through rejection and loneliness for the sake of preaching the truth. At the end of the day, it is the Word of God that comforts me.
5. What does your family think about all this?
As far as the doctrines are concerned: Eternal security, soul winning, reprobate doctrine, my parents agree with them. Since they have always been the quiet type of people, they consider my manner of speaking as too direct and uncalculated. They are concerned that I am alienating myself from friends and constantly worry about my social life. Although they, too, believe in drawing clear lines from heresies and false teachers, they keep telling me to do it peacefully and not to cause hurt. Obviously I am not my parents and have my own personality. I believe calling out names is biblical and to my knowledge, it is the truth which hurts. Truth can be offensive regardless of who and how one says it.
6. Could you not have been more patient and less aggressive?
Patience is a virtue, yes! But I am merely human. Not everyone has the same patience levels and I have my weaknesses. The fact that there are still a handful of friends who agree with me and work with me, shows that my “aggressive” personality is not the problem, it is the theology, it is what I believe and what I express. I am the same person I was even when I was popular, watered down and loved. What changed? Eternal security, soul winning, condeming homos, the truth!
7. Are you not afraid of losing your job for the stand you take?
It does bother me from time to time. But I am more afraid of not standing for Jesus and his Word than to fear man. It is not easy to tell about Jesus to your colleagues, but at least I can show that I stand for his Word. At the end of the day, if I lose my job, so be it. If God gave me this job, he can give another job as well. However, I do not combine biblical things with my profession. I try to focus and work hard and be a blessing for my boss.
8. What are your future plans?
I have a burden for Germany. I believe that God brought me here to use me. I will preach his Word and do as much soul winning as possible. I will push forward the NIFB movement here. Maybe when I get married and have my own family, I will pastor a church or at least subject myself under a pastor and serve faithfully. These are the end times, and no matter where we are, we should stand for God and against the pattern of this world, especially when many churches and Christians are compromising.
9. What would you do if you get deported back to India?
Although that would not be easy, I will continue serving God. Yes, I am aware of the dangers and persecutions, but I would be more afraid not to preach everything that God commands. I will continue to go door to door soul winning and maybe plant a church and pastor it. Atleast that is what I would imagine to do if I ever get sent back to India.
10. Don’t you miss doing music?
Of course I do. But then I realized that Christian music is not about talent or performance. It is not about me. It is when the entire congregation sings together and the focus is not on man. Sure I did get a lot of praise from men, but then it means nothing when Jesus is not the focus. Also, the Christian contemporary music which I was totally into, is not biblical. It is just Christian music trying to sound a lot like the world and I am glad that I do not have to deal with it anymore. I sing praises to God everyday in my home by singing hymns and that helps me walk in the Spirit daily.
11. You mentioned having made videos, where can I find them?
I made two videos, one for the Leipzig international homegroup (in English) and another for the Brethren Church (in German) exposing them with an intent to reach out to the innocent listeners and members who are being influenced by false teaching. These videos are temporarily private. If you are interested to watch to them, write a mail to email@example.com, and I will forward you a link.
12. Have you come across people who have gone through a similar experience?
Yes. In the past months, I got in touch with other brothers in other countries who were also listening to NIFB preaching, posting sermons on facebook, preaching the true Gospel and eventually excommunicated by the churches they were attending. What connects true believers today is the tribulation that we endure for God’s word. The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4:
Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.