Dr. Steve Greene is now sharing his reflections and practical insights as a ministry leader on Greenelines, a new podcast from Charisma. Listen at charismapodcastnetwork.com.
Last week I penned a column that exposed a sinister plot to deceive the saints. In "Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing Actively Working in Pentecostal Church," I revealed that unbelievers pretending to be Christians are integrating themselves into Pentecostal churches only to feign falling away from the faith—just to see your reaction. Indeed, they are doing that and more.
My column uncovers that "Wolf" (that’s what I call him because he won’t reveal his true identity) and a friend are fully participating as conservative believers in a Oneness Pentecostal church. The overarching goal is to develop close relationships with members of the congregation and to begin ministering and speaking and doing ministerial projects for the church—all to see how the pastors and members react in a year or so “when [their] planned apostasy takes place.”
It turns out wolves don’t like to be exposed before their time—and this one is biting back. Wolf wrote two responses to my expose on his false plot: "So I Thought You Could Discern the Spirits? (A Response to Charisma News)" and "How the Church Brainwashes You With Threats (Continuing Response to Jennifer LeClaire)."
In one of his letters to me, Wolf discusses some of his findings to date in his self-described “Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing Project.” Wolf says he’s amazed at how much the threat of apostasy is mentioned, directly or indirectly, in church. He asks us to “imagine an authority figure who you love and trust constantly repeating to you: YOU SUCK, I HATE YOU, YOU SUCK, I HATE YOU, YOU SUCK, I HATE YOU.”
“Whatever hurtful things someone we love and/or who has authority over us says over and over again will begin to echo and create insecurities even long after the abuse has stopped if it is not dealt with properly,” he argues. “And this is my experience, not only in this project, but in my years attending churches (many, many kinds of churches). The threat of punishment as the consequence of not believing or doing certain things is drilled into the heads of the faithful.” He claims preachers don’t care—that they are abusing people in the name of God.
Wolf also offers an angry, sarcastic howl concerning praying in the Spirit, prophesying and miracles. In effort to prove that gifts of the Spirit are questionable, he charges that “if people were really close to God at the very least they would not fall for my anthropologically and existentially driven shenanigans.”
“Not only that, but God could inspire a prophesy or a tongues and interpretation that reveals the whole situation for what it is,” he continues. “If this happened and I was sure that it was divine then I would certainly come to the altar on bent knee and worship the God who performs miracles and knows my heart.”
Thanks for the prayer request, Wolf. You can count on many thousands of people praying that you come to experience the love of God, which passes head knowledge (Eph. 3:19). I’m concerned for your soul, and I’m not trying to scare you out of apostasy. Your words suggest that you’ve experienced spiritual abuse in the church. I understand how that leaves a wound that needs healing. Please check out my article on "Spiritual Abuse, Christian Cults and Controlling Ministries." I get it.
Wolf, I agree with you that some churches are emotionally abusive and use fear to control people. And again, it sounds like you’ve experienced this firsthand. But that doesn’t make Jesus any less Lord. What if, instead of going into church fighting against God, you went into church simply seeking the truth? And maybe try a denomination different than the one in which you suffered abuse?
Wolf, the Lion of the tribe of Judah will set you free from your doubts, your fears and your pain. The Great Shepherd wants to transform you from a self-proclaimed wolf in sheep’s clothing that seeks to devour the faith of others into a blameless sheep with faith to prophesy and move in the gifts of the spirits you’ve shunned.
I don’t know who you really are, Wolf. But God knows your real name, and He loves you passionately. It's not His fault some church leaders are abusive. So I pray—and I call on everyone reading this column—to pray for Wolf. Intercede for his soul fervently. I pray that whether it’s through a prophecy that reveals your “anthropologically and existentially driven shenanigans” or through some other experience, you come to the saving grace of the living God, one who would never tell you, “YOU SUCK, I HATE YOU, I HATE YOU, YOU SUCK, I HATE YOU.”
God is love. And He’s waiting on you, Wolf.
For a limited time, we are extending our celebration of the 40th anniversary of Charisma. As a special offer, you can get 40 issues of Charisma magazine for only $40!