Seeking Someone to Devour

What part of ‘wolf in sheep’s clothing’ do people not understand?  Satan’s hostile takeover of a church is not going to be heralded by machine gun fire and camo!  He is subtle–the whole point is that often we don’t see it coming before it’s too late, because he’s sneaky, he makes himself look good, talks smooth, can get people on his side.  He sounds so reasonable, he sounds…like a Christian, and he can make you believe he’s one of the flock. Why should we be surprised that his activity is so hard to discern?  He’s deceptive, and far more intelligent than we are–he’s not going to make his activity obvious.  And because he’s so good at acting like us, he can make the true believers look crazy for recognizing him and pointing him out.  The devil ain’t stupid, and he’s not going to show his hand until he knows it’s a winner.  I Pet. 5:8; II Cor. 4:4; 11:3,14-5; Ephes. 6; II Thess. 2:9.  People don’t believe it can happen in their churches, but it happened even in churches the apostles planted (I Tim. 5:15).

In spite of all this, we do have a tell–I John 3:10.  And we know that he who sows confusion and discord among the brethren is worth prayerful scrutiny; God has no part in sending the factious, and their work only benefits the enemy–I Cor. 14:33.

Contemporary Proverbs on Christian Living

Friendship is so fast forgotten, and so easily ebbs away, in these rebellious times.

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The Rot spreads, but the decay is smelled only by few.

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If one may be called to hate his own mother and father, is it any wonder that discipleship and pursuit of holiness may cost him his friends and acquaintances?  The wonder is that such things can happen within the church.

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To purposefully work to alienate someone in the body without cause, to cut him off from the normal social workings of the fellowship, to systematically isolate him in order to force him to comply with demands and earn back favor is extortion–it is not only unChristian, it is cruel, like high school.

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The strong personality who leads astray the weaker, and persuades them to aid in the division of their church, will bear both his own reproach, and theirs as well.

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When a man praises beyond proportion, his every good word is cheap, and his meaning impossible to decipher.

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The democratic penchant for fighting at the drop of a hat for everyone’s right to an opinion is so often a politically appealing, dressed-up excuse for malicious gossip.

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The Bible makes no mention of HR departments in local churches, let alone an office for filing complaints; mediation should only be sought after you’ve first approached your brother yourself.

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The argument for the ‘meeting of people’s needs’, if not informed by God’s Word, will often be nothing but a carefully-turned, weighty-sounding rephrasing of ‘meeting of people’s wants’, since apart from the Word, people only know what they want, and have no idea what they need.

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The duty of church leadership is to lead, teach and discipline the flock, in the way that best glorifies God, honors His Word, and fosters their growth.  It is not to have the flock fill out comment cards and adjust the ‘merchandise’ according to customer feedback.

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It is better to season your words with sensitivity and spirituality than to try to impress with sanctimony.

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To be continued!