Archived Story

Informal Bible study provides vets safe place to learn about religion

Published 11:02am Thursday, October 10, 2013

Mike Voorhees understands what many veterans, particularly those from the Vietnam War, have gone through. He knows because he is a Vietnam veteran himself.

“We know that they have struggles because we’re veterans and we all had some kind of struggle,” Voorhees said. “I go outside and if I hear a helicopter I stop dead in my tracks and become mesmerized because in Vietnam, helicopters were my lifeline.”

These shared experiences are what Voorhees hopes will make him a good leader of a new Bible study group in Fergus Falls.

The E100 Bible Challenge is a national program set up by the American Bible Society with help from military chaplains. Voorhees was approached a few months ago to lead a local group and he soon got in contact with national leaders of ABS.

Oliver Harrison, a fellow veteran of the Vietnam War, has been in a Bible study group with Voorhees the past few years.

Having looked into the program and heard from Voorhees about it, he is excited to join and for the meetings to begin.

“Personally I think it’s going to be a very good program,” Harrison said. “It makes you consider who you are and what you are and your relationship with God.”

The ABS shipped the Bibles, booklets and workbooks needed for the group meetings. He and a few close friends, with whom he has been in another Bible study group for years, are gearing up for the meetings to begin.

The first meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Oct. 16 at the Veterans Home and will be purely informational. The Bible studies will begin Oct. 23 at the home and are scheduled to wrap up March 26, 2014, although Voorhees expects that date to get bumped back a few weeks.

Each of the 20 meetings will focus on a different selection. The first 10 weeks will cover the Old Testament selections and the back half will focus on the New Testament.

Every veteran is welcome to attend, but Voorhees stressed his desire for Vietnam veterans to come to the meetings.

“Those are the ones that kind of shy away from organized religion,” Voorhees said. “That’s who we are looking forward to serving.”

Voorhees spent 20 years working as a chaplain in Minnesota, which he said has given him experience in grief counseling and working with angry or depressed people. It also has helped him create a welcoming a safe group space, which should come in handy with the new Bible study.

As group leader, Voorhees plans on keeping the meetings structured and focused on the topic of the day. He has no idea how many will attend the first meeting, but he and a few others, including Harrison, have handed out fliers to church leaders in hopes of having them passed on or posted on bulletin boards.

Above all else, the group is meant to help those who are confused or curious about religion find their own answers without pushing or judgment.

“We want them to know that our God is a loving God and that there is forgiveness,” Voorhees said. “No matter what they have done or seen or experienced, there is forgiveness for what they think they might not be forgiven for.”


  • tediam

    Having invested a great deal of my lifetime curiously investigating the truth about our world and the greatest, single motivator for the cause of wars and perpetual unrest throughout, I’ve concluded it’s because people are unable to truly understand it from a factual, historical viewpoint. This is because that truth eludes us all – and, sadly, it is by design.

    This is made possible because it is the victors who get to write history, however absurd, and people simply settle with it as is, without question. The USA repeatedly goes to war on false pretenses; The Gulf of Tonkin Incident, Remember the Maine, To Hell With Spain, The USS Liberty Incident (though it failed miserably. Seek videos on this at YouTube), Iraq, and etc, etc.

    Today, there is no longer a Roman Empire. It has been replaced by the all-powerful vatican, the wealthiest bank in the world and a jewish entity since day-one of its infancy back in 313 CE. The bible, the hallmark of christianity, is actually the jews’ heritage. It was forced upon every Gentile in every place the Roman Empire ruled. Enforcement was by her legions of soldiers. Under church supervision these soldiers were often led by jewish contingents therein for over a millennia of conversions. The conversions were managed by using the most horrendous and bloody terrorism imaginable.

    Nobody really ever “flocked” to the so-called ‘beautiful’ christian religion at any time by their own accord because it was actually a matter of life or death – to resist was tantamount to committing suicide. Look up: Holy Roman Emperor charlemagne’s beheading of over 4,500 Saxon resisters of conversion for one example of this ‘church terrorism’ where everyone from miles around was forced to come and view this impacting venue. Then ask yourself how ‘beautiful’ this religion actually is if this is how it managed to gain acceptance. You’ll realize it was all just another decietful lie?

