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Watch Out for the Christian Paparazzi

August 25th, 2010 3 comments

I sometimes receive e-mails from Christian busy-bodies, Jude calls them “clouds without water and trees without fruit” (v. 12), who are sending me the latest revelation on who is the leading candidate for “antichrist” or exposing how false spirits are entering the church. The message usually contains an urgent plea to send this SHOCKING REVELATION to as many people as you can. What is especially troubling is when fellow believers are mentioned by name as “the deceived” and anyone who has ever read their books, been to one of their conferences or bought the T-shirt is now guilty by association. In case you didn’t know, you are now an accomplice in a sinister, demonic scheme to deceive and destroy the Church!

What we have here is the spiritual equivalent to a “Christian” drive by shooting. These self-appointed prophets act like religious paparazzi, running to and fro with their noses in everyone else’s business. They are super-Christians, with tongues faster than a speeding bullet, able to leap over the giant log in their own eye to gouge out the speck in the ministry of another. Of course it’s all done in Jesus’ name out of great concern for doctrinal purity. With friends like these, who needs to worry about the devil!

Let me be really clear: GOD HATES THOSE WHO SOW DISCORD AMONG HIS FAMILY (Proverbs 6:19).

 To accuse another brother or sister of being deceived by a demon is a strong and serious accusation. Equally frightening is the attributing of a work of the Holy Spirit to Satan (Wow! You better really be sure about this one because the Holy Spirit does not appreciate being called Satan).

These accusations are especially disturbing when the person being pursued by the Christian paparazzi have a long track record of love and good fruit (Matthew 7:16). God specifically forbids speaking recklessly and irresponsibly about those who are in an office of spiritual authority. In fact, Paul tells us, “Do not receive an accusation against an elder except from two or three witnesses (I Timothy 5:19). Paul adds, “Who are you to judge another’s servant?” (Romans 14:4) The Lord, Himself, is able to discipline and correct his sons and daughters. That’s never been our job. We are to pray for our leaders (Hebrews 13:17-18) and, when there is reason to believe they are immoral, heretical or demonized, they should be approached by elders in their local church and not spiritual gossipers on the world-wide web!

Paul offers a better approach. “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.” (Romans 12:18). We are to serve our brothers and sisters with “all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:2-4). Let’s do what we can to love, encourage and strengthen Christ’s family instead of trying to throw our flesh and blood under the bus!

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