House Church Talk - Balaam's Fan Club

Claire Bennett clairebnntt at
Sat Aug 21 12:09:02 EDT 2004

Scott, I've witnessed the same type of situation you mentioned, and it is not uncommon.  A person has a gifting - teaching, evangelism, prophecy, and gathers a following, sometimes without seeking one.  Some in the following surround the gifted one, flatter and coddle him/her and protect the chosen one from true friends who will provide honest feedback and accountability.  The fan club exploits the gifted one by building an empire around that person to benefit themselves.  The gifted one becomes an employee of the empire for its benefit.  They have purchased a prophet.

It is true that wolves will go elsewhere if the risk/opportunity ratio is not favorable at a particular sheepfold.  They do not attack randomly, but with cunning.  Sadly, some do not protect the weak or strengthen them.  Worse are the hirelings that place themselves between the weak and their true shepherd.

I'm not sure I see the unregenerated Paul as a wolf.  He had a zeal for God not according to knowledge.  At least he didn't bother to cover himself with sheep's clothing.

I have my doubts about the repentent wolves.  I hear a lot about their public repentence, but mostly it comes across as admission of operations errors by corporate.  You saw a few cosmetic changes and maybe a few firings of underlyings.  But basically, the corporation remained, the board of directors didn't resign and little was done for the wounded sheep.  It all got swept under the rug with little investigation over why things went wrong or how to prevent a future occurence.  What would real repentence look like?  Well, the board of directors would resign, the corporation would disband and the efforts and assets of the former corporation would be employed to rescue and minister to the wounded sheep and prevent a repeat occurence.  The deceived sheep believe they need the corporation, and can't imagine life without the board of directors.

I could draw a parallel to the after effects of 9/11.  Call for investigation.  Lots of opinions as to what went wrong, why and how to fix it.  Corporate attempts to shut down the investigation.  Deflecting blame.  No deep soul searching.  Let's get on with business.  The system that allowed the attack remains.  Maybe a better example of a useful plan would be safeguards put in place after Three Mile Island and other accidents.  

House Church Talk is sponsored by the House Church Network.

House Church Talk has been renamed. These discussions, via the web, now occur at the Radically Christian Cafe.