Down-home Parables

A Blog by Richard Wayne Fry

Nothing Like A Good Spy Movie

Torn Curtain, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, 13 Rue Madeleine! What do these films have in common beyond being excellent spy dramas? They are films depicting double agents. They only thing that makes a spy film a better spy film is for one or more of the spies to be double agents. As it turns out, though, I am not at my keyboard today to discuss the merits of good film plots. No, I want to discuss those double agents who have invaded the Christian community, the Body of Messiah.

It is nothing to be marveled at or pondered over. Christian “double agents” have been around since the birth of the Church. The apostle John wrote of them in 1 John chapter 2; the apostle Peter wrote of them in 2 Peter chapter 2; Jude wrote of them; the apostle Paul wrote of them in 2 Corinthians chapter 11 and Philippians chapter 3; and Yeshua, himself, spoke of them in the gospel of Matthew chapters 7, 15, and 19.

But I am not talking about the “obvious” double agents of the Christian community; “false teachers.” We all recognize those guys, right? They are the ones who say things like, “Sure, faith is necessary for salvation, but you have to add works to faith in order to be saved.” Those people are like neon signs to all of us...right? Right! No, what I want to focus on today is that surreptitious “double agent” who sits beside you in Church every Sunday.

I am concerned about those Christians who live like the devil himself Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. They are out there in the world cleverly disguised as “worldly people” so they will be more readily accepted by the people of the world. They party like non-Christians, they have casual sex like non-Christians, they download porn like non-Christians, they even cheat and steal like non-Christians. But on Sundays and Wednesday evening prayer meetings, they are there, in Church, with Bibles in hand, a clean shirt, and combed hair. These people look and act like model Christians, but they are “double agents.”

For five days of the week they live to please both themselves and the world. The other two days they appear to please God and the Church. But in the midst of their duplicity, they will claim to have allegiance only to God, the Bible, and Yeshua.

These “double agents” of the Christian community have forgotten that the Lord Yeshua Messiah has made them kings and priests (Revelation 1:5-6), a fact that Peter confirms in 1 Peter 2:5, 9. And a portion of the duties of priests is to make a difference between what is holy and what is unholy; between what is clean and what is unclean (Leviticus 10:10; 11:47; 20:25; Ezekiel 22:26; 44:23).

Even though the Law of Moses has been rendered inoperative with the death of Messiah (Hebrews 7:12, 18; Romans 7:5-6; 10:4; Galatians 3:19), Paul makes a point of our need to be separate from the world by quoting two of the major prophets:

Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, —2 Corinthians 6:17. This verse combines a verse from Isaiah and one from Ezekiel.

Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch no unclean thing; go ye out of the midst of her; be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the LORD. —Isaiah 52:11

I will accept you with your sweet savour, when I bring you out from the people, and gather you out of the countries wherein ye have been scattered; and I will be sanctified in you before the heathen. —Ezekiel 20:41

The risen Lord of Glory, our High Priest, Yeshua, himself, told the apostle Paul that he was separated FROM the people.

But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee; Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.—Acts 25:16-18

Paul was not to infiltrate the ranks of the unbelievers and appear as one of them, as so many of our fellow Christians are doing today. Rather Paul was to set an example of holiness and righteousness for those who have not yet believed. Paul was to be an example of cleanliness and uprightness, he was not to wallow in the filth of the world. Paul was not called to be a double agent.

By now you may be wondering what my point is in writing this. It is simply this: you, brother or sister, you have a minimum duty to speak to these double agents concerning their current way of life. If you believe you can just “love them” back into a clean walk, or “love them” to repentance, then you are adopting a cowardly, unscriptural approach to the problem. Why?

If “just loving them” was sufficient to bring them to repentance, then Scriptures like John 3:16 and Romans 5:8 would suffice to bring all of humanity to kneel before the Cross of Messiah. Merely “loving” people and having a strong affection for them does not feed hungry people; does not clothe naked people; does not make believers out of unbelievers, and it certainly does not bring repentance to those “double agents” currently under consideration. There is no greater love than God’s love, and people are going to hell while standing in the glorious light of that perfect love.

Good people, we are not here to please the world, and we are not here to please ourselves. Our singular aim is supposed to be pleasing God. This aim is both our personal goal and our collective goal as the Christian community. These “double agents” are in mortal danger of defecting back to the world’s domain. We (you) must let them know they are in trouble. We (you) must warn them that their lives are in peril.

If a man’s house was on fire, would you not help to put it out? Would you not grab your hose and work fervently to help extinguish those flames? Or would you simply love them with all the compassion available in your heart as you watched his house burn to the ground? Likewise, when a man’s soul is ablaze with the fires of sin and wantonness, are you going to at least mention to him that his immortal soul is being burned, or are you just going to love him from a distance and “trust” that God will “work all things together for his good”?

What does Scripture say we should do? Well, the first thing you should do is pray. There is no substitute for prayer. But once you have prayed, you have a duty to act, in faith, on God’s word.

