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Saturday, 5 July 2014

THE INHUMANITY OF VICTORY OUTREACH INTERNATIONAL TOWARDS THEIR VICTIMS AT ARNHEM NETHERLANDS

I have recently written two posts about the abusive regime of Victory Outreach International (VOI) at Arnhem in the Netherlands, primarily concerning the abuse suffered by ex-resident Rene Van Beek.

http://bewareofthewolves.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/wicked-cult-victory-outreach-arnhem.html
http://bewareofthewolves.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/the-despicable-abusers-who-run-victory.html

I have been contacted by Jerry Mendeszoon, Senior Pastor, Victory Outreach Rotterdam in reply to my posts about Rene. It has emerged that VOI had full knowledge that things were very wrong at Victory Outreach Arnhem. Below are excerpts from Jerry Mendeszoon's emails to me:

Email received on the 22nd June 2014:

Jerry Mendeszoon: “To start: every Church in VOI (International) is on it's own. (autonomy).”

The claim that every VOI church is autonomous is not quite true. There is clearly accountability since Jerry Mendeszoon described himself as: “.....his (Wilfred Dijksteel's) future regional leader.”

“Each church of Victory Outreach is a part of a region within a district and is required to adhere to the Statement of Faith and Core Values as set forth by Victory Outreach International.” http://victoryoutreach.org/about/structure/

VOI describe themselves as a “church family worldwide.” http://victoryoutreach.org/

If this is the case, then why have Rene and others been abandoned by VOI?

Jerry Mendeszoon: “To answer your question: we had no involvement at all. I did not know or hear from Rene until this case came up. 

Yes: we did see some signs and we did confronted this couple (Wilfred and Elia Dijksteel) for not being part/ responsible: because they were not keeping our values and principles.

They were carrying out the name of Victory Outreach (Arnhem) without complying with these principles and values!

In June 2012 we confronted them with this matter: and forced them to make a decision: or to stay with VOI or to keep going further on their own.

They decided and choose to go further on their own.

In june 2013 (a year later) suddenly Rene pups up: accusing this couple from all sorts of things.
I had email contact with Rene, but because this couple resigned from VO: I had no power to really deal with this case. I just kept forwarding the emails from Rene to them. Begging them (Wilfred and Elia) to sit/ answer/ confront the situation with Rene. I am so sorry: but this thing is getting ugly and the good name of VOI is at stake!

Hope to inform you well,

I have all the mails: detailed as my witness in my system: but they are written in Dutch!!

God bless you,


Jerry Mendeszoon”.


Mendeszoon: “In june 2013 (a year later) suddenly Rene pups up (!): accusing this couple from all sorts of things.”

The implication from the above is that Mendeszoon thinks that Rene has fabricated his story. Do VOI want verification? Rene has contacted the police about this matter. If VOI want proof of hospital records, the time of his injury, unpaid health insurance etc. this can very easily be arranged. This email from Mendeszoon was such an insult to Rene that I couldn't pass it on to him as I did not want to upset him further. Whether a day later, a year later or five years later, that does not invalidate the legitimacy of Renes testimony. Some victims take years to open up about abuse.

Further email received 23rd June 2014:

Jerry Mendeszoon: “There are very good things happening through the ministry of Victory Outreach. Lives are being changed: people are getting to know Christ as their Lord and Saviour!

These incidentals can happen everywhere! Nobody is perfect. No Church is perfect! Yes, I feel for Rene and if he want to keep share his testimony he can go ahead!

The Bible teaches us: to look ahead and to let go the former things (Isiah 43: 18-19) : I hope Rene can let go the past: and fight for his future in Christ!!

Life is too beautiful, God bless,

Jerry”


Jerry Mendeszoon's further response on the 23rd of June was very disappointing and left me with deep concerns about VOI and their attitude towards the vulnerable people in their care. Mendeszoon has basically washed his hands of Rene and other abused ex-residents. Rene himself was almost killed, was left with brain damage, serious illness, terrible debts and all the spiritual and emotional aftermath that deep involvement with a cult brings.

