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Wolves Among Us

Updated: Apr 11

I know a man who was told by his 10-year-old granddaughter that she is a lesbian. He was deeply disappointed, not so much in his granddaughter, but in her mother’s influence and in society as a whole. The girl’s mother was an outspoken advocate for the LGBTQ+ agenda, vehemently anti-Christian, and even engaged in homosexual practices at times. The mother would often tell him how much she hated his Christian religion and wanted nothing to do with it. He recalls a time during the mother's teen years when she tried to convince her younger brother that he was gay. The ploy failed, but the man knew the moment his granddaughter said the words that she had been manipulated by her mother. This man believes it was the mother’s way of lashing out at her Christian family members and God.


In the two years since then, the man’s granddaughter has never expressed romantic feelings for anyone of the same sex, and when asked about it, she reacts in a way that could only be described as repulsed by the idea. It becomes clear that the cultural narrative has only resulted in greater confusion about human sexuality, not a greater understanding. This family, like most of Western society, has been decimated by the lies behind the LGBTQ+ agenda. “Love is love.” No matter how this ambiguous catchphrase is defined,

postmodern society would have us believe that any form of love is holy and righteous—something that must be celebrated and not questioned.


The messaging of LGBTQ+ propaganda in school curriculum, literature, social media, television, movies, and especially shows marketed for children is so widespread and so convincing to so many people that the new cultural norm is to reject centuries-old, immutable biblical truth in favor of a movement that denies same-sex attraction as being disordered from God’s original design for humankind. LGBTQ+ activism targeting evangelical Christians essentially asks the age-old question, “Did God really say…?” echoing the lie told to our first mother, Eve. In this postmodern age, the authority of Scripture has largely been abandoned or at least relegated to one source among many other authoritative sources such as experience and cultural majority opinion. The goal of the serpent in the garden was to sever the relationship between God and man, just as he had done to himself. Because of his hatred of God and his contempt for God’s sovereignty, Satan set out to corrupt all that God had made by bringing down His crowning achievement: humankind. And the Enemy continues to attempt to thwart the plan of redemption for humanity established by God through Christ Jesus. Unfortunately, there have been many willing perpetrators throughout history ready to spread this campaign of disinformation to the world.


The Apostle Paul warned us about these false teachers, that there would be some who abandon biblical truth for deceptive lies. He wrote to his young protégé Timothy, “But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron” (1 Timothy 4:1-2 NASB). Notice the language Paul uses to describe the condition of these false teachers; a seared conscience makes one callous to the truth and susceptible to faulty moral judgment. Doctrines of demons are any teachings that intentionally distort the declarations of God. In the immediate context of this particular passage, the teaching in conflict was forbidding marriage and abstaining from certain foods. In the larger context, such teachings present ideas and practices that run counter to the true Gospel. Paul rebuked the Galatians for being swept away by this form of distorted messaging:


“I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are following a different gospel—not that there really is another gospel, but there are some who are disturbing you and wanting to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we (or an angel from heaven) should preach a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be condemned to hell!” (Galatians 1:6-8)  


In this day and age, Paul would have been chastised for using such "inflammatory" language. “You know, Paul, I hear what you’re sayin’ but perhaps you can tone it down a bit and show a little more grace.” Paul isn’t alone in speaking harshly about false teachers. Peter explains how “they will cleverly teach destructive heresies and even deny the Master who bought them. In this way, they will bring sudden destruction on themselves. Many will follow their evil teaching and shameful immorality. And because of these teachers, the way of truth will be slandered” (2 Peter 2:1-2). Not only do they condemn themselves but also those who believe them.


LGBTQ+ activists slander God’s truth and spread the lie that evangelical churches “hate gays” and want them “cast out of the Church.” But it isn’t the Church condemning those struggling with same-sex attraction. It is the very false teachers who spread a revisionist gay theology that, if believed, is what leaves the sinner condemned in their sins by hindering them from full repentance.

The world embraces sin, but in the love of Christ, the Church seeks to save those who are trapped in a lifestyle of sinfulness.

Scripture is abundantly clear when it asks the question, “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived!” (1 Corinthians 6:9) And who are the unrighteous? Those who practice sin—all sin, including homosexual behavior; and all without exception are guilty of sin. Everyone is welcome in the house of God, but those who refuse to repent of their sins and follow Christ Jesus will not gain the privilege of being called children of God (John 1:12). False teachers who withhold or distort this critical truth are in grave danger of eternal judgment for themselves and those who believe them.


There are valid points to be made for how the Church has historically treated those who struggle with same-sex attraction compared to other manifestations of the sinful nature. We must approach all sinners seeking redemption with unconditional love, heavenly grace, and gentle correction. There is no one beyond the love of God, and we are to love others the way God loves them. That means that we are as concerned for their well-being as we are for our own. We must even be prepared to sacrifice for the sake of others if it means bringing them into the family of God.


There is no “us and them.” We are all fallen people in need of a Savior. Paul reminded the Jews in Rome regarding the sinful Gentiles, “You may think you can condemn such people, but you are just as bad, and you have no excuse! When you say they are wicked and should be punished, you are condemning yourself, for you who judge others do these very same things” (Romans 2:1). It is our responsibility as followers of Christ to proclaim and demonstrate to the world that God has saved us and desires for “everyone to be saved and to understand the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4). We were enslaved to sin, but by the power of the Holy Spirit inside us, our sinful nature is defeated.


