Saturday, May 28, 2022

False prophets

From "How to Spot a Wolf":
The Bible commands Christians, “Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account” (Heb. 13:17, NIV). But God’s Word also tells of times when we shouldn’t trust and submit to leaders. What are the circumstances when honoring God means disobeying, fleeing, or even calling out those who minister in his name?

Paul warned the Ephesians elders of wolves who would come and not spare God’s flock (Acts 20:29). The apostle borrows the image of the wolf directly from Jesus (John 10:12; Matt. 7:15). As patterns of abuse come to light in the church, we urgently need this biblical warning that shows us the difference between a godly shepherd and one who preys upon the sheep.

False teaching—preaching “a different gospel” (Gal. 1:6–7)—is a primary way a wolf reveals his true nature, but what are some other ways to tell a true shepherd from a wolf in sheep’s clothing?

Identifying wolves is difficult because the marks of a dangerous soul seldom manifest in physical appearance. Even more, false teachers are people made in God’s image. A wolf shows his humanity in his seemingly healthy relationships. His personal charisma and the genuine good his ministry accomplishes can further hide his true nature from others, and even from the wolf himself. ....
  1. Wolves emphasize gifting over character.
  2. Wolves avoid accountability.
  3. Wolves hunger for power.
  4. Wolves lack gentleness. .... (the four marks of a wolf)
Rutledge Etheridge III, "How to Spot a Wolf: Recognize Abusive Church Leadership Before It’s Too Late," TGC, May 27, 2022.

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