Crying “Wolf”

A story you might have heard growing up was “The Boy Who Cried Wolf.” In this Aesop's Fable, a shepherd boy repeatedly tricks nearby villagers into thinking a wolf is attacking his flock. When a wolf actually appears, the villagers ignore the boy’s cries believing it’s another false alarm. As a result, the boy’s sheep gets eaten by the wolf. Variations of this story have been told including a Sesame Street parody called “The Boy Who Cried Monster.”

The Oxford English Dictionary defines cry wolf as a “call for help when it is not needed, with the effect that one is not believed when one really does need help.” Sadly this sort of thing happens within the Body of Christ. Self-appointed watchdogs believe their calling in life is fault-finding preachers they don’t agree with. They flood the Internet with web sites attacking various ministries without mentioning those they actually approve of.

A popular Scripture used by Christian critics is Matthew 7:15, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.” Recently I received an email from a man who labeled one TV pastor “a proven false prophet” without citing any examples of false prophecies made. To the best of my knowledge, this pastor has never claimed to be a prophet.

Another wolf warning can be found in Acts 20…

28 Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. 
29 For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. 
30 Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves.

According to this passage of Scripture, wolves are not pastors. Pastors are spiritual shepherds looking out for the welfare of the sheep within their fold. In the natural, it’s normal for wolves to attack sheep. What’s not normal is for sheep attacking wolves.

If a spiritual shepherd is living in sin, God will expose him if he doesn’t repent. Heresy hunters tread on dangerous ground if they knowingly slander ministers doing the Lord’s work. Twice the Bible tells us, “Do not touch My anointed ones, and do My prophets no harm.” (1 Chronicles 16:22 and Psalm 105:15)

So the next time you hear a preacher saying things you disagree with, don’t cry wolf. Pray for that brother or sister but also pray for yourself. It’s possible you’re the one that could be in error.

“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” - John 10:27

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