Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Pastor Larry DeBruyn's Memorial Service

Now Posted on YouTube

The Memorial Service for our departed friend Pastor Larry DeBruyn was held on January 7th. The service was officiated by his lifelong best friend, Bob Gifford, who pastors the Sovereign Grace Baptist Church in Dale City, Virginia. The church people were doubly sad, as they had also just lost a longtime faithful missionary, Mrs. Doom; so viewers will note there are several mentions of her throughout the course of the service.

The service may be accessed at YouTube:
https://youtu.be/NyUD_ZOMMlE

Pastor Bob Gifford opened the service with a beautiful sermon and moving tribute to Pastor Larry. He told anecdotes from their long friendship, as they both served the Lord in ministry. Pastor Gifford told how Pastor DeBruyn was obedient to the Lord at great cost to write on biblical discernment in the latter years. Pastor Bob's wife Jane then stood to read letters commending Larry's ministry while in the pastorate.
Pastor Bob Gifford remembering his friend Larry.

Warren Smith was unable to attend the service but, thanks to the technology offered him by Berean Call, was able to record a special message remembering his friend Larry which was played for the service. Lynn Leslie then read aloud the series of tributes mailed in (these are reprinted in our previous post). Some from Pastor Larry's mission workers also sent in video recordings which are included in the YouTube memorial service.

Sarah Leslie delivered a eulogy, recalling the story of Larry's prolific research and writing with the Discernment Research Group. She told of the vast influence of Pastor Larry's writing ministry across the world, both in writing and traveling to the mission field.

Gaylene Goodroad, who frequently writes for Herescope, and her husband Steve were among Pastor Larry's faithful parishioners. She related a moving story of how Pastor Larry ministered to her in a time of need, and spoke of what a blessing he was to their family. In introducing her Pastor Gifford commended the women who worked alongside Pastor Larry in discernment as 'Deborahs'.

The last part of the memorial service was an extended time of sharing and remembering Pastor Larry DeBruyn. Many stood up and spoke very nice things about this godly man. He will be sorely missed!
Church member Matthew Jenkins and Lynn Leslie
sharing a jaunty hat moment after the service,
along with Sarah Leslie and Gaylene Goodroad

Warren Smith wants our readers to know that his most recent booklet/tract, just published, is dedicated to his good friend Pastor Larry. What a fitting tribute!
Read Warren's booklet HERE
Over the years Pastor Larry DeBruyn contributed in one way or another to well over 300 articles posted on Herescope. Below is the written text of the remarks I made eulogizing Pastor Larry. Mention was also made of the term 'larrydebruynism' which we all used humorously to refer to his unique turn of a phrase that so often appeared in his article titles, subtitles, and writings on Herescope. By God's grace, and with the blessing of Pastor Larry's friends and family, we will be taking steps to preserve his work and publish his writings so that his ministry will continue to bear precious fruit.


Remembering Larry DeBruyn
By Sarah H. Leslie, Jan. 6, 2018

“Behold, bless ye the LORD,
all ye servants of the LORD,
which by night stand in the house of the LORD.”

(Psalm 134:1)

The Lord has removed a watchman who was standing on the wall. Larry DeBruyn was plucked by the Lord off the wall, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.” Pastor Larry was a night watchman who witnessed the impending darkness of demonic idolatry descending over the land. He faithfully and boldly sounded warnings about the dangers coming into the body of Christ. With his passing, Isaiah 57:1 comes to mind. The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart: and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come.”

I will tell some of the story of how Pastor Larry came to be a globally renowned discernment and apologist writer. In 2005 the Discernment Research Group began publishing the Herescope blog. The history of this research group goes back to the mid 1980s when my husband Lynn and I banded together with a group of likeminded Christians to research the New Age and occult that was coming into the church. We first called ourselves the Iowa Research Group, and in the early 1990s we began publishing and sharing research with discerning Christians who were banding together on the Internet. Herescope had been the name of a monthly column in the magazine my husband and I had published in the 1990s called The Christian Conscience. We had spent several decades writing, publishing and standing against the occult, paganism, false doctrines, New Age beliefs, heretical doctrines, dominionism, and weirdness that was coming into the church.

