Reaping What We Sow
Our culture is 2-3 generations deep into a full on moral collapse, and as a result nobody can be trusted and that is not hyperbole, that is a statement of fact. I have come to realize that when dealing with people in our modern era you are either dealing with someone who has been horribly victimized by people in our declining culture or those who are doing the victimizing. Both of them are dangerous, one will lash out due to hidden hurt and the other is looking for those that can be manipulated and used to their advantage.
The Apostle Paul described in Romans 3 a vivid picture of the cultural decline he saw in his day and it is unsurprisingly exactly what we see in our day. Human nature simply has not changed. We have all been touched by evil and the sin nature that flanks us on all sides as we walk through life, there simply is no escaping it. Anyone who says humans are basically good does not comprehend the fact that most people are either predatorial in nature or are so hurt by others that they are spiritually unhealthy and they too can be equally as destructive in their irrational behavior. It truly is just a matter of time until you see the real side of people, all you have to do is wait long enough.
“As it is written, There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: Their feet are swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery are in their ways: And the way of peace have they not known:There is no fear of God before their eyes.” Romans 3: 10-18
The vast majority of people you will meet in life are irreconcilably damaged and as result carry with them hidden hurts, scars, and wounds that shape their thinking, emotions and most importantly their actions. On the outside they look and sound reasonable but they are not. When triggered they almost always act out in a defensive and belligerent manner. Give them the right set of circumstances and they will lash out, betray and even sabotage relationships without hesitation, anything to obscure the fact that at their core they are wounded individuals who have been preyed upon by what has become a predatorial society. That is the truth our modern world hides, we are not civilized, we are still in a state of nature where the predators are always looking to isolate the weak. Only instead of being dragged down, killed and consumed in the wild, people are dragged into abusive relationships, controlling friendships, financial scams, poisonous ideologies, religious cults, cyclical substance abuse lifestyles, and fear based decision making.
This is why the PC culture has become so predominate in our time, it is a reflection of the fact that everyone has been exploited by someone, something or some institution to the point of deep emotional hurt. What they fail to realize is the PC culture is predatorial in nature itself and preys upon these weak souls. These poor people that don’t have a discerning bone in their bodies end up being collectivized into social justice warrior causes linked inextricably to the wounds caused in their lives by immoral people acting out in a immoral cultural. This liberal, politically correct way of extracting “justice” and “healing” is the way the world goes about trying to address the immoral culture we have before us. They have all become bullies themselves leveraging their victim card and their collective voices against whole groups of people that did them no wrong. Politically correct, social justice warriors go from prey to predator thinking that they will find healing by being on the attack. They don’t want to admit that the lack of morality in our culture is a spiritual issue and will instead muddy the societal waters and debate with ill-conceived, non-solutions that end up being horribly divisive in nature.
On the other hand those of us that turn to God and scripture to find healing, truly desire freedom from the hurts of our evil world. They seek solace and most find it in the comfort of local church bodies and groups. Christians for the most part know that they are broken, they know they need Jesus, and broken people have no problem submitting to the will and authority of God in their lives. They seek deliverance from their cycles of sin and find solace in the life of faith. When we trust God, he will deliver us, and he will protect us from the wicked. The great King and Psalmist David sang about the pain of the world and solace in God. He was a man who was truly beset on all sides by very real struggles,
“Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the LORD his God: Which made heaven, and earth, the sea, and all that therein is: which keepeth truth for ever: Which executeth judgment for the oppressed: which giveth food to the hungry. The LORD looseth the prisoners: The LORD openeth the eyes of the blind: the LORD raiseth them that are bowed down: the LORD loveth the righteous: The LORD preserveth the strangers; he relieveth the fatherless and widow: but the way of the wicked he turneth upside down.” Psalms 146 5-9
The unfortunate thing about the church is that it is a breeding ground for the spiritual predators. Where damaged submissive people are, you will undoubtedly find predators looking for those they can separate from the herd.
The church is supposed to be a safe place for people to learn about and put into practice the central tenets of their Christian faith. A refuge from the world. Unfortunately the reality is the church also attracts certain people who claim to be Christian in name, but in reality are spiritual tyrants. I would hope that most people are truly humbled by what they find in scripture, yet there are those who literally spend their time obsessively memorizing scripture and learning the ins and outs of the Christian lingo because it gives them an inflated sense of self-importance. They use the Bible as a means to leverage power over others through overt spiritualizing and grandstanding on every perceived issue. They make long shows of their knowledge and presume to both know what God would have them speak into your life and even into the pastors of the churches they attend. These people are often very charismatic, charming, knowledgeable and active, but in reality everything they do is with the sole agenda of making themselves look like spiritual giants in the eyes of as many people as they possibly can.
The Pharisees had a prideful religious spirit, and so will the spiritual tyrants you undoubtedly encounter at some point in your Christian walk. Just remember that nobody experienced Jesus’ full on holy wrath and rebuke like the Pharisees did. It cannot be understated how hated of God spiritual tyrants of every sort are to Him.