    Over these centuries many generations passed the lie from one to another. The lie grew invariably stronger until it eventually became accepted as dogma. You can see the result today by the number of bible-toting Gentiles amongst our ranks. We had become weaned from our own true heritage as our Gentile ancestry naturally progressed through the ages. We’ve all been raised to ‘believe’ their ongoing lie because it was the only survival tactic our ancestry knew. We are not to blame for that. The agrarian culture of Europe’s rural people offered no preperation nor means by which they could fight or repel the masses of soldiers the church had commandeered for the conversion process.

    This horrible period in Europe’s history was coined ‘The Dark Ages’. It was a time when no one was free nor able to trust anyone, family included, for fear that loose lips might cause them to be labeled a heretic by the church, which was all-too eager to seek out the non-comformists. The result often being burned alive at the stake, or executed by other means.

    Though there have been attempts to break away from the jew-owned church by Gentile theologians like John Calvin and Martin Luther, today, the Protestant churches are being reclaimed by the jews. They claim ownership of all christianity, and as the rabbis put it, “christians owe us – ‘we’ gave them Jesus”. Their deceitful tactics have not changed either, in particular their use of calumny, as they now claim Martin Luther was senile when he decided to break away from their church and wrote his treatise, “On The jews and Thier Lies”, in which he scathingly divulges what he’d learned about their ways and how they were cheating his countrymen out of their rightful possessions, predominantly – their land.
    Their church, after all, had been lying the whole time it was claiming it shunned the jewry when all-the-while they actually were condoning only the jewrys’ ownership of banks (no Gentiles allowed). These banks were foreclosing, in droves, on Gentile-owned farms everywhere and in rampant succession, while allowing only jews to secure loans without the burden of ever having to pay interest.

    As if that wasn’t bad enough, the church had been confiscating Europe’s ancestral lands using forged documents in the earlier centuries, supposedly from Emperor Constantine, in what was coined “Constantine’s Gift”(look it up). Fortunately, these were proven to be forgeries in 1439. This new form of supplanting Europe’s population with their own, using their banking system, proved far superior (by 1928 the jewry owned 92% of Germany’s banks) to utilizing mere forgeries. What’s worse is that most people don’t know even this much about their church today, let alone question where all those foreclosed-on people went after they lost their homes and farms.

    ML’s feelings towards the jews was not hidden in that he advocated the outright killing of jews: from Wikipedia – [Luther advocated setting synagogues on fire, destroying Jewish prayerbooks, forbidding rabbis from preaching, seizing Jews' property and money, and smashing up their homes, so that these "envenomed worms" would be forced into labour or expelled "for all time".[202] In Robert Michael’s view, Luther’s words “We are at fault in not slaying them” . . .].

    The bottom line here is simple: If you want to know God, search for the truth. Don’t waste your time studying the invented and reinvented bible. Today, there are chanfes, such as abraham’s wife sarah had a handmaiden named Hagar. If you know your bible – she was sarah’s dark slavewoman and abraham raped and impregnated her . . . “truth be told”!

    Christianity, true Christianity, died with the Donatists long ago when st. augustine, collaborating with the other power-mongers of the church and constantine, decided to allow anyone, of any charachter, to hold church office claiming ‘it is the office that is holy. And so, the charachter of whom they appoint to it is of no concern’. And thus . . . we have prolific pedophilia in the church to this day.

    If you think about it, moses was a mass murderer and a hypocrite for having slaughtered his own jews when the very commandments he was professing disallowed jews killing jews. By the way, the torah does advocate the killing of Gentiles. To them the Gentile is essentially no better than any other creature on earth as all things were created in the universe to serve the jew. They believe we have no God, no soul, and no promise of heaven as they delusionally raise their young to believe ‘they’, the self-proclaimed ‘chosen people’, do.

    The torah states, ‘The best of the Goyim should all be Killed’. This would tend to explain why the Saxon leadership; village elders, tribal chieftans, and etc. (your European ancestry?) were rounded up for execution over the course of thirty years starting in 772 CE. This example is but one of countless others offering proof of their tactics, then and now.

    If moses lived today he would be considered no different from saddam hussein, nicolae ceausescu, hitler, et al. and would face tribunals for his crimes against humanity – just as they did. Isn’t it amazing how their terrorism induced brainwahing upon those generations of our Gentile ancestry leaves us so gullible and accepting of the greatest lie ever told.