Jerry Mendeszoon: “No church is perfect.” Do people have to be nearly killed and abused because “no church is perfect”? This is pretty much the standard response to anyone with issues about a church, it is a line that has been levelled at myself more than once. Instead of taking responsibility, churches usually blame-shift and put the problem back onto the abused person. To insult victims with the line that “no church is perfect” is to turn your back on them and leave them with damage which may take a person years to get over, if ever. Is their any responsibiliy on the part of VOI in these cases of abuse at Arnhem? Wilfred and Elia Dijksteel have done wicked despicable things which defy description – they will face judgement sooner or later unless they repent. Nevertheless VOI also have responsibility to ensure that those damaged are cared for, restored and recompensed since it was through their organisation VOI that these things happened. Are we one body? If one part is damaged aren't we all damaged? We cannot wash our hands if our brothers and sisters have been hurt, especially if it is in any way our responsibility. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honoured, all rejoice together. (1 Corinthians 12/26)

And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.” (Luke 19/8)

Jerry Mendeszoon: “The Bible teaches us: to look ahead and to let go the former things.”  What are “.....the former things” that Jerry Mendeszoon is talking about? Biblically “.....the former things” refers to Israel's deliverance from the Babylonian captivity (Isaiah 43/18) which is a type of the spiritual and eternal redemption by Christ. In other words, as New Testament Christians, “the former things” are those things prior to salvation - Mendeszoon has taken this verse completely out of context. This is another way that Mendeszoon is evading responsibility and putting the onus back onto Rene. We should not put a stumbling block or a hindrance in the way of a brother or sister. We are our brothers keeper and if we have wronged our brother or sister in any way then we should make restitution as far as we can. In a case like this, VOI cannot absolve themselves of responsibility. The basis for making restitution is an Old Testament principle that is explicitly reiterated in the New Testament by Jesus Christ. Repentance without restitution is like faith without works.

The blase attitude of Jerry Mendeszoon “.....these things happen.” Rather he should be outraged and grieved that this has happened to Rene, Dennis Willekes and others at VO Arnhem and fight on their behalf so that they obtain restitution. These things as Mendeszoon glibly puts it, ruin peoples lives and their faith. Shouldn't the church be putting things right rather than putting the boot in and adding insult to injury?

The attitude of Jerry Mendeszoon is a direct contradiction of what VOI claims that its values are:

"In over 700 Victory Outreach churches and centers worldwide, it is compassion that triumphs…faith that endures." http://victoryoutreach.org/about/

So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison. Truly, I say to you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny. (Matthew 5/23-26) The message is clear, practice what you believe. Don’t bring a gift of reconciliation to God if you have not set straight something that a brother has against you. It is your duty to set that straight!

Mendeszoon: “Life is too beautiful, God bless,” Just how beautiful is life for Rene Van Beek, Dennis Willekes and others who have been abused by VOI Arnhem?

It is important that we hear people like Rene so that other people will not be damaged like this in the future.

HOW CAN VOI PUT THIS MATTER RIGHT?

VOI founder Sony Arganzoni and his family have become very wealthy by "helping" the vulnerable - yet VOI can do nothing for Rene and others!!! The very first thing to be done by VOI surely is to clear debts of their victims and deal with the damage, putting things right in whatever way they possibly can. They should also do everything possible to hold the Dijksteels' responsible - but no, Mendeszoon says that there is nothing that he can do!!!!

"Since starting the church, he (Sony Arganzoni) and his wife have accumulated considerable wealth, including a waterfront home in Newport Beach valued at $2.5 million and another in Chula Vista valued at $1.5 million, according to California property records.”
http://www.slideshare.net/AlisonHarris4/alison-harris-portfolio-highlights

Prophecy Against the Shepherds of Israel

The word of the LORD came to me: “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy, and say to them, even to the shepherds, Thus says the Lord GOD: Ah, shepherds of Israel who have been feeding yourselves! Should not shepherds feed the sheep? You eat the fat, you clothe yourselves with the wool, you slaughter the fat ones, but you do not feed the sheep. The weak you have not strengthened, the sick you have not healed, the injured you have not bound up, the strayed you have not brought back, the lost you have not sought, and with force and harshness you have ruled them. So they were scattered, because there was no shepherd, and they became food for all the wild beasts. My sheep were scattered; they wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill. My sheep were scattered over all the face of the earth, with none to search or seek for them. 
(Ezekiel 34/1-6)

MONEY MONEY MONEY! JERRY MENDESZOON'S PREACHING SAYS IT ALL!

