—1 Kings 19:1-2 (NASB)
Jezebel, one of the most prominent and repeated examples in the Bible representing the worst possible spiritual seduction, has something which all seducers share in common: disdain for the truth. It didn’t matter that her false prophets failed and Elijah the one true prophet of God succeeded; it didn’t matter that her god failed to provide the sign which the One True God manifested; it didn’t matter that her religion was categorically proven false. So like all spiritual seducers instead of responding to God’s Word and repenting like the people did, she seeks to return everything to “normal” by killing the messenger.
If you’ve never heard of Dave Hunt (The Berean Call), you can Google his name and you’ll be presented with quite a list of books he’s authored over the years. If you’ve had the privilege of meeting him, you’d discover a very gentle and soft-spoken individual. But he has written what may be some of the best and most definitive books refuting doctrinal error such What Love Is This? addressing the error of Calvinism, and The Woman Rides the Beast addressing the error of Catholicism. As a result he is one of the most hated of men among staunch Calvinists and Catholic scholars. Few and far between are the intelligent responses to his books and teachings, and great are the attempts just to silence him and make him go away.
This is something I’ve noted about the genuine shepherds of the Body of Christ. They don’t shy away from the opportunity to address error by presenting the truth. They don’t attack the messenger, seeking for them to just go away, but seek to sincerely educate, repudiate, and admonish. They may ultimately warn against a false, unrepentant leader, but they don’t wish him ill.
Another true shepherd is Jacob Prasch of Moriel Ministries who merely asks that those attacking him meet on neutral ground in front of a video camera in a setting where they can both present their cases. I’m not aware of anyone to date who has taken him up on his offer, but know of a number who withdrew when they discovered he was serious and willing to go through with it.
There is certainly some kind of controversy — real or manufactured -—that seems to cling to anyone who steps into the public spotlight. But one of the ways we can be sure of who are truly anointed with God’s Word versus those who are counterfeiting it is in the way they treat others. It’s the ultimate expression of the new commandment to love one another, because the true shepherds still want to reach even the worst false ones in the hope of spiritual reconciliation to Christ; the false ones just want to kill the messenger and continue business as usual.†††