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Beware of Broken Wolves

3. Broken Wolves Are Appealing.

Because we share the concerns of our Great Shepherd, Christians are drawn to people who are broken, hurting and vulnerable. As the Psalmist says, “The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit” (Ps. 34:18). Unfortunately, the Broken Wolves often get there first. They arrive swiftly with the gospel of affirmation: “You’re fine the way you are; it’s the rest of the world that’s screwed up and causing you to suffer.”

The gospel tells brokenhearted sinners to repent (Mark 1:15). The Broken Wolf says, “Don’t worry, God is not so old-fashioned that he still thinks that behavior is a sin.” The gospel says to believe in Jesus to be justified (Rom. 10:10). The Broken Wolf says, “You are justified in believing in yourself.” The gospel says to confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord (Rom. 10:10). The Broken Wolf says, “Jesus doesn’t want to rule over you as King, he only wants to be your non-judgmental friend.” The gospel says be transformed by the renewal of your mind (Rom. 12:2). The Broken Wolf says, “You can’t change. Embrace who you are.”

They offer hopeful words without hope. As Jeremiah says, “They offer only superficial help for the hurt my dear people have suffered. They say, ‘Everything will be all right!’ But everything is not all right!” (Jer. 8:11, NET). The Broken Wolf offers a broken gospel, one without the power to save.

Like all wolves in sheep’s clothing in the church, the Broken Wolf is leading the sheep into the valley of hell, away from the Good Shepherd. What then will we do? Will we suffer the scorn of “attacking the vulnerable” for the sake of protecting our sheep? Or will we stay silent because we’re too cowardly to cry, “Wolf!”?

Update: In the original article I had quoted from an article on the website of the Association of Biblical Counselors titled “Three Ways to Spot a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing.” Several LGBT rights advocates claimed that I had taken the quotes out of context and contacted the author, Leslie Vernick. I told Ms. Vernick that I would remove the quotes at her request. In the comments section she left a comment that said, “Thank you for removing my words from your blog and if you haven’t do so yet, I am asking you to do so. I don’t want readers to assume that I support what you have written, especially since you are so vague in what you meant.” Those quotes have now been removed.

This article about wolves in sheep’s clothing originally appeared here.

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joecarter@churchleaders.com'
Joe Carter is an editor for The Gospel Coalition and the co-author of How to Argue Like Jesus: Learning Persuasion from History’s Greatest Communicator.