The problem: Jerry Mendeszoon applies OT motifs to the New Testament Church.

I watched one of the services at VOI Rotterdam at random on Youtube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qXseJr1DeLQ

A couple of things struck me whilst watching:
  • No-one in the congregation looks happy.
  • The inordinate length of time the attendees must listen to the distortion of God's Word (up to two hours).
The subject matter was based on Malachi 3/10 (and Jeremiah 33/11 also taken completely out of context) to insist upon and justify tithing.

Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the LORD of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need. (Malachi 3/10)

Malachi 3/10 is the classic scripture that many false teachers distort out of all context to try and make the case for tithing.

Jerry Mendeszoon uses Malachi 3/10 to “teach” that tithing is a test and it is a condition of blessing!  He promises that if you give a “love gift/offering” to the church then you will have a breakthrough and that your circumstances will change!

What Mendeszoon fails to say is that Malachi 3/10 is a rebuke against the Levitical priesthood, not the people. Furthermore, Malachi 3/10 is based on Old Testament law and not upon any New Testament teaching. If Mendeszoon really wants to preach about Malachi perhaps he should read the whole book (or better still the whole Bible)!

Now as then, God's contention is primarily with the shepherds:

Malachi 1/6-14 - the priests' polluted offerings
Malachi 2/1-9 - The Lord rebukes the priests'.

Regarding Jeremiah 33/11, Mendeszoon encourages people to bring offerings to the house of the Lord i.e. thank offerings. Mendeszoon: “He will bring a turnaround in the captivity of that person. A turnaround in your life.... when we bring an offering of thanksgiving....... “  The implication of this is that God will withhold blessing if people fail to tithe. People are pressured to give under compulsion and not freely (2 Corinthians 9/7). Does God need to be bribed in order to bless His people?

Jeremiah 33/11 is prophetic and concerns a sacrifice of praise! The freewill todah (thank offering) was often a sacrifice for being saved from death (A PAST EVENT). Psalm 107 refers to reasons why someone would bring such an offering e.g. safely crossing the wilderness or the sea, being released from captivity, or recovering from serious illness. In other words it was to thank God for a specific act of deliverance.

“The Hebrew noun todah "thanksgiving" is derived from the Hiphil of the verb yadah (יָדָה) "to praise." In Psalm 107:22 and elsewhere no physical offering, only praise, is implied.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thank_offering

Jeremiah 33/11 refers to the “sacrifice of praise”. For Christians, this refers to the Lord's Supper i.e. the bread and wine which is taken in remembrance to thank God for the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross.

Tithing is never taught or endorsed in the New Testament and should never be applied to the church.

Mendeszoon's sermon is based on two selective scriptures quoted from the Old Testament with no reference to New Testament teaching about giving. Whenever selective Scripture is quoted in isolation rather than the whole counsel of God, it is usually taken out of context. We should remember that this very tactic was used by Satan when he tempted Jesus in the wilderness.  Satan: "It is written.....".  Jesus' response: “It is also written.....” (Matthew 4/1-11)

The promise of good circumstances and increase did not come into the equation when the disciples preached the gospel. The promise given to Paul was that he would suffer for the name of the Lord (Acts 9/16). Not only that, the prosperity gospel mocks Christians under persecution.

For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake..... (Philippians 1/29)

Let us not forget that Mendeszoon is “preaching” this message to the very poorest, probably most needy people in society. I can only describe the false teachers who target the vulnerable like this as vultures who prey on the poor.

