June 16, 2011

Incorporeal Pathogen

Satan is a masterful counterfeiter. A master at spreading the disease of twisted truths. When he wasn't able to stop the crucifixion after unwittingly playing his hand in it he tried to stop the spread of The Message by counterfeiting the message itself. He tried to mimic God's handiwork just like he has always done. God has perfect designs and Satan knows it. Why change something perfect anymore than he has to, right? The closer he can keep it to the original the harder it will be to distinguish from the real thing. Blatant outright attacks came in the form of Christian persecution but subversive attacks also came in the form of subtle twisting of doctrine. We are exhorted all throughout the Bible to be on our guard to the wolves sneaking in among the flock to ravage them. He'll change and tweak the truth just enough to convince you error is true. Heresies and false teachers were trying to infiltrate "The Way" before many of the Apostles had entered their rest and eternal glorification in the Lord Jesus and others came after.

Neo-Marcionism, Marcionism, Judaizers, Gnosticsim, Docetism, Arianism, Anomoeanism, etc, etc, etc...the list continues until today. Sadly, many of the infiltrators today aren't even doing something original. They are doing the same things that were done one or two millennium ago and calling it something different. It is another effort to dupe the uninitiated or uninformed. As believers we must be extremely discerning. Sometimes an internal injury to the Body is invisible but can be terminal.

It is the responsibility of those that know the truth to rebuke and correct when these partial truths or half truths twist the Word. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck...its a duck.

Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery but this is flattery that isn't needed or welcome in Christ's body. It is an imitation like a virus imitates normal cells in a human or programs in a computer. It mimics the wholesome aspects that are beneficial until it gains access to inner workings and control centers then it sends out more of its minions to infiltrate other hosts to continue to corrupt and destroy. The most useful and powerful counterfeits are the ones that are indistinguishable from the real thing. The closer the counterfeiter can make his ripoff to the original the better it does its job. We now have some infiltrators so deeply embedded in the body the only way to get them out is to amputate or nearly destroy the host.

The Devil does this with more than just doctrine too. He takes love out of the relationship but continues to call it marriage. He takes the word murder out of an abortion and it becomes Pro-Choice. He exchanges the natural use of the body for sex in marriage, moves it outside the marriage (or gender) and still calls it love. Tolerance is changed from a form of forgiveness and is turned into an excuse for ignoring blatantly obvious sin or ignoring people that chose to live immoral lives.

Do you know what a counterfeit looks like? Did you ever use something counterfeit unwittingly? Did you ever try to pass on something you knew was wrong as a truth? Did you ever tell a lie to gain access to something or someone? That is how the virus enters the system. This is how sin infects you and others. Subtle and undetected. This is sin's parasitic nature. Killing you. Draining you of life. A bodiless spiritual leech whose sole existence requires that it feed off of you or others like you and your weaknesses. Waiting for a stray thought to lag behind the flock. Sin isolates you and then gangs up on you and circles in for the kill.

This is why we need to continually examine ourselves to assure that we remain in the faith (2 Corinthians 13:5). It isn't just to make sure we are in the faith, it is to assure that we are not ravaging the flock. We need to assure that we gather ourselves together and not forsake fellowship. When we are around others like us we will be more inclined to see and recognize those which are not. Sound the alarm and raise the defenses. Not only to protect ourselves but to protect others. Not only for our own survival but as an obligation and duty to the Body.

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