What’s worse than non-believers? Wolves in sheeps clothing that prey among the Christian community. I have been a witness of such troubling behavior too many times and on the eve of my 41st birthday, I felt called to share some personal experiences with such predators as well as possible remedy to either get rid of them or better yet, to lead them to Christ for real.
What exactly are wolves in sheep’s clothing? They are self-righteous individuals that are likely to stop at nothing to fulfill their hunger. They are cowards that prey on the weak or take advantage of the naive. One good example of a wolf in sheep’s clothing involves Roger, a deceptive Christian poser that manipulates those around him to fulfill a selfish mission.
I met Roger in 1991 in Orlando, FL some nine years before I was born again. Drawing on pity and compassion, he introduced himself as unpopular and disliked by most co-workers. He politely asked me if I could teach him how to surf offering to pay for lessons. He seemed like a friendly guy, so I took him out to Cocoa Beach letting myself get roped in by a soft spoken man who claimed he had been a Christian since he was a child.
Over the next 14 years befriending Roger, I witnessed a self proclaimed born again Christian put out the most disgusting image of a believer I have ever seen. A complete professional and personal failure, Roger lived against the word of God doing many things our Lord hates.
“There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.” (Proverbs 6:16-19)
Involved of countless lies, theft, premarital sex, animal cruelty, pornography, unethical business practice, smoking addiction, drug abuse, gambling, working illegally, fraud and even shunned from a church, Roger truly defines a wolf in sheep’s clothing as he blends in each church service posing as a timid Christian.
Driven by a repulsive hunger for pride and success, Roger is a victim of the world who’s now turned predator. Claiming to be among the weaker sheep, admitting to straying from the narrow path when caught lying, Roger has had no fruit for God to harvest because he’s been sowing rotten seeds that spread a message drawn from darkness rooted deep within his soul.
“But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them.” (Matthew 7:14-16)
Roger is more than a bad example of Christianity, he’s an expert at coercing others to join him in deception and illegal activities. A not so crafty hypocrite, Roger was caught lying to my wife and I minutes after he was baptized in 2005. I was not surprised the same liar waited less than 24 hours to request a certificate of baptism so he could use this coveted document to maximize his arsenal.
Still, through last year, this ministry, my friends, my family and I continued to embrace Roger as a brother in Christ until he unrevealed the wolf that had been hiding beneath the sheep skin.
How did we find out about Roger? We looked at the pages rather than the book cover. We examined Roger’s harvest instead of the field he claimed to be sowing. At the time we decided to separate ourselves from him, Roger was involved in a fraudulent visa application plotting to work illegally in the United-States. How godly! The fact of the matter is since the day I met him, Roger had harvested no good fruit that were pleasing to God.
“Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.” (Matthew 7:16-20)
What exactly was the turning point? The revealing point involved the tremendous anger Roger displayed when I chose not to contribute to his fraudulent work visa application. After successfully manipulating me for over 14 years feeding off my generosity, Roger finally exposed his true self. That night, I clearly discerned he was not among the children of God. Upon Roger’s reaction, I heard the Lord whispering the following verses to me releasing all of us of any responsibility toward the imposter:
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!”
When is it okay to give up on a fellow believer? Never! As long as there is a glimpse of light in the eyes of a fellow Christian, we are commanded by Jesus to forgive and love them.
“Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” (Matthew 18:21-22)
Since this only applies to Christians or “brothers” in Christ, there comes a time with wolves when enough is enough. All sin is punished and all sins should incur consequences. Roger seldom experienced consequences because he was not willing to suffer for Christ. Roger’s suffering came as a result of his disobedience and a divine curse that allowed him to be exposed by those closest to him.
Are you in a similar situation? Have you witnessed perturbing behavior among your congregation? Do you know of a wolf a sheep’s clothing? What should you do about it?
First, pray for them. Pray that God will enlighten them and lead their footsteps to salvation. As you pray for their souls, I invite you to discuss the situation with prayer counselors, life group leaders or church elders. Though old covenant commands involved stoning, modern teaching encourages more passive approaches such as interventions or accountability.
“If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who does not obey his father and mother and will not listen to them when they discipline him, =his father and mother shall take hold of him and bring him to the elders at the gate of his town. They shall say to the elders, “This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey us. He is a profligate and a drunkard.” Then all the men of his town shall stone him to death. You must purge the evil from among you. All Israel will hear of it and be afraid.” (Deuteronomy 21:18–21)
God loves all of us. His judgment is not based on His divine love for us, it is based on our love and sacrifice for Him. Unlike simple confession, repentance is proven by one’s deeds. I invite you to pray for Roger and all other wolves in sheep’s clothing, that they would be uncovered and inspired to repent of their sins.
Let us pray.
We thank you for looking over us
And for guiding our footsteps each and every day,
Allowing us to make our own decisions
And sculpt our own lives after your son Jesus Christ.
Lord we ask that you continue to provide for us
For our families, our friends and those who seek you,
And that you will answer our prayers
And hear those of your children throughout the world.
God we pray for all the wolves in sheep’s clothing
That you will enlighten them and soften their hearts,
We ask in your name that you will protect us
From unrelenting predators and their evil plans.
God we love you and thank you for all that surrounds us!
This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre