wolves among us

Posted: August 19th, 2009 | Filed under: God, life | 16 Comments »

If a person climbs over or through the fence of a sheep pen instead of going through the gate, you know he’s up to no good—a sheep rustler! -John 10:1

The scriptures warn us about false teachers, wolves dressed as sheep and sheep rustlers. Have you ever considered how to spot them?

How many stories are coming out of the Christian culture about people who have lost their welcome in the church community? Do you describe a ‘really good Christian’ by what he does and doesn’t do? What do you see happen in your group when one of you sins?

By their fruit you will recognize them. -Matthew 7:16

We usually refer to this verse as an excuse to judge the failures of others, but that’s not what Jesus was teaching. He used that analogy to describe the result of false teachers. Students behave as they’re taught and looking at the massive community of ex-church members, you can see that what ever they are hearing is causing them to scatter.

The shepherd walks right up to the gate. The gatekeeper opens the gate to him and the sheep recognize his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. -John 10:3

I am the Gate for the sheep. -Jesus, John 10:7

In contrast, when we hear our Master’s voice, we don’t scatter, we become one. Anyone who comes through the Gate knows us, who we really are, and they call us by name.

A stranger has entered the flock by crawling under the fence and we know who he is by the way he scatters us.

They won’t follow a stranger’s voice but will scatter because they aren’t used to the sound of it. -John 10:5

The community of ex-church members and hurt believers is too large to be ignored. The church is not the enemy, but there is an enemy within the church that needs to be weeded out.

We heard the initial message of the Gospel and then watched it get thrown out the window as soon as we called ourselves Christians.

If you want to understand this transformation, just think about what they teach you to say when you’re ‘witnessing’ to someone. What do you say to someone who thinks they’re not ‘good enough’ to be a Christian? What do you tell them if they think they have to clean up a little bit before they give their heart to God? How do you respond if someone is convinced he has gone too far?

Now think about what is said about the Christian who starts going to AA meetings. What is said to the woman at church who got a divorce? How is the teenager in the Youth Group treated when her pregnant belly starts to show?

At what point does the Truth change? There is a prevalent teaching within the church community that supports a doctrine that is different than the simplicity of the Gospel. If that were not true, then you would not know exactly what I am talking about.

In making examples of people, you flee from them and let the wolves devour the fallen lamb.

He sees a wolf come and runs for it, leaving the sheep to be ravaged and scattered by the wolf. -John 10:12

The thing that throws most Christians for a loop is how to forgive without condoning the sin. They want to stand up for what is right, but aren’t sure how in that situation. First of all, you can’t worry about the way you appear. If you stand up for what is right, make sure you know what ‘right’ is. The ultimate ‘right’ is the sacrificial gift of grace that was paid for by the Son of God. Stand up for that and then expect to be given a hard time. It’s inevitable. The message of grace can’t be stomached by a group of people who have lost sight of the Cross.

How, then, do you spot a false teacher? The point of the Gospel is Jesus and his redemption. Anyone who downplays the sacrificial death is a false teacher. This is not a blatant statement made by people who advertise their false doctrine. It’s a sneaky evil disguised as an angel of light who goes undetected by those who don’t know the Truth.

Satan does it all the time, dressing up as a beautiful angel of light. So it shouldn’t surprise us when his servants masquerade as servants of God. -1 Corinthians 11:13-14

Look to see who is scattering the sheep. Watch who is causing divisions and dissociations. Watch who leaves the lamb when he falls. That’s your false teacher. He’s not a shepard, he’s a hired hand. He didn’t come through the Gate, he crawled under the fence.

I can’t believe your fickleness—how easily you have turned traitor to him who called you by the grace of Christ by embracing a variant message! It is not a minor variation, you know; it is completely other, an alien message, a no-message, a lie about God. Those who are provoking this agitation among you are turning the Message of Christ on its head. Let me be blunt: If one of us—even if an angel from heaven!—were to preach something other than what we preached originally, let him be cursed. I said it once; I’ll say it again: If anyone, regardless of reputation or credentials, preaches something other than what you received originally, let him be cursed. -Galatians 1:6-9


16 Comments »


16 Comments on “wolves among us”

  1. 1 Sandee said at 11:26 am on August 19th, 2009:

    I found out about your book through Sarah Mae, at A Warm Cup of Coffee. Having been the fallen lamb and kicked by "the flock", I can so relate to what you are saying. So sad…and so profound.

    Jesus died for the Christian too. Beth Moore's ministry and bible study on Breaking Free, has helped me so much, see as a believer, I still am in need of grace at every turn….

    What a needed word you share.

    Blessings

  2. 2 Serena Woods said at 12:55 pm on August 19th, 2009:

    'Jesus died for the Christian too'

    I love that! Thanks, Sandee. 🙂

  3. 3 Ryan said at 5:40 pm on August 19th, 2009:

    Awesome! Good scripture references.

