Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Wolf in Sheep's Clothing (11/21/13)
TITLE: Skill Isn't Always The Best Deal
By Barbara Caldwell
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After searching diligently for a new pastor, they felt that they had finally found a worthy candidate, Dr. Dan Rodgers. He had recently moved to Chicago from New York. He said, “God had led me to move to Chicago, even though I don’t know anyone here.”
Dr. Rodgers was asked to preach the Sunday after his interview. One Sunday turned into four Sundays in a row. Most of the congregation grew very fond of Dr. Rodgers. He delivered messages that delighted most, but left others feeling empty. Dr. Rodgers had a new way of reaching the church. He used lots of humor and sang exuberantly. Many were drawn to his beautiful voice.
When it was time to vote for a new pastor, the congregation was divided. There was another minister who had deeply touched the congregation. He had no formal training in Theology, but some members of the church could clearly see that he was anointed by God.
At the end of the voting, Dr. Rodgers was chosen to be the new pastor. Most of the congregation was elated, but some were disappointed. However, the group that was not pleased with the decision, knew there was nothing they could do. The rest of the congregation prayed that the final decision would be the right one.
On the way home from the voting session, a woman by the name of Ms. Green had a conversation with her husband. Her husband was a deacon at the church.
She said, “Honey, I really hope things will work out with our new pastor. I’m not judging Dr. Rodgers, but God has directed me to Minister Barnes. He is truly sent by God. What made you choose Dr. Rodgers?”
Her husband replied, “Well, he is so intelligent; he has a doctorate degree, and he knows what he is doing. He is also a great singer.”
Mrs. Green said, “Is this all that led you to your decision?
Before getting an answer from her husband Mrs. Green exclaimed, “Minister Barnes sticks close to the Bible; he tells the truth whether you like it or not. He gives sound doctrine.”
With excitement in her voice, Mrs. Green wriggled about in the seat. ‘‘Remember what is stated in 2 Timothy 4:3-4 “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lust shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.’”
Mrs. Green stuck her chin in the air as she crossed her arms. “Beware!’
Six months passed by, everything about the new pastor seemed okay to some. However some congregants felt uneasy, and considered leaving the church. Dr. Rodgers was bringing all kinds of new ideas into the church. To sum things up he was bringing the world into the church, just to please the younger crowd.
One Saturday morning, Deacon Green went to open up the church so the choir members could have rehearsal. He went upstairs to check the office, and to his surprise the church safe was wide open and empty. A substantial amount of money was kept there. Every Monday, the person in charge of handling the finances usually deposited the money in the bank.
Deacon Green called the police immediately to report the robbery. When the police arrived, they found no forced entry. Deacon Green spoke to the officers with shock and excitement in his voice, “Who could have done such a thing?”
After the police officers finished their report, Deacon Green shared the sad news with the church officials, and his wife, Soon the phone was ringing off the hook in the homes of the church members. Everyone was talking about what happened. They wondered if someone had made an extra copy of the church key. It was obvious that whoever did the robbery must have known the combination. Suspicion was stirring in the air, especially when Dr. Rodgers didn’t show up at the church.
After a month passed without the cops locating Dr. Rodgers, a meeting was held. The chairman of the Deacon board stated, “Folks this is a crying shame! What we have witnessed is a classic example of a wolf in sheep’s clothing.”
As Mrs. Green warned, we should always, “Beware!”
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