Throughout Scripture the people of God are referred to as sheep and Jesus as the Great Shepherd. The natural enemy of the sheep is the wolf who “snatches them and scatters them” (John 10:12). Our Shepherd even warns us to beware of false prophets, who “come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves” (Matt. 7:15).
Echoing this warning, Paul admonished the elders of the church:
Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood. I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore be alert . . . (Acts 20:28)Wolves often look like sheep, so to spot a wolf we can often look at what values and qualities are esteemed by a particular religious community. In Jesus’s day outward religiosity was prized, so the wolves looked like legalists. And in the early post-apostolic age, secret knowledge was valued, so wolves took the form of learned Gnostics.
The values of the evangelical community in America today are diverse, so it’s not surprising we have a broad diversity in the species of wolves we encounter. In our own age, health and wealth are precious, so some wolves take the form of preachers selling a prosperity gospel. We also seek to change the world for the better, so some wolves take the guises of “social justice” or “family values” advocates.
But there is a particularly nasty breed that often goes unnoticed, a type that we might call the “Broken Wolf.”
These are the false teachers who use their own authenticity, pain, and brokenness to attract believers who are also suffering and broken—and then using their “brokenness” to lead the sheep to turn away from God’s Word and embrace sin. They blend into the flock because Christians are not—and should not be—suspicious of broken people. They appear “in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves” (Matt. 7:15).
Here are three reasons Broken Wolves are a grave danger to your family and to your local congregation. Read More