/ wolves / Rut Etheridge III

How to Spot a Wolf

The Lord is so very clearly moving in judgment among his church in our land. Recent years and even recent days have been full of revelations, in small conservative denominations and major Christian conventions, of abuse perpetrated and covered up by church members and leaders. There are so many culpable failures among us, so many of the Lord's commandments, the weightier matters of the law, that we've ignored - so many telltale signs of Satan's incursions among us to which we've turned a blind eye, all the while considering ourselves the truly faithful among God's people. We have hurt Christ's lambs by our neglect, and this has, with instructive irony, turned the words of our own standards of church discipline against us. We have given the enemies of Christ occasion to blaspheme.  

One of our major and most culpable failings is our ordaining men to the ministry who talk a good theological game but have no moral business holding church office. We've also celebrated men who'd be aptly described as bullies in the pulpit; their harshness online and in person we've hailed as holiness. We've lauded as Christian heroes preachers (and politicians) who are walking violations of the third commandment, invoking the name of Jesus even as they deny him by their contemptible, dehumanizing conduct and speech.      

One of the crucial steps forward for Christ's church in repenting, in coming to the aid of those whom we've neglected, and in preventing abuse in the future, is a refusal to tolerate such wolf-like traits among under-shepherds and those in training for the ministry. Here is an article I wrote for The Gospel Coalition which briefly outlines the profile Scripture gives us of wolves in sheep's clothing, ways the Lord has so clearly revealed by which to recognize his true servants and to discover his secret enemies. I pray the Good Shepherd will bless it toward the healing and protecting of Christ's sheep, and the exposing and expelling of the wolves.        

Rut Etheridge III

Rut Etheridge III

Husband to Evelyn; father to Isaiah, Callie, Calvin, Josiah, Sylvia. Pastor and Bible Prof. Loves the risen Christ, family, writing, the ocean, martial arts, Boston sports, coffee, and more coffee.

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