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; (Hosea 4/6) 

Philip Powell of Christian Witness Ministries has written an excellent article about tithing: “The way the 'tithing' principle has been transferred to and applied within the church is a monstrous indignity to God and a total injustice to the people.”

http://www.christian-witness.org/archives/cetf2006/tithing37.html

Similarly Jacob Prasch has an excellent two part teaching about tithing on Youtube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=95qlg5GHyvg
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pYeTTpJKpX4

Also: http://www.discerningtheworld.com/2011/08/26/tithing-are-you-really-robbing-god-if-you-dont/#sthash.Frh8bags.dpuf

If you have an issue with Victory Outreach International then do please get in touch via the contact form or email ReneVan Beek directly at: van_beek_rene@outlook.com

Victory Outreach UK is a separate organisation from VOI. If you have an issue with Victory Outreach UK then do please get in touch via the contact form.

Further Information:

http://www.killermovies.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-491695-victory-outreach-a-cult-exploiting-the-inner-city.html
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tsEEZieVWnE
http://dialogueireland.wordpress.com/2014/01/17/cult-or-not-victory-outreach-eindhoven-from-the-flemish-paper-the-world-tomorrow/
http://www.topix.com/forum/city/bakersfield-ca/T0TLAHTL9B5HU4G92/p12
http://www.topix.com/forum/sacramento/TLKUUPGBTC7LACACO/p9

Dear Reader – Do you have questions about Jesus Christ and how to be truly saved? If so, then please read my post: GOD'S PLAN OF SALVATION THROUGH JESUS CHRIST
http://bewareofthewolves.blogspot.co.uk/2014/11/gods-plan-of-salvation-through-jesus.html

4 comments:

Andy T said...

Once again beautifuly written Treena and I must say the pictures describe what a thousand words cannot!!

Seems from the e-mails that the dutch church leader doesn't want to take responsibility for what happened and will not pursue the other couple to bring them to account. It is easy to say to someone else go away and be blessed but I wonder what would have happen had his head been damaged instead?

This scripture from Malachi regarding tithing is constantly preached to force people to give under compulusion or guilt. Many preachers take the line that if you don't give then you are cursed and not blessed and so bad things will happen in your life. I know several folk who gave away everything naming and claiming the 'hundred fold return' or the '24hr miracle blessing' (whatever the preacher, GodTV, Hinnite are promising and then struggle immensly when such deliverance fails to show up...of course they lacked true faith and needed to give more and more, or so it was told them. Proper financial teaching is needed in the church today, either one church teaches god wants you poor or some other fellowship some amazing prosperity gospel. Seems to me that giving and receiving in the Bible is easy to understand... 'give and it will be given back to you, good measure', Corinthians commended for firstly giving themselves unto the Lord, not giving under compulsion but as the Lord directs, seek first the kingdom of God and all these things will be added to you. Personally I tithe, more than tithe in fact as a consequence of knowing and receiving the love of God in my life. The root of giving and faith surely rests upon a relationship with God the Father who first loved us and gave His Son Jesus for us and not with one eye upon the 'things' Gods' blessing in our lives provide.

blessings Andy

Treena Gisborn said...

Thank you Andy. Very true about the pastor of VOI Rotterdam - words are very cheap aren't they? What devastation these false teachers cause in the lives of their victims. God bless tx

Anonymous said...

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post ""THE INHUMANITY OF VICTORY OUTREACH IN HOLLAND" BY...":

Hi Neville,
Just saw these comments,
I would like to support a project to help the formerly abused of Victory Outreach Organisations.

In Jesus mighty name, our suffering servant, who made himself the lowest of the low
in-order to save a wretch like me.

God Bless Nev
Elaine

Treena Gisborn said...

Thank you Elaine. I am hoping that Nev and I are going to set up some kind of fundraising site in order to help the victims of VOI and VO UK. The victims of their abuse will get 100% of anything given. I will give my time and expenses for free.... hope that people will consider giving to these very needy people instead of giving to hirelings i.e. greedy self seeking pastors. God bless