Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sheep With Sharp Teeth

Wolves in Sheep's Clothing. Image Copyright: unknown
"And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you make it a den of robbers.”- Matthew 21:13, ESV

   I had wanted to upload this post while it was still fresh in my mind yesterday. Amidst the business of this weekend, that didn't happen. As the weekend draws to a close, I want to complete this post before I go to bed.

   While reading the blog of a ministry that I am following with interest, I came across a music video that they had linked to. I found its title interesting, because it is relevant to personal experiences along my spiritual journey through the terrain of different church environments over the last three decades that I am still thinking through. I had briefly summarized this journey in a post dedicated to Reformation Sunday, titled "Visiting The Crossroads". I will be exploring this in greater depth in the weeks and months to come.

   My curiosity was aroused, and as I did some further research online, I came across the following short video documentary produced by Christianity Today that not just disturbed, but made me really, really angry. I doubt if I could adequately verbally express the kind of fury that I felt as I watched this:

   Why am I so angry? Because I have personally heard and witnessed countless such abominations of the gospel preached from platforms and podiums during my time in the Middle East and India. This mockery of Christ and His cross has been perpetrated on unsuspecting and sincere believers, exploiting and led many astray. I am personally cut to the core and anguished in my spirit as I recollect those memories, because I too was once duped by these people into believing their promises of "blessing". And it cost me heavily. 

   But by the mercy and grace of God, He led me out of such false teaching and over the years, has helped me unlearn much of this theological nonsense, guiding me along the path of truth and discernment. I am deeply grateful for the church He mercifully guided me to - Willingdon, where I have found true water for my soul and have made my home for the last four years. God willing, I will call this my home church till the day I die. I shudder to think about where I would be now if it had not been for the merciful hand of God, who has promised to lead those who He has chosen and called His own. I have no words to thank Him for saving my soul.

    It's time to bring this post to a close and head to bed. As I was writing this, I was reminded of the following passages, which the Lord has been bringing to mind over the course of the last two weeks:

"Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which He obtained with His own blood. I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to admonish everyone with tears." - Acts 20:28-31, ESV

"I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed." - Galatians 1:8-9, ESV

"For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God's mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I say this that no one may delude you with plausible arguments." - Colossians 2:1-4, ESV

"Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of this world, and not according to Christ" 
- Colossians 2:6-8, ESV

"Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared..." - 1 Timothy 4:1, ESV

   I have a lot of hard thinking and processing to do. I'll be writing more about this in coming posts. If anyone has thoughts that they'd like to share about their own experiences, I'd like to hear from you. Until next time, goodnight.

Grace and peace to you,
 - The Wisdom Seeker