Thursday, February 10, 2011

How Wolves Are Made!

I don’t believe men are born wolves. Even for a guy like me, who always seems to see the glass half empty rather than half full, it would be too cynical, too jaded, to envision a world wherein wolves are born for the specific task of devouring sheep with no choice in the matter.

I do not subscribe to the doctrine of the nonexistence of free will, and so I believe that every sneering, malevolent wolf roaming about the earth today at one point in their existence stood at a crossroads, and chose of their own will, the way of predatory spirituality. Life or death, good or evil, are set before every man, and it is up to the individual to choose to obey the command of God, and love the Lord, and walk in His ways, and keep His commandments that they may live. It is also of one’s choosing and volition that the heart turns away from truth setting off a chain reaction in the soul beginning with the individual no longer hearing the voice of the Lord, being drawn away, subsequently made to serve and worship other Gods, eventually leading to destruction and the perishing of the individual.

This post however, is about wolves, and how they are made, and not about the role free will plays in individual salvation. Although it might not seem like it at first glance, free will, or choice also plays a large role in how a wolf is made. Although we have the freedom to choose, unfortunately we don’t always make the right choices, and if the enemy can convince us to compromise just a little, then he knows that eventually, given enough time, even though we might have started out with the best of intentions, we will become the dreaded wolf.

Unless otherwise convinced by empirical evidence, I continue to hold to the notion that most of the wolves roaming about Christendom today started out with the best of intentions. Long ago, in a time of innocence and first love, for most of the now wolves, there was one singular desire, that of preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. This was a noble pursuit, a good beginning, and a solid foundation. If they would have remained in this mindset, if their purpose would have been this and no other, then this would be the end of the story, each would stand before God one day and receive their just reward, and the world as we know it would be a very different place.

The problem is that this is merely the beginning of the journey and not its finality. Time passes, the young minister faithfully preaches the gospel of Jesus Christ, but rather than keep his eyes upon the cross of Christ, he begins to look around and behold other ministers, who are far less intelligent and charismatic than themselves, but have a far larger ministry. The ego being what it has always been, it begins to whisper ever so gently into the year of the young preacher, ‘you deserve a bigger audience, you deserve a bigger ministry, think about it just a few tweaks, just a few minor changes, and you’ll be off and running.’

And so the wheels begin to spin, and the young minister begins to reason, and he concludes that it is wise to be wise, and as the wise fisherman often does the best way to catch fish is to bait the hook. His sermons begin to change, at first imperceptibly, highlighting this present life a little more than the life to come, talking about the flesh rather than the spirit just a little more than he used to and to his amazement the ministry begins to grow.

Some time passes, and once again the ego begins to whisper, ‘good first step, but we have far to go. Think how big your ministry would get if you stopped using all that antiquated Christian terminology, if you would stop preaching against sin, if you would be more tolerant and all-embracing and start telling stories with a message rather than preach from the Bible. You know how tiresome the Bible can be for some people; you wouldn’t want to turn anyone away now would you?’

And so, the young minister compromises a little more, and by now all the trappings of success have him mesmerized and enchanted. Jesus is long forgotten, and the gospel of Christ is a distant memory. Now it’s all about good music, good entertainment, making people feel comfortable, and content, and justified in their sin, because no one ever build a mega-church rebuking sin and calling people to repentance.

Slowly but surely the young minister is transformed, and soon enough he is confronted with the final stages of the transformation into a full blown wolf, that of being more of a motivator than a preacher, that of leading people to a life of success rather than a life in Christ, because Christ has become a way rather than the way, the Bible has become an alternative sacred text rather than the only sacred text, and faith, well faith is optional and the object of your faith is whatever you desire it to be.

How is it that one can stray so far from truth? How is it that one can stray so far from Christ? One step at a time! A little compromise today leads to a little more tomorrow, and before you know it, you look in the mirror stunned to see the feral eyes and glistening fangs of the wolf staring back at you.

Guard your heart; whoever you might be; guard your heart. Daily look in the mirror of the Word, daily search the inner depths of your heart, and make certain that your goal, and desire have remained unchanged, undiluted, and unadulterated, that your one and only longing is still to preach the gospel of Christ Jesus, and nothing more.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.


Barbara said...

I tend to be optimistic and trusting of people, but I do think that some people are just born wolves or born bad. I don't think that bad preachers lost sight of their goal. If they wanted to folloow Christ they would. It doesn't matter how big your church is, it is all God's doing if someone's church is big. It is really God's church after all.

I think having a small church is a better sign of being pure, since the true believers are but a remnant of the whole church. If people don't like what you have to say, too bad. They can leave and go where they feel popular and accepted.

I personally hate to be around people who are constantly seeking what they can do for themselves and how to better themselves. If these people are drawn into a church, I am drawn away because I feel like I am just another tool in their self-serving game.

I think churches need to support the growing believer and not always be trying to recruit people and grow bigger. Strong believers are the most powerful asset of any group, not the numbers.

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

When we were much younger, we attended a couple of churches who went down the extreme "health and wealth" path.

After hearing the teaching for years, we understand why you find so many leaders in this movement get in either monetary trouble or walk into personal character favor.

The teaching surrounds the fact that you deserve all the world has to offer, God wants you rich and happy, etc. After awhile, the enemy can use this against you to think you can do anything if it makes you happy.

Not all people fall into this, of course, but we've seen it a lot. Thankfully, we knew the Word enough to get out as our former denomination progressed deeper into the teaching.

Anonymous said...

AMEN AMEN Bro Michael.... so much of this is happening all over.. Have a friend who wants me so bad to come to her church she says it is growing getting bigger and bigger. The pastor is so good.. I ask her does he talk about sin and repentence and being made holy.. She said no he talks about walking in abundance of God's blessing... I told her that is good, but there is another side to the story walking in obedinece she said oh God loves us... I just let it drop she will not hear it so many are like this... Bro Michael you have a way with words I will let her read this article.. thank-you again.

Amy S. Trosen said...

I wrote an article on this subject and received quite an unexpected amount of backlash, where's the grace? and such. I will be curious to see how your article is received. It is a timely and a needed word. Thank you. You are an encouragement to me.

dap said...

Good stuff, Michael! The LORD is good! Has He lead you to put a book together? Do you ever listen to Jacob Prasch or David Hocking?
Stay on the narrow Way my brother!
In His Love, Dave Perri

dap said...

I hope everyone responding to this would keep in mind the parable of the tares...there are many who look like Believers but are not. This did not exclude pastors/teachers/leaders but Jesus prevented the angels from attempting to pull out the tares because the wheat would be uprooted with them. I think we can be sure that angels have a better spiritual perspective than us, therefore though we can do little to prevent the existance of tares we can be sure of their existance. Though I speak from a limited amount of experience (mostly the kind persecution that takes place within the "church"), I believe the greatest purifying force in the church is persecution. Even then weeds are still able to grow in a well tended and patroled garden...this I know from experience; being on ones knees is not limited to praying. The parable of the abnormal growth of the mustard seed explains the weakness of the large or megachurch; that the largeness permits the presence of birds (workers of iniquity). This should not of course cause anyone to assume that small churches are exempt from bad, poor or wrong teaching. God's gift of freewill does not guarantee that His will is always done by His children and the tares can fool most anyone.