Herald and preach the Word! Keep your sense of urgency [stand by, be at hand and ready], whether the opportunity seems to be favorable or unfavorable. [Whether it is convenient or inconvenient, whether it is welcome or unwelcome, you as preacher of the Word are to show people in what way their lives are wrong.] And convince them, rebuking and correcting, warning and urging and encouraging them, being unflagging and inexhaustible in patience and teaching. —2 Timothy 4:2 AMP

In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will. —2 Timothy 2:25-26 KJV

But now I write to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of [Christian] brother if he is known to be guilty of immorality or greed, or is an idolater [whose soul is devoted to any object that usurps the place of God], or is a person with a foul tongue [railing, abusing, reviling, slandering], or is a drunkard or a swindler or a robber. [No] you must not so much as eat with such a person. What [business] of mine is it and what right have I to judge outsiders? Is it not those inside [the church] upon whom you are to pass disciplinary judgment [passing censuring sentence on them as the facts require]? God alone sits in judgment on those who are outside. Drive out that wicked one from among you [expel him from your church]. —1 Corinthians 5:11-13 AMP

The expulsion from the Church does not happen until the “double agent” has been given an opportunity to repent. And do not chew on that dirty old rag about “we are not supposed to judge.” Paul made it abundantly clear that we are absolutely responsible to judge those CLAIMING to be in the Body of Messiah.

The good news is that you, even you, dear Christian, can help prevent a “double agent” from defecting. You are not required to convince him, nor are you required to get him to take action. You are only required to speak the truth of God’s Word to him (Ephesians 4:25).

Working together, believing and speaking the same things, is the only way we will help eliminate “double agents;” by bringing them to a place where the Holy Spirit can minister to them and bring them to repentance. §

Snow In Florida!

Snow In Florida
There are a number of two-word combinations that just do not go together. God & evil, Hillary & beautiful, flip-flops & stylish. Even though it is not at the top of the list, Florida & snow is right up there. Read More...

Wait-A-Minute Vines

A couple of friends of mine served in the Vietnam conflict. They both tell stories of walking through the jungle only to be brought up short by a vine that had attached itself to them, bringing them to a complete halt. These vines were soon awarded the monicker of “wait-a-minute” vines because the one entangled in them invariably had to say, “wait a minute,” to get his buddies to stop for him. I have recently discovered the computerized equivalent of those infamous wait-a-minute vines.

Fear Factor

Some of you may recall the reality game/stunt show on NBC under the title, Fear Factor. The participants were presented with both physical and mental challenges, designed to inspire a degree of fear and uncertainty in the contestants.

The devil is hosting his own version of Fear Factor, and he wants you as a contestant.


Self Improvement

Today is the start of a New Year; a time to embrace change and betterment. It is the big day for many people to brace themselves and dive headlong into one or more of those infamous New Year’s Resolutions. However...

Book of Romans

A Shameless Plug...
... for the upcoming teaching on the Book of Romans.

Beginning Sunday, January 5, 2014, from 6-7 p.m. we are going to teach the entire Book of Romans on a verse-by-verse basis.

Here is a short excerpt from the notes on Romans:

The Gospel presents a method of justification very different from that of the law. The Jews could not embrace a doctrine which appeared to them to be not only novel, but also contrary to their prejudices.

Additionally, they (the Jews) found themselves in possession of the covenant of God, to the exclusion of all other nations.

They could not endure Apostles calling the Gentiles to the knowledge of the true God, and to the hope of his salvation, nor
That the Jews had lost their exclusive preeminence over the nations.

Email us for information on how to listen in and get notes for the series.

Pay Attention

In the overall scheme of things the issue surrounding Phil Robertson is nothing more than another crater on the moon; in a year who is really going to notice. But in the more immediate sense, and this is really where you need to start paying attention, what we are looking at is the birth of hate mongering of Christians. Read More...

Christmas Myths & Facts

There are a number of Christmas quizzes, games, and such that people may participate in online. Quizzes dealing with the words of carols, games about cartoon adaptations of the Christmas story. But there are few online venues where you can have your understanding challenged regarding the Bible version of The Christmas Story.

And Again With The Parables

While these posts may be entertaining, they are also meant to be much more. Perhaps I should have started with the definition of parable from the start. A parable is a story that illustrates or teaches a moral or spiritual lesson or principle. It is not the same as a fable, because fables utilize plants, animals, inanimate objects, and the like as characters, but parables have human characters. A parable is a type of analogy. Read More...

A Torch Without A Flame

It is not as socially acceptable to be a Christian as it once was. The “Ten Commandments” are being removed from public venues. Jesus, Christmas, and even God are becoming increasingly taboo. And it is certainly not PC to be a Christian owing to our radical (extremist) views on abortion and homosexuality. Christians are increasingly being looked upon as being domestic terrorists. Yet there are still those strong Christians who, despite the negative press and being ill spoken of, steadfastly and openly declare their love of Yeshua. Read More...
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Hebrews 2:10

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