Pastor Larry’s writing first came into my hands in the mid 1990s when he wrote a short article concerned about Promise Keepers, a topic that I had also written about – in retrospect it seems significant that I had written about its pagan mysticism, a subject that Pastor Larry would eventually become quite familiar with. I didn’t know who Larry was at that time, nor do I recall who sent me the article, but I remember it because it was noteworthy. 

It was our friend Warren Smith, whose Christian testimony is that he came out of the New Age movement, who first introduced us to Pastor Larry. We had known Warren since the early 1990s, and had gone on to publish the first edition of his two books Reinventing Jesus Christ and Deceived on Purpose.  Warren felt that Pastor Larry’s unique gifts and deep spiritual insight, as well as his scholarly style of writing, made him well-suited to our ministry’s particular mission.

Indeed, Pastor Larry found a comfortable niche with our ministry. He began giving us permission to republish the discernment articles he was writing. Many discerning saints appreciated his gentle but forthright style of writing. Pastor Larry took great pains to be well-documented and researched, delivering a clear pronouncement of biblical truth against the error. Many readers expressed gratefulness that he had written a credible and scholarly article they felt comfortable printing off and taking to their pastor and church leaders.

One noteworthy attribute of Larry’s personality was his clever wit and wonderful sense of humor. When we discovered that we both shared a love of satire we began to work together more closely. It all started when the late Pastor Ken Silva of Apprising Ministries and I were inventing new words to satirize the weird stuff going on in the evangelical church world. It was really a silly, quirky thing that we enjoyed doing, and it took the edge off of the dark horrors we were researching. Pastor Larry DeBruyn quickly joined in our hilarity, and added in the necessary theology to our posts. We ran a whole series on Herescope called “Neologisms for Evangelicals.” The favorites were our many deviations on the term Sola ScripturaPlura Scriptura, Sola Mystica, Sola Experientia, MantraScriptura, and so on. How I will miss those quick phone calls from Larry. He would dictate words for me to type in, but he would have to stop because he was laughing so hard he couldn’t speak!

During this process Larry and I discovered that we worked very well together. From that point forward we began to more closely research and write together. Meanwhile Pastor Larry was retiring from his pastorate. At first he was uncertain about his future. I remember when Pastor Larry called me, quite discouraged, feeling very meek that his life’s work wasn’t going anywhere. He loved his Eastern European mission work and wanted to go on more mission trips. He had become quite involved with Discernment Ministries and frequently spoke at our conferences. His articles were being read across the globe. Yet he felt disheartened, wondering if he was producing fruit for the Lord.

One weekend he made a special trip to Pastor Jeff Whittaker’s church in Niles, Michigan to meet a group of pastors from Australia. A short while later Pastor Larry was invited to travel overseas by these pastors to go to Australia and New Zealand. Pastor Larry was off on his global travels! While he was still healthy he also traveled to South Africa and taught at a Bible School in Zimbabwe. God definitely did not retire him.

Pastor Larry used his time not traveling to become a more prolific writer. Of the 940 posts we have put up since 2005 Pastor Larry either wrote or contributed significantly to over 300 of them. Over the years he always wondered how many “hits” we had on his posts on the blog, and then would quickly add in humility, “Not that it really matters.” But it did! Writing on the Internet sometimes feels like writing into a giant vacuum – is anyone out there paying attention, listening, heeding the warning, repenting? We very seldom see the fruits of our work. Plus, on Herescope the silly blog counter never worked right, and it didn’t keep track of visitors accurately. But I could access the real figures on the blog and I’d assure him that tens of thousands of people across the globe were reading and disseminating his articles. Knowing this, plus being blessed periodically by wonderful kind letters he received from readers, encouraged Pastor Larry to continue his tedious and painstaking work of research and writing.

