Per Fidem Intrepidus means "Fearless Through Faith". My courage isn't my own, it comes from the Holy Spirit, it's my faith in God and my personal savior Christ Jesus that calms my fears and allows me to move forward in this fallen world. Personally I'm afraid of a lot of stuff, but having the faith that Jesus adopted me as his little, sin filled, brother keeps me going.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Guilt By Association

Not long ago I was rebuked by a reader for implying that Steven Furtick was less than a legitimate teacher because he associated with TD Jakes and handed $35,000 to Jakes, which is the average annual income of a member of Jakes' church. The reader was a bit upset because in his thinking Furtick's association with TD Jakes didn't make Furtick a heretical false teacher too, and I was just being judgmental. 

When I see false teachers like Mark Driscoll and Perry Noble team up with Steven Furtick what am I to think about Steven Furtick? And when there's another name on the program, do you think Pastor XYZ is going to be any different? Speakers are not invited to a conference to contradict what the other speakers are saying. When I look at conference announcements and I look at the lineup of speakers I may see known wolf after known wolf after known wolf on the 'bill'. What then am I to expected to think when I see names I don't recognize? Am I being  uncharitable if I label them "Wolf" also? 

I freely admit that when I do this I am being judgmental. That's not just how my mind works, that's how everyone's mind works. I call it the "Birds Of A Feather" reaction. Let's go back to Aesop and his fable of the Farmer and the Mule:
A Farmer wished to purchase a mule and decided to give the animal a test before buying him. He took the mule home and put him in the field with his other mules.
The new mule strayed from the others to join the one that was the laziest and the biggest eater of them all. Seeing this, the man led him back to his owner. When the owner asked how he could have tested the Ass in such a short time, the man answered, "I didn't even need to see how he worked. I knew he would be just like the one he chose to be his friend."
The moral of the story is that you are known by the company you keep.
But that's Aesop, a Greek pagan writer who lived 600 BC to 564 BC when he got a similar reception at Delphi to which Paul received at Lystra (ok, Lystra threw stones at Paul, Delphi they threw Aesop at stones)

But again, am I being unbiblical when I see someone running with wolves and assume that they may be lupine also? What does the bible say about Bad Company?
Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good morals.”(1 Corinthians 15:33)
He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will suffer harm. (Proverbs 13:20)
But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler—not even to eat with such a one. (1 Corinthians 5:11)
1 How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers! 2  But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night. 3  He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, Which yields its fruit in its season And its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers. 4  The wicked are not so, But they are like chaff which the wind drives away. (Psalm 1:1-4)
Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them. (Romans 16:17)
I do not believe that we're being unbiblical when we cry wolf! as someone whom we assumed was a good teacher take the stage with a known false teacher. I believe we're being discerning. The bible is full of admonishments about associating with fools and bad company and those people who gladly take the stage and speak at conferences with the likes of Joyce Meyer or Todd Bentley are there for a reason; they're running with the pack.

When you accepted Christ as your personal savior you became a new person, the old sinful ways were no longer fun and you turned away from the crowd you used to run with. We have been adopted into a new family, a family of love and fealty to Christ. We are set apart from the world, our minds renewed, we are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession.

Why would you want to endanger all that by falling in with wolves?

1 comment:

  1. I you associate with wolves, you are giving tacit approval to them. When you approve of a wolf, then you are saying their teachings are okay. If you are saying their teachings are okay, then that becomes your teachings also. That makes you a false teacher if you associate with false teachers.