The tactics in which they will utilize during the process of cultivating this aura and mystique about themselves are varied, but can be divided into four beast like categories. The devil loves to bend people to their most base, animalistic instincts. A spiritually controlling is hallmark of these tyrants. Because these tyrants operate from a place of pride, they operate from their devilishly beastly nature as they work their agendas among congregations all over the world. So depicting these tyrants as preditorial animals goes hand in glove with the demonic, religious spirit that has come to animate and motivate them.
The spiritual tyrant that best embodies snake like characteristics in the Christian congregation is the gossip and back-bitter. They are the whisperers who cozy up next to their prey and speak flatteries to those they perceive as being susceptible to their points of view. Snakes love talking to you on the phone, or cornering you in church for hours. They perceive themselves to be smarter than you, more experienced, and more spiritual. They will never get in a showdown with someone who they believe to have a true command of scripture, being afraid of direct confrontation. They are not loud or authoritative, instead they work behind the scenes isolating individuals and cleverly getting them to divulge their secrets, their vices, their inhibitions, and desires. They always offer solutions or gossipy tidbits that they dole out gradually in hopes to win your allegiance. Gossipy tidbits are their currency, and how they win people’s trust making it seem like they have inside info. They are extremely knowledge about scripture and love to hypnotize people with spiritualizing everything, and often point to things they may have said in the past as being prophetically coming to pass. They constantly say see I told you so, or point to how God used them to speak into your life. These type of spiritual tyrants love to make themselves out to be spiritually intuitive and even mystical. They constantly talk about and reference past events as to how God has miraculously done things in their life, building themselves up as a true seer and prophet of God. They always have a comeback or retort ready to go to pull your thinking towards their own thinking or desires. Everything they say or do is laced with scripture and verses. These are often very charismatic people and very likable personalities being so people oriented in their approach towards manipulation. Because they spend so much time with their victims they often seem helpful, infinitely giving, and concerned for people. Yet behind everything they do or say is pride, the fact that they have to point out everything they do or say reveals their true motive of creating intimate friendships. They really seek to leverage a group of manufactured malcontents in hopes those people will wage war on their behalf with others they see as a threat.
Tips on Exposing the Snake:
The snake talks too much, that is a fact. This is how they manipulate large groups of people. They spend an awful amount of time isolating people and seeding a handful of “talking” points into a group of targeted people’s lives. They also have an uncanny way of making you think that it was you that came up with the “talking” points yourself in conversation so you take it on as your own position. This is their method, but it is also their greatest weakness. Whatever covert goal they aim at whether to undermine the pastor, to overtake a Bible study, our position themselves into places of administrative authority they do it by talking, and talking and talking. Because they talk so much it will almost always be traced back to them as the source of contention that inevitably occurs. So when dealing with a snake, take note as to who they talk to then go and ask those people what the snake said to them. Verify that they are seeding division and contention among multiple parties so those parties see them for what they are… a snake.
“Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.” Matthew 10:16
The foxes are very clever, very quick witted, always super outgoing and charismatic but have a innate lust for power. They are attracted to authority positions and are constantly figuring out who they need to talk to, or who they need to influence every Sunday to get into a positions of authority. They too are extremely knowledgeable about scripture, and very likeable. They truly believe that the church needs their insight into matters. They are often brown-nosers and revel in exposing other’s sins to the pastor, especially people in authority, or those in administrative positions for the sole purpose of gaining the trust of authority figures. Foxes are often starting projects, getting people together, and soliciting people’s help because they love to be seen as leaders. Foxes also, want to know the operational ins and outs especially numbers and finances and they are always trying to cozy up with people in positions of trust in order to flesh out those details. They figure the more they are perceived to know about operational aspects of any church then the more likely they will be tapped to assume roles within the church. The most dangerous quality of foxes is that they are only loyal to their power and ambition, and will manipulate the fall of someone if they feel it opens up the opportunity for them to assume that position. Like foxes they don’t usually work in groups because they don’t intend to share power with others.
Tips on Exposing the Fox:
Foxes reveal themselves because they are busybodies among staff and leadership. Their lust for power drives them and this can be seen in how they talk about the church and the congregates. If there is always something wrong with other people, their solutions, their administration of tasks, then you can be assured you are dealing with a fox. They reveal themselves in their pettiness, and critical nature about every detail, and are always quick to point out how they themselves would do it better.
“And he said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.” Luke 13:32
Bears are solitary lumbering beasts. They usually are very arrogant and are very opinionated about spiritual issues. They are highly unlikable characters because of their forceful and blunt approach, and usually are on the fringes of any congregation looking for someone to entrap in conversations. They seldom concern themselves with the mission, goals and ministry objectives of any given body of believers. They simply have their pet doctrines and they are single-minded in their quest to find converts to that pet doctrine. They often have prejudices, are often confrontational, and don’t know when to quit harping on a point. Most people recognize bears, and stay away from them and often bring their behavior to the attention to the pastor. Who I assure you is well aware of them already usually. The ones that are more subtle and are a little more sophisticated in their approach are often times are also very knowledgeable about scripture like the other animals. They develop complex way’s of thinking and spiritual theorizing to aid in winning people over to their pet doctrines and perspectives. They won’t always explode on you right away instead they will wait for times and places to layout their complex worldviews. They often have highly intricate thoughts on end times, and will inevitably bend conversations towards the presentation of their worldview. There is no amount of reasoning and presenting alternative perspectives to bears, their sense of self-worth and even their identity becomes wrapped up in their theorizing and theological speculating. Like the others, pride is a major factor as to why they are so forceful in the pursuit of their proselytizing goals.