  4. 4 Serena Woods said at 5:56 pm on August 19th, 2009:

    Thanks, Ryan. 🙂

  5. 5 Larry said at 3:53 am on August 20th, 2009:

    "Stand up for what is right…" I think God does a pretty good job doing that already. The best way we, as his body, can do that is by allowing the fragrance of our love for people fill the space. For some reason, the church has fallen into the trap of using secular tools to accomplish spiritual things. We seem to be afraid that God will be scrapped on the garbage heep of history. I think if we really believed that God was fully capable of securing his own reputation, we would live in the manner Jesus lived, because we have learned his voice and take on the family resemblence due to proximity. Isn't holding to "being right" actually more about our own insecurity than about Reality? If we would really make a difference in a world of lonely people, we would love severely.

  6. 6 Kristy Kish said at 2:18 am on August 21st, 2009:

    I am eating your blog up! This post is especially humbling. I so much want to be a beacon for God's love, but I don't know how to do so without coming across as judgmental. I feel like I'm always walking that line between Christian compassion and enabling.

    Thanks for sharing your story!

  7. 7 Serena Woods said at 3:11 am on August 21st, 2009:

    Larry: I love it. You reminded me of something. I held a Grace Is For Sinners:Bible Study at my church. I had a pretty rough time one evening and as I was driving home, asked God to help me explain what I've learned so that they'd understand. I felt like God responded, "Don't apologize for me, Serena." So, since then, I refuse to dumb the Truth down.

    Kristy: Thank you!! You should read 'Grace Is For Sinners'. The 'Wolves' blog is nothing compared to the depth I go in the book. I think it will help (after it hurts).

  8. 8 Sisterlisa said at 4:29 am on August 21st, 2009:

    Thank you for posting this. I recently wrote some articles on this same topic. I like this statement you made,

    "Look to see who is scattering the sheep. Watch who is causing divisions and dissociations. Watch who leaves the lamb when he falls."

    We were scattered out of a 'church'. Saw it happening to many others for several years then it happened to us. :O(

  9. 9 Cassie said at 3:24 pm on August 21st, 2009:

    Thank you soooooo much for writing this. The reference to him being a hired hand is especially relevant to my life right now. I was in training for full time ministry before I came to realize the real truth and this happened to me. I felt so betrayed by the people that I had been trusting for 18 years.

    PS. that pic is too cute

  10. 10 Just a lass hiking w said at 2:34 am on August 22nd, 2009:

    Wow. You nailed it. We need a lot more grace… Grace, grace, GOD'S grace…. Took me 18 years to see it too. God is helping me to "renew my mind" and learn to extend a lot more grace and a lot less of the judgmental attitude that has been taught to me for so long. Breaking Free by Beth Moore helped me too. So did the book "The Subtile Power of Spiritual Abuse" by Jeff Van Vonderen (hope that is the right author). The Grace and Truth Paradox by Randy Alcorn was also excellent in helping to find balance again. Plan to bookmark you and come back again!

  11. 11 Serena Woods said at 6:22 am on August 22nd, 2009:

    SisterLisa: you know, when Jesus was talking about the 'outcasts' I have to wonder if he was talking about the 'church outcasts.'

    Cassie: there are SO many of us out there. This is my little attempt to shine a flashlight and draw people to the Truth as Jesus taught, not the 'religion' we've put our faith in. The Truth never fails you, the lie eventually does (even after 18 years!). At least now you know.

    Hiking buddy: thanks for those recommendations. I'm going to check into the spiritual abuse one… 🙂

  12. 12 Sisterlisa said at 10:45 am on August 22nd, 2009:

    Serena, I think that at different seasons of our lives He allows us to see His written words a bit differently before. They seemed to not make sense to me before, then experience launched me into a new understanding and He showed me just what His grace really is and how much more it means than just what the wolves say it means. The name of Jesus and His purpose s world wide. The enemy can't block His love for us, but he does use people to inhibit just how much growth we can experience with our Lord by throwing distractions into our paths. Most times Christians aren't caught up with outside enemies, so he sneaks under that gate and attacks from within. A former wolf used to proclaim that the enemy won't destroy us from without, but rather from within. Too bad he really was speaking about himself.

  13. 13 Sisterlisa said at 10:50 am on August 22nd, 2009:

    Lass,

    Yes, subtle is the way the enemy works through these wolves. I went in depth about than subtlety on my blog. People wonder how 'preachers' use witchcraft as Simon the sorcerer did, Manipulation is witchcraft. They are silver tongued and know how to weave their trickery through their words. The wolf who held me captivated for so long did just this very thing. He even taught the members of his fellowship how to do it too and made it seem right. It is very wrong.

    Serena, I hope you don't mind me linking it here:
    http://www.agministries.org/2009/06/manipulation-

  14. 14 Sisterlisa said at 10:54 am on August 22nd, 2009:

    The other part of the series:
    http://www.agministries.org/2009/06/great-man-of-

  15. 15 TheNorEaster said at 12:16 pm on August 23rd, 2009:

    "Watch who leaves the lamb when he falls. That’s your false teacher. He’s not a shepard, he’s a hired hand. He didn’t come through the Gate, he crawled under the fence."

    Well said. Very.

  16. 16 revtrev said at 6:09 pm on August 25th, 2009:

    Great post. Well thought through. I can't wait to read your book. Will tweet on it when it comes from Amazon. @revtrev


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