Friday, August 20, 2010

Wolves in Sheep's Clothing (Part III)

[This is part three of a three part article entitled Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing. For continuity be sure to read part one posted August 18 and 19, 2010.]

TBN = Treasure, Babes, and Nicole Miller

Paul Crouch and his ilk are quick to mark those who stand against them. They call their “opponents” heresy-hunters. Anyone who challenges their heresies that they pump into millions of homes everyday are quickly denounced as evil heresy-hunters. Crouch and his ilk react violently to any criticism of their ministries. They have even pronounced judgments of death on all persons who challenge their method or mission.

“God, we proclaim death to anything or anyone that will lift a hand against this network and this ministry that belongs to You, God. It is Your work, it is Your idea, it is Your property, it is Your airwaves, it is Your world, and we proclaim death to anything that would stand in the way of God's great voice of proclamation to the whole world. In the Name of Jesus, and all the people said Amen!' (Paul Crouch, Praise The Lord television program, November 7, 1997)

"To hell with you! Get out of my life! Get out of the way! I say get out of God's way! Quit blocking God's bridges or God's going to shoot you if I don't. I don't even want to even talk to you or hear you! I don't want to see your ugly face!" (Paul Crouch, Praise-a-Thon, April 2, 1991)

Yet, the church as a whole does not stand up and teach the children of God that they are the heretics. The church is hesitant in saying that they are teaching falsely. How do we know that they are false? Discernment. Compare their teaching with scripture and use biblical discernment. Scrutinize their prophecies, their pronouncements, and their polemics.

False teachers do not want to scrutinized with Scripture. Why don’t we have the discernment as a “church at large” to mark out the false teachers while we are discipling the new believers to reject these men and their ministries? Seems, in the spirit of cooperation, tolerance, love, and oh yes, refusing to be though as judgmental, men like these are accepted as Christians but perhaps with aberrant views. They are not Christians they are wolves, ravenous wolves in sheep’s clothing preying on the lost, the naïve and the undiscerning.

Secondly, let me share something with you that may shock you. First, my heart goes out to those who are deceived by these ravenous wolves. My heart breaks for them because as II Cor 10:3-6 states they are captives in the stronghold of Satan. They are captives of satanically devised arguments by these ravenous wolves. They are captive to lofty opinions that have been lifted up against our great sovereign and holy God. Oh, that God would deliver them all!

Many who are giving their last nickel of their Social Security check are getting what they deserve and warrant. Why do you think many of those “widows” who are living on social security or disability send in their money? They send it because of their greed. They want more. They don’t send their money without the expectation of the promised return. Their greed is fueled by the greed of the ravenous false teacher’s greed.

Before you say it, I am not judging motives and yes I do allow for the fact that some of these dear and desperate widows maybe sending their offering or gift out of sincerity. There are probably a few who truly want to advance the kingdom of God but due to being spiritually dead or extremely spiritually naïve are deceived into thinking that their donation will matter. The majority want, covet, and are desperate for the promised 10 fold or 100 fold promise of return. These false teachers prey on desperate, broke, sick, and hurting people. Sometimes these desperate people hate their poverty and want financial wealth, not unlike anyone else, and therefore they give in order to get.

Deception is a judgment of God on those who reject His Word and His Son as given to us in the Scriptures. Everyone loves the Jesus they have manufactured in their own vain imagination. Christ answered the disciples one day when they asked Him why He spoke to the crowd in parables. Christ response may shock you; He stated He spoke in parables so that they would not understand.

We as believers must expose the false by presenting the truth of God. God reveals what is true to edify His children but also to expose what is false. God does send waves of deception to hardened hearts who reject the truth for a “revised” brand of the truth. See II Thessalonians 2:11; II Kings 22:22; Ezekiel 14:9.

When people like Gandhi or Anne Rice, who by their own “testimony” reveal that they are not believers, and decide to denounce Christianity, we should not be offended by that. We should not give them a pass as if they are “seeing through” the lies and distortion of what they define as Christianity, but we should shine the light of the Word of God in such a way that perhaps they will see the truth.

If the church cannot discern the real from the false, and is unwilling to mark, or name those who are wolves in sheep’s clothing, in order to avoid them then the church is in real trouble. This is why so many so called churches have no influence or impact on the world around them. They have, in the name of love and tolerance compromised the truth to allow anyone who says they are a Christian to “be” a Christian.

Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus, ye soldiers of the cross. This is war, a spiritual war; not a game!


welcome to my world of poetry said...

Thank you Gregg for this most wonderful three part post, I have enjoyed each part equally.

Have a good week-end.

Pilgrim Mommy said...

The whole health, wealth thing is pretty bad. What's worse is their view of the atonement and of Christ Himself. The prosperity gospel is no gospel at all.
May God have mercy.



In A Call to Discernment Christian counselor Dr. Jay Adams wrote, "Self-styled 'experts' in psychology, sociology, and education who hold Ph.D.'s in their fields and Sunday school degrees in Bible pontificate on Christian teaching and life on radio and elsewhere, setting themselves up as spokesmen for God.... Their teaching and use of the Bible (when it is used) often bear little resemblance to what the Scriptures, properly interpreted, really say.

WhiteStone said...

How offensive to God it is to promise glitter and glamour instead of grace!

Anonymous said...

Good series, Gregg! Christians need to have the knowledge and guts to recognize and expose false teachers. It is the loving, biblical thing to do.

Kansas Bob said...

Enjoyed catching up and reading this series Gregg. I so agree that the rise of televangelism and celebrity pastors has not been good for the kingdom. Add to that all of the people who make megabucks getting people to ghost-write and turn their sermons into "books".

I find that most TV and radio preachers are pretty greedy. This list shows that many "respectable" evangelical leaders make a LOT of money.. and these numbers do not include their book and video royalties.. maybe not as much as Hinn and company but because of Hinn and company these folks get a pass.

Maybe I will takemore notice when people begin to call out all of the false teachings and ministerial greed.. evangelicalism is rife with it. Until then my heart is also grieved by the success of televangelists and celebrity pastors.