The following is an interesting article, along with the direct link, that was sent to me recently. It underscores the fact that there is a pompous, manipulative, and deceitful ruling class of “church leaders” who will stop at nothing to advance their destructive agendas. There are no words too strong to demonstrate the horrible deception used by some of these self-serving, self-centered spiritual monsters!
Many have been deeply scarred through these mind-deluding, diabolical practices. The brainwashers that occupy these pulpits are smart and clever, and they understand human nature. They know how to deceive and they know how to destroy.
May some of you think long and hard about it while you search your musty minds, trying to support your aggrandizement of carnal men.
Unslain by Pride
by Dexterous Ehud
On a certain website, a preacher is quoted as declaring this during his parting sermon:
“The four giant-killers of preachers;
money, pride, unbridled ambition, and women;
have killed their thousands.
By the grace of God, they’ve not slain me.”
Seventy-two comments follow Ryan Martin's "Immoderate" blog commentary on the ministry of this man. Some praise the preacher and cast the very best construction on his words. Others use the blog as a forum for sharing some very deep injury experienced under the ministry of that preacher. Without delving into the controversy rising from the bystander comments, let's analyze the substance of his very telling words as quoted by the "Immoderate" blogger. Note the subtle message carefully on display.
1) Money, pride, unbridled ambition, and women are called "giant-killers." By implication this preacher is saying "I am a ministerial giant" (i.e., a great man) who has not been killed by these. If you wanted, you could try to construe that he meant that the money, pride, unbridled ambition, and women are killers that themselves are giants. This however, is not the most natural meaning. Plainly interpreted, the man is saying "I am a giant and these giant-killers have not slain me."
Does he really intend to convey such a pompous self image to his hearers? Quite possibly not. He probably works very hard to conceal this inflated view of himself. However, as Jesus said, " . . . out of the abundance of his heart his mouth speaks." (Luke 6:45) The internal indulging of self-aggrandizement is extremely difficult for any prideful man to conceal or contain. Like crude oil, it eventually bubbles to the surface.
2) His assumption seems to be that the only men who are slain by these giant-killers are those who have been publicly disgraced in some way. For instance, a pastor commits adultery and is cast out of his office. Nevertheless, we need to consider that there are plenty of instances where men may indulge such vices without discovery even up to or beyond retirement. Surely this man knows this.
Simply declaring that you have not suffered a more public, widespread disgrace does not make you innocent. With this in mind, the assertion sounds more like a self-defense against threatening accusations than a simple, "humble" acknowledgment.
3) The "he's just trying to warn other men" argument does not pass muster. Neither does the "he's crediting God by invoking the grace of God" argument. Let's not be simpletons. He is saying "I am a giant; these things have not stripped me of my 'giantness' . . . by the grace of God."
Does Jesus excuse the Pharisee, even though he credits God?
The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: "God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get." Luke 18:11-12
The self-congratulatory declaration of this preacher sounds precisely like the Pharisee in Luke 18 with very little difference in quality. The Pharisee thanked God for his ethical fortitude but stood condemned because of the inherent pride portrayed in his very words.
4) Not only does this proclamation declare that the preacher is a giant, but also a rarity. He is a victorious lonely survivor amidst thousands of slain giants. This amplifies the grandiosity underlying his words. "I'm not just a giant; I'm a rare giant still standing amid the carnage of thousands of other giants."
5) The self-congratulatory, grandiose message is so subtle that it is no surprise that many miss his almost subliminal influence on their thinking. Their adoration and hero worship blinds them.
They not only miss the verbal contraband stealthily concealed and imported into their thoughts; they ardently defend the preacher and his words. Consider this in conjunction with the allegations of severe personal, social injury done to several relationships (refer to the blog comments section).
This juxtaposition suggests the real likelihood that this man is not the hero that he says he is. In fact, under discerning analysis, this declaration warrants more consideration as a probable camouflage than as a humble expression of praise for God's grace.
The following quote from M. Scott Peck seems relevant. Peck wrote a book on individuals who live underneath a self-made mask. It is titled People of the Lie. He writes from a psychiatric standpoint with a growing understanding of Christianity. In his book Peck adopts the term "evil" in a special sense to denote those who practice an exceptional form of deceptive corruption. These, he says, are the people of the lie. He believes that instances of this behavior (in various forms) arise often enough to warrant a specific classification. The quoted material below touches on one specific feature of those who practice a certain nuanced, subtle, but terribly damaging behavior.
"It often happens then, that the evil may be recognized by its very disguise.
The lie can be perceived before the misdeed it is designed to hide - the cover-up
before the fact. We see the smile that hides the hatred, the smooth and oily manner
that masks the fury, the velvet glove that covers the fist. Because they are such
experts at disguise, it is seldom possible to pinpoint the maliciousness of the evil.
The disguise is usually impenetrable. But what we can catch are glimpses of
"The uncanny game of hide-and-seek in the obscurity of the soul, in which it,
the single human soul, evades itself, avoids itself, hides from itself."*
FOOTNOTE: *Buber, Good and Evil, p. 111. Since the primary motive of the evil is disguise, one of the places evil people are most likely to be found is within the church. What better way to conceal one's evil from oneself, as well as from others, than to be a deacon or some other highly visible form of Christian within our culture? . . . "
And so, this man may very well be the kind of man prone to unjustly injure and covertly sabotage the lives of others for some sort of personal gain or perverse satisfaction. This little eruption of pride at precisely the wrong time may be one of the "glimpses" about which Peck writes.
If that is the case, then those who plead so passionately against the purported sterling reputation of this man deserve a more empathetic listening than most bystanders are generally willing to give.
"Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; A stranger, and not your own lips." Proverbs 27:2