As Jesus proclaimed the coming of his redemptive Kingdom he warned his followers that there would be many destructive counterfeits.
They would be particularly dangerous because of their sheep’s clothing camouflage. Skilled in pretending to be Christian, they would be well versed in faith terminology and masters of manipulation. A Trojan horse if you will, that will penetrate the ranks and devour from within.
How do we protect ourselves from these kind of predators who pretend to be pastors and prey on the vulnerable? First of all to overcome an enemy you have to spot them. By their fruit Jesus said they would be known. The fruit Jesus speaks of has infinitely more to do with character than gifting. He is referring to love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness and self control.
Charisma may grip your attention but it is no indication of whether that person is there to do you harm or not. Great communication skills do not a good shepherd make. Paul who was an apostle pointed to the fact that healthy kingdom builders would not merely be instructors. They would be fathers and mothers, people who let you into their lives. Men and women who like parents, would have your best interest at heart.
Let us not build preaching halls, let’s build Gospel-centered authentic communities. Where we do life together, so we can protect each other and build one another up. Where no one person is the ‘man of power’. Where Christ is celebrated as the Lord and saviour who came to love, heal and forgive.
- Dave Koch