There is good intent, evil intent, and there is biblical intent. Although not always mutually exclusive, good intentions can be subjective, and depending on who defines the good and how broad a definition one uses, good intentions can end up far from being biblical. This is why it irks me when I hear someone say they had the best of intentions, but when you dig a little deeper, you discover they really didn’t because if they’d had the best of intentions, they would have had biblical intentions, and they wouldn’t have ended up being mocked by every half-wit on late night television.
It’s because you didn’t have biblical intentions that you ended up being a punchline, Ted, not because the devil was out to get you. At least he wasn’t out to get you any more than he is anyone else. When someone offers you a massage, and you bring the baby oil, that’s complicity. At any point, you could have rebuked the devil, thrown the baby oil out the window, along with the meth, gone back home, and repented for the rest of the evening. But you didn’t, and not because the devil made you do it, but because you wanted to.
There is biblical, and then there is everything else. It’s a simple principle, uncomplicated, straightforward, yet sparsely applied in today’s church. Biblical doesn’t get clicks. Biblical rarely fills pews. You need to have a hook, something to set you apart. I’m waiting for the first ventriloquist pastor to appear on the scene. He'd probably draw a crowd if he could go for a while without breaking character. He could even use the dummy to say biblical things that modern ears find offensive, then blame it when people get upset.
“It wasn’t me; I’d never quote that verse; it was him; the dummy did it.”
Intent matters only insofar as being able to trace it back and determine the reason for the outcome of a situation. Sometimes good intentions go horribly wrong from the start; other times, it takes a while for them to marinate before things begin to fall apart. Sooner or later, whatever is not built upon the foundation of Scripture will be shaken and crumble into the dust.
We’re seeing it with the exodus taking place in most major denominations. They suspended biblical teaching to appeal to a broader audience because they were told that’s what the sheep were clamoring for. Once the sheep got what they wanted, they realized they were wholly underwhelmed and disillusioned.
God knows what you need, and more often than not, it’s contrary to what you want. The household of faith does not exist to service your wants but see to your needs, and not the needs of your physical man, but the needs of your spiritual man. You had one duty! That duty was to feed the sheep of God’s pasture, not make them feel good about their unibrow, ingrown toenails, or the extra fifty pounds they were carrying around. It wasn’t to help them balance their checkbook or teach them how to color coordinate. It was to preach the gospel.
That’s the difference between a job and a calling. You make compromises in order to keep your job; you sacrifice to walk in your calling. There are individuals behind pulpits today that do not believe Jesus is Lord, that do not believe He is the only way, truth, and life, and that do not believe in heaven or hell. These are not shepherds over small congregations but some of the biggest in the nation.
A job’s a job, it pays well enough, and you only really have to work one day a week. Why upset the apple cart by preaching the gospel? Why risk offending those helping facilitate your rock star lifestyle by being biblical?
Some of the current luminaries know deep in their hearts that they couldn’t have made a go of it in any other field and been as successful. When you have the intelligence level of an apricot but are worth tens of millions of dollars, you won’t risk rocking the boat. I fully expect some of them to have enough self-awareness to know that nothing else they could think of doing would be as profitable, so whatever they have to do to maintain their current lifestyle, they will do without question.
We’ve seen how readily some fell in line, encouraging those who looked to them for guidance to do things that were not in their best interest. What subcategory of preaching the gospel does coercing people into doing something they feel uncomfortable doing by claiming Jesus would have done it does that fall under?
The individuals Jude is focusing on are not those with good intentions that went off the rail but those with evil intentions who have nothing of light, truth, or Christ in them. He, along with Paul, John, James, Peter, Luke, and Jesus, made it abundantly clear that such individuals are among us. They’re not outside the church lobbing Molotov cocktails; they’re inside the church trying to burn it down.
With those on the outside, it’s hit or miss. Their shots don’t all hit the mark, but those inside have greater accuracy because they don’t have to aim as far. Learn to discern the difference between true shepherds and those whose only purpose is to fleece the sheep.
Acts 20:29-31, “For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves. Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears.”
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea, Jr.
Posted on 26 May 2023 | 11:08 am
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