    Do you wonder if any of what I write is true? Ask yourself about your own heritage. If you’re not a jew and you know more of the jews heritage (the bible) than your own, it may be that your ancestry was coerced into abandoning your rightful heritage during the forced conversions of the church over the course of more than a thousand years. And, as you read this, do you cringe at the concept of eternal hell awaiting me? This is called fear. And you call yourself an American . . . living in the land of the free and the brave? You, by admission then, are neither.

    Have rebuttals? Questions? Would you rather teach the truth about our world rather than proliferate the lie and maybe, at the same time, end the need for endless successions of wars? Can you handle the truth? It isn’t easy to change the schemas we’ve been lied to about – I know . . . I was raised a catholic. But I decided I needed to know the truth so I could live amongst the free and the brave’ as one, rather than allow myself to live a fool’s life. The bible is just plain wrong for America. It divides us, and it shows – in our government the most. Call me what you willn but I am a proud patriot first and foremost!

    Are you an advocate of the international criminal, human rights violating, crimes against humanity practising israel, who proceeds to build settlements on bull-dozed homelands belonging to the Palestinians – taking and taking with nothing more than a peice of paper they’ve created themselves stating their god gave them title and deed to it, as they did our ancestral homelands wherever the church rules? Do you think Rachel Corrie was a terrorist, as israel claims?

    Contact me if you need guidance in learning the truth of our world and want to be a force for change in this unjust world. Just add your comment below.

    • Walt Henry

      You might want to get a hold of a copy of an article by Henry P. Van Dusen published in The Atlantic Monthly August 1934 “The Oxford Group Movement”. It’s not so old that the information is archaic and not written by someone with a vested interested in the survival of an established religious hierarchy.

      • tediam

        Walt, I looked into it but couldn’t find an access route to a free source. I suppose I could try the wayback machine if it was ever online. By the way, what was the point you were trying to make with that article.

        I have found some info on the movement though. One thing I don’t do is get caught up in the chaos the church causes with its non-sensical dogma that it tends to go on and on about. To me it is all make pretend and irrelevant to the real world, ayway. So if you won’t mind elaborating some – I’d appreciate it. I don’t know everything, but I can see where the truth has been corrupted by a people for way too long and our country suffers for it. It may not be too long before the USA goes the way of the Roman Empire if we don’t all start paying attention. History does tend to repeat itself too often.

        • Walt Henry

          It’s probable you will have to search the microfiche records of a public library to find the article. That’s where I found the my first complete copy. This about the author from the Princeton University Press “Van Dusen, Henry Pitney ’19 (1897-1975), world churchman, Christian statesman, and a long-time University trustee, came from a family with strong Princeton associations. His father, George R. Van Dusen 1877, was a lawyer, as were his maternal grandfather, New Jersey Vice-Chancellor Henry C. Pitney 1848, and three uncles, Henry C. Pitney, Jr. 1877, Supreme Court Justice Mahlon Pitney 1879, and Princeton trustee John O. H. Pitney 1881.”
          The story of the Oxfords begins with a Lutheran Minister having what seems to closely resemble the experience Saul/Paul had on the road to Damascus. Then came a time of searching for the meaning of that experience and a quest to find its true nature. It is eventually accepted as a “close encounter with a living God.” (From this point the programs of recovery we know as the 12 steps were developed.) Sadly, the encounter, the experience of the thing was not enough for our Oxford friends. They thought it necessary to compare the experience to the Biblical experiences and gifts they believed one should receive as promised in the Bible as gifts to all of great spiritual belief; the gifts of healing, prophesy and persuasion being three. The name of the Lutheran minister who had the close encounter was Frank Buchman. He and his movement were largely discredited when he failed in his attempt to persuade Hitler to accept the true Christian faith.
          I promote the article because it is written by a Christian scholar not tightly connected to a religious organization. (It is said he would not have received his ordination if not for a letter of recommendation from a US Supreme Court Justice). It is of a time not so long ago that we can’t read and understand the original text and purpose. I happen to believe “close encounters” are real and true evidence of a living and active God. But I am also greatly saddened when people think those experiences are not enough; that they need to be somehow embellished. It is the results of the embellishment to which you refer in your letter.

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