Ravenous (Part 2): What Will You Do?

The church’s ceiling reverberated with cheerful singing of saints converged to worship God. A baton blurred in the chorister’s vigorous hand, bidding the saints sing with more gusto. The piano keys undulated beneath the pianists skilled fingers as the last chorus of the happy hymn burst forth from throats filled with exultant praise. The joy they felt was genuine, palpable even. This was no chore. There was no drudgery. Everyone was happy. Everyone that is, except for the pastor’s son.
A few months since his father’s transfer after the hushed up sex scandal, the boy found himself wincing in pain.
 
Beneath his neat navy blue suit lay bruises that were his reward for standing between his father’s angry fists and his cowering mother. Lying on the carpet next to the glass of pungent liquor whose spirits possessed his father, imagination was the only refuge from the torment of his mother’s screamed pleading as it ricocheted off the ceiling. Today, the boy sat quietly in his navy blue suit, staring in silence at the enraptured faces, comparing them to the memory of his mother’s face that morning. The thick makeup couldn’t camouflage her swollen face this time so she’d stayed at home.

The church was quiet as their pastor stood to speak. His calm voice spoke the sweetest words punctuated by the congregation’s hearty amens. Their initial apprehension seemed so silly now. What sex scandal? Who didn’t know that people lied all the time? Wasn’t it better to focus on evangelism than idle gossip? The Devil just didn’t want to see his ministry prosper. Sermons replete with Bible verses couldn’t come from a vile man, could they? The pastor had shown himself trustworthy with the ladies, why, he had even helped a timid lady step out of her shell; she was no longer withdrawn and gloomy thanks to all that pastoral counselling.

Some of the faithful were not so enthusiastic. Some had seen raw fear in the preacher’s son whenever his father spoke to him. They wondered about the locked office door during counselling sessions with ladies. The pastor’s visible irritation at any opposition had not escaped their perception and not a few wondered why the pastor’s wife bumped into so many doors; was she that awkward?

………

Amongst the numerous splendid praying teachers of the Word, there are ravenous preying wolves that pick off the flock where they ought to guide. While there is need for greater accountability in our churches, emphasis on prevention is ever more pertinent. It is important to always think things through, demanding and weighing evidence. The ravenous are always reluctant to furnish evidence.
We ought to be ever guarded against getting caught up before evaluating evidence, trusting God to give us clear minds.

“Impressions alone are not a safe guide to duty. The enemy often persuades men to believe that it is God who is guiding them, when in reality they are following only human impulse. But if we watch carefully, and take counsel with our brethren, we shall be given an understanding of the Lord’s will…”
{Ellen White, Review and Herald, August 24, 1911}.

 

“I am afraid of anything that would have a tendency to turn the mind away from the solid evidences of the truth as revealed in God’s Word. I am afraid of it; I am afraid of it. We must bring our minds within the bounds of reason, lest the enemy so come in as to set everything in a disorderly way.”
{Ellen White, Selected Messages Volume 2, page 43}

photo credit: elandarel order from chaos via photopin (license)

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