Wednesday, November 28, 2012


This morning in his chapel message Pastor Bartlett mentioned that a man might be a tremendous preacher, but if he beats his family, takes money from the church, has a girl on the side, or any combination of the above or any other flagrant sin, he is not a minister of the gospel; he is a false prophet.

On Monday night Andrew and I had just re-watched a movie on that very topic - THE APOSTLE, with Robert Duvall, who also produced it (1998).  It is a fascinating study of a false prophet.  It's done from a secular viewpoint, but Duvall has the character down perfectly - as do the other actors and their characters.  Duvall must have had some experience with this subject in order to produce this so accurately.

I was especially interested in it after growing up in the south.  The people that I knew closely when growing up were not like the ones in the movie; however, I saw enough of the rural south to know that the characterizations were very good.

Andrew made a great point - Sonny (the "apostle") had a great deal of Bible knowledge and training and was highly regarded by the people in his church/denomination.  Yet he was unconcerned that he was a womanizer, short of temper, and eventually even a murderer.  All he cared about was "evangelizing." And his charismatic personality caused many to be taken in.  However, Rev. Blackwell, who supported Sonny's efforts to start a church in Louisiana in the last half of the movie, did not have the education and was not as well known as Sonny--yet even though Blackwell was also a little simple-minded and naive about joining forces with Sonny, his much purer heart shone through very clearly.  It's all about the heart, not the head, or the personality.

Someone might read this and think "I would never be fooled by a charlatan like that."  I would suggest that you find a copy of that movie and watch it before drawing that conclusion.  I found it to be an eye-opening account of a wolf in sheep's clothing.  It's extremely easy to see the sheep's clothing and not the carnivore inside.


Barbara H. said...

I haven't seen that movie but heard about it and wondered. I'd like to see it some time.

One sad thing is that a lot of lost people look at the bad examples and lump all Christians together.

Ann said...

Barbara - you are so right about that.