Pastor Larry became a bulwark for the rest of us doing discernment work, particularly for Gaylene Goodroad and I. We were writing about some very dark heresies coming into the church. It is an odd quirk of the Lord’s that He placed we two women in Larry’s life, and him in ours. Gaylene and I both have powerful testimonies of coming out of the occult and eastern mysticism. Gaylene was involved in the martial arts and her testimony is written in an online booklet My Life inthe Way. My testimony has never been written, but I survived the hippie era where I was deeply involved in transcendental meditation and the occult, as well as having many other extraordinary life experiences. Pastor Larry provided us significant biblical counsel on how to write about these dark heresies. He also publicly affirmed our remarkable callings and took extra steps to cover us with his pastoral oversight.

Pastor Larry had a unique gift to walk the fine line between warring theological camps by standing on the firm ground of Scripture itself. He had a unique gift of being able to think through theology in a way that was not divisive but solidly biblical. We never saw him have a bitter spirit nor exhibit an attitude of contentiousness. He did not believe in attacking men, but rather focused his efforts on exposing the new (often repackaged old) bad doctrines coming into the church. Pastor Larry’s heart’s desire, often expressed to us, was to simply contend for the faith: the Gospel of Jesus Christ, His shed blood on the cross for our sins, His death and resurrection, and His soon second coming. Pastor Larry was so meek that there were several noteworthy occasions when he was working on an article where he chose to set it aside when he learned that it might fuel a dispute between brothers, or cause more contention in the body of Christ. Always he strove for peace.

Early on in our discernment work we prayed for the Lord to raise up godly pastors who could stand with us as we watched and warned. Very few men have been willing, and even fewer have had the courage, to take on the ministry of discernment. This ministry truly is the “offscouring” of the modern church era, much disparaged and maligned, with few rewards and much grief. Yet, Pastor Larry entered this ministry and began tackling head-on some of the hardest issues facing the church. He had a willing heart to obey God in this difficult ministry, knowing he “wrestled not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

Pastor Larry was very bold in his proclamation of the Gospel of Salvation. He saw all heresy as an attack on the Gospel and thus he stood firmly as a watchman on the wall to proclaim the truth against the error. This often meant he had to research the error, and as awful as that was, he would rejoice even more in learning what great blessing God had given us in His Son Christ Jesus. Towards the end of his life Pastor Larry often told me that God had blessed him with great insight into how the Gospel stands as a beacon of light and truth against all spiritual wickedness in high places. This emboldened him all the more and he was writing on this topic up to the very end of his life.

A year ago in December Pastor Larry’s health took a serious turn for the worse. I did not hear from him for many weeks and it seemed that he might die. At this same time we were experiencing a difficult struggle in our discernment work. I prayed fervently, then prayed and fasted, that the Lord might give us Larry for more time. About a year ago one day the phone rang. It was Pastor Larry. He started the conversation with, “I’m alive! I didn’t die!” He didn’t see my tears as I wept for joy, praising God. The extra days that God gave him to us were filled with much ministry work, a huge writing project against a new form of Universalism, and a great deal of joint research on a book he was writing against ancestor worship. The week he died I was in the midst of trying to track down a few quotations he wanted to use. It is our prayer that with God’s help these unfinished manuscripts will be completed.

We praise God for Pastor Larry’s life and how it enriched ours… and yours. 

“Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another:
 and the LORD hearkened, and heard it,
and a book of remembrance was written before Him
for them that feared the LORD,
and that thought upon his name.
And they shall be Mine, saith the LORD of hosts,
in that day when I make up my jewels;…”
 
(Malachi 3:16-17a)


Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Remembering Pastor Larry

TRIBUTES to Pastor Larry DeBruyn

The following are just a few of the tributes that were read at the Memorial Service for our dear colleague Pastor Larry DeBruyn on Sunday January 7th in Dale City, Virginia. Pastor Larry's service will be posted on YouTube in the next few days. We will put up a post with the details.

October 7, 1944 - Dec. 28, 2017


When Jewel Grewe called me and said she wanted to hold a Discernment / Berean Call Conference in South Africa in January 2016, we were thrilled to hear that Larry deBruyn would be accompanying her. Having read his books and articles, we were looking forward to meeting Larry in person. Larry’s father-heart came through and we found him so easy to converse with and despite his own hardships he had experienced, his concern and love for people was evident. With a zeal and passion for the Truth he selflessly served the Church of Jesus Christ travelling to different countries with his precise teachings and power-point presentations that were a blessing to us all.   
The words of this beautiful hymn “Brother let me be your servant” reminds us of Larry!  He will be sorely missed by us all…  until we meet again… 
I will hold the Christ-light for you
In the night-time of your fear;
I will hold my hand out to you,
Speak the peace you long to hear.
I will weep when you are weeping,

When you laugh I'll laugh with you;
I will share your joy and sorrow
Till we've seen this journey through.

