Thursday, April 2, 2020
Parables from a Residential Monk #9
Parable of Two Pastors During the Wuhanese COVID-19 Opportunity/Challenge
Jesus said, “Be on your guard against false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravaging wolves.”
A true prophet points to Jesus by the book alone for existential peace and eternal salvation.
A false prophet points to anyone or anything other than Jesus by the book alone to steal existential peace and eternal salvation.
The challenge is false prophets, as Luther warned, often come as “angels of light” to trick us into believing there are other paths to existential peace and eternal salvation.
Jude observed, “They slither into churches and turn the grace of God into religious promiscuities by denying Jesus as the only Lord and Savior of humanity.”
Paul wrote, “They tickle, endorse, enflame and enable our lusts and seduce us to the dark side.”
Isaiah noted, “They say bad is good and good is bad and light is darkness and darkness is light.”
False prophets mirror the damning lies and madness of their master; or as the Rolling Stones sang, “Confusing is my game. Can you guess my name?”
Dylan crooned, “But the enemy I see wears a cloak of decency.”
Wolves in sheep’s clothing.
Two pastors arose to prominence during the Wuhanese COVID-19 opportunity/challenge.
Both appeared on international television to encourage people who were increasingly afraid for their lives.
One said with a saccharine smile, “It’s important to live from a place of peace and not a place of fear. There is a lot of negativity and reason to worry and be afraid, but I think that’s when we have to make that choice to live from a place of peace and not a place of fear. You know, to take it one day at a time. I’ve learned it’s just as easy to worry as to believe that ‘God, You’ve got me in the palm of Your hand.’ I believe that when you live from that place of peace, a grateful place, you draw in peace, you draw in your faith. That’s what gives you the strength and the power to make it through. We can thank God maybe we do have our health. We can thank God for what we have or we have a place to live or we’re in a great country. Just start the day off in faith.”
He said nothing eloquently.
As superficial as the veneer on a kindergartner’s school desk.
He did not mention Jesus.
He did not mention the Bible.
But he sounded nice.
Not as comfortable as the one who appeared self-gratified being the center of attention and placebo for a planet in pain, the other pastor looked strong, calm, sane and serene as he pointed to Jesus for existential peace and eternal salvation: “Maybe your heart has been gripped by fear as millions of others have because of the coronavirus pandemic. But I want you to know that God loves you. He made you. He created you. He knows everything about your life. You don’t need to be afraid. Jesus said, ‘I’ll never leave you nor forsake you.’”
Then he invited everyone to invite Jesus into their hearts as personal Lord and Savior and receive God’s existential peace in the assurance of eternal salvation.
Unmistakably clear, candid, certain, compelling and conclusive about who, how, way, truth and life.
He asked, “Which of the two did his Father’s will?”
He answered, “Everyone who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain fell, the rivers rose, and the winds blew and pounded that house. Yet it didn’t collapse, because its foundation was on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and doesn’t act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand…”
“In the end,” He promised/warned, “you’ll recognize them by their fruit.”
Blessings and Love!