Summary: Beware of false prophets.
Angels of Light
2 Cor 11:13-15
13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles
14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of
righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works. KJV
In a recent "X-Files" episode, we were transported to the hills of Tennessee to a fundamentalist, Pentecostal snake handling church, which was portrayed as intolerant and the worshippers as ignorant fanatics led by a maniac preacher. There were murders and rumors that the preacher had impregnated his daughter. All of this is standard fare for Hollywood so while I was incensed, I was not shocked. According to Hollywood, the worst people on the planet are Southerners and fundamentalists. Baptists are the worst, but Pentecostals are flashier. I am guilty on at least three counts. I hang my spurs in Texas and I am a Baptist fundamentalist.
Counter to the nutcase preacher was a fellow I called Pastor Goodwords in a previous article. He was mild mannered and was tolerant of all people and faiths except the snake handler. He was well dressed and respected in the community and pastor of the community church. Sometimes community translates, as we don’t believe anything or we are not sure what we believe so come on in. Not always, but sometimes so if you are a good community church don’t take offense.
I did like it when the snake handler told Mulder that the devil would deceive Mulder and he would not even know it because Mulder was looking through his eyes and not his heart. Imagine my astonishment when Mulder shoots the fanatic for trying to knife the "respectable" preacher and it finally dawns on Mulder who is the real murderer. Mulder pulls his gun on the "good" preacher and says that he knows who he really is and the doors slam shut and snakes appear to "test" Mulder. The modern preacher is the devil and the show closes with him in a church in Massachusetts with a lady saying how thrilled she is that the church finally has a pastor with such modern views of God. She leaves and he feeds a rat to the serpent within him. Man, I nearly became Pentecostal!!!!
Now I am not sure that the creator and writers of the show are Christians or that they even understood the biblical impact of their portrayal of an angel of light. Someone just saw that it would be a great suspense and shocker. However, the literal portrayal of a false prophet could not have been done any better than if Bob Jones University had made the film and they have made some pretty remarkable films or maybe I should say unusual since that is their logo.
How often are those who hold to the old Book and the old faith made to look like narrow-minded intolerant insensitive fools? Ah, but the highly educated one who believes in nothing firmly and very little generally is the one who is in touch with God or so they and Hollywood think.
The show also contrasted the two preachers preaching of Revelation 3:16. The fanatic of course emphasized the hot and cold and then screamed in threatening anger the spitting out of the lukewarm. Whereas old Pastor Goodwords read the passage calmly and then said of the spitting out, "Now that might sound a bit harsh, but." Had they continued he would have done a political speech review thing about what God really meant here. To those types of lads, God never really says what He means and they have to help the poor old guy out and explain. Balderdash! I get rather incensed when I see one of these guys start that stuff with that knowing little grin and twinkle in their eye like some grandfather about to show their grandchild a trick. That is the tip off that some heresy is about to be spoken. (Proverbs 6:12-15)
I admit that many fundamentalist preachers dress more like John the Baptist than like the folks on the magazines. We take the passage where God looks on the heart passage seriously and do not care as much as what men think. When we are trying to bring home a point with passion, we sometimes sound more like we are angry than impassioned. And yes, because we believe God said what He said and we do not have to second guess Him or rewrite His speeches we can come across as a bit intolerant. However, what can we say when God wants it His way and He clearly states what way is His way and what way is not His way? Narrow paths versus broad highways and gathering with or scattering abroad does not leave much room for personal opinion or modern cultural concepts.