When we sing to God in heaven
We shall find such harmony,
Born of all we've known together
Of Christ's love and agony.
Brother, let me be your servant,
Let me be as Christ to you;
Pray that I may have the grace

To let you be my servant, too.
Julie Leo, South Africa,
The Berean Call & Discernment Ministries office
Condolences from The Theological College of Southern Africa which is based in Zimbabwe.
The College Community in Southern Africa expresses its heartfelt condolences to Pastor Larry Debryn's family, the Saints in the USA on the passing on of our beloved minister of the Lord's flock across the world. While it seems a loss for us all we exhort the brethren all over the world to celebrate his life as a gift from God that was given and has now been taken.
We had the privilege to be ministered to by Pastor Larry in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe on the 30th of January to the 7th of February 2016. This is almost 2 years ago but we were still feeling the blessing of lectures during those days. We were continuing to pray for his return trip anytime this year but the Lord has seen it fit to call him home. We then will continue to praising the Lord for the wonderful gift that he was.
From the Zimbabwe Bible College
Remembering Larry DeBruyn
Most people who know the name Larry DeBruyn, know him as a discerner and apologist. Indeed, he was those things par excellence. He wrote and spoke indefatigably against error and his work is visible all over the internet and on countless bookshelves and in the hearts of thousands. Not only did he have an excellent grasp of the theological issues but he exhibited a Christ-like spirit towards even his opponents. There are many who attempt to defend truth, but not many who do it with the right attitude. Larry was one of a select few who spoke and wrote, not because he had a chip on his shoulder but because he cared.
He cared for truth, but he also cared for those who are deceived as well as those who are the deceivers. This concern for the people as well as the doctrine was no doubt borne out of his many years in pastoral work. Yes, he was an excellent apologist, but he was also a true shepherd of the flock.
Indeed, he was more than an apologist. He was also a teacher who cherished every opportunity to teach the truth wherever the Lord would open a door for him – across the world, to every culture and to large and small gatherings alike. Once again, there are many who can point out error but Larry was one of a few whose passion was as much for truth as against error. As a teacher he remained faithful to the fundamentals of the faith at a time when most are defecting to the left and right. Today teachers are dime a dozen, but those who remain faithful to the faith once delivered are very rare indeed. Such was Larry DeBruyn.
More than an apologist, pastor and teacher, Larry was also a friend. Many years ago I was struggling with a very difficult situation in a very difficult church. I was in despair and ready to quit. Unexpectedly Larry called and spent time encouraging me with the same comfort he had been comforted with in a similar situation. When it seemed that all others had forsaken or forgotten, Larry had not, and I will never forget his kindness at such a dark hour. Larry was a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
No one is indispensable and the Lord knows what He is doing when He calls His warriors home but Larry will certainly leave a huge gap in the ministry and amongst my friends. Apart from his roles as a family man, Larry was a true apologist, teacher, shepherd and friend. His reward will indeed be great!
“Precious in the sight of the LORD Is the death of His saints.” (Psalms 116:15)
Pastor Anton Bosch, 1/4/18
Sun Valley Community Church
Late Pastor Larry
We have learnt through TCSA of the untimely passing on of Pastor Larry. Untimely in that it was our desire for the dear pastor to continue with the good work and investment of this divine partnership. However, we accept that the Almighty had better ideas. 
We nevertheless take comfort that what Larry achieved will forever remain etched in the memories of those who were blessed to have interacted with. That interaction still has positive impact to this day and we prayer for its continuation in the future. 
Please pass our sincere condolences to the surviving families, the Christian community in the States and the wider Christian community at large. Pastor Larry’s contribution was purposeful in a life well spent. 
May the Lord continue to comfort all of us in the full knowledge that a reunion awaits us yonder. 
For and on behalf of Assemblies of God Zimbabwe 🇿🇼,
Nathan Setlhako (Chairman - National Executive)
My name is T.A. McMahon and I’m the Executive Director of The Berean Call, a ministry founded by Dave Hunt. It’s my privilege to share some memories and thoughts about my friend Larry.