Tips on Exposing the Bear:
Bears will usually expose themselves as such fairly quickly, but sometimes they are very patient and very selective as to who they verbally vomit on with their theories as to creation, the creator, and eschatology. The more sophisticated and high-brow bears almost always allude to things in conversation. They are always trying to feel people out and inferring little things here and there testing your receptiveness to their doctrine. To draw out a bear simply be knowledgeable about scripture and when you sense them implying some hidden truth or knowledge get them to explain it, and then tell them point black that you have your own opinions on those matters but they aren’t primary salvation issues and you don’t spend time contemplating them, which will be to their great annoyance.
“He was unto me as a bear lying in wait, and as a lion in secret places”. Lamentations 3:10
Out of all of the characteristics we have discussed the wolf is by far the most devastating. Given their ability to cloak their attack, they are often the most successful in total infiltration of a church body. Wolves are wolves because they create packs of people, who become wolves themselves through the parroting of the head alpha wolf’s doctrinal error. A wolf has a profound knowledge of scripture, are natural leaders and handily assume leadership in a forceful alpha-male type way. They are often times charismatic, bold, and authoritative in their delivery of anything having to do with scripture. They command respect and love it. They love the fact that their very presence sets most people on edge, they also love the fact that most people are bowled over by their presence and left stammering when being spoken to. They have purposely cultivated this personal power and utilize their force of personality to spiritually lord over people. They lace their words with verses and scripture and universal truths knowing that the combination of their presence, personality and articulate words demands loyalty, and acts as a hypnotizing agent on the weak minded. These people almost always create a public persona that they never let slip. Because nobody dares challenge them, they are always testing people as to what they can get them to do without complaint. They will often times get people to do things well outside of the boundaries and roles of their administrative position, will get them to sacrifice their personal time and even well-being on behalf of their objectives all the while telling you that the Christian life is sacrifice. They twist and bend scripture at a whim to get people to do what it is they want with no regard to the context or proper application of such text. For a wolf scripture becomes a tool to get what they want and as a result seed doctrinal fallacy among those who are under the wolf’s spell. Wolves are full of arrogance and pride, and from all appearances are true leaders in every sense of the word, but in reality are full of self-will. Many of the forceful TV type preachers are associated with false doctrines can be classified as wolves, especially considering the way they bend scripture and feign prophetic anointment on their lives for effect. The wolf is dangerous beyond believe, and is a true tyrant in the spiritual sense.
Tips on Exposing the Wolves:
Wolves are notorious secret sinners, they cultivate a uncrackable public image and facade, but are almost always doing something that is highly immoral or illegal on the side. Because they perceive themselves as being untouchable they most always are pushing those boundaries. To catch a wolf one must be careful because like every other animal their sense of self-worth is wrapped up in their facade. If you crack that facade they have nothing left to lose and are capable of profound levels of evil and destructive retribution. If you do expose a wolf bring a few friends, collect evidence and be prepared for a fight from not only the chief wolf but also the wolf pack.
“For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.” Acts 20:29
We must be on the lookout for anyone that exhibits characteristics like the ones above. The lack of discernment and naivety that has come to dominate our Christian churches is epidemic. We have allowed so many people to be just as wounded inside the church as they are outside as result of just letting anyone run amok in the congregation. If you are a pastor or belong to a congregation that has fallen prey to a single or group of spiritual tyrants then the best thing to do is let them go their own way. No matter what, do not allow them to voice or leverage their power base against the pastor all at once in town hall format, that is exactly what they want. Distinguishing between those who are the tyrants themselves and the source of contention and those who are unwitting pawns are also a must. The pawns will eventually repent when they realize they have been worked over hard by one of the four classes of spiritual tyrants while the actual tyrants themselves will continue to be divisive for years to come. This is why the actual tyrant must be called out in a public identifying way, especially if multiple parties can attest to their manipulative ways. Tyrant’s motives are wrapped up in pride, and pride blinds.
People that slander, gossip, push their pet perspectives, gain up on pastors, and condemn are always looking for others to fall in line with their thinking. We must remember that the difference between a man of God and one of these spiritual tyrants is very easy to identify. The man of God will not be swayed from His purpose, he will speak the Word without fear of consequence and will most always offend people with the truth. These men are like the prophets of old and are no respecter of persons. Cult leaders and spiritual tyrants are notorious respecter of persons and will always bend towards people, twist their message, and accommodate others because they are looking to attract large followings. This is what gives tyrants power. This obsession with cultivating large crowds is what feeds their egos, that is the mark of a true cult leader or false prophet. The man of God will never chase after people, and try to weasel into their lives through flattery or manipulation. The man of God will stand alone before he stands with the crowd.
“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” 2 Peter