Stupid or Sinister? Seven Ways to Tell the Difference Between Spiritual Dullards and Deviants

By J.D. Hall - Posted at the Pulpit & Pen:

“Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.” – Matthew 10:16
  • Rick Warren is a harmless teddy bear. He truly doesn’t understand why people have a problem with him. He’s just not the sharpest guy, but God has really used him. Theologically, maybe he needs some more training…but his heart is in the right place.
  • Beth Moore doesn’t mean that God really spoke to her when she said, “God told me.” It’s just an expression. Yes, she should know better than to say that. But she’s harmless. She just needs more discipleship.
  • Karen Swallow Prior has some terrible methodology, but let’s be honest. She probably hasn’t had anyone explain to her why the It Gets Better campaign is not a good thing. She probably doesn’t understand the LGBT agenda or why they love her so much. She’s got good intentions, but just needs someone to come explain why all of this is a very, very bad idea.
  • Andy Stanley just doesn’t understand why his language comes across as gay-affirming. So what that he has gay church members? He thinks that’s what Jesus would do, the poor guy. He’s a dim bulb. The apple fell far from the tree, intelligence-wise. He’s just not the sharpest knife in the drawer. He needs some Bible training, is all.
  • Steven Furtick is a seminary drop-out. This explains why his ecclesiology is so terrible and – unbeknownst to him – his church is set up like a scary, vision caster-centric cult. He means well. He’s just stupid. He’s not sinister or anything.

As Christians, we hear echo back to us strongly the words of our Savior in John 13:35, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Man, we really, really, really want to treat professors of Christ with as much kindness and mercy and love and compassion as possible. We want to give as much benefit of the doubt as possible. We want to think the best. Because, after all, we’ll be known by our love one for another.

Unfortunately, this litmus test of love for the Saints is taken advantage of by wolves who put on the badge, “Christian.” To many in evangelicalism, a profession of Christ and declaration of good intentions works like kryptonite on Superman. If the person claims Christ, we argue, and if they mean well, we suppose, their problem is not one of sinisterness, but stupidity. Even among the discernment community, we tend to think of people like Furtick, Noble, Warren, Houston, Osteen, and Stanely as dim bulbs. We think they’re stupid. And given the signs, that says more about our intelligence than theirs.

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