When I first met Pastor Larry, the Lord had directed him into writing in the area of spiritual discernment, which he took to not only with grace but also with the heart of a shepherd who had great concern for God’s sheep in our days of growing deception.
For those of us in discernment ministries we are aware of the great diversity of false teachings that the Adversary continues to use to deceive the body of Christ. Some are billboard obvious yet they are nevertheless seductive.
Others are very complex and intimidating in the sense that they seem to be supported by science. It was the latest concepts of that nature, such as quantum spirituality, that were not science but rather false teachings or pseudoscience. Larry was wonderfully able to explain the errors simply and then show how they undermined the truth of God’s Word.
Quantum physics and its relation to quantum spirituality was not something I was particularly interested in trying to figure out, or was even capable of, although I saw the serious influence it was having in Christendom. Those who promoted the Word/Faith Movement were using quantum spirituality to support their corruption of both God’s Word and in particular the critical biblical doctrine of Faith.
Those who were into the teachings of pantheism and panentheism, that God is nothing more than an impersonal force or energy and that God is in everything, i.e., everything is God, were also deceiving multitudes. Larry made a valuable contribution through his work in debunking the false science involved thereby helping the discernment of and the equipping of biblical Christians.
Larry and I spent time together in South Africa and he helped me greatly in my own lack of understanding regarding quantum spirituality. His explanations enabled me to see how the latest pseudoscientific concepts fit into the ongoing deceptions Satan had been promoting since the Garden of Eden, and which Dave Hunt and I had been writing about for decades.
Larry understood that God had given him the grace—and time—to do a unique work, and he was ever so thankful.
South Africa was a special time. We both took very seriously the work God privileged and enabled us to do. On the other hand, Larry was the main laugh track on the personal videos we made during that trip that featured some of my blunders, from unintentionally exploding a smoothie blender the contents of which decorated a kitchen—to the crashing of my parafoil kite in our hosts’ most cherished tree—to dredging their pool for my sunken GoPro camera.
There nothing quite like having a smiling, heavyweight Dutchman towering over me each morning inquiring as to what adventure I might have in store for the day!
Larry spoke at our Berean Call Conference a couple of years ago and it was obvious to all that the niche that God had called him to fill regarding discernment was wonderfully fulfilled. He finished the race by grace.
I’m going to miss him, yet I thank Jesus for the time I had with him.
TA McMahon, Berean Call
Pastor Larry was a dear friend. I will greatly miss him. He had send me a message only two days before I heard that he was admitted to the hospital. I never expected it to be his last one to me. 
For nearly ten years, ever since he picked me up at the airport in Indianapolis, IN when I had arrived from Switzerland in order to drive me to the Discernment Conference in Niles, MI, I cherished his friendship and close cooperation in the Discernment Research Group. He had a keen mind and a great love for his Savior Jesus Christ. While he recommended me as a guest preacher to American pastors and often drove me himself to one or the other church or ministry venue, I don’t recall that we ever spoke about anything else but the truths of the Bible and how it needed to be defended effectively against all of the heretical teaching which had crept into the evangelical churches. I benefitted from his godly counsel and deeply spiritual insights. I don’t believe there was even one incident that I disagreed with his views on the Bible or anything else. He pointed me to resources in my research whenever he could and was glad when I was able to help him in his. Once, when I preached in his church, he gave me an expressive Bible software program as a gift. I still use it almost every day. While much more could be said about Pastor Larry, when I think of him only one thought comes immediately to mind: His great dedication to know the Bible, as best as he could, preach and teach it to others with a passion, and live out its truths moment by moment in order to glorify God and be a blessing to others.
Again, I miss him dearly but am glad to know that he can see Jesus Christ, his Savior, face to face now and be in His presence for all eternity.
Dr. Martin Erdmann