Concerning the deceptive teachers who advance the idea that a lifestyle Scripture has identified as sin is actually holy and designed by God, they are to be sharply rebuked.

For example, in the Church of the Nazarene, there is an overt, orchestrated effort by a small but vocal number of ordained church elders and leaders attempting to sway its people into becoming fully LGBTQ+ affirming, which is to deny that the practice of homosexuality is sin. The lie they use is that God’s love demands it. However, Scripture says real godly love “does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth” (1 Corinthians 13:6).

The most unloving thing we could do is to deny those seeking redemption their first step of faith—repentance.

There is no salvation without it (Luke 13:3).


Because we are loved by God, we are to practice the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). Christian author Warren W. Wiersbe once wrote, “Truth without love is brutality and love without truth is hypocrisy” (On Being a Leader of God. Baker Publishing, 2011). Oh, we like the first part of that quote. It resonates with our desire to be accepted by others. But the second part does not sit so well with us. Accountability makes us uncomfortable. The modern mentality cries out, “If I have to change who I am, then you don’t really love me.” But the truth is, if God doesn’t change our nature, we can never genuinely experience His everlasting, perfect love. Not because He doesn’t love us, but because we are incapable of receiving that love until we surrender ourselves to the Holy Spirit and are made into “new creations” (2 Corinthians 5:17). God’s love is a transforming power that sanctifies us and restores in us His righteous, holy image—giving us the capacity to receive and express His perfect love.            


How do we prevent deception from infiltrating our churches, and how exactly are we to deal with false teachers? One leader suggested that we should simply ignore them, that they have no real influence. But, as anyone who is at all observant of events in the Church today realizes, this is terribly naïve thinking. Worse yet, it is not biblical thinking. Scripture gives us the answer to this question. Here are a few ways the Bible instructs us to deal with false teachers:


Stay Alert!

The first thing Scripture tells us is to “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). When we ignore the Enemy and his agents—even the unwitting ones—we are giving them full access to our camp, allowing them to sabotage us from within. The elders of the church are charged with shepherding and caring for the flock (1 Peter 5:2). That doesn’t just mean nurturing but also protecting. Paul warned the Ephesians, “I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them” (Acts 20:29-30). These wolves among us are experts at deception. They may even believe their own lies, but it is not God who guides them. “For Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve” (2 Corinthians 11:14-15). We are to study God’s holy written Word emphatically and to pray for discernment so that we might recognize deceptive teaching when it is advanced.       


Refute and Silence False Teaching.

The apostle Paul instructed that an elder “must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it. They [false teachers] must be silenced because they are disrupting whole households by teaching things they ought not to teach—and that for the sake of dishonest gain” (Titus 1:9,11). Calling for open dialog is the opposite of silencing false teachers, but so many among us who try to sound reasonable by recommending that we converse with and seek common ground with these deceivers do not understand that they are directly contradicting God’s instructions for church elders, and in doing so, they become culpable themselves. John wrote in his second epistle, “If anyone comes to your meeting and does not teach the truth about Christ, don’t invite that person into your home or give any kind of encouragement. Anyone who encourages such people becomes a partner in their evil work” (2 John 1:10-11). Every moment we allow false teaching to undermine the work of the Church, we are permitting the spreading of corruption throughout the body of Christ.


Expose False Teachers.

Not only are we to refute and silence false teachers, but we are also to expose them. When they refuse correction, especially those who rise up from within our own ranks, we are to rebuke them publicly. As it is written: “Those [elders] who sin should be reprimanded in front of the whole church; this will serve as a strong warning to others” (1 Timothy 5:20). Leaders are to be held to a higher account. In Ephesians chapter 5, Paul decrees that there is to be, “no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you,” that such people “will not inherit the Kingdom of Christ and of God” (Ephesians 5:3). Not only those who practice sin, but also those who affirm sinful practices are condemned. Paul continues, “Don’t be fooled by those who try to excuse these sins, for the anger of God will fall on all who disobey him” (Ephesians 5:6). Homosexual behavior falls into the category of sexual immorality. To excuse it and to deny that it is sin is to remain under God’s wrath—both for those who say such things and those who believe their lies. We are not to take part in the deeds of these false teachers but to expose their “evil intentions” by shining the light of truth on them (Ephesians 5:13).


We are not to compromise with those who have made themselves tools of this demonic agenda, but we are to stand firm on the truth of God revealed to us through the Scriptures. At the same time, we are to welcome all those seeking redemption with open arms and without judgment. There is no one alive who is beyond the love of God, and we, as the hands and feet of Christ, are to demonstrate that love to the world through grace and understanding. That includes sharing the truth of the real Gospel message that all have sinned, but Christ died for all so that all who repent of their sins and believe in Christ will gain “the right to become children of God” (John 1:12).

The LGBTQ+ agenda is not going away. Those who promote it have almost everything they have been fighting for, which is the normalization and legitimization of LGBTQ+ practice, the undermining of Judeo-Christian family values, and the delegitimization of biblical truth regarding LGBTQ+ issues in our culture. The final battlefield for them is the Church. As leaders in the Church, we are called to guide and protect those whom God has entrusted to us and to shield them from these wolves in sheep’s clothing who have “exchanged the truth of God for a lie” (Romans 1:25). This is the role of a shepherd, and God will certainly hold us accountable for the way we handle this role.


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