I was Pastor Larry’s secretary for over 14 years and was fortunate to get to know him very well.  If you did not have this opportunity, you missed out on a very dear friend.  Most of you know he was a wonderful Biblical scholar with such deep insight to God’s word, but he was also a very caring, compassionate, sensitive man.  He loved the Lord, and he loved His people.  There were so many times I saw the soft, gentle side of him as he was helping someone during a difficult time.  He helped my husband and me during the time our 21 year old son had a massive stroke.  He not only visited and prayed for Brad while we was in the hospital and rebab, but he took the time to talk with Dave and me as we were handling this devastating blow, adding his tears to ours.  He was my confidant, as I was his, and I counted that a privilege. 
He was also a very generous, giving man.  I recall one time a young lady in our church asked him his opinion of which study Bible to purchase. Knowing the family was tight on money, Pastor Larry purchased his recommendation and had it sent to her house.  She was so grateful!  That was just one of many, many times I saw his generosity. 
We would have coffee breaks in my office occasionally.  Anyone who was in the church at the time would gather in my office for a few minutes of fellowship.  Often it would turn into a mini Bible lesson as Pastor Larry discussed a topic that was on his mind at the time.  I loved that!
One thing that makes me smile whenever I think of him is how he tickled himself so when he told a joke.  Everyone would laugh…..but his would always be the loudest.  I think he loved the telling as much as the joke itself.
Pastor Larry was a dear man and I will miss him so much.  As I said, anyone who was able to get to know him well was blessed with a true friend.  I was privileged to be one of them.
Debbie Kennedy
Pastor Larry DeBruyn wholeheartedly and lovingly served his Master and Lord Jesus Christ and the believers in each church that he pastored. We were fortunate enough to live under his leadership and to become friends with him and Margie. Gaylene first discovered Franklin Road Baptist Church when we were looking for a new church home in 2008. I was cautious about getting involved with another church without understanding the church’s position on Christian doctrine and was hoping to read something more than a mission statement. I wanted to know how the church put the doctrine into practice. I found this answer in Pastor Larry’s Pastor Letters that were posted to the FRBC website at the time. He had written an entire series of letters about practical, everyday Christian living for the membership of FRBC.
There can be no doubt that Pastor Larry had a true calling as a Pastor. The most compelling evidence is his fervent work after his retirement as a Senior Pastor. He continued his teaching ministry in many countries, served with Discernment Ministries in both writing and editing articles and began his own website and blog. He never retired in the American sense of retirement, instead he moved from one phase of Christian service to another. This is also true of his death. He has simply moved from Christian service in this life to the perfect form of Christian service and worship of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Steve Goodroad



Friday, January 05, 2018

Pastor Larry's Service to be Live-Streamed

MEMORIAL SERVICE for Pastor Larry DeBruyn
...details are still being worked out... stay tuned...



Saints whose lives have been positively impacted by the ministry of Pastor Larry DeBruyn have been inquiring about how they might be able to either listen (audio) or watch (video) Pastor Larry's memorial service. Details are still being worked out. 

The service will be conducted on Sunday morning, January 7, 10:30 EST by his lifelong best friend, Pastor Bob Gifford, at the Sovereign Grace Baptist Church, 14703 Silverdale Drive, Dale City, Virginia 22193. The church's website is http://www.sgbcva.com. Warren Smith, Sarah Leslie and Bob Gifford will be eulogizing Pastor Larry.

For those who are a bit tech savvy, here is one method to listen. Go to Mixlr.com. At the bottom of the homepage click "Start Free Trial". It will take you to a page where you can download the app where it says you can try it for free 14-day. You will have to set up a user name and password in order to use the app. Search for SOVEREIGNGRACE.

Check back frequently on this blog as we will post updated information, as we learn more details. There will be other listening options. 

UPDATE: Audio only will be available by logging into http://mixlr.com/sovereigngrace/

A video of Pastor Larry's service will be posted on YouTube in a few days. Stay tuned. . . .
 


Written memorials expressing how Pastor Larry positively impacted their life of faith can be submitted to herescope@gmail.com. These will be provided to his wife and family. Please keep all in prayer in the days and weeks to come.